New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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

    Well now the BL site investigator into my evaluation is agreeing with the reviewer. She sent me a few paragraphs, littered with almost as many fallacies as the original review, defending his position.

    Apparently the grandmother's death resulted in no character change (a remarkably stupid statement if you know my story), and my protagonist is homophobic, despite his most intimate friend in the story being a bisexual man.

    This is disgraceful. I will be telling all of my friends in Hollywood who bring up the BL that it is a complete waste of time.
    Last edited by Jimmy; 06-01-2016, 06:29 PM.

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

      Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
      Well now the BL site investigator into my evaluation is agreeing with the reviewer. She sent me a few paragraphs, littered with almost as many fallacies as the original review, defending his position.

      Apparently the grandmother's death resulted in no character change (a remarkably stupid statement if you know my story), and my protagonist is homophobic, despite his most intimate friend in the story being a bisexual man.

      This is disgraceful. I will be telling all of my friends in Hollywood who bring up the BL that it is a complete waste of time.
      Dunno what to say. I had 3 complaints and 3 re-evaluations.

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

        I sent a thorough rebuttal to the claims made about my story, demonstrating incontrovertibly their complete falsehood, and was met with a response that the points I've raised are "ultimately subjective."

        Art is subjective, I understand this. Facts are not. When you make a factual claim (my protag doesn't change following the central conflict, my protag says homophobic things) that can be directly disproven with scriptual evidence, and I proceed to disprove them, you cannot then pull the "subjectivity" card.

        My script was not read with a careful, discerning eye. Incorrect conclusions were drawn, my rating was lowered on the basis of the incorrect conclusions, and when I point this out all I get is a doubling down on the same irrational conclusions that I've already proven false.

        I can understand if my low rating was based on the script's quality of drama or construction. But when you tell me 2+2=5, I say you're wrong and I prove it, and you tell me well it's a subjective matter, I feel like I've had my money stolen.

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

          Finally was given an additional evaluation. Faith potentially restored in the BL's credibility. Hopefully my next reviewer has an adequate level of reading comprehension.

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

            Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
            Finally was given an additional evaluation. Faith potentially restored in the BL's credibility. Hopefully my next reviewer has an adequate level of reading comprehension.
            I can't help but to feel you are beating a dead horse, since you already don't trust the BL.

            Considering the nature of your posts concerning this -- if you are counting on the BL for "notes" or for their notes to be somehow revelatory -- it's pretty well established that notes are not their strong suit. At all. They are a crap shoot, at best.

            If it's feedback you want you may want to try one of the people here for notes -- Titan Creed charges 30 dollars, WAY cheaper than the BL, and his are good. But if it's praise you're looking for, rather than for someone to tear you a new one so you can revise, he isn't it.

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

              Why would anyone count on the BL for notes? I want a half-way intelligent person to read my script, because I feel like it deserves a high score.

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

                Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                Why would anyone count on the BL for notes? I want a half-way intelligent person to read my script, because I feel like it deserves a high score.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h4GD2feZ8Q

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

                  Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                  Why would anyone count on the BL for notes? I want a half-way intelligent person to read my script, because I feel like it deserves a high score.
                  Gee, perhaps because you were complaining about the notes for the last 150 posts.

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

                    I knew the BL ain't no coverage service but if you're gonna pay $75 for an evaluation and $25 hosting you might as well pour that into someone like the screenplay mechanic and hope for great notes and maybe even a "consider". You'll no doubt improve your script but a consider from him probably carries far more weight than a 9 from the BL.

                    Once I finish my next feature I'm gonna give him a go.

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

                      Originally posted by Phoenixman78 View Post
                      I knew the BL ain't no coverage service but if you're gonna pay $75 for an evaluation and $25 hosting you might as well pour that into someone like the screenplay mechanic and hope for great notes and maybe even a "consider". You'll no doubt improve your script but a consider from him probably carries far more weight than a 9 from the BL.

                      Once I finish my next feature I'm gonna give him a go.
                      Interesting. Should I have been querying my Consider from Drew rather than my Blcklst 8s??

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

                        Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                        Why would anyone count on the BL for notes? I want a half-way intelligent person to read my script, because I feel like it deserves a high score.
                        Just because you believe it deserves a high score doesn't mean anyone else agrees with you.

                        I used the Black List notes and rewrote my spec that scored 8s and 9s, because the notes were good notes. Then it landed my manager and I rewrote it again and then sent it into several studios execs at a few prodcos.

                        My notes were good-- you have to set aside your pride and ego and accept that it might not be as good as you think.

                        It's never done, and if you believe that your work can't be improved, then you never will improve as a writer.

                        You think when you option it or sell it that it doesn't get rewritten again? Scripts have many, many drafts before they're right to be greenlit. And even then, some still get shelved and never get made.

                        In this industry you have to be able to take criticism and either use it to make your spec better or discard it and move on.
                        Last edited by finalact4; 06-03-2016, 08:02 PM.
                        "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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

                          Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                          It's never done, and if you believe that your work can't be improved, then you never will improve as a writer.
                          I agree with this point. I wrote a horror feature that got quarter finals in ScreamCraft and got a consider from a coverage company but I went back to it because my new ideas weren't fleshing out that well and I just wanted to keep writing. It's been 2 years since I touched it and I've improved the dialogue, action paragraphs, character reactions and conflict. It reads soooo much better now.

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

                            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                            Just because you believe it deserves a high score doesn't mean anyone else agrees with you.

                            I used the Black List notes and rewrote my spec that scored 8s and 9s, because the notes were good notes. Then it landed my manager and I rewrote it again and then sent it into several studios execs and a few prodcos.

                            My notes were good-- you have to set aside your pride and ego and accept that it might not be as good as you think.

                            It's never done, and if you believe that your work can't be improved, then you never will improve as a writer.

                            You think when you option it or sell it that it doesn't get rewritten again? Scripts have many, many drafts before they're right to be greenlit. And even then, some still get shelved and never get made.

                            In this industry you have to be able to take criticism and either use it to make your spec better or discard it and move on.

                            Yeah I fully agree with you, and the first review did have a few helpful things. But the only comments on my characters and plot, that he scored me a 2 and 3 on, were completely inaccurate based on basic information found in the script that was overlooked or misunderstood.

                            My point was that I'm not using the BL for notes, if I wanted those I'd go to a note service. I'm using the BL to get an accurate score based on a thorough reading of my story, and I didn't get that from the first review.

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

                              Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
                              Yeah I fully agree with you, and the first review did have a few helpful things. But the only comments on my characters and plot, that he scored me a 2 and 3 on, were completely inaccurate based on basic information found in the script that was overlooked or misunderstood.

                              My point was that I'm not using the BL for notes, if I wanted those I'd go to a note service. I'm using the BL to get an accurate score based on a thorough reading of my story, and I didn't get that from the first review.
                              By accurate score you mean the score you think you should get?

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

                                One would think that the older (and hopefully better) I get as a writer, the more I would resist notes based on confidence in my own skills. I've found the opposite to be true. More and more I discover that when I sit with notes that I initially fought, I invariably realize that they A) highlight a problem I was blind to from being so close to it, or 2) even if the note isn't correct, it causes a discussion that needed to happen. This is not always the case - I've certainly dealt with bad notes in my career, but for the past few years I've been fortunate enough to deal with smart execs and directors. I've learned to remove my armor a bit and really understand where they're coming from, whether they're right or not. Maybe the BL reviewer is right, maybe not. But make sure look at the note behind every note.

                                Just yesterday, I had a call with a network exec who told me to to cut all moments like Moment X for tone reasons, and I pointed out that Moment X wasn't even in this draft. That could have been a crossroads where I chose to roll my eyes at all her notes because she got that simple thing wrong. But the more I sat with it, I realized that "moments like X" are a tonal problem that still exist in the script to the extent that her brain assumed a nonexistent moment was still in there (because others like it were). And she's right - the pilot needs a tonal shift. And now I'm totally invigorated to go that direction because it's right. My point is, don't necessarily let a botched note color the rest of someone's notes or make you think they don't know what they're talking about. Not sure whether it's the case with your reviewers, just make sure to take the time to sit with notes and also digest the "note behind the note".
                                Last edited by ProfessorChomp; 06-04-2016, 11:17 AM.
                                https://twitter.com/DavidCoggeshall
                                http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1548597/

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