Twice this weekend I got emails from people asking if I ever was going to do another free-for-all where I read scripts that people have submitted to Black List 3.0. I'd like to, but I unfortunately have had issues of time committment lately.
When I made my first offer, I was overwhelmed by how many people replied and how fast the queue filled up. I think I expected maybe fifteen people to take me up on my offer to read at least ten pages of their script. I think in the end, 75 people made it in under the deadline. I have a hunch that if I was to offer it a second time, the participation would be even more overwhelming.
I'll be honest. That scares me. I don't want to get to the point where I'm treating reading these like a chore. That's not fair to the people who submitted, even if this is an unofficial exercise that they're not paying for.
Related to that is the fact that I know from months of reading the weekly emails from The Black List that there are some scripts where right off the bat, the concept just doesn't appeal to me. If the goal is to find a script that I can give a good rating to and champion, I think I need some way of thinning the herd. This way, perhaps I could read fewer scripts, but be picking from concepts that I'm more predisposed to liking.
If I was to do this again, how would you feel about my limiting the period for open submissions to, say, 24 hours? And how about if I then picked through the submissions and decided which queries intrigued me the most? I think maybe I could also make it a lesson in what makes a good logline, which extends the benefit beyond the writers being read - it makes this a learning experience for everyone.
This might also mean picking some of the less effective loglines and using them as a lesson in how to make certain pitches more effective. Would anyone have any objection to that?
If you guys have any suggestions that could make this process even better, please let me know. I can't promise that I'll implement this anytime soon. Between my job and the script I'm rewriting, I don't have as much free time as I did back in October. Even then, I underestimated what I was getting into.
So I hope I can do this sometime in the near future, but I'd also caution everyone that it still might be a ways off.