Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > General > Sites, Services, Software, & Supplies
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-28-2018, 03:26 AM   #1
M.J.
User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 72
Default My third Blacklist review...

After my third review I find my self at a crossroad...

My first two reviews were constructive and although they were rated 6 overall they were positive and individual ratings where going up after each revision. Both of those rating I gave a 5 (not that it matters).

With this third review I got an overall 7. The problem is that everything the other reviewers were crazy about, this reviewer missed and I quote:

The script needs to kickstart the plot sooner, because sixty pages of prep and fifty pages of execution make the story feel disproportioned. Still, the script demonstrates a confident voice, and absolutely has potential for a tightly-wound, medium-budget, filmmaker-driven thriller (there’s a bit of ZODIAC and GONE BABY GONE to it).

It goes against what my first two reviewers described as fast paced and propulsive and I quote:
1st review:
This action thriller has some terrific set pieces and the author maintains a high level of tension throughout the script. The propulsive pace and strong action would please genre fans, effectively serving a sizable international audience.

2nd review:
The script is fast in pace, with professional level action writing, although there are some areas that could be fleshed out even more, and the page space to do so.

I think what struck me the most is the claim that there are 60 pages of prep that I find to be totally incorrect, and comparison to GONE BABY GONE didn't help. Edit. A HUGE APOLOGIE for lashing out on GONE BABY GONE. I had it confused with GONE GIRL. I just watched it again and I could see what the reviewer was referring to.

In my first two reviews there were suggestions how to make the script better, but in this review reviewer just points out to things that happen and the things he points out indicate to me that he didn't get the story as the first two did.

Now I don't know what to do. I feel that the script is finished and I don't want to settle for anything bellow the rating of 8 . I'm going to pay for a new evaluation, but I don't know if I should delete this rating, or is there a value of keeping the review which you think is wrong just because it's rated 7?


Any suggestion is appreciated...

Last edited by M.J. : 07-01-2018 at 08:59 AM.
M.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 07:10 AM   #2
Klazart
Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 265
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

Paying for additional reviews on a script in the hope of hitting an 8 is gambling.

I had a script score an 8 with the first review. Paid for another one got a 6. Made revisions based on both sets of feedback and got a 7. It's just throwing good money after bad.

I'd take a punt as a one off probably on my next script, though I don't know why, since there's a huge amount of subjectivity and you don't know what kind of reviewer you're gonna get, what their frame of mind is, what their personal taste is etc etc.

But as someone who can't really go to LA it might be worth a punt but I wouldn't keep paying in the hope of finding that elusive 8.
Klazart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 01:07 PM   #3
M.J.
User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 72
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

I have no means of getting to LA or the US for that matter, so the Black List is all I got...

Anyway, I paid for another evaluation. I kept the 7 because I read somewhere that certain genres (Mysteries/Thrillers) have a chance of being downloaded even with a 7 rating.

After my first review I was angry for 24 hours because I thought I deserved more. It was the first time anyone read my script -- my first review after 10 years of writing it, so what did I know .

When I calmed down, I really looked at the reviewer's notes and found them to be very helpful. My second review was also very helpful. After two revisions I felt the script was much stronger than at the beginning.

You could say I was having a love affair with my notes -- I thought we would ride this train all the way to the top.

I remembered listening on Scriptnotes podcast about writers having problems with their notes and I thought to myself -- Problems? What problems? I love notes.
And then this dud happened...

But enough bashing... I really appreciate all the things that the Black List is doing in helping writers break through. I wish them, and our fellow writers nothing but success...

Last edited by M.J. : 06-28-2018 at 04:39 PM.
M.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
UneducatedFan
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 216
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

I haven't used the Black List before and obviously don't have access to all your notes.

That said it almost looks like that third one "might" be a skimmed review. What I mean is they might have read the first 10 or so pages, thought Zodiac/Gone Baby Gone, then skimmed the rest looking for visual queues of action scenes, dialogue scenes, etc. and just took note of where they occurred, assumed the in between and then provided the review.

I'm not saying that's what happened, but is there any direct feedback from the middle or end of your screenplay that denotes knowledge of your plots or character arcs, etc? Like a "I didn't find the Protag being this way at the beginning and then evolving through this experience, this action, etc. and becoming this other way at the end believable".

Again, I've not used Black List so not sure how they protect against skimmed reviews etc. so I may be completely off the mark.
__________________
You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.
UneducatedFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 04:05 PM   #5
M.J.
User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 72
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

That's just one line from the review. A complete review is one page long and there are three parts to it: -- Strengths -- Weaknesses -- Prospects.

It's midnight at my place. Tomorrow I'll post a pdf file with a complete review...
M.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 06:23 AM   #6
M.J.
User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 72
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

@UneducatedFan

I've posted links to my reviews as there is no way to attach them in a post.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FF...m6sDwv_HB-0Hf0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=16u...5tVjH0XucYN0SE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Lh...r3XcNrMJSvn03_

I've blacked-out the final twist in reviews just in case anyone is bored and wants to read my script and give me a point or two for improvement.

Here's the link to script on Black List. Just send me the request there or PM me on DD and I'll send you my script. I would appreciate a fresh look...

https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/68854

PS: Just to avoid possible confusion in reviews. Some of the characters names were changed during revision so Mike is later Jake, Jonas changed to Vincent and Matthias to Richard.
M.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 06:48 AM   #7
catcon
Member
 
catcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, Canada
Posts: 1,874
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

At the very least, you get to ponder a variety of loglines in the reviews.

Just looking at the three of them, it shows once again how "Reading is a subjective thing"

By the way, all three logs have merit, in my view, depending on what one is looking for. That three such different logs are tolerated in this BL evaluation environment suggests there's a lot of room for different interpretations ie. regarding length, detail, "reveals", etc., as opposed to one-size-fits-all.

I don't have access to BL, so I found this all very interesting. Thanks for this.
catcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
UneducatedFan
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 216
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

Thanks for providing those. I was way off in my thought that the third was a skimmed review.

They were interesting to read and as I've never used Black List, I wasn't sure how detailed the notes were.

To echo catcon, there are things that I would consider helpful from all three. I looked for common themes and these kind of popped out to me.

Review 1: "He lacks
goals and objectives outside of solving this case, with his only real backstory being the vague mystery
around what led him to be assigned to a detail filled with misfits and outcasts."

Review 2: "Where the action and plot thrives, there are some areas to bolster up the characters."

Review 3: "The script’s protagonists lack weight: Jake and the
agents are a means to an end, performing their investigative duties but making little impact – they’re
utilitarian plot devices, not rich characters. But the script first needs to address its two biggest issues: the lacking
cohesion and lopsided balance of its plot, and the thinness of its characters."

Positives.
Review 1: "This action thriller has some terrific set pieces and the author maintains a high level of tension
throughout the script."

Review 2: "This is an action packed thriller with a unique premise. The twist is outstanding. This is something that really gives the project an original edge within the genre."

Review 3: "The script has a straightforward, dramatic premise to pursue and – as the conspiracy is revealed – a
sprawling, emotional conflict to explore, overhauling the story with a clever and organic third act
twist."

My ignorant take away from all three?

You are on the edge of "nailed it". It looks like all the pieces are there and that for the most part they are well executed. There's a common theme of character improvement/strengthening being needed. Not having read the script I wonder if there's a common issue with characters that seem to be almost impossible to avoid in this specific genre. Characters who are acted upon (plot drives, defines them) vs. active characters (their decisions actually affect the plot and drive the story forward). Again, in the thriller/murder mystery/detective genre it's standard and the "who dunnit" be the initial propellant but the challenge becomes not having the characters be fish on a hook being pulled along towards an end (unless that's the plot of the story and many times it's a main plot arc, the killer attempting to pull them along and the protags trying to get off the hook but follow the line to where it comes from).

As an example that wasn't genre defining/breaking, I liked the film "Insomnia" (both original foreign and Nolan's American adaptation). There was a ton going on with the protags themself besides the "catch the killer".

If you'd like me to read your script, let me know. I've got a couple others I promised to read lined up but I promise I will get to it if you think I could provide any beneficial insights.
__________________
You know Jill you remind me of my mother. She was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.
UneducatedFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 08:49 AM   #9
M.J.
User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 72
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

Sorry for replying late. Yesterday was a hangover day for me.

Let me start by making A HUGE APOLOGIE for lashing out on GONE BABY GONE. I had it confused with GONE GIRL. I guess senility does strike in late 30ís as I just now realized my mistake. GONE BABY GONE is one of the best mystery movies and I feel so stupid for the mix up. If you have not seen it you should definitely do so. I just watched it again and I could see what the reviewer was referring to. I will edit my first post to reflect that.

@UneducatedFan

You hit it on the nail my friend.

Character development, or the lack of it, was in part a conscious decision on my part. If I canít get them to come to life on their own with the story, I usually just leave them as they are.

After my second review I managed to bolster antagonistsí character through dialogue in just two scenes, and I must say I am very pleased how it turned out, and even the third reviewer had no problems with them.

I never had problems with Laurenís character (lead female), as it came on its own with the story. That leaves me with Jake (lead male character). I just donít know what to do with him at the moment because the plot does drives him heavily.

I always hated writing dialogue and a 4 in the first review really woke me up. More importantly Iíve never read dialogue without reading the action lines. Oh boy was that a mistake. A month later, after 2 revisions (about 40 in real world) I managed to get it to 7 in the third review.
I always thought of dialogue as my greatest weakness as a wannabe writer, but it turns out to be character development. I donít know, maybe itís because of this story and the plot. Iíll have to wait and see with my next project.

I also loved Insomnia and have read the script for it as I was learning how to write. My story is not of the same type, but I donít want to reveal anything else because I do want to take you on your offer. Iíll contact you through PM.

@ catcon
No problem. Iím glad it helped.

@ Klazart
I forgot to ask, did you get any industry downloads after getting an 8?
M.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 10:54 AM   #10
Screenplay Savant
Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 211
Default Re: My third Blacklist review...

While there are clear differences in the comments - which can reflect personal preferences and tastes, the thing that struck me was the consistency of the ratings. All three felt the premise was stronger than the plot or the characters, meaning in all three of their opinions the execution is not living up to the concept at this juncture.

All three felt the plot was only a six out of ten which is in the range of average and the characters were a five or six (also average). If the characters are just average, the dialogue is probably not the only problem with them.

Character development is about getting characters "to come to life on their own with the story". You develop character through their goals, actions, reactions, decisions, choices, flaws etc. How they navigate through and drive your plot.

I really don't know how much you can glean from one short paragraph of feedback about what the real problems are under the hood, but that's not really what coverage is designed to do.

Last edited by Screenplay Savant : 07-01-2018 at 12:30 PM.
Screenplay Savant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker