Anyone had much success on their website? Does it mean anything to producers etc if you get a rave review of your script from a reader on there? - or it just another place to use pro feedback to tighten your script?
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If you score an 8 or above (top 2-3% as I recall) then you'll get attention from the producers and managers, etc., anything less and not so much. But anyone can use the site to hone their scripts based on the pro feedback.
There are many threads on here about this, do a quick search and you'll get more opinion and insight than you can imagine.
I put a couple scripts up there. Found the feedback to be subpar. And I've never heard of any script getting discovered there, though I could have missed something. You want top-grade feedback, along with the potential of getting promoted, try SpecScout. Their notes are excellent.
Andrew, yes, there's been a lot of discussion about the Black List here at Stage 32... Perhaps do a general search in the Lounge and all related threads will be listed. That should yield much information as well. :)
What both Eric and Kerry said... I.e. If you get high scores, 8+ then you MAY get some attention, think you may get included in a Blacklist email etc. So exposure and interest are possible... There have been three or four successes for scripts found on the site, think Maggie (Arnie zombie drama), and Nightingale (David Oyelowo) both were found on their. They also have an excellent podcast where some of the unproduced Blacklist scripts get extra exposure via table read dramatisations. But, as Kerry says, it's not the best for in depth notes (which I think they'd accept), as the notes are more around a brief explanation of the score they've given and some basic notes on how to improve. If you want a site that does exposure to producers without score or notes etc then there's always Inktip.
Thanks for all the info their guys. Appreciate the repetition to answers that are obviously elsewhere as well. Interesting to hear re 8s etc... and interesting re feedback. I've found Inktip to be fairly poor (just in terms of who looks) too so was thinking of what else might be out there. Thanks again all.. will check out specscout too. --- just checked them out and forgot I have seen them before.. and submitted to them too! Forgot their names they were that good! These were the guys who one minute praised points in my script where a character developed speech issues when he falls in love, and mixed his words up so sounded like yoda at time bascially - yet in there 'grammar and format area' they criticised the same bits of the script for words being in the wrong order. Hardly impressive for how much they charge. Kind of put me off them I guess.
I'm deluded and cake obsessed. I'm probably doomed. The cynic in me weeps at times re these sort of sites... People making fast money over the possibly deludedto do what is there job that they are already being paid for... And sigh. Sorry grump over.
laughing. I think Joey ad RB OWN the process of talent and product to system. I'm also known for my loyalty. :) Tal.
I recently submitted for an evaluation, will let you know what i think when it comes back. I've had a mixed bag of reviews but decided to give it a try to find out for myself.
Hope you get something constructive out of it Christina. Be interesting to hear what you think of what they say...
I am Leander Beatty Jr., a fledgling screenwriter, part-time actor residing in Saint Louis, Missouri. I am honored to make your acquaintance.
Exactly, Kathleen. "Producers and actors should be honored to work on your material." Maybe I'll give it to them if they beg. There's a lot of hard reality packed into that "should be" of yours.
I'm curious as to how you know who's reading suff on the Blacklist? If what people are saying no one really looks at stuff unless it's scoring 8 and above.. Does that mean your scripts are scoring that and when someone downloads them you get to see who it is? That's grest stuff then!
Cj.ah OK. Thanks :-) Kathleen... Sounds like fun.. Hope to see your stuff out there one day! Can understand re copyright but I suspect with these things it's easy to believe there might be someone out there actively looking to steal scripts and I'm sure there are. I would suspect however the chances of that not actually happening prob outweighs the odds of it happening by a massive percentage... But I'm sure someone will know the actual percentages?
I have mixed feelings about the Blacklist. Here's why. 1. There isn't a single metric to be found on that site that states how many of the scripts that go through the hosting/listing/paid read process (to get the 8+ rating and then get the "Blacklist Industry E-mailing") actually have been optioned or sold. I find that very odd, and very troubling. For a company that loves to brag about its algorithms and "big data capabilities", you would think that, over the years, they would actually be able or willing to state somewhere how many of those 8+ rated scripts for non-Guild members that went through that process have been optioned or sold. 2. It seems that the Blacklist allows Guild members to know who read their scripts - which they get to list in the database for free (but still have to pay for hosting/reads) - since Guild members are encouraged to "reach out" to those readers in order to rate their scripts and get them back "into play" (the E-mailing), and also encourages them to pay for even more reads that might get them 8+ ratings that might then get them back on the E-mailing. We know there are these two different "Lists". There's this database that you have to pay monthly to have your script visible in order to pay for the reads that might get you on the Blacklist Industry E-mailing. Then there's this other Annual List comprised of scripts that surveyed people in the industry like. That's the list that the company states on their website that over 200 movies have been produced from to date - even though there is no correlation or proof that the Blacklist might have had something to do with those sales. They even state that, if fact - that there is no way to know if the appearance on the Blacklist had anything to do with the sale of that script, or even contributed to that script being "in play" as a result of that. I would imagine that those scripts are already in play, since industry people surveyed by the company already indicated that they like those scripts. It doesn't take a Big Data Guy or a Marketing Guru to know that. So until I see some testimonials or "success stories" like they do here on Stage32 and elsewhere, that link the actual purchased service ....to an actual option or sale....I can't see any value in that service, and it will smell totally fishy to me until I see that type of information. I sent an email a while back to the owner of the site, but never got an answer. I guess he's too busy concocting the dreamy marketing; the vast algorithims; and with the "big data" side of the business, you know?
I don't understand why anyone would do Blacklist when there's Joey and RB.
Probably the same reason some like Pepsi others like Coke. Different strokes for different folks.
Cj.ah now are you writing the screenplay... I'd watch that.
Kathleen, no disrespect intended, but I disagree with your statement about the lack of true originality in American cinema. While some films may be sequels/re-imaginings, many aren't. Over 700 American films were produced last year, and while you may be familiar, for the most part, with big-budget sequels and remakes, the vast majority of those films are very new and very original stories. How many of those non-studio films did you actually see? Probably not many. I don't think your belief is entirely accurate, with regards to how you view American cinema. If you're so worried that someone is going to steal your idea, then maybe screenwriting - or any type of business - isn't quite right for you. I could go to an investor with any type of business idea - from a pizzeria to a zoo - and much of that "knowledge" I have in that business comes from the similiar businesses that have existed before my "new twist" on that idea. Everything is influenced/borrows/tries to improve/exploit what came before it. Everything. Even your belief - "to be shocking" - isn't something original. Shock Art, or the concept to be "shocking" with your work, has existed long before you came on the scene. And there's a ton of Gothic Horror scripts floating around. There's nothing "original" about the concept of Gothic Horror - what is original is telling a new story in the Gothic Horror genre that is entertaining enough for a producer to say "I want to make this", and regardless of its shock value. If you're so nervous that someone may read your screenplay and come up with a different version of your concept, then maybe you should consider novelizing your screenplays before showing them to the world. At least you'll have your story already out there, and maybe you'll even develop an audience that can enhance your quest to get your screenplays sold. Good luck, Kathleen!
I am starting to feel sorry for the guys trying to get the film made. How they keep their cool with so much written word is a miracle.
Meanwhile, I'm off to eat cake...
I wouldn't post on a website where anyone could read it.
Kathleen, you are confusing the annual black listing of the what is voted to be the best unproduced screenplays of any given year. The portion of the blacklist that is undeserving of praise is the hosting and evaluation service. Same owner, two different things. One is for writers who are repped one is not.
Well.. In the time this forum posts has been going I've had one review from the site. Like mentioned earlier strengths and weakness and potential bit are positive, but the scores are 7s and 6s. the review is after my rambling.. I wonder if this, comment v feedback score is so they are not held accountable if someone else actually thinks it's not great? It's opinion v stats I guess? So...I need to decide what to do next with it. I'm going to run with the positive and see where it takes me. I'm obviously also going to have to take down their site and the reader in case they steal it.. So... 'Beyond Use’, an action/adventure script written as part of that November month of scriptwriting last year, was what I got reviewed. Here it is. Era: Present Day Locations: Costa Rica / Washington D.C. Budgets: High Genre: Action & Adventure, Action Thriller, Dark Comedy, Drama, Political Drama Logline: A disgruntled Secret Service agent teams up with a mysterious teenager to stop domestic terrorism being orchestrated with the U.S. government. Strengths: BEYOND USE is a well-constructed scripts that breathes fresh air into the genre by crafting strong characters, fast paced scenes and explosive set pieces. The characters, specifically the dynamic between Karen and Cindy, captivate the attention of the reader and makes it easier to invest in all of the action surrounding the duo. They are two very unlikely partners given their age, background and a variety of other factors, but the writer does a great job of making their relationship seem organic and believable. While the script isn't especially long, the succinct nature of the writing allows for the reader to fly through it and almost feel as if they are on a roller coaster ride with the characters. This pacing is further extenuated by a high body count, countless explosions and the prevailing sense that anything and everything can happen at any time. All of these aspects of the script help keep the reader engaged and drive the momentum of the story in a fun and exciting way. Finally, the opening scene of the script is especially memorable and hooks the reader immediately. Weaknesses: While there is much to like about BEYOND USE, the writer should consider making a few minor changes in order to have a more polished final product. There are so many interesting locations in the script, but many of them feel underdeveloped because the writer hasn't given the reader a visual sense of the setting. We get a sense in the moment of the location, but this aspect of the script could be strong if the writer focuses more attention on setting the scene before the scene begins to unfold. Additionally, some of the dialogue falls slightly flat at times and doesn't necessarily give enough to the reader for them to get inside the head of the character. Specifically, this takes place during some of the more trying moments involving Karen and Cindy. This may be a small note, but it could easily be remedied with a minor edit. Prospects: BEYOND USE is a script that has an excellent chance of becoming a viable project with the right elements attached. The writer should be able to attract representation with the writing exhibited in the script, which will be helpful for getting the material out to production companies. The script seems like a good fit for a top level actress who has her own production company with access to monies. With a Reese Witherspoon-type actress attached to star, BEYOND USE could be something appropriate for studios given the broad spread appeal of the subject matter. The action throughout the story should be attractive to big name directors looking for an opportunity to do a female-driven film in the genre. Pages: 91
Just in case anyone on this thread is interested....Here is a link to the scripts that made 2015's The Black List, BUBBLES and REAGAN are among them. Strange that they're both in the same year. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BybNvm-CX6dkSEVxWG83dHlzanc&usp=...
I posted my comedy "Lawn Boys" on the Black List and paid for an evaluation. I got some great feedback that I worked into my re-write, but now the script is completely buried underneath the thousands of other scripts even though I "re-started" it. I've since disabled auto-renew and have adopted the strategy of throwing my script over producers' fences.
Watch out for the dogs...
Interesting to note..... ..........I looked at the first few pages of several of the scripts on the 2015 Black List....some have agency representations stated on the cover.....many different margin settings for the title page....several different scene heading rules apply on the first pages....different rules of the use of italics in dialogues....nothing much happening on the first couple pages of several of them....one has a specific song and the first line of the song as it's "theme" on page one.....another has only an anecdote stated by the writer on page one....one has a drawing of Adolph Eichman on the cover.....all different types of scene transition rules applied.......lots of different narrative, from very visual only, to things you can't see, in the character intros..... ..........Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules! Heh-heh.
The odds of selling a script online has to be a long shot. Plus anyone can read it and borrow your idea. To me this is sort of like playing the Lottery which isn't normally included in ones business plan.
@ Bill. I agree. I don't have time to read them but I did glance at the first few pages of couple and they look like amateurish pieces of crap that would never get made. These couldn't possibly be screenplays someone would consider to be up to or even close to industry standards.
I completely agree with what CJ said. Do some simple math: the Readers/Evaluators receive $25 for each script they read and provide notes on. If a script is, say, 110 pages, and the Reader is honest and reads it completely, then writes a review, it takes about, what, 2 hours? $25/2 = $12.50/hour. Sometimes the adage is true: You get what you pay for.
I doubt it's that much, Tom. The fee is $25 what the reader gets is probably half if that.
Hi Laurie. I think the total for the evaluation is $50, with Franklin collecting half. The other half goes to the reader. The charge for having your script hosted is $25/month.
Wow, $50 for the eval makes it even more ridiculous. I thought it was $25 for eval plus $25 for hosting.
That's right Laurie..., TBL gets $50.00 in total and the reader gets $25 when an evaluation is requested. Otherwise it's $25.00 per month for them to host your script ... that's $25.00 PER month.
Is the eval $50 or $25 these last two answers make it seem like it's $25 eval/$25 host for a total of $50 then the addtional $25 per month after. My point is if the eval total is $25 then the reader doesn't get that total for the read.
Hi Laurie. It's $50 for an evaluation. Owners get half, the reader the other $25. There is also a $25/month hosting fee.
Uh-uh Laura. The total evaluation costs $50.00... I personally don't know if it's a 50/50 split between TBL & the reader... or... it could be a 40/60 split... I have no idea.
So people are paying $50 for someone who probably never even sold a script to give an opinion. Then they spend $25 a month to put their screenplay on the website that maybe have a one in 5,000 chance of selling and if it does sell it might have a one in 10 chance of getting made. It is unbelievable that people will do that. This is just like playing the Lottery.
Blacklist jobs section says readers get paid $25 for pilots longer than 30 minutes and $15 for less than 30 minutes. I gave the site a go in the end I've had 4 views so far, 2 peer reads and 2 pro reads - one of them downloaded the script.
CJ and Christina - I'm not a blacklist user, but does the name of the professional people and entities downloading/viewing the script appear, like it does on InkTip?
It really doesn't matter who reads your screenplay or how many people read it if nothing else happens. I seriously doubt the success rate is any better than mine and all did was pick up the phone and call people. I could call a hundred people and probably between five and ten will ask to read one of my screenplays and it doesn't cost me a dime. Even if they don't want to make the one I sent them which was usually the case when I first started out I made a connection with someone in the business and connections are everything.
CJ - Hmmm. So people put their scripts on the site...with the hopes that someone in the industry may read it....even though they don't know who that someone is....and even though those someone's names aren't even listed anywhere on the site? And even though there isn't a single "success story" listed on the site for those aspiring screenwriters? No wonder why the owner never answered my email. At best, that sounds pretty questionable, if you ask me. Dang....why didn't I think of that?
My only comment would be that our coverage tells you exactly who is reading your script, from what company, what their job is, and even what their sensibilities are. With some of our competitors, your action-comedy script may be read and judged by someone who HATES action-comedies; and they'll score you lower because of it. Now not for nothing, but as a red-blooded American I appreciate the power of choice, which is a quality some websites are sufficiently lacking. Now am I saying that certain websites are anti-American, spit on the graves of our founding fathers and should be considered traitors to democracy? Of course not... but who's to say they aren't actually in cahoots with someone who hates America as much as they do? Food for thought, indeed!
All right, Stacy Dash. I think we can all agree that the blacklist is first and foremost a money making machine and not in the best interest of screenwriters trying to break in. It astounds me that so many writers blindly sign up with this and other cottage industry services. If they can find that and other sites online they can certainly do due diligence to find out legitimacy/transparency/success rate/etc. There are just about as many scams out there for writers as there are people who think they've written the next blockbuster. It does get tiresome waving the red flag for everyone. Perhaps we can have a separate lounge for scams or at least screenwriter beware and the entire page is just a google search bar.
CJ - back in the day, I used to put six plates on the bar and bench-pressed 315 regularly, and then would have a great night's sleep. These days, though, I'm eating six plates at the Vegas buffets by 3:15, and then have a great afternoon nap. Aye-yah - but it's a clean six plates, at least, and not just an empty 6,000 calories, I must add. Clean. Erik - I quite regularly praise Stage32 for the direct and transparent ways it helps writers reach people in the business, and the Success Stories listed here make Stage32's value pretty clear. And I don't just say that because I use Joey's pics on my profiles on dating websites...and RB's now, too. If you can make one improvement to the site....I would appreciate a shirtless and sweaty RB pic, though...and especially after a good chest and shoulders workout....and maybe with him helping an elderly woman across the street while holding a puppy. Keep up the great work, Stage32 folks!
Awesome suggestion, Bill. We put RB's face on scant Burt Reynolds' pic a few years back. Still one of my faves.
These suggestions will be brought up in the Monday meeting for serious consideration. We'll replace the background image of this site with a boy band-esque picture of RB and Joey back to back.
@Laurie.... I'd love to see that photo... is that the Burt Reynolds' Cosmo magazine photo? LOL. Back to TBL.... I think writers go there because so many Executives/Managers/Agents have mentioned in Webinars that that's where they go to see what's being posted. The best bang for your buck is InkTip... even if they just take a peek at your Logline and nothing else... you see who they are. And you get a reminder to bring your script to the top of the list every 6 weeks so that you don't get buried after the first couple of weeks. AND... if someone views your script... you're able to get in touch with that person in 3-6 weeks.
We'll get a photo that looks like the cover of a romance novel. RB on a white horse with Fabio. I can see it now.
Andrew, I was warned about The Blacklist by an associate who used their services and in the process discovered that basically, it's mostly successful as a moneymaking venture...but not for the writer. Although they insist their services provide top quality treatment & exposure of your work, you really become a statistic. Curiously enough, if not for him and a few others who expressed doubt about TBL, I wouldn't have given them a doubt. When I just started research on script exposure online, TBL was highly recommended by a number of script sites. I believe it's considered a prestigious place for unrepped screenwriters. When I visited their site I remember thinking how they're expensive, and that something about them didn't sit well with me. Never thought about using them. I WAS going to try Screenwriting Staffing as they actually appeared to give some results (unlike TBL), & because they seemed to have a lot of listings requiring horror and thrillers, but a few S32 users have advised against this. So my prospects just keep getting dimmer. But TBL is something I won't try; I just think the exposure offered just isn't worth it the $ you spend.
SS should be avoided.
@ Erik.... you're hysterical... that's just too funny. @ Alex... We have Danny Manus here on Stage 32 that works as a Mentor/Consultant... he's amazing.... for contests there's always ScreenCraft... they have consulting and mentoring programs as well as many different genre contests, all year long. I was invited to attend their Bahamas Residency Program last Dec. It was totally awesome. In fact I found out this morning that I placed as a quarter-finalist in their Screenwriting Fellowship contest... with Oscar Award Winners as the Mentors. I'll be thrilled if I make it to the Semi Finals... only up to 4 writers will be chosen and flown to L.A. to take meetings, all expenses paid, etc.. @ Laurie... Absolutely. At all costs.
@AA - you might find the Opportunity posts that I make on Simply Scripts useful, I post a few times a week all the screenwriting opportunities and calls for scripts that I find online - http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-writingopportunities/
Wow Anthony... thanks for the link. I was aware of Simply Scripts in the past when I was hunting down screenplays.... didn't know they post jobs as well. Great to know.
Well technically SimplyScripts don't post them, I do ;-)
Oh I see... that's great. Thanks for doing that. xo
Think someone asked what sucesses there had been from the Blacklist... there's four that they call out. The Nightingale, Eddie the Eagle, Zinzana and Shovel Buddies... all are finished and showing at various fests... The Nightingale is the only one I have seen... HBO (I think) and very good. Not sure why they dont highlight these on their website... maybe they just aint as good at marketing as Stage 32 ;-)
Anthony ... On March 5th, they're having a 'table read' in at some theater in L.A. with real actors. The script for this month is... REAGAN. Of course you have to buy tickets to attend. Guess that's their only marketing strategy.
They have a whole bunch of podcasts of table reads of scripts from the Blacklist, think they call them ear movies, some decent scripts have been done too... All free to download.
Here are some articles about the blacklist (see below). Some are positive, some negative. I'd rather give my twenty five dollars a month to feed a kid, buy five lattes at Starbucks, five pints of Ben and Jerry's, five decent cigars or ten cheap cigars, one and a half haircuts, ten dry cleaned shirts, three bottles of wine, basic cable TV... http://defamer.gawker.com/are-all-screenplay-services-bullshit-the-black... https://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/forum/threads/my-truth-about-the-b... http://www.mentorless.com/2013/11/18/upload-script-black-list-facts-help... https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriting/comments/29tnmp/something_wrong_a... http://eviltender.com/2013/02/25/can-the-new-black-list-start-a-career/
@ Phillip -- Wow.... interesting links... thanks Phillip.... seems these discussions we're having here... have been going on for years out there.... very interesting comments and POVs.... yup "dangling the carrot" method is a huge money making machine.
It's good to see that some people have succeeded in using the blacklist. Having another established channel for writers to get their works discovered is always a great thing. Good luck, blacklist users!
Hey Bill... Congrats for placing in the Oscar race here on S32. Good for you. XOXO
@ Phillip: Oh boy, those links... Franklyn replied to the complaints on Screenwriting Goldmine & Reddit, insisting TBL has prestigious connections & is transparent etc and did a nice PR session, all without managing to address the concerns of TBL users. To me, he merely repeated the info I read on TBL site, whilst insisting they have numerous success stories. The sad thing is that many naive writers will continued to put their faith in these services, slavishly relying on them as legit measures of their work, and in the process waste a lot of time and definitely a lot of money.
AA: The Blacklist always stirs vigorous discussion here. I had a brief exchange of words with the owner but I didn't really want to get into a flame war on Twitter. Suffice to say I'm not a fan. And shan't be using there services anytime soon.
I'm torn on the blacklist. I think it's a partial scam, giving writers the idea that their screenplay is going to be seen by the right people. 25/month on its own might not seem so bad to get your material out there. However, your script isn't going to be seen by anyone unless it gets a rating of at least an 8. And how do you get that rating? By spending $50 per review. And of course you are very unlikely to get an 8. Especially since if you get an 8, you also receive a months free hosting. I have a feeling giving 8's are probably discouraged by readers. So it keeps you buying more, hoping for you big chance. Also the reviews are all over the place. I got a good review and only got a 6 and I got a bad review and got a 6. I don't really understand their criteria. Also I got 4 and a scathing review on a script that just made the semi finals of another contest. Granted, opinions are subjective, but their judging criteria always felt very unclear. The good part of the blacklist is that for a slightly lower amount you can get feedback. And while I didn't always agree with it, I usually found it very thorough. Learning to take feedback unemotionally has been instrumental in my writing and for that, the cost was worth it. Though I probably wouldn't do it again.
I read an article recently (not on this thread) that some of the readers even got the name of the Protagonist wrong... not like Mark or Matt... but like Jonathan when the Prot. was Larry. Franklin Leonard responded to some of those negative comments and said that he would give the writer a free post for a month and another review in some cases... but still defended his site and his readers vehemently. If I were you Teresa, I'd go for it.... if his readers are so vetted and accomplished readers.... how on earth do you get a 6 on a bad review... & a 6 on a good review of the same script? Smells fishy to me. Best always, -Sylvia
Those readers are no different than the unpaid interns who are going to read your screenplay at a production company... Which is why I often don't understand why people go to these middle-man operations when they could just equery a production company for free. I do know some pros who use the Blacklist 2.0 on busted specs, as a last ditch effort to get them sold.