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Old 03-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #11
emily blake
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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Originally Posted by fotonchev View Post
It's weird they do not answer why pass. In my case, I follow up asking for a feedback on the screenplay - and in 2/3 I've got one sentence comment. Frankly speaking in most of the cases seems they simply do not understand the script. I believe it's quite common, I've read other writer's comments on the forum about the same. The system is quite broken - the manager/agent requests the script based on the logline, but then an assistant reads in. And he might not like the story or the genre. It's purely his/her choice whether to pass or to approve the screenplay to be read by the manager!
It's not that weird when you think about it from their perspective. Agents and managers are incredibly busy. What would they get out of offering you notes? Much of the time, if they do offer a writer an explanation, all they get in response is an argument. There's just no motivation for them to do it, so if they do, you should thank them profusely.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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Originally Posted by fotonchev View Post
It's weird they do not answer why pass. In my case, I follow up asking for a feedback on the screenplay - and in 2/3 I've got one sentence comment. Frankly speaking in most of the cases seems they simply do not understand the script. I believe it's quite common, I've read other writer's comments on the forum about the same. The system is quite broken - the manager/agent requests the script based on the logline, but then an assistant reads in. And he might not like the story or the genre. It's purely his/her choice whether to pass or to approve the screenplay to be read by the manager!
It's unfortunate when you don't get a response, but with the sheer volume of scripts some companies consider, they're not always thinking about what's most convenient or most helpful for the writer; they're entirely concerned with getting through their pile of scripts and moving on to the next one as soon as the one they're currently reading doesn't work for them. When I was a creative exec, I always tried to at least respond to queries or submissions so the writers at least heard something back... but there are quite a few others who don't feel any such responsibility. If a script's a pass, they move on as quickly as possible.

And while "not understanding the script" is certainly a possibility, in my experience that's very rarely the reason for a pass. The two most common reasons for a pass are, in order, that the script isn't very good and that the script doesn't meet the company's needs or interests on the basis of genre, concept, budget, etc. That's the risk of a business based on a subjective product, though. You can't please everyone all of the time, even with a consistently good quality product.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

I guess you both are right. It's a business in the first place and no one is obliged to give us a feedback. And I'm thankful when they do. While I do agree they are busy people, lack of good manners is not plausible. Answering in one sentence is not too much waste of time. It's a good start for a working relationship though. I'd probably never become a pro writer but the people that gave me feedback actually invited me to submit every new work I produce. And I certainly will query those people first, who knows, someday they could benefit from the fact they've just been polite and friendly!
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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I guess you both are right. It's a business in the first place and no one is obliged to give us a feedback. And I'm thankful when they do. While I do agree they are busy people, lack of good manners is not plausible. Answering in one sentence is not too much waste of time. It's a good start for a working relationship though. I'd probably never become a pro writer but the people that gave me feedback actually invited me to submit every new work I produce. And I certainly will query those people first, who knows, someday they could benefit from the fact they've just been polite and friendly!
Even responding to an email with one sentence can come back to bite you because there's always that writer out there who will respond and push back, pressing for more details, wanting a better explanation, arguing with the determination that's made, etc. No one wants to be impolite... but sometimes sending no response is just a defense mechanism to avoid getting pulled into a protracted conversation about the "why" of your decision when you really just need to move on.

Also, keep in mind that, yes, a conversation is a good start for a working relationship. But the people you submit it to may not be looking for a working relationship. They may read your script, decide it's not for them, and have no larger interest in you, your work, or your career. Sometimes your script is just a script... one script among many that they have to get through and want to move on from as soon as they're done.

Please understand that I'm not trying to defend bad behavior or rudeness, but it's important to note that a lack of feedback or even a response of any kind isn't necessarily someone being deliberately inconsiderate. It's just that, as execs, they have a different set of priorities and interests than we have as writers which can sometimes (or often) result in less-than-desirable results for us. That doesn't mean that they're purposefully trying to be standoffish or unhelpful.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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Originally Posted by fotonchev View Post
It's weird they do not answer why pass. In my case, I follow up asking for a feedback on the screenplay - and in 2/3 I've got one sentence comment. Frankly speaking in most of the cases seems they simply do not understand the script. I believe it's quite common, I've read other writer's comments on the forum about the same. The system is quite broken - the manager/agent requests the script based on the logline, but then an assistant reads in. And he might not like the story or the genre. It's purely his/her choice whether to pass or to approve the screenplay to be read by the manager!
If they pass, they pass. They don't really want to revisit or defend why they passed on something. Plus, unless they specifically state "Please send me your next script," they don't want to engage with a writer in an email chain that wastes their time. This isn't them being rude. They just have so much work to do that they cannot afford to banter with writers who aren't at the level of most work.

EDIT: Or what SoCalScribe said far more eloquently... while I was typing my reply.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

Don't get me wrong -- I am appreciative when they respond at all.

I do have one CE with a larger production company who, even after she passed on my script, said she would be interested in reading my next two scripts only hearing the loglines when I have not even started writing them yet (just have the outlines).

And one other Dev. Exec with an offer to read my next script.

These are only two positives out of a whole bunch of no responses and passes -- but it's what keeps me going.

I'm just frustrated because a "pass," while like I said, I am appreciative for a response, doesn't help me improve.

(Appreciate those who offered to review my next script - I just may take you up on it. And thanks to everyone else for your posts.)
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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I follow up asking for a feedback on the screenplay... Frankly speaking in most of the cases seems they simply do not understand the script.
Then your writing isn't as lucid as it should be.
If someone doesn't "get" your script, it may be that it's too intelligent for them or too vaguely written... but when a few people have failed to understand it, the fault has to lie with you.
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The system is quite broken - the manager/agent requests the script based on the logline, but then an assistant reads in. And he might not like the story or the genre. It's purely his/her choice whether to pass or to approve the screenplay to be read by the manager!
Man, I agree totally with you here, but on the other hand, why not have somebody scan over the first 5/10 pages to at least check it's professional quality?

I've met a few "gate guards" and in those instances, they've turned out to be students with little knowledge, proof-reading scripts whilst they learn the ropes (and a couple admitted not wanting to put their neck out over a script by an unknown writer they'd class as a Maybe), or failed writers in there trying to network.
And failed writers are usually bitter.

I'm not saying that all the assistants are like this - hell, the actual Development Exec's should know their sh1t by the time they've earned that title - but at the end of the day, you can put your rejections down to one of two things:
1) You're not good enough (yet)
2) The assistant doesn't know ****

The only problem with no. 2 is that the said assistant won't be in the job for very long i f such is indeed the case, so if the same company rejects your next script, six months later, you may have to start considering possibility no.1.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

"passes" are the norm, even for writers making money at this.

"getting reads" is a good thing, keep it up.

remember, you're asking people to invest a ton of time and money in making your script, so people will pass way more than say yes.

keep submitting, getting passes and writing new scripts for like five years, if nothing has happened by then, go back and reread your five year old scripts, then you'll understand why they weren't selling five years ago (which is really now)

Repeat process every five years. even if you never sell, at least you'll always know why you weren't selling in years previous.

If this process doesn't work for you because you need everything to happen right now, then go find a wall and bang your head against it repeatedly. You'll either break through the wall, or give up or think of a better technique for getting to the other side of the wall.

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Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
Am getting reads off my logline queries to production companies compatible with my script. Not a lot but a few.

Have gotten all passes or no replies (even after follow-up). For those who passed, I politely ask why. No response -- zippo.

Am frustrated after just getting another pass. Would love to be able to read their minds...

With a few scripts, I have used the services of the consultants recommended on this board so from a professional format, typo/grammar perspective I should be ok including incorporating their other suggestions.

Is using consultants (paid readers) for ALL my scripts before I send out the only option here? Any other ideas/advice? It's hard to improve if I don't know what the problem is.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

TheConnorNoden - Re: I go out with my most commercial logline and don't get a bite.

My number of reads increased when I only targeted production companies that made films in the same genre that I was querying. The universe shrunk but the responses increased. While the "blanket everyone" approach may work for some people, it didn't for me.

Good luck to ya.

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Getting reads -- but passes after they read

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It's not that weird when you think about it from their perspective. Agents and managers are incredibly busy. What would they get out of offering you notes? Much of the time, if they do offer a writer an explanation, all they get in response is an argument. There's just no motivation for them to do it, so if they do, you should thank them profusely.


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