Franklin Leonard

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  • DaltWisney
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    the big take away for amateur writers is that you have to write with the strategy that YOUR COMPETITION is professional writers
    My competition is Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, and Homer.

    And honestly, they need to step up their game. It's been a while since they wrote anything on my level.

    Leave a comment:


  • sc111
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    this is very true.

    so i think the big take away for amateur writers is that you have to write with the strategy that YOUR COMPETITION is professional writers, because, imo, they are. i don't want to be the best amateur writer, i want to be the best writer. that's my goal.
    IMO this has always been true. Pro writers are the competition. I suspect a number of aspiring writers are unable to be objective enough to see the reasons why their work hasn't yet risen to the pro level. Or why or what their work is missing to get to that level.

    I see a lot of aspiring writers critiquing produced work for its fatal flaw yet entirely missing what is incredibly right about the work that made a lot of people believe in it, moving it to be greenlit.

    Getting to that pro-quality level is the first hurdle and after that you're competing with pros who are known quantities while you're, well, not.

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    That's a good payday for a non-union gig. Nice. If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious - how will it pay out? Some amount up front, rest when it films, or the whole amount to write the script?

    Leave a comment:


  • StoryWriter
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    Docgonzo makes a good point, but every source of amateur screenplays yields a pass more often than an offer of representation. There's no system that's going to find more than handful of great undiscovered writers. How many people broke in through Amazon Studios of the thousands of people that submitted and the millions they spent looking? Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries. If the BL gets ten people reps or jobs a year, they're probably the most successful "contest" way to break in.

    There just aren't many slots for new writers. Half of the WGA is trying to get work, and they've already broken in. 99% of the people who pay for the BL will be disappointed in the results, just like every other path.
    This is for WGA writing gigs, right?

    I think writer's who are trying to break in ought to take a closer look at opportunities as semi-pros.

    Even I've been offered actual money for scripts. One was for $18,000 (actually 2% of budget, but that's about what it worked out to), due in three months. I emailed him a crappy, 30 page synopsis (making every mistake everyone tells you not to make) and he called me/we talked for around 2 1/2 hours. He gave me some notes that I had absolutely no problem with and asked if I could completely rewrite one scene to make it cheaper to film. At the end of the call he said he wanted to move forward. He contacted me because I was on screenwriter's newsgroup. I wasn't soliciting. (I did really like the story and was enthusiastic about it -- so maybe that was in my favor.) Neither of us mentioned the WGA.

    This isn't anything close to bragging, in fact I'm kind of an idiot. But $18,000 for three months work beats the hell out dish washing pay at least.

    I think if writer's look around with that kind of mindset, instead of dreaming of going to directly into the big leagues, they would feel better about their odds of working as a writer.

    But what do I know?

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    The five winners get the lion's share of the press and attention, but of course, getting close gets you some reads.

    Let's say 70 people get success! That still means that 99% of the people who enter will be disappointed. That's not a knock on the contest, or a sign that the contest is doing something wrong. It's reflective of how much appetite Hollywood has for new writers.

    Leave a comment:


  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    Nicholl gets real heat for five scripts a year, out of 7000 entries.
    Fairly certain Nicholl gets "real heat" for the finalists (12 this year) and some heat for some semifinalists and a little heat for a few quarterfinalists.

    The number of writers who secure representation or a job following a Nicholl placement averages more than 10 a year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    I don't use the service, but I think the last few posts some or all the numbers are wrong. Isn't it $30 bucks to host per month?

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by figment View Post
    My point in this thread, is that at least one agency has two different protocols for coverage giving -- and one is for all other scripts, and one is for the BL. At said agency, the coverage-giver for the BL script doesn't even have to finish the script, they can just stop whenever.
    All the more reason for a writer to be patient and not rush to post his screenplay on the Black List as soon as he completes it. The Black List is not for feedback. It's for marketing. If a writer happens to get an 8, it goes out to the industry maybe before it should have.

    I'm taking my own advice with my completed script. I'm gonna be patient and go through a thorough feedback process. After which I'm satisfied, I'll post my screenplay on the Black List and buy 2 reviews.

    And, if I get a ranking of 3, there WILL be hell to pay. Franklin, you listening?

    Leave a comment:


  • figment
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    So, in other words, I was correct?

    Do you use the BL, JoeNYC?

    My point in this thread, is that at least one agency has two different protocols for coverage giving -- and one is for all other scripts, and one is for the BL. At said agency, the coverage-giver for the BL script doesn't even have to finish the script, they can just stop whenever. They are also given the information that according to the company they work for that most BL scripts are not up to par. This is telling information. Instead of knocking oneself out with BL scores or giving the BL lots of money in hopes of chasing a good score, one might want to reconsider exactly what the BL is doing for them. Is it actually helping? I would assume that wanting to get repped or sold -- both of which require coverage at some point, is the goal. But if you're querying with your BL 8 apparently, at least at this agency, you are not doing yourself a huge favor. Since if it wasn't a BL script the coverage-giver would at least have to read the entire thing and do actual coverage.

    But do whatever you want.
    Last edited by figment; 09-16-2019, 03:20 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by figment View Post
    This is incorrect. IF you host your script AND get an 8, 9, or 10, your info gets sent in an email blast.
    I tried to get away with what I remembered when the Black List site came out in 2012. I hate ignorance, so I went to the Black List to do the research that I should have done in the first place.

    From the Black List site:

    Since they began with the Black List (BL) site in 2012, they have performed 85,000 reviews. That breaks down, on average, to about 12,000 reviews a year.

    They say their services is not tailored for writers to workshop their scripts.

    To host a script is $25 a month and industry professionals find scripts, by tags, genres, etc.

    Every Monday, to promote worthy, vetted screenplays, they have a weekly e-mail blast to their 5,000 industry membership, i.e., agency assistants, studio and network presidents, A-list actors and directors, etc.

    For a writer to get on this list he must have his script evaluated by a BL reader. An overall score of 8, or higher, will achieve this. Each evaluation is $75, but all you need to get on this list is one review that scores 8 or higher.

    Every Friday, e-mails go out listing titles. Authors, genres, and loglines of scripts that received scores of 8 and higher in categories or genres where the industry pros have expressed specific interest.

    Having at least 2 ratings whose weighted average is above the community average will get the writer on a top list, depending on the time period.

    They say, the rating variance of overall scores in two or more reviews has been low, but if the variance is three points or more the writer has an option to purchase a discounted third read for $40. (Well, this tells us that a reader is paid $40 for each script he reviews. Below the industry union rate, but I guess volume of steady work makes up for that.)

    If the reviews hasn’t come in within 21 days, a free month of hosting is given.

    So, it’s a total investment of $100. $25 first month hosting and $75 for one review.

    Writers say if the review takes 3 weeks there’s only one week of hosting left, which isn’t enough time for an interested industry person to take a look at the script on the BL’s site.

    When I was a young lad and sent out my first query letters to the industry professionals, any industry person who was interested in my concept contacted me within 24 hours, but let’s say you want to gain the most from your BL score of 8, or higher, so then, invest another $25 for one more month.

    I think a total investment of $125 (if you’re not using your rent money) is worth a shot in marketing your vetted screenplay. And this investment is not restricted to the BL site. The rating of 9 could be used in other marketing endeavors such as queries, etc.

    By the way, this e-mail blast to industry pros is another example why the first ten pages of your script are the most important. Most likely this busy industry person, who visits the site to look at the script that he was interested in, isn’t gonna read more than 10 pages to see if the execution and concept is for him. If it’s not, he’s moving on to the next script.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark Somers
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    How about making a plan where you displace one or more of the top guys. Mazin, Fey, August, Lowell, Haas, Spellman, Talbott, Frank, etc. I think you'll find it a much easier focus.

    Leave a comment:


  • lostfootage
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    all good points. well said. but, here's the change up...

    if you're good, very good, you're not competing against 20,000 other writers. you're competing with the 2% (or less) of 20,000, that's 400 writers. so, it's more realistic to think in those terms. a sage writer explained this to me recently.

    how does that translate?

    140 writers at Nicholl
    65 at The Black List
    100 each at contests with submissions of 5,000 entrants.

    Interesting. I had not thought of parsing it out that way. But that makes a lot of sense.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Why is everyone being so positive now? Gross!

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by lostfootage View Post
    Good points.

    So, the question is, if there are fifty slots per year for new writers, ten ways of getting there and 20,000 people trying, which of the ten ways do you want to personally try?

    You can...

    - Grow up in the industry (thinking of the Max Landis types)
    - Go to college with those who grew up in the industry (attend USC)
    - Get entry level jobs in the entertainment industry (intern, PA)
    - Query reps and producers with finished work (assuming it's great)
    - Network (go to WGA events in LA, take classes and meet people)
    - Submit to established contests like Austin, Nicholl (not for profit)
    - Apply for labs like Imagine Impact, Sundance and Film Independent (not for profit)
    - Pay for Black List service, which is like FL's concierge contest and other "for profit" contests like Tracking Board, ScreenCraft, etc.
    - Do the other pay-to-play service (like paying to pitch, for profit)
    - Trying sleeping your way in?

    Are there any other routes? It seems those are the options.

    I've been in and out of the screenwriting space for ten years and have watched a lot of people (attempt to) get in. The ones that have had the highest rate of getting in actually moved to LA and did the entry-level job route. (Barring the two trust funders who went to college with the offspring of celebrities and stepped into writing work right after graduating.)

    If you're past college age and don't have any personal connections, then you have to ask yourself what routes are you willing to try.

    The Black List is a route. It's a very long-shot route. Same with contests.

    I think what it comes down to is that most writers' projects are DOA by page two or three. They either don't have a concept worthy of a feature film/TV show, or if they do, they can't execute the concept on the page.

    At the end of the day, querying probably gets you the same result/feedback on a script as contests without the costs.

    I don't know why so many people want to be writers for TV and film when it's clear that few people are able to make a meaningful living doing it.
    all good points. well said. but, here's the change up...

    if you're good, very good, you're not competing against 20,000 other writers. you're competing with the 2% (or less) of 20,000, that's 400 writers. so, it's more realistic to think in those terms. a sage writer explained this to me recently.

    how does that translate?

    140 writers at Nicholl
    65 at The Black List
    100 each at contests with submissions of 5,000 entrants.

    many will simultaneously submit at several outlets every year. now, if that doesn't make you hungry to give it 1,000% trying to write your amazing ****ing script, maybe screenwriting isn't for you.

    it's ****ing hard as ****, but it's not impossible. look, i've come close twice and have a new, hopefully, chance to snatch at it again, but i'm not stopping. i'm not ****ing giving in, and not giving up. let's hope the elections at the WGA this week turn the tide into a wave of negotiations that starts the turbine churning with opportunities we can all reach for. **** yeah!

    best to you all! myself included

    Leave a comment:


  • lostfootage
    replied
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    Originally posted by Southern_land View Post
    write, fund, direct it yourself? Jackson, Rodrigues, Smith...
    I was thinking that the goal is selling a script or idea to someone, but yes making it yourself is a great route. So obvious I forgot it. Doh!

    Leave a comment:

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