Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

    Criminal fraud and deception.


    We bemoan the fact writers get no respect in the industry, and here those who 'champion the writer' are the first to sell the scribes out.


    Et Tu, Julie?

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

      Julie, Margaux, you all really need to rein in your defenders. Zazz and the others attack your critics by saying they're bitter wannabees who can't handle criticism.

      In fact, many of the critics are successful pros with solid track records and good reputations. Anyone can see this, because the information is easy to check.

      There's more than ample evidence that the majority of board members pay a lot of attention to loglines, to grabbing the reader with the first few pages, to telling great stories, and to eliminating errors in format and presentation.So attacking board members on this score is nuts.

      When someone in your camp says, "You're just hating because you can't write and you've never done anything in the industry," it makes all of you seem delusional.

      By all means, head over to Martell's blog, and learn something about damage control.
      If you really like it you can have the rights
      It could make a million for you overnight

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

        I'm inclined to give Julie and Margaux the benefit of the doubt. Almost definitely, they really do want to help others succeed. Unfortunately, in this case, they fell prey to the very thing that I imagine hurts most screenwriting contests -- a lack of time.

        This isn't a photo, painting, essay, or even a short story contest. It's a screenwriting contest where the entries are 110 pages long. Busy people already working in the industry just don't have time to properly execute a contest like this. So they cut corners, and something that was at least partially created to help screenwriters has suddenly become shady.

        I'm convinced this is why so few screenwriting contests are reputable. Most people just don't have the time to run one the right way.

        The general consensus is right -- the damage has been done to this contest. I think it'd be in Julie's and Margaux's best interests to make this the last year and focus their energy on helping writers in other ways. Ways that don't charge writers $50 to read a cover page.

        As far as Zazzo goes...

        Still excited to hear that exchange with Jeff.
        QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

          Originally posted by Knaight View Post
          Busy people already working in the industry just don't have time to properly execute a contest like this. So they cut corners, and something that was at least partially created to help screenwriters has suddenly become shady.
          What industry do you mean? The script guru industry?
          "I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.- - Don Draper

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

            I remember the post by Julie two years ago (see below). In fact when I read Margaux’s post, I immediately remembered what Julie had written and how it cast her in in a such poor light (in my eyes at least). Her post read fine at first, but once she got down to this: "It's so easy to hit "do not advance." It only takes a page or three before I do it. And when you do that a lot, you whiz through scripts." her integrity was called into question. It's obvious that this is the real internal policy by which they run their contest and as somebody else mentioned here, their posts sound like a couple teens who don't realize their diary is open.

            I don't bemoan any qualified studio reader who makes the transition to become a mentor and run a contest at the same time. We all need ways to make a living and I don't doubt that Julie and Margaux love writing, and writers for that matter-- in fact, I'm sure the winning script will be a great one. I also know that they can and have given quality feedback on individual scripts when they're paid to do so and I know full well that a contest is not the forum for coverage and feedback and should not be expected to be that.

            But this toxic contest judging attitude stinks of everything that is wrong with competitions run by wannabe writer DGirls or who treat this profession like it's their homecoming balloting process and not people's lives and dreams. All of their incredibly long posts waxing on about their deft ability identify great writers and story now just boils down to "OMG, I totally hate this script. Wanna get a nonfat soy latte instead of doing all this lame reading?"

            Theirs will not be a service I use, or refer anybody to again.

            This may be a competition, but you are being paid for a service, and reading only three pages does not do right by the gentle artists who are brave enough to trust their work in your hands. Professional integrity should not be reserved for only those who pay for detailed coverage.

            You have work to do. And I don't mean judging (and actually reading) scripts, I'd suggest digging deep about why you do this for a living. Maybe changing your high attitude towards those you profess to be helping would be a good first step.

            .............

            Originally Posted by La Femme Joyeuse

            SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 2008

            Succeed at Failing the Quik n Easy Way!

            So at The Script Department, we're still judging scripts for the Silver Screenwriting Competition. Also for the Nevada Film Commission - betcha didn't they had one of those, didja? Well, we are. Several of us are reading. For a few weeks now. And it will continue. It has been an interesting experience; I want every writer to advance in this competition. But alas, not all can. With one keystroke, I can put the writer one step closer to success - or one step backward toward frustration. Heavy weighs the crown. I am the decider.

            But to be perfectly frank, as I lie on my couch with my laptop on my lap judging scripts on this lazy Sunday afternoon, I'm thinking two things: 1) I'd rather be doing something else and 2) I'm getting sleepy. But some writers, bless their hearts, are making it really easy and fast to judge their scripts. It's as if they know I'd rather be doing something else. It's as if they are literally greasing the tracks for me.

            Here are some track-greasing tips for a DO NOT ADVANCE checked box:

            1. Have a really weird, elliptical title that makes no sense
            2. Write really dense, detailed action lines and include some typos.
            3. Describe your characters in way too much detail, including personality traits.
            4. Do not use sluglines
            5. Make sure your script has no point in the first ten pages.
            6. Make sure the tone and genre are impossible to key in on in the first ten pages.
            7. Include a lot of typos and malaprops.
            8. Use a weird font and format that make your pages hard to read.
            9. Take your sweet time with set up; say it don't show it!
            10. Describe your characters in like one or two words. Tell me what they are thinking,
            don't show me through their actions.

            It's so easy to hit "do not advance". It only takes a page or three before I do it. And when you do that a lot, you whiz through scripts. It's the good scripts that give me pause. I want to just go, go, go but I can't - these pages - they are fascinating! What voice! What imagery! What a delightful, playful, engaging read! What an interesting concept! Man, you guys are slowing me WAY down. Didn't you read the list, above? Harumph.
            Last edited by wingnut; 07-07-2010, 11:11 AM.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

              Originally posted by callingit View Post
              Criminal fraud and deception.


              We bemoan the fact writers get no respect in the industry, and here those who 'champion the writer' are the first to sell the scribes out.


              Et Tu, Julie?
              I can't figure out how any of this possibly adds up to anything criminal, especially because I cannot find any evidence on the SilverScreenwriting webpage of promises not lived up to.

              The closest I can find is this, under the FAQ...

              Q: Who reads my script? Will I receive notes?

              Qualified industry readers will be evaluating your script. Each script entered will receive a ratings grid via email once its status is announced.


              The top ten finalists will be judged by Julie Gray and special guest judge Kristen Campo, CE, Fuse Entertainment.
              So long as a ratings grid is provided to every writer based on an evaluation of their script, SilverScreenwriting has fulfilled their obligation in that department.

              Knaight's assessment seems pretty spot-on to me, by the way. I just think that we should avoid making accusations of criminal wrongdoing.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                Nicholl may be the only major competition where readers are supposed to read the script cover-to-cover... and I don't know if that's even promised on the Nicholl website, but I'm pretty sure Greg Beal has stated that it's what he expects of readers, even though he can't stnd over every reader's shoulder to be certain.

                TrackingB, the other contest that seems to get the most praise from general contest detractors, has one round where they consult with an industry panel based on "concept/summary alone," and use that as a factor in choosing the finalists.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                  upon finer reading of julie's post, i see there's a first round cut and then there's a pre-quarterfinalist cut. so if im reading this right, the 20 of 75 initially low scoring scripts that margaux advanced were to the prequarterfinalist cut stage, upon which they were given an additional read along with all of the other prequarterfinalists. of the 20, i assume margaux's score and the third readers score were added. of the other preqfs, the first and second round readers. from these two piles, the top scoring scripts become quarterfinalists as announced on the web site. of margaux's twenty, any number could've made it through, maybe 0, maybe all. correct me if im wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                    I remember the post by Julie two years ago (see below). In fact when I read Margaux's post, I immediately remembered what Julie had written how it cast her in in a such poor light (in my eyes at least). Her post read fine at first, but once she got down to this: "It's so easy to hit "do not advance". It only takes a page or three before I do it" her integrity was called into question. It's obvious that this is the real internal policy by which they run their contest and as somebody else mentioned here, their posts sound like a couple teens who don't realize their diary is open.

                    I don't bemoan any qualified studio reader who makes the transition to become a mentor and run a contest at the same time. We all need ways to make a living and I don't doubt that Julie and Margaux love writing, and writers for that matter-- in fact, I'm sure the winning script will be a great one. I'm also know that they can and have given quality feedback on individual scripts when they're paid to do so and I know full well that a contest is not forum for coverage and feedback and should not be expected to be that.

                    But this toxic contest judging attitude stinks of everything that is wrong with competitions run by wannabe writer DGirls or who treat this profession like it's their homecoming balloting process and not people's lives and dreams. All of their incredibly long posts waxing on about their deft ability identify great writers and story now just boils down to "OMG, I totally hate this script. Wanna get a nonfat soy latte instead of doing all this lame reading?"

                    Theirs will not be a service I use, or refer anybody to again.

                    This may be a competition, but you are being paid for a service, and reading only three pages does not do right by the gentle artists who are brave enough to trust their work in your hands. Professional integrity should not be reserved for only those who pay for detailed coverage.

                    You have work to do. And I don't mean judging (and actually reading) scripts, I'd suggest digging deep about why you do this for a living. Maybe changing your high attitude towards those you profess to be helping would be a good first step. <<<

                    Well said. I want to add to this sentiment that, first, it is a very small town, and taking a high handed attitude can come back to bite you, and second, it is easy to think that you are far, far more important than you are because people are trying to get your attention with their work. It is easy to be dismissive of people, because the fact is, yes, there are some real oddballs out there, and in its most high school clique fashion, people in the business love to gossip and tear others down, because it makes them feel like they are on the inside. But it sucks. People put their blood sweat and tears into their work and if folks don't respect the work, the least they can do is respect the work that went in to it.

                    Quick little story. I was at a pitch fest a while back, and there was a young guy from TWC there, an assistant. Man, he thought he was just the ****. Young, good looking, working for a (at the time) respected company. A husband-wife writing team pitched to him and he was such a dick. So full of himself, sarcastic, dismissive. You just wanted to slug him in the face. Anyway, the day after the pitchfest my partner (then boss) called me up to ask if I had met this guy from TWC, and did I remember his name? I said, uh, yeah, why do you ask? Turns out these writers were friends of his and they mentioned over dinner how stunned they'd been by this guy's behavior. I confirmed that he had been a complete dick. My boss happened to be good friends with this guy's boss. He called her up to tell her that this guy was out in the world representing her and TWC badly and that if it were his assistant, he would want to know about it. She was pissed. I have no idea what happened to the guy. But, like I said, it's a small town.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                      I can't figure out how any of this possibly adds up to anything criminal,
                      not criminal in a legal sense but morally. so many people out there (oftentimes those who haven't really "made" it themselves) take advantage of the struggling wannabees who desperately try anything to break in like spending hundreds on contests, consulting fees, and query marketing, etc...

                      it's really depressing to know the truth.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                        The Disney/ABC Fellowship (used to include features, now just TV), organized by industry professionals whose entire job is running Disney's Talent & Diversity programs, do not read the entire script in the first round. Additionally, they hire outside readers to help with that round because there are so many scripts. Ultimately, a script does not get a guaranteed read cover-to-cover until the second round and even then may not be read by someone directly connected to the program (though I am unsure of that so if anyone knows better please correct me).

                        I am unsure what the issue with this whole debate has been as I thought a few things were understood. All contests don't read all pages of all scripts. Anyone who has spent any time reading amateur material understand some of it is glaringly bad. Margaux mentioned on her blog seeing treatments or pages of random dialogue. How long does it take to judge those as a script? How long does it take to rate that? Automatic fail. Also, readers are notorious for reading a few pages to get the gist of the entire script and decide whether it's worth the full read. I did this professionally all the time working at a TV studio. If I just picked a script out of the stack under my desk and started reading, I generally knew by the bottom of page 1 if I was going to finish it or put it back. The stack was at least three feet tall and there was maybe one script in there that I wouldn't be suicidal for showing my boss (just stupid). In a contests where the scripts stack at least thirty feet high (Disney's had 1600 submissions last year), finding the one winner is a lot easier than people think. A winner will have a great first ten pages. Every time. The losers don't and should get tossed anyway.

                        I've never entered the competition, but that's more because outside Nicholl/Sundance for features (Disney/WB for TV) I don't think any competition can get any legitimate attention to the winner. I don't know Julie but I do know Margaux personally. She was kind enough to give me notes on a script which I found very helpful. When she started her blog I was happy to show it around because she gives a lot of practical advice with no bullshit. When I read at the TV studio, I was a lot more excited about a script from an agency in Beverly Hills than one in the valley, so think about how reading a script from Des Moines colors perspective. She gave some helpful advice and ended up getting crucified by a bunch of people who've never met wrongfully attributing her attitude to quotes. She wasn't boasting about going through 75 scripts in 3 hours - in fact, knowing her, it would've been a boast if she had read just one script in that time - it was just that good, she had to keep reading and re-reading sections, calling her producer friend looking for a cheap script in the genre (hypothetically, I don't know her THAT well). Instead, what she meant was that fifty-five writers spent a lot of time and energy on something which wouldn't pass muster on the lowest of industry interns.

                        For everyone who's been piling onto Margaux, ignore her advice. In fact, do the opposite. Be amateurish with "A Screenplay" on the front page. Be a foreigner with an out-of-state address. I'd say more, but I just saw this and I think Alex Epstein can sum it up better than I can:

                        http://complicationsensue.blogspot.c...ree-pages.html

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                          i hate to admit it... but i do kind of see whatever the original poster is saying...

                          you submit your script in hopes that your work is the best. well, if someone else's first page is better than yours, your work isn't the best and should be tossed out anyway. if you want your script read from cover to cover, pay a reader.

                          i dont really see why this is such a big deal.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                            Originally posted by killertv View Post
                            The Disney/ABC Fellowship (used to include features, now just TV), organized by industry professionals whose entire job is running Disney's Talent & Diversity programs, do not read the entire script in the first round. Additionally, they hire outside readers to help with that round because there are so many scripts. Ultimately, a script does not get a guaranteed read cover-to-cover until the second round and even then may not be read by someone directly connected to the program (though I am unsure of that so if anyone knows better please correct me).

                            I am unsure what the issue with this whole debate has been as I thought a few things were understood. All contests don't read all pages of all scripts. Anyone who has spent any time reading amateur material understand some of it is glaringly bad. Margaux mentioned on her blog seeing treatments or pages of random dialogue. How long does it take to judge those as a script? How long does it take to rate that? Automatic fail. Also, readers are notorious for reading a few pages to get the gist of the entire script and decide whether it's worth the full read. I did this professionally all the time working at a TV studio. If I just picked a script out of the stack under my desk and started reading, I generally knew by the bottom of page 1 if I was going to finish it or put it back. The stack was at least three feet tall and there was maybe one script in there that I wouldn't be suicidal for showing my boss (just stupid). In a contests where the scripts stack at least thirty feet high (Disney's had 1600 submissions last year), finding the one winner is a lot easier than people think. A winner will have a great first ten pages. Every time. The losers don't and should get tossed anyway.

                            I've never entered the competition, but that's more because outside Nicholl/Sundance for features (Disney/WB for TV) I don't think any competition can get any legitimate attention to the winner. I don't know Julie but I do know Margaux personally. She was kind enough to give me notes on a script which I found very helpful. When she started her blog I was happy to show it around because she gives a lot of practical advice with no bullshit. When I read at the TV studio, I was a lot more excited about a script from an agency in Beverly Hills than one in the valley, so think about how reading a script from Des Moines colors perspective. She gave some helpful advice and ended up getting crucified by a bunch of people who've never met wrongfully attributing her attitude to quotes. She wasn't boasting about going through 75 scripts in 3 hours - in fact, knowing her, it would've been a boast if she had read just one script in that time - it was just that good, she had to keep reading and re-reading sections, calling her producer friend looking for a cheap script in the genre (hypothetically, I don't know her THAT well). Instead, what she meant was that fifty-five writers spent a lot of time and energy on something which wouldn't pass muster on the lowest of industry interns.

                            For everyone who's been piling onto Margaux, ignore her advice. In fact, do the opposite. Be amateurish with "A Screenplay" on the front page. Be a foreigner with an out-of-state address. I'd say more, but I just saw this and I think Alex Epstein can sum it up better than I can:

                            http://complicationsensue.blogspot.c...ree-pages.html
                            Welcome.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                              Originally posted by Knaight View Post
                              I'm inclined to give Julie and Margaux the benefit of the doubt. Almost definitely, they really do want to help others succeed. Unfortunately, in this case, they fell prey to the very thing that I imagine hurts most screenwriting contests -- a lack of time.

                              This isn't a photo, painting, essay, or even a short story contest. It's a screenwriting contest where the entries are 110 pages long. Busy people already working in the industry just don't have time to properly execute a contest like this. So they cut corners, and something that was at least partially created to help screenwriters has suddenly become shady.

                              I'm convinced this is why so few screenwriting contests are reputable. Most people just don't have the time to run one the right way.
                              Originally posted by Knaight View Post
                              The general consensus is right -- the damage has been done to this contest. I think it'd be in Julie's and Margaux's best interests to make this the last year and focus their energy on helping writers in other ways. Ways that don't charge writers $50 to read a cover page.
                              You say that Julie, et al, are working "in the industry." But as Joe9alt pointed out, they're not working in the movie industry, they're working in the screenwriters' support industry. Julie isn't some player in the business who's too consumed with wheeling and dealing to do justice to the screenplay competition she started. She started the contest to make money. It's the same reason she started the Script Department as a whole; it wasn't out of some high-minded desire to help writers, it was to make a living. Now she may well have said, "Hey, I can provide a valuable service, I should get paid for that," and far be it from me to disagree. If she provides a service that people want to pay for, that's perfectly fine.

                              But don't get too googly-eyed about her support for writers. The goal of writing contests such as Silver Screenwriting is to get as many paid entries as possible. The reason they want to help the winners succeed is because they can publicize that their winners have succeeded, thereby raising the profile of their contest. Julie Gray isn't doing this out of the goodness of her heart; she's doing this because she's realized that she can make money off of screenwriters. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but don't beatify her.
                              "Witticism"
                              -Some Guy

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Words Matter. And So Do Rules.

                                Originally posted by cupertinoCA View Post
                                i hate to admit it... but i do kind of see whatever the original poster is saying...

                                you submit your script in hopes that your work is the best. well, if someone else's first page is better than yours, your work isn't the best and should be tossed out anyway. if you want your script read from cover to cover, pay a reader.

                                i dont really see why this is such a big deal.
                                It's advertised as a screenwriting contest. It's not a title page contest or a page 1 contest.

                                If they only want to read 3 pages they should tell entrants to submit 3 pages.

                                They don't do that because no one would pay 50 bucks to have 3 pages read.

                                And they want that 50 bucks.

                                $50 x 1000 entrants = $50,000

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X