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Old 11-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #41
Celtic1
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

I can only respond based on my experience with the BL, so here it goes. I've had two scripts with 8s. Had another script that was a draft (my 50th draft), but i knew it wasn't there but i figured i'd see what people had to say so i bought 2 reviews. Scores were pretty close and not great (5/6) but comments were similar so it was a big help for draft 51. Recently posted another script and got a 5. I know it's one of my better scripts so i read the review and couldn't see what he/she was saying, so chose to disagree, i.e. no changes based on that review. i had thought about emailing BL about the first read but decided not to due to the subjective nature... anyway, second review comes in with 8s and 9s and BL emailed me the discounted offer within moments of the second review. That's pretty cool. At the end of the day, anyone who has done this long enough knows how subjective it is, how many people have to get on board to push something along. To think you won't have someone who reads your script and thinks its **** every now and then is very optimistic. I like the BL, i'm using it for what i need...to get good scripts out there and to improve my others. I'm willing to spend 100 bucks per script for that. And an extra $25 if it can get me even a little recognition. This thread is enormous so if this has been addressed ignore it but you have the ability to rate the readers so rate them.i hope people do that, you have the option, use it...and be honest, if they give some decent feedback don't slam 'em.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:02 PM   #42
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic1 View Post
I can only respond based on my experience with the BL, so here it goes. I've had two scripts with 8s. Had another script that was a draft (my 50th draft), but i knew it wasn't there but i figured i'd see what people had to say so i bought 2 reviews. Scores were pretty close and not great (5/6) but comments were similar so it was a big help for draft 51. Recently posted another script and got a 5. I know it's one of my better scripts so i read the review and couldn't see what he/she was saying, so chose to disagree, i.e. no changes based on that review. i had thought about emailing BL about the first read but decided not to due to the subjective nature... anyway, second review comes in with 8s and 9s and BL emailed me the discounted offer within moments of the second review. That's pretty cool. At the end of the day, anyone who has done this long enough knows how subjective it is, how many people have to get on board to push something along. To think you won't have someone who reads your script and thinks its **** every now and then is very optimistic. I like the BL, i'm using it for what i need...to get good scripts out there and to improve my others. I'm willing to spend 100 bucks per script for that. And an extra $25 if it can get me even a little recognition. This thread is enormous so if this has been addressed ignore it but you have the ability to rate the readers so rate them.i hope people do that, you have the option, use it...and be honest, if they give some decent feedback don't slam 'em.
I tend to agree with this, and I've had a very similar experience at BL. And I know there is the "industry view" version of the site that ranks screenplays but I assume industry pros also see the Top lists. So in relation to the scoring, I don't see how big of a deal it really is as long as you're on that page. From what I was told from support the people who see your project in the email blast if you score an 8 are basically the same people who see your project if you show up on the site.

From what I heard here there are people who've found success at BL scoring a 6 and people who scored much higher with many dl's to no success. Because you have to keep paying for evaluations over time to keep you eligible for the top lists, there are many projects up there with double digit amounts of ratings, some over 20. People up there but showing no evaluations, other people showing evaluations in the 5 and 6s, nothing higher than a 7 etc

What I would say to Franklin is having a "testimonial" section for the site would help kill this "endless debate" about BL. I'm not saying I don't believe your numbers but other services can boast about how much money they've made for writers with testimonials. Its not that fair because its only been a year but obviouslly there is no number boasting how much money BL projects have made or the amount of in production films via BL. You'll see that on virtual pitchfest or inktip with actual production credits whether or not the film is a tiny production.

This will help because nothing happens on the back end after a writer has gotten the cosign from BL. At least at VPF even if you're getting an standard choice reason with a no to your query, its still possible someone mentions "Hey this was real good but not for us." or says "No but maybe you should trim the query to make the tone clearer" or "I don't have time to read this but do you mind emailing me and I'll see if someone else might want to?" All of which I've experienced. Script Pipeline is too much money for notes but at least you get to email your reader back and forth a bit after you get your notes. And they got a testimonial of a guy who got off the floor of a basement and on the set of a 100 mill movie who is giving them credit for cosigning him.

Just seeing your downloads go up doesn't mean anything since you won't hear anything back on a pass. You have no chance to progress or build from that. You could only spend more money and hope a bad score doesn't knock you out or you can just average a 7.

This is how the impression of BL being a "money grab" comes about, though I agree with previous posts OBVIOUSLY the BL is out to make money. Be prudent. Use it as a tool. 200 bucks to show up on their site for 3 months aint bad especially if you believe in the BLs ability to garner you exposure. But charges of racism and all that, with no evidence is not useful and doesn't help in the dialogue of how much of a help this service could be which is the point of this entire forum.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #43
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

I used to be in a writing group where there was a woman who would cry and walk out of the meeting whenever someone gave her negative cricism. For some reason, mgwriter reminds me of her.

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Still around. Any reason why I shouldn't be? Glad to see you're checking for me, must mean my posts are impactful and important to you. So is there anything I can help you with Franklin?
You accuse Franklin of being a racist and a bigot and then say "oh, I didn't know I was so important to you." Ah, the joys of internet douchebag comments.

I applaud Franklin for being so civil to you. He is exactly the kind of person who needs to be running a site like this. He's transparent, honest, and constantly trying to help those people who have been shut out of this industry. He should be commended for his actions, especially since it's in the realm of screenwriters (who can be a bunch of whiny jerks).

But I'm not Franklin, so I don't have to be civil.

Mgwriter, based off your comments, I feel fairly confident in guessing your a person who posted a script on Blacklist immediately assuming you'd be discovered and wisked away to Hollywood where it would be never-ending hand jobs and executives telling you they didn't really understand the industry until they read your script.

Then you got a rated a 5.

Somewhere while angrily reading through your notes, you picked up on one thing that could be taken as racist, though only if you're in the mindset of a bitter writer, so you're waiting until other people come forward with similar experiences before going public with it. Only problem is, no one else is coming forward. Because the Blacklist is a professional organization.

And who cares how much money the Blacklist is making. If they have to deal with people like you, they earn every penny.

Seacrest, out.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:49 PM   #44
Ink-Stained Wretch
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Okay, I'm going to try to address this from a different perspective, NOT questioning the ratings system or the algorithm developed, etc.

My question here to be posed in front of my fellow scribes (especially any TV-centric writers here?) is what, if any, information should be provided by BL on what type of genres and forms of reads and evaluations its READERS have done historically? And before I say anything else, I would like it known that I totally back Franklin on the firmly maintaining and guaranteeing ANONYMITY of the READER and any "Industry Pro" downloader also remaining anonymous -- that is their god-given right in my belief!

What I have suggested to BL, though, is if it possible to simply attach raw data, the number of scripts that an EVALUATOR has done by GENRE and FORM (i.e. screenplays, miniseries, telefilms, hour dramas, sitcoms, etc.) and maybe the READER's "preference" for reading certain genres? From my perspective, what I'm "loosely" proposing initially is something meant as part of an effort to further augment the TRANSPARENCY, DUE DILIGENCE and CREDIBILITY for Black List's "new" TV Script-Hosting and established Screenplay-Hosting services and possibly offering the smallest modicum of "CHOICE" for WRITERS in selecting their READER (be it "READER #22 or "READER #60 in "anonymous" form!)??!!!

Please know, Franklin, that I totally believe and respect what you are saying about BL making every effort to secure READERS from the most experienced and varied professional creative backgrounds (be it former readers for prodcos, major studios, agencies, management firms, etc.). I guess what I'm proposing here is something akin to FAIR DISCLOSURE INFORMATION for BL to extend to your WRITER/CUSTOMERS because I seemed to have read a varying amount of posts over time on DDP here and elsewhere in Social Media questioning the "BACKGROUNDS" of some READERS.

Again, this is NOT about disparaging or seeking to impune any READERS' qualifications as it is about SIMPLY knowing what sort of EXPERIENCE, BACKGROUNDS and PREFERENCE the READER has about particular genres and media forms??!! I just got to think that some kind of ANONYMITY-BASED data field with this FAIR DISCLOSURE INFORMATION would be a hugely mutually beneficial for BL's credibility and the CHOICE it gives WRITERS would to place the responsibility on us for ACCEPTING their EVALUATION and RATINGS of one of our scripts...knowing that we are the one who ORIGINALLY made that choice for that anonymous READER! We can be ADULTS here and accept our critiques and scores -- and even if it took a longer in the process to get the reader to make their "measured" and "thought-out" evaluation!

I'm not sure if what I am tossing out here is a RADICAL concept and one that is flawed (or made before on DDP?) -- maybe fellow scribes here, Franklin and any other BL rep can just tell me this totally "impractical, undoable and illogical" or, perhaps, is this is a FAIR, logical proposal? I submit this to you all!

I'll just say, without laying out my personal concerns about BL's recent TV Script Hosting launch and the EVALUATION of my script, but I will say I have indeed taken exception with the analysis given to a LONG-FORM MINISERIES I had submitted, which, like other minis in the form, is bit more EXPOSITIONAL and more drawn out in its character development because it is over 7 episodes in length!

I did get my two-hour pilot episode (125 pages total) downloaded, read and evaluated by a READER in the span of the SAME-DAY (at a half-day or slightly less!) on November 19, which I knew because I was watching my page view stats. I'm NOT suggesting that some of the criticisms of certain portions of longer expositional dialogue was "UNFAIRLY" criticized, but I what I did notice and take issue with were a few major dramatic/climactic scenes and locales of the script were entirely OMITTED, which I (and a couple of writer friends on the social nets) interpreted that may have been the result of a quick "SKIM/SCAN" purview of the script by my READER.

Also, given that the MINISERIES form has been a rarely-produced/aired/seen on TV for the last 20 years (though it is making a small but promising ratings comeback the last two seasons), leaves to me wonder if my READER or any other Readers have much, if any, exposure to this kind of LONG-FORM tv programming? I'm just not sure if typically film-centric screenplay READERS on BL have had much exposure to long-form TV narratives?

And I wonder if some of the perceived cinematic emphasis on quicker "CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT" and "LESS EXPOSITION" (let the visuals sell more of the story?!) are greater because of the mindset of traditional screenplay READER being more used to two-hour SELF-CONTAINED STORIES, WITH BUILT-IN, LATE SECOND-ACT CLIMAXES AND ACT 3 RESOLUTIONS of the characters and plotlines -- something that is NOT as immediately "FORWARD-LOADED" into the scripting of LONG-FORM, EXTENDED EPISODIC miniseries and limited-run series by nature!

Again, I am not questioning the scoring system or the efforts of Franklin to bring in well-versed readers, but I do think there are some LEGITIMATE questions whether READERS are as well acclimated to and understand the intricacies of "LESSER EXHIBITED AND SOLD" genres/forms of long-form miniseries and limited-run series?

Please do know I have unyielding respect and admiration for BL has done to ELEVATE screenwriters works (be it from newbie to veterans), but the new TV Script-Hosting Service -- like any new online venture -- is going to have its understandable "birthing pains" and maybe it own need for "tweaking" and "revisions." And does it seem UNREASONABLE to all of you on DDP (including any "Industry Pros?") if some other amounts of anonymity-based FAIR DISCLOSURE and possible "CHOICE" of READERS by screenwriters would be a mutually-acceptable option and benefit for BL and its customers??!!

I'll let you guys be judge and jury on this one! Thanks so much for putting up with my longish EXPLORATORY proposition here!

Cheers!



Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
Our paid readers are unable to see any previous evaluations or ratings, and yes, it will always be a new reader for each evaluation.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #45
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

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Originally Posted by Ink-Stained Wretch View Post
My question here to be posed in front of my fellow scribes (especially any TV-centric writers here?) is what, if any, information should be provided by BL on what type of genres and forms of reads and evaluations its READERS have done historically?
I could be wrong about this, but I believe Franklin has said in one of these other threads that when the readers are hired, they are asked to disclose their preferred genres. In this way, the submitted scripts are then routed to people likely to be versed in it.

This isn't too unusual. For a couple of my jobs as a reader, I've let the Development VPs know that there are some genres I really don't like and when one of those is assigned to me, it's usually no problem to have it sent to someone else. I'm spending 3-4 hours with a script. I have zero incentive to be stuck with a genre I don't like.

That said, the chance you take in submitting professionally is that you'll never know the individual tastes of the reader at the agency or production company. But readers are smart people. They see the same movies you do and they read a heckuva lot more. They're trained to recognize what can get traction in the industry and recognize the virtues even in material that might not be their preferred tastes.

But the bottom line is that entering into this relationship means you're beginning a process that will end in a subjective judgement. You're never going to get 100% agreement on any work of art. If you write something good enough, though, you can probably count on a general consensus in the reactions, with the usual outliers.

Honestly, if it's a real concern only a carefully-selected reader will "get" your work, then your script probably isn't ready.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:01 PM   #46
Ink-Stained Wretch
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Thank you, BSR, for that really thoughtful and insightful take from your side of it as a pro reader! I do see and understand what you are saying about READERS already expressing their "genre preferences" to the hosting service or script coverage service they might work for (or do on their own employment, too). And I understand this is all a crap-shoot and subjective in nature.

I guess what I'm getting at here, particularly as more of TV-centric writer, is that I'm NOT sure how many professional readers have actually evaluated "Long Form"-style miniseries (or limited-run series) scripts that do NOT feature "self-contained" storytelling and more rapid character development, climaxes and resolutions you get in a typical movie SCREENPLAY.

Maybe I'm really taking a big leap here in suggesting some kind of data-based disclosure on what type of script formats (be it miniseries/limited-run series, hour dramas, sitcoms, telefilms and screenplays) these readers have history evaluating?

I'm just coming from the perspective of a writer who has written something of more of a niche form -- MINISERIES -- and is highly concerned that there are many READERS out there who understand the extended exposition/narrative form, story arcs, long-form character development, historical/event-based exposition and sweep, and climax/resolutions NOT being FRONT-LOADED like film screenplays and telefilm scripts are.

As a long-form writer right now, it's kind of like feeling the pressure to shove each layer of an onion back into its original skin in order to satisfy a typical "screenplay" reader with the standard 3-Act setup, buildup, climax and denouements for what is actually just a first-episode MINISERIES script. That is NOT how "long-form" minis/limited-run episodic series are strictly intended to fit that motion-picture form and model. I hope that makes sense??!!

Again, what I'm probably asking is HUGE stretch because I do think you're right that any script hosting site, contests and other coverage services would likely NEVER give up that kind of control they own. I realize I'm asking something that probably entails asking for another form of disclosure and transparency -- writers just have to consider they're damn lucky to get in and get a modest to good score, no matter what type of evaluator is reading our various script forms!

Thanks again for your feedback and take on this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitter Script Reader View Post
I could be wrong about this, but I believe Franklin has said in one of these other threads that when the readers are hired, they are asked to disclose their preferred genres. In this way, the submitted scripts are then routed to people likely to be versed in it.

This isn't too unusual. For a couple of my jobs as a reader, I've let the Development VPs know that there are some genres I really don't like and when one of those is assigned to me, it's usually no problem to have it sent to someone else. I'm spending 3-4 hours with a script. I have zero incentive to be stuck with a genre I don't like.

That said, the chance you take in submitting professionally is that you'll never know the individual tastes of the reader at the agency or production company. But readers are smart people. They see the same movies you do and they read a heckuva lot more. They're trained to recognize what can get traction in the industry and recognize the virtues even in material that might not be their preferred tastes.

But the bottom line is that entering into this relationship means you're beginning a process that will end in a subjective judgement. You're never going to get 100% agreement on any work of art. If you write something good enough, though, you can probably count on a general consensus in the reactions, with the usual outliers.

Honestly, if it's a real concern only a carefully-selected reader will "get" your work, then your script probably isn't ready.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #47
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ink-Stained Wretch View Post
I guess what I'm getting at here, particularly as more of TV-centric writer, is that I'm NOT sure how many professional readers have actually evaluated "Long Form"-style miniseries (or limited-run series) scripts that do NOT feature "self-contained" storytelling and more rapid character development, climaxes and resolutions you get in a typical movie SCREENPLAY.

Maybe I'm really taking a big leap here in suggesting some kind of data-based disclosure on what type of script formats (be it miniseries/limited-run series, hour dramas, sitcoms, telefilms and screenplays) these readers have history evaluating?
I tend to figure that if Franklin wait a year to launch a TV component to the site, he likely took that time to make sure it was done right. Out of necessity, that would involve hiring readers familiar with the sort of writing that would be submitted.

After all, it's not as if Franklin was only just made aware of the demand for TV. He's been asked about pilots ever since the launch. Given the careful consideration every other aspect of the site has, I don't think he'd get sloppy when it comes to his readers.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:30 PM   #48
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

I totally agree with you that Franklin has made every effort to properly set up BL's TV hosting service and recruiting READERS with backgrounds in evaluating various TV script formats.

But, what I've been saying by virtue of the TV miniseries and limited-run series formats being considered rare species the last two decades or so (but coming back in the last 2 years somewhat), us long-form writers really have little idea of how many of these READERS really have experience evaluating these kind of more niche-oriented formats. That's my primary concern and that's all I'm saying here in terms of some other kinds "due diligence" and "fair disclosure" about whether a chosen READER has experience and qualifications in these different forms??!!

I'm not at all questioning Franklin efforts there, because I now he and the BL team work their hardest to recruit experienced readers -- but it possibly needs to be kept in mind that the BL TV hosting is NEW and I happen to think that getting experienced READERS for the somewhat more niche-oriented "long-form" MINISERIES and LIMITED-RUN series formats might be more of a challenge at the outset for this new TV service.

Truly, I believe that Franklin and BL will make every good-faith effort to address that, but I'm still wary of the lack of even modest FAIR DISCLOSURE (just ANONYMOUSLY-listed NUMBERS of reads in the various script formats) that come from contests, independent coverage services and script-hosting sites -- this is not something that I just suggest is limited to BL. Again, I do think in time, BL and other TV hosting services may be better equipped with experienced "long-form" readers -- because it is a form that is slowly gaining steam again on the networks.

Again, thank you for your thoughtful insights and observations, BSR. Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitter Script Reader View Post
I tend to figure that if Franklin wait a year to launch a TV component to the site, he likely took that time to make sure it was done right. Out of necessity, that would involve hiring readers familiar with the sort of writing that would be submitted.

After all, it's not as if Franklin was only just made aware of the demand for TV. He's been asked about pilots ever since the launch. Given the careful consideration every other aspect of the site has, I don't think he'd get sloppy when it comes to his readers.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:44 AM   #49
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Quick question about pricing for Franklin. Would you consider dropping the price for one-hour pilots, say from $50 to maybe $40? It seems odd to me that you're charging the same price for feature scripts, most of which are twice as long as a pilot. I'm sure that was your thinking in regards to pricing comedy pilots, which are generally 30-40 pages. So it seem fair that you'd also charge a bit less for a script that's 60 pages vs. one that's 90-120.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:24 AM   #50
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Default Re: TV/episodic hosting on the BL starts today!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ink-Stained Wretch View Post
I totally agree with you that Franklin has made every effort to properly set up BL's TV hosting service and recruiting READERS with backgrounds in evaluating various TV script formats.

But, what I've been saying by virtue of the TV miniseries and limited-run series formats being considered rare species the last two decades or so (but coming back in the last 2 years somewhat), us long-form writers really have little idea of how many of these READERS really have experience evaluating these kind of more niche-oriented formats. That's my primary concern and that's all I'm saying here in terms of some other kinds "due diligence" and "fair disclosure" about whether a chosen READER has experience and qualifications in these different forms??!!

I'm not at all questioning Franklin efforts there, because I now he and the BL team work their hardest to recruit experienced readers -- but it possibly needs to be kept in mind that the BL TV hosting is NEW and I happen to think that getting experienced READERS for the somewhat more niche-oriented "long-form" MINISERIES and LIMITED-RUN series formats might be more of a challenge at the outset for this new TV service.

Truly, I believe that Franklin and BL will make every good-faith effort to address that, but I'm still wary of the lack of even modest FAIR DISCLOSURE (just ANONYMOUSLY-listed NUMBERS of reads in the various script formats) that come from contests, independent coverage services and script-hosting sites -- this is not something that I just suggest is limited to BL. Again, I do think in time, BL and other TV hosting services may be better equipped with experienced "long-form" readers -- because it is a form that is slowly gaining steam again on the networks.

Again, thank you for your thoughtful insights and observations, BSR. Cheers.
You seem to be coming at this from the angle that Miniseries and Limited-Run series are vastly different from any other kind of script. Even these require character development and arcs. And what about the final viewer? Should this only be watched and enjoyed by people who are deepely familiar with Mini or Limited-Run Series?

Readers savy in television will be able to read and give strong feedback for any television project, whether it be a sitcom, hour-long, miniseries, etc. The format doesn't change the requirements for character, development, dialogue, or pacing. No mater how seriealized a series is, each episode has to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end.

As in most situations, I recommend focusing on writing the best script possible, and these issues won't matter as much as you think they do.
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