What Does A Producer Do???

The Producer is the one who BUYS your script. Who likes it, who is going to raise money for it, who chooses it to produce. Who takes the risk.

You need to know what makes a “great script” GREAT to a producer.

Are you thinking your script is ready to submit? Are you sure?

I’m Judy James, a producer/developer of 30 years. I now use my producer skills to help writers take their good script to great to attract a producer. I understand how producers evaluate a script. There are factors beyond the craft, structure, rules you have struggled to learn. Beyond even story. You have to learn to see what a producer will still see as too much. Too little. Overdone? Missed opportunities?



Judy James understands writers. She understands movies, and she understands the industry. Any writer fortunate enough to work with her has received a priceless gift. Thank you, Judy, for “Having Our Say”!
-Emily Mann-
-Emily Mann--playwright/screenwriter, “HAVING OUR SAY- Developed and produced by Judith James and Camille Cosby-Tony nominated on Broadway and award–winning CBS Film.
Judith James’ notes on my screenplay about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay are superbly insightful and her support for the project through multiple drafts has been unwavering. She’s got a bullseye sense of what works on the line level (dialogue) and how all the pieces of a screenplay ought to hold together. That
aspect of creative producing is a dying art; Judith James is the real deal.
-Charles Lyons--Charles Lyons, PhD, journalist and filmmaker.


I will mentor you to read your script with new eyes. Every writer knows this challenge; Objectivity benefits your script. I know it can be unsettling, but I won’t point it where you don’t want it to go. It’s your script not mine.

This exercise—Less or more in all the right places—If done with objectivity, it is remarkably successful.

It’s the final step before you go to market.

Judy has improved any script I show her by leagues…She is my most trusted
-Richard Dreyfuss-Richard Dreyfuss, Producing Partner, Dreyfuss/James Productions
Judy never pushes. When I would have a scene I was wondering about, we’d talk it over. It was always very helpful. And… We made the movie we wanted to make!”
-Larry Bishop-Larry Biishop, Writer/ Director of MAD DOG TIME aka TRIGGER HAPPY, produced by Judith James

Hi Screenwriters –

If you are prepared to see your script from this ready-or-not pov, we could work together. My greatest strength, honed by years in the business, is talking through the script with the writer, asking questions, discussing the answers. Notes aren’t enough. In one-on-one sessions -via phone or Skype – we’ll explore the essence of your script without damaging the quality of what you’ve written. I can help you refine and define the elements of your script. I offer straightforward savvy and objectivity.

Every script has it’s own challenges. It has curves that need to be edges, edges that need to be magnified – it is an exciting process, one that I learned from doing it for over 30 years. I have 20 producing credits and I developed more than 40 screenplays under option. Scripts I’ve produced: QUIZ SHOW, MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, HAVING OUR SAY: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years…. to name a few. It is a career of understanding screenplays.

Would you like to discuss this further? Click Below for Pricing Info. And you can reach me at judith@djprods.com. Let me know when it would be convenient and we’ll set up a conversation.

I look forward to speaking with you,


Judith is a fantastic mentor to her writers. You will learn more from her in three hours than most writers learn in years. Erin Condron -Writer/Conceptualizer Hasbro/Star Wars, DANNY for Irish Film Board
Judy James is a game-changer if you want to figure out the heart of your story and make it work. Her insights are priceless to me. There is no-one out there like her. She is truly unique among story/script consultants.” Anthony Buono, screenwriter

Some of Judith’s Producing Credits include:


Scripts Judy Has Worked or Consulted On:

THE PROUD AND THE FREE -Howard Fast/Robert Bolt • THE QUEEN’S STORY- Tony Spiridockis • THE SECRET ANNIE OAKLEY – Marcy Heidish/ Gerry Ayres • THE TOWER -Ridley Pearson • THE TWO GEORGES – Richard Dreyfuss/Harry Turtledove • WINGS OF JOY – Eve Sereny • The Winnie Mandela project – Emily Mann • THE ORION PROTOCOL- Gary Tigerman • THE MUSIC TEACHER- John J. McLaughlin/ Richard Dreyfuss • THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE – David Rintels • THE BLUE ANGEL – Neal Jimenez • THAT OLD FEELING- Leslie Dixon • SWEATING BULLETS- Larry Bishop • LEONA’S – Steve Adams • REASONABLE SUSPICIONS Mark D.Rosenbaum/William J.Genego • PRISONER OF HONOR- Ron Hutchinson • LIVE – Bill Guttentag • MY FRIEND MATT AND HANNA THE WHORE -Ronaldo Vasconcellos • MSR HIRE Niel Jimenez • MOON OVER PARADOR – Leon Capitanos, Paul Mazursky • MOE BERG from book by Kaufman, Fitzgerald, Sewell • MEN -Joan Taylor/Elaine May • MAX BICKFORD – Joe Cacaci• LIGHT A NOONDAY CANDLE- Janet Heaney • KRIPPENDORF’S TRIBE – Charlie Peters • IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE – Sinclair Lewis/ Michael De Guzman • JOURNEY WEST- Richard Dreyfuss • GOOD CITIZEN -Robert Parker/Bruce Graham • HAVING OUR SAY – Emily Mann • FUNNY YOU DON’T LOOK 200 – Amongst Many Writers: Jessica Teisch, Bruce Vilanch, Lorin Dreyfuss, Bill Maher, Randy Newman, Richard Dreyfuss • FREUD AND JUNG- Michael Lippman/Paul Mazursky• FAIRIES – Tony Spiridockis • REBECCA – Jessica Teisch• SOUTHERN EXPOSURE – W.H. Macy& Steven Schacter • DECALOGUE Series • DAYS OF FEAR – Aslami Amlani• DAUGHTER OF TIME – Josephine Tey/ • OTHER FIRES – Betty Kaplan • COPSHOP- David Black • DANCING STILL- Diane Houston • A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE- Peter S. Beagle/Gerry Ayres • A BROOKLYN WOMAN- William May • COLLISION AT HOMEPLATE – James Reston • COMMANDANT- Frederic Morton • COAST TO COAST – Frederic Raphael • CITIZEN TOM PAYNE – Richard Friedenberg • CAPITOL FORCE – Ridley Pearson • BOSWELL FOR DEFENSE – Patrick Edgeworth • ASHES TO ASHES – Oren Safdie • ACID TEST – Mathew Chapman • ABERNATHY BOYS • WHEN THE PARADE’S GONE BY- Gerald Wilson • IMAGINING THE PEACE – Jay LaMonica • KISSINGER AND NIXON- Walter Isaacson/Lionel Chetwynd• • AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY- Fred Saberhagen• DUDDY AT 50- Mordecai Richler •EINSTEIN- Phil Rosenberg • DR. MIRACLE – Robert Dillon • Outside Inn – Loren Dreyfuss and David Landsberg• ROSENKRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN • TO LIVE AND DIE A WOMAN- Kathleen Tolan • THEODORE ROOSEVELT -A LIFE • TEDDY AND ALICE – Ron Parker • TWICE THE PHOENIX – Leon Prochnik• WHATEVER LOLA WANTS – Kristi Kane • THE MARRIAGES OF ZONES THREE FOUR AND FIVE- Doris Lessing/Robert Dillon • THE FOREST – Ashvin Kumar • SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON – Bryan Forbes• SHUTTERBUG – Howard Franklyn • MAN OF THE YEAR- Millard Lampell • KID LOGIC- Mark Schilder • HEISENBERG’S WAR- • HEAVY DUST – Deric Washburn • • AN UNMARRIED MAN- David Black LAST COP- Evan Hunter/Ed McBain

Judy’s clarity, precision and above all else, her genuine respect for the writer, is what sets her apart from anyone else I’ve collaborated with over the past twenty years.Joe Cacaci -Writer/Director/Showrunner Television, Theater, Film. Teaches Television Writing at Graduate Film School - NYU and Columbia; Undergraduate at Wesleyan.
JUDITH JAMES — She understands that a screenplay is a living organism. She helps the screenwriter focus on getting to the point. She guides the project through the eyes of a Reader, the gatekeepers of the industry whose job it is to say “NO!” She also knows that screenwriting does not exist in a vacuum. Judy is all about focus with empathy and results. She is a treasure and she has become my friend. Ross Vick - Screenwriter of NOTHING GLORIOUS

* InfoGraphic: Why Scripts Earn A “Pass”

You can find the complete infographic here at its high-resolution, thanks to its creator, script reader and Reddit user profound_whatever.

Before I knew it, the script had come together in a way I didn’t expect… and for the better. Working with Judy was a great learning experience and a lot of fun too!”
Rob Smithline - Writer/Editor/Director - TRUST US, THE HUNTER'S ANTHOLOGY
Judy James understands the difficulties of screenwriting and the movie industry. She understands the process and she understands that rules are made to be broken. Her depth of experience gives weight to her thoughts, opinions and expressions about any given project she is working on.
She also has the insight to understand the delicate nature of the screenwriter. She understands those words are our children, our stories are our lives and that each letter, word, dialog and exposition must be treated with respect and dignity, even if they are to be deleted!more from Ross Vick, screenwriter 40/8
Very few film people can dissect a script as thoroughly and capably as Judy, who comes to her work first and foremost as a producer. David Paulsen - TV showrunner, 15 years, the only person to have directed, produced and written for each of the three big prime time soaps of the 80s – Dallas, Knots Landing and Dynasty.

So What’s The Next Step?

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One of Judy’s myriad talents is her innate ability to successfully guide a writer to the movie they’re trying to describe on the page. ”David Knell - Writer/Actor, Whizz Online Person