My Black List Experience

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  • Bono
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    I haven't used this service. But your suggestion would just make it less likely for top scripts to stand out.

    And with any of these script contests it's never 100% fair.

    Leave a comment:


  • barh
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Jeff Lowell: "To be fair, as impressive as the correlation is, it doesn't do the writer who gets a 7 instead of an 8 any good. I can't imagine anything - nor have I heard anything proposed - that would eliminate that.-
    Here's an idea: instead of using individual numbers for scores, if you had groups of scores such as "4 to 6" and "7 to 9," for example, more 7's would get read.

    This would help a 7 that possibly should have been an 8, and wouldn't really do any harm to readers or writers for those that were truly 7's.

    Leave a comment:

  • sallain
    Regular

  • sallain
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by nguyensquared View Post
    A bit off-topic but are we allowed to solicit reads from any DDP Industry Members to our scripts on the site?
    Yes.

    Leave a comment:

  • Pardack
    Regular

  • Pardack
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by cvolante View Post
    I can read a comedy script and think it's ridiculously stupid and then really enjoy the movie.
    This is the scariest quote I think I've ever read on this board. :/

    #TryinSoHardOnThePage...

    Leave a comment:

  • nguyensquared
    User

  • nguyensquared
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    A bit off-topic but are we allowed to solicit reads from any DDP Industry Members to our scripts on the site?

    After getting an 8 with a script, I'm planning to leverage the attention by putting up another project that has more immediate consideration.

    Leave a comment:

  • cvolante
    Member

  • cvolante
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    I think comedies have a lot to do with the actors and the timing and the expressions. I can read a comedy script and think it's ridiculously stupid and then really enjoy the movie.

    Leave a comment:

  • Ronaldinho
    Member

  • Ronaldinho
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by DaltWisney View Post
    I think comedy tends to be very subjective whereas thrillers will generally play well across any audience as long as they're well-crafted. So I would say in a competition where your goal is to survive a gamut of many judges, having something that plays well universally will give you a much higher chance of hitting the target than something risky.
    I have a different theory about this.

    I think comedies are hurt by the speed at which people tend to read when they're reading for contests or the BL. I think most readers can blaze through a thriller in an hour and fundamentally get it, but if you do that with a comedy you miss a lot of the humor.

    I don't think this problem is exclusive to contests, mind you. I think it's part of the reason why comedy is so siloed: a studio doesn't trust itself to understand what's funny, but they know that if Judd Apatow/Lorne Michaels/Paul Fieg says its funny, then it must be.

    But from my own experience reading, I know that I have to slow down when I'm reading a comedy. I have to give the humor space to breathe.

    That being said, I also think that fewer people understand what a comedy set piece is than understand what an action set piece is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by catcon View Post
    In Amazon Studio's open submission system, for features they won't even take anything under 85, according to their FAQ.
    What's a good range for thrillers? Is 90 pages too short?

    Leave a comment:


  • catcon
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    ...I heard an interview with a higher up from Nicholl who was thrilled at hearing a 72 page script, but I thought she was joking.
    In Amazon Studio's open submission system, for features they won't even take anything under 85, according to their FAQ.

    Leave a comment:

  • Jai Brandon
    Member

  • Jai Brandon
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by cvolante View Post
    Shia LeBeouf's script that sold recently has a lot of 9s and 10s.
    I saw 22 paid ratings, all 8s or higher. Has anyone got their grubby hands on it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    For the BL, these contests and fellowships....what are good lengths for feature scripts and TV pilots these days? Maybe genres like thrillers, for instance. I keep hearing the page count dropping. I heard an interview with a higher up from Nicholl who was thrilled at hearing a 72 page script, but I thought she was joking.

    Leave a comment:

  • DaltWisney
    Member

  • DaltWisney
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    I think comedies tend to do relatively poorly on both the BL and in contests. I'm pretty sure when the BL released data in their first year or two, the comedy genre had one of the lowest average scores. I think stuff like drama tends to score a little higher on average.

    I'm not super familiar with Nicholl winners, but I've read maybe 5 or 6 of the finalists over the years. That's not a big enough sample size to mean anything, but none of them were outright comedies. They were a mixture of dramas and thrillers.

    I think comedy tends to be very subjective whereas thrillers will generally play well across any audience as long as they're well-crafted. So I would say in a competition where your goal is to survive a gamut of many judges, having something that plays well universally will give you a much higher chance of hitting the target than something risky.

    OTOH, I wouldn't deviate from my preferred genre or voice just to placate some contest judges. I think that sticking with your general comfort zone is the best approach.

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by DaltWisney View Post
    I think there's probably a wider range of quality in something like the Nicholl. The BL is expensive and may not be as widely known. It stands to reason that it would attract a slightly more serious crowd and that the scripts submitted would tend to be of somewhat higher quality.

    My current BL script is a revised version of a former Nicholl entrant that got top 10% and top 15% in that contest when I previously entered it. I have a composite 6.8 overall rating on the BL after 5 ratings, so I'd say anything that gets a 7+ overall from a decent sample size of ratings would be roughly equivalent to a Nicholl quarterfinalist (top 5%).

    Bear in mind that there's a bit of variance/luck involved with something like the Nicholl, when maybe only 2-3 people are reading your script in the first round of judging. All it takes is one person who doesn't "get" your material or one person who falls crazy in love with it to probably skew your placement by 5-10% in either direction.

    I don't think the BL shares all of their data about average scores with the general public, but their website shows that 50% of scripts submitted fall below the 6.00 overall cutoff. So anything above that would technically be above average, although I think you really want to be a 7.X+ before you can say you have an objectively "good" script. 9-10 ratings are basically unicorns from what I understand.
    Is there a difference in the type of scripts that do well? I read earlier in this thread that Nicholl prefers a type of script. Say it's a script for genres like thrillers and are more commercial. I wonder if fellowships are even harder than these two.

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by nguyensquared View Post
    My understanding is that only 3-5% score an 8 or higher. Top <1% may be a 9 (someone can correct me) and top 0.003% are 10s. 8 is where your script gets sent out in a weekly email blast, though high (8+) individual component scores do include you in the Friday email blast as well.

    I can't speak to a fellowship but the Nicholl received something like 7100 entries last year, awarding 5 fellowships. So that's 0.07%? This is likely an apples to oranges comparison though as they operate differently.

    In either case, both are quite a tall order.
    Thanks for your input. I wonder how much attention is placed on the 8's and 9's. I know that Nicholl winners get a lot of attention. I imagine the fellowships are even more competitive?

    Leave a comment:


  • catcon
    replied
    Re: My Black List Experience

    Originally posted by cvolante View Post
    ...you can go look at the 20+ reviews (seemed odd, but I guess they had $$ to spend?)...
    and

    Originally posted by cvolante View Post
    ...It had several 10s on character...
    I can't get on BL to see. Do the ratings go up, and did it take 20+ reviews to get progressively better ratings?

    But see, this just makes it out to be another pay-for-access place.

    I'm reminded of IMDB. From a few cold pitches, I've been asked to send my IMDB page/link. I don't know why they didn't look it up for themselves, but of course if they had they wouldn't have found one. But I'm reminded of how IMDB is just another pay-for-access place:

    "Pay $200 or whatever it is for IMDBpro for a profile, and you too shall be among the stars!"

    Always got a chuckle out of this. Does anybody really think DeNiro, Lucas, Knightley et al pay to have their IMDB pages up there, or that IMDB (Amazon) sends them an invoice?

    Like all the other pay-for sites, it's we slugs who wannabe on IMDB (except for cheapskates like me, when the time comes) who pay. Somebody else obviously puts DeNiro's accomplishments etc. up there in the first place, back in the 90s or whenever, to get some content online, or at the very least one credit person in the "chain" (in any of the movies involved) paid to put their profile up there. Then, IMDB really has to provide the links to all of the cast, above- and below-the-liners, etc., thus resulting everybody's IMDB profiles. But, all for free.

    But for the paying nobodies? "$$$ Please."

    IMDB's great. BL's great. They're all great, don't get me wrong. And totally legal and entrepreneurial business models, but anyone with an ounce of skepticism... well, carry on carrying on. And don't forget, your annual renewal comes up in 18 days...!

    Originally posted by cvolante View Post
    ...(Assuming you've all seen this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0u4M6vppCI)
    I prefer this (what must be the inspiration):

    Sia - Elastic Heart

    Shia's really good in this, as is the kid, and of course Sia soars as usual.

    Leave a comment:

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