Get personalized, actionable feedback from screenplay consultant Adam Levenberg

Getting feedback from a screenplay consultant or reader can be humbling, and confusing. Maybe even a little demoralizing.

how to interpret screenplay reader feedbackKnowing what to do with screenplay feedback can be crippling.

Partly because it’s just words on a page. Just like an email or a text message, written feedback doesn’t provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify, so if the screenplay consultant misunderstood something, or isn’t clear in their recommendations, you’ve got no recourse. You’re left to interpret (or misinterpret) to the best of your meager ability… or simply discard what could be valuable feedback.

What can you do about it? Continue reading

When to listen to the reader: Understanding screenplay feedback

* This post was recognized and redistributed by the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

We hear it all the time. If you want to write a better screenplay, get feedback and listen to it.

faeries feature horror movie screenplayBut I promise you this: the feedback you get from contest readers, other writers, and even friends and family will not be consistent. Readers will contradict one another, you’ll get mixed messages even from single readers, and figuring out how to use any of it to build a better screenplay will be overwhelming.

A few years ago I attended a talk with Sony’s Sam Dickerman. My favorite observation of his was that when producers say “That’s great, but can we add aliens somewhere?” they don’t literally mean “add aliens”. They mean they’re looking for something spectacular and unexpected, and it’s your job to understand what result they’re looking for, and find ways to deliver on that while remaining true to your story (and yourself).

So what do you do? Continue reading

We’re baaaaaack.

*sigh*

Sometimes the mysteries of the interweb overwhelm.

My site’s been down for two months. You wouldn’t know it to look at it — the public facing pages were fine. But I had no access to the administration of the site. That means no new posts, no edits, couldn’t even accept comments.

It took a lot of  back and forth with my hosting provider, who finally moved all my sites to a new server. That meant redirecting my URLs, reloading some missing  files, and troubleshooting  any other missing pieces.

I’m still shy some backend features (have to reinstall some metrics software and SEO plugins) but at least I can bring you new stuff.

Who owns the rights to your screenplay rewrites?

In my original article “10 Things To Think About When You Option Your Screenplay” I included the passage:

“…negotiate the rights to any changes or alternative versions created by the producer or on behalf of the producer during the option period. In other words, if the script reverts back to you, so should the rights to any changes made to the script while the producer had it. Otherwise, you’ve got your script back, but the producer potentially still has rights to their version… and now you’re in competition with another version of your script that you don’t control. That’s not a place you want to be.”

Adam Levenberg screenplay consultantBut was I right?

I recently received some guidance on that point from Adam Levenberg of HireAHollywoodExec.com.

“Technically what you wrote is not correct. In the case of rights reversion, you are not competing with the ‘producer’s draft’ because the producer does not have the rights to shop, sell, or produce their version. But you are correct that without proper language in the contract, the producer does hold on to the rights to those ‘producer drafts’.”

I thought you should hear more from Adam, so I’m turning the blog over to him. Here’s what he’s got to say. Continue reading

TrollHunter – The Review

I’d been looking forward to TrollHunter since seeing the trailer in August of last year… any successful film that features a classic but underutilized creature bodes well for our horror script Faeries.

trollhunter movieSo I was excited to see it available on NetFlix streaming this weekend. In some ways, it didn’t disappoint. And in other ways, it did.

There’s some originality in TrollHunter, in the form of said underutilized creature. Some good CGI, and some good pacing and structure.

But there’s also sadly a lot that’s not terribly original. And in the end, not a lot of “there” there.

First, check out the trailer: Continue reading