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While many readers are, in fact, writers themselves, no reader with even a shred of integrity would read for a contest they've also entered. Any legit contest would exclude employees. I've read for several and though my friends know when I'm reading for such and such a contest, I don't advertise simply because I run into people who've entered contests I've read for (and scripts I've placed). So if the contest allows that, there's something wrong. Another reason to carefully examine "who" the readers are and where the contest is getting them. Some small contests get highly qualified readers because they do it (the readers) for the "fun" of finding new writers or as a favor to the head of the contest.
Though I know him and have worked with him, thus making my opinion biased, Michael Brown at Story Sense is an actual union reader (you have to be a union reader to read for the actual studios) with years of experience doing development notes on studio projects. I mean, get the writer's new draft in and make notes on it. Pages of them. I am a studio (union reader) myself and I know he's great. He was written up in creative screenwriting. He's also a working writer.
Just for the record, you can suppress the use of CONT’D in final draft with the click of a button. I am a union story analyst and I personally don’t give a rat’s, well, you know, if a writer uses them, as long as the story is otherwise well told and professionally formatted (proper slugs, etc.). It’s not confusing when they’re absent, but it is standard to include them. I am also a TA in a grad writing seminar and the subject came up recently. The professor was for them; some members of the class were not. I see scripts without them quite often.
Actually, you guys are all to be commended. This newsgroup actually talks about screenwriting. There’s one on Google that talks about everything but and some of the posters are often quite rude. You all seem very civil in your debates, even when you don’t agree. Cool. Now I have someplace to procastinate productively.
Pardon my ignorance, but the point of multiple personalities is to agree with yourself? Sad, sad, sad. Glad I missed it. So much for productive procastination.
Just to play devil's advocate, I would think just the opposite of Wayne's take on all this. Maybe they were trying not to be Know-It-Alls, by refering someone to another source, they weren't preaching, but offering other places to get info. Egri is often read but seems more suited for plays and is out of date. Discard what doesn't work for you.
This thread gave me a good laugh. Terri, you must be a very good person to keep sharing your info given the grief you are going through via the insane e-mails and such. Ugh. You must be building up lots of good karma.
Hey, how come you're bashing on readers???? I'm a union story analyst and I love my job. I get paid really well, I get to read scripts to lots of films before they come out, meet nice people, attend screenings, and work at home. Not so horrible. It's industry wages and I'm not working ten-fourteen hour days answering someone's phone. The reason readers get so upset over typos is because if you can't go to the trouble of proofing your work, it tends to speak poorly upon the work itself. Also, I rarely read anything that's good, that's compelling, that's filled with typos. If you know how to write, you usually, have good grammar skills. Now play nicely folks. Remember, the reader is your friend. Really.
Hey, I wasn't invited to the little luncheon thing for union story analysts! What's up with that! And my name is in the book. I just dropped in to check on things and I find everyone embroiled in a big ol' fight...Billie Mason-Mohr
I just read the thread that started this hoopla...I'm really confused. Barb, I mean no disrespect at all, I may have read the post wrong, it's late, but we pay quarterly dues and always have. Here's a trivia question for you...who was the president right before we merged and is the only contact we've got since then????? And where did we have our meetings???? Who was Marjo? If you know the answers to these questions, you might be a union story analyst.
I believe the "and" and "&" has to do with whether or not the writers are working as a team or if they are two individuals working on the rewrite...
Joe and Beth .... two dif. writers had a hand in the writing but they didn't work together.
Joe & Beth ... a writing team worked on the script.
Now if it's Harry and Joe & Beth, Harry worked on it first, then the writing team of Joe & Beth did the rewrite. I think that's how that works, but I could be wrong. :)
Oh, wait, you said you know the dif. so I just offered up info nobody needs. Sorry. I shouldn't speed read everything. Going away now.
FYI - just to clear one question that arose during this exceedingly long thread - to read for a "studio" you must be a union reader - to read for a "production company" on a studio lot is fair game and not under any union sanctions or rules. Often people claim to be studio readers, but they really mean they work for a production company at a studio (or with a deal). No judgement as to their qualifications as a reader intended. BJ
FYI - Disney is one of the few contests (if not the only one) that uses Union story analysts to read the scripts.
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