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Old 12-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #81
Chief
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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Originally Posted by ATB View Post
What's the point of this service again?

Sincerely,

Confused.
This.

Isn't this basically the Black List, only here you pay $147 and your script stays on the website.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #82
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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So far, our coverage lags the market by about a month, so we think it's unreasonable to suggest our site undermines a script's chances of selling. If we weren't concerned about consistency and providing clean data for our scoring system, we might have done this by aggregating coverage from other sources.
These two sentences make my brain hurt.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #83
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Also, Jason, it'd be really easy to just turn off the website until you implement the changes. If I were you, that's what I'd do.

I shudder at the fallout from WME and CAA come Jan 7.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:07 PM   #84
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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This.

Isn't this basically the Black List, only here you pay $147 and your script stays on the website.
Ultimately, the point of Spec Scout is to promote great screenplays, especially the stuff that deserves to find a home and hasn't yet, for whatever reason. Part of this mission is already stated on our home page: "...to highlight the highest quality screenplays circulating Hollywood."

TBH, we hadn't considered the flip side, that by including comments and scores of every project taken to market (which had been our goal, obviously), we'd actually be highlighting the flaws of scripts that need work just as much as promoting scripts that are objectively excellent. That's definitely not the point of the site. And further, negative comments and low scores probably amount to noise for our industry subscribers.

There's no reason we can't track the entire market as planned, but only provide scores and comments for the best stuff. The two policy changes we've already decided to make will go a long way to furthering our mission. I stated what we're doing above, but to reiterate it, we're a) going to automatically suppress comments and scores of scripts with negative feedback and/or low scores, and b) implementing an opt-out policy to suppress scores and comments at the request of writers and their reps.

We're definitely doing the above, and my partners and I are looking forward to getting together to hammer out the details of both new policies on Wednesday, after Christmas. We want to get it right, and we'll post the new policies here when we're done.
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Last edited by jscoggins : 12-24-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:36 AM   #85
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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This isn't a game of "gotcha." We're oriented around the spec market, which is to say, tracking scripts that are being marketed to producers and buyers. Our take is that once a script enters that realm, it's being read and covered widely in a semi-public setting already. We're covering those scripts and making the coverage available in a similarly semi-public setting for a monthly fee.
It absolutely is a game of "gotcha."

You're publicly setting up your site to be the barometer of a script's worth. And someone's reps will have to PAY to see the coverage -- in order for it to be taken down.

Why not have the entire thing be an opt-in service?
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #86
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Default Re: Spec Scout

... because no one would opt-in.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #87
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Default Re: Spec Scout

Well, here is how I see this..first off, write the best possible script you can, then you don't have to worry about "low scores or comments". Easier said than done of course. secondly, I can completely relate and agree that it would SUCK if my script showed up on this site (or any other one for that matter) that was not ready, or just a first or second draft I wasn't ready for certain eyes to read. I would FLIP OUT! if my current script ended up here, which wouldn't happen because currently I'm managing myself (and my writing partner) and have just been sending out to various coverage houses and contests and feedback companies.... but, it is currently in the top 3 on Zoetrope this month and publicly available for download. So in theory someone could download it and send it to one of these "lists" or websites without my knowledge. That's highly unlikely to happen... but I could see potentially a manager or agent with the right intentions, but poor judgement and upload it because they feel it is ready and just didn't think things through.... Ultimately, I feel the writer/creator has the final say on what and where your script goes. period. Obviously, I would defer to the manager with the experience and relationships, but I would still want to know about it and have discussion about the plan. We will be seeking management and representation for our script within the coming weeks, at which time I guess I will find out their marketing plan for it.

Overall, I think specscout and blacklist are perfect and a needed, helpful "service" not only for writers, but for managers, producers, and agents, and the business as a whole.


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Old 12-25-2012, 02:07 AM   #88
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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Overall, I think specscout and blacklist are perfect and a needed, helpful "service" not only for writers, but for managers, producers, and agents, and the business as a whole.
You are literally the only person I've heard express this view.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #89
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Default Re: Spec Scout

It is my understanding - which I admit could be wrong, especially since I have no credentials to back up my opinions - that spec scripts are routinely 'covered' with comments circulated on private tracking boards - the ones writers have no access to whatsoever.

I also know - and this is fact - that a well know tracking board open to subscription by anyone, routinely posts current scripts, and often has comments also posted, some of which can be pretty brutal.

Am I wrong about this? If so I'll immediately stand corrected.

Or is the problem here that Spec Scout is upfront about what they have been doing and charge a fee to the gate keepers to see their ratings and comments about scripts?

Just trying to understand the controversy, if it can be called that.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #90
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Default Re: Spec Scout

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I also know - and this is fact - that a well know tracking board open to subscription by anyone, routinely posts current scripts, and often has comments also posted, some of which can be pretty brutal.
Tracking Board, if that's the one you're talking about, has a lot of members trading scripts on their forum, and rarely some of those people might mention what they thought of a script. It's not really centralized like SpecScout is, or potentially paid attention to by anybody in the industry.

The controversy about SpecScout is that it's essentially one opinion on your script that the site hopes everyone in the industry will look at, meaning that if that coverage is bad or even luke warm on your script it could sink any possibility of success. While its true random readers cover your script now for all companies similarly, it isn't one opinion being seeded to multiple companies. Each reader at each company would give you the 50/50 chance of reader bias. I'd also like to point out that readers at particular studios or production companies are trying to figure out what their bosses might be interested in, not just if the script is good, which isn't something SpecScout has a way to offer.

As for SpecScout, I don't feel sold yet, and I think agents/managers are going to be the death of the current incarnation. But it seems like the creators are coming from a good place trying to help the market, and obviously by being on here they're open to criticism and figuring out a way to make it work.

I hope it succeeds, and is another way for writers to find reps / sell their ****. I think it's going to have to veer way more in the direction of unknown writers 'opting in' as opposed to a general market overview, however.
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