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FranklinLeonard 10-15-2012 05:02 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by JeffLowell (Post 832924)
More reading fees.

There's a reason the WGA bans agencies from charging them, and it's not because they're a wickedly good idea for writers.

Jeff, first, let me start by saying that I really admire your work, both as a screenwriter and as an educator and advocate for and of screenwriters here and elsewhere. I fully understand that there are legitimate questions and concerns about this venture, as I think there should be. It's why I will continue to be as transparent as possible about what we're doing, why we're doing it, how we're doing it, and why we're doing it in the way that we are. It's why I went to each of the Guilds in advance of launch to begin a dialogue and incorporate their concerns into our model and maintain and ongoing conversation with them. Moreover, I suspect we'll have some announcement in the near future that will assuage some of your concerns.

I would, honored, frankly, if you wanted to host a moderated conversation here where I could address your and anyone else's concerns. In the meantime, I will begin answering frequently asked questions on the Black List blog (and people can start asking them via the comments here: or here:, but that is admittedly a bit ad hoc, and I'd like make myself available to the Done Deal Pro community specifically and who better to moderate than you, someone well respected and with a healthy skepticism of this endeavor.

As for your question, unlike agencies - and many of the different, more disreputable services that try to accomplish on a smaller scale what we will - we do not take a commission on any of the business generated by this platform. We take no finder's fee. And we are not asking for or demanding an option or producer's credit on material discovered via this platform.

Geoff Alexander 10-15-2012 05:03 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by cshel (Post 832965)
Okay, so now you're saying it's best to get more evaluations, at $50.00 a pop, in order to get read. Or at least keep trying until you get a good one? But one might not be enough? Yikes. This IS getting expensive. :eek:

This is a really important question--can you pay for more than one read in the hopes of boosting a script's rating? And if so, is there a limit to how many reads you can purchase?

Chief 10-15-2012 05:03 PM

Re: The New Black List
The fee is a good way to make sure only serious people send their material.

What we need to see is an example of the coverage provided!

I don't want to pay 50 bucks just for a guy to read the first few pages and say it's not worth it because he'd rather watch the LA Lakers game.

FranklinLeonard 10-15-2012 05:05 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by cshel (Post 832927)
I'm confused. Isn't it still going to be the same pro Black List as before?

It sounds like this is just a separate service for amateurs that wouldn't have anything to do with the original Black List. Unless in some rare instance it led to a great script getting discovered that then went on to get on the Black List.

Is it a bad thing because they are taking advantage of new writers by charging them? Or are you saying it would diminish the importance of being on the Black List in some way?

There will still be the annual Black List created in the same way that it has over the last seven years.

This is meant to be a separate but related service that is able to identify great scripts from outside Hollywood and provide a system whereby those scripts can be shared with as many people as possible inside Hollywood.

Yes, there is a fee associated with this service. We encourage you to compare it with services that are offering far less and charging much more.

Rhodi 10-15-2012 05:07 PM

Re: The New Black List
Couple of critical questions:

1. There should be some ballpark indication of the current turn-around times for an evaluation. If it takes a month to get one (not saying it does), then essentially your first month's fee would be wasted.

2. How does the system handle multiple evaluations? Does it average the scores or is each evaluation independent?

FranklinLeonard 10-15-2012 05:10 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by figment (Post 832928)
Per linked article: "....The script will be evaluated by professional script readers, and, depending on its evaluation(s), read by as many as 1,000 film industry professionals who are currently a part of the membership site..."

So,I 'd want to know more about this aspect -- evaluated how -- skimmed? The first ten pages read? What would get you ten reads as opposed to a thousand?

And how many months would you have to keep a script up -- if it was hightly rated by an industry professional -- to ensure you were getting those reads? One month? Six? A year? That could really add up.

Our readers are required to read each script in its entirety and understand the sacred nature of the duty with which they have been entrusted. We will not hesitate to end the service of any reader we believe is not taking his or her job seriously.

As this service is brand new, I don't have the data on what differentiates between a script getting ten reads and one getting one thousand, but I can speculate reasonably well. A microbudget horror movie with middling to good reviews may attract the interest of only a few, but it will be people who are interested in making microbudget horror movies or helping a writer who writes them. A broad comedy with a starring role for an A-list actor that can be produced at a budget and receives raves is likely to attract far more reads as that is typically of greater interest to the Hollywood community at large.

I similarly don't have any data yet on "how long it takes." What I can say though - and this wasn't mentioned in any of the news coverage today - is that writers have the ability on our site to monitor the volume of traffic to their script generated by the site. # of views of their script page. # of downloads. # of ratings from our membership, etc. Ultimately, it's our belief that it is the writer's prerogative when to remove the script from our database and seek out access to our membership and their equivalents elsewhere.

Chief 10-15-2012 05:14 PM

Re: The New Black List
I'd actually prefer if the readers got a 'Finders Fee' when getting a script sold. It gives them more motivation to find a sell able script, no?

FranklinLeonard 10-15-2012 05:20 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander (Post 832932)
It's interesting, because you could easily get rid of 90% of the material with a single reader who was tasked with simply determining if any script in question achieved a basic level of competency. Once you do that, then you lean on classifications, and the interactive nature of the system, i.e., industry participants indicating preferences over time which generates a Netflix like "recommend" list. Ultimately, you could conceivably end up with a manageable pool of material that would be put in front of folks who have already indicated a desire for it.

That's essentially what we're doing, but instead of culling out the 90% instantaneously, we're giving everyone a legitimate shot at being seen.

The reality is that most scripts are going to receive poor reviews. Screenwriting is difficult and great screenwriting is rare.

We encourage people who receive bad reviews to remove those scripts from our site and stop paying us to host them there. It's bad for them (as they're paying to chase a dream that our site will not help them realize) and it's bad for us (as our site is only as valuable as the quality of the material on it and the filters that we use to identify that quality.)

cshel 10-15-2012 05:24 PM

Re: The New Black List
So, you could pay $50.00 to get however many of your reader evaluations that you want, but can you choose only to post the evaluations you like?

Also, though, you're saying that every time somebody in your HW database reads it, they give it an evaluation, too - and does that stay with it forever, or can the writer choose not to have those on there, if they are bad? Or is that one of the basic points of this? So others in your database can avoid your script? :p

Obviously, if all of your evaluations from either source were bad, you should probably just take your script down altogether. :eek:

halloweenjak 10-15-2012 05:27 PM

Re: The New Black List
How is Carson going to make his rent now?

God bless America.

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