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Old 09-15-2019, 11:18 AM   #391
figment
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Once again, I'm quoting this, below, because it is truly the most important post in this thread. If agencies do not take the BL seriously, WHY should you, the writer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by docgonzo View Post
Someone posted the Verve Coverage Guide on r/screenwriting the other day and it mentions the BL specifically in regard to how the go about covering scripts.

The Blacklist is a company that monitors unrepresented writers with unsolicited materials. Generally, the material is not strong enough to be considered for representation but, sometimes, there is an excellent screenplay or writer waiting to be discovered. More often than not, these submissions are a pass. If so, you will probably know within the first 30 or 40 pages.

So while they are getting subs from the BL, they're looking at them with a jaundiced eye. The implication is pretty clear: aside from a rare exception, they don't see BL scripts as being ready for primetime. If that's the prevailing attitude at a mid-tier agency that is more writer-friendly than most, it's not hard to imagine how CAA or WME might feel.
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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Yes, contests run $35 to $100 and hosting on TBL can get expensive. A writer doesn't have to host to market his screenplay. If I remember right, his logline would go out in an e-mail to TBL industry members.
This is incorrect. IF you host your script AND get an 8, 9, or 10, your info gets sent in an email blast. The other hundreds/thousands of scripts do not. By the way, your hosting will run out a week after you get your scores, [i]so you'll be forced to buy another month of hosting just in case some anonymous person wants to look at your script.

Last edited by figment : 09-15-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:56 PM   #392
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Docgonzo makes a good point, but every source of amateur screenplays yields a pass more often than an offer of representation. There's no system that's going to find more than handful of great undiscovered writers. How many people broke in through Amazon Studios of the thousands of people that submitted and the millions they spent looking? Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries. If the BL gets ten people reps or jobs a year, they're probably the most successful "contest" way to break in.

There just aren't many slots for new writers. Half of the WGA is trying to get work, and they've already broken in. 99% of the people who pay for the BL will be disappointed in the results, just like every other path.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:22 PM   #393
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
Docgonzo makes a good point, but every source of amateur screenplays yields a pass more often than an offer of representation. There's no system that's going to find more than handful of great undiscovered writers. How many people broke in through Amazon Studios of the thousands of people that submitted and the millions they spent looking? Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries. If the BL gets ten people reps or jobs a year, they're probably the most successful "contest" way to break in.

There just aren't many slots for new writers. Half of the WGA is trying to get work, and they've already broken in. 99% of the people who pay for the BL will be disappointed in the results, just like every other path.
this is very true.

expectations have to be managed at every level. one would expect that repped writers are writing at the professional level and the fact that these writers are utilizing tools that include both repped writers and amateurs is demonstrative of the challenges that professional writers face as well.

there are over 100 writers with reps on The Black List. many of the writers that secure a position in Ron Howard's and Brian Glazer's Imagine Impact are working writers, and TrackingB allows any level of writer to enter their contest.

so i think the big take away for amateur writers is that you have to write with the strategy that YOUR COMPETITION is professional writers, because, imo, they are. i don't want to be the best amateur writer, i want to be the best writer. that's my goal.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:45 PM   #394
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by figment View Post
Once again, I'm quoting this, below, because it is truly the most important post in this thread. If agencies do not take the BL seriously, WHY should you, the writer?





This is incorrect. IF you host your script AND get an 8, 9, or 10, your info gets sent in an email blast. The other hundreds/thousands of scripts do not. By the way, your hosting will run out a week after you get your scores, [i]so you'll be forced to buy another month of hosting just in case some anonymous person wants to look at your script.
hosting gets you nothing more than a place card on the site. you can enter one of their fellowships, but TBL determines, based on their own preferences and their paid evaluations, WHO gets on the short list for consideration. they do not divulge what their criteria are.

and figment is correct, it could take 3 weeks for your eval to come in and then you basically have one week left of hosting, so of course, you buy another month.

and it's important to specify that IF you receive a rating 8 or above, you get sent out in the email blast exactly ONE TIME. consider how many weekly emails are you actually able to read consistently each and every week? i miss stuff all the time. haha.

the biggest "pro" to the black list that contests don't provide is year round access, and that does count for something. contests are, for the most part, an annual submission.

on the black list you could receive year round attention. you can also revise your screenplay, and upload it again any number of times.

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Old 09-15-2019, 02:54 PM   #395
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
Docgonzo makes a good point, but every source of amateur screenplays yields a pass more often than an offer of representation. There's no system that's going to find more than handful of great undiscovered writers. How many people broke in through Amazon Studios of the thousands of people that submitted and the millions they spent looking? Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries. If the BL gets ten people reps or jobs a year, they're probably the most successful "contest" way to break in.

There just aren't many slots for new writers. Half of the WGA is trying to get work, and they've already broken in. 99% of the people who pay for the BL will be disappointed in the results, just like every other path.
Good points.

So, the question is, if there are fifty slots per year for new writers, ten ways of getting there and 20,000 people trying, which of the ten ways do you want to personally try?

You can...

- Grow up in the industry (thinking of the Max Landis types)
- Go to college with those who grew up in the industry (attend USC)
- Get entry level jobs in the entertainment industry (intern, PA)
- Query reps and producers with finished work (assuming it's great)
- Network (go to WGA events in LA, take classes and meet people)
- Submit to established contests like Austin, Nicholl (not for profit)
- Apply for labs like Imagine Impact, Sundance and Film Independent (not for profit)
- Pay for Black List service, which is like FL's concierge contest and other "for profit" contests like Tracking Board, ScreenCraft, etc.
- Do the other pay-to-play service (like paying to pitch, for profit)
- Trying sleeping your way in?

Are there any other routes? It seems those are the options.

I've been in and out of the screenwriting space for ten years and have watched a lot of people (attempt to) get in. The ones that have had the highest rate of getting in actually moved to LA and did the entry-level job route. (Barring the two trust funders who went to college with the offspring of celebrities and stepped into writing work right after graduating.)

If you're past college age and don't have any personal connections, then you have to ask yourself what routes are you willing to try.

The Black List is a route. It's a very long-shot route. Same with contests.

I think what it comes down to is that most writers' projects are DOA by page two or three. They either don't have a concept worthy of a feature film/TV show, or if they do, they can't execute the concept on the page.

At the end of the day, querying probably gets you the same result/feedback on a script as contests without the costs.

I don't know why so many people want to be writers for TV and film when it's clear that few people are able to make a meaningful living doing it.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:08 PM   #396
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfootage View Post
So, the question is, if there are fifty slots per year for new writers, ten ways of getting there and 20,000 people trying, which of the ten ways do you want to personally try?

You can...

- Trying sleeping your way in?
I don't think most screenwriters are attractive enough for this to be a viable alternative. That's for actors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfootage View Post
I don't know why so many people want to be writers for TV and film when it's clear that few people are able to make a meaningful living doing it.
Because at the end of the day, it's a more fun career to wake up to than the vast majority of jobs.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:39 PM   #397
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfootage View Post
Good points.

So, the question is, if there are fifty slots per year for new writers, ten ways of getting there and 20,000 people trying, which of the ten ways do you want to personally try?

You can...

- Grow up in the industry (thinking of the Max Landis types)
- Go to college with those who grew up in the industry (attend USC)
- Get entry level jobs in the entertainment industry (intern, PA)
- Query reps and producers with finished work (assuming it's great)
- Network (go to WGA events in LA, take classes and meet people)
- Submit to established contests like Austin, Nicholl (not for profit)
- Apply for labs like Imagine Impact, Sundance and Film Independent (not for profit)
- Pay for Black List service, which is like FL's concierge contest and other "for profit" contests like Tracking Board, ScreenCraft, etc.
- Do the other pay-to-play service (like paying to pitch, for profit)
- Trying sleeping your way in?

Are there any other routes? It seems those are the options.
.
write, fund, direct it yourself? Jackson, Rodrigues, Smith...
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:44 PM   #398
lostfootage
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern_land View Post
write, fund, direct it yourself? Jackson, Rodrigues, Smith...
I was thinking that the goal is selling a script or idea to someone, but yes making it yourself is a great route. So obvious I forgot it. Doh!
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:13 PM   #399
finalact4
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostfootage View Post
Good points.

So, the question is, if there are fifty slots per year for new writers, ten ways of getting there and 20,000 people trying, which of the ten ways do you want to personally try?

You can...

- Grow up in the industry (thinking of the Max Landis types)
- Go to college with those who grew up in the industry (attend USC)
- Get entry level jobs in the entertainment industry (intern, PA)
- Query reps and producers with finished work (assuming it's great)
- Network (go to WGA events in LA, take classes and meet people)
- Submit to established contests like Austin, Nicholl (not for profit)
- Apply for labs like Imagine Impact, Sundance and Film Independent (not for profit)
- Pay for Black List service, which is like FL's concierge contest and other "for profit" contests like Tracking Board, ScreenCraft, etc.
- Do the other pay-to-play service (like paying to pitch, for profit)
- Trying sleeping your way in?

Are there any other routes? It seems those are the options.

I've been in and out of the screenwriting space for ten years and have watched a lot of people (attempt to) get in. The ones that have had the highest rate of getting in actually moved to LA and did the entry-level job route. (Barring the two trust funders who went to college with the offspring of celebrities and stepped into writing work right after graduating.)

If you're past college age and don't have any personal connections, then you have to ask yourself what routes are you willing to try.

The Black List is a route. It's a very long-shot route. Same with contests.

I think what it comes down to is that most writers' projects are DOA by page two or three. They either don't have a concept worthy of a feature film/TV show, or if they do, they can't execute the concept on the page.

At the end of the day, querying probably gets you the same result/feedback on a script as contests without the costs.

I don't know why so many people want to be writers for TV and film when it's clear that few people are able to make a meaningful living doing it.
all good points. well said. but, here's the change up...

if you're good, very good, you're not competing against 20,000 other writers. you're competing with the 2% (or less) of 20,000, that's 400 writers. so, it's more realistic to think in those terms. a sage writer explained this to me recently.

how does that translate?

140 writers at Nicholl
65 at The Black List
100 each at contests with submissions of 5,000 entrants.

many will simultaneously submit at several outlets every year. now, if that doesn't make you hungry to give it 1,000% trying to write your amazing ****ing script, maybe screenwriting isn't for you.

it's ****ing hard as ****, but it's not impossible. look, i've come close twice and have a new, hopefully, chance to snatch at it again, but i'm not stopping. i'm not ****ing giving in, and not giving up. let's hope the elections at the WGA this week turn the tide into a wave of negotiations that starts the turbine churning with opportunities we can all reach for. **** yeah!

best to you all! myself included

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Old 09-15-2019, 07:35 PM   #400
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Why is everyone being so positive now? Gross!
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