Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

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  • Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

    Hi there,

    I just got notes back from the Blue Cat screenwriting contest and am thinking whether or not I should re-submit an updated version of the script, or keep the original in the contest. The reader pointed out very minor things, and prefaced it with "the charm and likability of the script is enough to ignore these minor faults." For example: he said 2 of the main characters and 1 minor character being in the same gym at the same time is too much of a coincidence - but I did this to get the hero in trouble, and i've read coincidence to get the hero in trouble is okay, but out of trouble is not.
    Anyway
    My question is: Is it better to get a different reader or the same reader? I would think using the same reader might bore him to read the same script again. He said the script was a fun read. Are there advantages to getting another reader?

    Thank you. Sorry this was a but long winded.
    Last edited by Filmmagician; 09-29-2014, 12:35 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

    I don't know if there's an easy answer to this question.

    One caveat. Now, I don't work for Blue Cat, but I will say that when I have worked for contests where notes are included, I've been instructed to really emphasize the positive, even with scripts that, well, are lacking. So generic praise, to me, doesn't really mean anything. It doesn't mean that he really liked it.

    I would say that the following considerations apply:

    The more specific the notes - both praise and criticism - the more the reader probably engaged with the script, and thus the more value there is to going back to him or her. THe more you feel they fundamentally got the script, they more useful I think they're likely to be to go back to - but generic praise and criticism you feel missing the point both suggest that they didn't "get" the script.

    Also, if you've made largely superficial changes, then I would discourage you from going back to the same reader. That's when they're most likely to get bored by it. I've been in that position as a contest judge, where I really wished I could have had a phone call with the writer, to say, "Dude, you barely did squat. Do you really think that's going to change my mind on the script?"

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    • #3
      Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

      I'm not sure if getting the same reader helps or hurts your chances of advancement, but I can tell you that if you request the same reader, the second set of notes you get back will be useless.

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      • #4
        Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

        Originally posted by jariax View Post
        I'm not sure if getting the same reader helps or hurts your chances of advancement, but I can tell you that if you request the same reader, the second set of notes you get back will be useless.
        At this point, for contest sake, I don't care about notes if I've fixed everything the reader had problems with. After that I'd just want to go far in the contest.

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        • #5
          Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

          Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
          I don't know if there's an easy answer to this question.
          One caveat. Now, I don't work for Blue Cat, but I will say that when I have worked for contests where notes are included, I've been instructed to really emphasize the positive, even with scripts that, well, are lacking. So generic praise, to me, doesn't really mean anything. It doesn't mean that he really liked it.

          I would say that the following considerations apply:

          The more specific the notes - both praise and criticism - the more the reader probably engaged with the script, and thus the more value there is to going back to him or her. The more you feel they fundamentally got the script, they more useful I think they're likely to be to go back to - but generic praise and criticism you feel missing the point both suggest that they didn't "get" the script.

          Also, if you've made largely superficial changes, then I would discourage you from going back to the same reader. That's when they're most likely to get bored by it. I've been in that position as a contest judge, where I really wished I could have had a phone call with the writer, to say, "Dude, you barely did squat. Do you really think that's going to change my mind on the script?"
          Yeah, the reader was pretty detailed and into the notes he gave back to me. He commented on characters, story, and the comedy of it all. I think I will go back to the same reader, just for the fact that if I fix all the things he pointed out, he'll like it a lot more and give it a better review.

          The problems he pointed out were valid, even though minor, and if I can fix those I feel it'll be harder to pass on. At least I'll have 1 cheerleader on the inside.

          Thanks for the feedback.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

            Originally posted by Filmmagician View Post
            I think I will go back to the same reader, just for the fact that if I fix all the things he pointed out, he'll like it a lot more and give it a better review.
            -- I believe you knew the answer to your question before you posted it because it's obvious.

            If a writer fixes what a reader/judge felt was a problem, right or wrong, and sends it back to him after implementing the judge's notes, of course that judge is gonna give the script a better score. Why would he give a worse score than before if the notes were implemented well?

            I don't like that a contest has this option. (To generate more money.) This gives a writer an unfair advantage over those writers who may not be able to afford to re-enter their script.

            Sending the script to a different judge to get a fresh perspective on your script and rewrite may be better toward the goal of strengthening your script, seeing what works and doesn't, but you may risk getting a lower score from what the first judge gave.

            I entered the Blue Cat competition and received praise along with a couple of notes. I implemented one of the notes, but I have no desire to re-submit the script because this contest was a warmup for the bigger contests coming up.

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            • #7
              Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

              Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
              -- I believe you knew the answer to your question before you posted it because it's obvious.

              If a writer fixes what a reader/judge felt was a problem, right or wrong, and sends it back to him after implementing the judge's notes, of course that judge is gonna give the script a better score. Why would he give a worse score than before if the notes were implemented well?

              I don't like that a contest has this option. (To generate more money.) This gives a writer an unfair advantage over those writers who may not be able to afford to re-enter their script.

              Sending the script to a different judge to get a fresh perspective on your script and rewrite may be better toward the goal of strengthening your script, seeing what works and doesn't, but you may risk getting a lower score from what the first judge gave.

              I entered the Blue Cat competition and received praise along with a couple of notes. I implemented one of the notes, but I have no desire to re-submit the script because this contest was a warmup for the bigger contests coming up.

              If I knew the answer to my questions I wouldn't have started a new thread about it. I knew AN answer, I didn't know THE answer.

              I also thought that sending the improved script to the same reader may bore him (having to read the same thing twice, less surprise and all).

              I've received great advice on here, and from PMs, which led me to believe using the same reader might be best for the contest. I entered the contest to win, not to get great notes so the script can be better for someone else, or another contest.

              I still haven't decided what I'll do - might not even re-submit. Gonna do the re-write and see how much better the script got.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

                Originally posted by Filmmagician View Post
                I entered the contest to win, not to get great notes so the script can be better for someone else, or another contest.
                -- "another contest"

                I said "bigger contests" as in the Nicholl which isn't just "another contest." It's the contest that'll open industry doors. That's why I referred to the Blue Cat as a warm-up. Part of my process (feedback, rewrites, judges' reactions, etc.) of getting a script strong for the big, important contests.

                Some writers enter certain contests for the cash awards and Blue Cat's $15,000 prize is worth making a strong effort.

                So, if you're one of those writers, then I suggest you implement the judges notes and re-submit to the same judge. If they say that judge is not available and ask if you would like a different judge, say, no. Don't re-submit.

                Also before you lay out more money to re-submit I suggest you take a look at past winners of the contest to see where their tastes lie. I believe the Blue Cat's tastes -- for the winners -- lean toward artsy, character stories, though it's been awhile since I checked.

                Good luck.

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                • #9
                  Re: Blue Cat re-submission: New reader or different?

                  Not sure how Blue Cat does it, but in some contests it can certainly hurt. This was the case for me in one, and I didn't get the choice.
                  www.JustinSloanAuthor.com

                  http://www.CreativeWritingCareer.com
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                  Twitter: @JustinMSloan

                  Want a free book?

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