I have received excellent notes from both The Black List and Spec Scout, as well as the Nantucket Film Festival, Tony Cox Screenplay Competition on my script “Big Sister.” As of April 2014, I really thought we had locked the script in. But after receiving notes from these three sources, I realized there were some weak links and a few scattered lines that didn’t have the punch they needed. It is so essential to get feedback from trusted sources. I cannot say that I started out “trusting” any of the above-named sources. I took a chance and investigated all of them. The Nantucket Film Festival, in particular, gave stellar notes on one of my earlier screenplays, “Mend,” to the extent that my co-writer and I took it from a grade of 20/80 (a grade given by the NFF) to an 85/20 the following year, making “Mend” one of the semi-finalists.
The point of all this is: you get your script to a place where you are happy with it and you start submitting it. Then you start getting feedback. You rewrite, polish, and send it out again. If people are commenting on the same threads (as they did in “Big Sister,” particularly on one of the subplots), then it needs to be addressed.
I am extremely happy with how “Big Sister” has evolved and I’m just going to keep on pushing it forward, keeping in mind the value of having one’s script read and critiqued by professionals. I don’t think readers are given the credit they deserve, so here is a simple shout out to all of them: thank you for your insights and observations. They’ve made a huge difference in helping to shape our scripts.
In the meantime, we have continued to reach out to managers, agents and producers. I suppose I could wait until the script is “perfect,” but I don’t think that would be wise. Each time I do a rewrite, I think it is perfect as it can be.