The New Black List

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  • Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by FoxHound View Post
    If this were true, then why do agents reject 95% of the scripts they request off a cold query?

    A good logline = a good script? Only 5% of the time.
    I wasn't suggesting a good logline = a good script. I was suggesting that a bad logline probably equals a bad script. If a writer can't handle one or two sentences, why would you request 120 odd pages of their work? If "95%" of requested screenplays are rejected, do you think the number of rejections would increase or decrease if every queried screenplay was requested and read? Assuming that we've discovered time travel and reading every script has suddenly become fiscally possible.

    Originally posted by cshel View Post
    Ham's experience with one of his scripts, that he shared earlier in this thread, is one good example that this isn't necessarily always the case.
    If I'm understanding right, the junior manager that found his logline felt it was promising. So it's safe to say that Ham wrote a good logline. Thankfully he also had a bit of luck on his side. But look, of course I realize there are exceptions. I'm sure there are probably brilliantly executed scripts out there with concepts that are hard to condense. I wasn't suggesting that the logline was infallible. I just think it makes way more sense than agents and managers blindly reading every screenplay sent to them.
    Ring-a-ding-ding, baby.

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    • Re: The New Black List

      Originally posted by FoxHound View Post
      So what you're saying is that the only chance I'll ever get for a read is if some immigrant Serbian rookie manager at Benderspink named Djokovic rummages through his boss's trash?

      -- I am so screwed.
      Actually, first you have to have that amazing script that everyone wants to read. Hamboogul's script has papered the entire town at this point, and the potential for it to do that was the reason that rookie manager got so excited about it.

      If you've got that amazing script...

      Very few managers read queries. Just about every time you get a read in the query game, there's a bit of luck involved. Most reps have a strong enough clientele that they're not actively looking. They put most of their time into selling what they already have, rather than looking for new material to sell. When they are looking, they've often got an ocean of strong referrals made by people they trust. My manager actually does read queries, but he only requests one script per week -- if that. Considering how many queries he gets...

      There are a few things you can do to increase your chances. Keep your query lean, have an amazing logline. Query enough (reputable) managers, and you will probably get a hit or two. Sometimes it's a hungry junior who takes a chance on you, and sometimes it's because you happened to e-mail the manager at the exact moment they opened their inbox. Just keep at it.

      I landed my manager with a query. Every success I've had has stemmed from that one e-mail. Granted, that was the second e-mail I sent him. In two weeks. Because he never responded to the first one. I switched out the subject line, changed up the query a bit, and went for round two. And then, when he read the script and showed some interest, I hounded him for a meeting. When I finally got it, he signed me on the spot.

      Be aggressive, and keep at it.

      Staying on topic, I think the New Blacklist will probably work in a similar fashion. Again, most reps already have a strong client list and a ton of referrals. Any time you get a read from this service, a little luck will probably be necessary. Maybe that rep or producer just happens to be procrastinating in the five minutes before a phone call or a meeting, and your logline catches their eye. Of course, here, the quality of the script is even MORE important than in the query game, since your script will be reviewed and rated. If you do have a fantastic script, and you're not getting reads elsewhere, the New Blacklist is probably worth a shot (as are the Nicholl, TrackingB, etc).
      Last edited by Knaight; 10-18-2012, 04:40 AM.
      QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

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      • Re: The New Black List

        Originally posted by Knaight View Post


        I landed my manager with a query. Every success I've had has stemmed from that one e-mail. Granted, that was the second e-mail I sent him. In two weeks. Because he never responded to the first one. I switched out the subject line, changed up the query a bit, and went for round two. And then, when he read the script and showed some interest, I hounded him for a meeting. When I finally got it, he signed me on the spot.

        Be aggressive, and keep at it.
        Nice work Knaight. And good advice.
        http://www.funminecraftservers.com/

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        • Re: The New Black List

          Originally posted by mgwriter View Post

          The reason it's so difficult for aspiring writers to break through is not because there is a lack of avenues. The reason it is so difficult is because the overwhelming majority of scripts sent in are not BOTH well written and highly marketable. The few that are will get through the normal channels. The scripts that are well written but not marketable may get writers looked at as well.

          Blacklist 3.0 is not going to change the fact that most scripts are not ready for prime time. If people are not responding to a writer's script or query, it's probably not because it just needs to be listed in the right place. It's probably because the concept is not very compelling and/or script not written well enough.

          BL 3.0 will only help those writers who probably don't need the help in the first place. Everyone else will remain in the same boat with a few less dollars in their pockets. However, if it takes spending $75-$150 to learn a lesson about why a script isn't getting through, then I guess it's money well spent.
          I think I'm with you on this mgwriter. I've been slogging away for the last couple of years, working, working, working at writing pages and understanding how screenplays are written.

          I've put in the hours and now, finally, that work is starting to pay dividends, with a few read requests and a fairly reasonable placement in this year's Page awards (semi-finalist). I've a long way to go but I'm patient and have a plan.

          I feel that many writers will see the New Black List as their short-cut into Hollywood and all they have to do is throw a first draft up and wait for the calls to come in, whilst throwing their hard-earned into a black hole.

          Good scripts will get seen. I think that's the hard truth that many screenwriters don't want to face up to. If their script is good and they send it out into the big bad world, it will get noticed.

          But many scripts are bad (I've written plenty of them myself ) and it's hard to get someone who has worked so hard to put the words onto the page to understand that their script is not up to par.

          I would guess that the majority of scripts floating around out there (especially by un-repped writers) are not up to scratch. Writing a fantastic script is a bloody hard thing to do and takes a lot of time and commitment.

          I have no doubt that the New Black List's heart is in the right place. But I wonder how much money will be wasted by writers who are simply not ready to have their scripts posted in such an arena.
          http://www.funminecraftservers.com/

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          • Re: The New Black List

            Never in my short career have I had to put together a logline to get someone a script. My reps normally do my loglines. And if I put one together it's not great. BDZ is right f*ck loglines -- a great script is all that matters.

            I've read lots of great loglines and then the script sucks.

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            • Re: The New Black List

              Originally posted by Deion22 View Post
              Never in my short career have I had to put together a logline to get someone a script. My reps normally do my loglines. And if I put one together it's not great. BDZ is right f*ck loglines -- a great script is all that matters.

              I've read lots of great loglines and then the script sucks.
              I feel the opposite. I craft the logline because I want to have full control over my script and how it's presented.

              But the logline that my reps use the most is--

              "Per our convo, see attached."

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              • Re: The New Black List

                If you have a good script, the logline can really screw you over. If you have a bad script, it can really help you out.

                In the ideal world, good script = good logline and bad script = bad logline. In the real world, it's probably all over the place and a million inbetweens.

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                • Re: The New Black List

                  Originally posted by Deion22 View Post
                  Never in my short career have I had to put together a logline to get someone a script. My reps normally do my loglines. And if I put one together it's not great. BDZ is right f*ck loglines -- a great script is all that matters.

                  I've read lots of great loglines and then the script sucks.
                  Agree. And my script is just the opposite.

                  It has a horrible logline, as Lowell pointed out. My logline sounds like a bad Scooby Doo episode, and if I posted in on the Black List site would get ignored. It won only 11 of 28 premise wars on Amazon. It got virtually no hits on Inktip.

                  Carson Eads wouldn't review it for his Amateur Friday.

                  No one read the thing. Except for some Nicholl judges who then voted it into the Quarter finals two of the last three years, the top twenty per cent last year, and top 15% three years previously. They had to read it though.

                  It's hard to blame people in the industry though. They're inundated with requests by people who can craft a logline selling more often than not snake oil. Glossy, shiny loglines like ads on Craigslist selling cars which end up being lemons.

                  Great scripts should be the only thing that matters.

                  Of course when there are only so many movies studios can make each year, with such a disproportionate number of people trying to write them, they can pick and choose as they please.

                  And in a business where connections mean so much, those vetted individuals will scarf up most of the jobs, because new scares. Unknown entities bring with them the possibility of failure and collateral damage, exposing any individual associated with that writers advocacy as a co- conspirator in a case of fraud.

                  But even if the script turns out to be good, that's also a bad case scenario for people in the business trying to get their own works into production. So with new writers comes the threat of competition, or the possibility of exposure as an outsider. Harvey Weinstein was powerful enough to survive his unwarranted advocacy of Troy Duffy.

                  Tom Hanks is powerful enough to weather his advocacy of Nia Vardalos when she writes a Larry Crowne.

                  Low level agents and mail screeners don't have that luxury.

                  Tyler Marcecca, Nia Vardalos, Oren Peli, didn't break in based on a logline.

                  Susan Boyle didn't break into singing based on her looks. She broke in based on her talent.

                  But would she have had the chance were it not for an open competition. No.

                  If they based her audition on her looks alone, she wouldn't get to sing in front of Simon Cowell.

                  There's a lot of scripts that don't have the appearance of promise based on the logline that are being ignored I think. And it does the industry a great disservice to use loglines as the factor which gets them in the door.

                  I don't think this Black List service takes into account the Susan Boyle scripts floating around out there.
                  Last edited by halloweenjak; 10-18-2012, 09:10 AM.

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                  • Re: The New Black List

                    Originally posted by halloweenjak View Post

                    Susan Boyle didn't break into singing based on her looks.
                    Yet I'd **** her just because she's famous.
                    It's the eye of the Tiger, it's the thrill of the fight

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                    • Re: The New Black List

                      Originally posted by Hamboogul View Post
                      "Per our convo, see attached."
                      Hey, that's my logline! I's been robbed! See you in court.

                      Comment


                      • Re: The New Black List

                        Originally posted by halloweenjak View Post
                        I don't think this Black List service takes into account the Susan Boyle scripts floating around out there.
                        Prossibly not, but then that's what the various competitions are for. A brilliant script will place. In the meantime...

                        There's a ton of people who are stuck with having to concoct log lines simply because there aren't enough high-profile competitions in order to discover these SuBo scripts. People are mailing reps with loglines in the hope of getting a read.

                        This new Black List seems to be working on the same principal. The difference is industry folk are checking in to read these logs instead of having them appear in their inbox, coupled with the fact that the scripts WILL be covered, meaning the quality of the script has been assessed, as opposed to just the logline.

                        In the end, it'll all still rely on how good the script is. A SuBo script will rise...
                        @MacBullitt

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                        • Re: The New Black List

                          Originally posted by Twofingeredtypist View Post
                          Prossibly not, but then that's what the various competitions are for. A brilliant script will place. In the meantime...

                          There's a ton of people who are stuck with having to concoct log lines simply because there aren't enough high-profile competitions in order to discover these SuBo scripts. People are mailing reps with loglines in the hope of getting a read.

                          This new Black List seems to be working on the same principal. The difference is industry folk are checking in to read these logs instead of having them appear in their inbox, coupled with the fact that the scripts WILL be covered, meaning the quality of the script has been assessed, as opposed to just the logline.

                          In the end, it'll all still rely on how good the script is. A SuBo script will rise...
                          lol.

                          I love the term "SuBo script".

                          At fifty bucks a pop, one would only hope that first reader doesn't have a tin ear.

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                          • Re: The New Black List

                            Originally posted by halloweenjak View Post
                            lol.

                            I love the term "SuBo script".

                            At fifty bucks a pop, one would only hope that first reader doesn't have a tin ear.
                            @MacBullitt

                            Comment


                            • Re: The New Black List

                              Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                              It's an interesting idea. My guess is that most people will just read scripts that get great coverage. I can't see busy CEs giving themselves homework by entering in their detailed reaction to scripts. But maybe...
                              It's just a one to ten rating, so it takes only a few seconds to rate scripts you've read on that scale. I rated about thirty last night in approximately an hour. So, it's easy for CEs to do. But, I agree that it requires a lot of people to buy into the idea and it remains to be seen if that happens.

                              Comment


                              • Re: The New Black List

                                Originally posted by stainjm View Post
                                Being a reader, can you recommend a way for us to get attention for our scripts? Is it just the logline, or are you looking at coverage, or... ? Is it in bad form to go out and find people that are on there and ask them to take a look?
                                Do you mean get attention for your script on the BL or elsewhere? If it's on the BL, then it's not something you can control, outside of getting a good rating from a reader or good ratings from people that have read your script. I don't know how many people will read scripts that have been uploaded based on seeing a logline. Some may, but very few, I think, it would be too much work. The whole idea of the site is that it actively pushes material to you.

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