New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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

    Originally posted by Cooper View Post
    Okay, then I'm totally confused... Franklin?
    This is not the best forum for specific questions about your account. If you have specific questions or concerns, email us.

    If you have general questions or concerns about how the site operates, feel free to post them here and I'll answer them as I have time.

    Comment


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

      Hi TinLizzie, Franklin, Howie428, Cooper, and anyone else;'


      Much gratitude to you all for your responses as I feel BL staff must be overloaded the venue they uphold so well has become so renowned. I hope from my experience other writers as myself can glean something from these postings. Also I ended up here at Done Deal because a Support dept. person actually sent me here to work out questions. I guess there is just more room here to ask, muse, and for me make some crucial decisions I wouldn't have otherwise faced had I not discovered the great opportunity TBL provides. I mean it's great but it's scary kind of too as it can make or break you in a highly competitive film world yet provide a true venue for the unknown writers, a real oasis.


      So it's very nice how each of you have eased things over my unusual situation that I feel places me in a gray area of BL Pro Reader consideration and beyond. As a staff person wrote just a few minutes ago... Copyright issues will add to the uphill battle. So I wouldn't say you don't need to worry about it, but there's really nothing you can do besides write it out of the script. With rewriting my script as, "The Silver Slipper Affair-, I did just that, to the best of my ability. Now, actually thanks to BL and to you folks here, I'm I guess taking the big leap and diving back into the gray. Why? I think it is true that the value of the actual original "Ruby Slippers- monetarily and regarded as fictionally magical, and their renown, is more readily recognizable to the mass audience than the more obscure "Silver Slippers- from the original childrens' story. I tried to up the the silver slippers monetary value by adding several diamonds to the toes of them, plus working with my characters and adding some new characters and scenes that upped the tension over just how valuable the main catalyst to the story is. The result I feel made it work silver or ruby well both ways, yet with the concepts I interwove with the silver slippers now possibly re-applied with new light on the ruby slippers has upped the magnitude unlike ever before. In other words, it seems now if I had not written the story working with the silver slippers I would not have the components I have now to catapult things even greater by going back to the Ruby Slippers if I'm making cogent sense here.


      So I decided to change the title back to the old "The Ruby Slipper Affair- and include a note to the Pro Readers that I have written the script from both approaches, with the Ruby Slippers MGM owns the rights to, and with the "Silver Slippers- from the public domain original childrens' story. I just felt now with pulling my script while I go back into my story for a week or so or maybe less that any way I can raise the stakes for my protagonist I better well do so. I feel I need every iota of attract-ability I can even though I feel I have (don't mean to sound like I'm superficially bragging and mean to be objective) a unique and great story to bring to the world. Does that seem like sound logic to you guys? What you think or share means a lot to me.


      Maybe you others can respond... will my pulling my script for a week weaken my chances? Of course I ask that as now there was some glitch in the system and the BL staff person who had suspended my script had to go back and with second attempt suspend it... yet I still really don't know how it happened where my script had zero downloads and it wouldn't let me suspend my script because it stated "your script is being reviewed-. I'm wondering though, could suspending it put me farther down the list in standing at BL?


      I'll wait and see before re-writing what some all or none, all your own free will, might comment as maybe I'd just lift the suspension and let it all be as it now is, "The Silver Slipper Affair-. Thanks again for your patience and time. Maybe some future day I can help you.


      Kindest Regards,
      Mike

      Comment


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

        Originally posted by MichaelJ View Post
        Maybe you others can respond... will my pulling my script for a week weaken my chances?

        I'm wondering though, could suspending it put me farther down the list in standing at BL?
        Dear lord. You are really overthinking things. Don't do that. Don't drive yourself crazy.

        Will pulling your script for a weak weaken your chances? Your chances for what? Your script will get read, either way. The scores will be what the scores will be.

        Will suspending it put me further down the list in standing at the BL? A reader isn't going to know or care if it was or wasn't suspended.


        Take a deep breath. Take a step back. Get some perspective. You can't depend on posters here to tell you what to do. This is your script, and sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Do the rewrite or not. Suspend or don't. This is your script, and this is your decision.

        It isn't a BL reader's job to care if you've written "Ruby Slippers" and have it on standby in case they don't like the "Silver Slippers" approach, or vice versa. They're going to read what's in front of them, and rate it.

        Readers, unfortunately, are not your friends. They have no personal stake in your success or failure. They only care about the script -- not what you personally think about it. It's one read by an anonymous reader. It's great you've had an epiphany concerning your script and you feel it's stronger right now. Regardless of what you decide for this script, in the future maybe let a script sit a while and then go back over it and see what changes can be made before sending it anywhere.

        Keep in mind most scripts get 5's (or even less) as ratings. Use what the reviewer says (or not) and see what you can learn from their comments.

        And then write something else -- keeping in mind that commercial prospects are what drive things to get made. Obscure subjects that have to be explained to death might face an uphill battle.

        Good luck, Mike!

        Comment


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

          Hi Figment, and all the fine folks here who've had the patience to read my posts.

          You're advice is much appreciated, THANKS! So your appreciated pearls, yes, I realize now I really do think too much. My sister has told me that many times. I also need to realize the fact in certain realms the writer must decide to re-enter their soul and know it's a, like you say, gut decision. I must know that ultimately at certain points I need to return to my
          inner sanctum where creativity is, plus now I think things over... decisions that get down to comparing metaphors and story content that basically only the writer or maybe someone who has carefully read the script can know, is i realize more clearly is also my own realm. I must realize where those points are, and you Figment have helped me realize that; and with gratitude my hat is off to you and to the other generous writers here. I realize like you say most get five's or less and the reality the film world rejects a lot. I even heard Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln" was his pet project that took ten years before even he could make it! Also I just read even Brad Pitt posted a script he wrote here at BL. I don't know what ratings it got, but pretty daunting to think. Thanks for your patience and making such a great forum happen.
          Kindest Regards,
          Mike

          Comment


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

            Forgive me if this has been asked, but is there any information regarding how often industry members go back in and change scores that they had previously given? I just had a member change a score on me last night that they originally gave on January 7. I was less than thrilled, but whatever, that's not the point - I'm more curious about how many do it, if you're tracking what the scores normally change by, etc. The stats nerd in me can't resist finding out more, ha.

            And if I may make a humble suggestion, when that happens is there any way the email could actually reflect that that is what's happening? I got a "New rating alert" email, and was super confused until I contacted support about why my page was showing the incorrect number of ratings, the wrong average, etc.

            Comment


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

              Hi Again Figment, Franklin, TinLizzie... all you fin folks here;

              After all that, and I guess it's part and partial to the blood, sweat, and tears, of a writer in muse -- I decided, after only a minor tweak... hope I don't knock some of you out of your chairs after all this ha, so after all that I decided the Silver Slipper route as it was rings true. I hope you can though, fellow writers, glean something here from this experience. Who knows, maybe some meteor falls right and MGM takes some interest... but ruby or not, in muse I realized this touches on internal logic, on premise, on credibility. The historic factors I incorporated in "The Silver Slipper Affair", with the Silver (though they never physically existed) not Ruby Slippers touch on the history of this nation, film history, literary history... that are involved in my story's foundation. Fact? Fiction? I mean, subjectivity, objectivity... it is a delicate dance but... there has to be at least a degree of credibility. One could write a book on that subject alone ha! I don't know what the rest of you think about that and once again your much appreciated insights would be interesting. I mean yes it is fiction, and when the audience enters the theater the great, very great... thing is they enter the world of their imaginations too and view at least somewhat from that frame of mind. They laugh they cry and they flex. It seemed so strange the odd irony that emerged before me over the many months along my journey in writing this is the Silver Slippers make it better than the Ruby Slippers ever could've been. I have to laugh too as whatever piddly score I will most likely get is the reality for unknowns on the foggy dusty fringes such as myself; but the grand journey I went on creating this in soul in mind's eye, wow it was so enlightening and so much fun and at times even typing dialogue (have to laugh at myself) in tears! What could take away from that? Nothing. So after all that, and pacing the floor in my mind, here I am, dusty, foggy, on the low score fringe reality following my pen point to the blank white page ha!
              With Gratitude,
              Mike
              Last edited by MichaelJ; 02-22-2014, 08:04 AM. Reason: spelling of one word

              Comment


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

                In general I'm a supporter of the Black List, but one thing I've noticed is that readers seem hellbent on ensuring that their component scores align with the overall score. It's clear to me that the overall score is chosen first, and this creates a baseline for the component scores. As a result, we get reviews where one reader judges all elements in the 7-8 range, while another reader assigns a 4-5 rating to everything. It's like the reader's general impression of the script tends to color all individual aspects of it.

                I mention this because I keep seeing "well-written" but obviously low-concept scripts that get an 8 or 9 for Premise. The reader liked the script, so it gets a thumbs-up even in categories where it may be lacking.

                I will confess that I've never been terribly clear on what passes for a good premise in Hollywoodland. But it seems to me that 8s and 9s for Premise should be reserved for scripts with compelling hooks, rather than character-driven scripts about people on a "journey of self-discovery" or whatnot, however literate and well executed these stories may be.

                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.

                  So the second review came in. The first received 5/10, second 6/10.

                  All the categories received one point higher in their categories than the previous evaluation EXCEPT "Character".


                  The first reader gave it a 3/10

                  The second reader? 7/10

                  It was tied along with "Dialogue" as the highest marks, whereas the first reader had Character as the lowest of all categories.

                  This is somewhat close to the Jeff Lowell pilot situation, no? His had a 5 point differential between readers for "Character", while had a 4 point differential.


                  Comment


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

                    Originally posted by Wise View Post
                    So the second review came in. The first received 5/10, second 6/10.

                    All the categories received one point higher in their categories than the previous evaluation EXCEPT "Character".


                    The first reader gave it a 3/10

                    The second reader? 7/10

                    It was tied along with "Dialogue" as the highest marks, whereas the first reader had Character as the lowest of all categories.

                    This is somewhat close to the Jeff Lowell pilot situation, no? His had a 5 point differential between readers for "Character", while had a 4 point differential.


                    Wow. People aren't happy when individuals score a script wildly different and people still aren't happy when the scores are almost identical. Your problem is nothing like Jeff's. His overall scores were divergent, as were his individual components, yours are not. That one person thinks one component is better than another is irrelevant - it's opinion. What only matters, and which you are overlooking, is the overall score (5/10 and 6/10).

                    You're never going to get people to agree on everything yet here you've got two readers practically in synch on not just the final score but almost every criterion. To question that is unbelievable.
                    Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 02-23-2014, 06:55 AM.

                    Comment


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

                      Where has Lowell been? (besides busy at work) Since the original thread was locked, what were the ratings for your third (tie-breaking) review?

                      EDIT: nevermind. I see the rating.
                      FADE IN:
                      PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
                      NEVER FADE OUT.

                      Comment


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

                        Originally posted by Jai Brandon View Post
                        Where has Lowell been? (besides busy at work) Since the original thread was locked, what were the ratings for your third (tie-breaking) review?

                        EDIT: nevermind. I see the rating.
                        What was it?

                        Comment


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

                          Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
                          What was it?
                          I'll leave it up to Jeff to post it, if he so wishes.
                          FADE IN:
                          PERSEVERANCE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
                          NEVER FADE OUT.

                          Comment


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

                            Originally posted by Wise View Post
                            So the second review came in. The first received 5/10, second 6/10.

                            All the categories received one point higher in their categories than the previous evaluation EXCEPT "Character".


                            The first reader gave it a 3/10

                            The second reader? 7/10

                            It was tied along with "Dialogue" as the highest marks, whereas the first reader had Character as the lowest of all categories.

                            This is somewhat close to the Jeff Lowell pilot situation, no? His had a 5 point differential between readers for "Character", while had a 4 point differential.


                            I agree with SundownInRetreat. That wasn't Jeff's situation at all. Those are not disparate scores. All but one category of your scores are very much in line.

                            You got your answer. Time to rewrite.

                            Comment


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

                              As this is now a fairly long thread, I'd appreciate a quick review for a newbie to the Black List.
                              Can you walk me through how a few things work? (Be gentle with the questions that are "obvious" to you.)

                              PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR SCRIPTS
                              1. Do they see the same type of recap page the scriptwriters see, with categories like Featured, Recently Added, Top This & That?
                              2. How do they search for other scripts? By very general keywords (e.g., just a genre like sci fi, or more specifically, like "time travel"?) And how does everything tagged with that appear to them - in a multi-page list by title only, or with logline?
                              3. Would you say there's a lot of word of mouth in the industry, everyone looking at the same few scripts, or producers, etc. actively seeking out more obscure scripts.
                              4. What's the percentage of unrepresented unknowns v. somewhat established writers getting reads/ deals from The Black List.

                              WRITERS
                              1. What's the best way to position your script to get more action: views, DLs, reviews?
                              2. Is there such a thing as overtagging?
                              3. How does uploading a new version affect your place in the food chain?
                              4. How much does buying evaluations affect general traffic to your script?

                              Comment


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

                                Here's the answer to your questions:

                                Originally posted by TBH View Post
                                1. What's the best way to position your script to get more action: views, DLs, reviews?
                                There isn't. People will download usually if you get an 8 in an email blast. Unless they are searching for something specific -- adaptations, child's film, sci-fi.

                                2. Is there such a thing as overtagging?
                                Of course there is -- if something has nothing to do with your script, don't tag it as that. You'll only piss people off.

                                3. How does uploading a new version affect your place in the food chain?
                                In my experience, it doesn't. sometimes the people that already downloaded you will download again -- other people won't care.

                                4. How much does buying evaluations affect general traffic to your script?
                                Your script -- unless you are a known name -- isn't going to get much traction without relatively high-scoring reviews -- the whole point of the site is readers doing the hard work for the general industry (in the form of reader's evaluations). There's too many scripts for people to just read everything.
                                Now I'm going to tell you what you already know. Enter. Don't enter. It doesn't matter. Everyone's looking for a silver bullet. A known entity. The Blacklist isn't it. Because NOTHING is "it." Just like every other way into the industry, most will be disappointed.

                                People that got to the semi's of Nicholl get 3's on the Blacklist. People that couldn't get high up in the Nicholl or the Blacklist if they're life depended on it end up winning the tracking b and getting managers and agents. Likewise, some people that have been slammed in every contest get an 8 on the Blacklist. People sell scripts all the time that have never won, placed, or gotten an "8" anywhere. People ace Page and guess what, still don't sell their script. Others say to heck with all of it and get signed off a query to the right person at the right time.

                                Knowing people is still the best way in -- and the hardest to achieve.

                                Enter. Don't enter. Do what you think is best. It's not a lottery ticket.

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