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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  /  Covered Scripts Section - Give me your input
Posted by: Don, May 5th, 2013, 12:14pm
Based upon recent successes that folks on the site have had and on recent constructive critisim I have received from Timothy Woodward Jr I am strongly considering creating a "Covered Scripts" section of the site.  This would be a listing of scripts for which the writer has received coverage with a 'grade' of either "consider" or "recommend".

I would like input on what information should be presented. My thoughts:

Title:
Author:
Genre:
Logline:
Page Length:
Budget:
Coverage Grade: Consider or Recommend
Coverage provider:
Antecedent:  
Synopsis:

Would you put on your "producer's" hat and let me know your thoughts?

Don

Posted by: Reef Dreamer, May 5th, 2013, 12:44pm; Reply: 1
First off Don, I think this is a great idea.

As far as I can see, this site encourages amateur writers to become better, and to some degree, more commercial. In short give them a chance.

A thread for covered scripts fits that bill.

Before the detail of what is posted is considered, I just wondered to whom you offer this? Is it to anybody? Or is it to SS memebers in general? Or posisbly available to those you have passed some eligibility eg memebers for a period of time, number of posts etc

Selfishly, my preference would be to have this open to board members to encourage participation and to make a decent connection between the thread and the board. After all, anybody can join.

On the other hand, If you open it to all persons that may attract more responses, which may suit you as owner.

In terms of your list, I don't have much experience but I think this list is more than adequate. Anything more could be an over load. The only one I wonder about is budget, but in the coverage i've seen this seems to be provided to may be not an issue.

All the best with this.
Posted by: James McClung, May 5th, 2013, 12:58pm; Reply: 2
I'm honestly kind of split on this one. On the one hand, if there was a section of covered scripts that got consider and recommend, why would prospective producers bother to look at any of the other scripts? Not saying a pass should be on the same level as the other two but perhaps scripts that haven't gotten coverage yet should still have a decent shot at getting read. On the other hand, it'd be extremely helpful for writers who have obviously put in the hard work, which has always been the spirit of this site. All I know is that if the leg up outweighs the disadvantages, that's probably the way to go. That said, I'm leaning in the direction that this is a good idea.
Posted by: Don, May 5th, 2013, 1:04pm; Reply: 3

Quoted from Reef Dreamer


Before the detail of what is posted is considered, I just wondered to whom you offer this? Is it to anybody? Or is it to SS members in general? Or possibly available to those you have passed some eligibility eg members for a period of time, number of posts etc




Bill, to begin, this will only be open to members of the discussion board who expressed an interest, have actually gotten script coverage for his/her script and are patient enough with me to work through the bugs of getting this up and out.   I don't foresee a huge number.  

Also, I'm debating on whether the actual script needs to be posted on the site or not.   Up to this point, SimplyScripts has been about reading and writing scripts and writer's helping each other more so than trying to get scripts sold.  If it was about selling scripts, the site would be a lot different.

Don

Posted by: pale yellow, May 5th, 2013, 1:05pm; Reply: 4
I think you've covered all the important information...I think this is a good idea. I think producers would continue to also look in all the threads, so I don't think this would limit anyone. I have coverage on a few scripts. I get coverage on all my first ten pages...BUT I can't afford to get coverage on all of my scripts. I have two though that will be done this month and plan to get coverage.

:)
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, May 5th, 2013, 1:14pm; Reply: 5
One extra point.

I think SS is great place to post a script and get feedback, good and bad. I would imagine this could be off putting to a producer who is seeing allsorts of feedback.  However, the writer can then go away, improve the script and seek Coverage.

The original thread would always be tainted by feedback on a different version.

By having a different thread you seperate these elements which I feel is positive - one to gain feedback, one to post the finished product.
Posted by: Angry Bear, May 5th, 2013, 1:36pm; Reply: 6
I think it's a great idea, however, I don't think it does any good if the scripts with coverage gets their own board. Reason being is that I don't think potential producers/directors/actors looking for scripts go to the forum. They go to the home page, click on unrpoduced scripts then click on what genre they are looking for and then go to that script page and look down the list. They don't search through the boards. At least I don't think so. After someone has clicked on the unproduced buttom and the choice of genre comes up, have an extra button to click on there for scripts with coverage of Consider or Recommend.
Posted by: GM, May 5th, 2013, 1:37pm; Reply: 7
I have no idea what an Antecedent is. Can someone tell me?

In regards to the coverage, I'm down. But as Pia pointed out, it should be more accessible on the home page and not in the discussion board.

Gabe
Posted by: Don, May 5th, 2013, 1:44pm; Reply: 8

Quoted from James McClung
I'm honestly kind of split on this one. On the one hand, if there was a section of covered scripts that got consider and recommend, why would prospective producers bother to look at any of the other scripts? Not saying a pass should be on the same level as the other two but perhaps scripts that haven't gotten coverage yet should still have a decent shot at getting read. On the other hand, it'd be extremely helpful for writers who have obviously put in the hard work, which has always been the spirit of this site. All I know is that if the leg up outweighs the disadvantages, that's probably the way to go. That said, I'm leaning in the direction that this is a good idea.


James, you have a valid point.  Ideally all the scripts on the site should be presented in a 'producer friendly' format.  

Up until this point, the site has been less about getting the script made and more about improving the script and being a resource.

I probably should make it clear on the "Covered Scripts" section that these are only scripts that have received coverage and that there are a whole lot more scripts in other places.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer

I think SS is great place to post a script and get feedback, good and bad. I would imagine this could be off putting to a producer who is seeing allsorts of feedback.  However, the writer can then go away, improve the script and seek Coverage.

The original thread would always be tainted by feedback on a different version.

By having a different thread you seperate these elements which I feel is positive - one to gain feedback, one to post the finished product.

The covered scripts section would be something like the unproduced section here: http://www.simplyscripts.com/unpro.html with a link over to the discussion board.  


Don
Posted by: Don, May 5th, 2013, 1:47pm; Reply: 9

Quoted from Angry Bear
I think it's a great idea, however, I don't think it does any good if the scripts with coverage gets their own board. Reason being is that I don't think potential producers/directors/actors looking for scripts go to the forum. They go to the home page, click on unrpoduced scripts then click on what genre they are looking for and then go to that script page and look down the list. They don't search through the boards. At least I don't think so. After someone has clicked on the unproduced buttom and the choice of genre comes up, have an extra button to click on there for scripts with coverage of Consider or Recommend.


Pia,

I, too, suspect that is the behavior.  From what I learned from Timothy's experience, he checked the unproduced page at: http://www.simplyscripts.com/unpro.html for new scripts posted.  

Don
Posted by: Don, May 5th, 2013, 1:54pm; Reply: 10

Quoted from GM
I have no idea what an Antecedent is. Can someone tell me?

In regards to the coverage, I'm down. But as Pia pointed out, it should be more accessible on the home page and not in the discussion board.

Gabe


"Antecedent" would be like, "What is this script similar to?" e.g.,

"Toy Story 3 meets Night of the Living Dead"
or

Avatar is like "a Smurf version of Disney's Pocahontas on an alien planet"

Perhaps I should use, "What is this script similar to?"
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 5th, 2013, 2:27pm; Reply: 11
Actually, I think i'm leaning towards a "no" vote on this one, Don.  Admittedly, my experience with coverage is limited to Screenplay Readers, which was abysmal.  But I think that creating a separate section for covered scripts would result in effectively ghettoizing scripts that could well be equally good or better.  There are plenty of reasons not to seek coverage.  Budget is always an issue, and why throw away money when many coverage agencies are poor quality, or even sometimes scams?  One of the great things about SS is that it's equal opportunity.  I think this would take away from that aspect, to the detriment of the site.  IMHO...
Posted by: AmbitionIsKey, May 5th, 2013, 2:42pm; Reply: 12

Quoted from wonkavite
Actually, I think i'm leaning towards a ”no” vote on this one, Don.  Admittedly, my experience with coverage is limited to screenplay readers, which was abysmal.  But I think that creating a separate section for covered scripts would result in effectively ghettoizing scripts that could well be equally good or better.  There are plenty of reasons not to seek coverage.  Budget is always an issue, and why throw away money when many coverage agencies are poor quality, or sometimes scams?  One of the great things about ss is that its equall opportunity.  I think this would take away from that aspect, to the.detriment of the site.  Imho.


I agree with this.
Posted by: rc1107, May 5th, 2013, 2:44pm; Reply: 13
I can see where Janet's coming from, and as I mentioned before, I don't have any experience with any coverage companies to go off of, but they just don't seem realistic for me right now at this stage.  (Unless it's on Bab's request).

But I'd view the 'Covered Scripts' section more from a learning experience (which is the true spirit of SimplyScripts, right?  :-)  than as a venue to try and get something produced.  (Although I wouldn't complain if I did.)  So for me, in a learning capacity, I think a 'Covered Scripts Section' would be a very good idea.

I'd be very interested in reading 'coverage' reports for scripts that I've already read and have my own opinion of to compare and contrast.

Would the actual 'coverage' also be available, or is it just the 'recommend' or 'consider'.  To me, for writers who don't mind sharing their coverage, that experience could be priceless for those who study the craft as a whole.
Posted by: Angry Bear, May 5th, 2013, 3:07pm; Reply: 14
My only issue with the Consider or Recommend part is that I have used several coverage companies and script readers, inexpensive and expensive. Screenplay Readers are the only ones that say Pass, Consider or Recommend. In other words, if someone spends hundreds of dollars to get their script read, but don't get that grade?
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 5th, 2013, 3:32pm; Reply: 15
How's about this?

Don, would it be possible (and not too labor intensive) to create and maintain a logline list of existing scripts on the site, separated by genre?  Included with each logline could be a link to any existing coverage, and or competition wins - should anyone want to access that information.  IE: have it available - and easily searchable - but not segregated into it's own category?

Just a thought...  :P
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), May 5th, 2013, 3:35pm; Reply: 16
I like the idea and think it should include scripts that have done well in competition.

In response to Janet's most previous comment, is it possible to include tags in the thread?  If a producer is looking for a zombie musical, he can type in +zombie +musical and see what pops up.


Phil
Posted by: Alex_212, May 15th, 2013, 8:33pm; Reply: 17
Thanks Don,

I feel this is a great idea though as mentioned, why would anyone look at a screenplay that doesn't have coverage or did not receive a recommendation.

Maybe post all the screenplay details though do not mention the coverage results. If a producer likes the logline he can contact the author for more information about the coverage.


Maybe :-

Title:
Author:
Genre:
Logline:
Page Length:
Budget:
Coverage Received: Y or N (details available on contact with Author)
Coverage provider:
Rewrite since coverage: Y or N
Antecedent:  
Beat sheet or Synopsis available: Y or N
Character Bio's available: Y or N
Other Information:

Also you could do a sticky with recommended coverage companies detail.

Regards Alex
Posted by: Jeremiah Johnson, May 15th, 2013, 10:48pm; Reply: 18
I think your idea is good, Don.  If producers are already lurking/looking here this just might bring more.  I don't think they would just stick to the covered scripts, they still might browse the unproduced as well.

This site is great for putting up your wares and getting them hammered into production ready, but this (in my opinion) would just enhance the site - not take anything away from it.

It is just like the thread to promote your successes.  Though, I haven't had much success yet (one semi-final contest nod), seeing these types of threads give me something to strive for.  Same with the scripts that receive good coverage.  They deserve what comes with all of the hard work to get it to that stage - and the next level - filmed.

Just my thoughts right now.

Jeff
Posted by: Eoin, May 16th, 2013, 2:46am; Reply: 19
A good idea and certainly one worth exploring. Even though this is a site where all scripts have an equal footing, that isn't really the case.

As scripts have to be listed in a searchable format, those at the start of that list, have a much better chance of getting a hit, than those at the bottom. This listing order has been cheated by people using numbers in their script titles to get a more favorable listing.

If the idea is to make scripts more producer friendly, perhaps a new or advanced search option is needed, where a producer can input all the relevant information that concerns him/her and look at scripts based on those results.

Some of these things might be:

Budget
Location
Cast
Genre
SFX

Members who upload or have already uploaded scripts, would have a chance of including this information.

This does away with favouring scripts higher up on the search listing - any scripts that meet the criteria a producer has in mind will get a hit, regardless of title.

Just a thought.

Eoin
Posted by: LC, May 16th, 2013, 3:25am; Reply: 20
I would say I'm undecided with a leaning towards the 'no' vote on this one.

As a few others have said, I appreciate the unique 'equal opportunity' aspect that is SS. Well done on that Don btw, it's what separates this site from a lot of others - in a positive way.

It's just the way I see it 'Coverage' is an inexact science.

I would just not like to see the SS Boards become elitist and preferential in any way.

Maybe it wouldn't make too much difference, except for one thing, I'm unlikely to have any of my screenplays in that section because I get my 'coverage' in-house, so to speak, so if I think of it that way it's kind of preferential towards those who can or seek to pay for this type of script service. :-/



Posted by: nawazm11, May 16th, 2013, 3:42am; Reply: 21
I can definitely see both sides but I think I'm going to settle on a no. It seems to basically tell a producer that any other script that's not on the coverage section is poor, when in actuality, it might not be. I highly doubt the scripts that have been produced from SS all got a consider or recommend. JMO.
Posted by: AmbitionIsKey, May 16th, 2013, 7:50am; Reply: 22

Quoted from nawazm11
I can definitely see both sides but I think I'm going to settle on a no. It seems to basically tell a producer that any other script that's not on the coverage section is poor, when in actuality, it might not be. I highly doubt the scripts that have been produced from SS all got a consider or recommend. JMO.


I agree.
Posted by: ReneC, May 16th, 2013, 10:35am; Reply: 23
Producers are looking to weed out the chaff without doing the legwork themselves. This service would certainly help certain scripts gain notice, but it'll only be as good as the coverage sites used which is highly subjective. I suggest you add who provided the coverage so producers can either latch onto the ones they already know and trust or to gain trust in the ones that consistently fit their personal taste profile.

This isn't about elevating certain scripts above others but that's the effect it will have. Those who can afford coverage and get the grade will be put into the spotlight. Producers will always go towards the light, and if they don't find anything they might fumble in the murky waters for an undiscovered gem or, more likely, go away and wait for more scripts to be brought into the light.

If you don't want to leave all those scripts without coverage in the dust, introduce a rating system for all unproduced scripts. Let the members who read the scripts give it a rating, like Amazon or Netflix. That would probably be more valuable to producers than a coverage rating from an unknown coverage service. Scripts without coverage will still get noticed if they have a high reader rating. Members are more likely to rate a script than to leave comments, so each script will receive more feedback than they do now. The more ratings a script receives, the less subjective the ratings become, and the ratings will help justify or debunk the coverage grade.

Even with a rating system, I think there's good value in a coverage filter. Professional readers -- at least the good ones -- can analyze and evaluate scripts with mad skills that are beyond the average member, which is why so many producers insist on using them. One coverage grade from a top coverage service is worth dozens of casual ratings. But ultimately it's about what the producer's looking for and what they can do with the script, so the more data you provide the better they'll be able find scripts to produce.
Posted by: Angry Bear, May 16th, 2013, 10:46am; Reply: 24

Quoted from nawazm11
I highly doubt the scripts that have been produced from SS all got a consider or recommend. JMO.

My second draft of FK got two considers thanks to feedback from members here...that doesn't mean the film would get the same grade though.  :)

Wether or not to use coverage, well, I don't know. I do think it's a great idea to include things like budget, cast size and things like that. MP has that down pretty good, i think.
Posted by: Electric Dreamer, May 17th, 2013, 12:14pm; Reply: 25
I've always liked that this site was always about: PEER REVIEW.
Personally, I'd like it to stay that way.
Anything that discourages free roaming by producers seems contrary.

I know good writers on this site that don't use coverage.
Hell, I wanted to produce one of their features, but they turned me down.

I *DO* like the idea of adding a "Coverage Available" tag to existing threads.
Perhaps we can attach a PDF link to the thread somehow?
That doesn't influence a visitor's search...
But REWARDS them if an amateur writer has coverage attached they can download.

To me, that's a very pro way to "meet" an amateur writer. ;D

My Two Cents,
E.D.
Posted by: stevie, May 17th, 2013, 2:47pm; Reply: 26
How about anyone who has had coverage put it in their sig, along with the link to the script?
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 17th, 2013, 3:05pm; Reply: 27

Quoted from ReneC

If you don't want to leave all those scripts without coverage in the dust, introduce a rating system for all unproduced scripts. Let the members who read the scripts give it a rating, like Amazon or Netflix. That would probably be more valuable to producers than a coverage rating from an unknown coverage service.


Actually, I rather like that idea.  Sure, it's not perfect.  (For instance, "popular" members of the boards may be more likely to get higher ratings than unknowns, etc - regardless of script quality.)  But at least this idea would weed out the "you gotta pay for questionable and arbitrary coverage" issue....

Don - to the extent its possible and not a pain in the A$$, why not let writers add tags to their scripts to improve searchability, as well as an optional ratings system by other readers?  That keeps the egalitarian quality and open architecture of SS that's such a plus - AND make the site more user friendly for producers looking for material?
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, May 17th, 2013, 4:07pm; Reply: 28
I'm actually quite clear on this..it's a good idea. End of. Gets my vote.

Most of the reasons so far are fear based, ie what if a good script is over looked. Then promote it!

What we also have to differentiate from is the fact a script can have a normal thread for feedback. THEN...once it has its coverage it then promotes itself on another thread. Why not?

This idea has actually inspired me to start writing a feature, why? Well, should I ever get up to a coverage consider etc i have a least on place to promote it. At present I don't have much. I'm trying to see the loss, nope can't see it.

And would producers not still look out for the great idea lurking in the others....I get the feeling they would.

So, come on folks, lets give it a go. Let's promote what is good - even if flawed -  and if we feel things are overlooked then deal with that as a seperate issue rather than blocking a 'possible'.

Just to beat Brett - just my four cents :D
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 17th, 2013, 4:20pm; Reply: 29

Quoted from Reef Dreamer

Most of the reasons so far are fear based, ie what if a good script is over looked. Then promote it!


Hey Reef -

I've got to respectfully disagree (a little) on this post.  Although there are points that you've made that I do agree with 100%.

I love the idea of adding tags, budget info, SS reader ratings, and making coverage available if it exists.  

What I think is a bad idea is segregating scripts by those that have coverage, vs. those that do not.  What that does is give an unfair advantage to those who have more money to burn.  And speaking as someone who has received questionable coverage in the past*, I don't feel that a pass/vs/fail rating from a commercial agency is a reliable yardstick to a script's quality.  Especially since that's one reader's opinion (per payment) versus the multiple reviews that a script can gather just from being on the SS boards.  Better to get five+ opinions from SS members that read the script at leisure vs. one from a (potentially) underpaid, burned-out reader from an agency.

And yeah - I'm all for promoting the heck out of one's script.  But not by throwing $$ at agencies.

* I speak as someone who has no problem with constructive, intelligent criticism - and others can verify that I've changed scripts many times as a result of such.  But my personal experience with paid coverage was unfortunately neither constructive nor intelligent.  And - sadly - a waste of money.  Don and this site have much more to offer the scriptwriting community than at least some of the coverage operations out there.
Posted by: rc1107, May 17th, 2013, 4:25pm; Reply: 30

Quoted from stevie
How about anyone who has had coverage put it in their sig, along with the link to the script?


The problem with that is that directors and producers don't check the portal.  A lot don't even know and/or care that there's a discussion board to talk about the script.  They stay mainly on the Unproduced Scripts page.Out of all the directors I've worked with recently, not one has ever mentioned any of the comments about the script on the discussion board.

And there have been some higher caliber directors visiting the site recently.  It's not just student filmmakers anymore.

And I still think it's a great idea.  Again, back to the idea that I'd look at the coverage from a learning experience from other people's 'paid' feedback.

Just my two thoughts, because I don't have any cents to throw in.

- Mark
Posted by: Angry Bear, May 17th, 2013, 4:32pm; Reply: 31

Quoted from rc1107

The problem with that is that directors and producers don't check the portal.  A lot don't even know and/or care that there's a discussion board to talk about the script.  They stay mainly on the Unproduced Scripts page.Out of all the directors I've worked with recently, not one has ever mentioned any of the comments about the script on the discussion board.

And there have been some higher caliber directors visiting the site recently.  It's not just student filmmakers anymore.

Omega Entertainment found me here at SS, but like you said, it was from the Unproduced Scripts page, not the discussion boards.


Posted by: kingcooky555, May 17th, 2013, 4:37pm; Reply: 32
There are definitely directors and producers lurking here. In my very limited experience dealing with them, I think they chose a genre and pick from there. Usually, they are attracted to the scripts with lots of comments (i.e. 9WCs, OWCs).

With that said, I think this section would be good. The peer review won't go away; there will still be directors who search the site with a genre in mind. But having this section, offers another way for other scripts to get noticed.
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 17th, 2013, 4:40pm; Reply: 33

Quoted from Angry Bear

Omega Entertainment found me here at SS, but like you said, it was from the Unproduced Scripts page, not the discussion boards.




Good point, Pia.  So - IMHO - the recommended changes (whatever Don decides to go with) should be visible from the Unproduced Scripts page, not the discussion forum.  (I still think it should be for all scripts, though.  Not just those that purchase coverage.)

Posted by: Angry Bear, May 17th, 2013, 6:32pm; Reply: 34
Agree!

I do not however like rating by readers. We've seen numerous problems with this when voting has been allowed in the OWCs. Although most people are honest, there are always people that will give a script the lowest grade possible just because they either don't like the writer or want their own script to score higher. Sad, but true.
Posted by: wonkavite (Guest), May 17th, 2013, 7:01pm; Reply: 35
I know.  I agree that'd be a problem. There's bound to be personality conflicts that cause issues.  And I think that would be unfair and stink (but it's inevitable, given human nature.)

Here's an argument for Devil's Advocate purposes, though: say a script's good.  If there's one nasty review, and 10 good ones...  Won't the 10 cancel out the others, in most producer's eyes?

Also an idea - the Blacklist allows writers to make a review unreadable, at the writer's discretion.  (Not the rating, but the review itself.) Maybe we should do that, too?
Posted by: Guest, May 17th, 2013, 7:21pm; Reply: 36
I used to get a lot of e-mails about my script on the Unproduced section (its now deleted).

Unfortunately, they were all from crazy people or crack-pot "film makers" who I wouldn't even let make me a cup of coffee let alone butcher my screenplay.
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