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Old 09-11-2019, 11:41 PM   #271
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by UpandComing View Post
Sure, and I'm happy for her. And I'm sure you could pull out several other examples. But as I said, identifying high-profile examples of success doesn't negate inherent flaws in the system and lack of transparency.
but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query? if they give it to some pimple-faced (unpaid) college intern to cover over the weekend, along with 10 other specs from the slush pile, is the writer ever going to know that? other than a pass, soft or hard, what does the writer even know about how their work is being evaluated by the gatekeepers?
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:00 AM   #272
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time.
I'm not sure why you keep going back to the topic of success rate. I said that my main concern is not how many successes there are, but how fundamental aspects of the system are run.

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what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query? if they give it to some pimple-faced (unpaid) college intern to cover over the weekend, along with 10 other specs from the slush pile, is the writer ever going to know that? other than a pass, soft or hard, what does the writer even know about how their work is being evaluated by the gatekeepers?
It doesn't cost money to send a blind query. It does cost money to use the BL. When you pay money for a service, transparency in how it operates is desired.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:29 AM   #273
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query?
The transparency is that the writer knows who is reading their script. And they can research that manager/company's taste/other produced work.

The BL -- by design -- hurts the writer, because you have no clue who is downloading or reading your script.

--It hurts you after the fact, when you're querying that script and you have no idea who has already seen it/read it.

--That in turn hurts your ability to feel like the script is actually fresh and new, because again, were those 5 or 10 or 15 reads you got from a bored intern or were they from a powerful creative exec from a huge prodco? Was it read or did they just download it because the title sounded cool? Were they looking for your action thriller or did it simply remind them of their own in-progress screenplay and they wanted to check out the competition? You have no clue.

--And you're out a bunch of money.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:49 AM   #274
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Name all the writers you love. 99% of them made it not using this service or any service. We all can break in in different ways. But if you got the money sure try anything if you want. This would be near the bottom of my list for options. I’ve never used it myself. I did try other things some worked. Some didn’t. It’s all personal experience.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:21 AM   #275
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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look, this isn't a "bitter writer" scenario, i've already got my 8s on my scripts, so i'm good. i didn't say it doesn't or can't work, nor did i say ALL their readers are ****.

what i'm saying is some readers are incompetent and shouldn't be reading, and that's always been the case, it's just worse now than ever before. one script shouldn't get 8s and a 3, that's just crazy. when you're paying close to $150 in one month for a script is shouldn't be a CRAP SHOOT.

and as a paying customer i have a right to hold them accountable to what they promise, to their actual claims.

readers have different agendas:
and let's look at the reality. a reader's objective at an agency is different than a reader at a production company, and different than a reader for a studio and different for a reader at a management company, they are have different criteria, needs, and agendas.

so you can't have readers rating reviews based only on what their experience is. you should have a set of standards, criteria, and guidelines that ensure there is a consistent approach to rating scripts. i mean, c'mon, FL has been in the industry long enough that he could easily establish this. it's his site, it's his reputation.

the Black List worked fine for me, too, until the past two weeks. i received two options offers because of my high scores on the Black List. i also got two offers for representation because i referred to my ratings on the site.

a site that carries the weight of brand recognition and the expectation of "quality" should care about consistency, it only helps them to be more consistent because they'll sell more reviews when people can trust their readers are all of similar caliber.

i've received some amazing reviews a couple of years ago.

i'm really happy for this writer, any writer that finds a way to break in.


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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query
the difference is writers are paying for a service that the industry uses for free because of the writer's hosting and evaluation fees. the industry doesn't pay anything. and WGA writers get a discount. so the bulk of the fees are coming from the thousands trying to break in. you don't send your script to an agent and PAY THEM, huge difference.

if you pay for a service and they tout that they have experienced readers on their payroll and you can prove that they don't, then their services should sure as ****, be questioned. some sites include bios on their readers, so you have some modicum of trust in handing over your hard earned bank for their services.

if a reader can't construct a proper sentence or craft a basic logline, there's a problem. if a reader makes several statements in the strengths and then directly contradicts themselves in the next paragraph four times, they aren't a qualified reader.

besides that, you never know who is reading your script. you don't need to have a person's name or company, but what's the harm in letting the writer know if it was an executive at a production company vs an actor or agent or manager or an intern.

and there are good managers and prodco people who know their unpaid intern's judgement on a script isn't going to be as good as theirs. good ones allow their readers to be the first line of defense and then may read some just to verify whether they agree.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:01 AM   #276
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

FA4, you got two option offers and two representation offers from having used the Blacklist. You are a walking advertisement for it. There's no such thing as an objective analysis of art, so there's always going to be variation. It would be like saying "critics should agree on whether The Last Jedi was good."

(Full disclosure: I ran an experiment years ago where I got two reviews from The Blacklist. One was a glowing 9, the other a very harsh 6. Which... is probably the reaction the script would have gotten if it were made.)

I think Bono's got it right - this isn't the only way in, it's not even a major way in, but it is a way in. If someone has the cash to take a shot with it, it can produce results, with a little luck of getting the right readers who appreciate your material.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #277
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

My teacher used to tell us to write our name on the back of our papers, so he'd read it, then grade it, then flip it over to see who wrote so he would be more objective. Thinking that may be what Jeff was hinting at...

I used to joke, if this famous writer didn't become famous, would we be reading his other terrible work at school? It's funny how that works.

Side note my favorite part of Jeff's post is when he agreed with me.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #278
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

I went back and read about the experiment I ran - Franklin said that scores from paid reviews that diverged by more than 2 points only accounted for 4% of submissions. That's actually pretty remarkable. (No idea where that stat stands now.)
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:11 PM   #279
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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I went back and read about the experiment I ran - Franklin said that scores from paid reviews that diverged by more than 2 points only accounted for 4% of submissions. That's actually pretty remarkable. (No idea where that stat stands now.)
I remember that 4% figure, and I thought it sounded unrealistically low back then. Are we really supposed to believe that with thousands of submissions and with no specific criteria attached to the numbers in the scoring system, that the divergence level was that small?

Regardless of whether that stat is true or not, it doesn't really change the fact that there is no meaning attached to the numbers, which bakes significantly more subjectivity into scoring than would be normal for a screenplay evaluation operation. At least with other paid services like Nicholl and PAGE, you get a sense that they aim for some consistency with their scoring systems.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:21 PM   #280
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

So I'm assuming the numbers are 1-10 and the system doesn't go to 11... So how many scripts get a 1 or a 10? Say zero. And I'm also assuming people pay for average of 2 reviews per script right?

that leaves 8 numbers. 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

So one person gives a script a 2, the other a 4. works. a bad script probably won't get a random 7. But the mean judge gives it a 4 and the nice judge gives it a 6.

It's great, it gets a 9. Or a 7.

So what I'm saying is you paid for 2 reviews and first person gives you a 5, the next script review can get a 3 or a 7 and still fall into the 4% stat. So the range is even great than 2.

I would suggest that if they are PAID reviewers they have some idea of what is good or bad, so if you start with all scripts get a 5 before you read it, the 2 points either way is not that remarkable. I think it's just math.

It's like a magic trick or those stats they throw up at games.

This QB has never thrown an INT on Monday night football. And you realize he's only played 1 game on Monday Night Football in his career, but the stat doesn't tell you that part...

Or when they have 2 people running for president against each other -- one of them has to win -- and they give the % of how likely they are to win and I'm thinking it's always 50%.

Or what's the chance of rain today? It's always 100%. IT COULD RAIN. Not likely too rain is different...
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