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Old 05-03-2019, 06:30 PM   #21
Friday
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by Bono View Post
Well put up and coming.

And for the record, you don't need 1 contest or site (even this one, but this is free for forums at least) to succeed. But I'm sure all writers like me have got the book, did contests, yada yada. It's part of the process.

I remember reading about some service in Creative Screenwriting and I think he was first guy to send my work to a real manager and that is what got me thinking about pushing hard to get my work out there -- which lead me to this site -- which lead me to getting reps. So some of it is worth the investment. You learn as you go.

But of course, I try to tell the younger writers, there is no need to do any of that. It's all about the writing. The real contest is trying to sell the script. To become a working writer in Hollywood.

You can get perfect scores on this website and still be unrepped and unsold, right?

From what you've seen, how high do you have to place in a major contest to get the attention of a big time manager?
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:33 PM   #22
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by UpandComing View Post
I've received multiple overall 8s on the Black List, dozens of downloads, and much like several others on here...very little contact from pros on the site.

I learned long ago to treat it like a lottery. If you have a little money to burn, buy an evaluation or two to see if you are one of the 5% lucky enough to score an 8 or above. And do that while knowing that the likelihood of someone getting in contact with you is slim to none. If you get below an 8, take your script down right away because the hosting fees are a giant waste of money.

I haven't actually spent any money on the site so far this year -- I've gone all in on contests, which I think the industry takes far more seriously. There are promising early results, but if nothing pans out, I'll probably try the BL again. I see it as a last resort whose main benefit is that it operates year-round.

It almost makes me feel kind of sad for writers that we continue to put so much stock in a service that gets more expensive over time yet continues to yield so little clear return on investment. But we're desperate, so that's just the way it is (and always be).

Gotta give credit to Franklin for forming alliances with a wide variety of stakeholders in the industry in a way that makes them hesitant to discuss (or even consider) any of the downsides of the site. Of course, in the end it's the writers pulling cash out of their pockets so they don't really care. The man's more than a smart businessman -- he's a smooth operator. He'd be great on "Survivor," lol.

Did you see a difference in grading between the Blacklist and the major contests? The reason I like contests is because I think they are pretty generous with their grading. I haven't tried the Blacklist yet.


Similar to my curiosity with Bono, what do you think is the level of placement you need to get the attention of one of this big managers?
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:57 PM   #23
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I remember reading about some service in Creative Screenwriting and I think he was first guy to send my work to a real manager and that is what got me thinking about pushing hard to get my work out there -- which lead me to this site -- which lead me to getting reps. So some of it is worth the investment. You learn as you go.
Are you saying you got your reps through DDP?

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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Did you see a difference in grading between the Blacklist and the major contests? The reason I like contests is because I think they are pretty generous with their grading. I haven't tried the Blacklist yet.

Similar to my curiosity with Bono, what do you think is the level of placement you need to get the attention of one of this big managers?
The major contests have their readers grade scripts with numbers that are attached to specific criteria. As far as I know, Black List readers do not tie specific numbers to any specific criteria; it's just based on a feeling of whether one would want to pass a script up to his/her boss. I think this makes the process much more subjective and more prone to harsher and divergent scores (and consequently, much slimmer odds of getting discovered and more money down the drain).

As for contests, I think the past has shown that for the Nicholl, Quarterfinalists and above stand a good chance of getting contacted by pros (as a former Nicholl QF myself, I can vouch for this). With other major contests (Austin, PAGE, Final Draft), you probably need to be a semifinalist or finalist to get attention. With lesser contests you need to be an outright winner, though reps don't really care about most of those.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

I had mostly positive experiences with the Blacklist as it was my first introduction to what writing to industry standard looked like. I got 8s on maybe four different scripts but never got any real traction out of it. I did get shortlisted for the labs and offered a monthly featured script but at that point I had already broken in and it wasn’t my best script (it was my first) so I passed on it. It’s another tool in the box if you have disposable income. I find doing your homework and targeting specific Stage 32 or VFP industry folks is a better bang for the buck.

This is apropos of nothing (this isn’t a complaint it was just ****ing weird) at one point a couple years ago I had three scripts hosted at once because I had gotten 8s on all of them. Of the three or so years I used the site I only had three pro ratings. The feature I mentioned above was pretty high on the top lists. I got a pro rating at 12:15 on a Thursday. It was a 4. Whatever. The script wasn’t a 4, but **** is subjective. The following Thursday, 12:17 or so - another pro rating on a pilot - 4. I didn’t think much until the exact same time the following Thursday and god dammit the third pilot gets...a 4! I thought maybe it was the time that automated emails from the site went out for like the previous week. I asked someone I had become friendly with who would know the answer and it definitely didn’t work that way. It could be coincidence but...I dunno. Anyway, that and the overall sophistication of some of the readers gives me a bit of unease with giving a full throated recommendation to anyone without truly disposable income.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Really strange situation, Satriales. Glad you were able to break in without need for the site.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

I actually did well on trackingb.com contest years back... however before I did well, I was querying that same script and found a manager before that contest could help me break in.... so it proved to me how it's all about the script itself not any specific contest.

The real contest is querying reps and getting one to sign you. Then the next one is trying to make money writing.

So you can be number 1 at the "top" contests and still not get anything from your career from it.

Now there are like fellowships that seem extra cool -- i was close to getting on at Disney back in 2005 or so... I was in top 50... didn't make it, but that felt good. But it was a 30 Rock spec, so can't really sell that, only a sample.

So the real answer is if you want use contests to be a way to judge on a certain level how your writing talent is, but don't like it be the end game.

Like I finished in top 10% of Nicholl for a spec and I did used that in queries.

I got an option from a producer on a spec, and that helped for sure get reads as producer name was known.

So use all you can. But to be clear, it's about the script itself. That's the truth.

Just keeping trying, but there is no reason you have to enter any of these contests or services. But when I was a younger writer, I did. So who am I to say you shouldn't? I'll just say you don't need too.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:42 PM   #27
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

In a way I got my reps from this site, because here I had a datebase of managers and agents. Got email lists from others writers. Learn how to query. Had support group of other writers experiences....

So yeah I did the work, but i used this site for 90% of my knowledge. I owe a lot to this place and many writers who are no longer with us. Not dead, just not here on the site. Or also dead.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:09 AM   #28
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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In a way I got my reps from this site, because here I had a datebase of managers and agents.
Does getting a Done Deal Pro membership have any advantages over using IMDB Pro?
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:10 AM   #29
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

Thanks for sharing your insight, Bono. BTW, I loved 30 Rock, haha.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:24 AM   #30
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Default Re: Franklin Leonard

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Does getting a Done Deal Pro membership have any advantages over using IMDB Pro?
Though I've noted this before, I'll throw it out real quick since you asked...

Our site was primarily designed for writers so they could see what scripts/stories were being set up in the film & TV worlds and who repped the writers at the time of the deal. We also list the production companies, studios & networks involved along with the producers, directors, actors and/or executives overseeing the project with each deal, as we know of them at the time.

IMDB Pro is a powerhouse backed by Amazon. They have a large staff that can manage all their content along with a much greater ability to allow "user" content to be added. In other words, people submit their own info about what they are attached to, have in development, worked as crew member on, etc. They saves them a lot of effort. People can also submit their own contact info as desired, and so on. Thus IMDB Pro has a much larger and detailed database of contact info than we or most sites can ever really have.

But in terms of trying to figure out what agents or managers to query, what production companies to target, to see what specific deals reps were involved with, the "history" of a particular IP, etc., I feel we offer a better service for that. For example, you can see when the rights to a book were picked up, then when a writer was hired to adapted it, then when a new writer is hired to rewrite it, and when even another writer was hired to do a polish. One can see the steps that are frequently involved in development.

We're also just $30 a year. I know of different subscribers that will use our site to narrow their queries, use what contact info we have, then subscribe to IMDB Pro to supplement as need be. One can also more easily research I believe what "stories" or story elements are already out there so you can make the best decision moving forward. I've had writers tell me they check our database before starting a new project so they can quickly and easily see what's already floating around out there.
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