Franklin Leonard

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  • #31
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by Done Deal Pro View Post
    Though I've noted this before, I'll throw it out real quick since you asked...

    Our site was primarily designed for writers so they could see what scripts/stories were being set up in the film & TV worlds and who repped the writers at the time of the deal. We also list the production companies, studios & networks involved along with the producers, directors, actors and/or executives overseeing the project with each deal, as we know of them at the time.

    IMDB Pro is a powerhouse backed by Amazon. They have a large staff that can manage all their content along with a much greater ability to allow "user" content to be added. In other words, people submit their own info about what they are attached to, have in development, worked as crew member on, etc. They saves them a lot of effort. People can also submit their own contact info as desired, and so on. Thus IMDB Pro has a much larger and detailed database of contact info than we or most sites can ever really have.

    But in terms of trying to figure out what agents or managers to query, what production companies to target, to see what specific deals reps were involved with, the "history" of a particular IP, etc., I feel we offer a better service for that. For example, you can see when the rights to a book were picked up, then when a writer was hired to adapted it, then when a new writer is hired to rewrite it, and when even another writer was hired to do a polish. One can see the steps that are frequently involved in development.

    We're also just $30 a year. I know of different subscribers that will use our site to narrow their queries, use what contact info we have, then subscribe to IMDB Pro to supplement as need be. One can also more easily research I believe what "stories" or story elements are already out there so you can make the best decision moving forward. I've had writers tell me they check our database before starting a new project so they can quickly and easily see what's already floating around out there.
    My standard answer as to why I don't do stuff (I don't have the money") applies to DDPro, too, but I can attest to its value because I've been a paid member before.

    One thing about managing contact data for producers et al, as we find additions or corrections we can send Will a note and he/they'll add them to their database. I did this a dozen times or more back then. Try that with IMDB. With that in mind, we should all take advantage of building and enhancing the DDPro database so it benefits us even more.

    In addition to using DDPro, then using IMDBpro to compare/confirm, I might add that everybody should be on LinkedIn. Since the profiles there are pretty well a person's resume, I often find they're kept up-to-date pretty well. Sometimes I find changes there (moved from one prodco to another, set up their own, etc.) before they even show up on the original company's website contact pages. So, LinkedIn is very cool, and you don't have to use the paid system ($30/month for unlimited searching, etc.); you can use a freebie, set up your own profile, then try to 'connect' to some of the big-shots you find there. Note: Most so them aren't there to accept queries though, so you have to use other logic to get through to them.

    I don't mean to say any system is the only one you need, but that DDPro, the standard IMDB, and LinkedIn, plus of course good old Google, is about all you need.

    Which brings up one last thing about IMDB and DDPro: The former has locked out its views of 'company data'. You need IMDBpro or that! So this is another benefit to DDPro (+ LinkedIn, Google, etc. and even, sometimes, Wiki, and lastly don't forget the value of these DDPro forums).

    Use them all. But $30 is a pretty useful $30 to spend if I had the dough, for DDPro!

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    • #32
      Re: Franklin Leonard

      Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
      Does getting a Done Deal Pro membership have any advantages over using IMDB Pro?
      Well for starters it allows you to ask this question to me and I to respond, in other words, keep the forums going. Isn't that worth it alone?

      I never used the other one -- but Done Deal Pro membership is great. In fact, after I finish a new spec, I need to sign up again (been awhile for me, but I think I went for like 10 years straight) as so much has changed.

      I think this is first product I endorsed on the same site I'm on! Which is exactly what I was just making fun of in my other posts!!! Ha ha.

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      • #33
        Re: Franklin Leonard

        Thanks guys. I'll sign up as soon as my next project is ready to market.

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        • #34
          Re: Franklin Leonard

          Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
          Thanks guys. I'll sign up as soon as my next project is ready to market.
          i use DDP to check out the deals that hit each month. in case i'm writing a concept that just got optioned, going into development or sold. i will also use it to determine how old a project is, because a lot of times a project stops moving forward.

          and i get to see which managers and agents are selling the most specs.
          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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          • #35
            Re: Franklin Leonard

            Originally posted by catcon View Post
            What was that "hot" script a few years ago, I think by Shia LaBeouf, where his management team paid for multiple multiple BL evaluations, presumably to bump up the average and "suck 'em in"? It's a marketer's dream, if ya' got a big name to begin with, and ya' got something that's reasonably comprehensible to read, if ya' can cover the requisite fees, then just pay up and we'll reward ya'.
            "HONEY BOY.- Received more than 20 overall 8s and 9s from paid evaluations. Talk about consistency! On the other hand, I've almost finished reading it and I'm less than impressed. The movie premiered at Sundance and is currently on IMDb with a 6.6 audience score, granted it's not a large sample size: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8151874/
            FADE IN:
            PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
            NEVER FADE OUT.

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            • #36
              Re: Franklin Leonard

              Originally posted by Jai Brandon View Post
              “HONEY BOY.” Received more than 20 overall 8s and 9s from paid evaluations. Talk about consistency!
              Does it show how many total evaluation it got? Meaning, could he have paid for a 100 reviews and only made public the ones that got over an 8?

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Franklin Leonard

                Ah, thank you 'search tool' in DDPro. In March 2018 there were several comments that contributed to my notions about Shia's script, in the 'My Blacklist Experience' thread. Here's one:

                Originally posted by Centos View Post
                I just looked it up. It's a movie (Honey Boy) about Shia LeBeouf (himself) during his "Even Stevens" years and it's about his relationship with his "abusive father." I didn't even know there was any such show as Even Stevens. I'm guessing this isn't going to be a big budget film.

                Supposedly Shia LeBeouf co-wrote this and listed it anonymously on Blacklist as Otis Lort, which is supposed to somehow translate loosely to "Wealthy Turd."

                https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood...c-lucas-hedges
                (The bold/underline is my emphasis, so that helps to answer my question about whether or not scripts are ID'd for the evaluations. Further:

                Originally posted by Jai Brandon View Post
                Originally Posted by cvolante View Post
                Shia LeBeouf's script that sold recently has a lot of 9s and 10s.
                I saw 22 paid ratings, all 8s or higher. Has anyone got their grubby hands on it?
                Is this right? 22 evaluations? Why?
                Last edited by catcon; 05-04-2019, 08:12 PM.

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                • #38
                  Re: Franklin Leonard

                  Lots in this thread, I never used blacklist site before, is there a simple way to explain how it works these days? I have what I think happens in my head, but what really happens.

                  I found this on their site, pricing too...

                  In October of 2012, the Black List launched a unique online community where screenwriters make their work available to readers, buyers and employers. Since its inception, it has hosted more than 55,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 85,000 script evaluations. As a direct result of introductions made on the Black List, dozens of writers have found representation at major talent agencies and management companies, as well as sold or optioned their screenplays. In only three years, a half dozen films have been produced from scripts introduced on the website including Golden Globe-nominated NIGHTINGALE, starring David Oyelowo.

                  So 55,000 script, dozens of writers is less than 100 writers the way I read that, closer to 36 writers in my head, but if we make it 100 that's 0.0018% that found some success... so how are those odds compared to just querying your spec directly to managers?

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                  • #39
                    Re: Franklin Leonard

                    Originally posted by Bono View Post
                    So 55,000 script, dozens of writers is less than 100 writers the way I read that, closer to 36 writers in my head, but if we make it 100 that's 0.0018% that found some success... so how are those odds compared to just querying your spec directly to managers?
                    Yes, but people don't view it as a lottery with even odds. You buy an eval on the assumption that you can get an 8 or above. The odds are better than querying for the people who manage to do that.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Franklin Leonard

                      Originally posted by Bono View Post
                      So 55,000 script, dozens of writers is less than 100 writers the way I read that, closer to 36 writers in my head, but if we make it 100 that's 0.0018% that found some success... so how are those odds compared to just querying your spec directly to managers?
                      I think those numbers are pretty dated; however, right away I jumped on the 55,000 scripts times $75 equals momma mia!

                      This proves that if this service has cornered the market on script evaluations, as seems apparent, the proprietor(s) won't do anything to rattle that tree!

                      Yet, this site is different in that it collects, and saves, these evaluations and rankings. A site that does that concerns me, even if there is an option for hiding/deleting them.

                      Remember what they say about any social media: It stays there, or somewhere, forever. The metrics in this case are actually pretty valuable. It's not too conspiratorial to imagine somebody parsing them off the site, so they could sell them for good bucks to reps/buyers.

                      Thus, I hope the site's claim of "Do No Harm" is more than mere words, and that its ironic name of "the black list" doesn't turn out to be just that for earnest writers and their scripts. What a helluva kick in the pants that'd be; and we only paid $75 for the privilege!

                      Anyway, there are alternatives to the BL, and it's not just direct (cold) querying. Yes, the latter is free, but so is ScriptRevolution which is, except for the cost, basically a twin for the BL service offering - as far as the hosting and search facility for producers/reps is concerned.

                      I've corresponded several times with CJ Walley, the owner/creator of SR. I really admire what he's done there, not just for the objective but his use of technology - since I'm of that database background as well, but not to his level. We've talked about enabling evaluations, somehow, chiefly as a way to inform buyer/reps that the quality of the scripts in the place is high. The best idea I can come up with is for him to provide some sort of secret "coupon code" for his signed-up members, which then they use to go to a select group of providers for discounted notes/coverage. He could probably assemble a decent list of quality consultants who'd be willing to agree to a discount if it increased their overall sales throughput by a significant percentage.

                      Of course, the next step toward world domination would be for all writers to take a queue from the WGA-Agents battle going on right now, and migrate en masse from BL to SR, which would inevitably drag the buyers/reps on the former right along with them.

                      Um, it's called free enterprise and competition, folks!

                      Ha, well, I'm always coming up with great ideas for others, but am myself so far one of the hapless poverty-stricken saps. That's the way it always is.

                      Anyway, this was a year ago, and CJ said he was considering options, but he's now a produced writer (congratulations!) and a very busy guy. The good thing is, his SR is now pretty well just surfing along, self-maintaining, which in time the best of these sites (BL, VPF, etc.) tend to achieve.

                      That is, the strong technology that underpins the sites basically runs without any major upkeep, now that the bugs have been worked out: Thus, whether the site holds 1000 users and scripts or 50,000 barely matters. It's just data. A few bytes each, below a nice interface. Once this interface is enabled, and you add the odd blog and front-page update now and then, you've got a site that pretty well self-perpetuates.

                      Ah, the lucky few among us...

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Franklin Leonard

                        Originally posted by Bono View Post
                        As a direct result of introductions made on the Black List, dozens of writers have found representation at major talent agencies and management companies, as well as sold or optioned their screenplays.
                        I'm highly skeptical of this statistic. Since the BL site's debut, I've maybe heard of a dozen people through the trades that have gotten repped/optioned. It's strange that the site can make such a bold claim without providing a list of some kind. Especially since it doesn't communicate directly with writers who do happen to get repped/optioned through the site.

                        This is a great example of customers just accepting a claim because a service says so, with the service not receiving any kind of accountability for that claim whatsoever.
                        "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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                        • #42
                          Re: Franklin Leonard

                          Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
                          I'm highly skeptical of this statistic. Since the BL site's debut...
                          Maybe the "algorithm" needs tweaking.

                          But I agree with you. Why the privacy rules? Script Pipeline (nee ScriptPimp!) is still promoting Evan Daugherty's pro success, nearly a decade after he won their contest.

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                          • #43
                            Re: Franklin Leonard

                            I still have always contended that the writers who find success in contests would have found success without them... I'm sure there's 1% where they might not have kept pushing w/o the win and the introduction...

                            Again, never used black list, if it helps, great. But if these are the numbers they are prompting on their own website -- that means the best PR spin you can do -- well that's not very exciting to me cost vs reward.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Franklin Leonard

                              Isn't Black List just a rolling contest with no deadline? It has the same drawbacks as any other contest in that only a tiny percentage benefits. It is difficult to say how much any contests contribute to a writer's success, but I've heard at least two successful managers on the Scripts and Scribes say that they use the Black List to find clients.

                              It's overpriced and a big gamble but trying to break into this business is a suckers bet no matter what method you use. I think people get more frustrated with the Black List because the time span between the payment and failure is much shorter than contests.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Franklin Leonard

                                Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
                                Isn't Black List just a rolling contest with no deadline? It has the same drawbacks as any other contest in that only a tiny percentage benefits. It is difficult to say how much any contests contribute to a writer's success, but I've heard at least two successful managers on the Scripts and Scribes say that they use the Black List to find clients.
                                I think there's a notable difference between results produced from the Black List and those produced from contests.

                                The top contests aren't afraid to publish their success stories. See:

                                Nicholl: https://www.facebook.com/notes/acade...3208928621452/ and https://www.oscars.org/nicholl/notable

                                Austin: https://austinfilmfestival.com/festi...ccess-stories/

                                PAGE: https://pageawards.com/success-stories/

                                The Black List, on the other hand, doesn't publish any list of success stories. Considering that it is a "rolling contest" with people getting promoted to pros every week via e-mail, you'd think that there'd be a) a much higher percentage of people getting signed than with contests and b) a desire on the part of the organization to collect information regarding such signings and publish it on its site, as evidence of its ROI.

                                I genuinely think it probably avoids publishing such information because the ratio of actual signings/options to people who submit scripts is probably drastically lower than the ratio for contests -- and it doesn't want to draw attention to that reality. But that's just my theory.
                                "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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