My Black List Experience

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  • Bono
    replied
    Remember what RuPaul says -- "If You Don't Love Yourself, How The Hell Are You Gonna Love Somebody Else?"

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    Not horrible.

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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by Cyfress View Post

    What was the cost gonna be Joe?
    My soul.

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    What was the cost gonna be Joe?

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  • zetiago
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

    I'm no longer gonna do a thread on contests, so I won't be entering 9 contests, but I had intended to enter the 9 most popular, which were the following:

    1. Academy Nicholl Fellowship
    2. Austin Film Festival
    3. Page International Screenwriting Awards
    4. Launch Pad
    5. Final Draft Big Break
    6. trackingb
    7. ScreenCraft
    8. Script Pipeline
    9. Scriptapalooza

    zetiago, from previous posts you seem to favor low concept material. You would need to research the contests for the right fit, because some contests also score on commercial potential besides the other major elements.
    I couldn't think of nine contests with any industry cache so I was curious to see your list. For me there are only three contests that I think about entering - Nicholl, Austin, and Sundance Labs. I've never used the Black List but plan to soon. Outside of that I do general queries for work I think has market potential, which isn't everything I write. I've written and directed a few indie or even more avant-garde shorts that have played in festivals and been part of museum exhibits - think video art. I guess that's another angle, but festivals for shorts are more about finding any audience at all than having it lead to a pro career. That world has it's own set of hurdles and much like a lottery if you don't have contacts at a particular festival.

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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by zetiago View Post

    Joe:

    I'm curious. Which nine contests you intend to enter.
    I'm no longer gonna do a thread on contests, so I won't be entering 9 contests, but I had intended to enter the 9 most popular, which were the following:

    1. Academy Nicholl Fellowship
    2. Austin Film Festival
    3. Page International Screenwriting Awards
    4. Launch Pad
    5. Final Draft Big Break
    6. trackingb
    7. ScreenCraft
    8. Script Pipeline
    9. Scriptapalooza

    zetiago, from previous posts you seem to favor low concept material. You would need to research the contests for the right fit, because some contests also score on commercial potential besides the other major elements.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by Cyfress View Post

    Joe lets say you don't place in any of the contests and your blacklist scores were lower than you expected. Do you abandon the script altogether or do you tear down and start over?
    "start over?"

    Oh, hell no. I've executed this concept to the best of my ability (though I'm still tweaking). If it gets no love in contests, or the marketplace, then that's it. It goes into the drawer. In the future, if I think of a high concept, teen romantic comedy, then I may use some bits, details, etc. from this screenplay for the new concept.

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  • zetiago
    replied
    Joe:

    I'm curious. Which nine contests you intend to enter.

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    That's a tough pill to swallow for some people. They don't wanna admit what they have is subpar. For sure if you enter 9 contests and the script does not reach the top 10 in any of the contests it enters then that means it's easy to find ten scripts better in any random sample of 500 amateur scripts. Tough to swallow that.

    I understand that if a reader you loves romantic period pieces gets a high school comedy that they may give it a bad score but that will happen to everyone. You have to throw that out. First off, 90% of contest material is trash so right there if you can do better than trash you are in the top 10%. By trash I mean an underdeveloped script written around an incomplete idea that fails to work on any level. Just real rough, early draft stuff. I can't say I know this for sure but I'm pretty sure that's the way it is.

    I'm sure your script isn't trash joe so you figure you'll be in the top 10% of all these contests. All these contests will have 10 - 15 real good amateur screenplays, Nichol probably gets more than the rest. You'll have to see how your script stands up next to theirs.

    Joe lets say you don't place in any of the contests and your blacklist scores were lower than you expected. Do you abandon the script altogether or do you tear down and start over?

    Now that the Blacklist has been around for a while what is its greatest success story? Has there been a script that was sold and made?

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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

    Joe: by "advance," do you mean make it through the first cut? I'm not sure there's any contest where that would be a meaningful event in the writer's professional life.
    Hello -- Nicholl?

    Overall, you're right. The first cut in the Nicholl is the top 5%. For the majority of contests, it's 15 to 20%. In a previous post, I mentioned semi-finalist and above to get a shot at getting industry professionals' attention.

    But one of the reasons for my 9 contests endeavor was to show that a writer can overcome the subjectivity factor by entering at least 3 contests and not one, where in this situation, first cut applied.

    Edited to add:

    And if a writer doesn't advance in one out of three contests, then maybe it's not a subjectivity factor, but an issue with the screenplay, or the writer's skill is not at a certain level yet. And for all you great writers out there who entered three contests and did not advance, don't get mad at me saying it's not a subjectivity issue. I did say maybe.
    Last edited by JoeNYC; 02-03-2021, 11:17 AM.

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  • JeffLowell
    replied
    I think that if a pro entered a contest for amateurs, it would be a bad move. I think the pro might get blowback, and I'm not sure how much it would help the runner up who got elevated, since all the PR and announcements would have already happened. It's why - when I have run these type of experiments - I've hired readers or entered the blacklist, so I'm not screwing someone over.

    Joe: by "advance," do you mean make it through the first cut? I'm not sure there's any contest where that would be a meaningful event in the writer's professional life. Saying "I was one of the best 400 writers in a contest for amateurs" isn't a winning first line of a query letter.

    Again, I'm all for educational experiments. Hopefully you'll prove me wrong and win a bunch of contests and we can track the resulting bump in interest.

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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

    the only thing that really matters with a contest is how many doors does it open for the writer with a great result. And the only way to test that is with a winning script.
    The 9 contests that I was going to enter have all gained writers representation, but naturally, some more than others. So, testing them with a winner is unnecessary. Even if someone did test contests with a past "winning" script, Anagram made a good point that if someone doing the testing was a professional, or all ready had representation, they could decline the award and it would be the next writer up, but remember, there's a subjectivity factor, where a winning script might succeed in one contest and be a loser in another contest.

    I still insist that if a writer and screenplay is strong, even with the subjectivity factor, he should be able to advance in 1 out of 3 contests and that was one of the things I was aiming to prove, though I already done it with past contest entries.
    Last edited by JoeNYC; 02-03-2021, 11:26 AM.

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  • Anagram
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    Entering a ringer script is obviously a **** thing to do. But - in my opinion - the only thing that really matters with a contest is how many doors does it open for the writer with a great result. And the only way to test that is with a winning script.

    i see contests list how well past winners have done career-wise - but I know some of those winners, and often someone's success will have nothing to do with the contest using their name.
    Hi Jeff, I think it's a worthwhile experiment. I don't think it would take someone else's place, because afterwards you can withdraw your script, or explain, and the award will go to the next in line. Could be educational.

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  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Entering a ringer script is obviously a **** thing to do. But - in my opinion - the only thing that really matters with a contest is how many doors does it open for the writer with a great result. And the only way to test that is with a winning script.

    i see contests list how well past winners have done career-wise - but I know some of those winners, and often someone's success will have nothing to do with the contest using their name.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

    To me, the interesting way to run a test would be to submit a professional level spec - something that just sold or won a big contest - to see which contests recognize it and what they do with it. But that wouldn't be fair - you'd be taking a spot away from an amateur writer who was hoping to get a leg up.
    I think Shia LaBeouf already did this. A few times.

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