Nicholl 2015...

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    boudiccarules
    User

  • boudiccarules
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by Margie Kaptanoglu View Post
    Here's the text of the entire review:

    "It's great to see a group of four women friends take on the sophistication level of THE HANGOVER. Seriously, the gals here drink a bunch and have a lot of fun, but there is not nearly enough density to carry the piece. There is a big secret that has spoiled the friendship between two of the gals, and it turns out that the slutty one slept with the fiancee of the one who is getting divorced. Wow, quite the reveal.
    The prose maintains a brisk pace, though often at the expense of any great detail. It is conversational in tone, and we instantly understand who these people are and what we are dealing with, not that that is saying alot. The vocabulary utilized is not particuarly stylish - rather, it can best be described as casually utilitarian.
    There is some fun banter, especially at the outset of the story. The four freinds are distinct, and they emerge as real people over the course of the screenplay. That said, there is not a helluva lot of insight into la condition humane here - people get jealous when their mates are unfaithful. Got it.
    When it is drunk, which is often, this script might believe that it compares with BRIDESMAIDS, but in the sober light of day, this is much more simplistic. The drunken conversations in the college bars go on for days, with no plot advancement taking place.
    With some judicious alterations, it might make a decent porn picture, as the gals do seem kinda hot, at least on the page."

    From start to finish, the tone of the review is sarcastic and demeaning. That first sentence is sarcasm. Then we have "...quite the reveal,- "...not that that is saying a lot,- "not a helluva lot of insight,- "Got it,- "When it is drunk, which it is often, this script might believe...,- and then the final sentence.

    The point is not that the script was criticized, it's the tone of the criticism. The reviewer is actively mocking the script. It's completely unprofessional, and it's very surprising to me that Nicholl's FB rep did not immediately pick up on this tone instead of trying to defend the review. To insist that the author give the title, as if that somehow justified this mocking tone, is appalling. To say that a positive score justifies the tone is also appalling.

    I'm glad to see that Nicholl quickly came to their senses and apologized. It's clearly a great organization in most respects. But I do think they should be looking carefully at other reviews written by this reader before deciding whether to keep him/her on. The reader needs to be heavily schooled in tone and respect.
    Yes, every reader should adhere to a standard set of adjectives, standard scoring system, standard method of determining value in a script, standard set of comments. DEFINITELY!

    Then reader # 1 on my script should NOT have been so scathing on it's issues, because it really hurt my feelings.

    I like reader #2's comments much better - "This script has a big heart"....It's got a wonderful message....."there's a great deal to appreciate about this script".......etc etc.

    Of course, the above sounds much better, but it still didn't score "POSITIVE".

    I'll take the positive score with the sarcastic comments ANY DAY, thank you.

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    The same thing happens with gender -- "Oh look, another sceenplay about a twenty-something white guy -- or girl -- or whatever."
    I would consider this statement in a paid review inappropriate as well.

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    In this particular scenario, given the supposed nature of the screenplay, you're making many, many assumptions about the intent, motive, and tone of the reader's comments. Such a slippery slope.
    I don't think the slope is slippery at all. I think for most people, it's not hard to tell that the notes were clearly over the line. A handful of people here who feel very vocally otherwise does not change that.

    Again, just because the tone of the screenplay is edgy, does not mean the review of it should be. That's what you call professionalism. This is not an off-the-cuff review being given in a bar with your Hollywood buddies. This is a paid service.
    UpandComing
    Member
    Last edited by UpandComing; 08-26-2015, 08:07 AM.

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  • Margie Kaptanoglu
    Regular

  • Margie Kaptanoglu
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Here's the text of the entire review:

    "It's great to see a group of four women friends take on the sophistication level of THE HANGOVER. Seriously, the gals here drink a bunch and have a lot of fun, but there is not nearly enough density to carry the piece. There is a big secret that has spoiled the friendship between two of the gals, and it turns out that the slutty one slept with the fiancee of the one who is getting divorced. Wow, quite the reveal.
    The prose maintains a brisk pace, though often at the expense of any great detail. It is conversational in tone, and we instantly understand who these people are and what we are dealing with, not that that is saying alot. The vocabulary utilized is not particuarly stylish - rather, it can best be described as casually utilitarian.
    There is some fun banter, especially at the outset of the story. The four freinds are distinct, and they emerge as real people over the course of the screenplay. That said, there is not a helluva lot of insight into la condition humane here - people get jealous when their mates are unfaithful. Got it.
    When it is drunk, which is often, this script might believe that it compares with BRIDESMAIDS, but in the sober light of day, this is much more simplistic. The drunken conversations in the college bars go on for days, with no plot advancement taking place.
    With some judicious alterations, it might make a decent porn picture, as the gals do seem kinda hot, at least on the page."

    From start to finish, the tone of the review is sarcastic and demeaning. That first sentence is sarcasm. Then we have "...quite the reveal,- "...not that that is saying a lot,- "not a helluva lot of insight,- "Got it,- "When it is drunk, which it is often, this script might believe...,- and then the final sentence.

    The point is not that the script was criticized, it's the tone of the criticism. The reviewer is actively mocking the script. It's completely unprofessional, and it's very surprising to me that Nicholl's FB rep did not immediately pick up on this tone instead of trying to defend the review. To insist that the author give the title, as if that somehow justified this mocking tone, is appalling. To say that a positive score justifies the tone is also appalling.

    I'm glad to see that Nicholl quickly came to their senses and apologized. It's clearly a great organization in most respects. But I do think they should be looking carefully at other reviews written by this reader before deciding whether to keep him/her on. The reader needs to be heavily schooled in tone and respect.

    Leave a comment:

  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by opie View Post
    Or, Nicholl could have acted in a satisfying way, more in line with a past history of excellent customer service and concern over equal consideration. We'll never know, because the bazooka option was her first choice, perhaps revealing a more public agenda.

    As a quarterfinalist, she had at least three e-mails from the director. Identifying the right person to communicate with does not get any simpler than that.
    You call highlighting a problematic comment on Nicholl's Facebook page "the bazooka option"? Really? Because doing that minuscule thing was likely to blow the organization's reputation up?

    And what is this "public agenda" you speak of? Because I'm pretty sure most people who post on Nicholl's FB page don't think it's going to get significant, much less national, attention. That's because the audience for Nicholl's FB page is limited to screenwriters, and even more so, to screenwriters who bother to visit the social media page of a competition on a regular basis. Nothing about her post suggests she thought it would cause producers/managers/agents to come running to read her screenplay. Or Mashable to come knocking to her door.

    The extent to which people are implying that she had "ulterior motives" because she did what thousands of people do every day -- publicly highlight an example of bad service from a company to hold them accountable -- is rather ridiculous at this point. Maybe you've been watching too many movies.

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  • figment
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
    Just fyi: She received a positive from the reader but did not advance to the semifinals.
    Oops -- I mean QF -- Fixed it.

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  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

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

    Just fyi: She received a positive from the reader but did not advance to the semifinals.

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  • figment
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by P-jay View Post
    I am serious about writing and even if one of my scripts fails to get the positive feedback I hoped for, I would still want to be respected for having made a sincere effort, not have my script (even jokingly) dismissed as something that could work for porn.
    She wasn't jokingly dismissed, she was given a POSITIVE SCORE that helped propel her script into quarterfinal status.

    May we all have such "dismissal."

    Since she was writing a drunken sex comedy with an obscene title, perhaps the reader thought his/her last line was a joke, or would be seen as fun. I don't know. But that's just it -- we haven't heard from that reader. But since she/he gave it a positive score, they didn't "dismiss it," nor did they dismiss the female writer -- which, by the way, they don't know if the writer is male or female.
    Last edited by figment; 08-26-2015, 05:29 AM. Reason: fixed semi's to quarterfinals

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  • opie
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    If she had sent a private e-mail, Nicholl could've easily just dashed off something along the lines of "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We'll take this into consideration."
    Or, Nicholl could have acted in a satisfying way, more in line with a past history of excellent customer service and concern over equal consideration. We'll never know, because the bazooka option was her first choice, perhaps revealing a more public agenda.

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    What more of a response should she wait for?
    As a quarterfinalist, she had at least three e-mails from the director. Identifying the right person to communicate with does not get any simpler than that.

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    This little flare-up isn't going to threaten anything.
    I wouldn't characterize going to the media that way, but I hope you're right.
    Last edited by opie; 08-26-2015, 04:49 AM.

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  • StoryWriter
    Member

  • StoryWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by FoxHound View Post
    What's strange is that if the reader had just left out the "They're kinda hot" comment, the porn comment might make perfect sense. If the script's plotless and full of gross-out sex scenes bordering on unfilmable, then that's what most people would say. But by pointing out their appearance, it gives the sexist impression that hot women should just stick to porn.
    I think we might be missing a point on this screenplay forum. Unless the writer drew pictures, I'm guessing the "they're hot" comment came from their actions in the script and not their physical appearance. And maybe their actions were worthy of a porno?

    I don't know. I haven't read the script.

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    Again, these are your subjective opinions. Opinions that myself and many others do not share.
    Well, Nicholl's final, official response was this:

    We offer our heartfelt apologies for the offensive comment written by one of the Nicholl script readers. We do not in any way accept or defend this kind of comment. We believe the script note to be completely inappropriate and not in any way constructive.

    So, Nicholl apparently agrees with me. And frankly, theirs is the only opinion that matters.
    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    This is fiction writing. We're talking about fictional female characters in a screenplay. You act as if the reviewer personally insulted the writer herself with derogatory remarks.
    Really? So comments can only be offensive if they involve real-life people? That makes a lot of sense.

    Again, the notes were offensive because they made it seem as if the female characters' appearances were a factor for consideration in the script's evaluation.
    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    also, to clarify, this is sarcasm, it's a form of humor.
    But -- for what you just said to qualify as humor, wouldn't it have to be funny?

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by jsay View Post
    and then the Nicholl/Greg re-consider giving out notes...
    Do you really think that Nicholl is going to reconsider giving out notes because of this one tiny flare-up?

    All this has done is cause Nicholl to be a bit more cognizant of the quality of a service it is making available on a paid basis for the first time. The organization is not going to stop a major new offering for entrants because of a single Facebook post that most people will forget about by next week -- especially since that offering has (undoubtedly) provided it with lots of extra revenue for running the operation.

    Anyone who thinks that it will cease the notes must not think the organization has a backbone.

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by Ronaldinho View Post
    Although I disagree with your inference (the writer is, imho, suggesting the characters are not deep enough for non-porn, not that because they're hot, nothing else is appropriate) it is weird to have a comment about the hotness of the characters there, because, I mean, they'd be played by actresses and the vast majority of the actresses who play even "average" women are stunning.
    Exactly. How the characters look on the page has nothing to do with the quality of the story. Writers aren't involved in casting.

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    It's your opinion that the comments were inappropriate and unprofessional. Not mine. Have you ever read a "rotten" movie review on rotten tomatoes? Far worse has been said. Far worse has been said directed at the filmmakers and/or screenwriters, attacking them personally and professionally. In this instance the Nicholl comments were directed at the SCRIPT, not the writer. This is fiction writing. This isn't calling each other names and hurling personal insults on the playground.

    As far as the point that the notes "should" reach a certain level of professionalism -- the world owes you nothing. A writer pays for notes. The notes could have simply said, "this script blows."

    Read The Atlantic article posted earlier in this thread. There's no event here. No issue. No scandal. Nothing. It's a thing that is reflective of where our society is currently at, no individual is at fault, this phase will pass, we will evolve, grow, and be born again as big bright shiny star.
    The note again:

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

    This note is:

    a) Saying that this script might make a "decent" porn picture with some judicious (meaning: showing good judgment) changes. This implies that the script could or should in some way aspire to be a piece of pornography. Not that it feels like pornography, which would have been a usable note. No -- that it would be awesome if this somehow became a porno.

    b) Saying that the female characters in the script "seem kinda hot". Not commenting on their personalities. Commenting on their appearance. Last time I checked, how characters look has nothing to do with the quality of story.

    In summary, these notes do not tell us anything about how good the script is, its level of quality -- they are telling us what the reader thinks they could be as part of some fantasy he/she has. That makes them poor quality notes, and someone paying for notes should expect better (yes, a service does owe you a certain level of quality if you pay for it). It makes no sense to compare this to Rotten Tomatoes reviews; that's a free service.
    UpandComing
    Member
    Last edited by UpandComing; 08-25-2015, 08:45 PM.

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  • jsay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    and then the Nicholl/Greg re-consider giving out notes...

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by opie View Post
    I find there to be a substantial difference between posting an excerpt and reporting an offensive comment. If my boss said something sexist to me at work, my first thought wouldn't be to post it on our Facebook page. That is, unless resolving it amicably wasn't my goal to begin with. Now, if going through proper channels at work did not result in an appropriate response, I would answer differently.
    Rachel's original comment:

    "I received the below note on my Quarterfinal script and while I happily accept notes both good and bad on my work, this reader's notes, particularly the final thought (in quotes below) seemed wildly inappropriate, offensive and sexist to say the least. And certainly not constructive:"With some judicious alterations, it might make a decent porn picture, as the gals do seem kinda hot, at least on the page." Considering the current climate we're in with women writers in Hollywood, I wanted to bring this to your attention."

    This does not sound to me like someone merely "reporting an offensive comment." It sounds like someone pointing out a flaw in a paid service provided by an organization. No different than a customer who has received bad service commenting on a forum on a company's website. The boss-employee situation is a bad analogy, because this is a company-customer situation, which is totally different.

    If she had sent a private e-mail, Nicholl could've easily just dashed off something along the lines of "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We'll take this into consideration." Posting the offending note publicly provides a greater assurance that the organization will take the issue seriously. By making it public, it puts tangible pressure on the organization to ensure that it will hold the offending party accountable. Especially since there's the (distinct) possibility that that reader has made similar comments on other scripts, and/or that that reader isn't the only one who's made such comments.

    Originally posted by opie View Post
    So, she basically gave Nicholl five hours after the work day to comply publicly before going to Mashable.
    No. She let Nicholl know about her concerns. Then she got an official (well, what appeared official initially) response that was defensive and insincere. She then engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth where the Facebook rep pretty much stuck to the same tone. What more of a response should she wait for?

    Originally posted by opie View Post
    I wouldn't -- not at the cost of another organization that works hard to support my chosen career. And potentially threaten the future of receiving candid (and appropriate) feedback going forward. But I could be in the minority.
    Give me a break.

    a) In the Mashable article it's pretty clear she's criticizing the individual she had the back-and-forth with, rather than the Nicholl organization itself. The article author does put a negative spin, but that's what journalists do.

    b) This little flare-up isn't going to threaten anything. The note clearly had an out-of-left-field nature; even if Nicholl provides stricter guidelines moving forward, most readers are able to provide candid feedback without striking the sensational tone this note did.
    UpandComing
    Member
    Last edited by UpandComing; 08-25-2015, 08:50 PM.

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