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Old 05-10-2015, 11:07 AM   #61
eireu2
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobWriter View Post
I too have used favorable snippets from BL readers in queries - and, for those people who've responded favorably to the pitch, not a one has asked me what my BL scores were (lowest was a 4). So - a "bad" score on the BL certainly can tank your script's chances on the BL itself - but doesn't necessarily mean your script won't find traction outside the BL.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but until Cooper (and, subsequently, RobWriter) mentioned using quotes from BL coverage in queries, it never occurred to me to do it. I used coverage quotes on a previous one-sheet, but not in email queries. There was one particular quote I really liked, so I added into my next round of queries. It's early, but adding the quote seems to have generated maybe a 10-20% higher response rate?

Again, it's not a magic bullet. The weaknesses that the readers point out will probably be pointed out by the industry readers. But it's nice to know that BL coverage adds some credibility to the quality of the work we're doing.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:11 PM   #62
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

I think the Blacklist is great, but has anyone ever confirmed that the these scripts were requested BECAUSE of the Blacklist quotes in the queries? Did reps/producers actually say they wouldn't have asked to read had the queries been quote-free?

Since the strengths might not mean anything (once again, that section is required to be filled out, so it could be all talk), I would imagine putting them in queries without mentioning a high overall score might actually dissuade reps from reading unless they're extremely interested in the concept or don't put much stock into the Blacklist's opinions
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:51 PM   #63
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

LOLZo the Clown
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:04 PM   #64
lordorangepop
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

All these Black List reviews show me one thing. That you're paying 50 dollars for a review that takes them probably five minutes to write.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:05 PM   #65
redturtle
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr8u View Post
Anyone who knows comedy, knows that illogical to the audience but logical to the character is humor.
I can only respond to what you wrote, as I've never read your script.

But this quote sticks out. From the overall tone of your story, it seems comparable to JACKASS, TRAILER PARK BOYS, etc.

I happen to be a big fan of these. They are crude, over the top, childish, and just dumb - but in the funniest and best way possible. Like a TOM & JERRY cartoon.

But here's why they work. They do a great job in building the world. It's analogous to a sci-fi story. If the characters in this story are truly absurd and over-the-top, then what may be a big problem with your script is that you haven't done a good enough job building the world in which your characters are living in - and that's why the reader was unable to suspend their disbelief, and why he/she pointed out the issues in your script.

If you've set your story in a world that is surreal, absurd, futuristic, etc that requires a suspension of disbelief - then the onus is on you, the writer, to establish that. If you can't, then the reader won't go along for the ride.

EXAMPLE:

Let's use BAD GRANDPA.

What is the first truly over-the-top sight gag in that film? Johnny Knoxville getting his d*ck stuck in the vending machine. But notice all the "world building" going on for the few minutes in the beginning leading up to that moment - none of it is laugh out loud funny, but those first few moments leading up to the vending machine establishes the premise that this dude is a total dimwit who is surrounded by a bunch of WTF bystanders. And, by design, it's not the funniest sight gag (or even the most over-the-top set piece) in the film. The sight gags get worse (in the funniest way possible), leading up to the beauty pageant scene.

Even that vending machine moment is meant to establish the world of the story. Notice that Johnny Knoxville isn't just standing there in a real or authentic way, but he's PULLING and the camera shows his pink d*ck getting stretched to cartoonish lengths. That's the point, to set you the audience up for later more ridiculous gags.

Of course, this is also a franchise in the sense that we know Jackass, we know Johnny Knoxville, so the "world building" isn't as extensive as it would be if it were a first-time character we've never seen before.

Or you look at BORAT or BRUNO -- watch the first 10 minutes or so of those films. They do a good job of right away establishing how out-of-whack this story and these characters are going to be. The purpose of these first few minutes is to get the audience along for the ride.

Think of the big superhero franchises - the first film tends to involve a lot more world building, to get the audience to believe in GROWN ADULTS DRESSED IN TIGHTS AND COLORFUL COSTUMES SAVING THE WORLD WITH THEIR MAGIC POWERS. Take a step back and you realize how utterly ridiculous and funny that is if you don't know "the world" that these characters inhabit.

Last edited by redturtle : 05-10-2015 at 06:16 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:36 PM   #66
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

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Originally Posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
You're essentializing these evaluations in a way that's not at all productive. Unless your question is entirely rhetorical, why not include the actual substance of the evaluations as other posters have done?
Reviewer #1 "The final couple reveals, both of what happened before and of what's actually above them, were mind-blowing and definitely a surprise. This is a very cool script and, with a little touching up, it could be an excellent big budget film."

"After punching up the next draft, this could be a sellable project."

Plot 7

So I punch up the next draft and...

Reviewer #2

Plot 3

The late introduction of the truth leaves the conclusion little time to explore the implications of Mike’s discovery. This is also an issue since the story ends with a suggestion of future fighting action, leaving out some of the greatest potential explorations of the concept that could be incorporated here if the story got to the reveal faster.

So, basically, he wants my story to start on page 40 and continue well past its original ending, into the hypothetical "page 150." In other words, a complete rewrite. This isn't quite a "touch-up"

So I'm left with two contradicting opinions, and not sure who is "right." Do I need a touch-up, or a page-one rewrite?
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:40 PM   #67
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

^No offense, but you might want to change your logline to:

Three billionaires who were losers in high school attend their ten-year reunion to rub it in everyone's face but end up getting trapped by an alien invasion.

Foxhound, the solution here is to take any note that resonates with you and incorporate it. If no note resonates, then so be it. You're not paying for notes with the Blacklist. That's it.

The Blacklist doesn't give coverage. You're paying for the chance that a reader would recommend your script in order to let others in the industry know about it. That's it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:07 PM   #68
jmr8u
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

@BillG

No offense taken. I appreciate the feedback. Thank You!
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:00 PM   #69
lordorangepop
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

@Jmr8u

The logline sounds interesting to me… surprisingly. I actually dig it.


You should wait until the next evaluation comes back and then figure out what needs to be done. There’re numerous comedies out there that get crapped on by critics, but make a ton of money.

Last edited by lordorangepop : 05-12-2015 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:55 PM   #70
eireu2
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Default Re: Black List Reader Gave Me A 5 - Now What?

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Originally Posted by jmr8u View Post

The logline is- Three billionaires who were losers in high school attend their ten-year reunion to rub it in everyone's face but end up getting trapped by an alien invasion. Title- Ten Years Later

The script is similar to The World's End or a comedic version of From Dust Till Dawn. It's similar though to the comedic elements you pointed out. It's definitely meant to be absurd.

My concern is that... I honestly have no clue based on that review what to do next... maybe the next review will be more helpful.

I'd be more than happy to email anyone a copy and you can read a bit of it or just the few pages if you want. IDC... but you'll see right away that the dialogue is on point for a comedy. My instinct is telling me I said something too offensive early on and that clouded the readers judgement. That still doesn't warrant all the low ratings.
The way you describe your script tells me a bit about what might be "wrong" with it, honestly. Saying the script is similar to The World's End and then it sounds a lot more like a Hangover-type comedy...?

Do you mean your story is pretty much The World's End (plus a billionnaire angle), but told in Hangover style? I'm just using The Hangover as an example. I have no idea what style of comedy it is. Based on the films you compared it to, I'm not sure you know what style of comedy it is, either.

The BL reader said the dialogue was immature which, as other posters have said more eloquently, may mean the set up of the world isn't precise enough.

The World's End worked because it was a character study that was rooted in real-life, but also a very everyman scenario in a believable setting. A boy who never knew how to grow up and eventually (spoiler alert) he made peace with both his inner child and his very unusual adult world.

And I like all kinds of films, but that's why I often don't enjoy these manchild-coming-of-age films. Not because they're brilliant and I don't like that type of film, but because many of them are self-indulgent, bereft of good characters, plotless and just plain bad. It feels like there are tons of them made, but very few get their story and characters balanced.

For example, I Love You, Man is a pretty perfect version of that. Same for The World's End. And if you can't pull off Gary King/Andy Knightly-levels of pathos and redemption for your characters, which I think an extreme few writers capably can, that type of comedy may not be for you.

I'd be happy to look at your script, if you like. Feel free to PM me.

Oh, and, if I can make a general request that's slightly off-topic? Not directed at the OP, but generally:

Can we stop - IMMEDIATELY - with the "A woman must have read that b/c chicks don't dig gross-out/OTT/sex/brosef comedies! It's super great and that must be the only reason why no one noticed!"

There are tons of different folk on this board- pros at all levels and lots and lots of writers and lovely and talented people. None of us should be underestimated based on our race/size/gender/whatever else under the sun that may not reflect your reality.

Lots of people like lots of different things, and it's just as offensive to say "Shucks, women don't like certain movies!" as it is to say "Boy, Asians really love math!"

Sure, misogyny can be subjective. Especially in art. But perhaps when someone comes back with a note that they find your writing disdainful or dismissive of women and girls, it might be worthwhile to take a look at your writing, rather than lash out at, yes, all women. Pun intended.

Sorry. Let's get back to dissecting the magic minutia of The Black List ...

Last edited by eireu2 : 05-10-2015 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Typos. Stupid typod.
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