SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
ScriptSearch
Welcome, Guest.
It is October 21st, 2019, 4:31pm
Please login or register.
Was PortalRecent PostsHome Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship


Scripts Studios are posting for award consideration
The October OWC results


Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›   How do script readers score your script?... Moderators: George Willson
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 1 Guests

 Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4 : All
Recommend Print
  Author    How do script readers score your script?...  (currently 638 views)
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 3:41am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68
You enter a competition, you send a script to a production company. In both situations, the script is read by someone whose job it is to score the script and mark it as either a pass, consider or recommend. The script readers - the first line of gatekeepers in the industry.

I was lucky enough to be in a session with Stephen Follows (https://stephenfollows.com/) a few days ago. He's a statto! You would think that's boring, but not only is he really funny but he knows his stuff and this data is very revealing.

He's been working for a while now on script scoring. He's analysed 12,000 scripts that were submitted to all the major film festivals and screenwriting competitions over the past year and the scores they received.

The results are revealing and in some cases surprising. Note - this isn't to say if the script is good or bad or if a director would love it, this is what the script readers think and how they score.

Sadly, I'm not allowed to reveal the results yet as it's all tied into an exclusive deal Stephen has. However, he will publish the results next week (I think it is Tuesday) on his site for free. If I remember I'll come back and update this then.

But as a taster, for now, let's play a game. This is the same warm-up game we played in his session. Based on the actor's movie posters (both male and female) and analysis on their facial expression, who do you think is the saddest actor in Hollywood?

So they have got to look sad, not angry, not neutral; sad. And consistently sad. If they are sad on one poster but happy on a different movie poster, that counts against them. So, have a guess and I'll pop back tomorrow with the answer.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK

Revision History (1 edits)
Angry Bear  -  February 1st, 2019, 9:35am
Logged Offline
Site Private Message
eldave1
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 11:22am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63
Anthony Hopkins came to mind for me


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 1 - 45
ReneC
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 12:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Vancouver, BC
Posts
1009
Posts Per Day
0.34
Sad is hard! Especially for the poster.

Charlie Chaplin...but that's not today.

I'm going with Joaquin Phoenix.


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 2 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 1:23pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
Ben Affleck or Kristen Stewart.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 3 - 45
jayrex
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


Cut to three weeks earlier

Location
London, UK
Posts
1447
Posts Per Day
0.30
Jake Gyllenhaal.


Logged
Site Private Message Reply: 4 - 45
hawkeye
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 9:02pm Report to Moderator
Regular



Location
Texas
Posts
916
Posts Per Day
0.37
Denzel Washington


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 5 - 45
Sandra Elstree.
Posted: January 23rd, 2019, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Location
Bowden, Alberta
Posts
3750
Posts Per Day
0.84
This was really easy for me.

There's no doubt in my mind that Nicolas Cage fits this category. He has a categorically sad face-- even when he's looking a little on the severe side-- still, the sadness creeps through in his eyes.

If he is in a neutral demeanor, his looks will reach the deep tones of sentiment at least, if not all out sad.

I should write a character using him as a prompt. I feel like his soul can't help but express itself. At the very least, it sure wants out.

Interesting topic,

Thanks for the post.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 6 - 45
StevenClark
Posted: January 24th, 2019, 12:16am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Last clue... Or is it?

Location
Upstate NY
Posts
2002
Posts Per Day
0.82
Iím with Sandra. Nicholas Cage was the first that came to my mind.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 7 - 45
LC
Posted: January 24th, 2019, 1:35am Report to Moderator
Moderator


Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
3781
Posts Per Day
0.94
Casey Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt. Ooh, I'm probably disqualified cause too many so I'll go for:

Jodie Foster!


Logged
Private Message Reply: 8 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 24th, 2019, 3:49am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Ben Affleck or Kristen Stewart.



We have a winner! Technically I should disqualify as you had two guesses but I'm a nice guy! Ben Affleck it is. I see some think Nic Cage, which is good but statistically, his face is more angry than sad across the board.






For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 9 - 45
ReneC
Posted: January 24th, 2019, 11:05am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Vancouver, BC
Posts
1009
Posts Per Day
0.34
No wonder Sad Batman took off so quickly...


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 10 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 3:42am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68
So the report is out - https://stephenfollows.com/analysis-of-12309-feature-film-script-reports/

It is a hefty report but worth checking out. The highlights are that overall, format is the least important aspect of the script and characterisation the most important. Those stats do alter slightly if you go into specific genres. For example in Horror, Plot is less important than in sci-fi, which makes sense.

Another aspect of interest is Voice. Voice is very important but looking at the data, scripts tend to get a higher Voice score if profanity is used. It's as if they go, "Yeah, Tarintino swears a lot and he's got a distinctive voice! and score higher. So fuck yeah!


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 11 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 4:38am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
Interesting, but who cares about unproduced scripts?

It's just an analysis of stories that weren't good enough to produce, for whatever reason...comnerciality or quality.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 12 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 9:58am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Interesting, but who cares about unproduced scripts?

It's just an analysis of stories that weren't good enough to produce, for whatever reason...comnerciality or quality.




I don't think you quite grasp this. These are the people who read your scripts and give them a score. That score ends up as a pass, consider or recommend and everyone uses script readers, be that in a competition or if you submit to a production studio. They are the first line of gatekeepers, the people who read your script first and this dataset suggests a trend for how they all currently score.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 13 - 45
Matthew Taylor
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 10:40am Report to Moderator
Regular



Location
Shakespeare's county
Posts
884
Posts Per Day
2.39
I'm going to assume that the scripts in this study were read in their entirety, or else how can they score on each element?

So what about those that don't make it that far? The ones that have 10 or less pages read, I don't mind betting that format plays a much bigger part in whether these end up on the pass pile - and it's a big old pile


Logged
Private Message Reply: 14 - 45
Angry Bear
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 11:23am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse



Location
The Swamp...
Posts
6747
Posts Per Day
1.59

Quoted from MarkRenshaw

These are the people who read your scripts and give them a score. That score ends up as a pass, consider or recommend and everyone uses script readers, be that in a competition or if you submit to a production studio. They are the first line of gatekeepers, the people who read your script first.


Interesting. I just read an article at BlueCat and part of it said this. I tend to agree with this. Us writers often think our scripts are gold, but...  

The most common question I get asked is how do I get my work to the industry. Listen, this is the greatest power a writer has. A writer can make anyone in the industry do anything with what they write. Itís that simple. If you write something amazing, everyone will line up to produce it and work with you. I have personally had this happen more than once and all professional writers had the same experience: they wrote something and what they wrote forced people around them to do what they want. Get signed by an agent, get paid for a script, get hired on a writing staff, get producedóĖall of it comes from what you write. You have all the power in Hollywood. If you write something special, you can make anyone in town say yes. Itís that simple.
Why donít we remember this? Why do we think there are mysterious forces keeping us from unlocking the gates? You are the gate keeper. You own the gates with what you write. Yes, you do have the power to not write, to resent feedback, to blame Hollywood for being unfair. But the greatest power you have is what you love to doó-write an incredible story. Writing fantastic, original, dramatic, hilarious stories is our dream and if we follow this dream, we create the freedom to do what weíve always wanted to do, and our audiences wait for us to do our jobs.
So letís remember our charge and get to work.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 15 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 12:07pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90

Quoted from MarkRenshaw


I don't think you quite grasp this. These are the people who read your scripts and give them a score. That score ends up as a pass, consider or recommend and everyone uses script readers, be that in a competition or if you submit to a production studio. They are the first line of gatekeepers, the people who read your script first and this dataset suggests a trend for how they all currently score.


But all of the info is on un-produced scripts that have been entered into festivals.

IE the entire analysis is based upon their opinion of amateur stuff.

Perhaps the scores would be the same based entirely on the best scripts in Hollywood, but that's impossible to say.

Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 16 - 45
ReneC
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Vancouver, BC
Posts
1009
Posts Per Day
0.34
What is the point of this analysis? It's a fun exercise at best. It's dangerously misleading at worst.

The nine summarized conclusions aren't anything earth-shattering, they're the same advice you'd get here on the forums or from any of a thousand articles.

The report draws conclusions and pretends it has the answers to getting a good rating, and that's a dead-end road, especially when so many of the conclusions are questionable. Even worse, the report actually suggests elements of a screenplay are not important, or don't factor into the ultimate decision of the reader. That's beyond misleading.

Even if you gloss over the fact that every point of data in this analysis comes from a single source (Screencraft) and assume that all readers are equal to a Screencraft reader, the absolute most this information can do for a writer is to give them the confidence to hit that submit button, and I'm being generous. What happens after that is anybody's guess and can't be gamed.

Reading is subjective, but it goes beyond that. If you submit to a screenwriting competition, some of them don't use professional readers. They won't necessarily fall within these "bespoke algorithms." They also have a job to do, which is to narrow down the field of scripts. The problem is, they're not simply rating each script against a rubric, they're rating it against every other script they've rated so far. It's a competition, the bar keeps getting raised.

If it's a studio you're submitting to, you could nail every point, get everything right, and still end up with a pass because your script doesn't fit into that studio's production slate. All the writer will see is the rejection letter, and where are these precious data then?

Seriously, what is the point of analyzing the screenwriting software used? Who cares?

Where the cracks of this report would show is in the outliers. I bet some of those outliers would directly contradict the conclusions.

The sort of "advice" presented in this report makes me angry. The only positive thing I have to say about the report is that it's free, so it falls short of actually preying on screenwriters. That doesn't make it right, but if you're interested in the data, knock yourself out. Just go into it with your eyes wide open knowing it isn't going to help you in any way and could do more harm than good.

If you want to go through the trouble of the analysis, do the work, present the data without bias, and let the reader draw their own conclusions. And if you're a writer, just write and don't worry about all this smoke and mirrors.


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 17 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
I agree, Rene

There are a lot of strange things in there:

1. Structure being relatively unimportant, for instance: Take the best script ever written and cut and paste sections at random...see how unimportant it is then.

It also contradicts what they said about fantasy:

rise=fall-rise structure=success.

rags to riches= fail.

They call it an arc, but it's still structure.

Choosing the wrong structure leads to instant fail in their eyes, in that genre at least.


2. The correlation between negative films being reviewed highly. Negative films tend to bomb at the box office. The only exception to this rule is negative films with a high vein of comedy, eg Trainspotting, or outright Horror. So what they like and what Producers/Investors like are at odds with each other.

It doesn't take into account Market. Who are you trying to sell it to? A negative drama is no use for the Syfy channel, and your naff, positive Christmas story is a damn sight more use to you if you're trying to get a distribution deal on a Christmas tv channel.


3. It's assuming that all the 12000 scripts were equally well written and that the difference in score was solely down to screenreader preference.

That can't possibly be ascertained from the info. These are amateur writers. The positive stories might have been poor, the negative ones good. It is, in truth, a LOT easier to write a negative story. Pick a brutal topic and it's hard to go wrong.

All we can say that out of 12000 amateur scripts, one group of scriptreaders thought that, out of the stories they were presented with,  the negative stories with good characterisation were the best of the bunch.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 18 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from MarkRenshaw
So the report is out - https://stephenfollows.com/analysis-of-12309-feature-film-script-reports/

It is a hefty report but worth checking out. The highlights are that overall, format is the least important aspect of the script and characterisation the most important. Those stats do alter slightly if you go into specific genres. For example in Horror, Plot is less important than in sci-fi, which makes sense.

Another aspect of interest is Voice. Voice is very important but looking at the data, scripts tend to get a higher Voice score if profanity is used. It's as if they go, "Yeah, Tarintino swears a lot and he's got a distinctive voice! and score higher. So fuck yeah!


Some interesting stuff there. Will certainly delve into deeper later. Off the top:

The profanity preference thing surprised me.

Animation being near the top in terms of genre preference surprised me more

(Got to start working on that profanity laced animation script).

Not surprising that format issues were almost irrelevant.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 19 - 45
Sandra Elstree.
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 8:45pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Location
Bowden, Alberta
Posts
3750
Posts Per Day
0.84

Quoted from eldave1


Some interesting stuff there. Will certainly delve into deeper later. Off the top:

The profanity preference thing surprised me.

Animation being near the top in terms of genre preference surprised me more

(Got to start working on that profanity laced animation script).

Not surprising that format issues were almost irrelevant.



I'm not surprised either. Format issues are the dregs of a script.

Story is what counts and readers can spot it.

Like Pia said, writers tend to look for that "mysterious thing" that will give their work a lift, but really it comes down to the writers themselves.

Are they bringing it to the table? If the reader cries, the writer has made magic. If the reader laughs, the writer has made magic.

When writers connect with that "aether", they evolve into something different. What? I don't know, but any writer who luckily finds themselves in that Zone is both relieved and excited.

Sandra




A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 20 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 4:44am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68
Getting angry about how script readers are scoring scripts isnít productive.  By all means, ignore it and carry on writing the way you want to write. Iím certainly not altering anything in my scripts based on this report. This is shared for information only. What I take from this is if my script gets a pass from one contest, itís not the end of the world. Itís not that my script is necessarily bad, just that the script reader didnít score it high enough in that particular attempt, so Iíll shake it off and try again. I now know how they score though, and that brings me a degree of understanding that I didnít possess before.

If I dismiss so much data as ridiculous I would be denying the reality based just on my own personal opinion. Iíd really have to carry out as much research as this guy had before I could challenge the results.

Sure, top professional writers who send scripts direct to top Hollywood producers and directors theyíve worked with before Ė this doesnít apply as they bypass script readers. I think most of us are not in this position though. It is worth noting in the report itself it does mention this:

"The vast majority of these scripts will not have been produced into movies yet and a large number of the screenwriters will still be at entry level, rather than professional writers. That said, within the dataset are scripts which have won awards, been optioned by established producers and been written by writing professionals and Hollywood stars."

Sure, if you write the most amazing script ever, you may change the hearts and minds of everyone who reads it. In reality, though, most scripts will land on the desk of a bored, tired script reader (with a headache) first.

And yes, you may get rejected from a production company due to their slate being full. But if a script reader has given you a recommend or consider, it then goes up the chain. Your script gets read by a junior exec in that company, you may get placed on the consider pile for when gaps appear in the slate, your name becomes wider known. Itís the beginning of a relationship that may lead to other things.

Just saying.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 21 - 45
FrankM
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 10:36am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Between Chair and Keyboard
Posts
1125
Posts Per Day
1.65

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
3. It's assuming that all the 12000 scripts were equally well written and that the difference in score was solely down to screenreader preference.


Actually a naive analysis only requires that writers' structure/content decisions are made independently of their ability to actually execute those things (actually not a terrible assumption if all the entrants are rank amateurs) and that within a category scripts were randomly assigned to readers (also not a terrible assumption).

But it's eliciting the preferences of a specific set of readers working off the rubric for a specific contest program. (A rubric that applies terminology a bit differently than most would expect.) Getting comparable data across a representative sample of contests and production houses would be ridiculously difficult.

An organization that wanted to do this properly would need to get the original submissions from a bunch of places along with metadata (genre, length, etc.) and the least-common-denominator of scoring (normalized measure of how far one got in the competition), and do their own independent assessment of how each script scored on a set of consistent criteria.

Could this be done? Sure, apparently readers can be contracted for $20-$50 per script, and entrants typically sign away the rights for contest organizations to evaluate the scripts. Add in some extra for the researcher/statistician staff as well.

Would this be done? To whom is this effort worth seven figures? WGA might be able to raise that kind of money, but would it really be in the best interest of their members?

It's better to take a flawed analysis that actually happened, keeping its limitations in mind, rather than yelling at the sky about how an ideal analysis would have been so much better.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 22 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 11:12am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from Sandra Elstree.


I'm not surprised either. Format issues are the dregs of a script.

Story is what counts and readers can spot it.

Like Pia said, writers tend to look for that "mysterious thing" that will give their work a lift, but really it comes down to the writers themselves.

Are they bringing it to the table? If the reader cries, the writer has made magic. If the reader laughs, the writer has made magic.

When writers connect with that "aether", they evolve into something different. What? I don't know, but any writer who luckily finds themselves in that Zone is both relieved and excited.

Sandra



Well said.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 23 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 11:38am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
If you think this has some value, knock yourself out.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 24 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 1:35pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63
Got through most of it. There were some silly things and some interesting things, IMO.  

Example of silly thing - concluding that rushed submittals result in lower scores since those submitted nearest the deadline scored worse.  Obviously - submitting close to the deadline could be the polar opposite - one waited as long as possible in order to fine tune.

Some Interesting things.

- Curse words were popular - the filthier the better. I would have never had considered this.

- In almost every genre, originality was not deemed important. I would have thought the inverse would be true.  Could be old ideas well executed are just fine.

- Readers don't care about parenthetical s (always suspected that).

etc.

Not sure what it all means in it's entirety but there was some food for thought as well as some stuff to discard.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 25 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 2:08pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
It's as simple as the fact there's no correlation between originality and quality of a script.

It's the same as with the concept.


You can have an original idea, but if you write it poorly, then it's not a good script.


For instance REC: Zero originality (standard zombie film) but one of the best horrors ever made.

Whilst you have this list of original ideas that were poorly executed (not my pick of films, but it's just an example)

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls079741680/
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 26 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 2:13pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
It's as simple as the fact there's no correlation between originality and quality of a script.

It's the same as with the concept.


You can have an original idea, but if you write it poorly, then it's not a good script.


For instance REC: Zero originality (standard zombie film) but one of the best horrors ever made.

Whilst you have this list of original ideas that were poorly executed (not my pick of films, but it's just an example)

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls079741680/


Yeah - I get the obvious inverse - poor writing is poor writing regardless of originality. What kind of surprised me was that originality had no relevance to highly scored scripts. I would have expected both - original and well written.

That is a sad list of films


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 27 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90
I don't know really.

They are probably harder to write, generally speaking.

I suppose it's bound to be less than other categories because you can have a good story that's unoriginal and a good story that's original...but you almost definitely need a good plot and characters in both scripts...so there's bound to be a bias in favour of other measures.

I think...Although that's related to the same point I made earlier.

Let's try it from another angle:

You can have a relatively good story with only plot (Harry Potter).
You can have a relatively good story with only characterisation (Richard Linklater films)
You can never have a good story with only originality, or theme, or concept....they are added extras.


It's also heavily dependant on how you define originality, I suppose.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 28 - 45
FrankM
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 7:58pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Between Chair and Keyboard
Posts
1125
Posts Per Day
1.65

Quoted from eldave1
(Got to start working on that profanity laced animation script).


Profanity-laced family scripts for the win.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 29 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 9:26pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
I don't know really.

They are probably harder to write, generally speaking.

I suppose it's bound to be less than other categories because you can have a good story that's unoriginal and a good story that's original...but you almost definitely need a good plot and characters in both scripts...so there's bound to be a bias in favour of other measures.

I think...Although that's related to the same point I made earlier.

Let's try it from another angle:

You can have a relatively good story with only plot (Harry Potter).
You can have a relatively good story with only characterisation (Richard Linklater films)
You can never have a good story with only originality, or theme, or concept....they are added extras.


It's also heavily dependant on how you define originality, I suppose.


Don't' disagree. I just assumed that originality was one of those critical elements. i.e., doesn't make the script by itself - but an essential ingredient. Guess I wouldn't have been surprised if if was a mid-point rating. I was surprised that it was dead last in most cases


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 30 - 45
eldave1
Posted: January 30th, 2019, 9:27pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from FrankM


Profanity-laced family scripts for the win.


Ding - ding.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 31 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 31st, 2019, 3:49am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68
The originality aspect makes sense. Thereís only, what, seven stories in the world? (or something like that) and everything you see is a spin of something. What takes you through TV show or film is the characters. If you love the characters, if you canít wait to see how they deal with the next situation, you will forgive lack of originality as long as it isnít a blatant rip-off.

Another aspect of the report which surprised me was Voice Over. We are told again and again not to use VO unless absolutely necessary but it looks like script readers donít score against it if they are in the script.



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 32 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 31st, 2019, 5:04am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90

Quoted from eldave1


Don't' disagree. I just assumed that originality was one of those critical elements. i.e., doesn't make the script by itself - but an essential ingredient. Guess I wouldn't have been surprised if if was a mid-point rating. I was surprised that it was dead last in most cases


You have to remember these are largely amateur scripts.

The best amateur scripts are those that most closely resemble professional scripts. A mediocre pro script is a lot higher in quality than 99.9% of amateur scripts.

At amateur level a writer who can plot a story, structure it well, have a style and a voice is a rare beast. Those that do stand out from the crowd.

At professional level the standard of writing is more homogenised and there is a floor to the level of the writing.  Any pro script can be expected to be well structured, with cohesive plot and characters.

When looking to differentiate between pro scripts you are looking at marketability: Genre/Concept/USP etc  the writing standard is a given. Some writers are clearly still better than others but there is a certain standard that's near objectively guaranteed.

It's like when you walk in a bookstore. You have an expectation that every novel is written to a professional standard. That it is structured professionally, that the plot makes sense with few or no plot-holes etc. You often make your choice based on genre and the blurb on the back of the book: Concept.  

That's why you have to be very careful with this info.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 33 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 31st, 2019, 11:06am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


You have to remember these are largely amateur scripts.

The best amateur scripts are those that most closely resemble professional scripts. A mediocre pro script is a lot higher in quality than 99.9% of amateur scripts.

At amateur level a writer who can plot a story, structure it well, have a style and a voice is a rare beast. Those that do stand out from the crowd.

At professional level the standard of writing is more homogenised and there is a floor to the level of the writing.  Any pro script can be expected to be well structured, with cohesive plot and characters.

When looking to differentiate between pro scripts you are looking at marketability: Genre/Concept/USP etc  the writing standard is a given. Some writers are clearly still better than others but there is a certain standard that's near objectively guaranteed.

It's like when you walk in a bookstore. You have an expectation that every novel is written to a professional standard. That it is structured professionally, that the plot makes sense with few or no plot-holes etc. You often make your choice based on genre and the blurb on the back of the book: Concept.  

That's why you have to be very careful with this info.


You are making a big assumption here that all the script readers only score amateur scripts, most amateur scripts are terrible and therefore lower their standard accordingly. They have no idea if the script they are scoring is professional or amateur. All are scored anonymously. Some of these readers work for production companies.

Take the Wescreenplay Contest for example. The Script Reader for my feature has an MFA in Screenwriting and has provided pilot and feature film script coverage for Valhalla Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions; including notes on novels, web series, graphic novels and plays. They are currently writing for production companies working with Lifetime and Hallmark channels.

This guy gave me 7.5 out of 10, A consider and I'm now through to the quarterfinals.  You may think that's bull and they are making up their credentials but I don't. I know quite a few script readers and they are more than qualified, plus they do work for competitions, publishers, production companies and deal with professional as well as amateur/independent work.

Sure, some of the less prestigious competitions may employ anyone who can read but Stephen picked the top competitions to base his analysis on.



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 34 - 45
ReneC
Posted: January 31st, 2019, 11:32am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
Vancouver, BC
Posts
1009
Posts Per Day
0.34

Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Another aspect of the report which surprised me was Voice Over. We are told again and again not to use VO unless absolutely necessary but it looks like script readers donít score against it if they are in the script.


This isn't surprising, really. "Gurus" warn against using V.O. because many new writers use it badly. It's either inconsistent or goes over the top, it's often weak, and it's usually a band-aid solution to a problem. But V.O. is a legitimate screenwriting device and absolutely should be used when the story calls for it, or when the writer frames the story in a way that demands it.

The thing is, V.O. is used for things like television inserts, phone conversations, everywhere where the actor is speaking from a different location. The report doesn't seem to differentiate between that and narration. It seems that they simply did a search for V.O. in each script and compared the count with the overall rating the script got.

And that is one of the dangers of a report like this drawing conclusions for you. Right in the summary, they state using voiceover is A-OK, and while they're right, there's a huge caveat to that and their conclusion is based on flawed data.


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 35 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 4:06am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68

Quoted from ReneC

And that is one of the dangers of a report like this drawing conclusions for you. Right in the summary, they state using voiceover is A-OK, and while they're right, there's a huge caveat to that and their conclusion is based on flawed data.


I do agree, there are always dangers drawing conclusions from any report. This is why I pay little attention to blogs like, "The 5 things that are killing your script on page 1!" All I take from this is V.O. isn't automatically penalised by scorers, when there are those that claim (without any evidence to back it up) that VO is always a no-no.

However, I'm not about to write a script now with huge rafts of exposition told in V.O. as a shortcut. But if V.O. felt completely right for an element of my story I will use it, just like I did before the report.



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 36 - 45
heyDaddyStudios
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 7:53am Report to Moderator
Been around a while



Posts
103
Posts Per Day
0.11
https://stephenfollows.com/ana.....MvePyP2OShDvBZ4t-OFk

If youíre interested in some statistics on how screenplays are being read and rated, this guy has quite an extensive report with some interesting findings! Havenít gotten through it yet, but he discusses a lot of trends that work in screenplays and backs it up with data! At least that is what Iím getting on the surface. Havenít dug very deep to truly vouch for this, but figured I could share it anyways!
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 37 - 45
JohnI
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 1:17pm Report to Moderator
New-ish


Posts
86
Posts Per Day
0.10
I believe itís like any of the other subjective things in life - luck of the draw. Who you draw. You may draw a really compentent reader or a poor one (They range just as writers do) You may draw a person who is having a bad day - shit happens. You may draw somebody who just isnít into your genre or writing style. (Iíve seen that happened with a person who got written notes.) You may draw somebody who gets yours after reading a hundred other scripts and is burnt out.

Iílol give you my take. Last year I enter my script ď7 days in La SuerteĒ in four contest. It made the finals in two and in the email I received from Nichols it said itís scores put it in the top twenty percent.  The professional  coverage I got  gave it a strongly consider.

So I put it in the forth contest. IT never made it out of the box.

Also Iím curious - I heard the writer say ďprofessionalĒ writers scripts are better then 99.9% of the amateurs. I would consider myself in the latter class. But just what is a ďprofessionalĒ - somebody who does it for money? We all try to do it for money. Donít see any MLSW - Major league of professional; screenwriters.

To me itís just an ego thing.

I play a lot of poker. Iíve played against some big name ďprosí and held my own consistently, but consider myself an amateur.

When I was very young an elder gentlemen told me never judge a manís abilities by the titles he bestows upon himself.  

Just my opinion.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 38 - 45
eldave1
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 1:43pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



Location
Southern California
Posts
5008
Posts Per Day
2.63

Quoted from JohnI
I believe itís like any of the other subjective things in life - luck of the draw. Who you draw. You may draw a really compentent reader or a poor one (They range just as writers do) You may draw a person who is having a bad day - shit happens. You may draw somebody who just isnít into your genre or writing style. (Iíve seen that happened with a person who got written notes.) You may draw somebody who gets yours after reading a hundred other scripts and is burnt out.

Iílol give you my take. Last year I enter my script ď7 days in La SuerteĒ in four contest. It made the finals in two and in the email I received from Nichols it said itís scores put it in the top twenty percent.  The professional  coverage I got  gave it a strongly consider.

So I put it in the forth contest. IT never made it out of the box.

Also Iím curious - I heard the writer say ďprofessionalĒ writers scripts are better then 99.9% of the amateurs. I would consider myself in the latter class. But just what is a ďprofessionalĒ - somebody who does it for money? We all try to do it for money. Donít see any MLSW - Major league of professional; screenwriters.

To me itís just an ego thing.

I play a lot of poker. Iíve played against some big name ďprosí and held my own consistently, but consider myself an amateur.

When I was very young an elder gentlemen told me never judge a manís abilities by the titles he bestows upon himself.  

Just my opinion.


Also different tastes for different contests. e.g., I have scripts that do well in PAGE that bomn in Nicholls. etc.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 39 - 45
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 1st, 2019, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
3366
Posts Per Day
0.90

Quoted from JohnI
I believe itís like any of the other subjective things in life - luck of the draw. Who you draw. You may draw a really compentent reader or a poor one (They range just as writers do) You may draw a person who is having a bad day - shit happens. You may draw somebody who just isnít into your genre or writing style. (Iíve seen that happened with a person who got written notes.) You may draw somebody who gets yours after reading a hundred other scripts and is burnt out.

Iílol give you my take. Last year I enter my script ď7 days in La SuerteĒ in four contest. It made the finals in two and in the email I received from Nichols it said itís scores put it in the top twenty percent.  The professional  coverage I got  gave it a strongly consider.

So I put it in the forth contest. IT never made it out of the box.

Also Iím curious - I heard the writer say ďprofessionalĒ writers scripts are better then 99.9% of the amateurs. I would consider myself in the latter class. But just what is a ďprofessionalĒ - somebody who does it for money? We all try to do it for money. Donít see any MLSW - Major league of professional; screenwriters.

To me itís just an ego thing.

I play a lot of poker. Iíve played against some big name ďprosí and held my own consistently, but consider myself an amateur.

When I was very young an elder gentlemen told me never judge a manís abilities by the titles he bestows upon himself.  

Just my opinion.


A professional is someone who makes enough money from it to live.

It usually goes hand in hand with a certain level of quality. Although what that quality is is somewhat variable.

I was in the same class at schools as Jules 'the kid' Gardner who is a pro poker player. He is a professional gambler because he's made millions from it and it's his livelihood.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 40 - 45
MarkRenshaw
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 3:34am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
UK
Posts
1604
Posts Per Day
0.68
Yeah, for me a professional writer is someone whose actual day job is writing and earns enough from it to pay the bills. You don't have to be a millionaire or have a long list of famous scripts under your belt to be a pro though and most are not.

Until that day happens I consider myself an amateur and treat all this as a hobby.  


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 41 - 45
Lon
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 9:04am Report to Moderator
Been around a while



Location
Eastern KY
Posts
329
Posts Per Day
0.06

Quoted from Angry Bear
A writer can make anyone in the industry do anything with what they write. Itís that simple. If you write something amazing, everyone will line up to produce it and work with you. I have personally had this happen more than once and all professional writers had the same experience: they wrote something and what they wrote forced people around them to do what they want. Get signed by an agent, get paid for a script, get hired on a writing staff, get producedóĖall of it comes from what you write. You have all the power in Hollywood. If you write something special, you can make anyone in town say yes. Itís that simple.


I only just now got around to this thread, and this immediately caught my attention.  I think you hit the nail squarely on the head.

You'll often hear varying complaints from writers who have yet to find success.  "In Hollywood, it's who you know."  Or, "They didn't recognize the brilliance of my script."  Or any number of lame-o excuses.  But the simple truth is that a great script sells itself.  

Yes, you have to put it out there, submit it to agents or into competitions.  No one's going to recognize its greatness if you don't submit it.  It's not going to magically find its way from your desk into a reader's lap.  It's not going make a contract appear in your mailbox by osmosis.  It's not going to inflate your bank account by crossing its arms and nodding like I Dream of Jeannie.

But if you've written a great script, and you put that script out there to be discovered, it will be discovered.  Because once you cut through all the so-called Hollywood elitism and studio red tape and what-not, there is one thing that everyone is Hollywood is looking for, be they an agent, a director, a producer, an FX artist or a lowly gaffer: a great script that they can turn into a great movie.

Now, what becomes of that script after it's been bought is usually out of your hands, unless you were fortunate enough to be kept on for rewrites.  But I'm not going to go into that (touchy subject, sorry).  Suffice to say that there are a lot of producers and development execs in Hollywood who insist on fixing shit that ain't broke.  Call it an occupational hazard we face as writers.  But regardless of what happens during development, it's not going to change that you wrote a great script.  And people in the biz who know what from what are going to recognize that.

But I digress.  The point is, write a great script, then put that script out there to be seen.  If it's great script, it will find its way into the right hands.  If it doesn't, then it probably wasn't a great script.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 42 - 45
khamanna
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 9:51am Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Posts
3248
Posts Per Day
0.88
Ditto on Nicolas Cage for the saddest. Id add Ryan Gosling to the list.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 43 - 45
Angry Bear
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 11:22am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse



Location
The Swamp...
Posts
6747
Posts Per Day
1.59
Just wanted to jump in here and make sure that you all know that Lon's quote of me is actually a quote I posted from a BlueCat article. Not a quote by me personally. That's all. Carry on.  


Logged
Private Message Reply: 44 - 45
Lon
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while



Location
Eastern KY
Posts
329
Posts Per Day
0.06
I didn't realize that, sorry.  Thanks for the clarification.  Still, a very good point you quoted there.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 45 - 45
 Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4 : All
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    Screenwriting Class  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on


Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006