Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
Little Richard Cranium, the true Hugh Jahrdon. Unlike the better-known Little Richard, this one ain't no big deal.
They requested a script from me back in March, or maybe April. Haven't heard a word since, nor am I expecting to.
InZide is a very professional shop.
Here's how it works:
Submit a logline, of 200 characters or less (including spaces).
If they like it, they'll request your script. (Folks tell me they accept about 10% of loglines, maybe less). They respond quickly; my experience has been within a day or two. I have had loglines both passed on and accepted.
They will then farm it out to a reader, who'll typically read the first 10 pages, then decide whether the script deserves further consideration. About 20% of those do. The rest get passed on; the procedure typically takes a week from when the script was submitted.
The lucky few that get past the reader get either a "recommend" or a "consider." "Recommends" go to the top of the pile; you'll hear back in two months. "Considers" go to the bottom; you'll hear back in six months.
So, if you've submitted to InZide, and haven't heard back after a couple of weeks, be happy.
I have just about had it with Zoetrope. Seems that there is a bug in their system which doesn't allow certain screenplays to be reviewed as they approach the end of their runs.
This happened to me, and resulted in at least one review with very high scores not being posted. This, of course, resulted in my scores being lower than they should be.
When I contacted Zoetrope's staff about this problem, they agreed there was a problem, but didn't want to fix it because it would be too much work.
What an attitude.
They can also fix their #($*# server. It's been down all night. Gotta waste my time today working, rather than schmoozing.
The problem with the scores was minor (0.11%). But it was a very important 0.11%, because its the difference between 6.89 and 7.00 (this after someone who read 43 pages of the script gave it 3's for political incorrectness).
Send the cows to hell, buy a Dell.
Zoetrope serves two purposes, in my opinion.
The first, and most important, is as a workshop. Those who have reviewed "K-Land" have helped me turn a good script into an excellent one, and one that's ready for market RIGHT NOW. In turn, I will help others do likewise.
The second, and also very important, is that this site is essentially a contest. Like you, and everyone else here, I want to sell my warez, and for big bucks, too. Thus, I want to make sure that scoring is fair, with the least possible room for monkey business.
As far as good reviewers vs. bad reviewers, the same problems bedevil movies (and plays and books and works of art, etc.) just as they do scripts. This is true in every endeavor where evaluations are subjective. I am a manager of computer programmers, analysts, and investment technologists in my day job, and am faced with the same problems. Nothing is totally measureable. Not even in sports.
I just believe that people are entitled to what's coming to them, no less and no more.
Has anybody been able to successfully log into to Project Greenlight's site?
I got a user ID and password. Every time I attempt to log in, the system tells me that it's the wrong combination.
BTW, you don't get $1,000,000 if you win. You get $32,000 if you're the sole writer, and $82,000 if you're the writer / director. The projected BUDGET for the film would be $1 million.
As far as I'm concerned, their earlier come-ons were classic examples of misleading advertising. So perhaps it's just as well that I can't log on, although I'd like to be a reviewer, so I can see what's out there.
They have had almost 4,000 scripts posted on their site (sure, many were rewrites). And two scripts optioned, thus far, both to their TV affiliate. They have promised to buy or option at least four in 2000.
If one of the scripts they option does well, either in TV ratings or at the B.O., you can be sure they'll option more in the years ahead.
Plus, there are other prodcos trolling Zoetrope. You're no longer just submitting to FFC.
My script received a total of 13 reviews (including two whose reviews should have counted but didn't because of the bug in the system I referred to earlier, and another who reviewed by E-mail early during its run).
With the exception of one nameless individual who praised my script and gave it 1's and 2's (so it wouldn't be a Top 3 contender), all the reviewers were helpful to at least some degree. Most were extremely valuable, and far exceeded the 200-word minimum required by Zoetrope.
There are two reasons for this: First, "Kameradenland" is a very good script (it scored in the mid-7's). Second, I give very comprehensive reviews myself.
Thus, while Zoetrope isn't foolproof (there are people who attempt to manipulate the system to their advantage), and I was quite upset at the SYSOPS last week, it is overall an excellent system. If anyone else in the industry has a better one, I haven't found it yet.
Colleen, the first day for submitting entries is today. That's probably why you had a problem yesterday.
How does one define "location?" For example, you're filming inside a house. Scenes take place in the living room, kitchen, garage, bedroom, and bathroom. Is that five locations? Then, if scenes are shot outside, in the yard, is that a sixth?
Here's what I know about InZide:
First, it's run by Warren Zide, who is very legitimate and very hot these days.
You submit a logline of 200 characters or less (including spaces). My script was accepted. About 10% are.
Then, you have two weeks to submit your script. It gets farmed out to a reader, who typically reads the first 10 pages, after which he or she decides to pass or go further. About half die there.
If you are among the fortunate 50%, the reader will then finish the script, and recommend a pass, a recommend, or a consider. If the reader passes, you'll also get an E-mail very quickly. About 80% of those read all the way thru get passes, 10% recommends, and 10% considers.
Those that are recommended go to the top of the pile for Zide, Perry, or one of the big hitters to read. Those that are given considers go to the bottom of the pile.
Now, to the best of my knowledge, Zide has yet to accept someone from the Net. If your script was among the 0.5% of total submissions (loglines) that was recommended, you'll know within two months whether Zide will continue with the project. Mine was passed on after two months, as was one of James Barrett's scripts -- his best, IMO. If yours was among the next 0.5%, you'll learn within four months.
Anybody know what gives with Writers Script Network?
I submitted a script three weeks ago; the logline got 21 hits, but nobody read either my synopsis or the script.
Then, about a week ago, the script disappeared entirely, as did my name from my resume. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a problem here.
I got an E-mail from the company, telling me what to do to restore my resume (it said nothing about scripts disappearing). I followed the instructions, and nothing happened.
It should not take a week to fix a bug of this nature.
I tried to get into "Whose Buying What" but every time I log it, the system simply brings me to the bulletin board.
I checked my account, and I have 62 days left. Looks like I just wasted $20, given that one can no longer get addresses of production companies, and can no longer even get into the database.
At least I had the decency to tell Ms. Moye exactly what I thought of her privately.
No less foul than the language you used to me, hypocrite.
Unlike yourself, I don't like to flame people publicly. But when you take it upon yourself to insult somebody who heretofore had no beef with you, or anybody else here for that matter, you have it coming.
Moreover, when you tell somebody to "stick it," what do you expect in return? A kiss?
I strongly suggest you take a course in anger management. You desperately need one.
I think I'll let Ms. Moye's last post speak for itself.
And if Ms. Moye wants to see who the infant is, she should simply look in the mirror. And she should also realize that when she takes shots at people, some shoot back.
So I'm a "typical pompous AZ blowhard," huh, Ashley?
I had two out of three submissions score 7.0 or higher (the last did better than 7 in every category). How did your masterpieces do?
Better a typical AZ blowhard than one who blows hard out the rectal orifice.
I am not Jesus, and not one to turn the other cheek. This BB is neither Ashley Moye's nor Randy Roberts' private room, although they'd like to think it is.
Perhaps Ms. Moye and Mr. Roberts should think about what they post.
Big talk, Moye. From a big mouth.
They request scripts from about 10% of loglines submitted.
These get farmed out to readers, who'll read the first 10 pages. Most (about 80% of those) get passed on at that point. In that case, you'll get a response in two weeks or sooner.
If your script is among the 20% which passes that hurdle, it will be read in its entirety. At that point, it is rated "Recommend" or "Consider." If you get a "Recommend," you'll hear back within two months. If a consider, within about six ("Considers" are put at the bottom of the pile).
To the best of my knowledge, Zide/Perry has never optioned or purchased a script it received via this method. But there's always the first time, and since you submit via E-mail, postage is free.
The second point: Zoetrope is an excellent way to get constructive feedback. There are some truly outstanding reviewers there, and if you're fortunate enough to draw one of those, you'll get notes as good or better than the best of the professional script doctors who charge $500 and up.
Related to these (and sometimes, the same offenders) are those goniffs who charge you $50 to enter, and then if you win, and somebody buys your script, demand 10% or 7.5% as a "finders fee."
While I doubt if such a stipulation would ever hold up in court, those who do this are the lowest of the low.
A couple offenders:
1. Venice Arts 2. Igottascript
First of all, Geoff, it's 10%, not 5%. Look at their rules, which they bury deep down.
Then, do they negotiate for you? If they do, they're agents. If not, you'll have to pay an agent 10% on top of the 5% you paid them. And what is that $50 reading fee, uh, "contest entry fee", for?
While I'm glad you enjoyed yourself on your trip, let's face facts: If this practice were OK, why would the WGA outlaw it?
The WGA has rules against this kind of nonsense.
Steve, I suggest you go to VeniceArts' website and check out the latest information before you pick a fight with me.
1. Last year, VeniceArts charged 5%. This year, they are charging 7.5%. As they call themselves a contest, charging the "winner" is unconscionable. Funny, Nicholl doesn't do that. Scriptapalooza doesn't do that. This reminds me of those "Sweepstakes" operated by shady travel operators. Two words for this practice. It sucks.
2. The misinformation I was referring to was Igottascript, which charges 10%, not 5%, AFTER having the nerve to charge $50 ($66 if the script is handed in "late") to read it.
There are contests and there are contests. The bad ones deserve all the bad publicity they can get. And charging a "finders fee" is the epitomy of ripping off writers.
Steve, I must correct myself. VeniceArts must have lowered their success fee, because if you go to this site, it is indeed 5%, not 7.5% as I said before. They must have lowered it. I swear I saw it as 7.5% somewhere.
I was all set to submit to them, because one can do so electronically, until I saw the "success fee" buried in their rules.
Another thing about them that I don't like is that last year, they spammed all the Zoetrope members. And this year, they "assigned" my screenplay a number and told me they were waiting for my fee. Only problem was, I hadn't entered the contest yet, just checked it out.
I suspect they're "producers" on Zoetrope and have access to all the scores of the high-ranking scripts, then solicit those people to enter.
The reason they're calling this a contest. They're charging more than most, paying out a pittance in prize money, then they have the nerve to expect residuals from the winners, if some company sees that such-and-such a script won by logging into their website.
Fortunately very few contests and script doctoring services demand this kind of fee.
First, if you entered today, it's $45.
Second, it is exorbitant, given the paucity of prize money.
She must be cutting you a break on the price, as her website says that it's $35 until Jan. 10th, and $45 till the deadline, which is this coming Friday.
What kind of feedback do you get?
I submitted "Kameradenland" to Nicholl last year. The only feedback I received was that it finished in the top 400 entries (there were 4300+ submissions), meaning that it was in the top 10%.
There are few contests which actually provide feedback. I don't believe this is one of them. How does one know that the entire script will be read, or just the first 5 pages or so? I'll bet that the vast majority of scripts are handled that way by most contests. At least, at Nicholl, I know mine was read in its entirety by at least three readers.
People like to criticize Greenlight. But at least all participants received coverage from other contestants. Granted, in most cases, the coverage wasn't worth very much. But it was coverage.
If you get a good reviewer at Zoetrope, you'll get far more valuable criticism than you'll get from any contest. There are some terrific reviewers there. Also, some excellent writers.
The Nicholl rules, which I have in front of me, say that a writer cannot have made over $5,000 from the sale or option of his or her screenplay. Nicholl considers you a "professional writer" and thus ineligible if you've earned more than that.
The rules DO NOT say anything about contest prizes. So, if you enter Scriptapalooza, with its $25K top prize, you would still be eligible to win a Nicholl Fellowship.
Was it somebody on Zoetrope who asked for the script?
I have always wondered who those mysterious "Producers" are. Now maybe I know.
Because, Grover, the vast majority of contests are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; to make money for their promoters.
Who take advantage of new writers who are trying to get a break. I don't know much about Moondance, but a $100 entry fee is outrageous. As is the $66 charge by Igottascript, who then takes 10% as a "finder's fee" if somebody buys a winning script as a result of its being placed on their website.
Nicholl, Scriptapalooza, and Austin are honest. Can't say that about most of the others. And don't get me going on Scriptshark and similar script barracudas.
There's a new contest called the American Dream Factory. It's operated out of Canada, and contestants are required to submit $50US in cash or certified check to an "office" which is a mail drop somewhere in a Canadian shopping mall.
That's not what distinguishes this "contest" from others like it. This is:
10. "Contestant" hereby agrees that in the event that in the event that any fees, payable, compensation or other proceeds are derived in connection with the development, distribution, production or other exploitation of the "screenplay" as that term is hereby defined. I agree that a) Ten percent of all gross proceeds from such exploitation shall be paid to Americandreamfactory.com immediately upon receipt of such gross proceeds. b) All gross proceeds shall be payable to Americandreamfactory.com and hereby grant to Americandreamfactory.com an available power of attorney to collect all such gross proceeds with withheld as ten percent finder's fee, and promptly reward the balance of ninety percent to me.
This means if you enter the contest, and subsequently sell the screenplay (regardless if this contest played any role whatsoever in the sale), they're claiming a 10% finders fee. While it's highly unlikely this would stand up in any court, it's the biggest example yet of chutzpah from a "contest" promoter.
I got a similar "offer" from someone calling himself "Bodybag Entertainment."
He offered me $10K (outright) for Kameradenland last year. It was an offer I could, and did, refuse.
You worked hard on your screenplay. If somebody without a pot to pee in is willing to pay $10 for an option, it's good enough to attract a buyer who's the real deal.
I totally agree with Daphne on this. There's a lot of pond scum in this business, and worse. See my post on a "contest" somebody is running.
I'd go with Nicholl, Austin, and Scriptapalooza. Those are the Big Three as far as industry recognition is concerned. Not sure about Chesterfield.
I'd stay away from any contest which claims "finder's fees."
Then, I might enter a couple more, as long as their entry fees are low or nonexistent. For example, Greenlight, if you have a low-budget script and are willing to live with assigning them proprietary rights even if your script doesn't win.
I pitched Hernandez a couple weeks ago, thru Writers Script Network.
Last Friday, he returned my E-mail, and asked for my script.
InZide looks at lots of scripts. I believe the ratio of requests / pitches runs about 10%, which is excellent in the industry.
I queried Zide/Perry (Mark Hernandez) by E-mail.
About 10 days after, I got a nice letter from him asking for the script.
Mark, when are you planning to send out condolence letters (or E-mails) to the 2210 of us who didn't make it to the semifinals?
And that $20-off coupon for a Screenplay Systems product?
It's 10 days since you announced the semifinalists. I expect to see that letter any day now.
Silagi (originally spelled "Szilagyi") is a proud Transylvanian name.
Keep THAT in mind the next time you hear the howls of the Children of the Night.
Did you actually get a letter from them?
I don't know about other contests, but when I pay $45, I expect better than a Xeroxed letter addressed to "Dear Participant..." saying I lost.
When I entered Nicholl with the same script last year (very much updated and improved since then), at least the Academy people addressed it to me personally rather than sticking a label on the envelope. Moreover, Greg wrote, "Close -- Top 10%," as an inducement to submit other scripts.
I think its fair to say that most scripts that do well in contests are good.
But that doesn't mean that those which don't place are bad.
It depends on who the initial reader is. This is particularly true of action/adventure and horror, and any script which could be considered controversial.
I submitted "Kameradenland" to Nicholl in 2000. It was a "Top 10%" script. During the subsequent year, I fixed it up, really improved it. Resubmitted it. Nada. Dinked. This is a script that has received one offer (not an option) so far. Yes, it's controversial. So the first reader might have tossed it this year, while last year, he / she might have liked it.
As for the dimbulb who passed on "My Girl..."
They asked for my script. I signed the release and sent it out. No mention of copying fees on the release.
Also dialed the phone number. A woman with a NY accent answered. That must be Shelly. I said I had the wrong number; I meant to call Princeton NJ (area code 609, hers is 909).
You really mean parody, not satire.
The Supreme Court, in a 1994 decision involving a famous rapper of the time (I believe it was Ice-T), reaffirmed numerous other decisions giving the green light to parody.
In a more recent case, an appelate court overturned a local judge which tried to suppress publication of "The Wind Done Gone," a parody of "Gone With the Wind."
I'm not a lawyer, so I can only give an informed opinion, not legal advice. For that, you need a good entertainment attorney.
Try Lawyers.com., or Martindale-Hubbell. (They are the same people). Most lawyers are listed with them.
You'll find hundreds of entertainment lawyers. Dunno how many are in California, although I suspect many.
Received similar E-mail. Two to four weeks.
They're listed on "Sell Your Material to Hollywood."
Queried them, one Yuri Rutman responded, wanted me to send the script to an address in Lincolnwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Claims his credits consisted of "Mr. Id.," "Kiev Nites," and "Darklands."
Went to IMDB. Under Yuri Rutman is "Mr. Id." in which he both produces and stars. Nothing for "Kiev Nites," and "Darkman" is a real movie (made in Wales), but his name was nowhere to be found in the credits.
A little more surfing revealed that he posted an ad on a website back in 1999 looking for actors in "Kiev Nites." One catch: You had to pay, anywhere from $5K up.
A man with the same name was involved in numerous internet spamming ventures a few years ago.
I did a reverse phone number lookup of Linlea, and found that their phone number matches up to one D. Grimes.
Unfortunately, I already sent them a script. I'm sure I'll be invited to be one of their clients, and would have been even if my script was the worst one ever written.
Cost of copying: 120 pages, @$0.07 / page = $8.40.
Cost of shipping: $3.95 by Priority mail
Total cost = $12.35.
As Linlea is HQ'd near Lake Elsinore, about 80 miles from Los Angeles, she'd mail the scripts rather than use a messenger to send them (prohibitively expensive in this case) I don't see how it would cost $77 to send out a script.
If she sends me a contract, of course, I'll ask for a list of her clients so I can check references before I bite.
One additional thing: If there are no up-front or recurring charges, it would not be in Linlea's interest to take on clients they do nothing for.
Fifteen percent, btw, would be a standard fee for managers, unless they're attached also as producers, in which case their fee should be waived as they're already participants.
I referred her to two sub scripts that I read or reviewed on Zoetrope.
I would never sign a contract where somebody would get a piece of my earnings without doing anything for it.
It is not unreasonable, among managers, to get 15% of the sale of the script if the manager sold it. However, as the contract reads, she (Linlea) claims to be entitled to 15% of the author's earnings, even from his or her day job.
Such contracts would have a difficult time standing up in court, even if one were to sign them, as Linlea wouldn't have provided a service in return for compensation.
In any event, the situation is moot for now, as they haven't sent me a contract to sign.
How does one know Scott / Craig / Sandra are Linlea customers, and not hoaxsters?
For what it's worth, a search using "Who's Buying What" didn't turn up any Scott Henderson, Sandra Henderson, or Craig Sillow.
A check of Knowx.com and Switchboard.com didn't turn up any "Sillow" in the United States. "Henderson" is far too common a name to do this latter checking on.
Beware of any contest that costs $66 to enter, has nominal prizes, and which will claim 10% of the earnings of a sold script as a "Finders' Fee."
While the latter has zero chance of standing up in court, it will be a hassle to respond to their complaint should they sue.
Which is probably a moot point, given their performance in their most recent contest.
Igottascript = Igottascrewed.
Surprise! Linlea passed on my script. Given that they monitor the threads here, it would be amazing if they did otherwise, since we all know their number.
I guess they'd rather represent those two clowns who can't spell, and who don't know the difference between "site" and "sight."
For once, I'm not disappointed that somebody passed on one of my scripts.
Try Zoetrope. You must first review four scripts. Some are great, others suck.
Then, you can submit yours for review. The same comments apply to reviewers that apply to scripts. The best reviewers on Zoetrope provide coverage vastly superior to most people who do it for money.
The human at the other end is rarely the problem.
It's the journey.
Foursight asked for one of mine last week. I sent it to them, they read it, passed, and invited me to send other material I've done or will do.
Must have been a slow week for them; normally, they've taken a couple months to get back on submissions.
Alan, I assume the script you're talking about is "Kidnapping Castro."
It's one of the best damn scripts I ever read. It was entered in "ScreenwritersCommunity," and finished 14th. The reason it didn't finish first was because there are a couple of professional revenge reviewers who've entered that contest, and one trashed this script.
While I think anyone, professional or otherwise, who'd trash "Kidnapping Castro" is certifiably crazy, I'd take my chances with so-called professional readers over some moron in one of those "U Review 'Em" contests.
Jump Rope Productions IS a bottom feeder. They wouldn't know a good script if it were "Casablanca."
As for E.R. (Eric Robinson): You're a pile of shit, an asshole, and especially, a bully. In that order.
You are absolutely correct, E.R. I am not in your league.
I do not insult an excellent writer (one who's the real deal, btw), in effect calling her a liar, because she has a deal working.
I am not a pathetically jealous loser, who deals with someone else's success with vituperation.
And while I'm blunt and outspoken, I'm not a bully.
Thus, I'm certainly not in your league. For which I praise the Lord.
A search of the IMDB on Brooklyn Weaver turned up one entry.
1999 - Never Been Kissed - Office Production Assistant
A search on Joel Viertel, his partner, turned up nothing.
This database "Whose Buying What" has Energy Entertainment selling one script, by Kyle Long, for "Low Six Figures."
In addition, there's "Fallen Angel," which is also a pitch. Low six figures.
(Note: Both pitches can be found by searching on "Brooklyn Weaver" or "Energy."
I pitched Mark Williams in early August, and sent him a script. Still waiting to hear back.
I got the same "Sounds Interesting, Sent it" response that apparently most of you folks received, if they're interested.
I seeeee. Ici. As in Icarus. As in Icarus Brightman.
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.