This is taken from another site, here: http://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/forum/showthread.php?p=70659#post70659 "I'm a screenwriter of course, and I've been writing for a long time. Not too long ago, a fellow screenwriter introduced me to The Blacklist; upload yer script, pay a lil fee, and wait (and hope) for a good rating to get some access or recognition to the Hollywood Players. I did a little research, saw a whole lot of good stuff about the Black List on the web, and its creator, Franklin Leonard, and decided to give it a go (hey why not? It sounded legit). I uploaded an action comedy (which has placed in the semi-finals and finals of Scriptalooza and Nicholl) and the results came back. My script scored a 4. I was shocked as sht. How dare them? LOL. Anyways, I plunked down another $50 for a second review (I figured that whomever read my script was high on drugs to rate it that low). My second review came back with a 5. Hmmm. I figured that a 3rd time would be the charm and went for it. Same script, no revisions. It came back with a 7 (not bad). Regardless, they say that if you don't score an 8 or more, the script won't get any attention. So after all that money spent, I was A** out, and my script wasn't going anywhere. A friend of mine (who got a 6 on her script recently), called me, and the subject of the Black List came up. We started to compare notes, and noticed a kind of scoring pattern with our script evaluations. We got in touch with some of our other writer friends, and we all noticed the same thing: everyone was coming in under the magic number of 8 (except one person, and his script still didn't get any traction on the Black List site), even with multiple reviews. We thought, "maybe we all just suck," but that wasn't it. Between us all (and there are major contest finalists and winners amongst us), someone should have hit the mark somewhere, but nope. Nothing. Nada. We all had the same common denominator gripe though: our script review summaries (the non-numerical portions) seemed a little dodgy. Some of us got free review do-overs to correct the dodginess (a nice gesture by the folks at The Black List), but even the do-over reviews were suspect. Suspect along the lines of leading us to believe that these reviewers weren't the "experienced pros" we thought they were. Not good. Long story short, we realized that if we had taken the time to read the fine print on the Black List site itself, we wouldn't have become victims of the "dangling carrot" system, and we would've all saved ourselves a lot of money (and mental anguish) in the process. This is what the site says about its evaluators (readers): "All of our readers have WORKED as first filters for major agencies, studios, production companies, television studios, and management companies." Yup. The operative word here is "worked," as in past tense, which now leads us to the following ad posted by the Black List and found on anonymousproductionassistant.com "To meet still rising demand as 2014 begins, the Black List is hiring more professional screenplay and pilot readers to evaluate screenplays and pilots and write brief evaluations. Requirements remain the same: Applicants must be strong critical readers, elegant writers, and have minimum one year previous experience reading as, at least, employed first filters (i.e. not interns) for major Hollywood financiers, studios, networks, production companies, agencies, or management companies. Expected workload is minimum 15 screenplays/pilots per month, though the reading and evaluations can be completed at your leisure from wherever you are. Readers are paid on a per script basis. Screenplay and pilots longer than 30 minute readers currently receive $25 per script. Readers of pilots 30 minutes or shorter receive $15. Apply by sending a brief cover letter, resume, and two examples of previous coverage to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Black List Reader” For $25 per script, the Readers at Black List are most likely part-timers or unemployed and destitute college students just starting out, or trying to get a foot in the door themselves. The mystery of the dodgy reviews has been solved, and now it all makes sense. You might say that it doesn't matter, because these are the "gatekeepers in the studio system." Yes, that's true, but the difference in this case lies in the fact that you typically don't PAY the gatekeepers in the system. With the Black List, you are paying: $25 to host your script on their site, and an additional $50 for a read (if you want to get your script attention, they say), and that leads us to this very valid question: Why would any REAL decision maker in the Hollywood development system go through the Black List and accept the opinions of lowly, independent THIRD PARTY "readers" who don't even work for them in the first place, to evaluate a script? The answer? They don't, because they don't need to. They have in-house readers for that (an epiphany that should've occurred to me before I spent all that money). Now you may say: "But they have Hollywood pro members that subscribe to the Black List and people have scored major deals or representation from the site." Ask yourself this: Who, and how many? The success stories are far and few in between. Did the people who scored deals already have representation? If you do your research, you'll see that the most popular deals were for those who already had reps (no coincidence), and for those who DIDN'T have reps that scored, who were they? (Last time I checked, it was a guy (Justin Kremer) who just so happened to have interned for the Black List (no coincidence). The Black List prides itself on transparency (and they're not kidding), because what's least likely to happen (your big break) is spelled out right in front of you. Who are the Hollywood pro members that can allegedly jump start your career and change your life? Read what it says on the Black List site: "The Black List counts over 2,000 film industry professionals AMONGST its membership ranging from major and mid-major agency assistants to studio presidents of production and working creative talent (actors, directors, etc.). These are people involved in making major studio motion pictures and independent films likely to play in festivals and get distribution." Sounds fantastic doesn't it? Not so fast. The operative word here is the term "AMONGST." Out of 2,000 pros, the number of REAL players (the major and mid-major agency assistants and studio presidents of production, etc) that COULD be listed as members of the Black List, COULD be as little 6, and MAYBE as much as 300. You don't know (and you never will) because the Black List isn't going to share that info with you. Now look at the "working creative talent" line. Hey, I know of PLENTY of "working creative talent" that continue to work in obscurity (and you do, too, and yes, they're on imdb). Plainly speaking, they can't do sht for you, your career, or their own, because they're not in any position to call any shots whatsoever, and no one knows them because they're not famous. Now that you can clearly comprehend what "2,000 film industry professionals" can actually be, the Black List doesn't sound so enticing, does it? Of course not, because now it has become painfully obvious that the "dangling carrot" you continue to chomp at by purchasing evaluation reads with the hope of getting "access" to your big break, is nothing more than a mystery carrot; you don't know what it's really made of. So is the Black List a scam? I don't know what you would call it, because they're telling you right to your face (albeit through not so obvious language) what they're all about, but I will say this; it's no different from ink tip. They're all feeding on your hopes and aspirations, and making a bundle of money from it. If you're truly going to invest in yourself and your career and you have to "pay to play," you're probably better off bribing a KNOWN literary agent or major studio in-house reader with a cash gift. At least this way you know for certain that your material is getting to the right hands (and I'm kind of joking and not joking when I say this). The moral of the story here? Writer beware, because as you can see, something stinks here. Even The Bitter Script Reader (a popular screenwriting blogger) seems to have been fooled. It was brought to my attention that his script, "Toby is Now Following You," is currently on one of the Black List's top lists. Is it there because it's actually good? I don't know. I haven't read it. Could it be there by and through manipulated high score "reader" evaluations in order to "disarm" The Bitter Script Reader's usual astuteness for spotting BS? Could be. You don't know who is allegedly reading and scoring your script from behind the scenes. But one thing is for sure, I don't think it's a coincidence that The Bitter Script Reader's script is on one of the top lists. If someone like The Bitter Script Reader were to NOT be on your side, the money train (for a site like The Black List) stops abruptly, because a lot of writer's and new writers read his blogs for tips and a heads-up on what's what on all things screenwriting. Your thoughts and comments?" ~ TheRangeMatters Again, not my words, they are a direct quote from the named poster.