Spec Scout

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  • #61
    Re: Spec Scout

    Originally posted by emily blake View Post
    Maybe you missed my question. If I can't get the listing removed, is there a way for me to see my own coverage without paying for a membership? I see no way to do that on the site. I would like to at the very least know what's being said about my script on this site, since it's easily accessible to anyone with money.

    I don't want you to feel that you are being ganged up on, but these are legitimate concerns.
    Emily, we'd previously decided not to make our coverage directly available to writers, since your agent or manager could download it for you if they have access to the library. However, since we're now internally considering an opt-out policy, I'll put that back into the mix as well.

    I don't mind being ganged up on -- I feel like if we can't stand a little criticism or legitimate questions about what and how and why we're doing what we're doing, we shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
    Jason Scoggins

    http://www.specscout.com

    or for that matter

    http://www.scogginsreport.com

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Spec Scout

      Sorry, MB, thought I had answered via my response to FSF.

      "Phenomenal" is an admittedly less than precise adjective. Let me be more specific: A score in the 80's means all three readers rated the script a "Recommend" or better. It's a pretty high bar -- there aren't all that many that have hit that mark so far.

      Yes, I agree that it's logical to expect that of those, a pretty small percentage will be sans agent, since good material tends to attract champions. But there are exceptions, notably scripts repped by exceptional managers like yourself. (I know that's going to come off as me kissing your ass, but I mean it literally.)

      Of Spec Scout's Top 10 of 2012 list, only 2 of those scripts didn't have agents, and those 2 had reputable managers. FWIW, only 2 didn't have managers, and those 2 had reputable agents. The rest had both.

      In other news, my partners and I have continued this discussion offline. We're definitely going to implement an opt-out policy, whereby writers and/or their reps can request their scores and the readers' comments be suppressed. It'll take a week or two to implement that, but it'll be in the works by Monday. We're also going to automatically suppress scores and comments on spec market scripts that don't score above a certain threshold. We're still discussing what that threshold should be, but it's going to happen, concurrently with the implementation of the opt-out policy.

      Hopefully, the combination of those two changes will minimize that thing I was concerned about -- that projects without scores will automatically be seen as significantly deficient in some way (which they shouldn't be, per my earlier post about the scoring system).

      Thanks again for everyone's input. It's been very helpful.
      Last edited by jscoggins; 12-22-2012, 05:51 PM.
      Jason Scoggins

      http://www.specscout.com

      or for that matter

      http://www.scogginsreport.com

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Spec Scout

        Originally posted by jscoggins View Post
        Right -- this is the definition I use for my newsletter (ScogginsReport.com) and the one we use at SpecScout.com.



        This is a bit unfair, since it doesn't reflect reality in a number of ways. In no particular order:

        1. There are literally hundreds of examples of quirky, intimate, small, and/or otherwise less-than-commercial material that have received glowing coverage from Spec Scout. Consider several such examples from last year's Black List:
        - "The Imitation Game" (Spec Scout Score: 84.1)
        - "Home By Christmas" (Spec Scout Score: 82.0)
        - "Bastards" (Spec Scout Score: 76.4)
        - "The Flamingo Thief" (Spec Scout Score: 76.0)

        If the hypothetical bird watcher love story was well written, it would receive high marks from our readers and an attendant high Spec Scout Score. If it needed work, that would be indicated instead. The point being, obviously, that it's the writing that matters, not the subject matter.

        2. The last thing we want to do is get in the way of someone's career. The only time we would post a score of a script immediately after it's been sent out is if we'd been submitted the script in advance and the reps and/or writer asked us to do so. Usually, though, we get copies of scripts a week or so after they've gone to market, and it takes us some time to get them covered. So in practice, Spec Scout can't possibly disrupt the spec market in this negative way. On the other hand, it might possibly enhance it, in that a high Spec Scout Score can be used as a sales tool from the outset, and scripts that didn't originally find a home but scored well have an opportunity to be discovered or re-discovered later.

        3. Our coverage is written by readers who have extensive experience and who we've trained over the course of dozens of sample scripts to follow our rubric. No script would be dismissed so curtly as you've described here. Each aspect of the script is given careful consideration, and the comments in each section are supported by specific examples from the script. Each reader is required to assess each script professionally (i.e., based on our rubric), but yes, this whole endeavor is inherently subjective. One reader who didn't connect with the material may well rate it a "Consider" when another reader who did respond to the material rated it a "Recommend." HOWEVER...

        4. THE WHOLE POINT of Spec Scout is to eliminate the impact one reader's poor perception of a given script can have on its chances of success. By the time all three initial readers have weighed in, the hypothetical one grumpy reader's take is minimized.



        Again, this just doesn't reflect reality.



        This makes a nice button but I respectfully disagree. I think my personal, pro-writer track record speaks for itself and is well documented, and I would never have co-founded Spec Scout if I thought it was anti-writer or counterproductive to Hollywood. In fact, the opposite is true: I started Spec Scout because I thought it would benefit writers in several important ways, not least because by applying the same scoring system to spec market scripts as aspiring writers' material, we've created a way for good material from aspiring writers in particular to rise to the attention of the agents, managers, creative executives, producers, directors and the other pros who have access to the library.

        This has in fact happened already. We can't mention the company or the project for a couple more weeks until the paperwork is signed and we get the green light to talk about it, but a high profile independent production company is in the process of acquiring a script they discovered on Spec Scout in the past two weeks. This particular script was by a first-timer, but it could just as easily have been a high scoring script by an established writer that simply hadn't found a home previously.

        Given the state of the spec market, writers themselves as well as the business as a whole would be well served if there was no longer any such thing as a "busted spec." To put it a different way, the fact that a script didn't sell during its initial round of exposure to producers and executives shouldn't be the black mark that it is now, because the nature of the spec market has fundamentally changed since that dynamic was originally created. If our scoring system contributes to changing that perception, then our site will definitively have been pro-writer and productive for Hollywood.
        Thanks for addressing my questions, this is really good interaction back and forth and I just eat it up..so, one other question, what about those scripts that are un-repped, have been through a few different major coverage companies, rewritten and not in it's best shape to enter the world of contests,lists, etc and just submitted to specscout? I think their might have been some discussion about that, I'll go back and look, thanks.
        • Go and do likewise gents..

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Spec Scout

          Jason, thanks for the quick turnaround on answering questions, and I do appreciate the speed with which you are attempting to implement changes.

          One last suggestion, and correct me if I missed it on the site, but perhaps the addition of a Legend or Key that explains the grading scale and how it works specifically to your coverage. Most people see a score of 65 and think "D" when it sounds like that's not the intent.

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Spec Scout

            Originally posted by F.Scott.Frazier View Post
            Jason, thanks for the quick turnaround on answering questions, and I do appreciate the speed with which you are attempting to implement changes.

            One last suggestion, and correct me if I missed it on the site, but perhaps the addition of a Legend or Key that explains the grading scale and how it works specifically to your coverage. Most people see a score of 65 and think "D" when it sounds like that's not the intent.
            You're very welcome, Scott, and thanks back at you for such a good conversation.

            A legend is a very good suggestion. We'd already planned to do a separate Frequently Asked Questions page, but I think it makes sense to have a separate page about the scoring system itself, considering it's the lynchpin of the site.
            Jason Scoggins

            http://www.specscout.com

            or for that matter

            http://www.scogginsreport.com

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Spec Scout

              Originally posted by jscoggins View Post
              We're definitely going to implement an opt-out policy, whereby writers and/or their reps can request their scores and the readers' comments be suppressed... We're also going to automatically suppress scores and comments on spec market scripts that don't score above a certain threshold. We're still discussing what that threshold should be, but it's going to happen, concurrently with the implementation of the opt-out policy.
              These are meaningful, important changes and will ameliorate my key issue about the site.

              (I'd rather it be an opt-in, of course...)

              Well done on being responsive and proactive.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Spec Scout

                My spec is so poorly scouted on that website.

                On one 2012 list it made, not the other.
                Listed as setup/sold yet also available at the same time.
                The wrong production company and producer is listed.
                And a crappy logline that's been purple-monkey-dishwasher'ed so many times since the original.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Spec Scout

                  Hi Stephen,

                  No problem, we'll fix it for you. Please provide us with a logline you'd prefer we use as well as the correct production company and producer info. We're still adding scripts to the lists, so that should be fixed in the next few days, but if you let us know the specifics then it's no problem to resolve.

                  Thx,
                  Tim

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Spec Scout

                    Hey Tom,

                    I'll have my reps sort it out after the Holidays. I really don't want that spec being covered or ranked on your website. It wasn't even something to go out into the market, but a writer's sample that slipped to a dozen companies which introduced me to the town. Basically, you guys reviewed and covered a first draft that isn't supposed to be read outside of a close circle of screenwriting colleagues and a select group of targeted execs that my reps sent it to.
                    Last edited by Steven L.; 12-23-2012, 04:26 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Spec Scout

                      Originally posted by LIMAMA View Post
                      . So to recap, the $147 is to have three industry readers rate the script, and if it rates 60 or above by all three, you are "invited" to have your script in this database/library for industry people to peruse.

                      I don't wanna read the whole thread -- just to be clear, unless you are paying to be read by this service, or have reps who have sent your script out wide and it somehow ended up on the site, you won't be on the site, correct?

                      It all feels very disconcerting that a script (who knows what draft) will end up on a site against your will -- but hey, you can't see if it is unless you pay to be a memeber of the site, so you'll never know!!

                      Gross.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Spec Scout

                        Originally posted by Steven L. View Post
                        Hey Tom,

                        I'll have my reps sort it out after the Holidays. I really don't want that spec being covered or ranked on your website. It wasn't even something to go out into the market, but a writer's sample that slipped to a dozen companies which introduced me to the town. Basically, you guys reviewed and covered a first draft that isn't supposed to be read outside of a close circle of screenwriting colleagues and a select group of targeted execs that my reps sent it to.
                        Which is why this should be an opt-in website, not an opt-out one.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: Spec Scout

                          Originally posted by jcgary View Post
                          Which is why this should be an opt-in website, not an opt-out one.
                          I'm seeing disturbing echoes between this and ScriptShadow. Though that might be unfair as Carson doesn't charge for access to his reviews.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Re: Spec Scout

                            Originally posted by Steven L. View Post
                            Hey Tom,

                            I'll have my reps sort it out after the Holidays. I really don't want that spec being covered or ranked on your website. It wasn't even something to go out into the market, but a writer's sample that slipped to a dozen companies which introduced me to the town. Basically, you guys reviewed and covered a first draft that isn't supposed to be read outside of a close circle of screenwriting colleagues and a select group of targeted execs that my reps sent it to.
                            I'll PM you, Steven -- I hope you'll let us take care of it now. I'm not sure how we would have captured your script if it didn't end up getting tracked on one or more of the big tracking boards, and it seems weird to me that an agent or manager would send out a first draft you weren't happy with as a sample. Regardless, the situation you describe is the exact sort of exception we're willing to make.
                            Jason Scoggins

                            http://www.specscout.com

                            or for that matter

                            http://www.scogginsreport.com

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Re: Spec Scout


                              I'm seeing disturbing echoes between this and ScriptShadow. Though that might
                              be unfair as Carson doesn't charge for access to his reviews.
                              My sentiments exactly. As I understand it: Without my (or my rep's) will or permission, a website gets a hold of my script and has its "professional readers" rate and post coverage on a public website. And the only way for me, a writer, to view what's been posted and rated is to pay a fee. Does anyone else find something egregiously wrong with this picture?

                              IMO, before posting any kind of coverage or rating a script, the writer should not only be informed, but asked permission.

                              Late Night Writer

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Re: Spec Scout

                                Originally posted by Bitter Script Reader View Post
                                I'm seeing disturbing echoes between this and ScriptShadow. Though that might be unfair as Carson doesn't charge for access to his reviews.
                                What's that sound? I think it might be the levees breaking.

                                Originally posted by jscoggins View Post
                                Regardless, the situation you describe is the exact sort of exception we're willing to make.
                                But I thought:

                                We're definitely going to implement an opt-out policy, whereby writers and/or their reps can request their scores and the readers' comments be suppressed.
                                So are you "willing" to make "exceptions" in certain cases, or are you implementing a full-scale opt-out policy for any and all writers who wish their material not reviewed by your readers?

                                Because one of these things is not like the other.

                                Comment

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