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It seems to be in my world , except for my wonderful
Scriptmentors, of course. But any one and every one else I've used, is. Even the script readers in contests that Ive entered and didn't even pay for. I still get a lot of attitude. I mean it can range from Blatant insults to
minor sarcasm but every single one seems to review my script with a definite attitude.
Is this normal or just MY scripts?
You'll have to remember these readers are wanna-be writers -- and they're stuck working for less than minimum wage (reading scripts).
That's why it's important for people to have a second career.
Do what I do -- send them an email and tell them to F-off ;-)
They range from very pleasent to highly patronizing. When I was a reader I would always be complimentary about scripts that were so good I actually wanted to finish them! However some scripts were so bad it was difficult to refrain from an incredulous take...bearing in mind these were scripts that were in general mostly financed and with stars attached I was all the more cutting, but I don't think I was every particularly rude.
If your script is 130 pages with whole pages of descriptive passages I think you might get a bit of attitude. In competition I can't believe that they get the $100 per script I was getting so they were probably incensed.
How you would ever know (unless you had coverage) if they'd read more than a few pages I don't know. Sometimes when I get a synopsis back it really doesn't look as if they've understood the script...I like to blame myself for being unclear.
Even I know that LOUISIANA BLOOD is the most complicated script I've written...and strangely the most successful! One script report said I had enough plot for ten films in it and I should perhaps simplify it!
I think you get what you pay for. I'm now (after spending a fortune on comps and analysts, script not shrink variety!) You'd be better off spending $500 on a proper consultant to get your script up to speed and then submit to competitions.
So to answer your question, if the script is good they'll have less of a target to aim at. It's easy at the start of the writing mountain to think that everyone hates your stuff, but use each insult as a means to focus and clarify your script. I hope I haven't wandered off topic? This is a UK perspective by the way, we're much more refined on BB's over here, I'm sure I'll be torn to shreds on the US BB's anyday now :)
They should be blunt and honest. They have to be if they work for prodcos. But they shouldn't be nasty or insulting just to be insulting - that's unprofessional and it doesn't help anyone (them, you, or anyone they work for).
My script is only 87 pages. Its a musical with 14 musical routines so I made it short enough to allow for that. I have been writing for over 3 years now and had one of my scripts through about 15 different script readers, so Im pretty sure I have all the formating and script writing formalities down. I don't think that its hard for them to read any more but they are still pretty rude. They dont seem to be getting less rude, they seem to be getting more.
Oddly enough only one of the 15 is actually a wga, signatory, producer director, writer and they were the most encouraging of the bunch and gave me great scores.
Irin, I think Im pretty good about taking critism. I pretty much make the changes no matter how nasty they are recommended. Its just that now Im getting very conflicting advise and still in a very rude way.
My question was, how often do the rest of you get this. I have in fact received good scores on some that were very rude to me so I dont think that follows either way.
Mike actually clued me to something that I was curious about. He said if the scripts are bad and........they already have stars attached and an attitude themselves he is not as nice to them. So, I can take it that readers can do have attitudes amd obviously, for some reason mine is rubbing most of them the wrong way.
I mean, according to our beloved Mr Gomez, most of these non wga script readers are "scam artists" and they just encourage us new writers (good or bad) to line their pockets.
Well, I think I can safely say no ones trying to encourage me or scam me. As a matter of fact it seems more like they're just trying to get rid of me.
Anyway, it doesn't sound like most of them are very mean to most of you . So, maybe he is right. they just dont like me. Oh well.
If you want to send me the first ten pages, or wherever you think it gets into it's stride I can tell you what I think. I won't charge, and I won't lie, or be rude! I can't believe everybody hates your work!
If you go to my website and send PDF email via there I'll either post thoughts on or off board to you wherever you want. www.touchwoodpicturesltd.com
Let's make it clear I'm not soliciting for work here, this BB is just to help each other not make money out of each other!
Sounds like you're running into a lot of Simon Cowell wannabes. While being rude is juvenile, it doesn't necessarily mean the criticism is wrong.
Are your scripts being read carefully? Is there -- beneath the snarkiness -- a validity to the critiques? If so, I'd shrug off the rudeness and continue using them. (We all need to develop a thick skin.) If not, you're probably better off spending your money on lottery tickets. (Do the same if you're getting overly-praise worthy, your-screenplay-totally-rocks, coverage.)
I can't just tell these script readers to f---off. Because I think most of them are middleaged , white females and that IS part of my target audience. Actually, ALL females are my target audience. Young , old, black , white and everything in between. It's a mixed race romantic comedy but it should definitely bring in older ones to because it happens in rural Iowa 1995.
My original thought was that any female would look at my script and just adore it because its suppose to be a sweet and romantic story with romantic ballroom dancing. But I was wrong and I have to find out whats REALLY bugging them about it and change it if I can or it just wont work.
I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it. My post offer still stands.
Phrases. We need phrases, Janet. :-)
I think the average script reader is a twenty-something male. At least the ones I've met. Script reader is typically an entry level job, in spite of the importance. That said, how many twenty-somethings are into ballroom dancing?
I was tooling through this website on competitions and saw your discussion on coverage analysis. I'm not here to promote myself-- well maybe, but I have some good credentials for coverage. I also do coverge for scripped.com If you want details and good suggestions without a condescending trash mouth at an affordable price, drop by my site at www.brandonwyse.com You'll be pleased and word of mouth is the best marketing and I want that.
Paula, maybe you're right but most of the readers I have had were female.
Bearing in mind that I haven't read your script or your coverage, there might be truth to what the coverage is saying.
You should examine if there are consistencies to what people are replying to.
From the coverage I've read and received, readers tend to respond most rudely or sarcastically when they encounter logical gaps in either the plot or character. It's like when you watch a horror movie and turn to your buddy and say, "Yeah, splitting up in the woods is a GREAT plan."
Readers encounter cliches and forced plots all the time, and naturally react to them with a sense of their own perceived wit.
Again, I haven't read your script or your coverage, but from my experience readers like to put their own sarcastic spin on coverage as, maybe, an attempt to show how ludicrous certain plot points are.
When you say coverage, what kind of coverage are you referring to? If this is coverage from a contest, then you need to let the people who run the contest know that their readers are being rude (cite examples and say why you think they are being rude). The people who run contests need to know this because rude readers can turn off people from entering. This is the same for any script coverage service--the people who run it need to know because if their readers are turning off people who use their services, they need to know.
If you're talking about coverage provided by readers for production companies, agents, etc., then they are often going to be more rude and snarky for something they don't like. These pieces of coverage are not suppose to be seen by the reader so someone providing coverage has more freedom to be honest in how he feels. If you are getting these pieces of coverage somehow, then yes, you will find the coverage more rude (but since you're not suppose to be seeing this coverage, and anyone who does get ahold of it I think deserves what they get).
But again, for contests and coverage services the people who run it need to know so they can correct any problems.
You have mail.
I have certainly had coverage readers tell me that they did not understand my script, or relate to it any way. That is not rude, it is honest. I don't expect everyone on earth to appreciate everything I write, and I think it's normal for even great scripts to get bad reviews. This often tells you more about the reviewer than the script.
I never liked THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, but that doesn't mean it was a lousy book, and a lot of people in my High School English class loved it. I was the only one in my class who loved THE GREAT GATSBY. Every story is not for everyone.
However some readers seem to think they're newspaper critics, and attempt to entertain themselves by making snide remarks at your expense. If someone is trying to humiliate you, report them to the contest director, or stop using their service, and tell them why.
It's easy to sometimes make a cruel or thoughtless remark, and I'm guilty of it myself. Indeed, I generally try to avoid reading other people's scripts, because I know how hard it is to write, and I don't want to be (accidentally) destructive.
Good luck to you, and good luck in your writing!
Mike Mcdonald just did what I thought was the most extrodianary review of my first 10 pages ever. Not, because he said any thing wonderful about my script because he didn't. But it's the way he told me what was wrong.
Instead of telling my first 10 pages were hard to read. He showed me. I have been told before that my first ten pages were hard to understand and hard to figure out what was going on. But it was always just pointing out little things. Personally , I don't think THEY understood what was hard to read themselves. But Mike did and he simply rewrote two of the 10 pages to show me.
By doing this, it makes it ever so much easier for me to understand the "problems" than when readers simply pick out certain things and tell you don't do this and don't do that. Anyway, thank you again, Mike. You have a very unique and "perfect in my mind" teaching style.
Glad to be of help. You'd better check it, I actually rewrote all the pages you sent me...but obviously subtly :) The Montage sequence was the most in need.
Cheers Mike Donald, tho' of Scottish parentage there's no Mac involved.
So, ok Ron, you were right. But not about the dialogue, he didn't touch that . Because people DO talk naturally in choppy phrases. So there!
Did I say anything about choppy phrases? No, I simply asked about phrases, meaning, what exactly did they say that was rude? "Your mother cooks socks in Hell," for example...
Sorry, Ron. But if I recall correctly you have busted me about proper grammer before so I thought this was one of those times.
Anyway, here are just a few of the rude comments because I dont want to give out too many. Spys you know.
Some College English Literature majors think that they have good enough skills to be a Screenwriter. They don't.
Im sure you are capable of writing a good script but this is not one of them.
I think you should go read "Chicago" over and over.
Now, there is a good reason why this Chicago comment offends me. Chicago is not good singing, dancing or music for that matter. What Chicago is is a good example of what Bob Fosse always did best and thats make non singers-dancers with bad music LOOK VERY GOOD. His choreography was fantastic, as usual.
But thats not in any script. If I actually wrote the choreography to the dance routines I would really get reemed. The editing and Cinematography was also great. But I dont know any dancer-singer who would call Chicago the best musical choice for learning purposes. And its just down right insulting to call it good music and danceing.
Rogers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter wrote good music. Bob Fosse did not. I know , I know he didnt write it but it sure seems to sound all the same in all of his musicals. Chorus Line, All that Jazz, Caberet, Chicago, the music sounds all very similar so I assume its all the same writer and not very good.
Also, Biance and Alicia Keyes are good singers dancers. Renea Zellweger and Cat Zeta Jones are not.
I would think more, West side story, Pajama Game (again partially Bob Fosse choreography, by the way) , Dirty Dancing, Footloose (the musical) and more recent ones Take the Lead and High School Musical. All of which I HAVE read by the way.
Standing by themselves, none of those remarks are very helpful, that's for sure. Did the reader elaborate, or leave it at that?
This was three different reviewers. They make these kind of remarks usually out of nowhere. The last reader
I used barely found any errors in my script at all, then out of the blue told me I shouldn't be wasting my time.
These are not learning comments these are personal attacks. And like I said early, I can't just tell them to get lost because they are my target audience. I guess I just really don't understand.
All Im trying to do is write a musical for non white leading roles. This has never been done. Not in a mostly white musical that is and as far as I can tell most of the best singers-dancers these days are not white so they really should be allowed to be in the leading roles. Especially in musicals.
I mean no one else will write them for us so Im trying to and all I get is non helpful remarks and discouragement and Im getting pretty sick of it.
Well, Janet, have you ever considered taking a screenwriting class? If three professional script reviewers told me I suck, I'd make a serious effort to master the craft or seriously consider doing something else with my time. You're fighting an uphill battle anyway. Dance musical? Wake up and smell your ballet slippers. After reading the sample pages of your script on this site and the comments you posted that your script reviewers made about your talent level, I'd would consider moving on to something more rewarding.
The last thing I would do is post OVER AND OVER again about how unfair this business is and how unjustly I've been treated. Do you have any idea what kind of an impression you have made with the pros who read your posts? Not good, sista, not good.
Maybe you're right since reading my first 10 pages with such attitude about musicals (or possibly its something else) you're obviously an expert and I can trust your unbiased oppionion.
And by the was, I said non white. Im 1/8 indian and about 1/16 black (neither of which you would know if I didn't tell you) so I dont think that quite qulifies me as a "sista".
I started out this post by simply asking if coverage reader are rude, in general. I personally don't think they have to be. And writing is a learning process. Possibly I am "bad" at it now but I can learn. The big question is whether or not I have a good idea. I take it you don't think that I do and that your wisdom(which is obviously greater than mine) tells you that I will never be a good enough writer to make it work even it it is. Which duh then why dont they help me.
Thank you. But as I also said, men are not my target audience so I dont really expect you to like it. I had hoped that women would. Are you speaking for women when you say (musicals) the way you did? Because most women I know do like them.
And, I don't recall ever really tearing down script reader. I think you're putting more on me than Ive ever said. This post was simply pointing out that it is my experience that a lot of them are rude to me. Are they to you? Obviously not. How nice for you. You must be a very accomplished writer. Then perhaps I will listen to you.
By the way, do you know an Eric Sentell? You sound a great deal like him and he's been gone a while. I TRULY miss his open and honest oppionions.
So I assume option "A" of taking a class or two in order to learn the craft that so many of us have worked so hard to master is off the table? Guess that only leaves option "B."
Damn Martin you just convinced me to be nice!. Now you are playing dirty man.
Don't let the snotty people get to you lady. Creative people strike jealousy into the norm. Don't send it untill you are sure of it.
This board is crazy.
Don't ask strangers questions like this... I smell shit.
Jake, you left out the next to last word in your post. Insert "like" before shit.
Those reader comments you posted are rude, not very helpful, but very honest. These people didn't like your script. It's true that reading is incredibly subjective, but if you are consistently getting that kind of feedback, you need to reevaluate your scripts.
I agree with Martin. You should set the dance musicals aside. Go to work on other concepts, other genres. Keep learning and keep writing new stuff, instead of spending all your time and money on these two scripts that apparently are not making headway with readers.
Many would-be screenwriters languish in their first few scripts, trying to perfect them. Instead of that, use the early scripts as learning experiences and stepping stones.
Thank you Walter. That sounds like the most honest thing ever. They obviously don't like it and they are a sampling of my audience. Thank you again.
And take some bloody classes. Learn to be a better writer. A professional screenwriter must master skills such as subtext, set-ups, reversals, irony and a ton of others in order to get the attention of producers who can make your movie. Never forget that it all starts with concept. Think commercial and leave the obscure genres like a hard to sell minority dance musical to seasoned pros who know what they're doing and have the clout to push their projects.
AND STOP YOUR CONSTANT WHINING. No one needs a reputation as a chronic complainer.
I'm hooked!. This is more fun than a stage performance on blow.
Trash the scripts and the idea of some other person telling you what to do next (Class). These people are more nuts than me?. The only difference is they have figured out how to sound like "normal guys".
I really don't care if you make it or get a flesh eating virus on your face.
If I wanted to give out secrets I would tell you what books to read, after you burn "like" the past two years. But that would be stupid. Go find them yourself. And then do whatever it takes to become the fuckin master!!.
Janet, what it boils down to is that you obviously believe fiercely in your script, which means you probably put a lot of work into it. But you are seeing it from an internal subjective viewpoint, whereas others are seeing it from external subjective viewpoints. The job of readers is to find fault and issue rejections unless they are positively swept off their feet by something they think can also make their bosses tons of money (these are not necessarily the same factors). Then, maybe they'll grant a cautious "consider" and it gets tossed on a pile of scripts that other readers look for reasons to throw away.
If you are right, and they are wrong, it's up to you -- and those whom you can mobilize to do your show, as a stage play, or video DVD, or what have you -- to prove that you are right.
The only way to really do that is to stage the show and make money with it. Isn't it?
If it were easy, as they say, everyone would be doing it. But it isn't. Aside from a myriad of logistics, cost itself is daunting. If you were to shoot a 90-minute hi-def video, simply getting it transferred to a single 35-mm film print would cost you about $25,000. Never mind the costs of cameras, lights, stands, mics, props, sets, cast, catering, insurance... Producers and directors are under duress to save money, yet, typically, movies still end up costing tens of millions of dollars to make.
As for being a writer, what a way to go about flagellating yourself! Only about .00362% of all the speculative scripts written are finding champions in Hollywod, and fewer than a fifth of even those are finding buyers nowadays.
I'd say the upshot is that if you can't get past the dragon-infested moat and through the foot-thick stone walls and iron gates, try to find ways to draw your target out of the castle, to you.
Ron is right. Give Up...
My old man used to tell me "Never trush someone who knows everything". Or I could have read it somewhere. He is trying to Cyber Fuck You. Ron she could have a hairy ass or something.
Did she try to pitch a stage play?. I'm lost.
You are, indeed.
Ok you win. Ask the guy teaching the class why he is getting paid less to teach what he should be doing. Unless you can afford Howard Suber. Ron you should teach it!. I mean, since your career has picked up and all... Wait that would not give you any time to report on all of your successes to the "competition" board.
None of us know a thing. Ron will save us!. I am unblocked now, time to write. That is write, Time Two rite.
Other writers here are having better successes than I am. And you post more here than I do. For whatever reason.
I get addicted to these things for a few days. It is loosing momentum. Goodbye Ron...
"Irin, I think Im pretty good about taking critism. I pretty much make the changes no matter how nasty they are recommended. Its just that now Im getting very conflicting advise and still in a very rude way."
Well, Janet, you first might want to learn how to spell CRITICISM. F'ing Lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.
Seriously, you might want to consider writing for Television. As an example, "Glee" is very popular right now. Musical heavy scripts are not going to sell in today's marketplace, especially with FAME totally tanking at the box office. Saleability is the primary thing you must consider when reviewing your own script. "Who is going to go see this movie, and why?"
I would not waste time on getting coverage on a musical-heavy screenplay from anyone unless it was from a musician. It is impossible to convey most of the script to those that are not musicians. It would be like trying to explain "Tommy" to a 12 year old today.
I agree, about the market for musicals. Is the music that central to the move? Can it be told without it? For instance if you have a love story about an inner city girl who wants to be a singer/dancer, can you focus on her drive, determination and the obstacles she faces rather than the actual music or dancing. Just a thought.
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