Nicholl 2009

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  • mcamp
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Originally posted by Sinnycal View Post
    Greg, what steps do you take to ensure that all readers have reasonable access to a fireplace? I feel that scripts read on a big comfy couch next to a cozy fireplace in a cabin in the woods have a distinct advantage over scripts read on the crapper or while driving.
    "on the crapper"... Ha!!! you're killing me sinny

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  • Ralphy W
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Don't forget the bottle of 18 year old Glenmorangie.

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  • Sinnycal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Greg, what steps do you take to ensure that all readers have reasonable access to a fireplace? I feel that scripts read on a big comfy couch next to a cozy fireplace in a cabin in the woods have a distinct advantage over scripts read on the crapper or while driving.

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  • mcamp
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    it never ceases to amaze me how some of these post can go from informative and fun to just plain idiotic in such a short peiod of time.

    For my part, I would rather read electronic copy. Things change, and we can either change with them or be buried by them.

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  • Leech
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    33 pages... and it's not late July/early August yet.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    I think the real thing that we're talking about is a trend. The trend is to save on space and handling of screenplays. It is much easier to handle a PDF than a physical screenplay.

    It is my opinion that there are some tangible differences to reading a hard copy and reading a PDF. And yes, I used to be a script reader for several companies in LA, though I admit I'm on the "older" side. Whatever that means.

    The idea for us screenwriters is to adapt to a changing environment. If it's PDF's they want, it's PDF's they are going to get. We just need to make the read a pleasant one.


    I'm sure Nicholl will do a great job of judging the screenplays they have. They are the most professional competition/fellowship out there. Greg has clarified the concerns of those of you who were concerned. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the results.

    Best of luck to every and all of you.

    Best Wishes,

    Ken

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  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Originally posted by wildswan View Post
    Greg was very candid in admitting that, when given the choice, the majority of his judges chose to read paper copies of the scripts. There's a reason for this, folks. And when he hires one of you geniuses to judge for him, as he hired this woman I met, then maybe you'll understand her point of view. And mine. And the opinion of at least a dozen other readers I know -- none of whom would choose to read scripts online if given the option.

    Me, I'd rather spring for the postage and submit a hard copy of my script next year since, according to Greg's last post, at least the first round judge will have the opportunity to read it that way. (I can almost hear the sigh of gratitude now.)
    I did not say that most judges chose paper.

    I said Academy members reading only in the semifinal round mostly chose paper in 2008.

    In the first round this year I gave every reader the opportunity to choose paper. The overwhelming majority are reading PDFs.

    I also said nothing about how we would be dealing with scripts in 2010.

    While this hasn't been decided, we may follow the lead of other competitions and go 100% paperless next year. Even if we decide to allow paper entries, I suspect the relatively few paper entries will be scanned, and all scripts will be read as PDFs in the first and quarterfinal rounds in 2010.

    Having a better half who was formerly a development assistant and then an exec prior to becoming a freelance reader for a number of significant companies, I can tell you that many companies routinely distribute PDFs to readers. Some even scan hard-copy books and distribute those electronically. Perhaps her 20 years of experience in the industry gives her a broader perspective.

    When the larger format Kindle arrives in a few months with the ability to read PDFS, I suspect script reading will become increasingly electronic across the industry.

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  • lordmanji
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    i think some of the more boutique sized agents/mgrs want hc's still to save on printing costs.

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  • wildswan
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    This particular judge is just shy of 30, so yeah, she's pretty old.

    And you're also right that almost nobody sends hard copies around anymore. But I think a lot of companies still print out scripts for their readers to evaluate. At least, mine do.

    Hey, no tempest here. I'm not upset. Like everyone, I have my own opinions and experience with the biz, and I just wanted to know how things work over at the Nicholl so I can give myself the best possible shot in the future. You guys don't have to agree with me. Y'all like to read online? That's cool.
    Last edited by wildswan; 05-12-2009, 01:01 PM.

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  • cyberian exile
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    This all seems like such a tempest in a teapot.

    Hey, I can't speak for Nicholl readers, but I've got to think that anyone who has any issue reading pdfs would have to be on the older side. Hollywood's been going more and more digital for years.

    My reps have only EVER wanted pdfs from me, and as far as I know, they have only ever submitted my scripts to producers in pdf form.

    I didn't even realize anyone still sent hard copies around, aside from slush pile stuff....

    (and CAA, because they like to be pretentious by using "messengers")



    Now you've got me curious which companies are still old school....

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  • wildswan
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Originally posted by trapped in france View Post
    PDF, hard copy, skywriting - who cares? It's what you wrote that counts - not the format it's read on. You could read a screenplay on a chalkboard - if it's good, you're not going to notice the chalkboard!
    "you're not going to notice the chalkboard!"?

    You couldn't be more wrong. You've obviously never worked as a professional script reader, or you'd never say something like this.

    For the past year and a half I've been working as a freelance reader for one of the major agencies and two different production companies here in town. I slog through an average of three, sometimes four scripts a day. I try to do a good job evaluating this stuff, although honestly, most of it is dreck. Once in a while I find a great script, which makes it all worthwhile.

    As I read, I dog-ear pages, write notes in the margin if allowed by the company, or attach post-its with my scribbled notes if not. I often flip back and forth within the script to check information. I couldn't possibly do my job well if I had to do it off a computer screen. I've discussed this issue with many of my fellow readers, and I have yet to meet someone who doesn't find it infinitely easier and far preferable to evaluate paper copies of scripts. Luckily, the companies I work for always print out hard copies of the scripts for us to review.

    Greg was very candid in admitting that, when given the choice, the majority of his judges chose to read paper copies of the scripts. There's a reason for this, folks. And when he hires one of you geniuses to judge for him, as he hired this woman I met, then maybe you'll understand her point of view. And mine. And the opinion of at least a dozen other readers I know -- none of whom would choose to read scripts online if given the option.

    Look, it's one thing if you're scanning through one or two screenplays every week for your own edification and enjoyment. Sure, you can do that off a computer screen. No problem. But it's another thing altogether if you're expected to read three or four scripts every single day and give them a good and fair evaluation. Try it sometime, and then PM me and tell me how much fun it was. Who knows? Maybe you'll love it. If so, bully for you! Send Greg your resume.

    Me, I'd rather spring for the postage and submit a hard copy of my script next year since, according to Greg's last post, at least the first round judge will have the opportunity to read it that way. (I can almost hear the sigh of gratitude now.)

    You all can do what you like.

    Thanks very much for the clarification, Greg.
    Last edited by wildswan; 05-12-2009, 08:45 AM.

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  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Perhaps it's the late hours some of us keep when browsing the Web, but reading comprehension doesn't always seem to be at its best. At least as evidenced by some of the posts in this thread. Let me try to be as clear as possible:

    During the first round of the 2009 Nicholl competition, I expect that all paper copies will be read in that form. I also expect that all PDF entries will be read in that form.

    We will not scan over a thousand scripts nor will we print 5000 scripts. Either task would take up too much time and energy.

    When scripts reach the quarterfinal round, the paper scripts that advance will be scanned. Unless something changes between now and then, all scripts in the quarterfinal round will be read as PDFs.

    I did not consider that there would be any expectation of our printing PDF entries. It is 2009, after all. On the few occasions (at least once in this forum, I believe) that the question was asked, I have always responded that we would not be printing PDF entries.

    Returning to 2008 for a moment, with only a single exception, I believe that every Nicholl reader judged at least several PDF scripts during the first round (remember there were 139 PDF entries). All scripts that reached the quarterfinal round were scanned. Both paper and PDF versions of scripts were read during that round.

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  • trapped in france
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    To everyone who is freaking out about this -

    PDF, hard copy, skywriting - who cares? It's what you wrote that counts - not the format it's read on. You could read a screenplay on a chalkboard - if it's good, you're not going to notice the chalkboard!

    Stop looking for excuses and please stop whining. Just be happy that you have knowledgeable people looking at your work.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    I guess I was one of the knuckleheads that submitted a paper script (actually three paper scripts) this year.



    But reading all of this, I am thinking that next year, I will also send a disk with copies of the screenplays on PDF as well, and say, take your pick! Though I don't want to cause extra work for anyone.


    I will say though, that this is really presenting a problem for me. I've always had a philosophy that a hard copy was far superior to a PDF.

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  • TheKeenGuy
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2009

    Originally posted by wildswan View Post
    Or, wait... Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying, Greg. I apologize. But if we submit hard copies of our scripts, will the judges have the opportunity to read them that way? Or will you just scan our submissions and the judges will end up reading them online no matter what?
    What he said is that by the quarterfinals, the scan the hard copies and give readers the choice with those scripts of hard copy or PDF.

    I submitted online this year, and it never occurred to me that they would possibly print the script out for a reader rather than simply provide the reader with a PDF.

    If readers really feel that they cannot properly evaluate a script unless they read a hard copy, I don't think that is the responsibility of the Nicholl competition.

    The readers always have the option of printing it out at their own expense.

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