Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Black List Review

UPDATE 5/28/14:

With the below reviewer's suggestions in mind, I edited my screenplay and resubmitted to The Black List for a second evaluation last week. That evaluation came in today and it was very positive.
Remarks in this evaluation include "this film is highly marketable"and "this film has potential as a wide theatrical release." With one more high-rated evaluation in the coming weeks, the script will be eligible for The Black List's monthly 'Top Lists' list (it's all about lists) and that would greatly increase the chance of it in ending up in front of an interested producer's eyeballs. After all, a screenplay remains just a screenplay unless it can be produced into a film. 
   Baby steps...

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


 I've read that one needs thick skin to "make it" as a writer. 
Had I not prepared myself for the possibility of a not-so-overly-positive review experience, I might have launched myself off my patio at 2 o'clock this morning (an amusing thought considering I live on the first floor) after the professional review came back from 'The Black List' on the screenplay I submitted last week. It's not what the reviewer said that jarred me so much as how he or she said it. For instance, the first sentence: "[Script] shows a great deal of conceptual promise despite its currently inelegant execution."
I am a nice person. Why would you be so mean to me?? 
Setting aside my ego, though, and upon further obsession examination, the review it isn't as bad as my initial reaction suggested. That first sentence wasn't the greatest thing to read in the middle of the night while feeling overly-sensitive and defensive but in the light day there are quite a few positives. The negatives are constructive and to the point and, admittedly, will make this a better script.  Most importantly, the final statement gives me the energy to keep going and resubmit: "Ultimately, [script] shows enough promise in its ideas and themes to warrant continued revision. It is not yet the perfect version of its conceits, but if it is able to fulfill its potential, then it stands a respectable chance of reaching the screen." 
But, Jesus Christ, man. That was painful. I'm glad the first one is over and out of the way.
Consider my skin thickened.

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." ~ Samuel Beckett.

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