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Our feedback, and what you think of it.

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Suave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 3:46am
Regarding the quality of the feedback, I think we have to remember that they are actually hired, and not paid all that much I don't believe, to judge the screenplays and offer some feedback - the feedback is not their job really, that is if they are even qualified for giving feedback.  I think if you were to send you play into a place that offers critiques and paid for it the time spent on the results would be far greater and of more use.


Edited by Suave - 12 Jan 2019 at 6:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FMau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 6:49am
Originally posted by manifestlynot manifestlynot wrote:

 
I will say that the feedback is much more sparse than I’ve had in the past, even in challenge 1. Mostly one-sentence statements, both positive and negative, and sentence fragments. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled in the past with effusive, lengthy comments!

Strange, that. I'm in the same group as you (or was) and my feedback has been quite the opposite of sparse - I even pruned it slightly to post, as there was quite a bit of repetition. But then I probably have more stuff to work on than you ....... ;) In Ch1, I felt my feedback was really useful, although more glowing than a 3pt score would suggest, whereas this round is was more scathing than a 10pt score etc.

The thing that peed me off in my feedback was a comment to the effect that my screenplay has little plot and reads like a music video. 
It peed me off for various reasons: it suggests the music is the main thing and everything else is decorative (music accounts for a line or two), it suggests that music videos in general have no storyline, when all decent music videos do AND it's daft because music videos don't lack story, they lack dialogue. So really, from someone judging screenplays, it struck me as a pretty ignorant or short-sighted comment. The plot isn't as clear as it should be, in my screenplay, and is overshadowed by character, but there are better-informed ways to say that than 'it's like a music video'. (yeah, I'm nit-picking but I do like to think the judges know what they're talking about..)

The rest of my feedback is "fairy nuff". 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 10:25am
Reading scripts for a festival contest shifted my perspective on feedback and on judging somewhat.  Sometimes it's easy to pinpoint the issues with a script quickly, and sometimes you just latch on to something obvious because you know it's not working as well as at could but you don't know why--and scores are due.

That's one reason they say to read note looking less for precise instructions for improvement--though it's sweet when that happens--and more for inductive hints.  For example, I figure that if I get a note here that the reader wanted more of x, y or z than can possibly fit in five pages, what that really means is that the story I wrote is just too big for five pages (and this is by far the most common comment I see in everyone's feedback, mine included, for obvious reasons).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 10:32am
Originally posted by JeffreyHowe JeffreyHowe wrote:

Reading scripts for a festival contest shifted my perspective on feedback and on judging somewhat.  Sometimes it's easy to pinpoint the issues with a script quickly, and sometimes you just latch on to something obvious because you know it's not working as well as at could but you don't know why--and scores are due.

That's one reason they say to read note looking less for precise instructions for improvement--though it's sweet when that happens--and more for inductive hints.  For example, I figure that if I get a note here that the reader wanted more of x, y or z than can possibly fit in five pages, what that really means is that the story I wrote is just too big for five pages (and this is by far the most common comment I see in everyone's feedback, mine included, for obvious reasons).


So right you are!  Or, it could mean rework the story till these points don't come up.

And the judging and writing feedback can not be easy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 10:48am
I got 9 points. Not terrible, and had I gotten 9 or better in the first round, I would have advanced.

I was puzzled by the note that my script lacked context (set in a van) because the establishing shot and the subsequent scenes are either looking at the van, or within the van.

At this point in my experiences with NYCM contests and judging, I'm going to chew up the meat and spit out the bones.

The lovely, lovely bones.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdadams1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2019 at 10:35pm
Mine got 4 points, which wasn't as high I was hoping, but was enough to advance, so I guess that's what's important. The second judge seemed to really like it, which pleased me. (I actually got a "Thank you"!) The others thought it was too rushed/condensed, which I think is fair. I suspect it's thanks to that second judge that I got any points at all!

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 


{1635}  Revenge of the Nerds as a horror film.  The feeling of an 80's teen movie is well-observed and credible; this is a dark version of any of several films invoked by the names Spielberg and Hughes.  Benny especially is an interesting addition and deftly provides a reason for the dynamic to shift.  The 80s technology feels authentic, referencing a little Stranger Things, Super 8, etc.  


{1795}  This is a truly bizarre script. In a good way. Unique and twisting in unexpected ways in certain spots. Thank you.  


{1739}  The story has a nice 'Stranger Things' vibe to it. The three friends using the mysterious van to exact social revenge was fun.  


WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - 


{1635}  It's all a bit too condensed to really work, and while it's true to the 80s source material, the trio becoming jerks doesn't really seem like motivation for the other kids to suddenly like them.  Be afraid that they might be next, maybe (which might make for a more interesting dynamic) but going from geeks to geeks-who-hurt-your-heroes doesn't seem like a strong enough motivation for them to become popular.  


{1795}  Aside from Mason feeling guilty, I think that he should notice Olivia's constant eye obsession. Or perhaps Benny should notice.

And maybe consider not having Olivia/Alien killing Benny with such a conventional method like a knife. Let's see something way more interesting. For example...what happens in Watching the Watchers? Or Meteor-Men from Mars? Give us something more creative than just a typical and boring knife.  


{1739}  The story feels very rushed, with key elements and scenes being omitted. The evolution of the friends isn't really clear and how Mason came to the conclusion that the van was changing them was vague.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DadOfDavid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 8:30pm
I was a judge in some peer-group contests a few lifetimes ago and felt like I did the best job I possibly could despite my limited qualifications (i.e. I was willing to do it)

Sometimes my critiques were very precise, others were less so. I'd like to think that the feedback was always useful.

That being said, I appreciate all the feedback that I have received from the NYC Midnight competitions and take all the comments both positive and negative with the same level of regard. The fact that these comments are made anonymously gives them more weight. 

I frequently agree with the comments but even if I don't, I ask myself, why did the judge feel that way?

And finally, to my fellow writers I offer the following: I learn more from the people who don't like my work than from the people that do.

ps: But yeah, there is only so much one can do in five pages. These contests, however, force us to learn what we need to keep and what we can cut




Edited by DadOfDavid - 13 Jan 2019 at 8:38pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdadams1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 11:59pm
Originally posted by DadOfDavid DadOfDavid wrote:


And finally, to my fellow writers I offer the following: I learn more from the people who don't like my work than from the people that do.



I agree about learning more from people who don't like my work!

That being said, sometimes the judges' feedback here is... odd. I'm still struck by feedback I got from one of my Flash Fiction Challenges last year. The main character was a gay male. He spoke about his lover, Beaumont, frequently, and Beaumont was described with male pronouns ("his," etc.). A judge's piece of feedback: "A little more information about Beaumont himself (is Beaumont a man?) might be helpful."

LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 1:04am
Originally posted by jdadams1 jdadams1 wrote:

Originally posted by DadOfDavid DadOfDavid wrote:


And finally, to my fellow writers I offer the following: I learn more from the people who don't like my work than from the people that do.



I agree about learning more from people who don't like my work!

That being said, sometimes the judges' feedback here is... odd. I'm still struck by feedback I got from one of my Flash Fiction Challenges last year. The main character was a gay male. He spoke about his lover, Beaumont, frequently, and Beaumont was described with male pronouns ("his," etc.). A judge's piece of feedback: "A little more information about Beaumont himself (is Beaumont a man?) might be helpful."

LOL


Haha, that just goes to show they speed read without the skill set.  Has happened to me more times than I would like.  If you look at my feedback at the start of this thread, then look at the needs work - judge 1772 - he/she did not even understand that it did not matter if he was a bad guy or not, he was dying by chance, the circle did not chose him, the same fate that awaits every living person is the horror aspect - seems it went right over his/her head and probably cost me, lol.


Edited by Suave - 14 Jan 2019 at 1:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 1:07am
Originally posted by jdadams1 jdadams1 wrote:

Originally posted by DadOfDavid DadOfDavid wrote:


And finally, to my fellow writers I offer the following: I learn more from the people who don't like my work than from the people that do.



I agree about learning more from people who don't like my work!

That being said, sometimes the judges' feedback here is... odd. I'm still struck by feedback I got from one of my Flash Fiction Challenges last year. The main character was a gay male. He spoke about his lover, Beaumont, frequently, and Beaumont was described with male pronouns ("his," etc.). A judge's piece of feedback: "A little more information about Beaumont himself (is Beaumont a man?) might be helpful."

LOL

I had one a few contests ago that got the main character's name wrong - several times. The comments matched the story, so it wasn't a mix up, but it seemed like an odd thing to flub.
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