Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Talkback: InkTip

I've never had much direct experience with InkTip. For those of you who don't know, InkTip is a site where writers can pay $60 to have their script's logline and synopsis posted in an index accessed by industry professionals looking for scripts. In this way, if you have a low-budget cop-thriller script, a producer who's in the market for material like that can search the database for that genre. Then, presumably, they'll come across your logline and if it sounds like an intriguing concept, they'll request the script.

A friend of mine posted a few of his loglines on there some years back and despite a few nibbles from producers, it didn't really result in any positive movement for his career. Since then, I've gone over to the site a few times, but never really got up the nerve to post anything.

Some of my hesitation comes from an internet post I saw a while back, from a guy who purported to have once worked in development at one of the basic cable networks that often produces genre TV-Movies and miniseries. He claimed that when his bosses needed ideas, they'd tell him to comb InkTip for interesting premises that they could then steal and have one of their own writers use. Now, that claim might have carried more weight had the poster used his actual name, or been able to point to a specific example of a produced project being ripped off from the site. After all, that could just be a lie from someone looking to discredit InkTip.

But a few weeks ago I realized that there were probably more than a few of my readers who have used the service, and decided to put out the call for any success stories. Unfortunately, I received no true responses to that. In fact, the only user response I got from an aspiring writer was this one from Rob:

Inktip blows man marbles. I paid $60 and in 5 weeks I’ve had 4 small-time production companies glance at my logline. Nobody has read my synopsis or script. I advise avoiding it like a one-legged, thirteen year old, syphilis infested Thai hooker...on her period.

Colorful language aside, I felt bad about putting up a post denouncing InkTip when I had only the testimony of one reader. A producer who reads this site also responded that:

Re: InkTip - I've found them very proactive about pursuing producers. I get polite, informed, follow-up phone calls every time my assistant logs on and searches (once a blue moon) - it's a great idea - unfortunately there's no quality control so you get log lines like my favourite below!

"A growth on an arthritic old woman's elbow develops an appetite for her pets"


So consider this an open call for all experiences with InkTip, postive, negative or neutral. If you've used the site, sound-off in the comments and let us know if you felt it was a worthwhile purchase.

12 comments:

  1. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see what the hell that script about the pet-eating arthritic growth is all about... it's 'The Tingler' for the '10 generation! Or maybe not.

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  2. I subscribed to it for a few months. I never posted any of my loglines. I responded to a few requests and had few companies read one of my scripts, but got a pass on it. I still subscribe to the free newsletter, which usually has requests from smaller production companies. It's another snapshot of what's going on with the industry.

    I'd recommend the free newsletter. If you see a request that matches one of your scripts, then you might want to subscribe.

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  3. Thanks for this. I've been wondering if InkTip is worth it. Some people seem to think it is, but I've never asked those people if they have had any personal success with it.

    Maybe I'll send a couple e-mails and see what I hear back.

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  4. I may be in the lucky group. Though I haven't sold a feature - only listed for a one cycle - a film maker is making a short I posted and likes my ideas for extending it to a feature.

    The thing that's hard about it is they are more receptive once you make a sale. Once I get out of my over-priced apartment in this expensive NYC, I'll be posting more.

    They actually have two routes: 1) post loglines, shorts, 2) receive requests for certain types of scripts. One of my more commercial scripts almost matched the requirements but not quite.

    A bigger problem is the glut of people who don't study enough film making techniques. I can even admit I've become jaded by readers also.

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  5. If you read their success stories in the free newsletter, they come almost exclusively from the preferred newsletter and not the script postings.

    The newsletter does have some legitimate companies requesting scripts. I think Starz had one up for their animation unit. And some lower tier producers that are legit. I actually did connect with a producer that blew off previous queries. But a lot of times the requests are for crazy low-budget stuff. "We're looking for a sci-fi action movie like Aliens or Starship Troopers. It should be contained with minimal or no special effects. Budget: $200,000." Your fifty bucks might get you two or three good leads.

    The 'post a script'... I think it's just gotten too big. Tried it a few times. I'd get 'search hits' for about a week and a half, or two weeks, which I imagine was people just searching for the new scripts, not actually by keyword or logline or whatever. I imagine after a few days I was 'below-the-fold', and the person searching didn't even get to item 45 or whatever I was. So that seemed pretty useless.

    But then again, if you put up script, then you can subscribe to the preferred newsletter for half price. So it almost becomes a wash.

    Compared to other similar services, or some of these coverage places, I think their site is more honest about what they do and don't do. They're not promising anything they don't deliver on. They don't make vague references to their insider connections with Hollywood(!) agents and producers. They don't promise a seven figure sale.

    All that being said, right now I'm just getting the free newsletter. And I usually just skim that for the silly requests.

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  6. Hi there. I've just posted my logline and script on Inktip (26 Feb) It's a period adventure story so I know it won't appeal to the small companies but I wanted to get it out there and see what happens. Will report back.

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  7. Hi all. I posted my logline and script on Inktip, and I receiced ALOT of "activity" of people looking at my logline, but nothing further. I needed to adjust my logline and synopsis to make it more appealing at the suggestion of the site. (I didnt do that, so It's my fault that it never went any further). I'm going to be trying again and listing two completely different scripts/generes. I'm interested to see which one will get more hits but Im crossing my fingers on MORE than just a hit. I'll keep you all posted.

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  8. I responded to a script request from InkTip's preferred newsletter last year. The producer contacted me two weeks later and optioned the script. In January of this year my noir crime thriller CITY OF THE DAMNED went into production in Australia and is now in post production. It's a small budget Indie film but it's a start. I have to say, though, that my experiences with InkTip have not always been as pleasent. Be sure to check out any producer before signing that option.

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    Replies
    1. Michael... Thanks for sharing this and Congratulations!

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  9. I listed my 1st script, a slasher/black comedy called Meat (A handsome young animal rights activist and a Christian scientist have to team up when a Government resrarch experiment goes wrong, turning a whole town into sexually depraved killers) with Inktip and got very little back for it. I recognise that as my first effort, it's probably not my best work and that'd contribute to the lack of hits, but still I felt the responses were very low. Meat also suffers for the fact the logline reads very similarly to The Crazies, which was recently remade (and I thoroughly enjoyed) even though in execution it would be a very different movie. I felt Inktip's spam, the fact they are providing less and less "free" extras all the time, and the dubious nature of some of the companies scouring the site all put a question mark over how worthwhile the service really is.

    W

    Zephyr -- a superhero webcomic in prose
    http://zephyr.warrenhately.com

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  10. I've been posting some of my work on Inktip for the last seven years and haven't seen any bites. Sure, like many others, I get companies looking at my logline, hardly ever reading my synopsis. I also get their newsletter. I've responded to a couple of companies who were looking for something that my scripts fell in to but no contact what so ever. I think it's a big waste of time and money. The newsletter always has "success stories" about people who've found representation, gotten optioned or signed a deal; personally I think these people may have an already "in", (despite how small an in it is). Honestly I think the site is bogus. The site itself will tell you to work on your loglines and synopsis and so you spend a lot of time perfecting these things for nothing. Then you'll have to pay more money to get your listing back to the top of the lists. So not worth it folks. SAVE YOUR MONEY.

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