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Judges scoring system

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Screenwriting Bar & Lounge
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Screenwriting Competitions or Screenwriting in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=21149
Printed Date: 26 Jun 2019 at 6:15pm
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Topic: Judges scoring system
Posted By: ChristiLB
Subject: Judges scoring system
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 3:40am
Hi all -

This is my first time having submitted to this competition and I was just curious about what to expect from the judges?

I’ve seen many of you mention getting “dinged” for certain things and affecting scores and whatnot - What is the scoring system like? What’s the highest score you can get? Is there a ruberic that they follow?

When do the emails come out with the scores and comments? Will everyone receive their email at the same time on June 11th?

Thanks in advance Smile


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Replies:
Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 5:43am
Can't say for sure but i think that sometimes the judges throw darts at a spinning wheel to get their scores.  They are supposed to follow the percentages the rules spell out, but having seen the end results sometimes, I tend to think that some of them figure they are above that scoring, lol.


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Posted By: manifestlynot
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 10:57am
I assume/hope they use a rubric, but the only thing we get back is our placement (if we are in the top 8) and feedback from three judges in “what I liked” and “what to work on” categories. These comments can range from a full paragraph to a single sentence. Check out any of the stories from other contests that have “+ FB” in the title, since the author went back and added their feedback.

Even then, the results don’t add up. I’ve gotten glowing feedback on entities that scored an HM, and harsher feedback on entities that got first place in my heat. It’s hard when you write a piece that you feel should advance and doesn’t; it’s bewildering when you write a piece that isn’t your best work and it does advance. Feels like a crap shoot sometimes.


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Posted By: Paula
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 11:11am
Slight diversion on this topic, but how strict are judges when it comes to genres and/or themes? I feel that Thriller/Horror/Suspense may overlap a bit and a story may touch upon more than one theme. Thanks!


Posted By: Suave
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 11:14am
Originally posted by Paula Paula wrote:

Slight diversion on this topic, but how strict are judges when it comes to genres and/or themes? I feel that Thriller/Horror/Suspense may overlap a bit and a story may touch upon more than one theme. Thanks!


Mashups, as they call them, usually do well as long as the primary is the right genre.


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Posted By: Vernacula
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 4:32pm
There is no consistency in any area of judging. Expect to be disappointed, and you'll either feel satisfied that you were prepared, or happily surprised that they threw the right dart at the right board at the right second while riding the right unicorn.


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Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 27 Apr 2019 at 6:28pm
It's worth remembering that, regardless of what you might score following any rubric, and your story/screenplay possibly being brilliant, if 8 people in your heat have written something that is even more brilliant, you get zero. ie ultimately you're being scored against your heat-mates. There will also be 20 stories, give or take, in your heat that you won't get to read - which is frustrating. 

Bottom line is, as @Vernacula says, best expect to be disappointed and .. etc.


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Posted By: NYCNewbie
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 5:18am
Originally posted by Vernacula Vernacula wrote:

There is no consistency in any area of judging. Expect to be disappointed, and you'll either feel satisfied that you were prepared, or happily surprised that they threw the right dart at the right board at the right second while riding the right unicorn.

^^ This! So made me laugh.....and cry as so true!

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Posted By: NilesPerry
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 1:32pm
I click the "submit" button with the lowest of expectations, I post to the forum and accept all feedback -- good and bad -- with both appreciation and gratitude, and I wait to see what the results are. Having little to no expectations keeps me from being totally crushed if the news is bad.

Historically, I had pieces in the competitions that I felt should have done much better. On the other hand, the piece that once placed me in the Winner's Circle I felt was inferior and didn't deserve what it received. Go figure.

I don't know about anyone else, but I use these competitions to keep my writing skills in shape. I'm working on something every day of the year, but I need occasional breaks to keep my perspective. The NYCM competitions challenge me to flex my creativity and also keep me on my toes with stringent deadlines. If I win something, then it's sauce for the goose. If I receive low scores, I study all the Forum feedback and the judge's feedback to determine where I fell short so it doesn't happen again. However, the last group of judges left a lot to be desired and left many of us both mystified and up-in-arms. I hope THAT doesn't happen again.

I would, however, love to see the actual system used by the judges. I'm sure it would be enlightening, to say the least.


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Posted By: Dark&StormyNight
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 3:26pm
The official rules talk about an average score and the following criteria:

5% spelling and grammar
15% structure and format
80% screenplay, which includes writing, originality, and plot and character development.

As a first time entrant I'm also curious how much that's adhered to.


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Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2019 at 6:02pm
Thanks for all the responses and info - I guess I won't get my hopes up about their critiques and feedback haha. Sounds pretty disappointing that so many have been so let down by their results. I definitely agree with others who've said the forums are totally worth it though - I love the interactions with all of you and having a real community of like-minded individuals to bounce ideas off of. Hug

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Posted By: pgleleux
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 9:28am
Last year was my first time to enter and my first screenplay. I was using it as a learning tool. Though I didn't advance, I took all the feedback from both judges and contestants and reworked that script.  It later won 2nd place in a Louisiana Film Fest.  I've continued to rework the script and am now converting it to a pilot for a series...so the contest was just a jumping off point in my case.
This year, the day after I finished, I realized this script was producible and already have the principle leads and a production company lined up. We will be ready to start shooting by the time we hear from the judges, so don't let whatever the judges say stop you. Judging anything art related is always subjective and a crap shoot. Take the feedback, use it, and run with it. Good luck to everyone. It doesn't matter if you advance or not. What matters is how you use the knowledge gained from the experience.



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Posted By: Joni
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 9:42am
Originally posted by pgleleux pgleleux wrote:

Last year was my first time to enter and my first screenplay. I was using it as a learning tool. Though I didn't advance, I took all the feedback from both judges and contestants and reworked that script.  It later won 2nd place in a Louisiana Film Fest.  I've continued to rework the script and am now converting it to a pilot for a series...so the contest was just a jumping off point in my case.
This year, the day after I finished, I realized this script was producible and already have the principle leads and a production company lined up. We will be ready to start shooting by the time we hear from the judges, so don't let whatever the judges say stop you. Judging anything art related is always subjective and a crap shoot. Take the feedback, use it, and run with it. Good luck to everyone. It doesn't matter if you advance or not. What matters is how you use the knowledge gained from the experience.


Woah, you move way faster than me! I'm producing a script this summer that I wrote last year, and I've been working on it for months, with a couple months to go. Kudos! Would love if you'd share a protected link to the  short once it's completed Smile


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Posted By: pgleleux
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by Joni Joni wrote:

Originally posted by pgleleux pgleleux wrote:

Last year was my first time to enter and my first screenplay. I was using it as a learning tool. Though I didn't advance, I took all the feedback from both judges and contestants and reworked that script.  It later won 2nd place in a Louisiana Film Fest.  I've continued to rework the script and am now converting it to a pilot for a series...so the contest was just a jumping off point in my case.
This year, the day after I finished, I realized this script was producible and already have the principle leads and a production company lined up. We will be ready to start shooting by the time we hear from the judges, so don't let whatever the judges say stop you. Judging anything art related is always subjective and a crap shoot. Take the feedback, use it, and run with it. Good luck to everyone. It doesn't matter if you advance or not. What matters is how you use the knowledge gained from the experience.


Woah, you move way faster than me! I'm producing a script this summer that I wrote last year, and I've been working on it for months, with a couple months to go. Kudos! Would love if you'd share a protected link to the  short once it's completed Smile

Lol, it was just a case of everything falling together in days. The reason for shooting so quick is one of the principles is about to move to Asia. If I don't get it now, I'll have to wait a year or two. But having 2 principals and a production company lined up in 24 hours is nuts. Sometimes the stars align... because the principals are PERFECT for the roles...almost as if I had written it for them. Sometimes I don't wait for opportunity to knock, I meet it on the sidewalk.


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Posted By: LAbeles
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 2:26pm
Anyone know how many scripts are in each heat approx.? 


Posted By: ChristiLB
Date Posted: 30 Apr 2019 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by LAbeles LAbeles wrote:

Anyone know how many scripts are in each heat approx.? 

I think between 27 and 29 in each heat for round 1. Not sure how many for the 2nd and 3rd rounds.


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