New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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

    So, I've been trying to log in to the Blacklist for the past two days... after typing in my user name and password I get a Logging In screen which shows a little spinning round thing and the words Logging in, please wait... then... nothing. It keeps spinning and I never get in.

    I thought it was my computer but everything else works fine. Nevertheless, I restarted my computer, ran my virus program and cleaned up the hard drive just to be sure. Still can't get in.

    Anybody else having this problem? Or have a suggestion as to what I might do (if you think it's a computer problem)?

    Thanks!

    Comment


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

      Originally posted by Cooper View Post
      So, I've been trying to log in to the Blacklist for the past two days... after typing in my user name and password I get a Logging In screen which shows a little spinning round thing and the words Logging in, please wait... then... nothing. It keeps spinning and I never get in.

      I thought it was my computer but everything else works fine. Nevertheless, I restarted my computer, ran my virus program and cleaned up the hard drive just to be sure. Still can't get in.

      Anybody else having this problem? Or have a suggestion as to what I might do (if you think it's a computer problem)?

      Thanks!
      @Cooper, I just signed in with no problem.

      @Ap Oz, thanks for the info on the "extended visibility' option.

      FA4
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

      Comment


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

        Originally posted by Cooper View Post
        So, I've been trying to log in to the Blacklist for the past two days... after typing in my user name and password I get a Logging In screen which shows a little spinning round thing and the words Logging in, please wait... then... nothing. It keeps spinning and I never get in.

        I thought it was my computer but everything else works fine. Nevertheless, I restarted my computer, ran my virus program and cleaned up the hard drive just to be sure. Still can't get in.

        Anybody else having this problem? Or have a suggestion as to what I might do (if you think it's a computer problem)?

        Thanks!
        Try using a different browser.

        Comment


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

          Originally posted by Cooper View Post
          Anybody else having this problem? Or have a suggestion as to what I might do (if you think it's a computer problem)?
          Try putting your browser in 'Incognito Mode' (Chrome) or 'Private Browsing' mode for others.

          If it works - it's probably a cookie problem.

          Source: I've coded websites and introduced the same bug.

          If this fixes it - then if you clear the cookies in your browser for the site will fix it. But the quickest way of testing is just to put the browser in 'Porn' mode to view the site.
          New blogposts:
          *Followup - Seeking Investors in all the wrong places
          *Preselling your film - Learning from the Experts
          *Getting your indie film onto iTunes
          *Case Study - Estimating Film profits

          Comment


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

            Originally posted by Mac H. View Post
            Try putting your browser in 'Incognito Mode' (Chrome) or 'Private Browsing' mode for others.

            If it works - it's probably a cookie problem.

            Source: I've coded websites and introduced the same bug.

            If this fixes it - then if you clear the cookies in your browser for the site will fix it. But the quickest way of testing is just to put the browser in 'Porn' mode to view the site.
            Thanks so much!!!!!!! This worked!

            Comment


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

              Hi,

              I paid 2 for 2 evaluations and one has come in, awaiting the other.

              I was extremely surprised by how low the character rating was. The reason I state this, is that since the initial stages where I've made numerous changes (6 months of edits) that the one aspect that all readers admired and found my strongest point was my characters, particularly my protagonist.

              The rating was a 3, although they liked the dialogue which they wrote in their review (6/10), the setting and plots play a huge role with regards to the dialogue. There is no way the dialogue would exist had it not been for those two. The setting occurs in an impoverished environment with teenagers, hence, likelier to be different than everyday jargon.

              What should I do? Or should I wait for the 2nd reader?

              I just don't want the second reader to be indirectly swayed by their colleague's perspective.

              Comment


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

                Originally posted by Wise View Post
                I just don't want the second reader to be indirectly swayed by their colleague's perspective.
                Readers are unaware of previous evaluations. They're not swayed.

                Second, the low character rating isn't necessarily a sign of a problem unless the second review is vastly different. For eg. Jeff Lowell's TV pilot varied from a 9 to a 4 for characters. Only then should you be complaining.
                I'm never wrong. Reality is just stubborn.

                Comment


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

                  Originally posted by FoxHound View Post
                  Readers are unaware of previous evaluations. They're not swayed.

                  Second, the low character rating isn't necessarily a sign of a problem unless the second review is vastly different. For eg. Jeff Lowell's TV pilot varied from a 9 to a 4 for characters. Only then should you be complaining.

                  Thanks! I'll wait for the next reader.

                  Comment


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

                    Originally posted by Wise View Post
                    Hi,

                    I paid 2 for 2 evaluations and one has come in, awaiting the other.

                    I was extremely surprised by how low the character rating was. The reason I state this, is that since the initial stages where I've made numerous changes (6 months of edits) that the one aspect that all readers admired and found my strongest point was my characters, particularly my protagonist.

                    The rating was a 3, although they liked the dialogue which they wrote in their review (6/10), the setting and plots play a huge role with regards to the dialogue. There is no way the dialogue would exist had it not been for those two. The setting occurs in an impoverished environment with teenagers, hence, likelier to be different than everyday jargon.

                    What should I do? Or should I wait for the 2nd reader?

                    I just don't want the second reader to be indirectly swayed by their colleague's perspective.
                    You paid for someone's opinion and you got it. What more do you expect?

                    Comment


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

                      Agreed. You got one opinion. Wait and see if how the second one shakes out. If it turns out that only one reader feels that way about your characters, it's probably just their personal taste (PP mentioned Jeff Lowell's script--that's is a great example). However, if two or more professional readers feel that way--start taking those notes seriously, and look at your script with a critical eye. You probably need to rewrite.

                      Let's say--just for the sake of argument--that this reader is right about your script. If he is right, he just did you a favor. He told you your script, while it may be a great amateur script, isn't ready for the marketplace in its current draft. That's the case for most writers starting out. They are so anxious to get an agent, manager, option, or sale that they send work out before its ready--and they aren't seasoned enough to see that it may be one, two, or even ten drafts from being ready to take out. It may have even won a contest, and that unfortunately seems to make new writers less willing to rewrite ("but I won [insert competition name here]..."). What those contest winners fail to realize is that contest winning scripts are not necessarily marketable or ready. They simply were good enough to beat out the rest of the amateur pack. Big fish, small pond. On the BL, your script is measured against the industry. It's the big time. The competition is WAY more difficult. The level of your script needs to be that much better.

                      Now, before you get defensive, I'm not necessarily saying that's you. It might be--but it very well may not be. I haven't read the script. I'm just playing devil's advocate here.

                      You mentioned that previous readers admired your character work in this script. It sounds like they are other writers in the same stage of trying to break in to the industry as you are. It's great that you have shown the work to other writers before submitting it to the BL. A community of writers you trust for notes is absolutely crucial when you're starting out. However, unless they are current industry execs, agents, managers, or professional writers (who read or write professional level scripts for a living), you need to consider that they may give solid notes at an early stage of the writing process, but they may not be the best judges of whether or not the script is ready for the marketplace.

                      Writers so often complain on these boards that the BL gave them a bad review of a script other people told them was "good." However, they are looking at it the wrong way. Truly great writers are never satisfied with a GOOD script. They rewrite until they know they have a GREAT one.

                      Also, again and again on these BL boards I've seen writers get so wounded by a negative review that they forget that criticism can not only help you improve the script in question, but it can also help you become a better writer. Remember, people who only tell you a script is "great" are probably not the people you want to give you notes. You want tough critics who you trust to tell you exactly what they think of your script, and who are skilled enough themselves to be able to offer helpful notes on how to elevate the story/characters/etc. The "yes men" readers will not help you improve or take your writing to the next level. They may want to--but they may not know the craft well enough to do so. You need a realistic idea of what stage your work is at if you hope to improve that script, as well as your overall craft.

                      Beyond that, rejection is part of being a professional writer. Ask any professional writer and they'll show you stacks of rejections. It's part of the game.

                      Point is, passes WILL happen. Bad reviews WILL happen. Disappointing notes will happen--and they will continue to happen long into your career. This business is EXTREMELY subjective. There WILL be people who just don't like your work--and that's okay. It only takes the right person to like it to make something happen. However, the work must first be GREAT.

                      Take the BL notes for what they are. Yes, the BL can be an opportunity for some to break in, find representation, or even make an option or sale. For most, though, it's a chance to gauge what level your script is at, and get a feel for what needs to be improved before you send the script out to the industry.
                      Last edited by celticbeauty; 02-19-2014, 11:45 AM.

                      Comment


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

                        Originally posted by celticbeauty View Post
                        Beyond that, rejection is part of being a professional writer. Ask any professional writer and they'll show you stacks of rejections. It's part of the game. Even writers like Aaron Sorkin get passes. Don't believe me? Here is a link to five of his pilot pitches that HBO turned down:

                        http://www.theweeklings.com/golear/2...-show-pitches/
                        Pretty sure this was a satirical article.

                        Comment


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

                          Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
                          +1

                          RE: a writer providing additional information about his or her script, all of our readers are assigned the scripts they read via their genre and subgenre preferences. The way to communicate additional information is via the logline, genre, and tag information.

                          If the reader needs to be primed with information beyond this, the issue is likely with the screenplay, not the way it's being presented.
                          I have a serious urgent consideration with posting my script with your fine “Black List” venue that could effect other writers' approach to successful posting at TBL, and possibly change TBL's posting design. I feel there are very possible reasons or conditions where a reader needs to be primed beyond logline, genre, and tag information, in certain situations. I think there might be something I did seriously wrong at my presentation level as I've only had two "Views" and no critique, and well into my third day!! I think a “View” means they've only looked at my logline, tags, genres, and very basic personal info; or can they also somehow at the “View” level read glance over my script without downloading? There's been no downloads.


                          Possible serious flaws of my own driving them away: my being conservative on the number of genres and so far noted, “Drama”, and “Drama Adventure”. Doesn't too many or even too few genres count against me? Other possible genres... in brief my protagonist heists a 1.3 million dollar over one hundred year old pair of diamond studded slippers (for what my teenage protagonist believes are magnanimous reasons) and hits the road across the South from LA area to Miami area (there is a definite reason for Miami area) and is chased by an evil foe as she risks her life. Her boyfriend catches up to her; and they both end up stowing away on a cruise ship to Dominican Republic (also for a definite reason) where they face tragedy. So my story involves adventure, their friendship involves love interest, it is a heist, it involves high technology at times, there are a couple of car chases, and it has a twist yet happy ending. It would be rated PG13 as there is no swearing, no sex, and no gratuitous violence. I wrote for 15 to 20 yr old audience demographic. What else could be driving your industry pros away? Maybe my logline might be scaring them off with copyright fears that don't exist yet would very much appear to. It's a paradoxical situation for me as the importance of the slippers to my story are because of their origins and not because of the original children's OZ story content.


                          A consultant told me my story would never be produced, only if MGM produced it (greatly reduces the odds) and stated the “Ruby Slippers” in the MGM 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz”, are under major iron-clad MGM copyright. The original children's story published in 1900, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
                          Last edited by MichaelJ; 02-19-2014, 11:46 AM. Reason: I typed it in another program an a lot of odd computer programming symbols, and better wording.

                          Comment


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

                            Originally posted by celticbeauty View Post
                            Agreed. You got one opinion. Wait and see if how the second one shakes out. If it turns out that only one reader feels that way about your characters, it's probably just their personal taste (PP mentioned Jeff Lowell's script--that's is a great example). However, if two or more professional readers feel that way--start taking those notes seriously, and look at your script with a critical eye. You probably need to rewrite.

                            Let's say--just for the sake of argument--that this reader is right about your script. If he is right, he just did you a favor. He told you your script, while it may be a great amateur script, isn't ready for the marketplace in its current draft. That's the case for most writers starting out. They are so anxious to get an agent, manager, option, or sale that they send work out before its ready--and they aren't seasoned enough to see that it may be one, two, or even ten drafts from being ready to take out. It may have even won a contest, and that unfortunately seems to make new writers less willing to rewrite ("but I won [insert competition name here]..."). What those contest winners fail to realize is that contest winning scripts are not necessarily marketable or ready. They simply were good enough to beat out the rest of the amateur pack. Big fish, small pond. On the BL, your script is measured against the industry. It's the big time. The competition is WAY more difficult. The level of your script needs to be that much better.

                            Now, before you get defensive, I'm not necessarily saying that's you. It might be--but it very well may not be. I haven't read the script. I'm just playing devil's advocate here.

                            You mentioned that previous readers admired your character work in this script. It sounds like they are other writers in the same stage of trying to break in to the industry as you are. It's great that you have shown the work to other writers before submitting it to the BL. A community of writers you trust for notes is absolutely crucial when you're starting out. However, unless they are current industry execs, agents, managers, or professional writers (who read or write professional level scripts for a living), you need to consider that they may give solid notes at an early stage of the writing process, but they may not be the best judges of whether or not the script is ready for the marketplace.
                            Writers so often complain on these boards that the BL gave them a bad review of a script other people told them was "good." However, they are looking at it the wrong way. Truly great writers are never satisfied with a GOOD script. They rewrite until they know they have a GREAT one.

                            Also, again and again on these BL boards I've seen writers get so wounded by a negative review that they forget that criticism can not only help you improve the script in question, but it can also help you become a better writer. Remember, people who only tell you a script is "great" are probably not the people you want to give you notes. You want tough critics who you trust to tell you exactly what they think of your script, and who are skilled enough themselves to be able to offer helpful notes on how to elevate the story/characters/etc. The "yes men" readers will not help you improve or take your writing to the next level. They may want to--but they may not know the craft well enough to do so. You need a realistic idea of what stage your work is at if you hope to improve that script, as well as your overall craft.

                            Beyond that, rejection is part of being a professional writer. Ask any professional writer and they'll show you stacks of rejections. It's part of the game. Even writers like Aaron Sorkin get passes. Don't believe me? Here is a link to five of his pilot pitches that HBO turned down:

                            http://www.theweeklings.com/golear/2...-show-pitches/

                            Point is, passes WILL happen. Bad reviews WILL happen. Disappointing notes will happen--and they will continue to happen long into your career. This business is EXTREMELY subjective. There WILL be people who just don't like your work--and that's okay. It only takes the right person to like it to make something happen. However, the work must first be GREAT.

                            Take the BL notes for what they are. Yes, the BL can be an opportunity for some to break in, find representation, or even make an option or sale. For most, though, it's a chance to gauge what level your script is at, and get a feel for what needs to be improved before you send the script out to the industry.

                            Hey, thanks for the extensive reply.

                            I'm actually very hard on myself, particularly this story, to make sure it's "just right". The people whom I gave it to who liked the character are respected readers such as ScriptGal and Screenplay Mechanic. That was back in September, I made my final rewrite a week ago. It is much more concise and flows smoother.

                            For example, one thing which all readers told me from the get-go was to remove certain scenes (and they made total sense) yet this reader asked for those exact unnecessary scenes.

                            I'm fully with you on how some people are very eager and most people wouldn't have a right to attack the reader immediately after a first draft. However, in my respectful opinion, I thought all the correct facets were achieved, especially so many drafts later. I'm also onboard with you when you said that if the reader is right they did me a favour. The first few reviews I got, I anticipated prior to opening them they would find it to be best thing since sliced bread. Boy, was I wrong.

                            Although I was disappointed they didn't like a few major aspects, they did note which parts were good and the parts that were bad, they were correct it noting it out. Reading dozens of more professional scripts (good and bad) since then, articles and books has helped me improve and diminish the few slight bad qualities I once had.

                            Thanks for the link. Don't worry I'm not discouraged, Lincoln lost the election 8 times, had two failed businesses and a nervous breakdown before he became president

                            Hopefully the second read goes well.

                            Hey, if you're interested in reading it, let me know.

                            Comment


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

                              Originally posted by omovie View Post
                              Pretty sure this was a satirical article.
                              That's what you took from my comment?

                              Satirical or not, my point is still valid. Rejection happens a lot in this business and happens to everyone--long into their careers.

                              More than that, many projects that are worthy still get rejected. Many famous films (including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Back to the Future) faced rejection all over town before someone took a chance on them. The same thing happened to Mark Cherry's hit series Desperate Housewives. It was rejected all over town. Cherry did 17 drafts on it before it finally sold to ABC. But it sold and became wildly successful because he kept rewriting until he had a script they could not say no to.

                              Rejection, while it may sting, isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can be motivating--and if you channel your efforts into a rewrite, it can help you strengthen your project, and your writing.
                              Last edited by celticbeauty; 02-19-2014, 12:07 PM.

                              Comment


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

                                MichaelJ, this doesn't sound at all unusual. Unless you pay for reviews (and get high ratings) your script will pretty much disappear into the BL black hole. The two views you did get were probably the result of its time near the top of the new upload list and your logline just wasn't enough to get someone to download. As for tags, my experience after messing around with the search function is that it's clunky enough that I doubt industry members utilize more than a few of the most important tags (sub-genre, budget, character ages, and perhaps stuff like "contained environment" etc.). And even if someone does hit more of your tags, there are plenty others using them so it's perfectly likely that your script will show up way, way down the page. i know I had to be pretty damn specific to get mine to come up in even the first half of a search.

                                I have a few bits of advice. First, you can take your logline over to the logline and query forum in a bid to hone it a little more so that if someone does view your page they also download the script. Second, you could try posting a link to your BL page over on the "rate my script" thread in an attempt to get eyes on it - but I don't know if anyone has had any success from this. Finally, you could spring for a BL review. But remember, you'll need two scores to make any of the top lists so unless you score an 8 somewhere and make the emails, one review won't do much good, whereas a 6 and a 7 would get you well up into the top lists and presumably provide some visibility.

                                Meanwhile, good luck.

                                Comment

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