As promised, if you want to see how The Black List works, look no further than my evaluations. The average Black List rating is currently 5.9, so giving me an average of essentially 4 is pretty much slamming my TV pilot. The reviews came in 6 weeks after I purchased them ($100) and based off this, and how far the opinions diverged, I’m not sure if I would go back ever. My Pilot was called NO RETURNS ALLOWED. It was a caper show that was a cross between Alias and The Thomas Crown Affair. Below is the first review of a 5, which actually sounded like a bunch of strengths based on the write-up. The weaknesses that are pointed out seems more movie based, in showing behind the scenes before a plot reveal to make the audience get the inside joke instead of being surprised by the reveal (which I disagree with in a pilot). Oddly enough, they also said I should show the expensive stuff like the explosions and action (which is opposite from he second reviewer).
The second reviewer below obliterates my pilot, for confusing reasons. They actually write up their own plot and tell me how they would have written it, however they use a movie trope/plot instead of a TV plot. It’s so bad, they copied Rambo III, Commando, and other bad guy/good guy movie plots. They then get the genre wrong. They wanted to compare it to Ocean’s Eleven, when this wasn’t a Casino heist movie. A TV Pilot and film screenplay are two different narrative structures and this person clearly didn’t know what the difference was. At least they didn’t tell me I should give Sarga an “Uncle Ben” and have him die in the first act.
My final opinion is confused. I think the first review was so-so, while the second review was non-sensical. What I found unusual was the lack of discussion on my second review on the diverse cast like the first one had. You see, Sarga, my protagonist isn’t the typical TV hero. He is an African-Asian guy of style and smarts and is the best at what he does. The entire cast is more diverse than most. And it is pretty bullshit the reviewer wants me to give the characters “distinct” voices, instead of making them all sound normal and smart (one sounds a little crazy, but that’s another story). I know exactly what the reviewer is saying, and I don’t agree; I don’t need to make my character “more street.” Sarga can be smart as hell and smooth and secretive. I know this reviewer deep down really wanted Danny Ocean, for whatever deep rooted reason, but that’s not my story. They can flip in that DVD any day of the week. If people wanted something diverse and different and distinct, they could follow my story. As a final note, notice the second reviewer said this would be an expensive hour to produce (despite the fact I intentionally used a ton of interior scenes to disguise stuff) while the first reviewer said I needed to show the blowing up of a building (which I did offscreen to make it cheap to make).
So what happens now? I guess I shelve the script. If I would have been rated 7 or higher and the script would show up on results (anything under the average gets puts in digital no mans land on the site, so it is nearly impossible to search and find) then I would have kept it up. Now I don’t know. It’s not really worth writing a novel version unless there is a fan base for it, so I’ll leave it to you. If 500 people want to read the script, I’ll upload here. Just like my blog. If 1000 people want to see it in a novel, share it with your friends and like this post and I’ll write it as a series.
POST COMMENTS IF YOU WANT ME TO SUBMIT TO ANOTHER SCREENPLAY EVALUATION SITE. I HAVE ANOTHER ALMOST COMPLETED. OTHERWISE, $125 IN GETTING THIS TYPE OF FEEDBACK ISN’T WORTH IT FOR MY BLOG. (Cost more than many annual web hosting cost).