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Old 12-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #31
Alfred Parker
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post
I dont recommend that bud. Not to answer that in a public way since I could just email you, but it's going to be a headache for you... unless you do it with the writers and reps approval. I know if any of my clients scripts were covered (good or bad), I'd have you take it down.

Best,

MB
Except that IS the entire business model here it seems. To create a searchable database of coverage that will live on for years.

For Mr. Scoggins, would be curious just how many industry professionals are paying members at this point? And do you have a general target number of members you're hoping to achieve at the top end?
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #32
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post
I dont recommend that bud. Not to answer that in a public way since I could just email you, but it's going to be a headache for you... unless you do it with the writers and reps approval. I know if any of my clients scripts were covered (good or bad), I'd have you take it down.

Best,

MB
I cosign this so hard, I broke my pen in half.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:59 PM   #33
Hamboogul
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post
I dont recommend that bud. Not to answer that in a public way since I could just email you, but it's going to be a headache for you... unless you do it with the writers and reps approval. I know if any of my clients scripts were covered (good or bad), I'd have you take it down.

Best,

MB
I also co-sign this. Also, I am amazed how Spec Scout knows more about the status of my script than, oh I don't know, me.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:09 PM   #34
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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For Mr. Scoggins, would be curious just how many industry professionals are paying members at this point? And do you have a general target number of members you're hoping to achieve at the top end?
We don't have a target number per se. We're aiming be one of the handful of go-to sites for every agent, executive, director, producer and manager who participates in and/or pays attention to the spec market.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #35
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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Originally Posted by Hamboogul View Post
I also co-sign this. Also, I am amazed how Spec Scout knows more about the status of my script than, oh I don't know, me.
LOL!!!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Spec Scout

I love this stuff by the way! As many of you know (or maybe none of you???) mine is coming soon, and I am looking so forward to completing this re-write and to get it out there early 2013. Which brings me to my question...

You say "when a spec hits the market"...when or what exactly determines when a new spec "hits the market". What is that indicator exactly? I mean there is no "officially submit your spec script here to enter the market place" method that I know of....scripts aren't like a hit single or album that is released on a specified date and can be tracked as it makes it way up (or down) the chart..at least that I know of. I'm just curious how you see it because many scripts are around for a long time bubbling under, buzzing, re-writing, re-appearing, etc..and just preparing to make it's move. Is that true?

thanks!

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Old 12-22-2012, 11:45 AM   #37
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Default Re: Spec Scout

A spec can be said to "hit the market" when the writer's manager and/or agent submits it to production companies and studios.

Different scripts demand different situations -- some specs might go out all at once, dozens of production companies on the same day, and some specs might get slipped here and there to this person or that person. Think of it as the difference between THE AVENGERS opening on 6000 screens and MOONRISE KINGDOM opening on 6 screens.


Now think about how a website like Spec Scout could disrupt that process, presenting an opinion on a script immediately after it's been sent out, tainting reads if Spec Scout's opinion is negative. Let's say your intimate, specific script about two bird watchers who fall in love is absolutely perfect for Cross Creek, but Spec Scout gets the script before they do and calls it boring and inane with poorly drawn characters, but that's because the reader just didn't connect with the script, whereas the head of Cross Creek and all the execs there would respond favorably to the material.

Except Cross Creek's DoD reads the coverage on Spec Scout and decides it isn't worth his time -- he cracks the script but that other opinion is in the back of his head the whole time.

Now repeat that for every single DoD who gets your bird-watcher script. You could've written the next great love story. Doesn't matter, though, because of one read from one reader at one random website.


Semi-publicly publishing coverage of scripts currently on the market is anti-writer and counterproductive to Hollywood.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #38
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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Originally Posted by jcgary View Post
A spec can be said to "hit the market" when the writer's manager and/or agent submits it to production companies and studios.

Different scripts demand different situations -- some specs might go out all at once, dozens of production companies on the same day, and some specs might get slipped here and there to this person or that person. Think of it as the difference between THE AVENGERS opening on 6000 screens and MOONRISE KINGDOM opening on 6 screens.


Now think about how a website like Spec Scout could disrupt that process, presenting an opinion on a script immediately after it's been sent out, tainting reads if Spec Scout's opinion is negative. Let's say your intimate, specific script about two bird watchers who fall in love is absolutely perfect for Cross Creek, but Spec Scout gets the script before they do and calls it boring and inane with poorly drawn characters, but that's because the reader just didn't connect with the script, whereas the head of Cross Creek and all the execs there would respond favorably to the material.

Except Cross Creek's DoD reads the coverage on Spec Scout and decides it isn't worth his time -- he cracks the script but that other opinion is in the back of his head the whole time.

Now repeat that for every single DoD who gets your bird-watcher script. You could've written the next great love story. Doesn't matter, though, because of one read from one reader at one random website.


Semi-publicly publishing coverage of scripts currently on the market is anti-writer and counterproductive to Hollywood.
That's the best way I've seen it put so far.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #39
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Quote:
A spec can be said to "hit the market" when the writer's manager and/or agent submits it to production companies and studios.

Different scripts demand different situations -- some specs might go out all at once, dozens of production companies on the same day, and some specs might get slipped here and there to this person or that person. Think of it as the difference between THE AVENGERS opening on 6000 screens and MOONRISE KINGDOM opening on 6 screens.
Right -- this is the definition I use for my newsletter (ScogginsReport.com) and the one we use at SpecScout.com.

Quote:
Now think about how a website like Spec Scout could disrupt that process, presenting an opinion on a script immediately after it's been sent out, tainting reads if Spec Scout's opinion is negative. Let's say your intimate, specific script about two bird watchers who fall in love is absolutely perfect for Cross Creek, but Spec Scout gets the script before they do and calls it boring and inane with poorly drawn characters, but that's because the reader just didn't connect with the script, whereas the head of Cross Creek and all the execs there would respond favorably to the material.

Except Cross Creek's DoD reads the coverage on Spec Scout and decides it isn't worth his time -- he cracks the script but that other opinion is in the back of his head the whole time.
This is a bit unfair, since it doesn't reflect reality in a number of ways. In no particular order:

1. There are literally hundreds of examples of quirky, intimate, small, and/or otherwise less-than-commercial material that have received glowing coverage from Spec Scout. Consider several such examples from last year's Black List:
- "The Imitation Game" (Spec Scout Score: 84.1)
- "Home By Christmas" (Spec Scout Score: 82.0)
- "Bastards" (Spec Scout Score: 76.4)
- "The Flamingo Thief" (Spec Scout Score: 76.0)

If the hypothetical bird watcher love story was well written, it would receive high marks from our readers and an attendant high Spec Scout Score. If it needed work, that would be indicated instead. The point being, obviously, that it's the writing that matters, not the subject matter.

2. The last thing we want to do is get in the way of someone's career. The only time we would post a score of a script immediately after it's been sent out is if we'd been submitted the script in advance and the reps and/or writer asked us to do so. Usually, though, we get copies of scripts a week or so after they've gone to market, and it takes us some time to get them covered. So in practice, Spec Scout can't possibly disrupt the spec market in this negative way. On the other hand, it might possibly enhance it, in that a high Spec Scout Score can be used as a sales tool from the outset, and scripts that didn't originally find a home but scored well have an opportunity to be discovered or re-discovered later.

3. Our coverage is written by readers who have extensive experience and who we've trained over the course of dozens of sample scripts to follow our rubric. No script would be dismissed so curtly as you've described here. Each aspect of the script is given careful consideration, and the comments in each section are supported by specific examples from the script. Each reader is required to assess each script professionally (i.e., based on our rubric), but yes, this whole endeavor is inherently subjective. One reader who didn't connect with the material may well rate it a "Consider" when another reader who did respond to the material rated it a "Recommend." HOWEVER...

4. THE WHOLE POINT of Spec Scout is to eliminate the impact one reader's poor perception of a given script can have on its chances of success. By the time all three initial readers have weighed in, the hypothetical one grumpy reader's take is minimized.

Quote:
Now repeat that for every single DoD who gets your bird-watcher script. You could've written the next great love story. Doesn't matter, though, because of one read from one reader at one random website.
Again, this just doesn't reflect reality.

Quote:
Semi-publicly publishing coverage of scripts currently on the market is anti-writer and counterproductive to Hollywood.
This makes a nice button but I respectfully disagree. I think my personal, pro-writer track record speaks for itself and is well documented, and I would never have co-founded Spec Scout if I thought it was anti-writer or counterproductive to Hollywood. In fact, the opposite is true: I started Spec Scout because I thought it would benefit writers in several important ways, not least because by applying the same scoring system to spec market scripts as aspiring writers' material, we've created a way for good material from aspiring writers in particular to rise to the attention of the agents, managers, creative executives, producers, directors and the other pros who have access to the library.

This has in fact happened already. We can't mention the company or the project for a couple more weeks until the paperwork is signed and we get the green light to talk about it, but a high profile independent production company is in the process of acquiring a script they discovered on Spec Scout in the past two weeks. This particular script was by a first-timer, but it could just as easily have been a high scoring script by an established writer that simply hadn't found a home previously.

Given the state of the spec market, writers themselves as well as the business as a whole would be well served if there was no longer any such thing as a "busted spec." To put it a different way, the fact that a script didn't sell during its initial round of exposure to producers and executives shouldn't be the black mark that it is now, because the nature of the spec market has fundamentally changed since that dynamic was originally created. If our scoring system contributes to changing that perception, then our site will definitively have been pro-writer and productive for Hollywood.
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Last edited by jscoggins : 12-22-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #40
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Jason, I have no doubt your intention is truly, completely pro-writer. In that spirit, I encourage you to hide any script's score under a certain threshold -- say, 70.

That way, you can bang the drum for scripts that score well and that your three highly-trained readers give high marks to, but can't do any damage to scripts that your three readers may not dig for one reason or another.
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