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 ProfessorChomp View Post
    One would think that the older (and better hopefully) 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".
    Noted.

    I did make revisions based on the review, some of it was helpful. But literally his only comments about my dreadfully low scoring characters/plot were just outright false and could only have resulted from a misreading of the events on the page.

    Legitimate criticism I can handle. But criticism based on misinformation and unfounded insults, I'm not going to tolerate that. Especially when I'm paying for it.

    Comment


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

      Originally posted by Satriales View Post
      Interesting. Should I have been querying my Consider from Drew rather than my Blcklst 8s??
      Ditto this question - is this something people have done previously, and if so, did it help?

      Haven't done much querying, but if Drew's Consider helps then might have to put it in there!

      Comment


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

        Originally posted by WriterNZ View Post
        Ditto this question - is this something people have done previously, and if so, did it help?

        Haven't done much querying, but if Drew's Consider helps then might have to put it in there!
        I only suggested it might be more useful given the randomness of some of the BL readers. Yay, I got a 9! They loved my protagonist! ****, I got a 4! They hated my protagonist. The mechanic seems to be well known and if he gave a consider I'd mention it. I've seen him mentioned across forums and Facebook and never heard a bad word. He obviously knows what he's doing and has a reputation.

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

          Originally posted by Jimmy View Post
          Noted.

          I did make revisions based on the review, some of it was helpful. But literally his only comments about my dreadfully low scoring characters/plot were just outright false and could only have resulted from a misreading of the events on the page.
          Consider, perhaps that what you believe is CLEAR on the page may not be...

          Often, as writers we are so close to the material, and having rewritten it more than once know so much more about the story that what is actually on the page. Sometimes we do not realize that our intention can be misinterpreted because the writing lacks the clarity needed to prevent misinterpretation.

          Lately, what I've been doing in having FD8 read my spec to me, and I close my eyes and just listen and have definitely found typos that because I KNOW the words so well that I miss on several passes.

          Sometimes it takes literally reading the pages out loud. Sometimes it is an unintentional error on the writer's part.

          For example, one comment I had in the past was about a scene where a man was straddling a woman and strangling her, the comment was "...highly sexualize murder..." and I was like, what the hell are they talking about, I it wasn't highly sexualize. But then I reread that exact part all by itself and yes, I realized that I had unintentionally created that image with one misplaced word.

          To fix it meant literally swapping one word for a different word. Sometimes it's that small.

          I seem to recall that the investigator agreed with the reviewer's note, right? If this is the case, anytime two people make the same note on anything I've written, I dig deeper to find the problem.
          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

          Comment


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

            Originally posted by WriterNZ View Post
            Ditto this question - is this something people have done previously, and if so, did it help?

            Haven't done much querying, but if Drew's Consider helps then might have to put it in there!
            Here's the thing with the Black List website...

            ... almost everyone in the industry is aware of it because of the success of the annual The Black List where industry professionals are asked to vote for their favorite unproduced (at that time) scripts for the year.

            Not everyone is going to know script consultants or writers who offer paid for notes. Personally, I wouldn't use anyone else's analysis of my spec in a query except the Black List.

            The Black List can provide some "legitimacy" to a review that others simply cannot.
            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

            Comment


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

              Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
              Here's the thing with the Black List website...

              ... almost everyone in the industry is aware of it because of the success of the annual The Black List where industry professionals are asked to vote for their favorite unproduced (at that time) scripts for the year.

              Not everyone is going to know script consultants or writers who offer paid for notes. Personally, I wouldn't use anyone else's analysis of my spec in a query except the Black List.

              The Black List can provide some "legitimacy" to a review that others simply cannot.
              I've used the BL analysis in a query letter and it worked but if writers are aware of the reader issues then so will the industry. To say it's the only one you should use makes no sense to me. You've effectively called every other legitimate service out there useless when it comes to getting read by someone. If the BL is giving out 3s or 4s with bad reads what makes you think they aren't doing the same with 8s or 9s?

              Comment


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

                Originally posted by Phoenixman78 View Post
                I've used the BL analysis in a query letter and it worked but if writers are aware of the reader issues then so will the industry. To say it's the only one you should use makes no sense to me. You've effectively called every other legitimate service out there useless when it comes to getting read by someone. If the BL is giving out 3s or 4s with bad reads what makes you think they aren't doing the same with 8s or 9s?
                How about you not put words in my mouth, okay?

                I said I wouldn't use anyone else's review in MY queries.

                I didn't tell anyone else what to do, only what I would do. And I wouldn't use a consultant's review or a readers coverage in my query. The problem I see with using consultant/reader notes in a query as a recommend is that the person you're sending it to has to know the consultant in order for the "consider" to have value.

                I haven't said anyone was useless.

                The industry is looking for good material. If someone scores an 8 or above on the Black List, those industry professionals are going to check it out if it's within their needs. If it's not within their mandate/needs, the high score means nothing anyway.

                The simple fact is that 8s and 9s and 10s will get people interested in your script. It will even get you read. They will not be thinking about the possibility of it really being 3s or 4s. And that's the key, they're looking for the possibility that they will agree with the high score.

                But they aren't going to download a script that received 3s and 4s. That's the deal. Take it or leave it. Use it or don't.

                If it's within their needs and the logline interests them they will download it and read it. If, at that point they are not interested in it, for whatever reason, because the reason doesn't really matter at this point, then that's the end of the line for your script with that industry professional.

                Also, you should at least get permission from the consultant/reviewer to use their name and their review in a query that's being sent to anyone other than yourself.
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                Comment


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

                  Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                  How about you not put words in my mouth, okay?

                  I said I wouldn't use anyone else's review in MY queries.

                  I didn't tell anyone else what to do, only what I would do. And I wouldn't use a consultant's review or a readers coverage in my query. The problem I see with using consultant/reader notes in a query as a recommend is that the person you're sending it to has to know the consultant in order for the "consider" to have value.

                  I haven't said anyone was useless.

                  The industry is looking for good material. If someone scores an 8 or above on the Black List, those industry professionals are going to check it out if it's within their needs. If it's not within their mandate/needs, the high score means nothing anyway.

                  The simple fact is that 8s and 9s and 10s will get people interested in your script. It will even get you read. They will not be thinking about the possibility of it really being 3s or 4s. And that's the key, they're looking for the possibility that they will agree with the high score.

                  But they aren't going to download a script that received 3s and 4s. That's the deal. Take it or leave it. Use it or don't.

                  If it's within their needs and the logline interests them they will download it and read it. If, at that point they are not interested in it, for whatever reason, because the reason doesn't really matter at this point, then that's the end of the line for your script with that industry professional.

                  Also, you should at least get permission from the consultant/reviewer to use their name and their review in a query that's being sent to anyone other than yourself.
                  The BL ain't the be all and end all of coverage services. Fact is their price is high for what they offer and they ain't the only game in town, just the most business orientated that has made a name for itself. Is the BL all bad? Hell no.

                  Also if I pay good money for coverage and I get a consider or a recommend from a legitimate service then that coverage is mine. I paid for it so I'll chuck it in a query letter if I want to. I think any coverage service is being quite naive if they think that isn't going to happen and at least with other services I've used I at least get an idea of the readers identity whether or not it's through an alias or their actual name, the BL gives you two things when it comes to that, jack and sh*t.

                  Comment


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

                    Originally posted by Phoenixman78 View Post
                    The BL ain't the be all and end all of coverage services. Fact is their price is high for what they offer and they ain't the only game in town, just the most business orientated that has made a name for itself. Is the BL all bad? Hell no.

                    Also if I pay good money for coverage and I get a consider or a recommend from a legitimate service then that coverage is mine. I paid for it so I'll chuck it in a query letter if I want to. I think any coverage service is being quite naive if they think that isn't going to happen and at least with other services I've used I at least get an idea of the readers identity whether or not it's through an alias or their actual name, the BL gives you two things when it comes to that, jack and sh*t.
                    My comments regarding permission were directed at consultants and paid for readers who offer notes.

                    Do what you like. Think what you like. It's your game.
                    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                    Comment


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

                      ALL of the reads I've had in the past two years have come from queries that included quotes from the Black List.

                      And that's actually a really good thing to keep in mind: they ARE respected and the fact that it received glowing praise from the Black List DID mean something to them.

                      Comment


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

                        Originally posted by cvolante View Post
                        ALL of the reads I've had in the past two years have come from queries that included quotes from the Black List.

                        And that's actually a really good thing to keep in mind: they ARE respected and the fact that it received glowing praise from the Black List DID mean something to them.
                        Do all of your queries have Black List quotes in them?

                        Comment


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

                          So I got an email this Monday saying my replacement eval was ready to view. Went to the site, and it says "No pending evaluations."

                          I email support, don't get a response until Wednesday after I send multiple messages. I'm told they're working on it, should be resolved shortly.

                          Then yesterday I'm told that the problem is resolved. I go to check, and it's not. Same message as before from the site.

                          I relay this to support early yesterday, and I'm still waiting for a response as of writing this.

                          Not only did my original evaluation have blatant factual errors, not only did they obtusely dispute this claim before finally wiping the eval, but now I can't even view the replacement eval I've paid for and waited for all this time, and the support team seems pretty disinterested in resolving what looks to be a simple html issue.

                          Seems to be a lot of fumbling and bumbling at the BL for how respected they are.

                          Comment


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

                            And no response all day, now past their stated closing time. Guess I'll have to wait through the weekend now.

                            This is getting comical.

                            Comment


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

                              Franklin - I'm a WGAW Associate member - do I still qualify for the discount on the Blacklist 2.0 site? Thank you.
                              www.JustinSloanAuthor.com

                              http://www.CreativeWritingCareer.com
                              http://www.MilitaryVeteransinCreativeCareers.com

                              Twitter: @JustinMSloan

                              Want a free book?

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

                                Can anyone tell me what day of the week the top rated email goes out?

                                Never mind, got the answer, it goes out on Mondays.
                                Last edited by finalact4; 06-20-2016, 03:11 PM.
                                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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