Inktip vs. The Black List – Should I use one, both, or neither?

Not long ago the question of whether or not to upload your screenplay to an online service like Inktip or Blacklist, or a forum, paid or otherwise, was a decision that no screenwriter had to make. There simply was no point to do so, other than for us to share our work via email or in discussion boards, should we be so bold.

But now, uploading screenplays to be listed on a website seems like something many writers are oddly comfortable about. It’s one thing to send your script to a script coverage company like mine for feedback, or to agents and producers directly, or even to the one or two legitimate script contests out there.  But for a writer to post their script on a site which promises the potential of exposure and the potential of access —companies like Inktip and The Black List — has become a dismaying new trend from where I sit.

This new type of web-Hollywood hybrid — the screenplay directory — has become, in essence, the new middle man in the spec script trade; Inktip and The Black List have somehow convinced scores of new writers that they’re the new gatekeepers, by claiming to be a fast track to the real gatekeepers — that is, the first readers at studios, production companies, and agencies.

So what’s a screenwriter to do? Pay the “new gatekeepers” like the Black List and Inktip in hopes of getting her script read by one of these services? It would seem so, if you’re not paying attention to the real world — the world beyond your mouse and screen.

Is getting your screenplay out onto the web a bad thing? Not necessarily. In my view, there is some utility to be gleaned in doing so, but that utility is limited, and it pales in comparison to the method I can whole-heartedly recommend, which I’ll describe towards the end of this article.

But first, I’ll share some tips on keeping your ideas safe and your intellectual property protected when sending your screenplay out into the wild west of the internet or to any script directory or service that promises the potential of exposure.

Written just one script ever? Keep it offline

Some screenwriters work on a single screenplay for decades. I don’t recommend it, at all, but it’s more common than you’d think. If you’re one such “magnum opus” screenwriter with but one script to offer the world, or if your ideas don’t flow as quickly or as consistently as they do for other screenwriters, you might want to avoid posting your script in any online forum or directory. Why? Because you’ve simply got too much to lose. This is one of the key reasons I recommend that all screenwriters work on multiple projects, and build a reservoir of screenplays over the years. For one, working on a single script often does little to boost your chops. Most first screenplays are often so fundamentally flawed, they’re only rarely salvageable without considerable effort, even after multiple attempts. Further, they’re usually written around what proves to be a stale or trite concept.

Got a completely mind-blowing concept? Keep it offline

If you believe you’ve got a concept that Hollywood would die for, you might want to keep that one private as well. But make sure it’s not just you who thinks it’s a mind-blowing concept. Run it by trusted friends, colleagues, fellow writers, industry friends you have a history with. See if they agree that the concept is amazing. A key way to measure how awesome your concept is is to watch their faces when you tell it to them for the first time. Seriously. If their eyebrows raise, if their jaw drops, if snot blasts out of their nose, you probably have a great concept. If you don’t get any of those physical reactions, chances are, you probably don’t.

Watermark your screenplay

example of final draft watermark
An example of a Final Draft watermark

If you’re still up for sharing your script online via some sort of forum or directory or service, make sure you’re protected. Copyright it and register it with the WGA before you ever click SEND on anything.

And while you’re at it, feel free to take some extra precautions. Like watermarking.

Script readers often hate ’em, and they’re not always super-effective in preventing piracy, but many producers use them consistently, to both track and protect their outgoing screenplays. Watermarks can be as complicated as a fancy, washed-out graphic behind the text of every page, spanning from top to bottom, or as simple as Final Draft does it: just one big block of diagonal text that tells you the title of the script.

In Fade In, just select File > Batch Watermark

In Final Draft 9, just select Document > Watermark and type your watermark. The watermark won’t appear on the script until you print it or save the script as a PDF.

In Movie Magic Screenwriter, select File > Print > Setup (upper left corner) > Watermark ( or Production > Watermark Setup on a Mac).

It’s probably best to not mess with any opacity settings, as the defaults all appear to work just fine.

For each place you send your script, send a slightly different, trackable version

It might sound like a lot of work, but if your script leaks to the public when it shouldn’t, or gets stolen or otherwise purloined, there’s an easy way to see which of the venues you sent it to, or which of the people you sent it to, did the leaking and/or purloining.

It’s a bit hammy, but simply add a unique tracking code somewhere in the text of the title page, near the contact information. For example, if you’re sending the script to the Nicholl and to a festival and to a producer named Larry, print/PDF three different versions of the script: “102N” “304F” and “291L”. In this instance, the first three digits are meaningless, but the N, F, and L will remind you you sent the script to “Nicholl,” “Festival,” and “Larry.”

Or, if that’s too much clutter on your title page, another easy, if not equally hammy way to do it is to simply change a word or two in the body of the script itself. For example, on page 14 you might have a line that reads “Susan takes the gun.” For the Nicholl, change “takes” to “grabs.” For the festival, change “takes” to “seizes.” For Larry, change the “takes” to “pockets.” Make sure you remember, of course, which word is associated with which place you sent the script to.

Then, if the worst-case scenario comes true and your script gets purloined, and you subsequently find your script online in a forum with a different title and a different author taking credit for it, you can zip down to page 14 and look for that changed word. You’ll know immediately which of the three venues you sent your script to was probably responsible for the leak/theft (or negligence which allowed the leak/theft.)

Going public with your script – Where to list it?

WGA logo

So you’re ready to get your script out there. You’ve registered it with the WGA, you’ve copyrighted it, and you’ve watermarked it or otherwise protected it so that you have some sort of recourse should the spec hit the fan.

Now you need a place to send it to. And the way I see it, if you’re looking to put your script online for the purposes of gaining exposure or access, or at least the potential thereof, you’ve got several choices, at least two of which I can recommend with, as I mentioned, a whole heart: Inktip and The Black List.

InkTip (AKA Pay us $60 for 4 months and maybe a producer will find your script in our directory and contact you)

Is it just me, or are these guys a bit paranoid?

After almost three decades being in business reading scripts, and three requests to join InkTip, my production company has never been approved as a Producer on Inktip, able to browse and search for new projects that I might want to buy or option. This, despite my credentials and despite my long history of working with screenwriters. And left without an explanation from Inktip, I can only assume the worst: the Inktipsies are worried that because I’m not just a producer, but I’m a producer that also runs a script reading business, that I’ll go in and poach their users, or somehow lure them away from Inktip with my natural good looks (?)

Getting rejected from Inktip as a Producer has been a frightfully disappointing yet hilarious series of foibles, which usually plays out like this:

Stay Paranoid and Trust No One

1) I sign up on Inktip with my production company, fully disclosing my real name and information, and the fact that I run a script coverage company, (in addition to my IMDB and credentials as a produced, distributed, viable independent feature film writer, director, and producer).

2) I’m contacted by someone at Inktip who says “Hey there, how are you?” and “vets” me, I can only imagine. Cool. I’m all about it. Check me out on IMDB. Talk to who you need to talk to. Confirm that I’m a real life working independent film producer. (And the Inktip guys who vet me? Always nice. Always polite. The most recent time I was rejected, I was asked to provide references that would vouch for my character, which I did promptly, including two long-time Inktip producers.)

3) Crickets. That is, I mysteriously receive no invite and no follow up emails and my account is deleted.

So if you’re thinking of listing a script on Inktip, in the hopes of attracting some sort of producer or interest in your work, all I can say is be careful. Do your homework and talk to people that have used it, and don’t rely on Inktip to sell you on the details. Talk to third parties before you pay Inktip dime one.

Without access as a Producer to Inktip, I can only, like the rest of us, read the mixed reviews and discussions out there in the webby-sphere. That, and trust my producer friends, who are able to use the site from the “Producer” side, when they say that there’s a lot of, well, junk on Inktip to filter through, which doesn’t always make it a pleasant experience. To wit: Only one of my Producer friends has ever optioned a script off of Inktip, in the hopes that the concept could be tweaked to fit my Producer friend’s slate. Ultimately, the writer worked half-heartedly on the project and my Producer friend had to let him go and dump the project.

The Black List (AKA Pay us $30/month and your script, if it’s good enough, might get seen by the right people) 


I never used the Black List as a screenwriter, but I can say three things I know about them:

1) The guy who runs the shop responds very, very quickly whenever someone doubts the company or criticizes it on Reddit and other forums. To the point that the screenwriting Reddit at /r/screenwriting is basically just one big ad for The Black List, disguised as a discussion. 

2) The opinion of The Black List by the people who use it seems to be very mixed. Some seem to be dazzled by the thought of their script getting some attention while others seem genuinely displeased by the scoring and critique provided, or by the concept itself.

3) The lure of a quick Hollywood script sale is sexy, and that’s what The Black List is selling, so naturally, they’re  always popping up in blogs and in media, which causes a sort of self-fulfilling marketing loop for them.

So take a chance on Inktip? Or take a chance on The Black List?

Sure, it’s a bit disappointing as a peer working in the screenwriting services industry to have my production team continually refused admittance into Inktip as a Producer just because I’m a peer working in the screenwriting services industry. My thought is: if I wanted to “poach” Inktip’s users (e.g. contact all the screenwriters on Inktip and say “Hey! Come buy script consulting from me!”), quite simply, two things would happen:

1) Any screenwriter with half a brain would say “Buzz off, jerk! I’m not paying Inktip just to have some third party business solicit me.”

and 2) Inktip would spot any such transgression immediately and boot me.

After having giving them full disclosure up front on the multiple occasions over the years I respectfully requested access, it boggles my admittedly small mind that it hasn’t ever occurred to Inktip that if I was truly interested, not in accessing Inktip as an indie producer in search of material for my companies, Brooklyn Reptyle and The Double Aught Film Concern, but in poaching their users for my script notes business, it would make infinitely more sense for me to use a false name, or borrow a name from IMDB in order to gain access, or at the very least not tell them that I run a script reading bu siness. For Christ’s sake, people! Eat a pot brownie or something. Chill. They’re not coming to get you, Barbara.

So I can only conclude that, while I assume Inktip must be an alternative for some really desperate writers out there (and for some really low-rung producers), Inktip must be desperately afraid of losing business somehow. And any business that afraid of losing business, or that paranoid, in my opinion, is probably not something I’m comfortable throwing money at.

So if I had to… and I mean gun-to-the-head-had-to, choose between Inktip and The Black List, I’d probably just tell them to shoot me. (I’ve led a good long life.) Whatever you choose, whether it’s a paid site like The Black List or a free site like Script Revolution or Script Mother, be careful. And watch out for nuts. As I mentioned,  Inktip seems to be operating from a place of pure, unmitigated terror when it comes to letting independent producers who happen to run script analysis companies into their site. And terror, my friends, is not sexy. 

But ultimately, if I’m honest, I truly can’t really recommend either of these paid companies, nor any other company that offers the potential of getting your script read and exposed in exchange for cash.

Selling services like script notes and feedback and helping writers, yes. Even script contests, yes. But selling the potential of access and exposure, no.  

Why? Because…

The best way to make it as a screenwriter is still FREE

It’s a fine line between getting your material seen and protecting your intellectual property, now more than ever. Before the internet, you’d have to manually retype a printed script, or steal a floppy disk, to pirate someone’s screenplay. Now we’ve got all these new channels that make submitting your script to the film industry easier than ever, but due to that same ease, everybody is doing it, making it way harder than ever before to break in.

If you’re serious about making it, sure, you need to get your material read. Sure you need to get people excited about your scripts.

But remember, there’s a whole world out there that’s not the internet.

That is, the key to getting seen, to getting your material read, might actually lie, not in the ease and convenience of submitting your script to Inktip or Black List or any other service, but…

… with good old-fashioned persistence and face time.

What the online services promising to hook you up with Hollywood access are selling basically comes down to one thing: convenience. They’re betting on you not wanting to put too much effort into getting read. They’re betting on you preferring to type in a credit card over driving to LA and hoofing it on a film or two so you can meet people and get your script onto desks. They’re betting on you being so convinced that the only way to make it in the film industry is to upload that PDF and pray you get a good grade.

The truth is, there are still many, many different roads to making it as a screenwriter, and as I said at the get-go these new online “gatekeepers” are just another form of middle man, standing between you and what used to be the gatekeepers.

Why do we fall for it? Again, convenience. Ease. The promise of a possible good outcome. And because, I think, we’ve all forgotten what it means to interact with actual human beings in a real physical space. (Thanks internet!)

And now there’s an entire generation of new screenwriters coming up that have no idea that the old analog ways even existed. To many of them, the only way into the industry is through the welcoming doors of the $30/month Black List, the $60 Inktip, or becoming a YouTube star by lighting their farts on fire.

But let me type it loud and clear:

It’s not about paying anybody for access or listing your script on some directory. It’s about hard work. And friends you help and who help you. And continually getting better as a screenwriter.

So save your cash when it comes to buying exposure or access. Save your cash and get out here and get in front of people, in person. Talk to them. Make friends. Build alliances. Do favors. Work on films. Eventually, your material will be read. Even better, your experiences in the real world, as opposed to the virtual world, will make you a stronger screenwriter, boosting your chances even further that your material will be not only read, but liked.

101 thoughts on “Inktip vs. The Black List – Should I use one, both, or neither?”

  1. Love it. All true amd very insightful. I am a screenwriter with several under my belt. Persistence and hard work (and good ideas) are what’ll get you a career in the end.

  2. Ink Tip is a TOTAL WASTE of money. Their wannabe ‘producers’ are LA dentists who want to meet young talent. Stay the fuck away from Ink Tip. I know — I wasted money on them.

    • Agreed that InkTip is a waste of money. I had one party view my synopsis. That same party also viewed my script. That’s it! This has me wondering if this party was a real producer or just someone in cahoots with inktip. Remember how had all kinds of fake users.

  3. I have had some success with Inktip having had one of my screenplays sold and produced by Magic Elevator titled: Mobster Kids and renamed for DVD distribution (Special Agent Kids). I have also used Blacklist after receiving good coverage from a coverage company. I had two different readers on Blacklist give me my evaluation and they were complete opposites. One said my strengths were one thing while the other said it was my weakness. Despite my high coverage rating I was unable to get to the magic number of 8 on their website to get any producers to read my script or even consider it. My experience with Blacklist was a disappointment and a waste of money. That screenplay has since been opted using the direct method. I’m sure others have had different the opposite experience as well. The way to break into Hollywood is anyway you can.

  4. “Save your cash and get out here and get in front of people, in person. ”

    well i live in England without the financial ability to move to the US, so what are my options?

    • Get involved in the UK film industry! The UK is no slouch when it comes to producing films. The key is: get in front of people. Meet people. Make friends. There’s no other way, in my opinion.

      • What is it about screenplays that, unlike novels and plays, makes the gods have to meet the writer and be pitched in person? Are people really supposed to uproot themselves, move cross-country, and start a new life because they’ve written a screenplay they believe in? “Kids, Honey…I’ve decided to close my law practice and move to Los Angeles so I can sell that screenplay I’ve been working on. You coming?”

        • Screenplays are are blueprints for very, very expensive collaborative commercial works. Hence the pitching/convincing someone with the greenlight power and access to the money to fund those works. Selling a screenplay from outside Hollywood can happen but it’s just a lot more difficult than if you live here and can make friends and contacts and can pitch people regularly. When you read about someone selling a spec script from out of town, you’re reading it because it made the news. And it made the news because it’s not something that happens every day. Dive in or dabble. There’s very little in between. Cheers!

    • R Hudson, check out the annual London Screenwriters Festival, in September. I’m in Canada and am returning to it after a very good experience last year.

  5. Thank you for sharing. It is a lot to consider. I have only one script. It is based on one of my novels. But I fear publishing the novel before my script is accepted. Do you think it would matter to launch the book or wait. (It is a Family Dramatic Musical ) The actual lyrics are not shown in the script, but are included in the novel. I’ve worked on this project for many years.
    I did register the script with Is that a mistake? Would love to hear from you. Thanks

    • Hi Taj – I wouldn’t worry about publishing the novel prior to submitting the script to contests. Just make sure you pick the right contests. The only contests that raise any eyebrows, in my opinion, are the Academy Nicholl Fellowship and Austin. Others are good, but they’re not likely to raise eyebrows. Tape, though. Tape raises eyebrows as well. Scotch.

  6. I’m coming to this conclusion. However, no one will accept ‘unsolicited scripts’ in Hollywood. I am considering a one on one coverage / workshop in person in Hollywood at this point. Contests are heavily biased potlucks, from what I have seen.

    Trouble I’m having, is where do I knock on doors and get the face time?

    • Hey Mark – the best way to get face time with someone is for them to know you. The next best way is to get some heat on your script via word of mouth at agencies/companies, or one of the legitimate script contests (Page or Nicholl). Short of any of that, you’re pretty much rolling the dice and/or spinning your wheels. Sorry if that sounds condescending or depressing. I say it with sincerity.

  7. As an aspiring screenwriter that lives in neither the UK or LA (US-expat living in Dublin, Ireland if you must know) I wonder if there’s any point in NOT trying these services, other than losing money…?

    I can’t move to LA or London either – family – so that’s just not realistic for me.

    Any thoughts? Is it really just throwing away money?

    • Sorry Chris, I can’t really recommend either of these services with a straight face. One conflates their notoriety with a completely different product they’re selling and the other is an opaque, archaic E-lister database run by paranoid people. My $0.02: You’re better off spending your cash on Blu-Rays.

  8. I decided to give InkTip a try. Second week, one of their so-called producers listed a request looking for scripts written in “Chinese.” I’ve written for the Asian market before, and know enough to understand there is no such language called “Chinese.” There is Mandarin and Cantonese, and Taiwanese, etc. etc. but no ‘Chinese’, So I contacted Inktip to inform them that I thought this was a bogus listing. They emailed me back and said they checked with the listing producer, and they had made a mistake (but never corrected it). Surprisingly, my auto-renew was cancelled, my account cancelled, and I no longer received the InkTip Newsletter. My conclusion is that InkTip is a complete scam! They make up producers and listings. They are liars, and cheats, who promise to send you 6 to 8 listings a week, but probably make most of them up themselves – and the ones that aren’t are for student films. I replied too another looking for a sci-fi with a budget of 5 to 10 mil. Received and email back from the supposed production company saying they loved the script, wanted to make it, etc. – but could only pay $250 for the script, and only after they could find financing. Those are not leads. That is a complete scam!

  9. The most difficult thing is trying to be a screenwriter when you can’t get face time. I live in Dallas, where it seems that the only opportunity to get my scripts in front of producers is through something like Inktip or the myriad of screenwriting competitions which, for the most part, aren’t recommended either. I’ve paid for coverages, for nothing I guess. I guess I have to stick to DIY out here.

  10. It used to be that Producers pay to see work, not the struggling screenwriter! Aren’t these sites just playing to the desperate fear of writers of never being seen? Making money doing nothing. I say they get paid when we get paid, like any agent. When a “rich producer” pays a screenwriter for their script found on one of these Sites, then the Site gets their “finder’s fee” and not before.

  11. Tried InkTip. The requests are so specific. “Looking for a script about a boy who discovers something in his back yard (must be an Asian boy living in Europe).” Even if you actually have something that matches that, good luck selling it.

    InkTip is the equivalent of taking money out of your pocket, dipping it in gasoline, and torching it.

    The BlackList works… but only if you are an established writer. Otherwise, you will get a great review and a bad review… then, a note saying sorry that you got a bad review… but for ½ the going rate, you can get another review.

    BlackList is the equivalent of taking money out of your pocket, going to a bunch of street corner punks, and saying “You can have this money if you kick the living shite out of me…”

    • This sounds like my experience on the Black List. My first review was good so I excitedly ordered another one. (You need a minimum of two evaluations to make it on the top list.) The second one came back just low enough to drop my average score below the top list minimum. It doesn’t surprise me. The positive is that the script evaluations were pretty decent.

      • Ditto ditto ditto. That’s exactly what happened to me. Don’t do a second evaluation or don’t use the blacklist at all! And nobody there will talk to you over the telephone to save their life if you have a question or a comment or for anything.

  12. Helpful review but….the closing with the advice that the best way “Just Move To LA And Start Schmoozing” may be right, but for so many writers (myself included) not practical.

    So, here’s some alternative advice for the 7 billion people on the planet can’t move to LA, straight from Mark Duplass, an outsider that with his brother Jay truly made it big.

    Write your amazing spec script that you need Hollywood money to finance, throw it up on InkTip or BlackList and if it gets interest, great. If it doesn’t get bought but you get a solid agent or a job as a writer then maybe you can move to Tinseltown.

    But then write something YOU can shoot in Detroit or Dorset or Dortmund (wherever you are) with some locals financed on your credit card. Make it an absolutely KILLER concept. With a big hook, no special effects, minimal locations, and a lot of performance leaway…ie really concept and event based not driven by Academy acting skills.

    If it gets noticed, you will also get noticed as a writer this way. And for your own films!!

  13. Enjoyed the article, Would you like a copy of my screenplay?
    Kobra, a young strong distance runner is recruited by a mysterious organization to assassinate political figures whose agendas threaten American and global interest. His objective, “Run in, take the shot, run out.”

  14. What a shark pond we live in? My favourite line from this post’s comments: “BlackList is the equivalent of taking money out of your pocket, going to a bunch of street corner punks, and saying “You can have this money if you kick the living shite out of me…”

  15. Even the best agent query letters will fail to get a response from most (99%) WGA agents, and those who DO respond will inevitably respond with a legal disclaimer that their agency does not accept unsolicited submissions unless submitted by an WGA signatory (a fun ‘catch 22’ for new writers).
    I have a feature script on The Blacklist, just put it up last week because it gives me an opportunity to put my material out there for industry professionals to view, free of the industry paranoia that you find associated with an unproduced writer contacting an industry insider without agency representation.
    We’ll see how it goes…


  16. Black List gave me a 7 on one of my scripts. The reader thought it was an intriguing screenplay. I made the suggested changes, new submission got a 4. Different reader. They gave me a model of a winning script that was made into a movie…. What a piece ????? it was. Its one good point was it had no typos. You will never believe who produced it and it went nowhere.

  17. Been having customer service issues w/ INKTIP all within 24 hrs of submitting 4 scripts. Just asked for a refund. We’ll see.

  18. Sick and tired of the advice “get out on film sets and make connections”. I’ve only met people who have either made worlds of promises and didn’t follow through because telling you those things are their only reason you won’t quit their horrible set/company or didn’t care about the people working for them and didn’t have the time of day for you.
    It’s not realistic to move your life to a city over-crowded in jobs and hope you can get yourself in the door with a PA or set job no one of position/status cares about and THEN hope that you can make connection to turn your career around.

    • 1) It’s actually *extremely* realistic. 2) As a wise person once said “Hope is not a strategy,” so if you’re going to all the trouble of moving to a film town and working for low- or no pay on films and series for weeks or months and then just *hoping* you meet some people (instead of actually taking the steps to meet people and do favors and make yourself indispensable so you can make friends), then you’re doing it wrong. Don’t hope. Make it happen. If you’re not a total misanthrope, you’ll make friends who can help you. Or, bitch about it. Your call.

      • She has a point, I’ve been at this for 7 years ‘trying to meet people’. Always get great recommendations for other jobs that sometimes pans out, but all in all most other crew members seem so beaten down and desperate to not be out of work that they don’t really care about outside projects aside big or secure productions. Maybe ’cause she’s a woman? This happens to my friend constantly! She has almost all the same credits as me but never gets the higher position, but without a doubt has the better attitude. Keep working twice as hard at it Cate! Not everyone’s route is PA slavery in a “film city”. If you can put in the effort and dedication you could be one of the Damien Chazelles of the world, who also were sick of the system so they found a way to bypass it

  19. Hi there, I live outside the States and submitting my material via web seems to be the only way for me. Just read your comments on some entrance to the industry and I find it super interesting. However I would like to know how exactly does the Black List work? From my knowledge, there isn’t any so-called A-list producers or filmmakers to read my submit scripts; instead, it is just some paid readers that will evaluate my scripts. I wonder if Black List really gets any Hollywood producer to read and evaluate my one’s submission?

    • If script hosting services are your only outlet, you’re at an extreme disadvantage. If you can’t get to a film town and get into the ring and take part in the melee, I get it. Not everybody can. But in my opinion, all other options are lottery tickets.

  20. How about utilizing the chance of winning a script contest and finally get a shot to go to a film event to meet some people? Or what you mean is that winning a screenplay contest doesn’t guarantee nothing?

  21. My goodness, it’s hard for everyone I guess. Looks like I need to get out there. Thought I’d stay shy and shut out from the world. I’ve written a play and published with amazon. I’m in the middle of re writing it for screen. Thanks everyone.

  22. Hey Brian,

    Living in New Jersey, I’d heard about Inktip through the ScreenwritingU Proseries online study materials. Hal and the gang seemed to think it was a good idea. BTW, I live in New York. Nevertheless, after reading your review, I requested a refund. I especially was taken aback by your comment that screenwriters who only have one spec script to post should stay clear of it. Could you elaborate on why those screenwriters are most vulnerable, please? My script is an adaptation of my own novel. Are you saying that just because it is registered with the copyright office AND the WGA and has a watermark, still won’t prevent someone on Inktip from stealing my script?

    • Hi Alan – The global film industry procures its new material and writers via lit agents, publishers, and, now more than ever, by cannibalizing their existing IP (intellectual property. Reboots, remakes, etc.). Not by browsing sites like mine or Inktip or the Blacklist. But if you’re looking to get your script made by an indie producer, listing it online isn’t exactly the most productive thing you can do, in my opinion. Get involved with the indie scene in New Jersey, meet people. Get to film markets, festivals. Don’t hand out business cards. Help people. As much as visitors to this post eschew the notion due to its anti-egalitarian stench, and thumb me in the eye every time I say it, it really is who you know. Your script has to be 100% killer, and then you have to have an “in” to have a chance with someone who has buying/greenlight power with one of the 6 or so global conglomerates.

      • Brian,
        You left out an option that can be very effective, even if you don’t live anywhere near tinsel town. Pick a second or third rung actor/actress, send them your script along with a letter stating how much you’ve enjoyed their performance in (name the movies), and you think your script would be ideal for them to break out in a starring role. If your script is any good, two things will probably happen – you’ll have a new friend who is in the entertainment business with good creds, and they’ll give it to their agent and ask him to make it happen. This gets your script read by two people in the industry who can (if it’s any good) move it along to others.

  23. The blacklist is a complete waste of money and DO NOT pay them for an evaluation… I have had two scripts that either won or advanced to the finals of the major screenwriting competitions, been optioned, and gotten me work, that I have paid for blacklist’s “industry professionals” to evaluate. In both instances the notes I received clearly showed that the read either had ZERO qualifications to evaluate a script or didn’t read the script at all. Here is the simplest example to illustrate my point – my evaluation suggested that I could strengthen my script if we cut away to my antagonist throughout the script, because we need to understand what he is doing – This is a sound note, however, in every sequence of my screenplay we cut away to my antagonist to see what he is doing… and learn why he is the way that he is. This is the simplest example from my evaluation that showed the individual that evaluated my script did not read it. There are more egregious examples, but they are more specific and you would need a working knowledge of my script to understand.

    To clarify, I’m a professional screenwriter in LA that is in the WGA with a MFA in feature film writing. The scripts I had evaluated got a 5/10 and 6/10, but were well written enough to clean house in the major screenwriting competitions… Another one of my favorite notes was that the mythology of my world contradicted itself and there for the script didn’t make sense… The script didn’t make sense, but won “best original screenplay” in a screenwriting competition… That seems hard for me to believe.

    HERE IS HOW THE BLACKLIST WORKS – One of my friends, who was on the blacklist, was kind enough to explain what happened and how it is BS. This very successful writer got on the blacklist when his managers, agents and industry friend logged on and blindly gave his script a 10/10… once this script got enough endorsements and got “on the blacklist” his managers were than able to sell him as a “blacklist writer”. The website is a tool used by insiders of Hollywood to help sell the people they represent. Period. It is a complete waste of money and I would strongly recommend not paying them a dime.

    • I agree, Mark. I had a script on Blacklist and the reader’s comments were the worst comments I received. I think the reader just breezed thru the script after coming home drunk on a Sat night at approx 2:45 am. This was approx 6 yrs ago when I submitted my script. Unless the Blacklist has changed things, a writer could see the day and time the script was opened. I know of another writer who had crap comments on his dialogue from a Blacklist reader. I read that script. His dialogue I thought was decent.

  24. Hi, I wanted to weigh in on the entire situation with Black…I, entered in 2013 and was given their name after I cleared my synopsis with a well respected, talented and season vet in Hollywood. This, is the pathway to go when you are a new writer. He, gave me two thumbs up and statements that I applied to the sizzle reel created. There, I was with my money in hand as my heart went into over load as I pressed the send button on the website. 2 reviewers had different things to say but never once did they say I was a terrible writer. As, I read deeper into the second reviewers input I discovered a “Racial Slurr” “The, reason your script won’t sell is because your characters are “Too, Ghetto” I, was shocked! First, off this is a celebration of the life and legacy of MJ..Seen, through the eyes of CJ (Dream Casting Zendaya) Who, in the hell doesn’t like MJ (musically)/fall in love with Zendaya(girl next door)….COME ON!
    My, game plan was to come back with an answer that showed number one I did my research with numbers to back up my argument…Momma, would’ve been proud. My, family in the movie makes their living by way of income property and haircare…These, two industries are billion dollar and my family has went from the kitchen to the boardroom with hard work and drive. My, statement was “We, (minority population) make up 1.1 trillion dollar of the consumer spending in this country….Why, not allow ALL of America speak when it comes to what they want to see in the box office?

    Do not do “”

  25. So, then what do you do if you don’t live anywhere near LA, Don’t have a car or money for bus or plane tickets? What do you do if you can’t even walk the 1,800 miles between where you live and LA, and can’t afford the outrageously expensive Writer’s Market. What do you do If the $60 is all you can afford?

    • If $60 is all you can afford, you should definitely not spend that $60 on a script listing service. The reason you hear a story or two about the “writer outside Hollywood making it” is because those stories are newsworthy. Why are they newsworthy? Because they’re rare.

  26. Excellent article. Definitely learned something here today. Don’t use InkTip or The Black List! I get it! I have worked in the “entertainment?” industry since about 1983. I am by no means known as a screenplay or scriptwriter…although I have written unpublished scripts…for myself, I guess…just to see if I could do it. I have received really good responses to my stories. I was in comedy back in the early 80’s, and was one of those lucky guys who got to hang out with Hef and his friends at his Playboy “mansion” on and off throughout the 80’s and 90’s, and through that seriously lucky break, I was able to lounge around with film directors and musicians. I noticed that there weren’t really any big name directors or producers that I ever saw there, and I would suspect that that was due mostly in part to the very fact that it IS the Playboy Mansion.

    Some of the stories I was privileged to hear about how some directors/producers actually “made it” were often nothing less than amazing and unbelievable. After reading the entire article here and then reading almost all of the comments, I have been re-invigorated to go over one of my scripts and try and figure out a way to get it seen.

  27. “I have had two scripts that either won or advanced to the finals of the major screenwriting competitions, been optioned, and gotten me work, that I have paid for blacklist’s “industry professionals” to evaluate. In both instances the notes I received clearly showed that the read either had ZERO qualifications to evaluate a script or didn’t read the script at all … The scripts I had evaluated got a 5/10 and 6/10, but were well written enough to clean house in the major screenwriting competitions”

    This is the heart of just about every BlackList rant: “They didn’t get this, reader 2 who gave me 5/10 didn’t get that, etc.” My guess is if the reader missed something, then it’s your script’s fault for not being engaging enough. So you won some competitions with your scripts? That’s great. Except that contests are a limited pool of the total number of screenwriters, whereas the BlackList opens itself up to everyone. Contests have a quota of winners they must assign. The BlackList does not. You’re comparing a lake to an ocean here. A guppy can be the biggest fish in the pond but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to take on a whale.

    Put it this way: why do you assume that the BlackList UNDERVALUED your script as opposed to a competition OVERVALUING your script when the latter seems just as possible as the former?

  28. Since most people do not have the time to sky to Hollywood and get turned down then the only really option would be New York. For the sake of argument how is New York on getting an opportunity to really have someone read your script (a real qualified person), if that possible? Please let me know what are the odds. Jim

    • New York is a great film town. Lots of great people there. Get into a writers group or help on a film and meet people. The more you do, the more the odds work in your favor.

  29. I paid twice for Black List coverage. $100 ($75 eval, $25 “hosting”) for three condescending, unhelpful paragraphs. I will never use it again and will tell every screenwriter I know to stay far, far away. Thanks for this post.

  30. The message here is that the industry really is an insiders’ game, UNLESS one has the resources to produce a breakout, low-budget indie. Makes me glad my biggest stake in writing scripts is the satisfaction of telling a good story.

  31. With InkTip’s urgent emails warning “today” as my last chance to access 6-8 producers a week, I almost signed, but then remembered the earnestness of the Black List founder. To compare them, YOUR ARTICLE popped up on Google. Thank you. As a pensioner, I am appalled by the greed-driven huge secondary industry making money off the backs of screenwriters desperate to have their scripts read, scripts they have worked really hard to perfect. With over 700 script competitions, countless script reader services, and a myriad of online courses designed to hook you into taking more online courses (none of which compare to a Robert McGee weekend workshop!), I appreciate your candour. I will not put my one BABY, my profound script, out there, free floating. Thanks for the save.

    • Glad to be of service, Dr. Watson! Networking in real life, making genuine friends, all the while honing your talent however you can and as much as you can — these are what make the successful screenwriter. In my opinion. Keep me posted!

  32. So their either of them are worth trying cause Im planning to do screenwriting and still confused about what website to use to sell screenplays

  33. I recently put one of my scripts up on and got 13 hits in 24 hours. I looked them all up on and each and every one is a legit producer. So we’ll see what happens next.

  34. I’ve written 22 full length scripts & 2 TV pilots (9 episodes on 1) had 4 optioned. I’ve been on Inktip since Hector was a pup and Hector’s now dead. I love to write. I’ve got a buddy who has won TWO contests with all the prizes and quit writing and another who just got one script shot and is now on Netflix. He was paid 5G’s. Those two guys are not much further down the road as me for different reasons. I went to a pitch fest in LA and got 26 different requests to read my different scripts. still nothing. I wrote 100’s of letters to agents with zero results. My point is, I know I’ve got good stories but who cares? It’s not what you know it’s who you know. And since I don’t want to move to LALA land I’m screwed. But, the writing continues.

  35. I spent money on a writers conference in la, an evaluation, copyright and two contest and I’m still waiting for my big break. I sent my script to a film company and they considered it but then said “we are sorry….”
    I’m tired of wasting my money. I didn’t think it would be this hard but I love to write and I’m on my third script so I’ll keep hope alive. 🙂

    • I say this repeatedly: get to a film town and meet people. Get your script into people’s hands by helping them, working with them, earning their trust. Sending in your script via the internet is, at best, a lottery ticket.

  36. I wrote five scripts with Dennis SHryack. He passed on in 2016. He wrote or cowrote Turner & Hooch, Pale Rider & Gauntlet for Clint E. and Flashpoint, and The Car among 15 or so scripts that made it onto the screens of theaters.
    Do you have any suggestions? Should I get a gig as a bus boy or waiter, in order to and start a meaningful relationship with a producer? Or should I have someone in your organization read a man who had a considerable success?

    I’ve two pieces optioned; one Den & I wrote was, ” On The Run” – the young second time producer was killed in Hollywood traffic on his motorcycle. before Den left us. “Knifepoint”, with Nick Pappas was repped by Harold Greene, of Eisenbach-Greene, and optioned for $25 K by Ray Stross. Deal fizzled when his moneymen decreed his wife, Anne Heywood, a proven good looking Brit woman was ‘Not Bankable.’

    I’ll be delighted to pay for some real advice or technique or even some reliable advice.
    Hope to hear from you.

    Bill Peterson

  37. Do you have any advice for a dedicated writer who is also severe PTSD and so will never have any meet-and-greet, schmooze, make friends opportunities?

    • Best I can think of is find a friend who’s willing to do the legwork for you. i.e. put in the face time and develop the relationships with folks so you don’t have to. To emphasize: I didn’t say it was a *good idea.* I said it was the best I could think of. Sorry to hear about your PTSD, and I wish you luck!

  38. maybe it is best to send your work to an agent like i did and when you get one you’re on the right road; as i am in France, i had no other choice. It is possible the known agency is contacting producers, or majors or else before to sign me; it is true that it is difficult to get to big producers , majors etc… thru paid services, it is rather small indies, but sometimes small get with others to produce big projects: a lot to learn in this business !!

  39. My approach has been to help indie filmmakers but it’s out of understanding what they go through, not because I think they’re going to make one of my scripts. Fortunately there are quite a few in Vancouver and I have skills that help producers (financial and a paperwork freak) and get to know them that way.

    What might happen is that they know of someone who might be interested in my scripts or have insights on how to get mine made. A lot of creative people who direct or produce also write – they aren’t necessarily interested in your script because they have their own “babies” they want to see up on the screen. I’m not going to say “don’t get discouraged” because you should be discouraged – your chance of your script being made is almost none.

    What you can work on and control though are your expectations and feelings of disappointment. Know that no matter what steps you take there is probably no chance that anything will come of it, especially if you are a new writer. The market is crowded and there are probably 500,000 scripts out there.

    Think hard about that. Your script has to miraculously find its way into a producer’s hands and that producer actually has to have money and the ability to get your film made and to market. If you’re far away from LA put the call out to filmmakers in your town, including other writers, and see if you can make films on a shoestring budget.

    Scratch their backs with the deal being that they scratch yours. Hell, form a trailer club, do some filming and editing and have everyone work on getting them to producers. If you do pay to put your script on a listing service know that yes, you very likely throwing your money away so tell yourself you’re going to do that instead of going to the bar for a couple of nights (okay, maybe one).

    Another thing you can do is ask your indie friends to read your script and give you some feedback in exchange for working your butt off for them. If they think it’s well written get them to tell you why and try a contest that provides coverage or pay for coverage to see if you get the same feedback. Don’t be shocked when you’re knocked out the first round and your feedback is absolutely different – two people watching the same film will often see if differently.

    Do all this without any expectations or even a glimmer of hope. Learn to be ruthless with your writing and if you can’t be that, learn to admit that your script is probably a piece of crap but you don’t care – you had a lot of fun writing it. When you get to the point where writing doesn’t bring you joy, quit and watch someone else’s stories instead.

    There are a lot of terrific films out there and those of us who write should understand how important it is to support fellow creatives. So make your choices where to put your money and time without any expectation of anything you hope for ever happening – that’s the reality tens of thousands of writers will experience.

  40. Hi Brian,

    I’m also ‘getting it out there’ by doing film extra (support artist) and stand-in work which is accessible to everyone.

    Keep up the good work,


  41. I was literally on the verge of subscribing to both archiving services until I read this blog. However, as a former Angeleno, the advisability of moving to and living in LA is a subject of debate in terms of quality of life, pollution, street violence, racial friction, local politics, homelessness, crime, and, did I mention pollution? I couldn’t help but notice that short shrift was given to one of the most viable avenues to discovery – the film festival. Numerous festivals accept and honor original screenplays, but of equal importance, provide a venue for meeting and greeting the local, regional, and international film making community, from cinematographers and directors to performers and financiers. To provide perspective, I should mention I’m a bestselling author with over 70 published books, including two bestsellers and 7 book club selections and at least 15 foreign language translations (that I know of). More than half of my book deals were sold by a literary agency. The largest publishers were ones I met at trade shows and writers’ conferences; these publishers, ironically, preferred to make deals without the participation of my agent, who graciously agreed. Last year I began producing music videos and writing feature-length indie screenplays. The music videos provided me with access to a number of film festivals mainly attended by producers, directors, cinematographers, performers, writers, and critics. As a result, I gained a significant amount of free publicity and positive reviews that should be useful in my screenwriting portfolio. It’s now clear to me that my promotional budget is better spent on festivals than archive websites. Thanks for saving me from making a potentially costly rookie mistake.

  42. Is there a site one can go to pitch to independant cinematographers who might
    be interested enough in one’s project, i.e. premise, synopsis, to read the script to determine if he, she or they want to team up and bring the story to life? The ultimate “pay-off” would be a film to show as part of their repertoire and the screenwriter’s.

    What experience has anyone had with Go Fund Me resources and film production?

    What about trailers of one’s work attached to the screenwriter’s Facebook and/or LinkedIn or
    IMDbPro page — possible? What about a site for trailers — a sort of visual film appetizer “tray” and those producers, directors, actors looking for new work could be invited to the “party ” to partake. If the actors and cinematography are engaging could that be the hook for them to want to read the script and, ultimately see it on the screen in its entirety?

    I dream on….

    Thanks for sharing. The article gave me much to consider about the sites, i.e. InkTip and Black List, an impetus to come up with still another idea to attract interest.

    • Yow! That’s a bunch of questions, Therese! For finding good up-and-coming DP’s, I’d recommend good old-fashioned shoe leather. That is, get out and about (preferably in a film town) and start meeting people, helping with their short films and DIY films. re: crowdsourcing — lots of films have had success. Browse a crowdsourcing site and take a look. Re: trailers — no site is coming to mind, but maybe you could make one! Cheers! — Brian

  43. Wow, I read every reply and can only concur with almost everything said. Sadly because over the past few years I have dropped easily at least one thousand dollars on the internet route. I am practically a lucite when it comes to using the internet. I don’t even have a website. Film festivals and script contests have proven to be the best way for me to go. I have won 2 Remis at Houston, was second rounder at Austin, an official nominee for best screenplay at Beverly Hills Film Festival, finalist at Oaxaca Film Fest, finalist at Stage 32, runner up at scriptapalooza, finalist at Table read, etc., etc. Because of this proving my ability as a writer I was taken serious at the American Film Market, where for every day of the market I talked to anyone and everyone I thought could help me, I was able to get financing for my first feature which is now on the festival circuit where it won a Silver Remi at Houston is an official selection at festivals in London and Rome. Brian is absolutely spot on. All of this has happened for me through old fashion hard work, perseverance and hands on person to person human contact. My advice: take Brian’s advice.

  44. I have written a full novel (published and already on Amazon) and not a screenplay. However it would make a hilarious movie. Any ideas for me?
    PS- I can’t move to LA either.

      • Not everyone is in a position to move to LA. I wrote/produced/directed a movie that got distribution and two of my scripts made it to the top three at festivals. One was at the Atlanta Film Festival. I worked my way up down there from PA, make-up, set design, special effects, casting… but had to move to WV to take care of family. Work 6 days a week to take care of them so no way to quit job and go network. Anything I can do in my circumstance to get an agent or sell a script.

        • Best I can offer is: if that’s all you can do, then keep trying from West Virginia, but know that you’re competing against thousands of aspiring writers and filmmakers who are meeting in person and becoming friends with and trusted allies of career-making people and organizations in Los Angeles and other film towns. Those personal relationships are what build careers, with relatively few rare exceptions.

  45. I love it – but you didn’t say what these myriad other IRL ways were to get your polished script, after many revisions and notes, into a few readers’ hands?

    Even more to the point these days – so much content ow isn’t even features. For ex., I have a fresh music reality game show – one that pops everyone’s eyes who hears it, just as you said – and I don’t see anything online about developing that, past the usual advice to have a strong bible, a year or two’s worth of episodes, and concept trailer. All of which I have at this point, plus interested name talent.

    Just asking. Thanks

    • Thanks! re: IRL ways to get your script out there: “Save your cash and get out here and get in front of people, in person. Talk to them. Make friends. Build alliances. Do favors. Work on films. Eventually, your material will be read. Even better, your experiences in the real world, as opposed to the virtual world, will make you a stronger screenwriter, boosting your chances even further that your material will be not only read, but liked.”

  46. Wow, I’ve never even heard of Black List but I do remember seeing Jerrol leBaron showing up at the Raleigh Studios or at some festival in town to promote the services of Inktip many years back. I also remember that over ten years ago a company out of San Diego popped up with the intention of helping screenwriters insofar they could post their screenplays for free because the producers who wanted to take a look at screenplays had to pay a fee. That platform, however, quietly disappeared within a year. Even though the following do not necessarily deal with screenplays I wonder what your take is of the TV Writers Vault or of Scriptmailer.

    I agree with you that to be in the city of angels can be advantageous. As happenstance wanted it, an HFPA and Golden Globe awards president who knows everyone in town is a friend of mine because of interests in common in the movies but even more for interests in common which are only indirectly related to storytelling, including vicissitudes in life—we had a good laugh when we discovered the unique way how each of us survived an armed robbery in this wonderful city of angels.
    For those screenwriters who cannot be in Tinseltown maybe they could join a tribe here such as Nancy Fulton’s (she was for seven years in the U.K. before she returned to L.A.). Believe it or not, even Emmy winners are in her group and some of her workshops and online activity are accessible for free.

    Finally, crawl out of the box, screenwriters from everywhere! Why don’t you immerse yourself into the making of a movie by teaching yourselves film editing? It is an insightful way to learn how, from the inception on, scenes and whole screenplays have to be written in order that they ultimately can be edited. The sophisticated DaVinci editing software and others are downloadable and free. So is royalty-free footage. Lumen5, which is far simpler and works over the cloud, has improved impressively over the past two years in terms of precision and flexibility and has a free version. With it, I recently made visual pitches that my Hwd agent got ecstatic about.

  47. Wow..mindblowing! I just droped a screenplay on InkTip(for a I guess i can scratch that hope. I on the otherhand,was about to drop another screenplay and book on them + 5 synopsis! I gotta ask,where should i turn now?

  48. Hello There,
    I’m writer and last year I published my first novel! I’d like to turn my story into a movie. My question is do I have to write the screenplay first in order to ask for your service or you just can post my book online without turning it into a screenplay?

    Thank You,
    Zhila Berenji

  49. I remember in 2001 placing a synopsis of a script I wanted to pitch about Santa Claus battling Jack Frost for the supremacy of the North Pole. Basically – the premise of Santa Clause 3.

    5 years later (and no longer chasing “the dream”), my future bride and I were walking through a mall in Prescott, AZ and I saw it…. a movie poster with the EXACT story I put on InkTip many years prior.

    20 years… several trademarks, 2 businesses and 3 patents later, I would tell everyone this:

    NEVER. EVER. E-V-E-R! post your ideas online! Don’t even discuss it with your “friends” as friends come and go. Keep your ideas to YOURSELF – and make sure EVERYONE you have to discuss your idea with signs an NDA (if it’s biz related).

    If only the Winkelvos twins had Zuck sign a NDA, it would be a different story today.

    Just my 2 cents…

    Merry Christmas!

  50. What’s the opinions or experience with virtual You just write up a great query letter requesting from a great long list of producers and within 5 days you get an answer back from them.

  51. Just one thing that left me wondering about this text… as a total unknown 24yr old writer from FINLAND i really cant see myself just “getting out there and shaking hands with people in the business or gaining any exposure by going up to folk in the states” otherwise the text was a real help for me as ive been planning on paying places like inktip and shit since ive been training my writing and making good proggress for the past 10yrs with a hefty amount of good screenplays just waiting to go without the opportunity to ever even get in the proximity of a person who could help me 😀 but then again; i dont think many people shed thoughts on kids from other countries and their silly dreams. Anyway; good text and please dont mistake my frustration over my situation for me complaining or anything :/

  52. Okay, we steer clear of the Black List and Inktip. So where do we go?

    I have five full feature scripts, all recommended. Another seven in the pipeline.
    Certain analyst companies have so many different items on their score sheets, it is impossible to get above average mathematically.

    To find an agent is harder than walking on water, (in summer)

    I repeat, where do we go? (I have written and produced an 82 minute action movie, which was on Netflix,
    but haven’t the time and energy to produce another.)

  53. I have never used either Inktip nor The Black List. However, I have gotten into it with Franklin Leonard over email on two occasions because I objected to a list of scripts which he claims had been “discovered” on The Black List, which included works by Quentin Tarantino and several other well known titles. My objection was that rookie writers would be mislead by such such false advertising. His explanation was that he was friends with Quentin and Quentin was okay with it! Either way, it’s misleading….so buyer beware! What they post on their website might not be accurate.

    And folks, just remember that ANY script coverage is just an opinion and very few readers have an ability to see past their own genre likes and dislikes and recognize good drama, particularly if it’s in a genre with which they don’t resonate. Conversely, if they love the genre they may see past the holes in your characters and story, blinded by the love of the concept/genre.

    In my opinion, the best way to improve as a writer is to write and write and write…but, don’t fall into the trap of endless rewrites of the same old script. Open up a new document and write something new, while rewriting something old. Keep moving forward, keep creating story after story and you won’t be able to help yourself, you will improve. In the wonderful book ART & FEAR the authors told a story of a ceramics teacher splitting his class into two group. The first group had to create one perfect piece of work. The second group was tasked by creating as many pieces as they could without concern for quality. The first group was so busy trying to create something perfect, they ended up creating nothing. The latter group improved so much simply through the practice of practice.

    AND, the most important thing: “Never give up, never surrender,” I wrote for several years before throwing an old script, I knew had story holes, into the Nicholl Fellowship (don’t bother with any other competition – it is the only one to which agents pay attention). I threw it in because it was my last ditch attempt before quitting. I was tempting fate to tell me turn tail and get out of dodge. My script reached the semifinals. I received dozens of calls and emails requesting the script from some pretty well known producers. Everyone hung up once they realized it was a $50M period movie. Six months later I finished another script and started to push it out as a producer and never looked back. I now have a production company with a great team producing film and TV. Anyway who tells you you can’t do this yourself, ignore them. All you need is a subscription to IMDBPro, an email account and a telephone….and bullet proof vest.

    BUT, I do still, even now, ask for feedback on every script I write. I rely very heavily on my head of development who is both ruthless in his feedback and is one of the few people I’ve ever met who can judge good drama even when he doesn’t resonate with the genre.

    And finally…don’t ever write what you think people want to read or will be commercially successful. “Passion projects” are not liked in Hollywood, but why would a writer ever write something they are not passionate about.


    • I think this is great advice. I used Inktip for two years without success and now Blacklist for 6 months with same result. I will not use either again. I have written over a dozen scripts and enjoy improving them if I get actionable feedback. I would appreciate feedback on the best coverage services. Also, what is the best way to break in – a short script for an upcoming producer, a pilot TV script or a feature length script? John Neill (90 years old) See my books on under the pen name Pat Muir.

  54. Have written a few and been to god know’s how many places. What I found is that if you don’t have the funding no matter how good or bad your script it. It won’t get made, simple as that in the end.

  55. Red flags straight away with Ink Tip. One, why is it only Jerrol emailing? Second, nobody legit pays money to someone to get noticed, if your told there is a check waiting for you and all you have to do is pay for postage, run. Third, their film budget is 8 million dollars, they have no recognizable studios they are working with. I am going to Google magic elevator productions and try and find that movie secret service kids.

  56. Thank you for a no nonsense review. Another useful thing might be to start a film making collective. It’s a good way to get shorts made, which can be a good calling card for later features. But be aware, even in that situation, someone reading your script might not see the same movie you wrote. This happened to me, a director read the script, called Godot, loved it, apparently, and wanted so many changes, it would have been an entirely different movie. I’m not saying that to complain, it was a useful insight. The movie didn’t go ahead but I adapted it into a stage play which was well received.

    Good luck to all you writers out there.

    So, onwards…

  57. Their pricing is very ambiguous and borders on bait and switch. After you create your account your prompt to list your scripts. When you click on that, you are taken to a page that shows you sever discounts for multiple listings. But then when you sign up you are charged the full price. When you contact them, they explain those are add on after you have listed your script and want to add more. The trouble is, no where on that page does it say anything about adding on. It’s deceptive because it appears you are posting your script at a discount. The only fortunate out is they do list a money back guarantee. TAKE IT!

  58. There are millions of people with great ideas but the difference between them and us is that we have the discipline or the curse to be able to sit in front of a computer and write no matter how painful it can get. Write for the passion of it and anything else after than is a bonus. Don’t take things so serious. If it’s not meant to be there it won’t happen regardless of Ink Tip

  59. I am a “seasoned” writer. At least I like to think I am. I’ve written 15 screenplays of different genres and have had a few very close calls with major production companies and worked with an Academy Award-nominated producer on a screenplay I won first place with. After almost a year of constant rewrites with this producer, it didn’t work out.

    That was several years ago and I m back to being “nobody” again. I had what I thought was terminal writer’s block after that, up until a few months ago when I started writing again. And just recently started really reading about The Blacklist and Inktip. Well, I submitted a screenplay to B.List and paid for coverage. After a few weeks, I received a really good review with low numbers. Basically all 6’s. And the reviewer stated that a character was being blackmailed, who actually isn’t, which made me think for the price of coverage, he or she could’ve paid more attention.

    But as I stated the review was pretty awesome. They said the story was stellar. It would be great as a Netflix or theatrical movie. That they couldn’t wait to see what happened next. They went on about how good the dialog is… But then they only gave me 6’s, which is perplexing, because they liked the dialog so much. I clicked on the button to make the review public and if “actual” producers see the review I can only hope they can get past the low numbers, which I think is the first thing you see, read the rest of the review, and want to read the actual script.

    I paid for coverage on a second script just recently and I am curious about how it will be reviewed. I may be a fool, but I did this before I read this article. If I had read this first I may not have paid for the coverage or script listings. I’m only doing this until the end of August 2021, so we’ll see.

  60. Truer words were NEVER spoken. I’ve encountered the same scams in the music business. Taxi was a joke especially years ago before the internet was as advanced as it is now. And don’t get me going on music “Xray.” You read a description of what the “Industry” is seeking, pay the $10 to Fifty buck submission fee (seperate from the Xray fee) and get a great “You have great talent, but we can’t use it…” Let’s see, if 500 starry-eyed song writers send $25.00 to the so-called label, then who the Hell needs a hit song, we’re making a fortune on fees, and the rejection statement is canned…


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