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Old 12-27-2016, 06:56 AM   #1
sixridgeroad
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Default Black List-adjacent Question

I want to have my script rated for its quality -- absent budget considerations.

Who does that, and has requisite brand-name recognition and cred, and is not a competition?

If the answer is "no one, you need to enter Nicholls etc." then to bring this to the BL:

Bottom line with this script is yes, it's high-budget BUT -- and I'm pretty sure this is a rather mitigating "but" -- script is written to be shot in Mexico, where it's a lot cheaper to shoot. (Script is in English.)

So the budget factor would be somewhat fuzzy, I'd imagine, for a BL reader to confidently assess and now we're getting into the whole "don't do fuzzy things" axiom, which is generally my MO, yada.

Since "budget realism" appears to be a driving (if not dominant) force in BL analysis, but the Mexico thing is an X factor, should I even bother submitting it? Will I cause their system to crash? (Kidding.) I can also easily imagine someone saying "eh, BL doesn't do foreign market anything so they're not the right fit for your needs."

Again, looking for quality-of-script assessment, absent budget factor.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

Signed,

Fuzzed Up in Fredonia
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:40 AM   #2
finalact4
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

The Black List takes the strengths and weaknesses into consideration for their numerical rating of the categories. Budget is not one of them, but the indy members do need to understand where your script falls.

I don't think the budget is a dominating factor in the rating and evaluating of a script unless it's something that has to be taken into consideration in the "prospects" line of the comments.

But the truth is, budget does matter, because the higher the budget the fewer people there are who can actually get the film made.

That said, I think the readers understand that there are places in the world that are less expensive to film than others. Maybe in your logline you can add, "set in Mexico?"

Everyone who reads the spec for possible development will consider the budget, so I think you might be overthinking it.

What's important is the story.

Just one person's opinion.
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Last edited by finalact4 : 12-27-2016 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:26 PM   #3
sixridgeroad
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

hey thanks so much Final -- clarifying.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:21 AM   #4
manfredlopez
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

I would send it to the Black List just for kicks. It's a good way to get a quick numerical answer to how it stacks up against other scripts. Or if you want thoughtful feedback from someone with a lot of experience, then I would go with someone like Andrew Hilton (the Screenplay Mechanic):

https://maximumz.wordpress.com/2014/...pt-consultant/

The fact that your story takes place in Mexico should not impact it in any way with readers. After all there are many screenplays that take place in Mars and they still get made. Even space movies can be made very cheaply these days. "Moon" by Duncan Jones is a good example.

I've found that screenwriters in general are actually not that good at judging real production budgets. Some even think that their screenplay has a set tangible definable price of how much it would cost to make, like building a house. But in the film production world the truth is a lot more fluid. Many times you can shoot the same script with 200,000 dollars or with 1 million or 10 million or 60 million. The results will vary obviously. It could end up looking like a major tentpole movie with major star power or it could end up looking like an Ed Wood movie. But it would be a movie from the same script.

So the better question would be to ask what kind of movie does it feel like. A franchise tentpole move with a high concept and many quotable one-liners? A Netflix movie? An Oscar season "awards bait" movie with a major performance in the lead role? A lifetime movie-of-the-week? A direct-to-video horror film? A first-timer director movie with dark themes? This more than likely will determine the actual budget that it may aspire to have.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:10 AM   #5
Cyfress
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

I'd be very skeptical of any score received from TBL. I've read scripts from there that received 8s and 9s and any Hollywood agent, manager, or reader wouldn't make it past page 10.

It's in the best interest of TBL to give some high scores to every script, that's best for repeat business.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:17 PM   #6
Levenger
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

If you get an 8 you get a free review, so no, it's not.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
Cyfress
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

So, if all these amateur scripts that deserve 2s and 3s really got 2s and 3s you think that would be good for business?

TBL makes a very large bulk of their money on dreamers who feel the site puts them on the doorstep to Hollywood. If people got the scores they deserved, amateurs would no longer host their scripts. However if amateurs get the occasional 8 and 9, yes the BL is out a free eval whooptydo, but that amateur will continue to host the script and even host other scripts.

Believe me, I've read scripts that probably didn't even deserve a numerical score because of a lack of craftsmanship, yet they were given a 9 supposedly by someone in the industry. Either snuffalupigus is doing their evals or readers are asked to pad some scores.

I mean, I've read scripts that set up no MDQ, had scenes with OTN, had long scenes that never made a point, scenes that never explored various routes of conflict and meandered all over the place and they got a 9. Come on...
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:04 PM   #8
kidd44
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

Cyfress,

We'll put you down as not a fan of the Black List.

We got it.

Really.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
Cyfress
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

Has nothing to dont f I'm a fan or not a fan. The premise is good, unfortunately business gets in the way.

Maybe one day Kidd, you'll be able to write a script that deserves a 9, only the agents and managers you query won't care because they've been duped by TBL 9s before. Young writers shouldn't be coddled like an orphan child. If you're current effort on a scriptvproduces a 3 result then you should know that. If you're told your effort produced a 9, then I doubt you'd put any extra effort into your writing habits.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:44 PM   #10
SBdeb
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Default Re: Black List-adjacent Question

But back to sixridgeroad's original question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by sixridgeroad View Post
I want to have my script rated for its quality -- absent budget considerations.
I wonder if anyone has feedback about that?
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