Nicholl 2015...

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  • BKDodger
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Hi Greg - a lot writers (both women and men) in the community are really concerned about comments a quarterfinalist received on her script. See below:

    "With some judicious alterations, it might make a decent porn picture, as the gals do seem kinda hot, at least on the page."

    This type of comment is not what I would expect from a Nicholl reader. Will this person be reading for future Nicholl fellowships?

    Edited to add: May want to do some damage control, this is really blowing up on Facebook. Whomever is representing the Nicholl on social media is hopefully not speaking for the entire organization. I've only had a positive and respectful experience with the Nicholl, so this is all pretty shocking.
    Last edited by BKDodger; 08-24-2015, 06:32 PM.

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  • datahog
    New User

  • datahog
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Thanks Jon Jay. I'd previously obtained three Black List evaluations (7,7,5 overall scores) for the script and none had mentioned "flow" or description issues or the issues you've raised as possibilities. But you could be right nonetheless. Will go read the script again ...

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  • Jon Jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by datahog View Post
    Could someone tell me what, exactly, is meant by Nicholl readers when they refer to the "flow" of the script?

    The context is this feedback from what was likely the "positive" read to my comedy: "Conceptually this is a strong story with a cool idea, and I think the execution of this idea, while not perfect, is still pretty solid. The craft is weaker though. The description, the flow of the script, the structure, all need work...."
    I'd hazard a guess that it's the sense of one moment/scene/sequence naturally taking us into the next one, building a sense of pace and momentum. If you have scene after scene where each feels like a separate sketch, or where a new character is introduced in each one then disappears - that would disturb the 'flow' of the script. Or if you had several short scenes intercut with several really long scenes, suggesting that you have no control over the material, or that you're not seeing this as an actual film but just pages in a script.

    Alternatively it could just mean that the writing was a little dense and hard to follow, meaning it was difficult to read. Big chunks of text for page after page don't exactly flow.

    Probably best to get second eyes on it, don't tell the reader about the Nicholl comments and then see if they say similar things.

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  • datahog
    New User

  • datahog
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Could someone tell me what, exactly, is meant by Nicholl readers when they refer to the "flow" of the script?

    The context is this feedback from what was likely the "positive" read to my comedy: "Conceptually this is a strong story with a cool idea, and I think the execution of this idea, while not perfect, is still pretty solid. The craft is weaker though. The description, the flow of the script, the structure, all need work...."

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  • NightWriter
    User

  • NightWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by jcpdoc View Post
    I had quite the mixed bag with one reader uses words such as "brilliant, pitch perfect, fantastic, and page-turner" and another "redundant, slow-paced, unoriginal." A good lesson on the subjectivity of script evaluation. Kudos to anyone who had consistent comments and best of luck to those awaiting phone calls!
    This echoes my notes. I had three reads, the first of which was extremely positive, while the second and third were more "meh". It was very insightful as each reader came in with their own expectations (as does everybody) and their reactions reflected that. I definitely think the notes were well worth the $40 and appreciate that they've been made available.

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  • Jon Jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    I crashed out first round with the disheartening 'one positive read'. But it was my first attempt at the Nicholl, and having read the notes it wasn't quite as dismal as I'd assumed. My script was a take on a slightly contentious public figure, and one reader clearly struggled to look past that. Which is completely fine, as I suspect the larger public would similarly be split 50/50 on this story.

    For anyone out there still wondering about the $40 for notes, well $40 for one person is feeding their kids for a week; for others it's a Friday night. I'm glad I paid for mine simply because they highlighted how divisive the script potentially is, and how as a writer I haven't done enough to get past that. Plus my main character is pretty hard to like (think Greenberg) and whilst I hoped we were all living in a cool, cynical, post-heroic age, both sets of comments made it clear we aren't - or at least the rest of the script would have to be mind-blowingly good to compensate. Which mine clearly isn't.

    So on balance I'd say they are worth paying for, but don't expect them to give you a detailed roadmap of how to turn your script around.

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  • jcpdoc
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    I had quite the mixed bag with one reader uses words such as "brilliant, pitch perfect, fantastic, and page-turner" and another "redundant, slow-paced, unoriginal." A good lesson on the subjectivity of script evaluation. Kudos to anyone who had consistent comments and best of luck to those awaiting phone calls!

    Leave a comment:

  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

  • AE35-Unit
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    My six were pretty much right in line with each other. Got dinged on one for some (clears throat) grammatical errors. Two brought up the slightly episodic execution of the script. Another brought up I needed a better throughline. But overall I was super-stoked because never before have six people collectively agreed anything I've done was good.

    I am hopeful it will be a finalist. Yet I know there are better scripts in the mix, and I won't be disappointed if it doesn't advance. It's been a thrill-ride that money can't buy. And I am humbled.

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  • LateNightWriter
    Member

  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    It's eye-opening to see how six readers respond so differently to the same screenplay, especially in the case of a story that is open to interpretation. One reader got exactly what I was aiming for -- bullseye! But another went off on a tangent that was far from where I was aiming, and found the script lacking because it didn't go in that direction.

    If I didn't have the comment from the reader who "got" it, I would have assumed that my script had missed its mark. But what this shows me is how much of our own expectations we bring to what we read.

    I'm very grateful that these comments are being provided by the Nicholl! A truly valuable insight into how readers perceive a script.

    Late Night Writer

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  • P-jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
    Happy P-Jay? I am.
    Yes, thank you. I went to sleep on a real high last night, not just because of the good notes but also because of the valid points made that will help me to improve the script. I suspect getting notes from Nicholl will quickly become the most important part of this contest for many writers.

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  • LateNightWriter
    Member

  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Thanks, Greg! So I won't give up hope... yet.

    Late Night Writer

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  • gregbeal
    Member

  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by LateNightWriter View Post
    Greg, I know you've answered this before in some thread but I couldn't find it in this one:

    How does the scoring work for determining the final top ten? Is it the total of the scores from all 7-8 readers, or just the scores from the Semi to Finals phase? And do you drop out the lowest score when you compile totals?

    Thanks again for all your hard work -- you and the Nicholl team must feel like you're running the last half mile of a marathon, with the finish line in sight!

    Late Night Writer
    You're welcome - though it does feel more like the 20 mile mark. Just hoping to avoid hitting the wall.

    Scoring is cumulative - best five of six to advance to the semifinals, then best eight of ten to advance to the finals, with at least three semifinal scores counting.

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  • gregbeal
    Member

  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by opie View Post
    Do the number of reads at the Quarterfinal level indicate proximity to reaching the semifinal round?
    Only slightly. Just over 300 of the 375 quarterfinalists were read six times. Under 70 were read only five times, so those 70 would be the farthest from making the semis. They were only read five times because even a sixth score 100 would not have advanced the writers to the semis.

    Best five of six scores are tallied to select the semifinalists.

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  • LateNightWriter
    Member

  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Greg, I know you've answered this before in some thread but I couldn't find it in this one:

    How does the scoring work for determining the final top ten? Is it the total of the scores from all 7-8 readers, or just the scores from the Semi to Finals phase? And do you drop out the lowest score when you compile totals?

    Thanks again for all your hard work -- you and the Nicholl team must feel like you're running the last half mile of a marathon, with the finish line in sight!

    Late Night Writer

    Leave a comment:

  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

  • AE35-Unit
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Happy P-Jay? I am.

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