Franklin Leonard

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  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    My teacher used to tell us to write our name on the back of our papers, so he'd read it, then grade it, then flip it over to see who wrote so he would be more objective. Thinking that may be what Jeff was hinting at...

    I used to joke, if this famous writer didn't become famous, would we be reading his other terrible work at school? It's funny how that works.

    Side note my favorite part of Jeff's post is when he agreed with me.

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  • JeffLowell
    Member

  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    FA4, you got two option offers and two representation offers from having used the Blacklist. You are a walking advertisement for it. There's no such thing as an objective analysis of art, so there's always going to be variation. It would be like saying "critics should agree on whether The Last Jedi was good."

    (Full disclosure: I ran an experiment years ago where I got two reviews from The Blacklist. One was a glowing 9, the other a very harsh 6. Which... is probably the reaction the script would have gotten if it were made.)

    I think Bono's got it right - this isn't the only way in, it's not even a major way in, but it is a way in. If someone has the cash to take a shot with it, it can produce results, with a little luck of getting the right readers who appreciate your material.

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  • finalact4
    Member

  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    look, this isn't a "bitter writer" scenario, i've already got my 8s on my scripts, so i'm good. i didn't say it doesn't or can't work, nor did i say ALL their readers are ****.

    what i'm saying is some readers are incompetent and shouldn't be reading, and that's always been the case, it's just worse now than ever before. one script shouldn't get 8s and a 3, that's just crazy. when you're paying close to $150 in one month for a script is shouldn't be a CRAP SHOOT.

    and as a paying customer i have a right to hold them accountable to what they promise, to their actual claims.

    readers have different agendas:
    and let's look at the reality. a reader's objective at an agency is different than a reader at a production company, and different than a reader for a studio and different for a reader at a management company, they are have different criteria, needs, and agendas.

    so you can't have readers rating reviews based only on what their experience is. you should have a set of standards, criteria, and guidelines that ensure there is a consistent approach to rating scripts. i mean, c'mon, FL has been in the industry long enough that he could easily establish this. it's his site, it's his reputation.

    the Black List worked fine for me, too, until the past two weeks. i received two options offers because of my high scores on the Black List. i also got two offers for representation because i referred to my ratings on the site.

    a site that carries the weight of brand recognition and the expectation of "quality" should care about consistency, it only helps them to be more consistent because they'll sell more reviews when people can trust their readers are all of similar caliber.

    i've received some amazing reviews a couple of years ago.

    i'm really happy for this writer, any writer that finds a way to break in.


    Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
    but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query
    the difference is writers are paying for a service that the industry uses for free because of the writer's hosting and evaluation fees. the industry doesn't pay anything. and WGA writers get a discount. so the bulk of the fees are coming from the thousands trying to break in. you don't send your script to an agent and PAY THEM, huge difference.

    if you pay for a service and they tout that they have experienced readers on their payroll and you can prove that they don't, then their services should sure as ****, be questioned. some sites include bios on their readers, so you have some modicum of trust in handing over your hard earned bank for their services.

    if a reader can't construct a proper sentence or craft a basic logline, there's a problem. if a reader makes several statements in the strengths and then directly contradicts themselves in the next paragraph four times, they aren't a qualified reader.

    besides that, you never know who is reading your script. you don't need to have a person's name or company, but what's the harm in letting the writer know if it was an executive at a production company vs an actor or agent or manager or an intern.

    and there are good managers and prodco people who know their unpaid intern's judgement on a script isn't going to be as good as theirs. good ones allow their readers to be the first line of defense and then may read some just to verify whether they agree.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Name all the writers you love. 99% of them made it not using this service or any service. We all can break in in different ways. But if you got the money sure try anything if you want. This would be near the bottom of my list for options. I’ve never used it myself. I did try other things some worked. Some didn’t. It’s all personal experience.

    Leave a comment:


  • figment
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query?
    The transparency is that the writer knows who is reading their script. And they can research that manager/company's taste/other produced work.

    The BL -- by design -- hurts the writer, because you have no clue who is downloading or reading your script.

    --It hurts you after the fact, when you're querying that script and you have no idea who has already seen it/read it.

    --That in turn hurts your ability to feel like the script is actually fresh and new, because again, were those 5 or 10 or 15 reads you got from a bored intern or were they from a powerful creative exec from a huge prodco? Was it read or did they just download it because the title sounded cool? Were they looking for your action thriller or did it simply remind them of their own in-progress screenplay and they wanted to check out the competition? You have no clue.

    --And you're out a bunch of money.

    Leave a comment:

  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time.
    I'm not sure why you keep going back to the topic of success rate. I said that my main concern is not how many successes there are, but how fundamental aspects of the system are run.

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query? if they give it to some pimple-faced (unpaid) college intern to cover over the weekend, along with 10 other specs from the slush pile, is the writer ever going to know that? other than a pass, soft or hard, what does the writer even know about how their work is being evaluated by the gatekeepers?
    It doesn't cost money to send a blind query. It does cost money to use the BL. When you pay money for a service, transparency in how it operates is desired.

    Leave a comment:

  • JoeBanks
    Member

  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    Sure, and I'm happy for her. And I'm sure you could pull out several other examples. But as I said, identifying high-profile examples of success doesn't negate inherent flaws in the system and lack of transparency.
    but what's the success rate for newbies breaking in outside of the Black List site? hardly higher from everything i've seen in my time. what "transparency" is there from an agency, management company, or production company that reads a script off a blind query? if they give it to some pimple-faced (unpaid) college intern to cover over the weekend, along with 10 other specs from the slush pile, is the writer ever going to know that? other than a pass, soft or hard, what does the writer even know about how their work is being evaluated by the gatekeepers?

    Leave a comment:

  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by Bono View Post
    I'd say finally! First one I've heard of. So that means another 10 years before next one. Both people mentioned answered my queries before. Just saying...
    Is one of them Roy Lee? He read one of my scripts through a query, too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    I’d say finally! First one I’ve heard of. So that means another 10 years before next one. Both people mentioned answered my queries before. Just saying...

    Leave a comment:

  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    Sure, and I'm happy for her. And I'm sure you could pull out several other examples. But as I said, identifying high-profile examples of success doesn't negate inherent flaws in the system and lack of transparency.

    Leave a comment:

  • JoeBanks
    Member

  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    worked just fine for her

    https://deadline.com/2019/09/new-lin...ee-1202711200/

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    to ScreenRider and UpandComing:
    when we look at reviews and ratings i'd expect that a well written script, at the most could maybe receive a disparity of maybe 2, but mostly one rating differences. there should be an established set of standards, criteria, and guidelines. it seriously can't or shouldn't be be what ever the **** the reader thinks that day. it has to be based on what The Black List views as quality standards not just whatever the reader "feels" based on their own experience.

    i mean even the Nicholl has more than would be normally expected as a set of standards and guidelines that their readers take into consideration.
    I've been saying this for years on here. Any grading system worth its salt has some kind of tangible criteria attached -- whether it's a school paper, a screenwriting contest, or an online service such as this. The Black List has always said that its scoring is based on whether the reader feels that the script is "something they'd pass to a higher up," but that's meaningless -- partly because the different companies readers have worked at have different criteria for what gets passed up (often for reasons having to do with the specific content needs of the specific company). As the BL system stands now, it allows way too much room for subjectivity, which allows way too much room for disparate ratings, which allows way too many opportunities for the BL to make more money by offering a discount in case of said disparate ratings. Genius, right?

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    i haven't ever seen a single post, granted i haven't read them all, where FL explains what the reader's guidelines or criteria are when they evaluate a script.
    No one has. It's why I've always chuckled to myself when the word "transparent" is used to describe the site. Sure, it lets you know how many pros have downloaded the script and how many views it's gotten. But the fact is most scripts on the site disappear if they are not evaluated, and most pros don't care about scripts that score below an 8. So the most valuable form of transparency would be describing the methodology used to hand out those scores. But the BL can't, because it doesn't have any.

    Nicholl and PAGE both have criteria and make them public. I will always place more trust in their operations than that of the BL.

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    and another thing, ALL paid reviews should be included in your average and be made available on a list of all hosted scripts. not just the ones dated for the past month, quarter, or year. it's just stupid that they don't count and is a predatory action to not continue to support their paid evaluations.
    As with many things involving this site, discarding old scores is nothing more than a means to get writers to buy more reviews, which is nothing more than a means to get more money. Just like saying that "evaluations will probably give you a leg up if you're applying to one of our fellowships." Just like raising the price of feature reads from $50 to $75 (and the hosting price from $25 to $30) with no discernible improvements in review quality or length to justify that hike. Oh, and remember Scriptbook?

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    and the biggest problem of all, of course, is that the industry is ignorant to this consistency failure of epic proportions and predatory behavior. the industry simply expects the 8s to be the best scripts and if they don't show up they aren't worth their time.
    We writers can raise our voices all we want (and many of have been for years). It doesn't matter at this point, because the BL was a first mover in online script evaluation and has the brand name behind it. Also, it's been good at ingratiating itself with influential people in the industry through partnerships, media appearances, etc. Hollywood doesn't care if writers may be receiving a bad hand from the site because Hollywood doesn't really care if writers receive a bad hand in general (hence the reason for the current standoff).

    I'm glad you came to this conclusion, but the truth is we will complain on here and then go on to use the site because we have limited options to get attention (especially when most contest deadlines are over for the year). Also, if you think FL is ever coming back on here to defend the site after so many writers have wised up to its issues (his last appearance was over two years ago), I've got a bridge to sell you. Besides, BL is busy moving on to producing movies now, from what I hear.

    As a final thought, I know that the Black List has been helpful for several people in terms of getting notice from low-budget producers (though much less so with regard to representation). That said, evidence of success doesn't negate inherent problems with the system. It's kinda like how even though several writers have gotten a lot of money through packaging, it doesn't change the fact that many aspects of the practice are ultimately unfair.

    Writers have woken up to this reality with the ATA. It's too bad they probably never will with the BL.

    Leave a comment:

  • finalact4
    Member

  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
    It's funny you say that because I got an 8 on the Black List and the same script didn't make past the first round in a contest. I also made semi-finals at AFF and then got a 5 on the Black List. I also got a 7 and a 3 on the same script on the Black List.

    Not complaining. It's a gamble but the BL is one of the few ways to get your foot in the door. I just don't think industry readers in general are as qualified as people pretend. It's subjective of course, but what I mean is that they are not qualified to pick what their bosses would consider winners.

    It's easy to eliminate the 90% of amateurish scripts but the people who can find the potential in the remaining few get paid a lot more than $50 a script.
    to ScreenRider and UpandComing:

    so i'm here to retract previous glowing reviews of TBL website. not afraid to admit when i'm wrong. in the beginning i do believe it had some very good readers-- they still had shitty readers, too, but there were really good evaluations. fair evaluations with the shitty ones.

    i was worried about paying for reviews because of all the negative issues writers have had.

    on one of the threads Franklin touts that evaluations are "bunched quite closely together." this is simply not true. maybe it's true for the ones currently on the top lists, see below detail, but it's not true for all scripts.

    i decided to pay for evaluations on a script that i had previously had good reviews. it received a couple overall 8 reviews. there were lower ****ed up reviews too, but the high ratings kept it in the top list so, i didn't sweat. it also received individual ratings of multiple 8s and a 9 in individual elements.

    i actually thought i could get back on the top list, not that it should have mattered.

    some of the reviews in the past were shitty. a few times, in the beginning i complained as some readers got names wrong, the story wrong, the characters wrong. made incorrect claims. or basically couldn't write a clear sentence let alone a well written logline (recent review disputed and removed) that at least had the protagonist, their journey and the antagonistic force listed correctly.

    when we look at reviews and ratings i'd expect that a well written script, at the most could maybe receive a disparity of maybe 2, but mostly one rating differences. there should be an established set of standards, criteria, and guidelines. it seriously can't or shouldn't be be what ever the **** the reader thinks that day. it has to be based on what The Black List views as quality standards not just whatever the reader "feels" based on their own experience.

    i mean even the Nicholl has more than would be normally expected as a set of standards and guidelines that their readers take into consideration.

    i haven't ever seen a single post, granted i haven't read them all, where FL explains what the reader's guidelines or criteria are when they evaluate a script.

    it should never be the case that a script that received straight 8s receives a 3. or an individual element like "character" to receive a 9 in one evaluation and a 2 in another.

    it's ****ing too ridiculous to even believe.

    and what does TBL mean by "monitor [readers] closely?" because the way i see it, it shouldn't be up the writer to file a complaint, TBL should know if the evaluation sucks before the writer EVER receives it.

    and where is the quality control? each reader should be evaluated on their ability to review a specific script in order to encourage better consistency.

    wanna know how you do that? first, you establish a set of parameters, rules, criteria and guidelines that The Black List website determines are important based on THEIR idea of a great script. after all it is their reputation this is a reflection of, second, you blindly send all readers the same set of genre scripts and have them evaluate them. randomly throughout their employment, and then someone from TBL evaluates the readers ability to appropriately and fairly rate a script.

    so if a new reader rates a script a 2 when 15 other readers give it a rating of 7 and above, then maybe that reader who gives a 2 should be reconsidered, repremanded or otherwise disposed of and anyone who has a review by them given another free review. it's not that hard.

    what The Black List fails to understand is that their business model could be a lot stronger and make more money that is actually earned instead of vampire tactics that take advantage of writers who trust the name The Black List is supposed to represent.

    and the biggest problem of all, of course, is that the industry is ignorant to this consistency failure of epic proportions and predatory behavior. the industry simply expects the 8s to be the best scripts and if they don't show up they aren't worth their time.

    and another thing, ALL paid reviews should be included in your average and be made available on a list of all hosted scripts. not just the ones dated for the past month, quarter, or year. it's just stupid that they don't count and is a predatory action to not continue to support their paid evaluations.

    so apologies to those that have been adamant that the black list is less than desirable and less concerned about actually connecting writers to the industry pros.

    the last time tbl updated the "data" on their site was over a year ago.

    here's some statistics. these are the top 21 scripts in order and their evaluation ratings

    Code:
    #of ratings     #evals visible     breakdown of ranges
    5                   1                       (9=2, 10=2)
    8                   2                       (8=1, 9=1)
    4                   0                       not visible
    22                 9                       (7=5, 8=4)
    7                   0                       (6=2, 7=1, 9=1, 10=4) how to you get 4 10 & a 6?
    12                 6                       (7=1, 8=4, 9=1)
    126               2                       (10=2)
    5                   1                       (8=1)
    7                   2                       (8=2)
    10                 9                       (7=6, 8=3)
    14                 5                       (6=3, 7=5, 8=5, 9=1)
    8                   4                       (6=1, 7=4, 8=3)
    5                   0                       none visible possible all rep reviews?
    6                   5                       (7=3, 8=2)
    13                 4                       (8=4)
    2                   1                       (9=1)
    6                   0                       none visible
    16                 10                     (6=1, 7=3, 8=4, 9=2)
    8                   0                       (5=1, 7=4, 8=2,9=1)
    6                   6                       (6=1, 7=3, 8=2)
    44                 5                       (8=5)
    so yeah looking at that, i don't see how i get 8s and a 3. how many others have stories like this? i think i've received every ****ing number except a 1, 2, and 10.

    i can't honestly say that i would recommend this site any more. i have a friend who had a similar experience.

    yeah, i'm mad. when you rely on something that you're paying for it really sucks when they let you down. now, my script might suck, it might deserve a ****ing three for all i know, but i don't really think it does. i mean, i would expect a 3 to be barely legible. at this time with the WGA/ATA making getting reads a challenge, it's just one more stumbling block.

    here's hoping tomorrow is a better day. gotta go work off some steam.
    be well peeps,
    FA4

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  • Friday
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    This thread's 27 pages! Obviously, no way I have time to read all 27 pages.... Month after month, this thread seems to stick around.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Great show. The best mainstream one (and most annoying) is WITH ALL DUE RESPECT. Just say FUCCK YOU I DISAGREE. It's more polite in my eyes.

    I feel you j roger.

    Leave a comment:

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