New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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    Manchester
    Member

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

    This post is about premise.

    I was going post it separately in some other section here at DD, because the topic goes beyond BL. But BL inspired it so I thought I'd start here.

    A few weeks ago, a writing friend and I decided to skim a bunch of script listings at BL to look at the scores. For a number of reasons, our look wasn't truly random. For starters, we could only see scores of writers who allow their scores to be seen, and for obvious reasons that usually limits the visible scores to good scores. But (for whatever reason) a fair number of people with low scores did make them public.

    And here's something we noticed, among all the ones we saw, regardless of the overall score - Rarely was the Premise score more than 1 point or so above the average of the other scores. Sometimes it was lower a point or two - which makes sense, since sometimes a writer takes an unexceptional premise and executes it really well.

    But this puzzled us: Why didn't we see any/many scripts with Premise scores well above the rest?

    I mean, we've all read loglines of scripts that present a great/cool/amazing premise, or we get that sense from reading the first 15 pages, but then read the scripts and they're disappointing. Or worse. (And I don't just mean my scripts.)

    So, Franklin - Any stats on Premise scores relative to the other scores? And IF that score really is almost always close to the average of the rest, you have a theory as to why?

    Readers don't see the loglines people post, so a reader's sense of the premise only comes from what's on the page. But it just seems there should be a fair number of scripts with Premise scores of 7-10, despite the other scores being in the 1-6 range...

    Unless, I don't know what a BL Premise score means.

    Leave a comment:

  • karthur
    New User

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

    Thanks, Franklin. You've always been responsive and upfront, I really appreciate it!

    Oh, and guess what?!?

    ROAD RAGE YOUR FACE

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/10737

    Overall: 9
    Premise: 10
    Character: 10
    Dialogue: 9
    Plot: 9



    I wish.

    However, I am resolved to take my impending scores (as low as they may be) as something to learn from. I will NOT CRY. I may drink, however. Furthermore, I resolve to not get super discouraged, but rather, to focus on a re-write and/or new more marketable project.

    But I mean, if I get anything less than a 10 is proof positive of a massive MASSIVE conspiracy, I mean, get real.

    ++++crossing fingers to not be all ones, not be all ones, not be all ones+++++++++++++

    Leave a comment:

  • FranklinLeonard
    Member

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

    While I appreciate that you and some others would take a different approach (and I applaud you for doing so, sincerely), I stand by my initial claim that it's not likely that most of our industry members would be inclined to follow up after reading 25 pages unless their enthusiasm was sky high. Essentially my belief is that it reduces the number of scripts that would be read in full, or at least past the first 25 pages.

    I base that belief on my ten years working in development at major production companies and a major studio, the # of industry pros who return to rate the scripts they've downloaded on our site, and quite a bit of due diligence about the marketplace before designing the site as it is.

    Moreover, I'm quite confident that the decision to keep downloads anonymous is a significant reason we've seen over 10,000 unique industry professional downloads thus far, and the reason for the substantial difference between the quality of our industry membership and other similar sites.

    It's an admitted tradeoff and one I've addressed at length in conversations here and elsewhere. If you're not comfortable with it, we're definitely not the right outlet for you.

    We very much understand that all screenwriters aren't the same, and we don't claim to be all things to all people, nor would we ever. We do, however, think that we're the best outlet of this sort, which is a very different thing.

    As for whether writers would incessantly contact industry professionals for thoughts on their script, I think we can probably agree on 3 things:

    1. All writers wouldn't make themselves an annoyance.
    2. There are some writers who definitely would.
    3. The consequence of #2 being a certainty is a chilling effect whereby industry professionals are less likely to read, download, read the first 25 pages, contact the writer of the first 25 pages to read the rest, etc.

    Lastly, as for Chris Rock, he has either written or been closely involved in the development of the idea of every movie he has produced with the exception of DEATH AT A FUNERAL. His credits as a producer are largely irrelevant to the conversation that we're having.

    His comments were in reference to his career as an actor, and assuming you'd make the same critique, you're also assuming that he's seen and is seeing a ton of great scripts that he has passed on (which isn't likely the case for a number of reasons.) It's far more likely (if not moreso) that what he's chosen is the best, or close to the best, of what he's received, in which case, imagine the ones he didn't finish.

    Originally posted by mgwriter View Post
    Franklin,
    Thanks for the heads up on what readers are likely to do after reading 25pages of a script. Oh wait, as someone who used to be in that position, I already know what they are likely to do if they read something that they really like. Here, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    The idea occurred to me because I was thinking of the times when producer's have actually asked to see the first ten or first act of my script and then based on that request the script or not. Yes that actually happens in real life, just not in the reality of BL3.

    That's cool if that model doesn't work with your service. That's why I asked first to find out before wasting any of my sandwich money.

    One thing people who make money off screenwriters are in denial about is the fact that All screenwriters are not the same. we are all different and one size doesn't fit all. That means it's not wrong that some writers want to maintain more control over who reads their work at least until they secure representation. Its not wrong, its just different from the model BL3 uses.

    your response made it seem like my question was unreasonable or incorrect. Based on real life industry experience, I think my question was reasonable. And the answer you gave, "not possible", was reasonable as well. But to imply that all writers will incessantly contact readers every few seconds is simply not true. There may be a few over zealous writers out there, but I'm willing to bet most writers are much too shy, or rather introverted to do something like that. The nutty ones are usually obnoxious actors who went and wrote themselves a screenplay.

    All writers are different. The BL will work for some, not for others. That's why I asked the question, to see if BL could work for writers who keep track of their submissions. Keeping track of one's submissions may not be for everyone, but it's also not the most ridiculous approach either. In fact you can even buy software just for tracking submissions, so there's a good number of writers who prefer that method as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.
    Best,

    Oh and based on the movies Chris Rock has produced, he should have just kept eating sandwiches as his taste in scripts leaves something to be desired.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mr. Earth
    Member

  • Mr. Earth
    replied
    Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

    Originally posted by happywash View Post
    Pretty much, yep. They can only see your listing and logline, but they can't read the script.
    Thanks, happywash.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
    I'm sure this has been asked before, but Lord knows I can't find it in a search, and anyone's helpful answer would be great.

    Are "peer reviews" just when another writer clicks on your title and looks at the script page?
    Pretty much, yep. They can only see your listing and logline, but they can't read the script.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mr. Earth
    Member

  • Mr. Earth
    replied
    Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

    I'm sure this has been asked before, but Lord knows I can't find it in a search, and anyone's helpful answer would be great.

    Are "peer reviews" just when another writer clicks on your title and looks at the script page?

    Leave a comment:

  • mgwriter
    Member

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

    Franklin,
    Thanks for the heads up on what readers are likely to do after reading 25pages of a script. Oh wait, as someone who used to be in that position, I already know what they are likely to do if they read something that they really like. Here, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    The idea occurred to me because I was thinking of the times when producer's have actually asked to see the first ten or first act of my script and then based on that request the script or not. Yes that actually happens in real life, just not in the reality of BL3.

    That's cool if that model doesn't work with your service. That's why I asked first to find out before wasting any of my sandwich money.

    One thing people who make money off screenwriters are in denial about is the fact that All screenwriters are not the same. we are all different and one size doesn't fit all. That means it's not wrong that some writers want to maintain more control over who reads their work at least until they secure representation. Its not wrong, its just different from the model BL3 uses.

    your response made it seem like my question was unreasonable or incorrect. Based on real life industry experience, I think my question was reasonable. And the answer you gave, "not possible", was reasonable as well. But to imply that all writers will incessantly contact readers every few seconds is simply not true. There may be a few over zealous writers out there, but I'm willing to bet most writers are much too shy, or rather introverted to do something like that. The nutty ones are usually obnoxious actors who went and wrote themselves a screenplay.

    All writers are different. The BL will work for some, not for others. That's why I asked the question, to see if BL could work for writers who keep track of their submissions. Keeping track of one's submissions may not be for everyone, but it's also not the most ridiculous approach either. In fact you can even buy software just for tracking submissions, so there's a good number of writers who prefer that method as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.
    Best,

    Oh and based on the movies Chris Rock has produced, he should have just kept eating sandwiches as his taste in scripts leaves something to be desired.


    Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
    That is not possible, nor would that structure be in the writer's best interest.

    A reader who reads the first 25 pages is not likely to continue reading it if the have to reach out to you, wait for you to respond, and then know that you will likely follow up with them incessantly about their enjoyment of it until they've read the script and responded.

    As Chris Rock once said, "your script better be good enough that when I'm hungry and someone offers me a sandwich, I choose to keep reading your script, because if I put it down, it's pretty much over."

    Leave a comment:

  • FranklinLeonard
    Member

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

    Originally posted by mgwriter View Post
    Is it possible to post say the first 25 pages of script on BL, and then if industry pros want to read the rest have them request script directly from writer?

    It would help writers keep track of where their script is being read. And you probably have a much better chance initially of getting some to read first 25 rather than whole script.
    That is not possible, nor would that structure be in the writer's best interest.

    A reader who reads the first 25 pages is not likely to continue reading it if the have to reach out to you, wait for you to respond, and then know that you will likely follow up with them incessantly about their enjoyment of it until they've read the script and responded.

    As Chris Rock once said, "your script better be good enough that when I'm hungry and someone offers me a sandwich, I choose to keep reading your script, because if I put it down, it's pretty much over."

    Leave a comment:

  • mgwriter
    Member

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

    Is it possible to post say the first 25 pages of script on BL, and then if industry pros want to read the rest have them request script directly from writer?

    It would help writers keep track of where their script is being read. And you probably have a much better chance initially of getting some to read first 25 rather than whole script.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Still have not received my first review yet. Friday, will be week three. But it appears that I have some additional non unique downloads and 5 peer views. I am sure its coming soon. In the mean time, I keep checking the site like a crack addict checking his phone for his dealer text. lol When I receive my review. I may react like the character's from Silver Lining Playbook. "We got a five, hurray!" hahaha!

    Leave a comment:

  • entlassen
    Member

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

    Suggestion: industry pros should at least leave some comments or a brief review if they want to rate a script they've downloaded.

    My script scored an 8 (plus two 9's for individual aspects) from a paid review, then a few days later got a 6 from another industry pro. I think it'd be nice to know what worked for the reviewer and what didn't.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Thanks, appreciate that.

    Good question - I'm not entirely clear if an 8 by an industry pro gets you on the list or if it has to be a paid reader. I'm sure the answer is somewhere in this thread or the other BL thread and I'll go look . . . or maybe someone who knows better than I will chime in.

    So far, I've had six pro views and three pro downloads . . . no idea if that's a good or bad ratio . . . I guess good since any look is good.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by RobWriter View Post
    Reader download = paid review. Just means at least one of your paid reviews is underway. Can take up to three weeks to get the paid review.

    I put up a script a couple days before yours on 8/8 - same thing, paid for two reviews. I received one on Friday and am now waiting for the other. In the meantime, did get a rating by a Pro (an 8!).

    Good luck and hope you kill it.
    Thanks Rob. Congrats, on getting the 8. That's freaking stellar. I do believe the lucky number on the BL is an 8, to begin having your script in some sort of email list? I commend you - props on such an accomplishment.


    I wish you best of luck to you as well.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by bigwho View Post
    I have uploaded the Escorted script back on the 8/10/13. I have paid for two reviews, but still have not received them yet. However, I did noticed I have 1 Pro view, 1 Peer View, and 1 Reader download (whatever that means). The anticipation is killing me.
    Reader download = paid review. Just means at least one of your paid reviews is underway. Can take up to three weeks to get the paid review.

    I put up a script a couple days before yours on 8/8 - same thing, paid for two reviews. I received one on Friday and am now waiting for the other. In the meantime, did get a rating by a Pro (an 8!).

    Good luck and hope you kill it.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Originally posted by liveon2legs View Post
    Hi Franklin,

    What would you estimate the average turn around time on paid reviews is right now? Looks pretty busy based on the ever-growing recently uploaded list.

    Thanks!
    I have uploaded the Escorted script back on the 8/10/13. I have paid for two reviews, but still have not received them yet. However, I did noticed I have 1 Pro view, 1 Peer View, and 1 Reader download (whatever that means). The anticipation is killing me.

    Leave a comment:

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