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The Subjectivity of Screenplay Scorecards

As many of you may know from previous posts, my short screenplay St. Peter in Chains won Table Read My Screenplay last month. And yet yesterday I received a scorecard for it from another competition that gave it only a 7.5 out of 10. Though the judge felt it had great marketability, he didn’t like (of all things) the dialogue. His final verdict was “undecided.”

Just goes to show you how important it is to find the right reader and audience for these things.

And today I got a similar scorecard for my Sherlock script. This poor script hasn’t been able to find a foothold anywhere, and yet! This judge really liked it! Rated it a “consider.” His reservation? That it was too long. Because, as he notes, “an hour-long drama is about 54 pages, so trim 30 pages.” Um . . . Has he seen an episode of Sherlock? It’s a 90-minute show. My script is 85 pages.

On the plus side: “There is definitely good commercial potential in this episode.” And, “Overall the writer has done a wonderful job of capturing the basic Sherlock style . . . We feel like we are watching Sherlock.” They liked my characterization and felt the dialogue was good, too. They just wanted more of a mystery to the plot. I can see their reasoning. It was actually very helpful feedback. And I’m pleased, on the whole, that they liked it. (Curious parties can find the script posted as a writing sample on my Stage 32 page.)

But again, it does come down to who reads it, doesn’t it? Same as when submitting to agents or producers . . . It’s like archery. Except you can’t see the target, just have to hope the arrow lands somewhere in the vicinity of your goal. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on my aim.



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