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Old 05-29-2017, 10:27 AM   #21
SBdeb
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplenurple View Post
I think most of the professional lurkers on that site are people who claim to be producers because one can make that claim maybe based on producing a short film in college.
Curous upon what info you base this? What you've heard or do you have evidence to support this? (Personally, I have not idea, but am curious how you support this type of claim.)
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:46 AM   #22
purplenurple
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

I live and breathe my friend. I live and breathe. No, I don't have genuine proof other then constantly putting myself out there on the belief that I'll land Universal Studios and instead get a producer who talks like he's been in the trenches but never did anything or an assistant to an assistant who is looking for another job by the time you send the script. There are producers out there who option for nothing or a dollar a ton of properties and go into meetings basically saying "pick a card." I could say I'm a producer and option 10 properties a day for free. The term "producer" does not have the meaning it had decades ago.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:52 PM   #23
Ryan Rodriguez
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnconRanger View Post
about my fifth attempt or so at ON THE ROAD, i finally found myself on the road.
Don't think I have the gene required for Titanic and Avatar. Sorry James but it's a pass. Strong recommend for Aliens, Terminator, and The Abyss. Feel free to send us your other stuff.
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

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Originally Posted by Cyfress View Post
How does the blacklist work exactly? The writer pays to host a script, what if they do not pay for reads? Does anyone read the script and give it a score? Or do you just have an unscored script in the databank. When someone looking for material searches the blacklist for lets say a comedy with a small budget, do the scripts pop up in order of score with the higher scored scripts at the top?
I put a script on there without paying for a read early last year (I somehow accidentally missed adding the review to the hosting package, and by the time I figured it out I decided I'd rather pull it down and rewrite it anyway). I got a couple of downloads within the first few weeks, and one of them gave it a score. No notes, but a number. It got a few more views after that (but no more downloads), and then at the end of the month it came down.

I'm not sure how people found the script, but I suspect that there's a way to sort by "new," and from there my tags and logline must've interested someone. It was also a pilot, and the site was mostly features then.

I haven't been back, but I suspect it's more crowded nowadays as the site's gotten more popular.

My impression is that most of the pros on there are managers and maybe agents, rather than producers. Hard to say since they don't tell you what "pro" means.
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:37 PM   #25
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

Just an update. I received my second review. Still didn't nab that blessed 8. However, I think it's clear I need to fix my Eleanor issue so that's really helpful.

Also, I get from the reviews that my screenplay could use a rewrite. Couple things keeping it juuuust out of reach of the recommend-zone. Perhaps every review reads like this but I don't want to be too cynical.


Review #2:

Overall: 7
Premise: 7
Dialogue: 6
Plot: 6
Setting: 7
Character: 6

REVIEW:

Era
Modern

Locations
Fantasy Realm

Budgets
Medium

Genre
Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Mythological

Logline
Right before his wedding, JACKIE TUESDAY takes a walk and finds himself in a strange land called “The Port”, where he finds he will need the help of some new friends and magic to get back home.

Strengths
“The Port” is a fun, whimsical and creative fantasy adventure with a lot of comedic elements and an original and appealing mythology to get caught up in. The Port itself is a fascinating creation that doesn’t fall into any traditional land of enchantment trope. In chronology and logistics, we’re in uncharted territory. It seems this place has existed for thousands of years, the conflict between the Native Americans and the British Redcoats is straight out of the 1700s, while technology has caught up to at least the 1950s, and there are modern sensibilities as well. The script has a unique tone, sometimes broadly comic, sometimes satirical, and sometimes genuinely affecting. This is a story where we get serious discussions of family along with a squad of zombies dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. The Skeleton is a memorable figure, and it’s amusing that by this point, Jackie, ever the good sport, just rolls with it. While we still have lingering questions by the end, there is definitely an enjoyable experience to be had in The Port, with the opportunity for more adventure.

Weaknesses
A noticeable shortcoming of the story is that we do not get to know Eleanor at all. Jackie’s pre-existing life is barely touched on, so this element of his backstory, the woman he loves and is trying to get back to, is conspicuously missing. Jackie is likable enough, but he would be more compelling if we were more engaged in his primary goal, to be reunited with the fiance we haven’t even met. The ending is puzzling, perhaps even frustratingly so. At long last, Eleanor makes an appearance, but it is brief and insufficient, and it’s not clear what is next for her and Jackie. It might be a mistake to give Merle and his gag the last lines, as this is one area that might be taken seriously for more definite closure.

Prospects:
"The Port" crafts a unique and entertaining fantasy world we haven't seen before, and it stands out for that merit, as well as for its rich and colorful cast. The project as a whole would be more appeal with a more complete third act, as the current ending might leave the audience puzzled and disappointing. Still, it's a fun ride, and properly realized, there could be a lot going on here.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:55 PM   #26
SundownInRetreat
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

OP,

Straight talk time. Tough love time. Home truths time. Call it what you will but you're looking at the Black List all wrong and every one of your posts – whether you know it or not – is loaded with excuses and 'it's not my fault'ery. You say you didn't go looking for notes and you say you understand the concept of TBL but you then undermine this with your comments and disappointment at TBL.

Read your posts again – you start out fairly balanced but the more you post, the mor

e bitter and outlandish you become.

Your script failed, sad but true. On the bright side, it happens to the vast majority of us, so it's not really a surprise. I know you went looking for the 8s to get the spotlight but most of us get 'it's a pass' so just because you got it too doesn't mean the system's broken or a scam, it just means you're normal.



If you want to believe you're the finished article and the reviews are wrong then you'll see my post as trolling. If you accept that you're not as good as you thought and, realistically, never will be then you'll see my post as clarifying and constructive. Here goes........




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Rodriguez View Post
I, like every other writer, works hard, does research, rewrites, rewrites. Then some stranger gives what feel like cursory remarks, rates it low, and now my project is deep in Blacklist-water without any oars.

Everyone seems to accept that 99.999% are not good enough to write to pro-level but time and again, everyone seems to think this refers to everyone but themselves.

So you've done research bought Final Draft, read a few screenwriting books/blogs/forums, put in the hard graft of writing – well done and take a bow but so what? Hard work doesn't = talent/success. What you describe isn't just normal, it's practically default and unalterable for all but an exalted few.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Rodriguez View Post
I think I would feel better about all this if the blacklist website didn’t make it so difficult to become visible. My impression is that when a shopper is searching for material it’s a bit like google. Only 8s and up are going to be on the first 20 pages of search results. Everything after that is going to come with a MALWARE warning or present a yes/no popup box asking if the shopper truly intended to look at that result.

Which is the whole point of TBL. It's also how studios work full stop. (Or 'period' as the Yanks say) so it's moot to complain that if you/your script isn't rated means you're cast adrift – because that's what happens when you're passed over by a studio.

TBL is not a charity and it doesn't offer equal exposure for all. Like any talent show, it offers a way in to all and a fast track for those who have the requisite chops. Those who aren't good enough are cast adrift and left in the dark whilst the spotlight scours for true talent. Which is exactly what happened to you when TBL passed. Which is exactly what studios do when they pass. In short, to bemoan the lack of exposure and promotion if you don't impress is to miss the entire point of TBL and of any kind of script submission.

You cry several times that there's no benefit to paying for TBL as opposed to tossing your script in for free to a prodco/agency/studio but this shows you totally miss the point of TBL. When you enter a talent contest – like The X Factor, Pop Idol or Britain's Got Talent – you're not guaranteed anything other than the chance to show your wares whereas otherwise you probably wouldn't have the chance. The same goes for TBL. Thus there is a huge benefit to paying for TBL: guaranteed reading of your script and – if it rocks – promotion, exposure and attention.

Sure, submitting to Benderspink, 20
th Century Fox and Bad Robot may result in a read but there's no guarantee and Aliens, Citizen Kane and E.T. Could all get overlooked in that closed-door-yet-ludicrously-over-solicited system. In short, great scripts aren't guaranteed a read but TBL guarantees everyone a chance: a read for those who pay for one and hosting where interested eyes can find you and search for material based on specific criteria and keywords.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Rodriguez View Post
I think it’s similar to studios in that it has a reader-mote. An aspiring screenwriter has to impress a reader in order to get a chance to entertain the royal court.

However, the difference between querying a studio and participating in the Blacklist is that the writer is paying a gatekeeper for the chance to entertain the reader.

And, as I have just mentioned and that you're forgetting is that you're paying to be read as opposed to hope to be read.


Quote:
Now, I think in any given studio, there’s some kid reading scripts, maybe doesn’t get what they’re reading or they just heard their cousin has been hit by a bus or whatever. They aren’t going to allow the screenplay to swim upstream.
This is where you bitterness and 'not my fault'ery shows through, whether you realise it or not, and I urge you to reconsider your thinking. You're blaming others for not getting your fabulous script, for not passing it up the ladder. It's their fault – not your fault. Every newbie (and not-so-newbie) who a) doesn't know the industry and/or b) gets passed over makes this whine. It also avoids the inescapable reality that if what you say is possible for readers of TBL then it's also true for readers from anywhere. Maybe the reader at Fox didn't get your script – you don't know because you never heard back. Maybe the reader at ICM found out their cat exploded and that's why they replied with
'it's good but not for us; 'the third act is weak'; 'it's too big budget for what we're looking for'. Either way, you'll never know.


Quote:
What I find appealing about the blacklist is that I, an unrepresented writer, has the chance to entertain a royal court who only accepts
Quote:
solicited material, provided I can get past the reader.

The critical bit is in bold. They make it very clear before you sign up and by all accounts you knew this anyway. You pay your money to get attention – you don't pay to maintain that attention.

You also miss the fact that you also pay for hosting and that offers the opportunity for players to find you. If you've done your research and read TB threads here you'll know there's been a few scripts that only mustered 5s and 6s that got bought, produced and released by bonafide Hollywood players.


Quote:
So my only hope for the blacklist (like any other competition) is that I earn a golden score so that just one shopper might be introduced to my story and decide they want to put it in their pageant.
As I've just explained, this is not your only chance. It's by far and away your best chance but it's not your only chance. However, as you say, you know this already so all should be okay but your next paragraph once again betrays your bitterness:


Quote:
The problem I have with the Blacklist is that if I fail to entertain the first dreaded reader, I’m out the cost of admission and gain nothing. The comments are too cursory. Like all readers, it’s difficult to trust if the screenplay was actually read or was subjected to a heavy skim.
If you fail to entertain you still gain the hosting – which has proved successful for several writers. As for difficult to trust – how can you trust the reader at any prodco or competition? If you're boring the shit out of a reader, or if you're just 'meh' like the vast majority of submissions, then they're likely to start skimming. Who they represent is not the issue and is merely a red herring concocted so you can avoid the painful sting of truth that your script just isn't good enough.


Quote:
It doesn’t offer anything a competition doesn’t.
Yeah, because $200, a copy of Final Draft, or table read (as many competitions offer) is just as good as getting an 8 and being blasted to managers and producers. The better competitions offer a decent cash prize if you win (but still no guarantee that anyone in the biz will take note) and there's only a handful of top-level competitions that will catch the eye of the Big Fish – but that requires you to beat out tens of thousand to final – which is the same, as you admit as scoring 8+ on TBL. And even then, the Big Fish have to come looking for you or you have to market yourself whereas TBL does the promotion for you.

Besides, if you fail a competition then you're out of luck. TBL still lets you host and allows you to be searched for.


Quote:
If I place in the semis (8+), it can go in a query letter, at the least. But if it doesn’t, I’m out the cost of admission.
Just look at your logic here. It's totally twisted so as to justify your writing and uninspiring TBL scores. You say if you place in the semis of a comp/score8+ on TBL then you can query on the back of that but if you can't then you've got nothing to work with. So? How is that a detriment of TBL yet a positive of a competition? You pay for both and you hope for tangible reward. If you don't place in a comp or TBL then those avenues of promotion are closed off. End of. It's simply a case of do the readers think you're good enough – yes or no. If 'yes', pass go and collect $200. If 'no' then you'll feel like you may as well have set fire to your competition/TBL entry fee.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Rodriguez View Post
I'm not saying the Blacklist readers aren't competent. I'm not saying readers in general aren't competent. Just saying that there are plenty of reasons material gets passed on and there’s no discernible way of telling why a particular reader passed on it. I don’t doubt they know what they’re doing but it doesn’t change the fact that they might not be the ideal reader for the script. There’s such thing as a bad day. Just because a reader passes on a script doesn’t mean the script can’t find a home elsewhere. Just because a reader recommends a script doesn’t mean the script has found a home.
  1. All of the above can be applied to any reader, anywhere, at any time so to single out TBL is ridiculous and just diversionary tactics to avoid the cold, hard truth that your script more than likely just wasn't good enough

    2) All of the above is the cry of the over-looked and the ego-dented. Not once have I read anyone take the feedback as true. Like I said before, they (apparently) accept that 99.999% of writers are not pro-level but that it means everyone else but them. I don't mean to be mean but if we accept that 0.001% are simply not good enough then why do 99.999% reject the assessments and the passes instead of accepting them? Why are they so adamant that the reader was at fault? Why do they lament all the permutations that could have lead to the reader not appreciating their genius? Why do they start to compare TBL unfavourably with submitting to a prodco (with no guaranteed read) and competitions (which requires the same outlandish odds as scoring an 8 on TBL)?

    Don't you get it? All the excuses you made about readers could apply to Austin, Nicholl, UTA and Universal. All the money you 'waste' on TBL is just as likely to be wasted on alternate routes. At least TBL guarantees you hosting and searchabiity. Even if it's only $100 options (which it isn't) then that's still better than the nothing-but-a-read of a competition. At least if you get a bite from a small fish you can query on the back of 'producer interest' and offer of an option.


    Quote:
    I can have faith in the readers of LA but a reader at smart entertainment (anger management, blades of glory) isn’t the same reader at Troma Ent. (toxic avenger).

    We have no idea what rubric a reader is using at the Blacklist. Are they made aware of the needs of specific companies or are they reading for all companies and potential producers that could ever exist? Are they saying to themselves, “based on the needs of the clients who have signed up at the Blacklist, I’m looking for X,Y,Z.”? "This would be ideal for Lee Daniels..." etc.
    More excuses and avoidance of the overwhelming truth of your writing. For a start, if you wrote Troma-esque you wouldn't submit to Smart Entertainment and at least TBL sends your script to readers who like your genre. You submit to Universal or CAA and you could get a reader who fucking hates your genre.

    Seriously, stop looking to fault TBL, its readers or its readers exploding cats. True, you may be the unlucky recipient of a bad-reader-day or sheer happenstance but not only can that strike via competitions and normal query routes but it's also odds-on that you're in the 99.999% of writers.



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Old 06-19-2017, 06:17 PM   #27
SundownInRetreat
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

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Originally Posted by purplenurple View Post
I completely agree with this statement. The readers are the gatekeeper for whom? I think most of the professional lurkers on that site are people who claim to be producers because one can make that claim maybe based on producing a short film in college. There's no transparency. And there's very little success stories. Has anyone sold anything? I mean made mid 5 figure and up through this site of late? Or is it a lot of 1 dollar to 100 dollar options by people who made one microbudget film 7 years ago and they option a project a week. The kind also seeking writers on craigslist. I strongly believe these are the bulk of the "pros" there. That and the assistant to the assistant at some 3rd or 4th rate management agency that is not likely to be in business in a year or that assistant who liked it will move on in 2 months to another job/field. You know what the turnover is for that kind of help?
And you have absolutely no proof to back up any of what you say. The success rate is in line with the success rate of traditional routes - aka: a very small percentage.

There's been quite a few who found success – Finch and Litvak spring to mind, for a start. There's not thousands because only a small percentage are good enough. Our very own BobSnz broke through after 30 years toiling the competition and studio submission route. Another guy here got produced on the back of a 5.

Let me tell you my story. I scored 8s back in 2014. I got 49 unique downloads and plenty of interest. For a neo-noir. Not a toy, superhero or PG-13 franchise. A very British, very violent neo-noir - talk about niche! - so you have no excuse if you're writing anything more mainstream and international. I didn't correspond with any A-listers such as Spielberg but time-served players with producer credits for known IP such as the Terminator franchise and Lucifer. I'm still unsold and unoptioned – not helped by taking time out for personal reasons – but I scored 8s and I made waves. My query letters were being replied to and I've open-door policies with several execs and studios.

My 'success' is all down to TBL and I couldn't have asked for any more. TBL is not to blame for your iffy results.

As an aside:
My prior two scripts had 5 pages each perused by the pros who used to haunt the halls here. Their feedback ranged from 'meh, competent writing but not good enough for what the industry requires' to 'if you have another interest you love, pursue that instead'. My third script had the pros eager for more and that's what I submitted to TBL.

And despite the positive turnaround I'm still probably not good enough to 'make it'. That's how hard good you have to be to have a payday/career.
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Last edited by SundownInRetreat : 06-20-2017 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:13 AM   #28
SundownInRetreat
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

Correction:

'I don't mean to be mean but if we accept that 0.001% are simply not good enough then why do 99.999% reject the assessments and the passes instead of accepting them?'

Was mean to be:

''I don't mean to be mean but if we accept that only 0.001% are good enough then why do 99.999% reject the assessments and the passes instead of accepting them?'


And at least you scored 6 and 7 as opposed to 2 and 4.
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Last edited by SundownInRetreat : 06-20-2017 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:58 PM   #29
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

Oh, man. I don’t know how to do the multi-quote thing so I’ll try my best with the following. I’ll respond as I read and hopefully you’ll know what I’m responding to?

First, thank you for taking the time to respond SundownInRetreat. Honestly. I don’t feel like you have bad intentions. I do feel a little misunderstood but I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from.

I don’t think I’m the finished article. I hoped for the 8s. After I swapped scripts with someone on here, I realized I was lucky to get the 6. I’m a little confused by the “never will be” comment but maybe that’s based on an assumption about my attitude. If a person think’s they’re already at a certain level, it’s hard to improve. Trust me. I think I have a lot to improve upon. A ton. This was my second screenplay.

As for the bitterness, I’ll reflect on that. I don’t think I have a fantastic script. I don’t think the readers didn’t “get it”. I just know that based on the coverage you get, it’s hard to tell what exactly the readers thought of it. The coverage is cursory. And I even had a hard time agreeing with some of the strengths. So it was a confusing experience for me.

I agree that my attitude about the scoring system is poor. I never paid for a competition and the only thing I put stock in was the lowest possible number I could get that would garner attention. I read a lot of reviews by people who scored lower and they said the script just sat there. I can’t really afford that. So my goal was 8.

My intent wasn’t to throw any shade on TBL. I think the scores were generous. I didn’t mean to take away from the victories of others or the overall usefulness of the site - what it offers.

I think the overall message of your reply is that I should always be looking to self-improve and make no excuses for my failures, especially at the cost of others.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read what I wrote, offer the criticism, and inspire me to be honest with myself.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:56 AM   #30
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Default Re: Blacklist Experience #1239932

SundownInRetreat is back again?

I'd say don't listen to anyone but yourself. Especially someone who came back to a board after a year of being away to criticize you so heavily.

Writing is hard and many of us have entered the BL at one time or another because we thought it was a tool to tell us if a certain script was "good" enough. It really doesn't deliver on that. The feedback is iffy at best. Even if you do get an "8", nothing comes of it anyway, at least in my experience.

Titan Creed's notes are a good assessment of what the issues with a script might be. You might want to focus on that type of feedback. BL notes are too vague to be useful. Good luck.
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