Bluecat feedback?



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  • #61
    Re: Bluecat feedback?

    Originally posted by Jake Schuster View Post
    Using it as a sample means that if someone wants to see an example of your work, it's always good to send them something that received some praise elsewhere and that's truly representative of my style and my voice. For me, this is my most original and, I think, best-written screenplay. I've done things with a writing partner and another writing team that I think are equally as good, but represent the effort of more than just myself.

    As for using any quotes from it in a query letter, I'd steer away from that. It's just coverage, really, by an anonymous source, and an exec would ignore it.

    SC: I paid full price as well. A few years earlier I'd submitted the same script to AAA, Page and Nicholl, and placed very well in the first two (semifinalling in both), and moderately so in Nicholl (quarterfinalist), and thought I'd give BlueCat a shot. La Femme, as you know, had worked for Gordy, and I was curious to see if I could get some decent coverage and perhaps, if I lucked out, a chance to have Gordy's brother look at the script as a possible vehicle for himself, as even a cursory reading would show him to be perfect for the role. I got the first, but not the second.

    Gordy did send an email many months later asking for feedback on the contest, and of course I had every reason to be pleased with my coverage.

    But my attorney took it upon himself to send the same script to Phoenix Pictures a few years before that--a first-rate company, as you know--and though the script had been sent up to development for a second and third look (and eventually a pass), the coverage was ill-written and ignorant of some of what I'd written. So you never know.

    This is the script that got me all kinds of meetings when it went out wide in 2003, but because it dealt peripherally with the Iraq War (more precisely with the looting of the museum there), execs were nervous about it.
    Thanks, Jake, for the explanation. I hope you get that screenplay produced!
    If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. - J.C.


    • #62
      Re: Bluecat feedback?

      Okay, I'll play again...

      When I entered in 2006, I was in a down phase of my fledgling writing career. I more or less exhausted a set of fresh eyes for my script. And my roommate made me enter a few contests just so that I have some things to look forward to.

      I entered Bluecat at the time because a friend of mine became a finalist the previous year. He got notes. He got a stage reading of his script. All that was pretty cool. And it was $30. I figured for $30, it'd be worth it just to get the notes. I mean, even if it's bad, $30 isn't too much money.

      Then I forgot about the contest. I promptly entered one more contest that my roommate made me do. I didn't want to until she threatened to pay my entry fee. So fine, I did.

      Then I entered the Nicholl as well because that's what you are supposed to do right? LOL.

      Anyway, I won the two contests my roommate forced me to try. I didn't advance in the Nicholl. I got the Bluecat feedback a few weeks after they announced the semi-finalists.

      Back then, I think they only announce 15 people who advance. Then it's down to 5. Then a winner. Anyway, I won. I addressed all the issues of the feedback (I think) but incorporated none of the suggestions. Overall, I think the feedback I got was good... Not because I won or because the feedback itself was stellar but because the reader was engaged in the story. And I think that was very evident in the feedback I received.

      A lot of people have PM'd me or emailed me in the past two years saying that they got glowing reviews and were baffled that they didn't advance or win. I think you can't always take the notes at face value. I tend to have more notes and suggestions on scripts that I love than stories that I don't care for. Sometimes I read a script and I don't have a single bad thing to say about it. That doesn't mean the script was any good. I just wasn't engaged by it.

      So don't be misled by glowing reviews. And don't be down by criticism. Just use both to make your script better.


      • #63
        Re: Bluecat feedback?

        Originally posted by dwest View Post

        One question regarding these posts. Are you guys getting your notes before the judging? That seems weird.

        That's another point. I don't recall when in the process I got my notes, but the following year I do recall a lot of people not getting their notes at all and having to nag the contest for them for quite some time after a winner was announced.

        I suspect in my case it had a lot to do with my late entry just a few days beofre deadline. At that time, they were advertising on craigslist for readers close to the deadline. Perhaps they were overwhelmed with scripts and had to take what readers they could get.

        It's still no excuse. If they can't provide a standard quality of notes they shouldn't offer notes at all.
        Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-


        • #64
          Re: Bluecat feedback?

          I received my notes within a month of the announced awards.


          • #65
            Re: Bluecat feedback?

            Wow, this really isn't my morning. I just wrote this long post, hit submit, and it says "I'm not logged in"... I'll try to be faster this time. Ham, I want to thank you for coming to play!!! Seriously, this is a great, supportive board, and your level headed remarks about the Bluecat feedback kept me from deleting my whole script! Ha

            I got my feedback THIS MORNING! I usually read the "What Needs Work" part first, but I made myself start with the good stuff, especially as I saw lots more writing on the bad stuff. Anyway, my reader was great, and really, really seemed to get my story and all it's nuances. Very complimentary and seemed engaged by my characters, my small town, the symbolism, etc. Well.....then I got to the bad part. Very detailed, very long, but the reader seemed sincere and I got the feeling she/he had invested a lot of time and emotion. The problem, of course, is I have no time to redo this by tomorrow! The changes, suggestions, were huge and involved.

            Ham, when you say you "addressed" the feedback but didn't "incorporate" their suggestions....are you telling me you didn't change anything?

            It's too late for me to do that now anyway, and I feel kind of discouraged because this is the same script I sent to Nicholl...

            Anyway, thanks for posting Ham, and coming to play!

            Hitting submit now! Hope it works.