Bill Donovan, publisher of Creative Screenwriting Magazine and currently the manager of their contests was kind enough to stop by and make a nice comment on my post “2011 AAA Screenplay Contest Semi-Finalist.”
Bill was “…scouring the web and message boards looking for negative comments, actually, because as much as they hurt, they help [them] improve” the contest. It’s good to hear that they take all feedback into consideration when looking at ways to improve the contest experience. My blog came up in his search results, so he stopped in and left a comment.
In his comment he made some remarks about judge’s feedback and the marketing aspect of the “Overall Merit” scoring rubric. I thought they were important enough that I should share them on the blog. I asked for his permission to do so, and he granted it… so here’s what Bill had to say:
Regarding the feedback
This is the second time we have given brief feedback to each contestant whose email address we had. And it is the second time that most of those who received positive feedback were happy with us, and small portion of few of those who received mostly negative feedback wrote us to argue vehemently.
I think the people who wrote in to argue “vehemently” are likely in need of a reality check. But hey, that’s just what I think. I’d like to see them post up samples of feedback so people know what to expect. That might help alleviate some of the confusion. I understand the difference between a few notes and coverage. But other’s entering might not.
Regarding marketability as a criterion:
First, I would beg anyone reading this to understand that it is just one consideration. Second, I have the impression from the comments I see from our judges that they and I share the view that marketability is a function of a story being well-written, vivid, and original. We don’t mean “marketable” to equate with “studio” or “tentpole.” We mean, and I have told judges, that marketable means it is a possibility in at least one of many markets.
I think this goes a long way to clearing up what’s meant by marketability. It’s not that the script would be a huge box office blockbuster, as much as a feasible project that could be produced with the right studio and audience. I see what Bill’s getting at, and it definitely clears some things up.
So that’s that… if you want to read Bill’s comment in full you can hit the link to the post up top. He says a few other things but I took out the points that I think are of interest to most people.
Until next time, keep writing!