New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

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  • New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

    Hi Franklin,

    I saw a recent change - a new explanation of DOWNLOADS of a script. What is "Non-unique Downloads"?

    EJ
    Last edited by EJ Pennypacker; 09-27-2013, 11:27 AM.

  • #2
    Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

    From Terry at Support:

    "Non-unique downloads will count multiple downloads by the same member. But all other downloads are unique, meaning if a member downloaded it twice or more, it would only count once."

    Josh

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

      I had this post in the other thread, no responses.

      I just finished a screenplay and I uploaded it on the blacklist site for a paid review. It got a 5 right off the bat. I didn't understand the site until I read more about it on here. So like an idiot I bought a second review. I am assuming that I should have just revised the script then bought another review after I posted the revision. Anyway, now my rating is 4.5 as the second review was lower. Both reviews were pretty similar so that was encouraging. I now know what to focus on during the revision process. The weird thing is though I just had 2 pro downloads and 5 pro views yesterday.

      My questions: Is this traffic normal? Should I keep the original script up or revise right away? What does a pro download mean? What does a pro view mean? Can peers read scripts or just view the script page? If the revision gets a better rating do the original lower ratings effect the score?

      Any advice would be great.

      Comment


      • #4
        Suggestions for Improvements

        Franklin,


        What I think would be a massive bonus is for writers to state the intended rating, related content, and similar films. Eg:

        Rating: Hard R
        Content: graphic physical violence throughout, torture, drug use.
        Similar to: Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas



        Not only will it help industry members sift material but will also give readers a heads up - and the chance to have a script reassigned rather than be shocked and disgusted and give it an unjust review that results in a complaint by the writer and compensatory action by the Black List.

        I've seen it happen throughout the original BL thread but now it's happened to me. The reviewer kept on about how dark and brutal my script, downgrading it as a result and their inability to relate was evidenced by the suggestion for lighter characters. In a tentpole such advice is fair but not for grittier fare like Goodfellas or Casino - which are similar in tone to my script.

        I'd also include the higher UK ratings - 15 & 18 - as they're more distinct then US counterparts, are self explanatory, and don't translate at all well to R & NC-17. We in the UK know a 15 rated horror is going to be much less in-your-face than an 18 - yet both would be R in the US (or even NC-17 - which is the death knell for the US but perfectly viable over here as there is no stigma to the 18 rating).

        So I'd give the option to rate as: R/15; hard R/18


        The BBFC said if released today, Alien would be granted a 15 certificate. "For a film to get an 18 certificate today it has to be either utterly terrifying throughout or there would have to be a level of sadistic violence". I aimed squarely for the 18 rating yet have been penalised for doing so.

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        • #5
          Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

          *blinks hard*

          Please tell me you didn't complain for another read. You said you felt you would never be good enough. Then you got an 8. Awesome. You didn't complain then. You listed your genres in some other thread as gangster/crime thriller, and the paid reader or the pro who "unjustly" rated your script knew what those genres can entail. You don't get to choose only the people who will like your script to read your script in the real world.

          I agree that a ratings system (PG-13, R, etc.) would be a great idea, but still -- please tell me you didn't complain and get another read. Please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

            When did I ever complain for a read before? I've no idea what you're talking about and I can't find anything about it in my history. The nearest comment I can find is where a manager praised my writing yet only rated it a 7 but it wasn't a complaint. Of course you can't ask for extra reads jut because you don't like a review, tastes vary, but if there is anything amiss - like writing a gruesome slasher and being marked down because it's a limited market and violence can ward many people away - then yes, you should complain.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

              Franklin,

              Is it possible you can add more varieties of the genre comedy? I thought gross-out comedy, teen comedy, parody, etc.

              EJ

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              • #8
                Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                I definitely agree that a score shouldn't be knocked down because of a limited audience. Did your reader actually say, "I love this script, but am giving it a low score because its darkness and brutality would limit the audience"? He/she probably just didn't like it, even if the sole reason was because it was too dark and brutal for his/her taste.

                I also think having a "similar films" section is a great idea. But if you're comparing your script as similar in tone to Goodfellas and Reservoir Dogs, those are R-rated movies. Crime Thrillers/Gangsters/Film Noirs these days tend to be R-rated scripts. Readers know the violence and the drug use and whatnot that these genres can entail. Even if the BL had a section to list similar films, you can't compare your what-might-be-an-NC-17 movie to R- rated movies and be shocked when they say it's too dark.

                And you're being intentionally vague - did you or did you not complain for a free read?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                  Originally posted by BillG View Post
                  And you're being intentionally vague - did you or did you not complain for a free read?
                  Does it matter?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                    Ha, true - it doesn't matter. He might have complained but then he could say he didn't.

                    The only issue is if Franklin gives free reads to people who don't deserve them (and I'm not saying Sundown did complain, and, if he did, maybe he did have a valid reason to get a free read). Then it's unfair to everyone else. Franklin seems to doing a good job about that, though. Otherwise, we should all be complaining and getting free reads after every sub-8 rating.

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                    • #11
                      Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKYFEfQBohA

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                        Originally posted by EJ Pennypacker View Post
                        Franklin,

                        Is it possible you can add more varieties of the genre comedy? I thought gross-out comedy, teen comedy, parody, etc.

                        EJ
                        As subgenres or as tags? Please provide a comprehensive list (and others should feel free to make suggestions as well.)

                        Also, per the previous question, we'll be adding the BBFC's ratings as new tags within the next 24 hours.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                          +1

                          RE: a writer providing additional information about his or her script, all of our readers are assigned the scripts they read via their genre and subgenre preferences. The way to communicate additional information is via the logline, genre, and tag information.

                          If the reader needs to be primed with information beyond this, the issue is likely with the screenplay, not the way it's being presented.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                            But if the "complaint" is valid...is it grade-grubbing then?

                            I have no idea if Sundown's complaint is valid or not, though the reasoning in her post is not compelling. I do know, however, that Franklin has given free reads for a variety of reasons. The main reason, I'm assuming, is because the BL is basically a retail environment, and one has to err on the side of the customer.

                            I'm not making a judgment on that reason 'cause I agree with it. I'm just saying "dignity" has less to do with this particular brand of grade-grubbing, and more to do with satisfying the customer at what amounts to minimal cost.

                            If the customer truly feels he or she was wronged, is it grade-grubbing?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New Black List Thread - Franklin Leonard answers your questions

                              Originally posted by FranklinLeonard View Post
                              If the reader needs to be primed with information beyond this, the issue is likely with the screenplay, not the way it's being presented.
                              I agree completely.

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