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Old 10-28-2012, 12:27 AM   #441
FranklinLeonard
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by FoxHound View Post
So you're saying it's conceivable that a literary masterpiece about a Hindu priest's existential journey throughout Southeast Asia -- that could win a Nicholl Fellowship in a heartbeat -- could possibly get a 1/10, while a much more marketable Transformers type script could receive a 10/10?
In my almost a decade in the film industry, I've found that people are far more likely to share a well written script regardless of its seeming lack of commerciality than something that's more marketable. Thus the Black List and its success.

Moreover, our readers are explicitly told to give their overall rating based on their likelihood of recommending the script based on the quality of writing than they are based on the commerciality of its premise.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:28 AM   #442
halloweenjak
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by michaelb View Post

Great scripts will find their way. Derek Haas said something in Austin which I will probably be saying for years. Great scripts glow in the dark. They shine in a sea of bad writing and bad ideas. Very few will have those glowing scripts, but when they are read, they glow bright, and Hollywood can find them. It may not happen overnight, but they find their way. And again, Hollywood can't wait to find them.
The problem is lousy scripts find their way too.

Your point would be stronger if this wasn't the case. Lousy scripts find their way through production and to the multiplex screen.

The multiplex isn't this amazing treasure trove of great writing. Are you insinuating is it?

There is no correlation, absolutely none between quality and box office. "Taken 2" got trashed on Rotten Tomatoes and made a killing opening weekend at the box office, coming in at number one.

Great scripts don't always find their way. You think a "Remains of the Day" would find its way to a multiplex today?

Your industry bases reads on loglines. And shuts out that one good apple writer because of the many many rotten ones. It's the loglines that are expected to glow, not the scripts.

The scripts are rarely even being solicited.

You say Hollywood can't wait to find them? Try cold calling a production company or talent agency with a script.

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts".

But what if it might be great?

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts".

Can I tell you the logline then?

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts."

This is not the stuff of science fiction. They really don't accept unsolicited scripts. Of course how can they know of a scripts existence unless they hire psychics? References from other known to them of course.

And who are these people known to them? Other people who will not read your script.

It would be nice to believe your industry actively finds the best talent out there, but that's not founded in any reality ( kudos to Franklin for this experiment ). It actively searches for properties that can make money, preferably opening weekend, and that means catering to the brain dead teen demographic first, because week in and week out they can be relied on to fund your careers.

Those people who you're referring to, who might enjoy great scripts? They're watching "Breaking Bad" at home. They're not going to the movie theatre with any regularity.

Great scripts will find a way...as long as they're marketable to a mass audience, just like lousy marketable scripts.

Or is marketable what you mean by great. If that's the case, carry on...

Last edited by halloweenjak : 10-28-2012 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:03 AM   #443
Rantanplan
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by halloweenjak View Post

Or is marketable what you mean by great. If that's the case, carry on...
Actually, I think that's exactly what Geoff (a manager) said earlier in the thread --marketable.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:08 AM   #444
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by halloweenjak View Post
The problem is lousy scripts find their way too.

Your point would be stronger if this wasn't the case. Lousy scripts find their way through production and to the multiplex screen.

The multiplex isn't this amazing treasure trove of great writing. Are you insinuating is it?

There is no correlation, absolutely none between quality and box office. "Taken 2" got trashed on Rotten Tomatoes and made a killing opening weekend at the box office, coming in at number one.

Great scripts don't always find their way. You think a "Remains of the Day" would find its way to a multiplex today?

Your industry bases reads on loglines. And shuts out that one good apple writer because of the many many rotten ones. It's the loglines that are expected to glow, not the scripts.

The scripts are rarely even being solicited.

You say Hollywood can't wait to find them? Try cold calling a production company or talent agency with a script.

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts".

But what if it might be great?

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts".

Can I tell you the logline then?

"We do not accept unsolicited scripts."

This is not the stuff of science fiction. They really don't accept unsolicited scripts. Of course how can they know of a scripts existence unless they hire psychics? References from other known to them of course.

And who are these people known to them? Other people who will not read your script.

It would be nice to believe your industry actively finds the best talent out there, but that's not founded in any reality ( kudos to Franklin for this experiment ). It actively searches for properties that can make money, preferably opening weekend, and that means catering to the brain dead teen demographic first, because week in and week out they can be relied on to fund your careers.

Those people who you're referring to, who might enjoy great scripts? They're watching "Breaking Bad" at home. They're not going to the movie theatre with any regularity.

Great scripts will find a way...as long as they're marketable to a mass audience, just like lousy marketable scripts.

Or is marketable what you mean by great. If that's the case, carry on...
More conspiracies. "You just want shitty scripts, but mine is amazing. No wonder you don't like mine." Or is yours just shitty? Maybe stop placing blame and start accepting it...
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:34 AM   #445
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

New guy here -- I was just wondering if I could direct a question to Franklin re: the recently "discovered" writer.

I was just wondering if you could provide any more details regarding his/her experience. I assume (and hope) that it happened basically as the system was set up to do -- said undiscovered writer uploaded a script, ordered paid reviews (I'm curious how many though) and it got the readers excited enough that it got passed along in some form. I'd also be curious what form that promotion took but it's kind of academic I guess -- the point is it got promoted. So was that basically the path it took?

Or, and this would be potentially more interesting, did it somehow get highlighted amidst the "anonymous" (for lack of a better word) sea of hosted scripts? And if so, any comment on how that happened?

Hopefully those are generic enough details to not compromise the writer's privacy -- hopefully?

ps - and thanks for answering these questions here
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:41 AM   #446
itsallgood
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

I suppose it's fitting that during election season, legitimate concerns are being labeled nitpicks and gripes

Congrats to the newly discovered writer!

Keep in mind that Tarantino caveat someone mentioned, and for that matter, George Lucas. It's not just subjective ala Rotten Tomatoes, but there is a bias against unknown writers.

If I were to upload my script (still on the fence), I can predict a score gap. I don't write dumb sh!t for dumbsh!ts. Whoever reads my work has to have a neuron or two in fine working order. I'm guessing the 3 vs. 8 script requires something similar?

A year ago, I submitted a short script to a contest and it got polar opposite reviews. It was obvious that the low score came from a reader who wasn't smart enough to understand the plot, nay, the entire premise. I spoke with the festival director, and asked whether there could be a tie breaker score of sorts when such disparities arise. He just defended his people and said he couldn't afford tie breakers. Honestly, that reader was substandard, and if we writers can be booted out for poor writing, they should be booted out for poor reading.

I took the advice of the high scorer who raved about the script, and produced the short film myself.

It worries me that some of us will have to do the same with our feature scripts. In fact, most of the original/creative films I've seen recently are made by writer/directors.

Sorry for the ramble. My main point is along the lines of reader accountability. It's like tenure at universities - if they've proven themselves worthy in the past, they're assumed to be always worthy in the future. I hope this isn't the case at BL3.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #447
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by FranklinLeonard View Post

I'm a numbers nerd and was curious about this, and here's what I have to report:

The script that received a 3 and an 8 is an outlier, an extreme one. Literally the greatest gap between any two scores on the same script we've yet seen....

.... In layman's terms, the average gap between two scores on the same script is 2 points, comfortably within reasonable subjectivity in my view (and based on figment's comments re: a 6 and an 8, his too).
Thanks for clearing that up, Franklin. That does make sense now.
---
Congrats to the newly discovered writer and Franklin's Blacklist 3 that was able to shine a light on his/her work. That's truly great news. Godspeed!
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:28 AM   #448
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
If I were to upload my script (still on the fence), I can predict a score gap. I don't write dumb sh!t for dumbsh!ts. Whoever reads my work has to have a neuron or two in fine working order.

A year ago, I submitted a short script to a contest and it got polar opposite reviews. It was obvious that the low score came from a reader who wasn't smart enough to understand the plot, nay, the entire premise. ....
I thought this was satire, then I realized you were serious.

You probably didn't mean to come off that arrogant -- but that sounds pretty arrogant.

Everything is still subjective. Where one reader sees "smart" another reader might see "pretentious," for instance.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #449
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

Yah I didn't, and it did. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt It is just a bit of frustration given my previous experiences.
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I thought this was satire, then I realized you were serious.

You probably didn't mean to come off that arrogant -- but that sounds pretty arrogant.

Everything is still subjective. Where one reader sees "smart" another reader might see "pretentious," for instance.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:46 AM   #450
stainjm
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Default Re: Black List founder Franklin Leonard answers your questions about the Black List

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Originally Posted by figment View Post
I thought this was satire, then I realized you were serious.

You probably didn't mean to come off that arrogant -- but that sounds pretty arrogant.

Everything is still subjective. Where one reader sees "smart" another reader might see "pretentious," for instance.
But shouldn't our goals as writers be to write to the level that more people can understand? I don't mean dumb it down, at all, but I mean that it takes a certain level of sophistication to write that complicated story in a way that works - otherwise it may just be working in your head.

And to connect it to this thread, I can see why some BL readers are giving low scores - if your story has some cool elements but isn't quite there (only the smart can get it), it should have a low score.
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