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Old 10-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #1
JEgol71
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Default 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Good Morning!

First: for anyone teetering on the precipice between going or not going to the Oaxaca Filmfest, allow me to aggressively shove you over to the side of the affirmative. Please feel free to PM me with any questions.


The night before the award ceremony I received the following review for the improved draft of a screenplay that tends to polarize (length, concept, etc). I am elated, to say the least, and would love some insight on how to capitalize on this in 2016, when it isn't a superhero film or IP. I know there was a thread about this by Lauri, but I thought that seeing as the Blacklist is far more populated now, that there might have a shift in the bell curve in my favor, or perhaps against it for the reason mentioned.

I thank anyone for any insight they might have.

Jared

https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/47093

Script Rating
9/10
Review Rating
5/5
Published
10-13-16
Premise
7/10
Plot
8/10
Character
10/10
Dialogue
10/10
Setting
10/10

Era:
early 2000s

Locations:
West Palm Beach, South Florida

Budgets:
Low

Genre:
Drama, Coming-of-Age, Family Drama

Logline:
With the help of his therapist and a troubled woman named Sari, a young man learns to cope with his mental illness in order to become a great artist.

Strengths:
The greatest strength of the script is the stunningly crafted world that awes and disorients the reader in a way that mimics the main character’s own mental state. Tommy becomes a truly sympathetic character, not using artifice or clichéd literary devices, but because the writer immerses the reader in Tommy's world and shows him/her the tragic gap between what Tommy lives and what is real. The dialogue is sparse but effective - only flowery when it needs to be - lending to the sense of insularity and alienation throughout the script. Another huge success is the vivid visual moments that make the story come to life and create a truly cinematic experience, such as the tussle between Callahan and Tommy in his apartment or the moment Tommy holds Sari and sits in her vomit. Overall, the story is surprising and delightfully unique bolstered by strong characters, poetic dialogue, and an interesting setting, which all coalesce to form a powerhouse script.

Weaknesses:
Delving into the psyche of someone who is completely out of touch with reality can be off-putting and discouraging as a reader. At first, the main character lacks explicit goals that he can pursue in reality (he believes he’s the perfect man living the perfect life), so the plot is slow and meandering. He is not even conscious of his illness, therefore cannot desire to get better, until around page 60. Thus, the main character lacks agency for the first act of the film, which slows the pace and may hamper the commercial viability of the script. Another issue is that a lot is told to the reader through conversations with the therapist instead of shown through scene work. For example, the therapist discusses how traumatizing Tommy's relationship with his parents is, but the reader doesn’t actually get to see Tommy interact with them that much, especially his father.

Prospects:
In the vein of Birdman, this frenetic whirlwind of a script could garner critical attention when paired with the right director and actors. As with Birdman, this very stylized script may be too strange and disorienting for mass appeal. However, the meaty roles and potential for critical acclaim makes this script viable overall.

Pages:
139

Last edited by JEgol71 : 10-18-2016 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #2
JoeBanks
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: how can I maximize myself in 2016?

query managers, mentioning the topline score and including a link to your script's page on the Black List site
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Did you meet any directors or producers at the Oaxaca Film Festival? Did you like their movies? Did you tell them about how amazing your script seems to be? A lot of times indie filmmakers are ready to make something new but don't have a next script ready yet. I'd follow up with people you know or have met. It's less weird and more personal.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Do you agree with the "weakness" notes? You've got a hard to sell logline at 139 pages (so with title page a doc that would appear in an inbox at 140!) so if you agree with the notes that it takes too long to get going, maybe kill two birds with one stone and lose 20 pages from the first act before querying with your BL scores.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Congratz, Jared!

I'd query the heck out of it with "Black List 9" in the subject line.

I actually love the Logline. It might that have something to do with fact that I'm also a young man named Tommy who is struggling with mental issues (OCD, Anxiety) as he tries to become a great artist (screenwriter). I may have to sue you if this ever gets made 😀

Could I read the script by any chance? I don't have an active BL account. I can definitely provide some pointers!
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
JEgol71
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Thank you all for your individual pointers!

JoeBanks: Done. Thanks!

cvolante: There were some ATOMIC talents at the film festival, but the majority of the connections I met were either working on their own stuff or are out of budget range for my project. I believe that I will post the info for the private message board for the festival and see what happens. Great suggestion.

Northbank: It's certainly a denser-than-normal read, as coming from a fiction writing background it definitely has its novelistic flourishes (although it's also what my scripts have been praised for in the past). It's definitely writing "what I love" versus what sells. I'm certainly opening to trimming, although that first 20 is where the world that is praised in this review is constructed.

FoxHound: with pleasure! Please PM me your email address. It'd be an honor to send it your way. The script was born out of observing the terrible poles of wealth and poverty mere miles from each other in Palm Beach, where Donald Trump calls home for much of the year. Tommy is the embodiment of this region: his relationships represent the accretion of pain across social classes, material and emotional. And in an election year when there seems to be a referendum on how we treat people, I don't think these themes could be any timelier. I'm fortunate to have some supporters, would be honored to have your view as well.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Congratulations on the high score - definitely use it as a calling card!

Sari... Is she Finnish? Does that play into the script somehow?

I've never used the Blacklist myself, but despite a lot of negative comments from people who feel that they were unfairly judged/deliberately under-rated by others once they got a good review, and/or complain that the site only exists to take writers' money, every now and again, something good seems to come out of it... something that makes me think: "You know, I may just give it a go."

So, please let us know how your 9/10 score opens doors for you.

Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

The Black List isn't a scam. But for the 95% of writers who don't find any success there, it sure FEELS like one. I can't imagine a screenwriting resource that has ever been setup this way. I mean, for $250, I get a tome of notes from The Screenplay Mechanic. But I spend $500 on the Black List and literally get squat in return. When you pay $100's to receive nothing, that's kinda the textbook definition of a scam.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxHound View Post
The Black List isn't a scam. But for the 95% of writers who don't find any success there, it sure FEELS like one. I can't imagine a screenwriting resource that has ever been setup this way. I mean, for $250, I get a tome of notes from The Screenplay Mechanic. But I spend $500 on the Black List and literally get squat in return. When you pay $100's to receive nothing, that's kinda the textbook definition of a scam.
so you didn't pay for a single evaluation with accompanying reader notes?
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: 9/10 on Blacklist with three 10/10 subscores: How can I maximize myself in 2016?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxHound View Post
The Black List isn't a scam. But for the 95% of writers who don't find any success there, it sure FEELS like one. I can't imagine a screenwriting resource that has ever been setup this way. I mean, for $250, I get a tome of notes from The Screenplay Mechanic. But I spend $500 on the Black List and literally get squat in return. When you pay $100's to receive nothing, that's kinda the textbook definition of a scam.
The Blacklist offers no more than any other device you use to get your scripts out there. They offer to maybe get your script into the hands of very few who will probably reject it. It's not a scam because they don't promise success, the hallmark of most scams. They promise a chance to circumvent some of the walls put up out there to keep reps and producers from being buried in the crap most scripts are. And for a select few it has worked. Of the multi thousands of scripts put up over the years, percentage wise my guess is under 5%. Might be lower. Probably is a lot lower. No better than anywhere else.

Yes, you can option a script through it. I did. Nothing came of it, but I did. And you can get a rep. I know someone who did. But rejection, just like everywhere else, is the norm. Nothing is more subjective than art. Especially when art and commerce collide. My philosophy for writers is to try anything and any way they can that's not illegal or stupid to get their work seen. Even if they have to pay sometimes. You're a business and you have to invest in a business to reach success.

Oh... You also still have to write a kickass script. Every else is moot if you don't.
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