New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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  • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

    Hey Franklin,
    As a complete newb to this, quick question:
    Is there a point to hosting a script but not buying a review? I understand that the positive reviews garner more looks, but are people looking if your script is just hosted? (sorry if this is asked and answered).
    Thanks
    SL35
    Potent dreamer. Newb disclaimer.

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    • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

      Originally posted by Silverlynx35 View Post
      Hey Franklin,
      As a complete newb to this, quick question:
      Is there a point to hosting a script but not buying a review? I understand that the positive reviews garner more looks, but are people looking if your script is just hosted? (sorry if this is asked and answered).
      Thanks
      Definitely asked and answered, but I'm happy to answer it again.

      We strongly advise buying at least one evaluation. I fully acknowledge that we're financially incentivized to say that, but it's also the truth that it's far more likely your script will be discovered if it has been rated well by one of our readers than if it hasn't.

      Some writer have found success driving traffic to their script by hosting it without a read and then querying reps and producers with a link to their Black List hosted script, but since we don't have a way of tracking exactly how many people have attempted this and what their results are, we have know way of knowing just how successful that approach is or can be.

      Comment


      • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

        Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
        Thanks for the compliment. Credit also goes to Dino Sijamic, Terry Huang, and Glen Charbonneau.

        For those of you curious which numbers,

        here's our 2013 Annual Report.
        Congrats. These are some impressive figures. This service has proven its value. And the customer service as provided by Terry is stellar.

        I still think that BL has its flaws. And that it should be only one of many tools that writers use to gain access. After all, 30-odd rep signings and 20-odd sales out of over 7,000 submissions is a rather miniscule percentage.

        There are a lot of users who scored an 8/9/10 that didn't get signings/sales/options or have seen little to no action on their scripts. And also many who just missed the cut-off (with a 7/10) with scripts that just weren't appreciated enough by the readers. They would be well-advised to try their hand with other options. For example, two of my scripts only managed a maximum 7/10. Through using other channels such as high contest placements, Virtual Pitchfest, and regular query e-mails, I was able to get several reads for both at top management and production companies.

        But there is no denying that the BL has helped a number of writers to get their foot in the door. For that alone, it should be applauded.

        And it's a pretty-looking report, to boot.

        One last thing - I have to admit, I do find the claim made on the front page a bit disingenuous. "In one year, we've hosted more scripts than any screenwriting competition has reported in a single year." The submission period for most contests usually only runs for a half a year at most (e.g., Nicholl's is from January to May). Whereas the submission period you are referring to for BL is a 12-month timeframe. So, of course there were more scripts.

        But again - job well done.
        "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

        Comment


        • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

          Originally posted by UpandComing View Post

          One last thing - I have to admit, I do find the claim made on the front page a bit disingenuous. "In one year, we've hosted more scripts than any screenwriting competition has reported in a single year." The submission period for most contests usually only runs for a half a year at most (e.g., Nicholl's is from January to May). Whereas the submission period you are referring to for BL is a 12-month timeframe. So, of course there were more scripts.

          But again - job well done.
          It's a reasonable point to raise, but do we think that writers who complete scripts during the time of the year that's not the submission period don't submit during the submission period when it opens?

          The fact remains that the scripts that we highlighted as worthy of consideration come from a pool larger than any other pool, which was the point we were trying to make there.

          Thank you for the kind words. I agree that we're not perfect. It's something that I ceded when we launched in The What, The How, and the Why of the Black List: The Long Answer. I encourage anyone who can come up with a more perfect system to make an attempt. No one would welcome it more than I.

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          • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

            I've noticed an interesting thing. When I send out queries to managers/agents with a quote from BL reader's evaluation, I always get one or two downloads from the site, even though I didn't provide a link. Apparently they prefer to check it anonymously and look up my script on BL. I'm not crazy about it because I can't keep track of who's reading. But maybe they wouldn't bother to ask for it, send the form, etc.
            Last edited by goldmund; 11-15-2013, 11:33 AM.

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            • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

              Hi Franklin, I was wondering if the review process for TV pilots was the same as it is for features? I ask this because I've noticed on the Black List site that there's currently not a "Top Pilots" list, pertaining to recently reviewed pilots. My pilot was recently reviewed and I scored an average of 5.5 -- not a large enough score to earn a slot on the "Top List" section but still a fair enough review.

              Thanks!
              "Someone shot me!" --Anonymous

              Comment


              • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                Originally posted by lawn59 View Post
                Hi Franklin, I was wondering if the review process for TV pilots was the same as it is for features? I ask this because I've noticed on the Black List site that there's currently not a "Top Pilots" list, pertaining to recently reviewed pilots. My pilot was recently reviewed and I scored an average of 5.5 -- not a large enough score to earn a slot on the "Top List" section but still a fair enough review.

                Thanks!
                Review process is identical with the exception that we also provide comments on the series bible if a writer chooses to include it (at no additional charge.)

                The Top Lists aren't well populated because there haven't yet been enough scripts to earn high enough ratings to be included on it. As there are, there will be.

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                • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                  Hi Franklin!

                  I scored an 8 two weeks ago, so I'm assuming it was sent in an email for that week. I've ordered a second eval, and was wondering if it comes back as an 8 or higher, will it then be sent again in the email for the week the review is posted?

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                  • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                    Hey, Franklin. Do you know how many of the writers who upload to the site already have reps?
                    Chicks Who Script podcast

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                    • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                      Originally posted by emily blake View Post
                      Hey, Franklin. Do you know how many of the writers who upload to the site already have reps?
                      Don't have that info immediately available and my CTO is taking a well deserved vacation for the next four days.

                      There's also the issue that some repped writers are uploading scripts without including their rep info (see the Bob Saenz thread here on Done Deal.)

                      Comment


                      • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                        Franklin,

                        Thanks for hosting TV on the site! A couple questions:

                        1) Are there any plans to add a "TV specs" category? I know that the industry is back in its original pilot phase right now, but some people still want to see that you can write for someone else's voice, in addition to creating your own.

                        2) Is there an easy way for industry to search the site for writers that have both feature and TV scripts? Will there be numbers on this? Obviously, the quality of a script is the most important factor, but I'd imagine those agencies that represent both film and television would be interested in writers that write for both.

                        Thanks!
                        http://twitter.com/gregbrainos
                        http://www.facebook.com/greg.brainos

                        Comment


                        • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                          This has probably been posted before somewhere but is there a full sample paid review anywhere? Just to get an idea of what level of review you get for the $50 outlay. Really to determine if it's a good development tool for scripts you know aren't 100% there but you hope the review can help pick out the issues you know are there but can't pick out.

                          Comment


                          • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                            Originally posted by rikib007 View Post
                            This has probably been posted before somewhere but is there a full sample paid review anywhere? Just to get an idea of what level of review you get for the $50 outlay. Really to determine if it's a good development tool for scripts you know aren't 100% there but you hope the review can help pick out the issues you know are there but can't pick out.
                            It sounds like you're looking for script notes and that's not what the Black List is about. If you sent your script in to a production company and the boss wanted a rundown, the reader wouldn't break down every flaw with the script. He may mention some specifics but not much more than passing comments. The reader would give his boss a fairly concise overview of the script and his verdict as to whether it's a goer or not.

                            Your $50 is really to gauge where your script stands with the pros and if it holds its own, provides a very attractive lure for the big fish prowling the waters.

                            But to answer your question, there's a number of reviews posted. Look for a really long Black List thread (can't remember the title now).

                            Comment


                            • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                              Originally posted by rikib007 View Post
                              This has probably been posted before somewhere but is there a full sample paid review anywhere? Just to get an idea of what level of review you get for the $50 outlay. Really to determine if it's a good development tool for scripts you know aren't 100% there but you hope the review can help pick out the issues you know are there but can't pick out.
                              As Sundown says, Black List isn't a place you should be looking for coverage/development help. In my experience, the turnaround between a paid reader download and then the posting of their review has been as short as 4 hours. That's not a whole lot of time in my opinion to give you deep, meaningful feedback. Can you get some helpful stuff from the BL? I have, sure. But, then again, that's not what I was using it for.

                              If you are looking for a place that gives more insightful coverage and has the ability to put your script in front of industry types, I would suggest researching the offerings by the Tracking Board.

                              Here's a thread where I posted two paid reviews of my script:

                              http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...158#post881158

                              Comment


                              • Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                                Hi Leonard, thought you were great on Scriptnotes, and really appreciate what you're trying to do with The Black List site.

                                I have a question, why would a reader download a script three different times over the course of several days? Are the readers not required to read and evaluate the story in the same day? Or at least to read it in one sitting?

                                If not, this would concern me, as I have provided peers reviews before and know that breaking up the read can lead to missing set ups and payoffs in a story, and often results in rereading pages. I've assumed that the reader would read it once straight through. Is it possible that the reader is downloading it and not reading it in one sitting as is intended?

                                Your response is very much appreciated.
                                Ciao,
                                FA4
                                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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