Can I Replace A Reader's Review?
Mary C. avatar
Written by Mary C.
Updated over a week ago

The design of Slated's Script Analysis is to poll three independent opinions.

Story Analysts don't speak to one another before submitting their analysis.

We intentionally staff story analysts with different tastes, perspectives, and life experiences.

Slated Analytics does not require - or necessarily want - its story analysts to all say the same thing.

Instead, our story team is encouraged to provide whatever notes and suggestions they feel will be most helpful to the project.

There is a good reason for this approach; its accuracy is supported by forward-looking data on over 400 films.

Just like producers, critics and audiences rarely have a monolithic reaction to material, our story analysts have different tastes and perspectives that are reflected in their coverage.

In some cases, story analysts may all agree that the script is working as-is, or they may all agree that it needs further development. In other cases, one reader may feel the script is ready to shoot now, while others feel it needs additional work.

The spread in reactions provides a critical signal that is inherent to the value of our Script Analysis and its ability to predict outcomes.

Where screenplays draw mixed reactions (for example, a Recommend and Pass in the same set of coverage) the data has shown that the film is also likely to also draw split reactions when released.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. In independent film in particular, it is more important to make a movie that elicits strong reactions than to make a film with broad appeal. Oscar-winning directors Spike Lee and Darren Aronofsky have made award-winning films that drew split reactions from critics or split reactions between critics and audiences. In some cases, the Script Scores for Lee and Aronofsky's scripts predicted those outcomes.

By comparison, studio scripts often see Script Scores in the low 70s with three Considers, indicating no readers especially loved or hated the script. For a 3,000+ screen release and $10M+ marketing spend, this may be just the "safe bet" a studio is looking for.

Alternatively, these crowd-pleasing scripts may attach a visionary director to elevate the story in execution and add additional layers of complexity or a stronger perspective.

However, in independent film, we rarely have the benefit of a $10M+ P&A budget. Your best bet is to have a strong POV and speak to a passionate core audience who will find and support the film. This translates to the packaging stage as well. To get a film made, you'll need smart and experienced actors to find a personal connection to your story.

When submitting the script to talent, however, many are likely to Pass. And that's okay. Films are artistic collaborations and great artistic minds differ.

All of which is to say, to fixate on the one reader who you don't agree with is to lose the forest through the trees.

Scripts don't score below a 70 because one reader didn't like it. They score sub-70 because neither of the other two loved it.

There are countless examples of in our ever-growing forward-looking data set.

To walk through just one example, when Slated Analytics performed Script Analysis on the screenplay for MOONLIGHT before to its release, the film received a Script Score in the mid 80s. This is indicative of awards recognition and/or breakout commercial success.

However, the three story analysts who reviewed it did not all see the project the same way. While two story analysts issued Recommends, one Passed. The film, like many dramas, was not for everybody. That shouldn't be terribly surprising. That two story analysts independently issued Recommends was outstanding, however. It was a rare sign of excellence that contributed to the 80+ Script Score and predicted the film's subsequent Best Picture Oscar and countless other accolades.

For these reasons, it's more important that one of your three story analysts loves the script enough to give a Recommend than it is that no one Passes.

If a script draws at least one Recommend, it will usually score above a 70, even if the other two readers Pass. A 70 Script Score is the point at at which projects generally receive 5-10X more matches on the platform.

For all of these reasons, the premise of Slated's Script Analysis is that every set of analysis gives the script the same number of chances to earn a Recommend: three.

If each script received different numbers of reviews, the polling would be inconsistent and its predictive dependability would suffer. The Script Score would cease to be an apples-to-apples metric. A Script Score based on one read is not the same metric as a Script Score based on five reads. We know this because we've tested it.

Sticking to our process has led Slated to successfully produce over 50 films on the basis of their high Script Scores. Those films have received incredible reviews by top critics, major festival debuts, and numerous prestigious awards.

Our forward-looking data set of over 400 scripts has also shown that Script Analysis is the only coverage proven to predict critical and audience reaction.

Allowing certain filmmakers to swap out their lowest scoring reader in exchange for a new one effectively allows a "best of four" selection. This would unfairly skew the rating system across the marketplace. For that reason, we generally do not allow filmmakers to 'swap out' reads they do not like.

If you think there may be something faulty about one of the reads in your set of Script Analysis, you are welcome to reach out to our customer service staff and share your concerns.

However, if, after a customer service review of your analysis, our staff determines that we stand by the analysis as delivered, we ask that you respect our company's decision on your Script Analysis.

Submitting for Script Analysis is not a guarantee that you will receive a high score or notes you will agree with. The price of Script Analysis simply pays for the time it takes for Slated Analytics to render its professional opinion on the screenplay.

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