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I realize I shouldn't let a couple experiences taint the reputation of this highly respected contest and I keep trying with these guys, but it's the low men on the totem pole of this contest, the readers that makes me throw up my hands.
Contests put all their faith in their readers so I suggest they give the writer a list of these reader gods along with their creds and let us pick who reads our work be/c I swear, I keep getting Dobie Gillis, no lie.
I know we've all had the misfortune of getting a poor reader, but I paid 150 for their coverage and couldn't believe what I received. I sent this off, but received no response.
Thank you for your critique. We will be going over our script with these suggestions in mind.
We take responsibility for the reader’s confusion concerning certain elements, but the issues the reader stated and that resulted in our script being given a pass are a cause of concern for us.
- The main problem the reader said they could not get past was the evidence the lawyer had in his hands to help his client. The lawyer explains there was a virus attached to the video sent to his computer. Video and computer are unsalvageable. (p. 30)
- Another problem was that the protagonist wouldn’t be sent to a normal prison. Her lawyer explains the prison hospital is overflowing therefore they send her to the only one that can take her. It’s also in the dialogue. (p. 21, state prison hospital)
- It’s Yates’s threat to harm the protagonist’s father that motivates her to plead guilty, not embarrassment. We do agree though that Andie will have to come out of her self absorption and become troubled about Yates’s future victims. (p. 18) “His heart might even give out.”
If these explanations are not believable or confusing then we will address it. We would like to know if the reader just missed our explanation in the dialogue. As strongly as the reader felt about these problems, we wonder if now it might change the pass given to our script.
Because of these discrepancies we wonder if the reader read the script more then once. ( The children in the script are twin girls, not boys. They are scattered throughout the second part of the script.)
If this letter could be passed along to our reader, we would feel better prepared to address the problems they had with our script.
I'm confused. Were you already disqualified from this year's contest (2012)? And were those notes an explanation of why you got a "pass"? A clearer explanation, other than that you felt your reader was less than fair, would help the rest of us considerably. I ask because I entered a month ago. I'd hate to think I already got the cut and just don't know about it as I did not pay for feedback.
I entered 2011 contest. The notes I received from my contest entry were from a reader wanting to be more of a critic then concerned with addressing the weak points of a script. That is why I paid for the coverage which I posted yesterday. I thought I'd receive a more detailed and concise critique. I was very surprised by the many mistakes the reader made,esp. since this was from such a respected contest. It wasn't worth 150 dollars which was a discount they were running.
Even the best contests can have questionable readers working for them. I hope you kick butt Paul!
Athena, thank you for clarifying. And I think every writer at one point will share an experience like yours, as I have. But mine came from an individual who held himself out as a professional consultant. Nowadays, I always ask for a sample. The Writer's Store gives a good sample, and one that is consistent with Hollywood structure. To temper the frustration of bad feedback, know that it is bad and chuck it up as a loss. I've found, however, even in the harshest critiques, even if ugly motivated, you may be able to find a kernel. And thanks for the vote of confidence. If I can make it to the semis, I will consider my fortunate and my investment redeemed. And good luck to you.
After taking emotion out of it, I did find that expensive kernel...
I had similar experience with Big Bear Lake. One reader was completely out to lunch, and spent 90% of his notes on how Europeans kissed; thought it was in Austria (Switzerland was mentioned about 55 times, Austria zero) etc, etc.
Reader at another contest spent 75% of notes arguing that I had my facts wrong, that Army Air Force did not exist until after WWII, etc. I had attended the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Eighth Army Air Force in 2002, but he was adamant about his own mistakes.
I guess $10 per script doesn't get very intelligent folks.
Does anyone know more about Scriptapalooza’s judging procedure than what’s explained on the site (scriptapalooza.com/procedure.html)?
"Every script that is entered into Scriptapalooza is read by either a producer, manager or agent. We do not use 'readers' or 'regular people' because they cannot do anything with your script. We go right to the source.... After all the reading is done by the producers, managers and agents, the judges then email us the titles of the scripts they think should move forward to the next round. Then Scriptapalooza re-reads all the recommended scripts and decides who makes Quarterfinalist, Semifinalist, Finalist, Runner-Up and Winners.”
What does it mean, Scriptapalooza re-reads and decides? Who are these readers? It doesn’t sound like they’re still producers/managers/agents, as in the first round, although the score sheets filled out by these judges must be a factor.
The deadline is tonight and I'm still undecided about entering. And if I do decide yes, which screenply(s).
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