The New Black List

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  • Frap
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by sc111 View Post
    What is the likelihood these people (or their assistants?) will actually scour this new, monetized section of the website looking for scripts, on a regular basis?

    Surely these are busy folks already fielding material sent to them via other channels, including the good old cold query.
    Franklin can likely provide a better explanation, but one of the key benefits of The Black List is that it uses an algorithm to connect industry professionals with scripts that they would be interested in based on the review criteria: genre, budget, etc.

    Instead of development executives having to "scour" the database for good scripts, they are actively updated when there is a script that meets their preferences. Moreover, the recommendation system gets better the more that people use it.

    So, if you're one of those few people who can actually write a good script, and it gets good reviews from the readers (who have all previously worked for major studios, production companies, agencies, or management companies), then The Black List recommendation engine can help get you in front of development executives quickly and easily.

    FYI - if anyone is interested, I interviewed Franklin about the new Black List for ScreenRant.com.

    http://screenrant.com/franklin-leona...ation-service/

    Leave a comment:


  • Knaight
    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.
    I think you missed the part where Joe mentioned that their backlog of scripts is vetted by managers and agents. Presumably, managers and agents that they have a working relationship with. This encourages to read those scripts on two levels: First, they need to maintain those relationships and keep those reps happy. Second, at least from certain reps, they can expect those scripts to at least reach some degree of quality.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Joe Unidos View Post
    Echoing Knaight, the disconnect for me comes with the idea that anyone in the industry who looks for scripts as a function of their job would basically work for free by scouring an amateur database. They already have a HUGE backlog of material vetted by managers and agents. Too much to get to, in most cases.

    It feels somewhat disenguious to me to sell this to credit card-clutching newbies as a place that execs (and that is the inference being made) will be using as part of their pipeline.

    It isn't and they won't.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Knaight
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Joe Unidos View Post
    Echoing Knaight, the disconnect for me comes with the idea that anyone in the industry who looks for scripts as a function of their job would basically work for free by scouring an amateur database. They already have a HUGE backlog of material vetted by managers and agents. Too much to get to, in most cases.

    It feels somewhat disenguious to me to sell this to credit card-clutching newbies as a place that execs (and that is the inference being made) will be using as part of their pipeline.

    It isn't and they won't.
    For the most part, I'm sure you're right. However, I expect that there will be a success story or two that comes out of the New Blacklist. The Blacklist brand is strong enough that there will probably be a little bit of spillover into the New Blacklist, and a top script or two will end up selling and launching a career. It will be the exception, and not the rule, but it'll keep new writers excited enough to keep their scripts listed.

    From a business perspective, I actually have a lot of respect for this idea. It's smart, and will likely be successful. I can only assume that the gym membership effect will take place, and people will cancel their listings anywhere from 3-6 months after they originally intended to. (I have to imagine that the listings will function on automatic credit card renewal, correct?)

    I would guess that there are about 10,000 screenwriters who regularly invest $50-100 in contests each year. The New Blacklist will be successful even if they can penetrate 15-25% of that. If you have a revolving catalogue of 1,500 scripts per month, that's $37.5k in income per month, from listing fees alone. Add in reading fees, and the fact that your clientele are consistently generating new material to be uploaded, and...

    Yep, this thing's going to make money.

    As a writer, it worries me a little. For the exact reasons that Joe Unidos pointed out, I have trouble believing that it will even be as successful as the more reputable contests in breaking new writers, and most of those contests offer cash prizes. Again, due to the gym membership effect, I could see writers easily forking over $150 before they're done listing a particular script.

    I will say, I don't think it's the worst investment a writer can make. Writers can easily waste money on sub-par books, seminars, pitchfests, and consultants. This certainly isn't in the same ballpark as some people and companies that use ill-earned hype to prey on writers (HI, SCRIPTSHADOW!!!), but I'm not convinced that it will break enough writers to be worth the money for most people.

    Time will tell. I'll be watching, because I think the business model is fascinating and I'm interested to see what happens. I certainly hope for the best to everyone who takes part, including Franklin and company. The Blacklist has been a pretty cool thing, and hopefully this effort will serve to strengthen the brand rather than cheapen it. We'll see.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gillyflower Cooms
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    The paid Black List will compete with the real Black List cuz at the end of the year everyone in town is gonna wanna read the scripts on the industry Black List and not scripts from the service...I think the paid service is gonna end up like Inktip and attract low-level producers and agents who don't have a pipeline to good material.

    Leave a comment:


  • lordmanji
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Franklin, is there a way to update the uploaded script without deleting the listing?

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe Unidos
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Echoing Knaight, the disconnect for me comes with the idea that anyone in the industry who looks for scripts as a function of their job would basically work for free by scouring an amateur database. They already have a HUGE backlog of material vetted by managers and agents. Too much to get to, in most cases.

    It feels somewhat disenguious to me to sell this to credit card-clutching newbies as a place that execs (and that is the inference being made) will be using as part of their pipeline.

    It isn't and they won't.

    Leave a comment:


  • Storytell
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    You do not have to fill in any information other than name and email address as I recall, which was all that had the required asterisk.

    Of course they do have your credit card info seperately.

    Leave a comment:


  • Knaight
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by figment View Post
    So I just went on the website and "registering" involves listing your educational background, what state you live in, twitter and facebook accounts -- which I assume will all be used as contact info.

    The only problem is that I see this being a huge, huge disadvantage for writers who are not based in California. Or who aren't hugely into social media. Or who didn't go to film school, or anywhere remotely ivy league, or college at all.

    It seems like any one of those things can equal being dismissed immediately in the minds of a potential reader -- readers that would've otherwise liked the script and considered it a viable project for their company. This writer isn't in L.A? Why bother? He doesn't have a facebook/twitter account? He's out of the loop, why bother? Etc...

    Thoughts on this?
    Living in LA has less to do with how people perceive you, and more to do with your opportunities. If you're not in LA, you can't network and take meetings, and that can be an issue. However, it doesn't impact the quality and marketability of your writing, and I don't think you should worry too much about people choosing not to read you based on where you live. It will probably happen a little bit. It won't happen a lot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Striver
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Margie Kaptanoglu View Post
    I heard that 3777 writers signed on yesterday.
    Read earlier in the thread. Franklin explained that the 3777 figure is all the scripts in the BL database, which goes back years. The number of newly uploaded scripts for this new service is currently "low three figures".

    That said, turnaround time is a valid concern.

    Leave a comment:


  • sc111
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    I apologize in advance for my Negative Nancy tone but understand this concept seems to be the next "great thing" for writers, much like Amazon studios was last year. I am skepical.

    Rightly or wrongly, this is how I understand it:

    1. Newbie writers will be paying a $25 monthly fee to "rent" space on a database in a new (monetized) section of your Black List website, which is accessible to, and frequented by, industry people (of all levels, I imagine).

    2. To move one's script to the recommended section of this database, a writer needs to pay an additional $50 for a read and have the talent required to secure high scores (8s out of possible 10s).

    3. If they do not get high scores, or if they choose not to pay extra for a read, their work falls to the bottom of the heap and the likelihood that any industry people will read their script is very, very low. However, they're welcome to continue paying the monthly fee to remain on the database albeit in virtual Siberia.

    If the above is correct, I have only one question which relates to the other side of the equation: the 1000+ industry professionals who are already Black List members.

    What is the likelihood these people (or their assistants?) will actually scour this new, monetized section of the website looking for scripts, on a regular basis?

    Surely these are busy folks already fielding material sent to them via other channels, including the good old cold query.

    Perhaps michaelb and SBScript, professionals who secure material, will answer this. How likely would you be to regularly check the New Black List for material?

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Is there a way for us to see what the readers are looking for? What genres were searched the most? What criteria they were looking for?

    Lets say I've got 5 scripts (low budget horror, sci fi, heist film, rom-com and drama) and I don't know which one to upload, is there a way I could see which one would be the most 'wanted' at any given time?

    Leave a comment:


  • Margie Kaptanoglu
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Hi Franklin,

    Thanks for launching this service, which I do believe could be a boon to screenwriters trying to break in, and thanks for making yourself so available to answer questions.

    My questions relate to the coverage. If your system is to succeed in identifying the most promising screenplays, the coverage needs to be of very high quality. But this may be difficult to provide, given the volume you could be dealing with.

    For example, I heard that 3777 writers signed on yesterday. Let's round up to 4000 to make the math easier. I'm sure you'll have 4000 in no time, if you don't already. Assuming it takes 2 hours to cover a script (and this is very fast, presuming the reader reads the entire script), you need 8000 hours to cover 4000 scripts that have purchased coverage. With one reader, that would take 4 years (40 hrs/wk times 52 wks/yr = 2080 working hrs in the year). With a hundred readers, it could be done in 2 weeks (80 hrs).

    Making the big assumption that my math is right, I have the following questions regarding the readers who will be providing your paid coverage:

    - Will they be required to read the entire script?

    - What will the ratings/coverage form consist of/look like (I know others have asked this as well)?

    - Are the readers salaried employees or unpaid interns?

    - Do you have a large enough pool of readers at this point to handle the initial volume of scripts in a timely fashion (say, to deliver coverage in one month's time, considering the writer has to pay $25 for every month's delay)? By my calculation, the pool of readers must be at least 50 to make this happen with 4000 scripts.

    - Will readers be required to have at least several years of experience, or to be tested on their ability to competently evaluate a screenplay?

    Since so much depends on the rating given to submitted scripts, it would go a long way if you could reassure writers that scripts will be evaluated in their entirety by truly professional eyes.

    Thank you!

    Leave a comment:


  • itsallgood
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by figment View Post
    So I just went on the website and "registering" involves listing your educational background, what state you live in, twitter and facebook accounts -- which I assume will all be used as contact info.

    The only problem is that I see this being a huge, huge disadvantage for writers who are not based in California. Or who aren't hugely into social media. Or who didn't go to film school, or anywhere remotely ivy league, or college at all.

    It seems like any one of those things can equal being dismissed immediately in the minds of a potential reader -- readers that would've otherwise liked the script and considered it a viable project for their company. This writer isn't in L.A? Why bother? He doesn't have a facebook/twitter account? He's out of the loop, why bother? Etc...

    Thoughts on this?
    I would love to be able to see this type of info on the readers. They pay nothing to get this info, and we the writers pay, so doesn't it seem reasonable that we should see what credentials the *reader* has, and choose who evaluates our scripts? That would be a benefit to writers. Yes writers stand to benefit greatly from this model but so do readers so why not require some info on them.

    Also, I know some "repped writers" who stumbled onto their representation making cold calls with a pitch. They know absolutely nothing about screenwriting. They came to me to help them write a feature, and I helped them map out a synopsis and lo and behold never heard from them again. I just wouldn't want anyone with an IMDb producer's credit to be able to read my script. Can we choose who gets to read it like on inktip? I guess what I'm also asking is how do you define a "repped writer"?

    I do like the idea overall

    Leave a comment:


  • cap7
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by figment View Post
    It seems like any one of those things can equal being dismissed immediately in the minds of a potential reader -- readers that would've otherwise liked the script and considered it a viable project for their company. This writer isn't in L.A? Why bother?
    I don't think it matters to the producers. Agents and managers, sure, because I would imagine it's tough to represent someone who can't take any meetings, because he/she lives in Wisconsin. But if production company wants to buy something they will buy it. Material doesn't have a zip code. Or at least that's what multiple people with experience in the business would let me believe.

    Leave a comment:

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