Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

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  • Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

    This looks like a way to waste a hundred dollars, sorry. If you need a service to tell you what genre your script is or if a character you created is angry or not, you are too stupid to write scripts in the first place.

    https://blog.blcklst.com/introducing...k-1f1115a633af



    You want your script looked at? Get notes from TitanCreed. Just pay him the hundred bucks -- you will actually get something from it, smart notes and a fire in your belly to do a rewrite.

    https://fourstarnotes.com/

  • #2
    Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

    Have to admit, I don't really see what the value is. Most of the categories on this list can easily be figured out by the writer (or by fellow writers, if asked). The only item I see being of any possible use to the writer is production budget, but even then, that's a stretch.

    More importantly, I think this service would be of greater benefit to pro members than writers. Which makes me wonder why we are being asked to pay for it.

    I've had my gripes with BL over the years -- still have a few, but overall, I see it as a valuable service, particularly because it operates year-round. This is the first time I perceive what appears to be a blatant money grab -- a cynical attempt at a new revenue stream. If I were Franklin, I'd consider dropping this service (or at least reducing the price significantly, since $100 could buy far more valuable information about your script elsewhere).
    "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

      I kinda told myself I’d avoid posting here until I was caught up on discounted scripts (Almost there!), but since I was mentioned, I’ll make an exception.

      And, since this product is being pretty heavily panned here and on r/Screenwriting, I’ll try and play Devil’s Advocate:

      Writer Duet noted on Reddit that this service could be used to identify if the characters are all speaking in too similar a manner. As a reader, I can’t quickly do a census of word choice and sentence structure by hand. The Character Sentiment may also be a wakeup call to writers who have every character constantly angry and sarcastic (which is a very common issue).

      I’d just like to know more about this program overall. Is it making comparisons between scripts based on the aesthetics of the action? That could be useful. Plenty of readers will brag outright about being able to know if a script is a PASS just by glancing at the shape of the first page.

      And there are probably writers out there who compose very commercially viable works that don’t exactly thrill industry readers. Those writers could use this program to create their own avenue of success. I could imagine a very Marvel-esque film not scoring high in a contest but pumping out numbers through this program that are extremely appealing to a producer.

      But let’s be honest about why you really might need to use this product: Because you’ll have to.

      If studios start running scripts through programs like this as a way to filter their read pile, then ordering a service like this may be required to ensure that you make that particular cut. I would object to studios doing that, because it risks rejecting atypical works and places a financial burden on writers, but I also would not be surprised.

      Okay. Devil’s Advocate mode: OFF.

      Look. I don’t want struggling writers to spend $100 on MY notes. I’d probably only recommend this if I really felt the writer needed to be confronted with these numbers, if getting good scores with these services is just a requirement, or if I really felt they had a shot at standing out numerically (which I have no way of determining).

      By the time something like this does become required, hopefully the price will drop due to the research being paid for or competing programs cropping up.

      This honestly feels like something better for a reader than a writer. It would make more sense to me for a reader to run the script through and use the scores as part of an overall evaluation.

      (Granted, I’m a guy who is struggling to keep his bank account in the black and I couldn’t afford any of this. So I’m sure Leonard doesn’t need business advice from me.)

      EDIT 1: Also, thank you, Figment for the recommendations. They do mean a great deal to me and have honestly made a great impact.

      EDIT 2: I should also mention that I am worried that the misuse of scanning technology is going to become a toxic influence within the industry, at best lowering the already narrow narrative diversity. As a critic and consultant, I would rather this not be used. I suppose my take is that this is something larger than the Black List.
      Last edited by TitanCreed; 04-18-2017, 11:27 PM.
      ****

      I am a critic first and a writer second.

      I have a background in development and currently provide low-cost coverage.

      More info here: www.FourStarNotes.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

        Let me start by saying that there's a very active thread on Reddit if people have questions and concerns. I posted up there because I know DoneDeal is soon to be archived, and I think it's important that these conversations are accessible to people seeking information.

        That said, if you can get great notes or feedback of any kind for cheaper than the Black List can offer it, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of it. We offer a very specific thing, and our new offering is no different. It's not for everyone, though we think it has considerable value for many.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

          Franklin, you're an educated man. Harvard-educated.

          You can't in good conscience say that this service is actually worth $100.

          It may be "nice-to-know" information -- specifically for writers who are somehow unable to figure out the genre of their script or how likable their characters are, but it doesn't provide information that would actually lead to a significant editing of a script, like the BL evals. Something "nice-to-know" isn't worth $100. Something that provides less actionable information than a BL eval shouldn't cost more.

          If it does provide value that could actually be used to improve a script (rather than just being "nice-to-know"), I'd love for you to articulate it, because it certainly wasn't clear in the e-mail that was sent out (or the Reddit thread I just read through).

          I genuinely think you are risking your "do no harm" brand with this (and considering some of the vociferousness of the critiques against the BL online service, that's no small thing). It's very easy to say "if you don't think it has value, don't use it", but that's not a very strong defense of a service that is drawing some well-founded concerns. It's kind of like Donald Trump saying "if you don't like Trump University, don't attend it" even as many outside observers see it as being a fraud. Just because people have a choice, doesn't mean what you're doing is ethical.
          "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

            Write in the first page "ATTN.: the sky in ALL exterior scenes is animation of a troubled sea" and watch this software calculate your budget properly :-/

            There's a sucker born every minute.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

              I have been berated on this board over the years for exposing the truth about the Blacklist pay services.

              The truth is and always has been that at its core the Blacklist pay site is nothing but a money-grab.

              Many people have been blinded to this truth by their desperate hopes and dreams of achieving success.

              No matter how hard people try to hide who they really are, eventually the truth always comes out. The problem with a money-grab is that greed is its reason for existence and greed will eventually expose the money-grabbers for what they really are at their core, as is the case with the Blacklist' new Script Book service.

              Now that more of you are able to see the Blacklist pay site as the money-grabbers they are, take a moment and reevaluate the true value of their regular services as well and you will realize the entire operation was a well disguised money-grab from the moment Franklin attempted to monetize his original Blacklist.

              Looks like mgwriter was correct in all those old posts exposing these clowns. This latest money-grab didn't come out of nowhere, it's who the Blacklist pay site is at their core. The only difference is their constantly growing greed now makes it harder to hide who they really are with this latest useless service for sale.

              From the beginning I said the Blacklist paysite was providing a service to industry pros, but expecting naive writers to pay for the service. This new Script Book service is the same exact thing. It provides some stats for producers but expects writers to pay 100$ for it, when those irrelevant stats are not a useful tool for writers. So why do they expect writers to pay? Because aspiring writers are seen as suckers in this case.

              Once you start down the road of paying someone to read your script, it only gets uglier and uglier filled with greed and people looking to take advantage of aspiring writers. There used to be laws against this unethical practice, but now in the age of the Internet, people who think they're smarter than everyone else have found ways to bend rules and operate in gray areas.

              Also be wary of pro writers who are friends with Franklin who endorse his service. The fact that they're all friends tells you all you need to know. Strategic friendships and partnerships has been a major tactic employed by Franklin in disguising the insidious, money-grabbing nature of this unfortunate Blacklist pay site experiment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                I don't think you're right mgwriter.
                Previously, if nothing else, you were getting notes by a real reader. That's a legitimate product.
                I cannot judge the quality of exposure to industry that BL had but I can say for certain that my script being on their Top List for some time was something that did make an impression and helped me find legit employment in the industry.

                This, however, seems ridiculous. Software for measuring your character's likability. I have no words.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                  This sounds similar to something I wrote about a few years ago:

                  https://creativescreenwriting.com/mo...rket-research/

                  "When Variety reported on July 22 that Piedmont Media Research had developed a system for predicting a movie's box office take before the film was even made, the firm started fielding calls from some unexpected customers: screenwriters.

                  Within weeks, Piedmont had heard from more than 50 scribes hoping to use the company's patent-pending "consumer engagement--based model to pitch ideas to studios. No longer would writers have to resort to "hit #1 meets hit #2- comparisons to hype the marketability of their concepts. Now they could use hard numbers, backed up by audience research."

                  So if that's what this is, then it could be a help with marketing (rather than script development), assuming that this measurement is actually adopted by buyers. (Whether making buying decisions based on numbers like this is a GOOD thing is another question....)

                  But I don't know enough about the new service yet to have an educated opinion.

                  I encourage Franklin to hand out some freebies so people can test the waters.
                  "People who work in Hollywood are the ones who didn't quit." -- Lawrence Kasdan

                  Please visit my website and blog: www.lauridonahue.com.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                    But it's not ridiculous. This new service is right in line with the Backlist pay site core identity, which is all about fleecing aspiring writers for money. You have to look past all the misleading marketing to see the truth. If you can't see the truth yet that's okay. Truth surfaces eventually, one way or another.

                    If you want to believe The Blacklist is a fine upstanding company providing an honest service and that ALL OF A SUDDEN it took a misstep with this new service designed to ripoff writers, ask yourself how a company with good core values can all of a sudden change its core values trying to sell writers useless junk?

                    Truth is their core values have remained the same, very dubious, and they just didn't hide it as well with their latest attempted money-grab.

                    Eventually the truth comes out.

                    Originally posted by goldmund View Post
                    I don't think you're right mgwriter.
                    Previously, if nothing else, you were getting notes by a real reader. That's a legitimate product.
                    I cannot judge the quality of exposure to industry that BL had but I can say for certain that my script being on their Top List for some time was something that did make an impression and helped me find legit employment in the industry.

                    This, however, seems ridiculous. Software for measuring your character's likability. I have no words.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                      Originally posted by mgwriter View Post
                      I have been berated on this board over the years for exposing my opinion about the Blacklist pay services.

                      My opinion is and always has been that at its core the Blacklist pay site is nothing but a money-grab.

                      Many people have been blinded to my opinion by their desperate hopes and dreams of achieving success.

                      No matter how hard people try to hide who they really are, eventually I remain committed to my opinions. The problem with a money-grab is that greed is its reason for existence and greed will eventually expose the money-grabbers for what they really are at their core, as is the case with the Blacklist' new Script Book service.

                      Now that more of you are able to see the Blacklist pay site as the money-grabbers they are, take a moment and reevaluate my opinion of the value of their regular services as well and you will realize the entire operation was a well disguised money-grab from the moment Franklin attempted to monetize his original Blacklist.

                      Looks like mgwriter has the same opinion as in all those old posts exposing these clowns. This latest money-grab didn't come out of nowhere, it's who the Blacklist pay site is at their core. The only difference is their constantly growing greed now makes it harder to hide who they really are with this latest useless service for sale.

                      From the beginning I said the Blacklist paysite was providing a service to industry pros, but expecting naive writers to pay for the service. This new Script Book service is the same exact thing. It provides some stats for producers but expects writers to pay 100$ for it, when those irrelevant stats are not a useful tool for writers. So why do they expect writers to pay? Because aspiring writers are seen as suckers in this case.

                      Once you start down the road of paying someone to read your script, it only gets uglier and uglier filled with greed and people looking to take advantage of aspiring writers. There used to be laws against libel and defamation, but now in the age of the Internet, people who think they're smarter than everyone else have found ways to bend rules and operate in gray areas.

                      Also be wary of pro writers who are friends with Franklin who endorse his service. The fact that they're all friends tells you all you need to know. Strategic friendships and partnerships has been a major tactic employed by Franklin in disguising the insidious, money-grabbing nature of this unfortunate Blacklist pay site experiment.

                      I've edited your post for you (bold words are my suggested replacements).

                      If I were you, I'd delete the originals. You're welcome.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                        The Blacklist has never claimed to be a development service. It's a marketing service. It's a platform for you to post your script and for producers/agents/managers (most often managers, from what I've seen) to find it.

                        Reader notes have never been about helping you improve your script. They're about helping producers/agents/managers evaluate your script.

                        Scriptbook just takes that concept a step further - it's something you can buy that gives a producer a breakdown of what they're looking at. From what I can tell, it's specifically geared at producers who are looking for one narrow type of script (ie, they only do a certain budget, or a certain audience, or whatever other metric). It's a marketing tool.

                        Personally, I see few situations in which most writers posting to BL would substantially benefit from it even if it were free. The only scenario I can think of is a pro-level writer looking for some extra backup to show producers that their script is what they claim it is. Is it worth $100 in that narrow circumstance? It's hard for me to say, because I don't operate in that space. But from reading Franklin's answers in the reddit thread, I think that's all he intends it to be used for anyway.

                        Like other things when it comes to the Blacklist, I see most complaints as coming from people who want this site to be something it fundamentally isn't. It's an alternative to querying, not an alternative to development/note-giving services.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                          Franklin,

                          I am not a member of Reddit, otherwise I would have (tried to) taken you up on your offer of a free test drive.

                          If there's any chance that you have one more freebie in the tank, I'd love to let you use my script as a guinea pig and post the report here or anywhere else you want.

                          Not because I'm looking for something for nothing (I'm not, I swear). But because I believe my script is the exact type of script that this added service is designed for.

                          It's very highly rated (7.5 avg after 13 ratings), ready to shoot as is (ie. not a 'calling card' or a sample script) for under 10 millions dollars.

                          It's also, after 6 months on the toplist, losing a lot of steam as far as interest and downloads, and I'd be curious if this new service would goose the page views or renew the interest level (or what effect / benefit it would have, if any).

                          I totally understand if your concerns about DDP shutting down (it might not!) in the near term make this idea not worth your while. It was just a thought.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                            Originally posted by omjs View Post
                            Like other things when it comes to the Blacklist, I see most complaints as coming from people who want this site to be something it fundamentally isn't. It's an alternative to querying, not an alternative to development/note-giving services.
                            You're right; it isn't an alternative to development/note-giving services. But the site also has a stated mission of "do no harm."

                            As you suggested, it appears that this service primarily provides value to producers, and, on a less arguable basis, pro writers. If so, it begs the question of why Franklin is making it available to the masses, knowing that

                            a) it provides little inherent value to the average writer -- as the vast majority of writers who've commented on here and Reddit have said, and

                            b) it is being charged at a premium price despite having such limited value (I know he's said that studios pay a lot more for this information, but guess what? they're studios! They can afford to!)

                            So the main argument is not whether it's out of line with the nature of the BL service, but whether it's out of line with the BL's stated mission.

                            I might add, he's offering free trials of the service on Reddit, along with a free month of hosting. I know people are often distracted by the word "free", but we already know what the final output looks like. It doesn't really change the core argument.
                            "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Blacklist's "Scriptbook"

                              The funny thing is it's also useless to producers and managers and generally everyone; and anyone who argues with that either
                              A) acts in bad will
                              or
                              B) doesn't have a clue about what is the status quo of AI understanding subtext and context and humor and generally everything that makes storytelling relevant

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