Script Analysis Disputes

How Slated handles Script Analysis concerns and disputes

Mary C. avatar
Written by Mary C.
Updated over a week ago

Over four hundred scripts have received Script Analysis and been made into movies. That data shows that Script Scores are accurate at predicting film quality. Specifically, scripts with 75+ scores are 4-5X likelier to be Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. This research has been reported on by outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, and Screen Daily. Slated Analytics' Script Analysis is the only script coverage that has been proven to predict film quality.

Script Scores have predicted the commercial success of massive breakout hits like PEANUT BUTTER FALCON and THE WOMAN KING, and awards movies like MOONLIGHT. Slated's EP Team worked on Oscar-winning movies like SOUND OF METAL thanks to their Script Scores. Script Analysis has even resulted in Slated directly producing over fifty movies.

Slated-produced movies have premiered at nearly every major film festival and received dozens of awards nominations and wins. The vast majority of them are Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is Slated's system. It works. We like our system.

In providing Script Analysis, we share over ten pages of transparent feedback with each filmmaker who submits. We're one of the only production entities to do this, and it comes with some risks. However, we regularly hear from Script Analysis customers who love this transparent approach to discovering and producing movies.

To ensure filmmaker satisfaction remains high, we have certain checks and balances built into our review process.

Check #1: Three Reads

The first of those checks and balances is in the design of the product.

As you likely know, Script Analysis doesn't just rely on one opinion. It leverages three independent reviews of the script. Story analysts don't speak to one another prior to submitting their review. So, even if one story analyst Passes, each script still gets two more shots at earning a Recommend. Projects that receive at least one Recommend are likely to qualify with a 70+ Script Score, even if the other two story analysts Pass.

If a project scores below 70, it means none of the three story analysts felt passionately enough about the material to issue a Recommend. At least, not on this draft.

But our system of checks and balances doesn't stop at three reads.

Check #2: Supervisor and Manager Reviews

Before any set of Script Analysis is delivered, all three coverages are also reviewed by a coverage supervisor, who reads every word for typos or other issues that may stick out, and then by an analysis manager, who does one final check prior to delivery.

By the time a set of Script Analysis has been delivered to a Slated member, over 18 hours of time and attention have been dedicated to creating and reviewing the analysis.

For this reason, when a Slated member receives their Script Analysis and Script Score, this represents Slated's professional opinion on this particular draft of the screenplay.

There is no daylight between our story analysts' individual or collective opinions and the opinion of the company. This is Slated's process.

Customer Service Review

The above notwithstanding, if you feel that one or more of your story analysts got something wrong (that slipped past our supervisor and manager) and you'd like us to look into it, you are welcome to reach out to us via customer support and we'll conduct a "Customer Service Review" regarding your concerns.

In this process, another Slated staff member of our choosing will review your complaint and re-review the Script Analysis. In some cases, they may even read a few pages of your script (at our discretion). This process may take as little as a few minutes, or as long as 2 weeks depending on the nature of the concern and how busy we may be.

Once our review process is complete, we will report the outcome of the Customer Service Review to you.

Please be advised that given the thorough process described above, we are highly likely to report to you that we do not see any issues with the Script Analysis or Script Score and that both stand as they have been delivered to you.

In these cases, no additional changes will be made to the Script Analysis or Script Score. We may answer questions or provide additional context on our process to illuminate the issue at hand.

Very rarely, if an issue is found, we may take additional measures to correct the issue. Slated reserves the right to make changes to your Script Analysis at its own discretion, including changes that may result in the decrease of a Script Score.

Whatever the outcome of the Customer Service review, this is the company's final decision on this set of Script Analysis.

At this point, your concerns cannot be re-reported to different members of our staff or repeatedly raised in future discussions with Slated staff as if it were an unresolved issue.

As noted in our Terms of Service, paying for Script Analysis does not guarantee a high score, or even notes that you agree with. You are simply paying for the time it takes for Slated to conduct its thorough review and provide our professional opinion on the screenplay.

Just like you cannot argue with Sundance (or any other festival) because you feel your film should have been programmed, Slated personnel does not entertain ongoing debates about our professional opinion of your film.

Code of Conduct

Members who continuously harass Slated's customer service staff or executives after a Customer Service Review has been completed may have their Slated membership permanently revoked.

Whether or not a Customer Service Review has been carried out on your Script Analysis, please note that acting unprofessionally in response to analysis - including but not limited to making disparaging comments about Slated’s analysts, staff, or company - are a violation of Slated's Code of Conduct and Terms of Service. As such, this behavior is grounds for membership termination.

Members who have their membership revoked as a result of harassing, rude, or otherwise inappropriate behavior towards Slated staff are not entitled to refunds for any analysis they may have purchased, nor any other fees that may have been paid.

Our Philosophy

Slated is the only production company entity to make movies based on Script Analysis services we offer to the public.

Agencies, studios and other production companies generally don't share their coverage because they don't want to deal with potential fallout from writers who disagree with them.

While we understand that sharing our professional opinion risks alienating some filmmakers, we feel it's worth it.

We've learned that when we provide our honest feedback directly to filmmakers without pulling any punches, scripts can actually improve. We've also learned that giving thoughtful, encouraging and constructive notes has resulted in 95% customer satisfaction, even among writers whose early submissions don't score above a 70.

If You Do Not Like a Customer Service Outcome

After a Customer Service Review has been completed, there are no additional avenues for raising concerns about that particular set of Script Analysis. If you've received the result of a Customer Service review and you are unhappy with it, you have a few options.

  1. Don't use Slated. We won't be offended. We get it. Storytelling is personal. We don't all view stories the same way. You are entitled to stand by your work and to be confident in your script as-is. You are not obligated to use Slated to get your movie made or for script coverage. There are plenty of other coverage products out there and perhaps a different company would align more with your creative viewpoints. While we stand by our system as one that works for us, no system is perfect for everyone. We hope your movie gets made, and we will be rooting for your project to succeed no matter what.

  2. Only take the notes you like. Script Analysis is generally over 5,000 words and offers many ideas from three different people. Statistically speaking, some of this feedback is useful even if you disagree with your Script Score. Writers are not meant to take every note in Script Analysis. Knowing how to process, respond to, and implement feedback is one of the most critical skills in screenwriting -- almost as critical as the writing process itself. This is very difficult, but unavoidable. So, if there's a note that is really bugging you, you should ignore it and focus on the notes that make sense instead. Alternatively, if the note isn't so easy to write off, then maybe there's something valuable there. In this case, it may be worth looking for the "note within the note," as professional writers often say. In other words, even though you may find the note annoying, it might be worth asking: what caused this story analyst to arrive at this conclusion? How can you protect against future readers drawing similarly faulty conclusions? Remember, you won't have visibility into the reactions when the script is sent out to executives and investors. Maybe exploring this issue may actually lead to a veritable improvement in the script, even if you felt the originating note was misplaced.

  3. Submit for a new round of analysis. We allow filmmakers to submit for Script Analysis as many times as they like. Maybe you feel that you just got an unlucky batch of readers on this last round and you want to take another whirl. You can do that. Even better, you can hide any sets of Script Analysis or Script Scores you don't agree with. In fact, you can choose to display only your highest Script Score at any time, even if its not the most recent one. Remember: our Script Scores are draft-based. A low Script Score is not a comment on a screenplay's ability to improve; it's just a snapshot of this draft. We've seen Script Scores increase 5, 10, 15, and even 20 points in between rounds of Script Analysis. Many of those movies go on to be made. Some even go to festivals and win awards (THE WOLF HOUR, MAPPLETHORPE). Some have even been executive produced by Slated (OUR SON, RENNER).

Putting your ideas on paper can feel very vulnerable. When someone misinterprets your writing, it can feel alarming or offensive. Anyone who enters the arena of storytelling must grapple with this reality, including us.

Slated's model is not about protecting filmmakers (or ourselves) from this reality. It's also not about being "right" about whether a script is "good" or not.

Slated's model, instead, is simply about getting movies made, and helping those movies be as good as possible. We've found that giving honest and constructive feedback serves that mission.

Whether our perspective on a given screenplay aligns with yours or not, we wish your project the best, and we look forward to celebrating your success.

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