The New Black List

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  • figment
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by sc111 View Post

    So this is an experiment laced with the "hope" it will change the way screenplays are discovered. In an industry that hasn't changed the way they find scripts in the last - what - 50 years? (
    Was Nicholl around 50 years ago? Was Page? Was Industry/tracking b? Was the Black List? Those are all places where scripts/writers are now discovered.

    Leave a comment:

  • Margie Kaptanoglu
    Regular

  • Margie Kaptanoglu
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
    I'd encourage all of you to read what's at the below link in full.

    Thank you to all of you for asking questions yesterday. As there are more that I haven't directly addressed here or at this link, I'll respond to clear things up.

    The What, How, and Why of the Black List: The Long Answer by Franklin Leonard

    http://blog.blcklst.com/2012/10/the-...nklin-leonard/
    Thanks very much, Franklin. The blog answered all my questions, except what the ratings sheet/coverage form looks like. Is there anywhere we can see a sample?

    I think this has the potential to be great.

    Leave a comment:


  • Knaight
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    I will say, after reading the long post on GITS, I do appreciate the fact that Franklin tried to warn people not to waste their money. Bad scripts are and will clearly make their way into the system, but at least it's at the writers' own peril and not because they were duped.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a well-established brand and monetizing it. We all need a way to pay the bills, and getting to be your own boss and work with a brand you've built from the ground up is a great way to go about it.

    But like I said before, I'm not convinced that this service will break enough writers to make it worth the cost. I will, however, be happy to be proved wrong.

    Leave a comment:

  • FranklinLeonard
    Member

  • FranklinLeonard
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
    There are a couple of things here that I want to respond to.

    DISCLAIMER*****I'm not involved with this venture in any fashion, I have nothing invested in its success or failure.

    First, it's different than any other "service" out there because it evolves its recommendations based on user feedback. I'm pretty sure Inktip doesn't have anything remotely like this, I've used it, and it just has a search function. The interactive tailoring to the user's taste is the core of what makes the BL idea different. So, yeah, in terms of ANY non-traditional method for finding material, i.e., outside the agency/referral this is worlds beyond eblasts, listings, and Pitchfests. It is specific to the buyer/reps tastes as they are tracked across a lot of projects. So, yeah, it's completely new because it weeds out 90% of the material that is caught in the net, and actively funnels likely matches to the user.

    Second, Franklin knows more about how the machine of acquisition and development work than anyone who has ever tried to do this sort of thing. Personally, I trust his experience and intelligence enough to give it time to get off the ground and see how it works.

    Third, the industry has widened the net on finding material over the last fifty years, and that has been driven by the internet. Fifty years ago, an unknown screenwriter in Boston, or France had no shot at selling a spec, modern communications have changed that. This is a logical evolutionary offshoot of that trend.

    Fourth, don't get caught up in nitpicking language. It's meaningless. Of course they hope it will change the way business is done. I happen to think that he believes that could happen if they get enough buy in from users (buyers and reps).

    Fifth, of course it's an experiment. Calling it that isn't a revelation.

    Finally, I think that it may be worth a shot, at a price point of 150.00 or so to get a couple of reads that rate the material and then have it up long enough to filter out of the crowd...if it's good.

    And ultimately, that's what really matters...if it's good.
    Could not have said it better myself. Thank you, Geoff, for saving my cramping figures. And now, I should probably eat something today.

    Leave a comment:

  • Geoff Alexander
    Member

  • Geoff Alexander
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by sc111 View Post
    I'm not looking to protect writers, I'm challenging Franklin's claim that this is distinctively different and better than Inktip, et al. Nothing in the blog you just quoted convinces me it is different and better.

    He is promoting a service to customers: aspiring screenwriters. I'm a potential customer. And he is making a number of overt and covert promises and claims.

    And he does it quite persuasively. Actually, I'd say he's an excellent writer who knows how to strike the right chord in the right tone to appeal to his market: amateur screenwriters.

    However, he should expect these claims to be challenged by potential customers like me.

    For example, here's the opening line of the same blog you've quoted:



    Really? So this is an experiment laced with the "hope" it will change the way screenplays are discovered. In an industry that hasn't changed the way they find scripts in the last - what - 50 years? (See last post by Joe Unidos.)

    Wait -- didn't Amazon Studios talk about a paradigm shift, too? Hmmm.

    So let's call it for what it is -- a chance to participate in an experiment to pay $75 up front for the first month, and $25 per month thereafter, in an effort to discover if Hollywood has any inclination to change the way they find scripts. I believe Hollywood will politely decline.
    There are a couple of things here that I want to respond to.

    DISCLAIMER*****I'm not involved with this venture in any fashion, I have nothing invested in its success or failure.

    First, it's different than any other "service" out there because it evolves its recommendations based on user feedback. I'm pretty sure Inktip doesn't have anything remotely like this, I've used it, and it just has a search function. The interactive tailoring to the user's taste is the core of what makes the BL idea different. So, yeah, in terms of ANY non-traditional method for finding material, i.e., outside the agency/referral this is worlds beyond eblasts, listings, and Pitchfests. It is specific to the buyer/reps tastes as they are tracked across a lot of projects. So, yeah, it's completely new because it weeds out 90% of the material that is caught in the net, and actively funnels likely matches to the user.

    Second, Franklin knows more about how the machine of acquisition and development work than anyone who has ever tried to do this sort of thing. Personally, I trust his experience and intelligence enough to give it time to get off the ground and see how it works.

    Third, the industry has widened the net on finding material over the last fifty years, and that has been driven by the internet. Fifty years ago, an unknown screenwriter in Boston, or France had no shot at selling a spec, modern communications have changed that. This is a logical evolutionary offshoot of that trend.

    Fourth, don't get caught up in nitpicking language. It's meaningless. Of course they hope it will change the way business is done. I happen to think that he believes that could happen if they get enough buy in from users (buyers and reps).

    Fifth, of course it's an experiment. Calling it that isn't a revelation.

    Finally, I think that it may be worth a shot, at a price point of 150.00 or so to get a couple of reads that rate the material and then have it up long enough to filter out of the crowd...if it's good.

    And ultimately, that's what really matters...if it's good.

    Leave a comment:

  • Joe Unidos
    Member

  • Joe Unidos
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    I guess for me the largest question (and one that can only be answered by the test of time) is what leads anyone to think that an industry professional at a level to pull the trigger on a a script will use this service instead of their normal pipeline. The true test of good faith would be reporting metrics about the pro users based on their position and designation in a month or six months, and at regular intervals.

    I don't doubt Franklin's intentions, but I do find it very convenient that the people who took 2 minutes to sign up for BL2.0 (the pro database) are now having their participation there being used to sell BL3.0 to unwitting amateurs.

    I suspect the "10000s of Industry Professionals" list would be much, much smaller if those professionals knew/were asked to register for an amateur screenplay database.

    Leave a comment:

  • Bitter Script Reader
    User

  • Bitter Script Reader
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    One major difference is that Amazon Studios was run by people who didn't know **** about screenwriting or the movie business and were largely trying to change it on their own from the outside.

    Franklin's smart enough that he won't duplicate their mistakes.

    Leave a comment:


  • sc111
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Frap View Post
    I totally understand the impulse to protect writers, especially if they're unknowingly participating in some type of scam.

    But the notion of protecting writers from themselves is odd to me. If they're not good, they're going to have to figure it out eventually, right?

    As Franklin writes:
    "The first bad read should be a wake up call. If the writer chooses to get a second read, and it is reviewed similarly, it is unlikely that our site will draw attention to their screenplay and therefore unlikely that someone will find it, love it, and contact them unless they find one of those more creative ways to get read."
    The vast majority of writers won't make it because they lack talent, not because they don't have access to Hollywood. However, for the small percentage of writers that do have talent, this is one more way to get their foot in the door (and seemingly one that is much more efficient than other services).

    I'm not looking to protect writers, I'm challenging Franklin's claim that this is distinctively different and better than Inktip, et al. Nothing in the blog you just quoted convinces me it is different and better.

    He is promoting a service to customers: aspiring screenwriters. I'm a potential customer. And he is making a number of overt and covert promises and claims.

    And he does it quite persuasively. Actually, I'd say he's an excellent writer who knows how to strike the right chord in the right tone to appeal to his market: amateur screenwriters.

    However, he should expect these claims to be challenged by potential customers like me.

    For example, here's the opening line of the same blog you've quoted:

    Yesterday morning, the Black List announced what we hope will be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way screenplays are discovered by people who make movies.
    Really? So this is an experiment laced with the "hope" it will change the way screenplays are discovered. In an industry that hasn't changed the way they find scripts in the last - what - 50 years? (See last post by Joe Unidos.)

    Wait -- didn't Amazon Studios talk about a paradigm shift, too? Hmmm.

    So let's call it for what it is -- a chance to participate in an experiment to pay $75 up front for the first month, and $25 per month thereafter, in an effort to discover if Hollywood has any inclination to change the way they find scripts. I believe Hollywood will politely decline.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mossbraker
    Regular

  • Mossbraker
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    So if there's 3,000 scripts up, at $25 a month, that's raking in $75,000 a month or $900,000 year. And that doesn't include whatever's made off the $50 dollar coverage fees (might be self-funding).

    I don't know enough to know what all that means. I'm sure there's a lot of costs and hey, if it works to get good scripts out there, great. There's always a fine line in helping people out and taking advantage of people.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frap
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Knaight View Post
    While I agree that people do need to find out that they're bad, that doesn't mean that they won't become good. Talent can be compensated for with an assload of hard work.
    I totally agree. If you get a bad review or a rejection, that doesn't mean your career is over. Through hard work, you can get better.

    However, too many people think access is their problem, not the quality of their script, or as Amanda Pendolino explains:
    "I have always maintained that the path to being a professional film or TV writer is simple (though not easy): 1. write a great script, and 2. find someone important who likes it - and in my experience, most writers think that #2 is their problem when it's actually #1."
    To me, the Black List service sounds like a good and relatively affordable way for aspiring screenwriters to get quality feedback on their script while also gaining easier access to Hollywood decision makers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Knaight
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Frap View Post
    The vast majority of writers won't make it because they lack talent, not because they don't have access to Hollywood. However, for the small percentage of writers that do have talent, this is one more way to get their foot in the door (and seemingly one that is much more efficient than other services).
    While I agree that people do need to find out that they're bad, that doesn't mean that they won't become good. Talent can be compensated for with an assload of hard work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frap
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by sc111 View Post
    But you know what would be really awesome? What would really set this enterprise apart from all others of the same ilk? If Franklin would say:

    "If your script coverage doesn't garner a minimum of 9 out of 10, you can't list your scripts here."

    Otherwise, it's just another service trading on the dreams of people who likely don't have the right stuff to go pro. Of course, this is just my opinion.
    I totally understand the impulse to protect writers, especially if they're unknowingly participating in some type of scam.

    But the notion of protecting writers from themselves is odd to me. If they're not good, they're going to have to figure it out eventually, right?

    As Franklin writes:
    "The first bad read should be a wake up call. If the writer chooses to get a second read, and it is reviewed similarly, it is unlikely that our site will draw attention to their screenplay and therefore unlikely that someone will find it, love it, and contact them unless they find one of those more creative ways to get read."
    The vast majority of writers won't make it because they lack talent, not because they don't have access to Hollywood. However, for the small percentage of writers that do have talent, this is one more way to get their foot in the door (and seemingly one that is much more efficient than other services).

    Leave a comment:

  • FranklinLeonard
    Member

  • FranklinLeonard
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    I'd encourage all of you to read what's at the below link in full.

    Thank you to all of you for asking questions yesterday. As there are more that I haven't directly addressed here or at this link, I'll respond to clear things up.

    The What, How, and Why of the Black List: The Long Answer by Franklin Leonard

    http://blog.blcklst.com/2012/10/the-...nklin-leonard/

    Leave a comment:

  • Joe Unidos
    Member

  • Joe Unidos
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Chief View Post
    Of course they will, why go through thousands of scripts while they can easily go to Black Site and see the highest rated scripts for themselves.

    It's like using IMDB before picking a film to watch.
    Sorry, Charlie.

    Actual legit executives are not going to be looking through this thing. FL got a lot of people to sign up for free based on the BL cache and the BL2.0 database. That in no way means that there is any likelihood that these same people will use the BL3.0 at all. Why? Because they don't have to. The industry is build on successive lines of vetting. It's not a coincidence nor is it an unfortunate side effect. it is a time-honored and trusted filtering system. The "executives" to whom access is being sold will not be using this. They are already happy but overwhemled with the glut of material that has already gone through management readers, managers, agency readers, agents, prodco readers, CEs, DODs, D-girls, trusted juniors, and Harvard B-School grad assistants.

    As mentioned, it's Inktip with a fancier pedigree.

    Leave a comment:


  • sc111
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    From an advertising and marketing perspective, it's brilliant because it's being launched on the pre-existing brand cachet of The (yearly) Black List. What aspiring screenwriter doesn't want to be associated with that brand name? So I give Franklin a thumbs up for a savvy marketing approach. I do wonder though if the yearly Black List will start to lose some brand integrity over time.

    For the sake of discussion, let's rename it for a second. Let's call it Script Depot. And then analyze the benefits as stated for the writers. Is it really that different than similar paid services like Ink Tip, etc.?

    Okay -- we have the claim of making the material available to the 1000+ industry decision makers who are already members of the site. The question remains -- do they really need to look to "Script Depot" for new amateur material?

    Amateur material is accessible everywhere -- in their inboxes, on semi/quarter finalist contest lists, on pre-existing blaster-type service sites, in slush piles of every manager and agent and production company in the industry.

    The problem isn't the availability of amateur material, the problem is sorting through the tsunami of amateur scripts to find quality material. So this is addressed by $50 coverage. Fair enough.

    But you know what would be really awesome? What would really set this enterprise apart from all others of the same ilk? If Franklin would say:

    "If your script coverage doesn't garner a minimum of 9 out of 10, you can't list your scripts here."

    Otherwise, it's just another service trading on the dreams of people who likely don't have the right stuff to go pro. Of course, this is just my opinion.
    Last edited by sc111; 10-16-2012, 11:42 AM. Reason: editing blip

    Leave a comment:

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