Can anyone recommend a female reader? Looking for feedback on a new Pilot

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  • Can anyone recommend a female reader? Looking for feedback on a new Pilot

    Hi, wrote a new pilot and trying to get more feedback... Can anyone recommend a good female reader? If she happens to be Latina even better since the Pilot revolves around a Latina woman.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by gs1979 View Post
    Hi, wrote a new pilot and trying to get more feedback... Can anyone recommend a good female reader? If she happens to be Latina even better since the Pilot revolves around a Latina woman.
    Thanks.
    Nobody has answered this, so — somewhat against my better judgment — I will jump in and say something after I declare up front that I am not a professional screenwriter and am not trying to be. However, I have been a writer and teacher for almost my whole life, regardless of what I was doing to make a living at the time. I really wish that someone with "credentials" would offer some commentary on your request.

    Here is the situation as I see it.

    First, I know maybe three readers whom I would personally recommend, and they are all male.

    And now I get into the commentary.

    It is fine to want someone with a natural affinity to your main character to read your pilot. Maybe that person can say, "Hey, you really captured the cultural dynamics of that character as a latina."

    But you should have the confidence in yourself that you can create such a character without submitting your work to someone for evaluation under the focus of an "identitarian" lens.

    And, going beyond all that, what do you think is going to happen to your pilot when it (maybe) reaches a level where decision makers are considering it for production? I really do not think that anyone who invests money and prestige into a project is going to concede the final decision to a latina.

    There is an actor who used to post on this board a number of years ago. I see him on TV in commercials from time to time. He was also doing some writing. Through the years he has asked me to take a look at a couple of his pilots and to do some light editing on them. I did this, at no charge, just to help him out. I am a very harsh critic. But I thought that the pilots were pretty good. One of them may have generated a little interest, but I do not think that either pilot ever made it into production. As far as I know, he has never had any success with his writing.

    My point is that you are facing an enormous task. I am sure that I am only reminding you of something that you know already. I think that quality should be your goal, and I think that you need good feedback from someone with experience in the field of writing for television and film. That reader's gender and cultural background are not going to matter in the long run unless you feel lost and unable to create the female ethnic character that you have chosen to write about. And if that is the case, the situation is hopeless anyway.

    So good luck. I always like to see people working at their writing. Maybe this pilot will be a success for you. I hope so.


    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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    • #3
      ComicBent -- This was well said.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
        First, I know maybe three readers whom I would personally recommend, and they are all male.

        And now I get into the commentary.

        It is fine to want someone with a natural affinity to your main character to read your pilot. Maybe that person can say, "Hey, you really captured the cultural dynamics of that character as a latina."

        But you should have the confidence in yourself that you can create such a character without submitting your work to someone for evaluation under the focus of an "identitarian" lens.

        And, going beyond all that, what do you think is going to happen to your pilot when it (maybe) reaches a level where decision makers are considering it for production? I really do not think that anyone who invests money and prestige into a project is going to concede the final decision to a latina.
        Counterpoint: I've gone back and forth in my pilots and features between writing male protagonists and female protagonists (I'm a middle-aged white dude). Having a writers group of three women (younger than me and diverse as to religion and ethnicity) has been INVALUABLE for notes on scenes with female characters where I simply don't have the real-world experience to know how the situation reads to a woman who does.

        It's not intentionally "tone deaf" on my part and I always strive to write true to how I feel people in general would respond to given circumstances, but their notes to the effect of "hey, here's a thing we think you might be overlooking from a woman's POV in this scene" or "I've been in that situation and here's how it really went for me . . ." are coming from a place that I just can't know personally. And that's great. I'm always happy to be corrected when my intention doesn't line up with how the real world may actually work for others not like me. That feedback (to me) is worth its weight in gold. I never view it coming from an "identitarian" lens (they give equally constructive notes on my male characters).

        I would be wary of seeking out specific backgrounds for notes from that perspective only -- one female Latina reader shouldn't bear the full burden of signing off on complete authenticity in your script -- but if you can connect with a great analyst who also brings that aspect to the read, even better. But I'd try to make it clear that your concern is story first and if she notices anything culturally that is detracting from the story (or blatantly problematic) you want to be sensitive to that as well.

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        • #5
          Good luck to all with your writing!

          "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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