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 MrZero View Post
    It's also a little crazy-making when you finally appear on the Top List and you still can't get any pro views or downloads. It's hard out there for a pimp...
    Franklin - any ideas why this is happening or what the BL can do about it?

    I have the general sense that the one-time exposure you get by appearing in the newsletter might be more "valuable" than being on the top lists... I.e., people get more views/downloads from the newsletter? What do others think?
    "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

    Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

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

      Originally posted by LauriD View Post
      Franklin - any ideas why this is happening or what the BL can do about it?...What do others think?
      Why is this happening? MrZero must not have written a compelling logline (no offence, Zed). I don't see how you can ask the host to do anything about non-interest in a script when plenty of others are getting on just fine.

      The Top List is just that - a list. Like the newsletter it puts wares in the shop window. If no one wants to buy then look at the product not the shopkeeper.
      Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 03-20-2014, 03:27 PM.

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

        Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
        Why is this happening? MrZero must not have written a compelling logline (no offence, Zed). I don't see how you can ask the host to do anything about non-interest in a script when plenty of others are getting on just fine.
        Oh, it's certainly very possible that my logline sucks, my script sucks, I suck. These worries invade my brain on a fairly routine basis. But to be frank, I haven't seen more than a small handful of loglines on the Black List that I would describe as "compelling."

        Meanwhile, I'm sitting here with a reasonably commercial thriller that the last Black List reader described as "damn good," but if I'm reading the numbers correctly I haven't gotten a single download from any source that wasn't a paid reader or someone associated with one of the fellowship opportunities on the site. I'm not blaming Franklin at all. It just seems to me that someone out there ought to be willing to take a look at this thing--if only out of idle curiosity, maybe?

        I probably shouldn't complain, given that there are plenty of other lonely scripts that seem to be accumulating cyberdust, and some of them have earned higher scores than mine. It's just how it goes, I guess.

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

          Originally posted by MrZero View Post
          Meanwhile, I'm sitting here with a reasonably commercial thriller that the last Black List reader described as "damn good,"
          Ah. That does look strange. I assumed yours was much more niche than a commercial thriller. Do you mind sharing you logline? It's probably just fine but it can't hurt.

          On the bright side, people place too much stock in the BL doing the work for them and the best plan is to query like hell off the back of your 8+. Your score alone will open more doors than previously possible so whatever your method - VPF, email, LinkedIn - just blast it out. I'm pretty certain you haven't have lost much traction.
          Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 03-21-2014, 04:40 AM.

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

            Hi Everyone,

            I'm a new member (as you can clearly see), but I've followed Done Deal for a little over a year, just never registered.

            Just wanted to say Hi and give a thank you to Franklin for answering questions. I just joined Black List the other night, and will post a link to my script's page in the "rating" thread sometime later.

            Nice to be part of the community!

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

              Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
              Ah. That does look strange. I assumed yours was much more niche than a commercial thriller. Do you mind sharing you logline? It's probably just fine but it can't hurt.

              On the bright side, people place too much stock in the BL doing the work for them and the best plan is to query like hell off the back of your 8+. Your score alone will open more doors than previously possible so whatever your method - VPF, email, LinkedIn - just blast it out. I'm pretty certain you haven't have lost much traction.
              I should make it clear that I haven't gotten 8+ scores--I keep hitting those damn sevens! I've received 8s in certain components, but not for an overall score. This was, however, good enough to put me on the Top List for a while, which was the achievement I mentioned in the original post.

              What this may indicate is that the various auxiliary benefits of the Black List--e.g., the Top Lists, the "targeted" component emails--don't count for much. People take notice only when you have an overall 8+.

              Or, again, maybe I just suck.

              If you're interested in looking at my logline, we could take this to PMs. I'd rather not post it here.

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

                Sure, send away.

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

                  Eugene Mont: I'm a new member (as you can clearly see), but I've followed Done Deal for a little over a year, just never registered.
                  Welcome to Done Deal Pro!

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

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

                    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
                    Welcome to Done Deal Pro!
                    Thanks ComicBent! Glad to be here!!

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

                      Originally posted by DayJobWriter View Post
                      It just means that the person (in this case the pro) who downloaded it, did so again. A lot of them don't "keep" the download but just log in and open it where they left off. I had one pro download my script four times. I thought it meant he/she liked it and was showing it around but it could just mean they never had a block of time to finish reading it.

                      I tried to read something into the whole non-unique download thing and Franklin advised me not to (in the kindest possible way.)
                      Greetings!

                      Thanks DayJobWriter for answer to Spyder23 as it seems you know how it all works. I read up to page 30 of this very nice post, and about 40 other pages at other posts. Didn't find my ? at BL's FAQ's. Sorry about my learning curve with BL... so here goes. I uploaded my script at BL a month ago with only 1 immediate Pro View and gradually 10 Peer Views. I received a free month posting for which I am very grateful as for the one Pro reading I paid for nothing had happened. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can at least get Pro Readers attention to view my script page before my first evaluation? I feel trapped. I also suspended it a couple of times and BL's automated message was I couldn't because it was with a Pro-reader so I could only suspend via a staff person... only there had been no downloads of my script. Why is that? How can a Pro have my script and no record of any download, or no record it is with a Pro-Reader? Also, I see 8 scripts that are like my story on my script page only I go to their pages and do not in turn see my script posted with them... why?

                      Thanks! Mike
                      Last edited by MichaelJ; 03-25-2014, 07:49 AM. Reason: Too long, some in mean time answered, found a relevant post as a parallel.

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

                        Originally posted by MichaelJ View Post
                        Greetings!

                        Thanks DayJobWriter for answer to Spyder23 as it seems you know how it all works. I read up to page 30 of this very nice post, and about 40 other pages at other posts. Didn't find my ? at BL's FAQ's. Sorry about my learning curve with BL... so here goes. I uploaded my script at BL a month ago with only 1 immediate Pro View and gradually 10 Peer Views. I received a free month posting for which I am very grateful as for the one Pro reading I paid for nothing had happened. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can at least get Pro Readers attention to view my script page before my first evaluation? I feel trapped. I also suspended it a couple of times and BL's automated message was I couldn't because it was with a Pro-reader so I could only suspend via a staff person... only there had been no downloads of my script. Why is that? How can a Pro have my script and no record of any download, or no record it is with a Pro-Reader? Also, I see 8 scripts that are like my story on my script page only I go to their pages and do not in turn see my script posted with them... why?

                        Thanks! Mike
                        Patience, grasshopper.

                        If my limited experience with the BL is any indication, expect to have more views from other writers than industry people when you start out. I think that just happens because writers (especially for these initiatives) may be sizing up the competition and/or seeing what other projects are out there and how their scores (if public) compare. If your reviews come in at 8 or higher, and you get into the weekly email, or if you make it into the Top List, you'll see some more pro traffic. However, you need at least two reviews with an above average overall score to get onto the monthly Top List. 3 for the Quarterly Top List. 4 for the Annual Top List.

                        Without any contacts or paid evaluations posted, there's really only two things you can do to drive traffic to your script. The first is make sure your logline is as strong as possible. If the logline isn't good, people won't bother with the script. However, they'd have to be looking for a script with the exact tags that you put on it to even see your script. The odds there are long! The second thing that some people seem to have good luck with is to query. Some include a link to their Black List script on their queries to drive up traffic. Personally, I wouldn't do that. I like to know who is reading my material and to track the ratio of queries to success--but it's one way to go. However, I will caution you that you may want to wait until you have a high score. If you can say in the query that your script received an 8 or 9 on the Black List, it might increase your odds of getting a read. Other than that, all you can do is wait for the paid evals to come in.

                        For your other questions, you should email BL support. They're very responsive to writer questions.

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

                          I've been out of the loop for a couple years and I'm not too familiar with the new Black List. Has anyone gotten any real heat off this site? Have there been any real success stories or is this just a tricked-out Triggerstreet that preys on the dreams of the delusional?

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

                            It's completely legit. People have definitely found success on the BL. Just check their annual report. Last year alone more than 30 writers found reps, at least 20 scripts were sold or optioned, and one writer got a blind script deal with Warner Brothers.

                            http://blcklst.com/2013-annual-report

                            Now that they've opened it to television, there's even more opportunity. There are currently blind script deals up for grabs with Turner (TBS/TNT), and Wigs (online). There's even a Disney feature residency program.

                            Granted, THOUSANDS of scripts have been hosted on the site, so the odds are very long--but if you have a great script, the BL could provide you a great opportunity.

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

                              Originally posted by celticbeauty View Post
                              Patience, grasshopper.

                              If my limited experience with the BL is any indication, expect to have more views from other writers than industry people when you start out. I think that just happens because writers (especially for these initiatives) may be sizing up the competition and/or seeing what other projects are out there and how their scores (if public) compare. If your reviews come in at 8 or higher, and you get into the weekly email, or if you make it into the Top List, you'll see some more pro traffic. However, you need at least two reviews with an above average overall score to get onto the monthly Top List. 3 for the Quarterly Top List. 4 for the Annual Top List.

                              Without any contacts or paid evaluations posted, there's really only two things you can do to drive traffic to your script. The first is make sure your logline is as strong as possible. If the logline isn't good, people won't bother with the script. However, they'd have to be looking for a script with the exact tags that you put on it to even see your script. The odds there are long! The second thing that some people seem to have good luck with is to query. Some include a link to their Black List script on their queries to drive up traffic. Personally, I wouldn't do that. I like to know who is reading my material and to track the ratio of queries to success--but it's one way to go. However, I will caution you that you may want to wait until you have a high score. If you can say in the query that your script received an 8 or 9 on the Black List, it might increase your odds of getting a read. Other than that, all you can do is wait for the paid evals to come in.

                              For your other questions, you should email BL support. They're very responsive to writer questions.
                              I like your sense of humor - from one yet to fetch the stone from thine hand! Thank you for taking the time amid the haste.


                              I wrote a nice reply this morning and with some further questions, clicked to post it; and it went to a blank white page. I then went back to try clicking "Post- again and my message I'd worked at least an hour on had disappeared! That challenged my seek the essence of the present moment and to remain on my "Eight Fold Path-. So that's a DD issue and learning the hard way as usual. I felt bad enough losing the post I simply went about doing other things for the day. I still wonder as Cooper long ago told me that if one tries to Suspend a script and you get the message you suspend only through staff that it means my script was in what he called the "queue-, which I think means there's some pool where the titles appear and the pro readers and regular film pros who can read (I didn't give permission, I hope, so just any other writer such as myself can read my script. I hope only the one I paid to evaluate or industry pros are able to read....)


                              Greetings CelticBeauty!



                              Just my own amateur thought... I wonder if BL might ever have a sample Script Overview page and break down what each term means with different case scenarios, or create maybe a tutorial. This is the way mine looks now: "Pro Views- (I have one); "Peer Views- (I have 10); "Pro Downloads- (I have 0); "Reader Downloads- (I have one as of 6:30PM today); "Non-Unique Downloads- (I have 1 that occurred at the same time today).


                              My Pro View came within 2 minutes of posting on 2-18-14 and from what I understand they are the film world pros who are not the people who evaluate my script, they are the general pros who are site members and surf the site for possible scripts. Peer Views are from other writers like myself who have posted scripts and can only see my (per my choice) script overview page. So 10 peer viewers don't really mean anything just indicate some at least were interested enough in my title and logline to look at my overview. Pro Download is the paid reader from BL staff who will read and evaluate my script, and so far for me no one is doing so. Reader downloads are the general industry pros, non-BL staff people, who subscribe to BL and like to surf around and are authorized somehow to read any script they choose to read. Since I have one Reader Download this doesn't mean much unless they have enough interest to contact me even though I'm yet to be officially BL evaluated, right? The Non-Unique download means the same non-BL staff reader had somehow read my script without downloading it and later returned to it and has now decided to download it maybe to read the whole script. So the combined info, one Reader download, and one Non-Unique download, only means one person, right?


                              So the way I interpret my overview at this time is... after five weeks posting only one Pro Viewer took a look at my script overview, my script is yet to be downloaded by a BL staff paid reader who will do the official evaluation my script. Just 10 other writers as myself have viewed my script overview. One regular non-BL staff person, a special member who is an industry pro, returned to my script after having read some of it and now has downloaded my script because they decided they have enough interest to do so. Is that all a correct interpretation? The reason I ask you is BL staff must be terribly overloaded with thousands of scripts as my experience has been they seem only to answer one question at a time, and this is a complex thing I hope just other more experienced writers with BL answer who aren't under any heavy work load etc. I also feel sorry for the Pro-readers as I wonder how they can read and score and maybe include a brief crit for the writer for $25 pay (they get half the $50 we pay, right?). I mean that it takes me 2 hours alone to read a 120 page script. Thanks very much CelticBeauty or anyone who might take the time to read this... plus I hope this post helps some other new BL posted writers too.


                              ...yet to fetch the stone...
                              Mike
                              PS I play tin whistle and yet learning the tricks to a recent favorite, "Smash The Windows", a great tune that's also on YouTube (not me playing though ha).

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

                                Originally posted by MichaelJ View Post
                                I still wonder as Cooper long ago told me that if one tries to Suspend a script and you get the message you suspend only through staff that it means my script was in what he called the "queue-, which I think means there's some pool where the titles appear and the pro readers and regular film pros who can read (I didn't give permission, I hope, so just any other writer such as myself can read my script. I hope only the one I paid to evaluate or industry pros are able to read....)
                                The "queue" is the line-up of scripts that a BL reader is assigned.

                                My Pro View came within 2 minutes of posting on 2-18-14 and from what I understand they are the film world pros who are not the people who evaluate my script, they are the general pros who are site members and surf the site for possible scripts. Peer Views are from other writers like myself who have posted scripts and can only see my (per my choice) script overview page. So 10 peer viewers don't really mean anything just indicate some at least were interested enough in my title and logline to look at my overview. Pro Download is the paid reader from BL staff who will read and evaluate my script, and so far for me no one is doing so.
                                No, a pro download would be from an industry member interested in reading your script.
                                Reader downloads are the general industry pros, non-BL staff people, who subscribe to BL and like to surf around and are authorized somehow to read any script they choose to read. Since I have one Reader Download this doesn't mean much unless they have enough interest to contact me even though I'm yet to be officially BL evaluated, right? The Non-Unique download means the same non-BL staff reader had somehow read my script without downloading it and later returned to it and has now decided to download it maybe to read the whole script.
                                The reader download is for your paid evaluation, which the reader now has downloaded and the non unique download listed is from that same reader downloading a second time (yes it is probably because they didn't get to it the first time they downloaded and didn't save the download).
                                So the combined info, one Reader download, and one Non-Unique download, only means one person, right?
                                Yes. So one pro looked at your script's page when you first posted it, but didn't download. Ten other writers looked at your page, but can't download even if they wanted. And the reader for your paid review has downloaded your script twice.

                                Sorry to burst your bubble.

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