Re: The New Black List
Thanks for launching this service, which I do believe could be a boon to screenwriters trying to break in, and thanks for making yourself so available to answer questions.
My questions relate to the coverage. If your system is to succeed in identifying the most promising screenplays, the coverage needs to be of very high quality. But this may be difficult to provide, given the volume you could be dealing with.
For example, I heard that 3777 writers signed on yesterday. Let's round up to 4000 to make the math easier. I'm sure you'll have 4000 in no time, if you don't already. Assuming it takes 2 hours to cover a script (and this is very fast, presuming the reader reads the entire script), you need 8000 hours to cover 4000 scripts that have purchased coverage. With one reader, that would take 4 years (40 hrs/wk times 52 wks/yr = 2080 working hrs in the year). With a hundred readers, it could be done in 2 weeks (80 hrs).
Making the big assumption that my math is right, I have the following questions regarding the readers who will be providing your paid coverage:
- Will they be required to read the entire script?
- What will the ratings/coverage form consist of/look like (I know others have asked this as well)?
- Are the readers salaried employees or unpaid interns?
- Do you have a large enough pool of readers at this point to handle the initial volume of scripts in a timely fashion (say, to deliver coverage in one month's time, considering the writer has to pay $25 for every month's delay)? By my calculation, the pool of readers must be at least 50 to make this happen with 4000 scripts.
- Will readers be required to have at least several years of experience, or to be tested on their ability to competently evaluate a screenplay?
Since so much depends on the rating given to submitted scripts, it would go a long way if you could reassure writers that scripts will be evaluated in their entirety by truly professional eyes.