Franklin Leonard

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  • Franklin Leonard

    Why doesn't Franklin Leonard post here anymore?

    Here's his great Ted talk.

    https://youtu.be/sh-38scdO5A

    .
    Hobby Writer

  • #2
    Re: Franklin Leonard

    No one does. Cc twitter

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Franklin Leonard

      He came. He posted. He built his coverage empire to make his BL essentially the go-to place for judging scripts. And then he left - monopoly complete.

      That's entrepreneurship, folks!

      Note, however, he's never made a penny off of me. Still waiting for one of his 'diversity' measures - for poor folks. Like, some sort of discount?

      And I'm talking a discount for his coverage. After all, we're not getting that much for those grades, are we? Remember my earlier post about finding all of those 'readers' on LinkedIn: "I read 3-5 scripts per day!"

      As for the other (genuinely lucrative) side of the BL biz - the script hosting - well, let me see here: He's asking for (what is it now?) $40 or something for three months, to host a PDF that's maybe 200 or 300 kilobytes. To host all of my own website content, I pay $60 a YEAR for a gigabyte, and I know you can find better deals than that.

      Somewhere on this very site, we figured he might be raking in over $2 million a year in total, based on usage statistics he'd reported on other matters.

      Meanwhile, for essentially the same service (granted, at this stage not the same pro clientele), CJ Walley's ScriptRevolution is completely free. I'm sure CJ would love to monetize it some day, but except for a bit of optional Patreon patronage to cover his own hosting costs for the site, that's probably out of the question. Why? Because there really is no way to monetize such a service... except the way Franklin's done it: To be first out of the gate, and most importantly to know people, to make the whole thing "seem" - as he says in the speech - like it's part of an accidental change to the way movies are made.

      But it only "seems" accidental, and it only "seems" like BL is now the go-to way to get scripts noticed.

      As they say, there's a sxxxxxr born every minute. Apparently $2 million a year worth of 'em.

      But as I say, God bless the entrepreneurs! Somebody has to make money in this movie biz!

      But the opposite side is also true: You don't have to spend much money at all, if any, to make a dent, if you're as smart, hard-working, and entrepreneurial as somebody like Franklin Leonard - but from the screenwriting side. You just need a lot of patience.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Franklin Leonard

        The cost of hosting has gone up to $30 per month per script. Personally, as someone who has used this service numerous times over the years, I think that is too much. If you have several scripts to host, it becomes a very expensive game. Surely a membership fee for writers at $30 per month, regardless of the number of scripts they host would be fairer. So instead of paying $120 to host four scripts, the cost would remain at $30. Or at least offer a substantial discount on any subsequent scripts the writer may host. At the end of the day, unless you hit the 8s and above, you are incredibly lucky to get a view or download anyway. Talking of views, I hate the fact that they have now consolidated the views, so you have no idea if it's an industry member or another writer viewing your script info.
        I apologize if this post sounds like a bitching session, that is not my intention... Just voicing an opinion as a long time customer struggling to pay the hosting fees.
        Last edited by Strangerthanfiction; 05-03-2019, 09:56 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Franklin Leonard

          Originally posted by Strangerthanfiction View Post
          The cost of hosting has gone up to $30 per month per script. Personally, as someone who has used this service for several years, I think that is too much. If you have several scripts to host, it becomes a very expensive game. Surely a membership fee for writers at $30 per month, regardless of the number of scripts hosted would be fairer. So instead of paying $120 to host four scripts, the cost would remain at $30...
          Hope you've checked out the totally free ScriptRevolution, then. If you have some positive results from BL, there'd be no reason you couldn't post them there as a salesy thing, on your script definitions.

          All SR needs is enough great scripts (there're nearly 5000 now), and the search tools ought to attract more professional visitors/buyers. After all, if BL were totally good enough, there wouldn't need to be any other, similar sites, but there are plenty. In the never-ending quest for material, producers et al are always looking. They need to check out ScriptRevolution - hey, it's free for them, too, though that's always been a bit of a bug to me since ours is one of the few industries where the seller pays for the marketing! I guess these sites use the paradigm of the old newspaper ads; well, look how that paradigm is doing these days, given Craig's, Kijiji, etc.

          And speaking of...
          Originally posted by Strangerthanfiction View Post
          ...a bitching session...
          Damn, I haven't spent much time on the BL, but this FAQ kind of blew me away when I saw it today:
          My Script Is Already On The Site And I Didn't Put It There! What Do I Do Now?
          ANSWER:
          In all probability, your script is not on the site, just its logline and information. We prepopulated the database with information about scripts that have circulated around Hollywood over the last few years.
          Holy crap!!!

          If I knew that even one of my loglines, from some past submission to a prodco, were up on this BL, I'd be pretty sore about it.

          First of all, everything I've written is being polished continually, and then marketed anew. I want and expect control over the access to my stuff. Secondly, my absence from the BL is not just because it's generally unaffordable for me but because, all factors considered, I choose not to be there.

          Oddly enough, I did try to register once (way way back), but backed out when I saw that there wasn't a place for me to enter my website URL. Sheesh. I queried the place but was told "we're looking at it", but to my knowledge there's still no place for it (just the usual Twitter, maybe FB, LinkedIn, etc.)

          Well, what's going on there: Are we the most stupid people in the world that we don't see the value in a website, so why would they need a box for it on that site? Or are they just trying to hide it so the pro members don't try to deal with us outside of the BL?

          Anyway, if I do have any (old) loglines on the BL, I sure would be sore about it. Yet, without joining I suppose I have no way of telling. After a fairly good flurry of read requests in my early years, I have wondered sometimes if I've been "blacklisted" somehow, somewhere.

          I guess not, though. I still get the occasional out-of-the-blue breakthrough read request from major prodcos that I pitch, along with regular requests from newer/smaller companies. But reads from the bigs sure are harder to come by these days, in spite of tighter/better writing gained from all my practice and experience.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Franklin Leonard

            Originally posted by barh View Post
            Why doesn't Franklin Leonard post here anymore?...
            I thought I answered this in one of my other epic posts in this thread, but now I can't see it.

            Anyway, in one of his last posts on DDPro, he laments that "this place is going to be archived soon" (there was such a threat, a couple of years ago). So it's understandable that he'd feel that time spent here is a waste. Unfortunate, but unsurprising.

            "See Redditt", he mentions. I've never been there, so have no clue.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Franklin Leonard

              Originally posted by Strangerthanfiction View Post
              The cost of hosting has gone up to $30 per month per script. Personally, as someone who has used this service for several years, I think that is too much. If you have several scripts to host, it becomes a very expensive game. Surely a membership fee for writers at $30 per month, regardless of the number of scripts hosted would be fairer. So instead of paying $120 to host four scripts, the cost would remain at $30. At the end of the day, unless you hit the 8s and above, you are incredibly lucky to get a view or download anyway. Talking of views, I hate the fact that they have now consolidated the views, so you have no idea if it's an industry member or another writer viewing your script...
              I apologize if this post sounds like a bitching session, that is not my intention... Just voicing my opinion as a long time loyal customer struggling to pay the fees.
              are you sure? i'm still getting billed at $25 per script per month. they average about 3200 scripts hosted a month. yeah, $80,000 revenue a month. that doesn't include paid reviews.

              you have the ability to have a privacy setting where a writer cannot download your script unless you authorize it. when i give permission, i do not receive an email notification that someone has downloaded my script, which i do receive when an industry pro downloads it.

              what i dislike is that you don't even know "who" is downloading your script. i don't need a name, but since i pay to host my scripts there, i think i have the right to know who's downloading my script.

              it's clear there's a reason behind not providing that kind of transparency, and it bothers me.

              not to mention the industry actually uses the site. it's not like industry professionals have never heard of The Black List website, they all know it. it has value in that sense. BUT you have to have the scores, right?

              catcon mentions scriptrevolution, which i've never heard of it before. script hosting sites ONLY help a writer IF the INDUSTRY uses it. if they don't, it's better, imo, that you have your own website and host your own scripts.

              you can also leave your script on the site in "listed status" at no monthly fee. with that, your script page is still visible to the industry as are your reviews. the indutry pro, if interested in your script cannot download it, but they can email you and ask you to send it to them.

              you can search and sort by "most popular" but it's not always working. Tracker hovers around the #12 and #13 most popular script. sometimes it drops off and it doesn't make sense at all, because then my other script pops up and it has far fewer downloads/views. it's irritating.

              i will usually wait a day and if it doesn't pop back up to the top, i'll email them to have them look at it-- appears their programming doesn't always work.

              and although they are good at responding to writer's questions, they also have an attitude that their system works fine without digging into it. i'm like a pit bull with an old sock, i will not let them dismiss me because they think their system is infallible. sometimes you really have to push hard. you have to understand how numbers work and stand your ground-- "no, you're wrong. that doesn't make sense and this is why..."

              i wish it was more writer friendly.
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Franklin Leonard

                I'm sure Franklin is a nice guy and a good person, someone I like. But he started a service to make money that helps some writers correct? And that's fair in this economy.

                But what used to drive me nuts about this place was people would attack these "services" and certain people would go way too far -- but then I got annoyed at the people running the services jumping into the writers conversations about how they felt about it. And with every defense comment back, I believed in the person running the service less and less.

                It's a tough needle to thread.

                Even Craig M who I love and love scriptnotes, he hates almost all these services and contests -- says not worth the money. He's brutal to Final Draft which is funny, but I still use it -- works for me. I don't love it, but I tried highland and my brain can not figure out how to write in that code. I'm too old and stupid. My point was Craig on his podcast has Franklin on sometimes and he's said good things about black list because they are friends -- but I think the real Craig secretly doesn't like it too. It goes against all he's said.

                And back in the day when everyone was here, you post something like this and you get attacked by all sides, including people running it. And I always hated that so much. It should have been a safe place for writers to bitch.

                Now it is, but now it's less writers...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Franklin Leonard

                  Hi Finalact, I was referring to the views of my script page. They used to inform you if it was a writer or industry member viewing your page. Now the views are consolidated into "All Views" so we don't know.
                  On the main page, under registration, it states $30 per month per script.
                  Since I turned off the auto renew hosting payment option, and my hosting ended, my scripts have disappeared from the site. Before, they used to continue to show in listed status.
                  Last edited by Strangerthanfiction; 05-03-2019, 10:52 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Franklin Leonard

                    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    ...you can also leave your script on the site in "listed status" at no monthly fee. with that, your script page is still visible to the industry as are your reviews. the indutry pro, if interested in your script cannot download it, but they can email you and ask you to send it to them....
                    If this is so, then this seems pretty good. But I suppose you have to have been a paid user initially? But as I say, this is okay and is rather ScriptRevolution-like except that there you do (or can, as I reveal only my logs and query info) post scripts for free, and have them downloaded (and notified whom).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Franklin Leonard

                      How do you get your scripts to show in listed status?
                      Before, when the hosting ended they showed as listed automatically. Since my hosting ended recently, all of my scripts are showing as offline. I can't see an option to change this setting anywhere.
                      Last edited by Strangerthanfiction; 05-03-2019, 10:36 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Franklin Leonard

                        Originally posted by catcon View Post
                        Hope you've checked out the totally free ScriptRevolution, then. If you have some positive results from BL, there'd be no reason you couldn't post them there as a salesy thing, on your script definitions.

                        All SR needs is enough great scripts (there're nearly 5000 now), and the search tools ought to attract more professional visitors/buyers. After all, if BL were totally good enough, there wouldn't need to be any other, similar sites, but there are plenty. In the never-ending quest for material, producers et al are always looking. They need to check out ScriptRevolution - hey, it's free for them, too, though that's always been a bit of a bug to me since ours is one of the few industries where the seller pays for the marketing! I guess these sites use the paradigm of the old newspaper ads; well, look how that paradigm is doing these days, given Craig's, Kijiji, etc.
                        umm, no that's not all they need. they need legitimacy. and is there a way to tell which of the over 4,000 scripts are, in fact, any good? you can't, that i can tell. and they're not. they don't have the "Black List" recognition standing behind them either. almost everyone in the industry knows about the Annual Black List.

                        you're just listed with every other writer on a site. why not distinguish yourself and have your own website? make yourself stand apart. you can get a site up for free and to host and secure the name isn't that expensive.

                        and, no disrespect intended, but i don't believe an industry professional gives two shits what writers think about the quality of the writing or producibility of another writer's spec. that's what The Black List does, like it or not, it gives legitimacy to the writer should you receive high scores.

                        i mean, what's to stop two writers from conspiring to write amazing reviews for each other? and what if you get a newbie writer review your script who has no clue about story? it's a risk i'm not willing to take with my work, i know that.

                        And speaking of...
                        Damn, I haven't spent much time on the BL, but this FAQ kind of blew me away when I saw it today:
                        Holy crap!!!

                        If I knew that even one of my loglines, from some past submission to a prodco, were up on this BL, I'd be pretty sore about it.
                        why? the can't post your script. it can't be downloaded. it's free marketing and advertising. i know a friend whose old manager listed on of her scripts on the Black List without her knowing. it's not a bad thing-- people who have read another of your scripts can search your name and see your spec there. there isn't a downside, that i can see.

                        First of all, everything I've written is being polished continually, and then marketed anew. I want and expect control over the access to my stuff. Secondly, my absence from the BL is not just because it's generally unaffordable for me but because, all factors considered, I choose not to be there.
                        of course, it's your script, but i don't see the problem at all. all you have to do is ask the black list to remove it.

                        Oddly enough, I did try to register once (way way back), but backed out when I saw that there wasn't a place for me to enter my website URL. Sheesh. I queried the place but was told "we're looking at it", but to my knowledge there's still no place for it (just the usual Twitter, maybe FB, LinkedIn, etc.)
                        are you talking about TBL or ScriptRevolution here? TBL has had a writer's profile page available for all writers to create and provide a bio. it allows you to link your personal website.

                        Well, what's going on there: Are we the most stupid people in the world that we don't see the value in a website, so why would they need a box for it on that site? Or are they just trying to hide it so the pro members don't try to deal with us outside of the BL?
                        anyone who (industry professional) uses TBL can contact you through your BL email and ask you to take the conversation offline. they provide their email and away you go. TBL isn't trying to stifle connection but rather foster it.

                        Anyway, if I do have any (old) loglines on the BL, I sure would be sore about it. Yet, without joining I suppose I have no way of telling. After a fairly good flurry of read requests in my early years, I have wondered sometimes if I've been "blacklisted" somehow, somewhere.
                        it doesn't cost anything to join. if you're concerned. join and search by your name. if you don't want it there request it be removed.

                        I guess not, though. I still get the occasional out-of-the-blue breakthrough read request from major prodcos that I pitch, along with regular requests from newer/smaller companies. But reads from the bigs sure are harder to come by these days, in spite of tighter/better writing gained from all my practice and experience.
                        good to hear your hard work is paying off.
                        best to you, catcon.
                        FA4
                        "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Franklin Leonard

                          Originally posted by Strangerthanfiction View Post
                          How do you get your scripts to show in listed status?
                          Before, when the hosting ended they showed as listed automatically. Since my hosting ended recently, all of my scripts are showing as offline. I can't see an option to change this setting anywhere.
                          when you stopped the autorenew you should have been giving an option to completely delete it or keep it as "listed."

                          i saw another writer's script listed three days ago, so i'm sure it's still available.

                          i'd send them an email and ask if you can change it to listed.
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Franklin Leonard

                            Thank you for your response, Finalact. Will email them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Franklin Leonard

                              Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                              umm, no that's not all they need. they need legitimacy. ...
                              As legitimate as the BL readers who punch out 3-5 evaluations a day, I guess.

                              As for my point about a website URL in the BL writer's profile page, my experience was 5-6 years ago. It's good that they've updated it.

                              But you know the old trope, that writers have one chance to prove something to their readers and buyers? How about a messy corporate or software roll-out: It can result equally in the intended buyers losing faith in a way that's very hard to recover.

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