Genre: TV Pilot – Drama
Premise: Set in Boston in the 60s, a squeaky clean FBI officer is asked to turn an underdog Irish gangster into an informant in an attempt to take down the Italian mafia.
About: This was a huge project coming out of Fox, as it was to be directed by Ben Affleck (you know, the whole Boston connection thing). But the reality was that after Argo won the Oscar, Ben became overcommitted. Then the whole Batman thing happened and he was really overcommitted. Doesn’t Ben realize that every time he leaves a project, he destroys a writer’s dream? Glenn Gordon Caron has a few nice credits under his belt (Moonlighting, Medium), but this was a potential career-maker. It would’ve taken him to another level. Ahh, Hollywood. Timing is everything.
Writer: Glenn Gordon Caron
Details: 56 pages – Revised First Draft (8/26/13)

Ben+Affleck+Ben+Affleck+Busy+Santa+Monica+B8gU8q074_Vl“I’m busy.  Leave me alone.”

I go into these scripts with a prejudice. I can’t help it. It’s much the same prejudice I go into a romantic comedy with. Which is that I know it’s probably going to be the same old song and dance. There’s going to be a tough sounding Jersey-accented voice over guy. There’ll be several scenes where the local mob offers to “protect” folks. There will be dirty cops. Some snazzy-dressed gangster is going enjoy his meal at the best table in the best restaurant in town. It’s like everybody who’s ever seen Goodfellas wants to show you that they can write Goodfellas too.

Except I don’t want to see Goodfellas again. I already saw Goodfellas. I want something new. And this is what every writer needs to tattoo backwards to their forehead (so they can read it in the mirror, of course) – you gotta give us something different. You can’t come in with the same old angle and expect us to care.

So color me surprised when, ten lines into that expected voice over, our narrator informed us that he was nine years dead. Hmm, I thought. Haven’t seen that before. Sure, it’s a small thing, but it gave me trust. It helped me know that this writer was actually TRYING as opposed to APEING. Surprise a seasoned reader, that gets you ten more pages easy. And assuming you keep surprising us, we’re along for the whole ride. So how was that ride?

It’s present day when we meet 80-something barely-alive Mickey Flood, who’s been terrorizing Boston for 50 years and finally paying his dues for it in court. We’re learning this from Rudy, our narrator, who tells us he and Mickey used to work together.

The two met when Mickey saved Rudy’s life as a kid, just as a bunch of older kids were getting ready to throw him off a roof. It wasn’t until 20 years later (the 60s), that they met again, with Mickey being a low-rent gangster and the straight-laced Rudy coming home as a member of the FBI.

It just so happened that president Kennedy was enacting a new coda for crime-fighting – converting criminals to informants. And that was Rudy’s first job – to find a criminal and strike up a relationship with him that helped the FBI take down other bad guys. Naturally, Rudy went to his old friend, Mickey, who had no problem giving up tidbits on the Italian mob, since they were technically his competition.

Meanwhile, an entitled businessman named Grayson refuses to pay Mickey back the money he loaned him. Mickey, of course, threatens his life as a result. Grayson doesn’t like some two-bit gangster wannabe telling him what to do, so he goes to the Feds for protection. They tell him if he testifies in court against Mickey, they’ll protect him. Grayson says fine. In the meantime, Rudy is pleading with the FBI to let Mickey be his informant, something they’re not sure they want to do.

But when Mickey tells the cops when the Italians are planning a major supermarket heist, they change their minds. And Mickey gets a little bonus for it. The Feds leave Grayson alone between shifts just long enough for Mickey to squeeze in there and squeeze the life out of the cheating bastard. It’s the beginning of a unique friendship between a criminal and a bureau agent that will last a long time, and shape much of the criminal underworld in Boston.

Ben+Affleck+Visits+Studio+Santa+Monica+_B3rVPqX3rol“Dude, I said leave me alone.  I’m not going to direct your TV show.”

Like I said, there aren’t too many ways to make this genre different. So how do you do it? Well, you do it with little surprises, like our narrator being dead. That was a nice touch. But I realized that the ultimate goal here isn’t much different from any story. You want to keep them hooked long enough to fall in love with your characters. Because once the reader’s in love with your characters, you got’em for the long haul.

And that’s what happened with me. Mickey Flood is introduced as this despicable human being. Here he is, in court, 85 years old, barely able to breathe, being convicted of dozens of murders, and he’s still able to stand up and call the judge a piece of shit.

I was curious how they were going to get us to care about this guy, but they did it rather simply. Once we flash back, they establish Mickey as an underdog. He wasn’t someone born into this business. He didn’t have the contacts to get him into “the family.” He was considered a cheap pale imitation (literally, as he was Irish) whose name didn’t deserve to be uttered in the same breath as real mobsters.

It’s this disrespect from his peers that helps us forget that asshole in the courtroom and start to sympathize with this guy. It didn’t hurt that he saved our hero from death as a child (an unapologetic save the cat moment if there ever was one). But clearly, we felt that there was more to this guy than your average cliché gangster and we liked that.

Also, when you write these pilots, there are a couple of things you need to pay attention to besides the characters and plot. I’ll get into the second thing in the “What I learned” section, but the big one is that your pilot has to be ABOUT SOMETHING SPECIFIC, particularly if you’re exploring a general area, like crime. Lost and Walking Dead and Breaking Bad all have the unique angles built into their premises, but the criminal underworld of the 60s is still too vague. We need that extra “specific angle” to explore.

Here, it’s informants. We know that because it’s brought up over and over again – how informants are the wave of the future. How the president himself wants the Feds to make them a priority. This is what takes this from being “just another Mob show/flick” to a more specific angle we can explore over the course of the series. This is going to be about the tricky relationship between an FBI agent and his informant.

If you’re not exploring some unique angle in your pilot, chances are it’s going to feel thin. C.S.I. is about the use of unique forensic tech to solve cases. Seinfeld was about the mundane minutia of every day life. What unique angle are you exploring in your TV show?

In the end, this script gets it right. It manages to have a lot going on, yet never to the point where it confuses the story (that’s really hard to do!). It makes you like and care about the key characters. And it feels just different enough from other scripts in the genre to feel fresh. I can totally see why Affleck wanted to do it. Whether we’ll ever see it from another director, however, is a question I can’t answer. That’s the weird thing about the TV world. Once something’s dead, it’s usually dead for good. But this is too good to get thrown in the trash. I think it deserves a shot.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: In a TV script (and for the most part, feature scripts as well), you’ll have your “public” plot and your “personal” plot. The public plot here is getting Rudy from San Francisco to Boston so he can meet Mickey again and start their informant relationship. All of that is great, but we won’t care if you haven’t executed your PERSONAL plot. This is the plot taking place in your main character’s personal life. It’s what allows us to get to know him/her on a personal level, and therefore feel close enough to him to care about what he’s doing. In most cases, it’s a romantic or family plotline, with some sort of conflict or drama going on. So here, Rudy’s met this girl, but he’s not ready to take the next step with her, and leaves her behind when he goes back to Boston. She, of course, shows up later, telling him that she’s preggies (how’s that for informing, Rudester!). His world is rocked, and now he must figure out how to deal with this. What the really good writers do, is they find a way to weave these two plotlines together so they feel like one seamless entity. So at the end here, Rudy must go to Mickey for help in regards to his girlfriend’s pregnancy. Mickey strikes a deal with him that helps take care of the pregnancy, while giving him (Mickey) a second life.

ben-affleck-07022012-400x300“Okay, that’s it!  Do you know who I am?  I’m Ben Affleck!  I don’t do TV anymore!  Got it!  What part of ‘two Academy Awards’ don’t you understand?  A marriage… needs work.  It needs work, okay….”

  • MaliboJackk

    Just starting to figure it out.
    Mayhem Monday. TV Tuesday.
    (Not sure about Wednesday.)

    • Ange Neale

      Mosh-pit Monday. Massacre. Macabre. Monster mash.

      Wurlitzer Wednesday perhaps? We go black and white and otherwise silent? Catch our breaths.

    • Casper Chris

      Freshman Friday

    • Citizen M

      Think-piece Thursday.

  • FD

    Haven’t you heard of Desparate Housewives or American Beauty, Carson? How can the narrator being dead be something new?

    • Casper Chris

      I think he was talking about crime dramas with a mobster angle.

      (not saying it hasn’t been done there)

      • brenkilco

        Well what about Goodfellas and Casino? Its a little unclear exactly where and when Pesci is supposed to be doing his narration, but it sure seems like he would have to be dead.

        • Magga

          Pesci doesn’t have narration in Goodfellas, but in Casino it’s a fake-out where they establish the concept of a dead man narrating by blowing up DeNiro’s car in the opening scene, then having him survive but killing the other narrator. He even says “OU!” on the voice over track when they hit him.

          • brenkilco

            You are correct. For a moment they blurred together in my head. But the narration in Goodfellas is entirely Liotta’s. Narration by a dead character isn’t really an uncommon device. But the narration in Casino is sort of unique and it’s hard to exactly say why. It’s not like the sardonic, omniscient narration you get in Sunset Blvd. or American Beauty. When we get to the meeting in the cornfield where Joe gets the baseball bat, it doesn’t seem like the narrator knows what’s coming next, even though he’d really have to.

          • Magga

            Karen also narrates Goodfellas. When that happened I nearly fell out of my seat the first time (out of, like, fifty) I saw the film. “You can do THAT?”

          • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

            Actually the narration in Goodfellas isn’t *entirely* Liotta’s. Lorraine Bracco has a little bit of voice over as well, mainly when she first meets Henry, she talks about him, what she thought of him, etc.

            But her VO doesn’t even compare to his. It’s actually kind of an odd moment because, as far as I recall, it’s the only point in the film where someone other than him gives VO narration. Whereas CASINO, or WOLF OF WALL STREET, it alternates back and forth.

          • Nate

            Wolf of Wall Street had other characters doing voice overs? I only remember Leo’s.

          • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

            Haha sorry, not even sure why I said Wolf of Wall Street. I was thinking about how similar in structure Wolf is to Casino and then I said Casino and typed both. But no, it just had Leo (at least in terms of narration voice over).

          • Citizen M

            In the script 99% of the VOs are by Leo, and there are a LOT of them, but several other characters get very brief VOs, just a couple of sentences each.

          • Stephjones

            OT
            I watched Wolf of Wall Street the other night. The boat story sounded VERY familiar so afterwards I googled the guy. Turns out the real name of his boat was Nadine. She was often seen in the US Virgins ( where i live) In the mid 90’s.
            My husband worked on her watermaker and became friendly with the captain who was the same captain on board when she went down in the med. ( we had no idea who owned her– the crew kept it private)
            Nadine always looked odd to me because the guy cut her in half and added footage so she could handle his helicopter. My hubby had to ride with them to st marten and I remember being worried cause I didn’t think Nadine looked seaworthy, despite her length.
            Of course the dinghy they were towing was 33′. The exact length of the boat I’ve been living on for umpteen years. :)
            I got to tour her while she was in st Thomas. She was beautiful but my husband, who saw the bilges, said Nadine was beautiful on the outside and rusty/ rotten on the inside.
            How apt.

          • Jarman Alexander

            This is a very cool story! Thanks for sharing.

          • Midnight Luck

            How very apt. Good character description: beautiful on the outside, rusty/rotten on the inside. Love it.

      • Randy Williams

        I recall some movie where a dead mobster was reincarnated into the body of a dog. Gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “drop man”

  • brenkilco

    So this is more or less the Whitey Bulger Story serialized. It’s a potentially fascinating and complex subject for a series. And if it were to stick anywhere close to the facts by the end the Rudy character might end up even less sympathetic than his mob informant. The moral and ethical rabbit hole Bulger’s FBI contacts went down in their efforts to keep Bulger on the streets and advance their own careers, the stuff they ignored or pretended not to know about, was pretty ugly. And it sounds like this show would have gotten into the murk right away. As for a low life protag drawing sympathy. America happily followed the life of the basically monstrous Tony Soprano for eight years. Nuff said.

  • Linkthis83

    OT: Does anybody have the script for YOU’RE NEXT? Would you be willing to send it to me? I’ve checked Write to Reel and the Scridx search engine with no luck. Thanks in advance.

    linkthis83 at yahoo dot com

    • Eddie Panta

      There is no script to YOU’RE NEXT.
      There’s no script to DRINKING BUDDIES either.
      But both made SS top ten 2013.
      The SS review of YOU’RE NEXT was a movie review.
      A lot of the dialogue if not most is Improved.
      SS references “The Script” in the movie review but I think you can just substitute “script” with story. There is no indication on the review that the script was read.
      Joe Swanberg directed Drinking Buddies without a script. He is also in You’re Next.
      So is Ti West.
      You’re Next is from the same team that made V/H/S.
      If a some sort of script exists its only a loose outline and would not resemble anything that would look like a spec script to sell.

      • Linkthis83

        Cool. Thank you.

      • Randy Williams

        Wasn’t it the writer of “You’re Next” who said he never read other screenplays?

        • Eddie Panta

          That makes sense.
          I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve never read or written a screenplay ever.
          But what we do know for sure is that the writer and director have watched way too many horror movies.
          There’s nothing in You’re Next that isn’t derivative of other horror slashers.
          These guys just want to shoot cool horror scenes. Having to build story around that is the annoying part for them.
          There aren’t really any concepts in You’re Next it’s all action sequences.The masks don’t even mean anything.
          What You’re Next is about is Horror Movies.

    • Poe_Serling

      Hey Link-

      If you’re looking for horror scripts in general, I site I always recommend is:

      http://www.horrorlair.com/

      Simon “You’re Next” Barrett’s script Dead Birds is just one of hundreds to read there.

      • Linkthis83

        Thanks, Poe. I think horror might be the next plunge for me. The main project has slowed and I’m not making the top ten in the IISC. Much appreciated.

        • Poe_Serling

          You’re welcome.

          And I wouldn’t be surprised to see the script for ‘You’re Next’ to show up on the site sooner or later.

          From a recent interview with writer Simon Barrett:

          I think we’re going to put the screenplay for You’re Next
          online, now that the movie’s coming out on video, so anyone with any
          interest in this sort of thing will be able to read it. I assume that’s
          no more than two or three people, but for those two or three people, it
          might be edifying.

          And I’m pretty sure Barrett was talking about you specifically when he mentioned, ‘I assume that’s no more than two or three people… ‘ ;-)

          ***For a horror script recommendation: I like to suggest The Mothman Prophecies by Richard Hatem… not only well-written but it really knows to create a sense of true creepiness in the telling of its story.

          You can find a couple of versions of the Mothman script on the Horror Lair site.

          • Linkthis83

            (clears amateur voice)

            LINK: I believe I have a horror concept that will get bought. Even if I write the worst, campy story version of it ever. I believe it will get bought. It just has to.

            Since YOU’RE NEXT and THE PURGE were recent and wildly popular, I wanted to see them in their script form to see how they were done.

            My initial approach will be to play off the FUN of the concept. Really get in there and tear some shit up. After that, hopefully a story will emerge. I just watched YOU’RE NEXT last night and I loved how they embraced their approach early. It was fun. But the lack of any real story is what made it fail after, in my opinion. And the whole “you’re next” concept wasn’t really utilized.

            Do you have the link for the recent interview with Barrett?

          • Poe_Serling

            http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/73289/adam-wingard-aj-bowen-and-simon-barrett-talk-youre-next#axzz30zsZfgJ0

            It’s from Jan. 2014…. I guess it’s somewhat ‘recent.’

            Plus, I’ve noticed he’s quite active on twitter – a pretty funny guy in fact. You could always hit him up and remind him about his promise of posting the script online. ;-)

            https://twitter.com/Simon_Barrett

          • Linkthis83

            Man, you’ve got the skinny on this genre :)

            What do you wish you saw more of from horror these days? What do you think it’s missing? If anything. I could understand why some people loved YOU’RE NEXT and why others wouldn’t. It comes down to expectations and such.

          • Poe_Serling

            Personally, I’ve always been a fan of ‘smart’ horror. By that, I mean films with strong narrative cores, well-defined characters, solid dialogue, etc… and yet still have the power to make your skin crawl.

            Just a quick example of this with a couple of my favorites:

            The Wicker Man (’73 version): A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed.

            Something more recent in the same vein…

            The Ring: A young journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

            I feel both of these projects pull off the fine art of telling a compelling story with just the right amount of chills and thrills.

            **And if you notice each project has that somewhat unique investigative element that drives the plot forward and has the ability to keep the audiences engaged from beginning to end.

  • ScottStrybos

    Off topic, or maybe not so much considering Ben is the new Batman, but has everyone seen the trailer for the new “Gotham” TV show?

    • Robin the Boy Wonder

      Before Penguin.
      Before Catwoman.
      Before Riddler.
      Before Poison Ivy.
      Before Batman.

      Er, hello. But aren’t you missing someone? I said, HELLO!!!

      • Linkthis83

        Uh, before Alfred? ;)

        • Scott Strybos

          Alfred should already be there. Alfred is already Alfred. He raised Bruce Wayne from birth. They just didn’t show him in the trailer (I mean, I assume)….

          • Linkthis83

            Well…it was my failed attempt at humor since I assumed Robin the Boy Wonder was hinting at the Boy Wonder not being on the list.

          • Scott Strybos

            Whoops, I didn’t see your winky-face emoticon at the end of your comment.

            (P.S. Google tells me that Alfred Pennyworth is in the series and will be played by Sean Pertwee)

      • Scott Strybos

        I read a comment about this trailer on another board that said

        Before Penguin.
        Before Catwoman.
        Before Riddler.
        Before Poison Ivy.
        Before Batman.
        …Before everything you loved about Gotham…

        Which is a valid point, but I enjoy origin stories. How a great man became the great man. How the villain became so damaged.

        I respect what they are trying to do. And the tone they are trying to establish. Which is noir–with the genre’s pulp and just-on-the-border of too much melodrama. It’d a genre and style I really like. But I don’t know if they have pulled it off. But I will definitely give the first few episodes a try.

        • Robin the Boy Wonder

          “The Wire in Gotham” was always aiming a little high… but I hope they pull it off.

          Even if it kills my fanboyish dream of Michael Fassender playing the lead in a Jim Gordon movie.

          But if this series is a success and lasts a few series, they better introduce Dick Grayson later on.

          Or there’ll be some Holy Hell to pay!

          • Scott Strybos

            “The Wire in Gotham” IS aiming high, really high. But if you are going to emulate something, it might as well be the best.
            Instead of, oh, I don’t know, “Two-and-a-Half-Men in Gotham”

          • Robin the Boy Wonder

            Ha! That’s true. But Rawls shows up. So that’s GOTTA count for something…

    • Randy Williams

      Please, not another scene of a kid stepping to the edge of a roof, hands outstretched and emoting,

      Jump off, for god’s sake.

      Otherwise, looks pretty cool.

    • Nicholas J

      Looks a bit overdramatic to me, borderline laughable. If they’re going for the serious authenticity of The Wire, it’s just going to feel silly. Nolan’s Batmans were super serious as well, but still managed to do it in a fun sort of way.

      I mean, come on, this is a show about the origins of people that run around in spandex and capes. Don’t try to make it The Wire, because The Wire it ain’t.

      All that is completely based off this one trailer though…

  • hickeyyy

    The only issue I have with this article is the indication that Seinfeld is about the minutia of every day life. I disagree with this statement. Seinfeld is inherently about how a comedian gets his material.

    • Scott Strybos

      I never thought of Seinfeld that way, the theme of Seinfeld is how a comedian gets his material. And it is interesting. But if this truly is what Seinfeld is about, then what about Elaine, Kramer, George, Newman, etc?.

      If ‘how a comedian gets his material’ is what the show is all about, these supporting characters, these supporting plots, should service this central idea always, but they don’t. These characters often have adventures of their own, separate from Jerry, which don’t really give Jerry any material.

      I think ‘the minutia of life’ is the central theme of the show, which is where a particular comedian just happens to get his material.

      • hickeyyy

        Elaine, Kramer, George, and Newman were generally supposed to be the sources of the ideas for Jerry. You’ll notice Jerry is basically the straight man in that show. The actual comedian being the straight-laced character is a brilliant choice in my opinion, because it is so contrary. At the same time, giving these characters their own separate stories make them more important and not just throwaways.

        While I agree the minutia of life is important to the show and very often touched on, I still believe it to be that how a comedian gets his material by fictionalizing the real and odd things that happen around him. I believe that’s why many episodes show him performing comedy sets during the episodes.

        • Nicholas J

          Except aren’t many of those stand-up bits unrelated to what happens in the episode? And then there’s the whole storyline where they pitch a TV show to NBC, which is really the show they’re already on, and they pitch it as a show about nothing.

          • hickeyyy

            I think them pitching the show about nothing as a storyline was a joke about people claiming that Seinfeld itself was a show about nothing, personally, though I have no basis for that claim.

          • James Michael

            Seinfeld fact for the day: The show was originally pitched as an hour special about how a comedian gets his material (Jerry and Georgre) then it was changed because they didnt want to have to show two different stand-up acts at the end. It then went through a production process to become a tv show – was only meant to be a few special eps. The first series kept the basic ‘how everyday life influences a comedians material’ angel but as the show progressed they dropped this and just made the show about ‘nothing’ – although in reality its really about everything.
            Seinfeld fact finished.

        • fragglewriter

          That’s how I get my ideas for scripts. I’m really a boring person, but my friends or just people associated with are crazy.

  • fragglewriter

    What unique angle are you exploring in your TV show?
    Great point. That can also ring true for films as well.
    Great What I Learned Tip.

  • IgorWasTaken

    Carson, your WIL today is a big part of “The Americans”. For me, the execution of it in that show is a little too conveniently teeter-totter, but it is well woven into the outer/public story.

  • fragglewriter

    Side Note: InkTip? Opinions wanted (Good, Bad, Indifferent)

    • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

      Personally – waste of money. I can’t say anything overtly negative about them, not like I’ve heard of people getting royally screwed over or anything, but I’ve heard few success stories from it. I only know one person for whom anything ever came of Inktip – they got one writing assignment from it, nothing huge, but a paid writing assignment. And then there’s the dozens of other people, including myself, for whom it’s done nothing. Granted, I haven’t used it in years, but…

      ….from everything I’ve heard from other people, the better option is the Blacklist. It’s more expensive because it’s a monthly fee, as opposed to the $50 for six months on Inktip (it used to be $50 anyway, I assume it still is). But, I know of quite a lot of success stories from the Blacklist, and I personally know a lot more managers/production companies/etc. use the Blacklist than Inktip. Not to mention, the Blacklist is still a pretty young site – it’s still growing and expanding, so the success stories that have come out of it so far are pretty impressive given its relative infancy.

      Anyway, my two cents: inktip is a waste of money, the Blacklist is a significantly better, while still similar, option. Good luck either way!

      • fragglewriter

        Thanks for the heads up.

        Has anything come from you being on the BlackList (if that is what you’re doing)?

        I uploaded a new script to the BlackList and paid for a $50 read. As I become a better writer, hopefully I’ll have good news.

        • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

          I have a TV pilot on there – nothing has come from it, but people have told me you really need to get two reviews (like buy two of them), and I’ve only bought one so far. So I’m planning to buy another one and see how it goes after another few months, and if it doesn’t do anything I’ll just take it off.

          I’m not sure how great it is for TV pilots anyway…. a lot of it seems geared toward features (like the emails they send out about the featured script of the week, those don’t include pilots). I’d definitely post a feature on there, but I’m just waiting for other stuff to pan out (or not pan out) before I spend the money.

          • fragglewriter

            I hear you on spending the money.
            I’m getting notes from Carson, The BlackList, Script Pipline and Pge Screenwriting, so hopefully when it’s time for a rewrite, I’ll incorporate the notes and pay for another on the BlackList.

          • Acarl

            Also with the BL, if your initial paid read is an 8 or higher, they will give you the second read free to give you that crucial 2nd read that you spoke of.
            This tells me that they are very interested in quantifying the quality scripts to better position them in front of industry folks.

          • Guest

            Matty, I’ve seen a few things with The Blacklist and they are interesting to say the least. Honestly, it could be an article in and of itself or even a series of articles throughout a week (it’s that in-depth).
            First, it can be fixed. For instance, there’s a script on there now that actually WON Script Pipeline, which then begs the question, “how effective are these competitions, if the one won by Evan Daugherty doesn’t catapult the winner into something better than the site that all of us have access to?” This is what I’ve seen. You have scripts that have just 3 or 4 ratings and then you have scripts that have 40. And, that’s because they know people who are going on to the site and basically rating it high because they know the writer. Tough to really get around that to be completely honest (popularity contests are part of our everyday lives now).
            2. It takes quite a bit of time and unless you’re scoring really, really high, I don’t believe anything will come of it. One of my scripts is ranked in the top 10 of Mystery / Suspense and on the site itself nothing has really even come of that. More has come from me going out and actually pitching the script around town than anything else.
            3. I’ve found the response from readers to be very mixed. Some really, really good feedback and others, not so much. Early on I had a theory that “readers” were actually fixing scores as it seemed mathematically impossible that 5 different readers would read something and come up with the exact same score when the number ratings to choose from number a total of 10. This theory was sort of bolstered by the recent roll-out of the receiving of “free” reviews if scoring an 8 or higher.
            4. Spotty comments and a wondering of who is actually commenting. I received a series of comments about a pilot of mine when it was ranked in the top 5 and very encouraged by the responses themselves, I took it to a friend of mine in the industry and he was like “not ready”. Thus, even if there is a consensus of no less than 5 people doesn’t actually mean anything, which is really, really strange because that’s what most of us are looking for, a consensus one way or the other.
            I think it’s a decent place to get feedback, but in terms of what comes out of it, I think that remains to be seen and likely won’t be answered any time soon. Is it brilliant marketing and a way for them to financially galvanize this section of the industry, while piggybacking on the name? ABSOLUTELY.

          • MaliboJackk

            Kind of surprised that I’m not hearing more stories
            of listed scripts attracting bottom feeders.

          • Acarl

            Gary Graham just got a blind deal with Warner Bro when Brooklyn Weaver found his spec on BL.

            http://www.thewrap.com/warner-bros-lands-hot-spec-garden-end-earth/

          • Guest

            Yep! And, you’re aware that Gary was doing his own marketing, yeah? He was tweeting out his placement on The Blacklist and providing a link to it when he sent it out. It wasn’t just “discovered,” he did his own leg work and congrats to him for that! It’s a great platform to have, but the actual fact that the script is there really isn’t going to mean much (unless you do like Gary and create the buzz yourself).

          • Acarl

            I am aware that Gary did his own leg work. Of course one would have to do their own promoting as no one else will do it for you. if you get high marks on the BL & promote it, your chances of success are exponentially better than say…doing nothing?

          • Guest

            ahahahah! That was brilliant. Are you Republican? ahahah Kidding (sort of). The original conversation began around the effectiveness of The Black List. Frankly speaking, what we just reviewed was basically stating that 1. if your writing is there, you don’t need the platform and 2. you have to do your own work anyway. So, what is the effect of The Blacklist on a script with only 5 reviews (and that’s all that Gary had)? Absolutely nothing. What is the key? Getting the script to the right person at the right time (and having it be “ready”). The Warner Bros. connection IS with The Blacklist, which I can see as the advantage. Would it happen the same without The Blacklist. It happens everyday.

          • Acarl

            If you get a high score on the BL you can use that to query
            mngrs to draw attention to your Script Page, which does exactly what I’ve already said: helps yours chances
            exponentially. The BL is a tool, not an
            end all, be all. Do what you like, friend-o.

  • carsonreeves1

    I would say Moonlighting and Medium were mildly successful shows but it’s been awhile since Medium was on so I figured, taking in all those variable, he’s not where he wants to be. Apologies if that upset you.

  • Sullivan

    A “career maker” 30 years after you started writing? Wow! Shoot me now.