The Black List's community is highly dynamic. Our evaluations aren't as simple as 'recommend,' 'consider,' or 'pass,' as so many systems are. Though we'll be making various quantitative data available in the near future, at this early date, it's impossible for us to say exactly what one should expect with various scores. Obviously scripts with overall ratings of 9 or 10 can expect a fair amount of attention. It's reasonable to expect that scripts with overall ratings of 7 or 8 will as well, though admittedly less than those with higher ratings. The best indication of whether your script is getting traction is the traffic to your script page, which you and only you can see. If after several weeks your script isn't getting any impressions or downloads, it's likely that its score is not high enough to trigger our algorithm spotlighting it.
It's likely that we're receiving a lot more requests than usual. If your script has not been reviewed twenty-one days after you purchased an evaluation, you'll automatically be given a free month of hosting on the site, which will be sent to you via email.
Our readers conduct all of their work anonymously (though we monitor it closely and expect a very high standard.) They're assigned scripts based on their stated genre preferences. A romantic comedy fan will never read a horror script and vice versa, unless that reader is the rare person who seeks out both genres.
Likewise, only readers with experience reading pilots will be evaluating television scripts. Within our television readers, there is further delineation between those qualified to read half-hour pilots, one-hour pilots, or both.
Your evaluation will include an overall rating and ratings on premise, plot, characters, dialogue, and setting, all from 1 to 10. It will also include brief answers about the script's greatest strengths, weaknesses, and commercial prospects. Writers who choose to upload their series bibles will get additional qualitative comments on the bibles as well.
Evaluating scripts is inherently subjective. Subjectivity is nearly impossible to get rid of when evaluating scripts, and ingrained in the process. Two sensible individuals can have very different reactions to a script and both have valid arguments for their positions. Empirically, rating variance of overall scores in two or more reviews has been low; however, if variance is three points or more, you will receive the option to purchase a discounted third read for $40 for features and one-hour pilots, and $30 for half-hour pilots.
Your overall rating is not an average of the component ratings. It's a numerical assessment of a paid reader's overall impression of the script and the likelihood that they would recommend it to a peer or superior. As we all know, some movies/scripts are better than the sum of their parts; others are less than. Our component ratings don't represent all of the parts of a screenplay, and even if they did, the overall score can't and shouldn't be an average of them.
You'll get an email at the email address you provided us when you signed up. That email will include a link to your evaluation, which only you can see. At that point (and any other time while you're using the site), you'll have the ability to choose to make that evaluation visible or keep it private.
The free evaluation will be applied to all scripts receiving 8s or above going forward from 4/25/14. We are not retroactively offering the free evaluation to scripts that have received 8s before that date.
You can pay to have one of our readers evaluate your script. Prices vary based on the length the material. Original pilots meant for broadcast of 30 minutes or left cost $50 per evaluation. Feature screenplays, miniseries, and one-hour pilots cost $75 per evaluation. You can indicate the length of your script when you upload it; however, if our reader believes the script is miscategorized, your evaluation will be delayed until you pay the remaining balance.
The data generated by these evaluations help us to identify high quality scripts that we can then make our industry professional membership aware of. Not only do we highlight the best-reviewed scripts, we also make targeted recommendations to individuals using an algorithm similar to Netflix and Amazon's.
To make an evaluation private, you'll log in to your account, click on the title of your script, then click "View Evaluations" on the left side of the screen. Under each evaluation, they'll be a button for "Public/Private," and you'll toggle that to private if you want to hide your evaluation.
We will spotlight scripts with high scores via emails to our industry professional members, lists of top available screenplays on the Black List site, and via targeted recommendations based on individual members' personal tastes. Scripts with high scores should expect to see their numbers of impressions and downloads improve dramatically over time as industry professionals explore your script's online presence and download it to read it immediately or at a later time. In the event that industry pros like your script, they'll contact you directly via the contact information you included on your coverage page.
You're not. Your evaluations are only made visible to our industry professional membership if you choose to make them visible. You can hide any of them at any time. Moreover, our algorithm will make our industry professional members aware of any script that receives a single high rating from a reader, even if the average isn't necessarily high. We've designed the site explicitly to "do no harm," and this is exactly why.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that, evaluating scripts is an inherently subjective endeavor. It's entirely possible another reviewer may feel differently about your script. It may just be polarizing material. You should think seriously about whether that reader is likely to be an outlier, and if you feel like they are, we encourage you to purchase another read to bear that out.
Multiple low scores are likely an indication that the script is not likely to find success via the Black List site. In that case, we encourage you to remove your script from our site, though it is entirely your prerogative.
If you believe the reader did not thoroughly read your script, reach out to us outlining the reasons you believe so with any specifics from the review. Note that ratings themselves, whether high or low, are not an indicator of a bad review. We want to make sure that all scripts are given a thorough and fair read. Any factual inaccuracies, for instance, will be taken seriously. But we try to separate valid opinions from clear misreadings of the script.
To contact us about an evaluation, access the Support tab on the far right of your browser, and then select "Evaluation Question" from the dropdown menu.
Email email@example.com to cancel an evaluation. Please note that if your script has already been downloaded by a reader, we may not be able to cancel the evaluation, as it may already be in progress.
The average evaluation turnaround time is currently 15.61 days, because of an increase in requested evaluations, due in part to the various partnerships The Black List is currently participating in. If an evaluation takes longer than three weeks to come in, please let Support know, as we normally offer a free month of hosting in these cases.
Currently we don't allow our industry professionals to post written evaluations of material. That may change in the future, but for now, evaluations are limited to our team of paid readers who we have selected because of their ability to deliver reliable, quality evaluations of writers' work.
We understand that writers need to workshop their scripts; and as part of a typical coverage process, you may go back and forth with the same reader. However, we need to make it clear that we do not provide coverage. We provide evaluations of material. They two may overlap, but they are different.
Our services are not specifically tailored for writers to workshop their scripts, though the evaluations we provide may certainly contribute to this process. We don't believe that readers can rate a revision of a script independent of an original draft, so we do not allow readers to review a script more than once.
All of our readers have worked as first filters for major agencies, studios, production companies, television studios, and management companies. They're the type of people who would be reading your script first if you submitted to any of these companies, the type of companies most writers would want to submit their material to.
And these are the best of the bunch. Beyond their previous experience, they've been selected for their knowledge of screenplays currently in development around Hollywood. Our readers also have an understanding and commitment to the Black List's mission: to help moviemakers find great material, and to help great material to find homes with moviemakers.
The Black List's goal is to find great scripts. This means the bar is set high. You're being judged against the entire universe of scripts; that includes produced movies and episodic pilots. So while some elements of your script may be compelling and strong, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will receive an extremely high score. Likely there are still issues with the script or there's still room for improvement. High scores are reserved for exceptional scripts, not simply good scripts. Keep in mind that the readers' comments are meant to provide constructive suggestions for improvement and places to continue to build; they're not meant to justify their ratings.
When you purchase an evaluation, it goes into a general queue until a reader is available (awaiting assignment). When the reader is assigned the script (assigned to reader), he or she will download it and write up the evaluation. Once completed, it will get added to a queue for approval (pending manager approval) and will become available once approved.
The readers are given a restricted amount of space in which they can comment on the script. Their goal in the weaknesses section is touch on the at a minimum what in their opinion would raise the script's overall rating by at least three points (if that's possible).
We stand by our readers' work. It's impossible for us to comment on evaluations of material received elsewhere, but our standard for excellence is extremely high in order to accurately represent the standard the Hollywood film industry expects of writers working with in it.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide follow-up correspondence with readers. However, if you have issues with the content of the review that call into question how closely the script was read, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did we do?
Did we answer your question? If you still need help or would like to make a suggestion
about how we could improve this help page, drop us a line.