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Old 05-25-2016, 06:10 PM   #801
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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Originally Posted by sallain View Post
I'm fairly sure you're in the email every time you receive an 8 or above. But maybe someone with more recent experience can comment. And congrats on the high scores!
Thanks, sallain! I know you're used to them
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:49 PM   #802
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

So my review came back a 4/10, with a 2 and 3 respectively for Plot and Character.

Then I see the reviewer referring to my "central conflict" of the story, and he completely missed it. He identified it as an event that takes place 30 pages in, when I actually establish it on page 5.

The big, bold central conflict that is the first thing mentioned in my logline, the undeniably clear motivation for all of my protagonist's action from page 5 on, that is repeatedly referred back to in the script over and over.

And then he proceeds to lambast me for starting the story too late and slow pacing. I don't know what to say.

I would advise anyone considering the BL to save your money. Based on the quality of some of the reviews I've seen posted here and now my experience, the inconsistency is unbelievable.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:17 AM   #803
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

Feel free to post your evaluation in its entirety. History has shown that one's description of their evaluation rarely accurately represents it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
So my review came back a 4/10, with a 2 and 3 respectively for Plot and Character.

Then I see the reviewer referring to my "central conflict" of the story, and he completely missed it. He identified it as an event that takes place 30 pages in, when I actually establish it on page 5.

The big, bold central conflict that is the first thing mentioned in my logline, the undeniably clear motivation for all of my protagonist's action from page 5 on, that is repeatedly referred back to in the script over and over.

And then he proceeds to lambast me for starting the story too late and slow pacing. I don't know what to say.

I would advise anyone considering the BL to save your money. Based on the quality of some of the reviews I've seen posted here and now my experience, the inconsistency is unbelievable.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:00 AM   #804
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

I already used the "start fresh" option on the site, so I can't access the full thing. The reviewer did make some valid points about an unnecessary flashback scene and some overly expository dialogue, which I've since gone back and revised.

I do have specific quotes regarding what I'm talking about that I saved from the review, however.

The reader claims that: "The issue here is the story meanders through it's first act, never committing to what this story will be about until far too much time has gone by. The experiment is what ultimately sets the story in motion and needs to be introduced much earlier, and set the plot for the remainder of the narrative."

This is a complete misreading of the central conflict in my script. The death of my protagonist's grandmother and his desire for personal redemption is what sets the story in motion, it is the engine of the narrative.

He completely glosses over this, saying: "The opening is meant to establish that Hayworth is a lazy, beer drinking loser that lives off his fortune-telling Grandmother. That can be done through a few lines of dialogue while Hayworth sits in the hospital waiting to hear whether or not she's dead. His backstory of how he came to live with her isn't anything that needs an excessive amount of time explaining."

This is a lazy interpretation of what is happening in my script. The relationship Hayworth (my protagonist) had with his biological parents is crucial to the understanding of why his relationship with his grandmother is so central to his motivation throughout the story. That is why I establish it with more than "a few lines of dialogue."

The opening not only establishes Hayworth as a freeloading alcoholic loser, but it shows WHY he has ended up this way, and it shows how the death of his grandmother wakes him up to the fact that she was a great mentor for him, and that he took her lessons for granted while she was alive.

The internal struggle within my protagonist, to prove his worth to the world, stems from his unfulfilled desire to please his grandmother and live up to her expectations.

The reader ignores this central conflict, and instead focuses on the superficial resulting action of the CIA experiment, claiming IT as the central conflict, and thus stating that it comes much too late in the story, results in a slow pacing, etc.

The lowest scores of my evaluation were for Character and Plot, yet the reader clearly demonstrates that he did not comprehend the central motivating factor for either of these elements.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:09 AM   #805
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
I already used the "start fresh" option on the site, so I can't access the full thing. The reviewer did make some valid points about an unnecessary flashback scene and some overly expository dialogue, which I've since gone back and revised.

I do have specific quotes regarding what I'm talking about that I saved from the review, however.

The reader claims that: "The issue here is the story meanders through it's first act, never committing to what this story will be about until far too much time has gone by. The experiment is what ultimately sets the story in motion and needs to be introduced much earlier, and set the plot for the remainder of the narrative."

This is a complete misreading of the central conflict in my script. The death of my protagonist's grandmother and his desire for personal redemption is what sets the story in motion, it is the engine of the narrative.

He completely glosses over this, saying: "The opening is meant to establish that Hayworth is a lazy, beer drinking loser that lives off his fortune-telling Grandmother. That can be done through a few lines of dialogue while Hayworth sits in the hospital waiting to hear whether or not she's dead. His backstory of how he came to live with her isn't anything that needs an excessive amount of time explaining."

This is a lazy interpretation of what is happening in my script. The relationship Hayworth (my protagonist) had with his biological parents is crucial to the understanding of why his relationship with his grandmother is so central to his motivation throughout the story. That is why I establish it with more than "a few lines of dialogue."

The opening not only establishes Hayworth as a freeloading alcoholic loser, but it shows WHY he has ended up this way, and it shows how the death of his grandmother wakes him up to the fact that she was a great mentor for him, and that he took her lessons for granted while she was alive.

The internal struggle within my protagonist, to prove his worth to the world, stems from his unfulfilled desire to please his grandmother and live up to her expectations.

The reader ignores this central conflict, and instead focuses on the superficial resulting action of the CIA experiment, claiming IT as the central conflict, and thus stating that it comes much too late in the story, results in a slow pacing, etc.

The lowest scores of my evaluation were for Character and Plot, yet the reader clearly demonstrates that he did not comprehend the central motivating factor for either of these elements.
I'd recommend getting some more feedback on the script to see if other people get the same impression. I'm not saying the reader is definitely in the right here, but most often the "central conflict" from a story perspective is something external - the main thing that happens, that causes all the other things to happen. Those events make up the story. The character's internal feelings and conflicts usually underpin that. They're important, but if I see a movie and then summarize the story for someone else I'm going to focus on the events, not the character's internal life and struggle.

Based on your pull quotes and the way you're explaining the conflict, I would guess that the pace is in fact pretty slow, and that there's some confusion going on between what you think your story is about and what kind of story you're actually telling.

Again, I haven't read your script, but this sounds like feedback that could use some extra investigation to me.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:17 AM   #806
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

Hello everyone-- I've added the new draft of TRACKER onto the Black List site. I rewrote this last fall before my manager sent it out to a handful of studios and large prodcos. Looks like it's going to take some attachments to get a studio behind it. They all said great things about the writing and such--

I honestly don't know if anyone would want to read it, but there were 137 peer views. I'm looking for exposure and ideas on who, other than Fincher might be a good visionary director and maybe an up and coming actor who wants to play a challenging roll where his is both good and evil.

I would caution any one who is sensitive to dark material. It's a story about serial killers and experiencing their memories to catch a killer. There are some disturbing images right at the onset-- so be warned. I think it's a story that has a lot of heart in it, and a great twist. It isn't all dark though. It's a psychological thriller with some good action peices.

I didn't know where to post this, sorry if this isn't the right spot.

So if you're inclined I've allowed writers to download it too. I will post the review below later today... Not really great with copying and pasting with my iphone yet lol

The previous draft received 8s and 9s for dialogue and plot. It is so much better now. I'm proud of it.

"Silence of the Lambs" meets "Minority Report"

Logline: In order to catch a sadistic serial killer terrorizing Washington DC, an FBI agent will use experimental technology that requires him to join forces with the most unlikely partner; the serial killer he put on death row eight years ago for multiple heinous murders, including that of the agent’s wife and only child.

Title: Tracker

Locations:
East Coast / USA

Budgets:
High

Genre:
Action & Adventure,Action Thriller,Mystery & Suspense,Crime Thriller,Detective Film,Psychological Thriller,Sci-Fi Thriller,Sci-Fi & Fantasy,Psychological Sci-Fi

Logline:
A determined FBI agent with a dark past must use new technology go inside the mind of a sociopath in order to solve a mystery he's working on and catch a serial killer, but the sociopath's mind he is using belongs to the man that murdered his first wife and son.

Strengths:
This is an extremely well written script with a fantastic concept and a suspenseful plot. The world created here is perfect for the near future setting and isn't ever too over the top in the technology that we have to deal with as an audience. Val is a strong protagonist through and through and there are a ton of layers to his character. Everything from the obvious history he has with Griftka to his new family is well established and developed and that's before we even get a chance to get to know him as a hell bent and determined FBI agent who will stop at nothing to finish the job and catch his perp. The dialogue is natural and nail biting, creating a never cliche tone that never falls back on detective/FBI jargon to push the plot forward. There's a lot of emotion that comes from each of the character's interactions with Val and they stand out in individual ways. The dark nature to the script is executed powerfully and the writer doesn't hold back from creating some pretty gruesome images and sequences for the audience. It's juxtaposed nicely though through all of the human emotion that we get to see developed over the course of the script. WHOA, the twist at the end is so cool and intense and opens itself up for sequels. The empty feeling that the audience must go through when we think Val is lost is really intense.

Weaknesses:
Right now it feels like Brady's character is coming up a bit short in comparison to the other really well developed characters. We don't get a lot in line of his personal motives for why he's a part of all this or is passionate about it working out. We know he works well for the plot, and it is strong that he kind of hides from Val who's brain he's going to dive into, but there isn't a lot of personal growth for Brady. The same kind of goes for Dr. Peyton in that all of their scenes end up feeling sometimes repetitive in the ways that they interact with Val and commentate on the technology. The rest of the script never falls into this place, and for the most part these two characters work well to facilitate the plot and the story as well as Val's journey, but getting an extra sense of personality from both would make it easier to connect as an audience to their voices. Establishing a bit more about if other technologies have changed in the world would be cool to give the audience a better sense of how this near future has changed from the present day. This is a big development for only a few years into the future from the present day and it opens up some questions about this. It's not something that the audience has to dwell on, but might be a missed opportunity to expand on and make the world bigger for the sequels.

Prospects:
This is a very well written script that is sure to attract the attention of industry readers. It's SILENCE OF THE LAMBS meets MINORITY REPORT and creates a very powerful concept for the audience to get sucked into. The dialogue is sharp and Val, the protagonist, is sure to catch the attention of big time a list actors should this script make it into development. At the very least, the script moves at a polished and quick pace that is going to make for a very strong writing sample.

Pages:
114

All of the weaknesses have been addressed in the rewrite, and it's a lot betterr than the draft that received this review.

If anyone has advice on an approach or recommendations of agents that might be able to package a high budget piece... I'd be grateful. I have another epic sci fi out to a few now, so just trying to bring some attention to my previous writing.

Anyway, thanks and sorry for the long post.
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Last edited by finalact4 : 06-01-2016 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:12 PM   #807
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by omjs View Post
I'd recommend getting some more feedback on the script to see if other people get the same impression. I'm not saying the reader is definitely in the right here, but most often the "central conflict" from a story perspective is something external - the main thing that happens, that causes all the other things to happen. Those events make up the story. The character's internal feelings and conflicts usually underpin that. They're important, but if I see a movie and then summarize the story for someone else I'm going to focus on the events, not the character's internal life and struggle.

Based on your pull quotes and the way you're explaining the conflict, I would guess that the pace is in fact pretty slow, and that there's some confusion going on between what you think your story is about and what kind of story you're actually telling.

Again, I haven't read your script, but this sounds like feedback that could use some extra investigation to me.
The death of the grandmother is an external event. His internal struggle is a result of that, but the death sets the story in motion.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:41 PM   #808
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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The death of the grandmother is an external event. His internal struggle is a result of that, but the death sets the story in motion.
Right - what I'm saying is that most people define "story" as a chain of events that directly lead to each other in the traditional way. It could be that to you, the death of the grandmother leads directly to everything that follows after, but a reader may not be seeing that connection as clearly as you are. Or you can get where it seems you need to go (the climax/action/ending) without it.

I've seen this mistake many times with amateur scripts, is all. This critique sounds familiar to me. That's why I recommend getting some more opinions before dismissing it out of hand.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:58 PM   #809
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

That is the heart of my critique. There is literally no possible way the reader shouldn't have seen the connection. It is stated directly by the protagonist on multiple occasions, stated directly in the logline (don't know if he could see this), and referred back to incessantly in the script in various ways.

The scene of the grandmother's death is a HUGE deal. It destroys my protagonist in a very clear, visual way and changes him permanently. How it could go ignored is just insane to me.

I have had a lot of other feedback from people I respect, and none have failed to see what was motivating my protagonist.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:22 PM   #810
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Default Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
So my review came back a 4/10, with a 2 and 3 respectively for Plot and Character.

Then I see the reviewer referring to my "central conflict" of the story, and he completely missed it. He identified it as an event that takes place 30 pages in, when I actually establish it on page 5.

The big, bold central conflict that is the first thing mentioned in my logline, the undeniably clear motivation for all of my protagonist's action from page 5 on, that is repeatedly referred back to in the script over and over.

And then he proceeds to lambast me for starting the story too late and slow pacing. I don't know what to say.

I would advise anyone considering the BL to save your money. Based on the quality of some of the reviews I've seen posted here and now my experience, the inconsistency is unbelievable.
If it really was such an obvious part of the script I'm sure it would have been wiped and you would have been given a new one. A similar thing happened to me when a reader stated that there was no reason given as to why my character in my horror script had mental issues, what caused them. It was plainly stated multiple times and was a main plot point. I pointed it out with references and the evaluation was wiped. I got a 7 instead of a 4. The next eval came back as a 3 with even worse "errors" and it got wiped and I got a 5 but with very valid critique.

Don't get me wrong though, I've given up on the BL myself for the same reason others have, reader consistancy. Franklin can come in here and defend his business all he likes but I've experienced it and seen too many examples from friends and forums to know it's an issue.
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