View Full Version : Script Shark
09-10-2003, 02:39 PM
Okay...I've read a couple things on this board, but I'd really like some sound testimonials on Script Shark. $150 may not seem like a lot, but I sure don't want to throw it away. I'd like to hear both positives and negatives. I'm very much considering using them, but I need to be sure this isn't like paying a literary agent to read your manuscript (a definite no-no). Right now 4 very legitimate managers have requested and received my screenplay. It's been about a month and I haven't heard from any of them. I'm wondering if I should be doing more in the meantime. This is my fourth script I'm sending out, but I really LOVE this one (as opposed to just loving the other ones) and am willing to do what it takes. This was really a long winded request for some opinions.
09-10-2003, 03:04 PM
There was just a thread about this lower in this forum.
The question is, what you you want from the service?
If you want a good set of notes that will help you improve your script, opinions may vary about it being worth the $150. Opinions seem to vary about 50/50 in favor of DD shark customers being satisfied.
I and a lot of DDers have used Ext's Good Coverage Cheap service from this forum (I've learned since the last thread, the service does remain $25 cheaper than Scriptshark.) The customer satisfaction rate seems very high with his notes.
However, if all you're really paying for is for the service to pass your script on to Hollywood insiders, I think it's a crap shoot at best, and not the right way to go about your goal.
If you were a film company exec, how seriously would you take scripts from a company that gets paid to pass them around?
Anyway, if you passed a script around a month ago, the managers may all have been out of town. Since you've basically laid out your cards, why not wait out at least one response from a manager before you get a set of professional notes?
09-10-2003, 05:01 PM
I started the thread "Calling All ScriptShark 'considers'" lower in the forum. Like you, I wanted to hear testimonials about users of the service. I focused my call on "considers" or "recommends" b/c I had just received a consider and wanted to hear a preview of what to expect next...
Take a look at the thread; there's some good info. from a few DDers who responded.
I agree with Orpheus that if your script's being read by legit management, I'd wait to hear what they have to say before submitting to ScriptShark. After all, if SS gets you a manager and/or agent and he sells the script, SS takes 10%.
However, Orpheus' speculation about how seriously film company execs will take an SS submission might be off the mark. If you get a "consider" or better, SS will try to find you representation first, a manager or agent who will work with you in taking the script to the buyers. The execs will be getting the script from them--not directly from SS.
Here's how it worked for us: We got a consider from the SS reader in April. SS started ending our script to prospective reps in early June. One manager--an independent with several studio sales within the last year--responded the next day. About four weeks later, he attached an up-and-coming young black actor to play the story's lead: a star about the stature of an Omar Epps or Don Cheadle say. (once the "letter of attachment" has been signed, sealed, and delivered we'll be at liberty to give the name...)
A week after that, my partner and I met with the actor's manager to discuss their plans for further packaging the script...
That' where it stands now. We've optioned one script before, but this is the first time we've had recognizable talent attached to a project...
So we're very happy with the SS experience so far--and the coverage notes were remarkably good too!
09-11-2003, 12:30 PM
boski62, congrats on your success with Script Shark, but please explain this...
After all, if SS gets you a manager and/or agent and he sells the script, SS takes 10%.
I remember checking out the SS site and very carefully reading through the downloadable release form, etc., and nowhere is there any mention of the Shark taking 10%. In fact, when a FAQ asks "What's the catch?" The reply is, "There is none."
Did you perhaps mean to state, if a sale comes as a result of SS coverage, the manager/agent takes ten per cent? Because that, of course, is quite normal. SS taking another ten per cent on top of that sounds questionable, particularly once they've already collected a coverage fee and their taking an additional cut of potential profits is not advertised up front.
09-11-2003, 12:48 PM
I believe you're right, Hair. I believe Scriptshark does take a percentage of a sale, which as it was explained to me anyway is why they're not eligible for the Inktip script consultants list. (No service there is listed unless they take NO fee from any prospective sale based on the notes they gave a script.)
Of course, given Boski's pretty much 100% rate of posts concerning how golly gee dandy script shark is, I'm not so sure he's the one to go to for shark gripes.
If you've got time to do a little digging, maybe even multiple pages down in this forum's archive, there have been plentiful posts about all the services. Recents posts are dominated by software queries, but there used to be plenty of shark talk and pimp talk from plenty of dd old timers.
09-11-2003, 01:18 PM
Thanks, Buzz. I did dig back thru and read some of those earlier threads. Though I couldn't find a reference to SS taking ten.
To me, if this is true (and I know it's still yet to be proven), this seems not only duplicitous, but also legally unenforceable, if no mention of such is made in the release form signed by the writer.
Of course, it's possible there is a second agreement offered to those receiving "considers" or "recommends" which more clearly states this. But there've been several posts from those folks here with no mention of the 10% fee.
Just wondering what gives.
09-11-2003, 04:28 PM
I have to say that script shark notes from the coverage where worth the money for me. Their suggestions made the story tighter and a better read. And as a result, I think much more likely for an agent to take me on, once I can get one of them to read my script.
Just my experience. I would certainly use them again.
09-11-2003, 05:30 PM
You're right about the current release form on the SS site! Doesn't mention the 10%. Not sure what's the skinny on that. I'll have to call SS and find out.
But check this out--this is the language on the release form I signed back about six months ago, so it looks like they've revised the form:
"In the event that you (ScriptShark) promote, aid or otherwise enable the eventual sale or option for sale of the Material (in either case a "Sale"), and your efforts lead to a Sale, I agree to pay you a brokerage fee of 10% (Ten Percent) of the Sale price within 30 days of receipt of Sale payment(s)."
Don't know what gives. My guess is maybe prospective customers were finding this verbiage a bit off-putting. But I doubt if they've backed off their 10% claim on sales they orchestrate. Maybe now you have to sign a second form at the time you agree to let them send the script out. Just speculating...
09-11-2003, 06:38 PM
congratulations! i'm glad you found out for yourself that scriptshark is legit.
grace m (not to be confused w/the other grace)
p.s. re: the 10%. i'll gladly pay SS their 10% if they aid in the sale of my script. i'd rather pay them 10% of something than keep 100% of nothing. besides, i truly believe in the service they provide and am happy to contribute to their long-term success so other aspiring writers can benefit from their service.
09-11-2003, 07:59 PM
"I truly believe in the service they provide and am happy to contribute to their long-term success so other aspiring writers can benefit from their service."
What kind of mind control experiment are they working on you people?
This is even creepier than that old "Much better than cats. I'm going to see it again and again." line from the old SNL hypnotist sketch from a few years back.
09-11-2003, 08:12 PM
Anyway, as far as my earlier assessment of low respect for places that get paid to pass out scripts, it's not merely based on script shark. The query services do not seem to get a lot of good reviews, and there was that whole uproar over that place that used to take unsolicited submissions from the film cos and then send a letter saying "You didn't get your script read, but we'll read it for you and if it's good we'll submit it." (Someone remind me what this outfit was called? It may have closed by now.)
[Edit: a dive into the depths of this forum's archives reminds me that it was called StoryBay.]
Anyway, if the script is good, it'll make the right waves. My assessment remains foremost that you should pay a company for notes, not for exposure.
vote for Arnold.
yes, it is actually that bad.
09-11-2003, 10:19 PM
everyone has to develop their own vision of how to market their great screenplays....because if they don't measure up, it flat doesn't matter what you decide, the results won't change one flip. it cracks me up to see the debate on some special "in" one may have over the other. you can't stop a great story.
scriptshark has made some impressive strides from people i have talked with. some others not so up on it. based on the screenplays I read, THAT was the difference.
SS is owned by base filmtracker, which is a very legitimate tracking board for those that use them
09-11-2003, 10:46 PM
Why does our endorsement of a service that's produced some good results for our scripts seem to be annoying you so much?
Believe me, if SS had provided me with a bad experience, I'd share that with the board, too. That's what the board's about.
If SS is not for you, for whatever reasons, that's fine. Don't use them. But why are you repeatedly attacking satisfied users of the service in such an ugly, personal tone? I don't get it?
If you've had a bad experience with the SS service, please share it. Again, that's what this boards all about...
09-12-2003, 11:29 AM
My wary opinion of that place comes from a couple people I know who thought that the whole 'help you get noticed' thing was a load of bunk. Give someone a taste of success, then pump them for more money.
So excuse me for skepticism.
09-15-2003, 06:35 PM
"Give someone a taste of success, then pump them for more money."
Not sure about other users of SS's service, but this has certainly NOT been my experience with SS. We paid for the basic coverage service, and in all of our communications with SS since getting a "consider" never once have they suggested we purchase one of their more expensive services. Or even asked us to send in other scripts for the basic coverage service.
They just sent the script out to prosepctive reps as promised.
However, that does strike me as a reasonable concern when using these kinds of services. Something to look out for... But it has not happened so far in my dealings with SS.
09-16-2003, 12:18 PM
Boski, only you know if you really are that 1 in 2000 people who got some sort of meaningful notice out of a reading service.
If you are that guy, your results are NOT typical, and I doubt very much if you needed the service to begin with.
Your story frankly sounds too good to be true, which, fairly or not, makes you sound like a good old fashioned shill to me. So no, you're not likely to convince me to rethink my take on script pimping services.
I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on this until you went and popped your old thread to the top of the forum this morning, which it shows you did by making some kind of neglible edit to the 6th post in.
The thoughts herein are solely the opinions of the poster and do not reflect the opinions of DD management, or those of its sponsors, Script Shark, Script Pimp or SellAScript.com
09-28-2003, 03:29 PM
Just to be fair, I wanted to weigh in and say that I did finally submit a script to SS--expressly for the feedback. It was my first screenplay (by now, I've written eight) and one which I felt held promise.
I knew I had a solid premis (it was based on my own published novel and had received plenty of script requests), but it wasn't selling and I couldn't exactly tell where the adaptation had gone amiss.
I can't speak to anyone else's experiences on this board, but in my case I found the "coverage" (I only paid for the most basic brand) extremely intelligent and accurate. While I may have disagreed with one or two minor points, on the whole I found myself reading through and thinking, "Yes, exactly. That's where I slipped up--and is what I need to fix!"
So, although I received the wholely anticipated "pass," personally I found the analysis worth it. It provided fresh perspective on some old work, and I will definitely utilize the input in a rewrite.
10-27-2003, 11:57 PM
In an earlier post, I said once we had the okay, I would give more details about the talent we got attached to our script through the ScriptShark process.
Here's the listing SS put up on their website today:
"2003 – Taye Diggs has attached himself to star in “Watusimba” written by Rob and Rita Sandoval. Chris Ryan of Oceanside Entertainment facilitated the introduction after discovering the script through ScriptShark. The team is getting ready to shop the script to producers and buyers."
We know we still have a long way to go in getting a sale, but it at least feels like we have some real traction at the moment...
10-30-2003, 10:00 AM
I received a Pass. I was really disappointed about that.
And what upset me even more was every thing they said about why they passed on it and what the screenplay was missing, and where it might have gone wrong.....was correct. They even picked up on a couple weak points that I knew were in there and I thought I could get away with. They were thorough and instead of just saying what was wrong, they suggested ways in which I might be able to make it right. My ego was minorly bruised (they also mentioned many, many strong points and overall they liked the whole thing very much), I'll lick my wounds for a day...reread the coverage, and go back and make a very good screenplay great.
10-30-2003, 11:45 AM
Charley - you've got the right attitude, dude. writing is definitely in the rewriting. keep what works and improve the rest. amaze yourself.
i once heard ron bass (rainman, my best friend's wedding, etc. etc., creative guru @ sony??) talk about having to endure notes that totally ripped his work and about sending out a spec that didn't receive a single offer. and this was AFTER he was already an established a-list writer. somehow, knowing ron bass still got that kind of treatment made it easier for me to deal with all of the hollywood rejection.
keep on writing and "eventually you'll amass a body of work that can't be ignored." -- lawrence kasdan
02-27-2004, 11:21 AM
Just wanted to bump this one up.
02-27-2004, 11:40 AM
I will never use Script Shark. Ever. These guerrilla marketing tactics are a complete turn-off.
02-27-2004, 01:19 PM
Recently I read an interview they had with one of the participants/employee of SS. They indicated that if you receive consider/recommend, they will then offer to send the scrip to interested parties. If you accept this offer there is a contract that is signed then that refers to the 10% SS will take.
02-27-2004, 05:32 PM
Would you happen to know where that interview is; perhaps a link?
I'd be interested in taking a look at it.
02-27-2004, 07:39 PM
Not exactly sure. It came to me through one of my emails I get from a specific group on a regular basis. Moviebytes maybe????
I can't remember, but I did read the article. Hopefully someone can chime in with the link.
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