The New Black List

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    Guinea Pig
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  • Guinea Pig
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Guinea Pig
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  • Guinea Pig
    replied
    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.

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  • Knaight
    replied
    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, 03:40 AM.

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  • NoirDigits
    Member

  • NoirDigits
    replied
    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.

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  • BattleDolphinZero
    Member

  • BattleDolphinZero
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by ATB View Post
    How is this a problem?
    If it is a problem, then it's a problem. Loglines are not scripts. Loglines suck. And good loglines are often lies. A well executed script means there is a talented writer. If there is a system that is slanted towards loglines, that is inverse of where the slant should be, no?

    I have no idea if this system is slanted towards loglines. I like that there are legit people involved and it's cheap.

    Leave a comment:

  • BattleDolphinZero
    Member

  • BattleDolphinZero
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Good loglines are almost impossible for me. I let MichaelB come up with mine.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    NoirDigits says, "A writer's ability (or inability) to craft a concise and intriguing logline is probably a good indicator of their overall talent.-

    -- This is true. If the logline is an overwritten, meandering, mess of confusion, then most likely anyone will believe the script is the same way and move on.

    I suggest for a writer to workshop his logline before he posts it -- and this being after you workshop your script.

    I believe with just the loglines being posted it's gonna be about the commercial aspect on deciding on whether or not to proceed and not the writing, so for a writer with a non-commercial concept, or a low concept looking for an agent or manager they're gonna need help by way of getting solid coverage on their script in order to get attention.

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  • FoxHound
    Member

  • FoxHound
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Hamboogul View Post
    A Wednesday query email to a manager who NEVER reads query emails. But that week, the manager agreed to promote his assistant to junior manager. And feeling empowered, this not-yet-junior manager went through the trash bin of his boss's email box. And the not-yet-manager confessed that he noticed my query email because he's Korean and my name is Korean. And he requested the script because the logline felt promising.
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • cshel
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by NoirDigits View Post
    A writer's ability (or inability) to craft a concise and intriguing logline is probably a good indicator of their overall talent.
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • FoxHound
    Member

  • FoxHound
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by NoirDigits View Post
    A writer's ability (or inability) to craft a concise and intriguing logline is probably a good indicator of their overall talent.
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Rantanplan
    Member

  • Rantanplan
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Granted, I haven't been through the site. But who are the "industry pros" reading scripts with good coverage? Franklin said "repped writers" are considered "industry pros." No offense, but they are absolutely not. Just hanging out on DD you realize there are tons of writers who've had reps for years and who still haven't made a sale or a living buck off writing. They are not pros. They are one step ahead in the game, but still aspiring scribes. Why should a writer give a sh!t if those guys are reading their scripts? Might as well post on Scriptshadow and have every yahoo out there give an opinion on your work. No thanks!

    The way I see it, you CAN get reads off queries. Most of us had. But if only going by Hamboog's example, there are still tons of reps or prodcos that will absolutely never look at a cold query --they are automatic deletes, and that is just a fact. So there are services that make access more feasible, and I think that's a good thing. But reading this thread, I'm a little unsure as to who is actually reading scripts, and I don't like that. Personally, when it comes to this kind of service, my vote goes to VirtualPitchFest (disclaimer: the only such service I've ever used). Yeah it's only one person at a time, but you know who you're querying and you're guaranteed a response. Many people are inaccessible via query but accessible via VPF.

    Personally, my experience is that I've gotten a lot of reads through good old fashioned free querying, but that there are production companies with very strict policies, and those are the ones I choose to query through VPF. Obviously nobody can afford to pay 10 bucks for every single query, but using that as an extremely targeted, second solution, when querying has failed, has, in my experience, shown results. And the best thing is, the writer remains in control of who is reading the script. If the DOD of a big company requests the script, then well, I know who has it. Even though he/she might give it to an assistant to read.

    It's an interesting approach, this one, but time will tell. People already have many reservations about it, and my main one is, who is reading these scripts. Overall, I see too much emphasis on mathematical formulas than on actual real influential people reading scripts.
    Rantanplan
    Member
    Last edited by Rantanplan; 10-17-2012, 07:07 PM.

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  • Jules
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Geoff Alexander View Post

    At least that's how it seems to work. I started rating scripts and I can see it starting to dial in the prediction on how I will rate i the future. Pretty interesting.
    What are you rating though? scripts you've already read, like stuff on the black list (the actual list) and based on that it's giving you recommends with new stuff that matches that in some way?

    Like if you liked a couple of ninja scripts, it's telling you about ninja scripts all of a sudden?

    I don't understand how it can be operating when it seems to have so little information at present on a script other than its genre, or are readers building a database of keywords relating to the scripts like they do on inktip?

    I think Franklin should let writers see what readers are seeing from their side.

    There's still a lot more that needs to be answered about this service.

    Leave a comment:


  • stainjm
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
    Because the writers' targets, i.e., buyers/reps create a profile within the system that includes their preferences and taste as interpreted by ranking a minimum of 50 scripts and thereby generating matches. The system takes that profile and then finds scripts which match in terms of genre, ratings, etc.. So, the reads aren't being generated by someone seeing your logline, as they would in traditional queries, they are generated by the system matching your script to people who have already expressed an interest in its qualities.

    The theory seems to be that, as users add data into the system about their own taste, the system gets really good at predicting if you will like a script or not, and then actively pings the user with specific recommendations.

    At least that's how it seems to work. I started rating scripts and I can see it starting to dial in the prediction on how I will rate i the future. Pretty interesting.
    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?

    Leave a comment:

  • NoirDigits
    Member

  • NoirDigits
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    Originally posted by Rhodi View Post
    You don't agree? Surely you'd rather the merits of your screenplays assessed on the basis of the script itself, rather than what you're able to cram into a one or two sentence logline?
    A writer's ability (or inability) to craft a concise and intriguing logline is probably a good indicator of their overall talent.

    Leave a comment:

  • CColoredClown
    Member

  • CColoredClown
    replied
    Re: The New Black List

    I've uploaded a script and have read other's loglines, but from what I've seen, I do not have ability to download those scripts, so I'm not sure if that would count as a "view."

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