Is it really too much to just ask?

Show of hands for who'd want to read this based on the logline
Show of hands for those who’d want to read this based on the logline

While some people don’t have an issue posting their entire script online, I’ve always opted to offer up just a logline. If the script has had any kind of success in a contest, I mention that as well. That’s how it is on my Scripts page here, and on a few online community sites. Nothing against those who offer up the whole thing. It’s just a personal preference.

My hope is that this sample (for lack of a better word) piques somebody’s interest, which then would prompt them to contact me, saying “Hey, this sounds pretty cool. Could I read it?” In which case, I’m more than happy to send it along. This has happened a few times.

But last week, I got this response from a recent connection:

“…I read the synopsis on your four, all very interesting, but without a script to peruse, quite meaningless – let me know should you decide to upload any.”

Okay…

Like I said, I was hoping the small write-up would motivate you to get in touch with me asking for more, but I guess not. And responded with words to that effect (in the most polite way possible, of course.)

The response:  ” I don’t like to criticise (sic – international spelling) and how you conduct your scripts is your business, but so many writers here claim award winning scripts, wonderful reviews and the sun shines out off a certain orifice – I’m a great believer in put up, or shut up – yes, of course I can ask the writer to send a copy, then there is the pressure, real or otherwise, of a review and feedback – I like to read screenplays unannounced, if I like it I will say so, no hard feelings, no pressure – all of yours have a nice synopsis, I’m sure your scripts stack up.”

I honestly didn’t know what to say, so I never responded. The person seems set in their beliefs that the finished product won’t live up to the hype created by the author. Although I have to disagree with the part about “award winning scripts”, since most contest results are available online, therefore easily verifiable.

And maybe it’s me, but both responses seem to come across as just a little bit on the snarky side.

But back to the matter at hand.

No idea where the parts about “wonderful reviews” and “the sun shines out of a certain orifice” come from. I never post anything like that about my material, nor should anyone. It reeks of amateurishness.

If I want notes, I will come to you because I seek your opinion. If I don’t know how much experience you have as a writer, let alone who you are to begin with, what’s make you think I’m going to ask you for notes?

If somebody asks to read my script, I’ll send it along with this note: “Here’s the script. Thanks for asking. Hope you like it.” I might come back to them in a month or so to ask if they’ve had a chance to read it. A majority of the time, the response is “Oops. I kind of forgot about it/got sidetracked, but I’ll get to it soon,” which is totally understandable. It’s a real commitment to read a script, and it’s not always easy to find the time to just sit down and read it. Happens to me all the time.

Everybody has their own way of how they do things. You do what works best for you, which may be totally different from somebody else’s. That doesn’t mean either person is wrong.

But imply that your way is better than mine, and any credibility you may have had to begin with is now gone.

2 thoughts on “Is it really too much to just ask?

  1. I’d have to agree that the combination of responses turned me off a little bit (though I don’t know what was said in-between), though not tremendously so. But, starting the second response with “I don’t like to criticize” but here’s the criticism I’m going to make anyway leads me to believe I’d be a little less than inclined toward building a business relationship with said person.

    That being said, I understand the point hidden within all the words. And, I’ll re-iterate/add, this person might not intend a negative approach, in any regard. They may just be cynical about “getting sold” on scripts in general. Because there are people who boast about winning the tiniest screenplay contest in the world. But, that should be an aside.

    Simultaneously, I think there can sometimes be a disconnect between writers (who obviously think about and edit their word choices) and people who correspond/communicate a lot, but don’t put a lot of thought into their words.

    I just check your Script page and noticed it says, “Feature-length scripts I’m willing to show the world:” Has it always said that? Or did you recently add that? If it’s always said that the “quite meaningless” part of the first correspondence seems silly. Though, I realize you may have added that after these correspondences.

    It kind of sounds like the person is looking to reject things, which I can understand, but it just seeps through their correspondence.

    P.S. Did Nicholl provide you any feedback on that Lucy script?

  2. Nope, it’s always said that on the Scripts page. Still holds true.

    I think the Nicholl only gives feedback if you place very, very highly. Most of the others, you have to pay for it. I haven’t done that since it usually doubles the registration fee. Think I’ll put my money towards some pro notes instead.

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