How do your reviewers assess screeners?

Overview of what reviewers score when watching your film.

Jordan S. avatar
Written by Jordan S.
Updated over a week ago

If you're a filmmaker who's been through the post process, you know that options for getting good feedback on your edit are somewhat limited.

Test screenings normally cost more than $10,000, and they use non-professional respondents who may not write the most helpful feedback. This option isn't cost effective for independent filmmakers, and there's no data on how these screenings actually correlate with the film's critical reception. And, while non-professional reactions can be helpful, they may not always be constructive, since the audience lacks an understanding of filmmaking.

By comparison, Slated's Screening Analysis polls three experienced development professionals to extract more predictive value and more actionable feedback for a fraction of the price, at $495.

Screening Analysis is also more secure and confidential than typical test screenings. Instead of sharing your film's link with dozens of amateur respondents, Slated's Screening Analysis uses its own secure platform to share password-protected links with just three Slated team members, each of whom are under NDA for the material they review here.

Screening Analysis is more accurate than traditional test screenings, too. 100% of the films that have received 75+ Screening Scores in post have become Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes including movies like IFC Film's THE NOVICE, Sundance Film Festival's PREMATURE, and Blue Fox Entertainment's BABY MONEY.

Our team of reviewers includes producers who've won Emmys, directors who've had their work debut at the Cannes Film Festival, and writers whose shows are available on major streamers like Amazon and Peacock.

So, if your current cut isn't totally hitting its mark yet, our reviewers will give you the feedback you need to polish it up to maximize your odds of a positive critical reception. Over 10 pages of feedback, to be exact.

In addition to providing a synopsis and three unique loglines, each reviewer independently evaluates your cut's effectiveness in the following Ten Categories: Premise, Originality, Character, Conflict, Dialogue, Structure, Pacing, Tone, Logic and Craft.

For documentaries, the reviewers will rate either the character-approach you've taken or the issue you've chosen to explore. Instead of reviewing Dialogue, they'll evaluate your Visual Approach. And instead of Logic, they'll review Credibility for documentary features.

In each category, effectiveness is rated on a 1-5 scale. In deciding their scores, reviewers respond to a number of questions designed to assess the performance of story mechanics in a given section.

In the Character section, for instance, the reviewers evaluate the beats of your protagonist's arc. In Conflict, they'll assess how clearly the internal and external threats escalate and resolve. In Structure, they'll evaluate the overall shape of your story and the function of key turning points. Generally speaking, category scores align with the definitions below.

  • 5 - Outstanding

  • 4 - Very Good

  • 3 - Okay

  • 2 - Needs Attention

  • 1 - Poor

The reviewers' points in each section are supported by specific examples from the cut, complete with timecode citations. "(01:13)" means "one hour and thirteen minutes into the film."

In addition to assigning scores for individual categories, each reviewer is asked to issue an overall recommendation for the cut (Strong Pass, Pass, Consider, Recommend, or Strong Recommend), supported by an Overall paragraph which summarizes their decision.

Generally speaking, a "Pass" is given when the reviewers feels the cut would benefit from further editing prior to being shared with investors, sales companies, and buyers. A "Consider" is given when the reviewer feels the cut could consider for sales and financing in its present state, with some reservations. "Recommends" are reserved for cuts that the reviewer feels are ready for market 'as is.' A "Strong Pass" is issued to cuts whose structure or formatting issues notably distract from the story. A "Strong Recommend" is issued to cuts that not only display a mastery of story mechanics, but are also making award-worthy contributions to their subject matter or genre.

When each reviewers' analysis is submitted, the individual scores and overall decisions are processed by an algorithm which weights each section based on degree of importance. For example, "Originality" is not weighted as strongly as "Character;" nor is "Tone" as important as "Conflict."

Scores and weights are calculated for each reviewer and averaged evenly to generate a 100-point Screening Score. Slated Analytics' Screening Score indicates the overall quality of the cut in the following ways:

  • 90+ -- exceptional in every way; awards-worthy

  • 80-89 -- excellent; any improvements would be minor

  • 70-79 -- above average; the fundamentals are working. It may benefit from further polish

  • 60-69 -- below average; continued work is recommended

  • Below 60 -- poor; needs significant improvement

We encourage you to submit a cut as soon as you're in post, so you can maximize your Screening Score and attract the best sales companies and distributors.

For more questions, click the orange bubble in the bottom-right of your screen and start a chat with a member of our team!

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