Paul writes in with two questions:
1) As a reader, if you want to "recommend" a script but have doubts how
it will be received by your boss(es), do you play safe and only
I've covered this before but it bears repeating, "Recommends" are incredibly rare. If I give a Recommend to a script, it means I'm telling everyone in the company to drop everything immediately and read this right away. I'm saying "This isn't just better than anything else that has come through these doors, it's completely flawless and objectively brilliant."
As you might guess, few scripts meet that criteria. "Recommend" means that you're over the moon for this script. "Consider" is when you pick up a girl at the bar who's pretty cute, maybe even really cute. "Recommend" is when you pick up Brooklyn Decker.
Do you know how hard it is to walk into a bar and find a Brooklyn Decker? That's how hard it is to find a Recommend. I don't think I've EVER given a Recommend, and that's not just because I'm scared of the reaction from my bosses, it's because I've never found a script I'm in that love with.
2) And do you only look at scripts your boss would be interested in?
What do you do with scripts that you would "recommend" but know your
boss(es) aren't looking for said material?
Hypothetically, if I came across a script that was boiling over with brilliance, but it was completely wrong for the bosses I was reading for, I'd still give it a Consider. I might - MIGHT - give a "Recommend" on the writer, because if a script is that good, clearly the writer is doing something right. Maybe this particular concept or story is wrong for the company, but it'd be worth flagging this writer in case he had something that would work for us.
I'd find it really hard to PASS on a script that was extremely well-written. A competent script that was a mismatch? Yeah, I could easily pass on that. "Competence" isn't good enough. Think of it like American Idol. Usually all or most of the top 12 are at least competant vocalists and still better than the average Joe - but how many of them are superb? How many of them would you buy an album from? How many of them would stand out on the radio?
If you want to get a Recommend, you can't just be the 9th place vocalist in a nationwide talent search. You've gotta be Kelly Clarkson or Adam Lambert.