New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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

    thanks for the responses on avg read times, please keep them coming.
    Eric
    www.scriptreadguaranteed.com

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

      I posted four feature scripts at once, all have gone over three weeks.

      Heavy load at the moment.

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

        Originally posted by Steve Shelley View Post
        I posted four feature scripts at once, all have gone over three weeks.

        Heavy load at the moment.
        Heavy load at the moment indeed. Average turnaround times over the last 30 days have been just under 21 days for film scripts and just over 21 days for television pilots.

        If it goes over 21 days, you get a free month of hosting.

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

          Review 1: 25 days

          Review 2: 19 days - Review felt rushed. I believe the story was reviewed under the wrong genre as well.

          Review 3: 28 days - This review was excellent. Very helpful with the re-write currently in process.

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

            Originally posted by lbs101 View Post
            Review 1: 25 days

            Review 2: 19 days - Review felt rushed. I believe the story was reviewed under the wrong genre as well.

            Review 3: 28 days - This review was excellent. Very helpful with the re-write currently in process.
            Impossible for a script to be "reviewed under the wrong genre." We assign all evaluations based on the genres assigned by the writer and the preferences of the reader. (Part of the reason for the longer waits in some genres.)

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

              Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
              "...We assign all evaluations based on the genres assigned by the writer and the preferences of the reader. (Part of the reason for the longer waits in some genres.)
              While I received quite good feedback for the low $50 price, from the two reviews, I wanted to suggest a few things when it comes to Sci-fi readers. Hopefully without sounding too nit-picky, these are:
              • Are sci-fi readers being vetted for *current* knowledge in the genre? or are they allowed to grade, because they ticked sci-fi on the list?
              • Due to the heavy rush, could it be possible they've been skimming lately?


              Let me qualify these questions a bit more...
              The reader wrongly placed the era of my screenplay, and admitted to doing so when queried, stating that he/she got it from a single line in the epilogue voice over. - To me this means a lot of the subtext, set-up, pay-offs and shadowing that the screenplay thrives on, went amiss.

              On the first point, the reader mixes up Virtual Reality with Augmented Reality, leading him/her to the conclusion in the prospects section of the review that quote: "putting it in a budget area that feels high for small idea like this, and unrealistic in terms of spending the time and money"

              One can see the harm that can come off, of a reader not being updated in science. Sci-fi today is past space opera and is grounded in real science being extrapolated.
              Thus my suggestion that readers be vetted, at least in the sci-fi (not fantasy scifi) genre.

              Of course a reader could be thought of as representative of an audience's understanding of a film - but then, the end audience does not wield the along-with-great-power-responsibility light saber, that *could* shred a spec screenplay for the reasons stated above.

              I've since ordered a third read.
              Kind Regards.
              |The DIRROGATE:Website, and Escalator pitch

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

                Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
                Impossible for a script to be "reviewed under the wrong genre." We assign all evaluations based on the genres assigned by the writer and the preferences of the reader. (Part of the reason for the longer waits in some genres.)
                Hi Franklin,

                When I wrote Black List support in regards to this I was told that readers will often assign different "genre's" to a script if they feel it belongs in another category.

                In my case I wrote a "Coming of Age" story that was read as a "Romantic Comedy".

                Of the 3 reviews, the "low" scores had the category "Romantic Comedy" included. The single higher score read it as a "Dramatic Comedy, Coming-of-Age"

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

                  Originally posted by lbs101 View Post
                  Hi Franklin,

                  When I wrote Black List support in regards to this I was told that readers will often assign different "genre's" to a script if they feel it belongs in another category.

                  In my case I wrote a "Coming of Age" story that was read as a "Romantic Comedy".

                  Of the 3 reviews, the "low" scores had the category "Romantic Comedy" included. The single higher score read it as a "Dramatic Comedy, Coming-of-Age"
                  Also, let me just add... Thanks for the Black List. The feedback overall has been very helpful.

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

                    I'm been following the tale of your experience with interest since I am in the middle of writing a Sci-Fi script, though mine is in the Sci-Fi Fantasy realm as opposed to hard Sci-Fi.

                    A few of your recent comments have me a bit perplexed... perhaps you could explain?

                    Originally posted by cly3d View Post
                    • Are sci-fi readers being vetted for *current* knowledge in the genre? or are they allowed to grade, because they ticked sci-fi on the list?


                    What do you mean by "vetted" for current knowledge? Anybody who is a qualified reader and who loves/watches Sci-Fi films would be immensely qualified, wouldn't they? This is about good scripts which will make entertaining films, not qualifying for a doctorate in an academic subject.

                    Let me qualify these questions a bit more...
                    The reader wrongly placed the era of my screenplay, and admitted to doing so when queried, stating that he/she got it from a single line in the epilogue voice over. - To me this means a lot of the subtext, set-up, pay-offs and shadowing that the screenplay thrives on, went amiss.

                    That's a bummer... and I sympathize. Many of us who've had multiple reads have gone through something similar. But the BL always corrects those kind of errors if you point it out.

                    On the first point, the reader mixes up Virtual Reality with Augmented Reality, leading him/her to the conclusion in the prospects section of the review that quote: "putting it in a budget area that feels high for small idea like this, and unrealistic in terms of spending the time and money"

                    I so totally did not conclude what you did, and I read your review three times -- and, for the record, I thought your review was intelligently and thoughtfully written and quite positive -- but where you got the idea that virtual reality or augmented reality or who-cares-what-reality had anything to do with how the reader views its prospects is just reading something into it that simply wasn't there.

                    You truncated what the reader actually said above to make your point, which isn't at all what the reader meant. Here's the whole sentence:

                    That said, though the themes here are intimate, this one goes extravagant with it's locations and settings, putting it in a budget area that feels high for small idea like this, and unrealistic in terms of spending the time and money to develop this and get it made, so for that prospects are low.

                    The reader is talking about the extravagance (cost) of your locations and settings, period. He/she sees it as an intimate concept yoked to a big budget. It's not a misinterpretation of virtual or augmented reality.


                    One can see the harm that can come off, of a reader not being updated in science.

                    Quite honestly, that's one of the most ridiculous arguments I've ever heard. A reader needs to be UPDATED IN SCIENCE (whatever that means -- a graduate degree? A day job at NASA?) in order to read a script intended for a entertainment and a general audience? If your argument were true, someone without post-doctoral studies in history would be unable to write about the Roman Empire, or the Civil War.

                    We're not writing documentaries here -- where qualifications might be necessary. If what you say is true, perhaps you should be vetted for your qualifications to write REAL SCIENCE? But then, of course, you would subsequently need to be "vetted" for your qualifications to write a screenplay.

                    I hate to be argumentative, but I think you abbreviated the text of your review to make your point... which isn't fair since it wasn't the point the reviewer was making -- not even close.

                    For the record, I think your screenplay sounds really interesting.

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

                      Thanks Cooper.
                      I've not intentionally truncated quotes to make points.

                      Without Requoting, let's see if I can answer some of your points

                      1) If you'll read the reader supplied Logline, that's where it mentions Virtual Reality. - Think about it, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think VR? - to me it's Lawnmower Man. - That instantly puts a screenplay in a 1990's context.

                      2) That's why I specifically say well versed in today's science - I didn't say a reader should be a Phd on the subject, just well versed in knowing where sci-fi is *at* today - Ok, I'll point out again - hard sci-fi' is.
                      because, and I took pains to point it out in my previous reply (last sentence) - because, unlike the end audience consuming the movie - the reader is in a position to influence a studio exec into entirely passing on a script based on reading a summary - ie. the studio readers interpretation.

                      3) I stand by what I said, about the part you've highlighted in orange - For me it was the "small idea" bit. I believe the reader completely missed the the scale of the idea in the screenplay. So whether you include the preceeding or latter sentence, it's the part in the middle that I'm focusing on which stands independently of the budget aspect mentioned.

                      Again, one can say it's a subjective opinion (both my POV and the reader's POV of the grandness of the idea), but the fact that the science is being mixed up, brings up the question of the readers' ability to pass proper judgement.

                      At this point, I have to stress again - for sci-fi scripts, because the nature of the subject demands it.

                      OTOH, I would make a miserable reader of a biblical screenplay or an American History screenplay, even if it were in the Drama category.

                      Do I need to have a degree in American History? or be a Bible Scholar? - No, It's just a screenplay right?. So who cares if the screenwriter gets the era wrong and mixes jerusalem for jordan.

                      The point is the Screenwriter takes great pains and effort to research these things (history, hard science) sometimes up to 6 months or more, - when writing on spec - and then craft the story. If a reader is not well-read in these subjects and passes judgement - especially judgement that can (will?) influence studio execs... we then might have something to think about.

                      I don't mean to belittle fantasy sci-fi, I love my star-wars just as anyone else, but what we call 'hand-wavium' and FTL, can be fudged in the name of driving the plot and entertaining the viewer - I mean look at the marathon Transformers franchise :-)

                      Ok I will quote you one time:

                      Quite honestly, that's one of the most ridiculous arguments I've ever heard. A reader needs to be UPDATED IN SCIENCE (whatever that means -- a graduate degree? A day job at NASA?) in order to read a script intended for a entertainment and a general audience? If your argument were true, someone without post-doctoral studies in history would be unable to write about the Roman Empire, or the Civil War.
                      See, this is where I believe you made haste and didn't read my previous post well. and now you've quoted me out of context, because I specifically said:
                      "Of course a reader could be thought of as representative of an audience's understanding of a film - but then, the end audience does not wield the along-with-great-power-responsibility light saber, that *could* shred a spec screenplay for the reasons stated above."

                      It is nice to clear up a point of view, and I hope I've not come across as overly argumentative. Please post a link to your script (log/synopsis) when done.
                      Best Wishes!
                      Last edited by cly3d; 06-27-2014, 03:31 PM. Reason: added, underlined "when writing on spec"
                      |The DIRROGATE:Website, and Escalator pitch

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

                        the thing is, except maybe for a production company that is very specialized in the genre(s) of projects they look for, there is no such thing as a "sci-fi" reader (or a biblical read or an American History reader). there are just readers and the script has to be clear to them on a level that transcends whatever genre conventions or historical basis that the story might be grounded in. the writer is writing for people, not fans

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

                          Makes sense, come to think of it.
                          I'm taking the recommendations made in the reviews, and doing a re-write.

                          already up for another review on the Blcklst. For the price, yes, the written feedback is serving well.

                          Kind Regards.
                          |The DIRROGATE:Website, and Escalator pitch

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

                            At the risk of coming across as a simpleton (a possibility I'm always willing to consider), why would anyone download a script from the Black List more than once?

                            Current script has 7 downloads and 12 non-unique downloads. I understand the difference between the two, but curious why same person would download script more than once.

                            Forgive me if this has been addressed earlier in this loooooooooooong-ass thread.

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

                              Re: why would anyone download a script more than once. I can read pdfs on my kindle, my computer, just about anywhere. so if i start reading a script on my kindle and i go to work and left it at home, i can download it again to my computer or pc.

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

                                Originally posted by Celtic1 View Post
                                Re: why would anyone download a script more than once.
                                Another possibility: Someone with an industry account gives a (friend? colleague? assistant?) their logon info and password and says, "Hey, read this."

                                That was my optimistic guess when it happened to me. My more jaundiced guess? Aforementioned account holder says, "Hey go get all this week's top scripts in [fill in blank]." And if your script hit that same list last week, then...

                                Or name your own scenario. Like, say, giving your HBO GO password to your broke cousin...

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