Quite the quandary

coin flip
I prefer to decide using logic & common sense rather than this

I’d like to discuss something that’s been weighing heavily on my mind for the past couple of weeks, and I sincerely hope you’d be willing to chime in with your thoughts.

But first, a little backstory…

A few years ago, I did some interviews with writers who’d had their scripts featured/reviewed on the script-oriented website Scriptshadow. Those can be read here and here. Based on the correspondence I had with each writer at the time, the result of their script being on the site yielded some positive results. Representation, options, almost the whole shebang – save for an actual completed film, which is probably an important thing to keep in mind.

In the years since, I’ve connected with a few more writers who experienced similar results from having their scripts spotlighted on the site, including one that saw their script purchased. Not too shabby.

Here’s how it works. Readers are invited to submit the basic details about their script – title, genre, logline, and a brief write-up (Why You Should Read). The site’s host selects five from the myriad submitted and posts those details. The one that gets the most votes from the reading public is then reviewed by him, aka Amateur Friday.

So here’s the thing:

Is it worth it to send in a script?

There’s no guarantee my material would be picked in the first place, but I’ve tried many other avenues with little to no success. It’s almost an “I’ve got nothing to lose” approach. And this is no last resort; just something I’ve been contemplating.

While part of my interest in this is the potential for exposure to folks in the industry, there’s also the opposite side of the coin in that my script would be out there in plain sight, losing the chance for first impressions. If it got a negative review, it seems more than likely it would then be seen as damaged goods.

Some of the writers said they were really glad they did it. Others were more or less indifferent about it. Nobody said they regretted it.

To add to that, I’ve read a vareity of mixed reviews about the site and the host. In fact, way back when I would read the site on a daily basis, (which is now more like once or twice a month), I often found myself disagreeing with him regarding his thoughts of why he liked or didn’t like a script.

So the floor is open. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Go for it? What have you got to lose? What the hell are you thinking? Turn around and don’t look back?

And no one-word answers please. A little elaboration and the reasoning behind your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

*Chances are the link you took to get here were listed as “Quite the quandry”, which is a total spelling goof on my part, and as you can see, has since been corrected. Thanks, Phil!

15 thoughts on “Quite the quandary

  1. Some quick and admittedly incomplete online research turned up very little credibility here. This is a one-person show by someone with few-to-no industry credits. I truly can not imagine these “reviews” being browsed by anyone in a position to purchase a screenplay, let alone produce a film from it. If “reviewed,” a screenplay is made available for anyone to see. Anyone. Scrolling to the bottom of the site’s home page, one can see there a total of 514 pages! WHO in this understaffed industry is going to look through all those.

    There are two kinds of websites for this: The ones which celebrate the site owner and the ones which celebrate the visitor/participant. Which one does this REALLY seem like?

    IMHO, the best way to get work noticed is to spend time hunting for the crack in the door. Find someone who is truly “connected” then get that person on your side. This website is not the “crack in the door.” It’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s “fallen off the truck.”

    And as always… just my personal view.

  2. I guess what surprises me is that, if I remember correctly, you would be interested in this site but not InkTip or Blacklist. OK, yeah, I pay a fee to them but in the last year 7 producers have taken a look at at least my synopsis & a couple my scripts on InkTip and one came back and asked to see another scrip and within a month on Blacklist, I got a reading from someone. NO sale but these were actual vetted producers. I did sign up for Scriptshadow’s newsletter. At this point I agree with CINEMANIAN. Hey, I also believe in pay to pitch on Stage 32 & will pitch 2 scripts this weekend. At least I know who I’ m pitching and I get a report card. Roll the dice, my friend.

    • Of all of those, probably InkTip, but I suspect my scripts are too high-budget for a lot of the folks on there. As for BL & S32, while you get a report card, I see them both having the objective to part you from your $. I was burned too many times in both, and have thus learned my lesson – never doing pay to pitch again. Queries are free, and you never know when one’s going to hit

  3. My initial instinct would be go for it, what do you have to lose? But on the other hand, you said you had contrasting creative views so you may want to think twice. Chances are if you disagree creatively, he may not appreciate your create a venture. I would say which in your mind outweighs the other? Just my two cents. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  4. The amateur Friday winner a couple weeks back got a manager within days. There are definitely legit producers who check the site, at least on Fridays. I’d go for it. Most of his advice is pretty good. I’m not sure how cinemanian knows about his credits since it’s an alias.

  5. Carson Reeves, a.k.a. ScriptShadow, a.k.a. Christopher Eads is a former reality show contestant with no produced screenwriting credits, nor any screenplay sales to his name. It breaks my heart when the snake oil salesmen win.

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