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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Defining "good" and "bad"

PJ - can you explain the difference between good and bad notes? When you say bad notes do you mean notes that you don't like or disagree with or do you mean notes that might be true but are delivered in such a way that it's discouraging or hurtful? Or when you say bad notes do you mean notes that are just - bad. I often work with writers who are initially really surprised that the notes they got are not good - meaning, they thought the script was way better than it was. They are good notes in that they are valid, but there is much work to be done. I think a clarification of what you mean by "good" and "bad" in this context would be helpful. Not to be Semantic Sally, but when are bad notes legitimate? What's the difference between good and bad outside of the perception of the recipient?

Miss Cupkcake, let me be perfectly clear: you may get notes that tear your script apart, you may get notes you violently disagree with, but it doesn't make them "bad" notes if the notes are given in a consistent, logical, concise, constructive manner. "Bad" notes in the sense I mean are destructive and add no value to the script or help to the writer. For example, I recently got notes on a script about how the lead character, a pregnant woman, "constantly" drank coffee. First, she drank coffee in only one scene, and second, her drinking one cup or a thousand had no bearing on the plot or story whatsoever. I call this kind of note less than useful.

For Wavers interested in reading more about notes and how to deal with them emotionally and intellectually, here are some past Rouge Wave posts that may entertain and enlighten you:

Kick or Kiss - The Truth Hurts
Giving Feedback

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a Reader is good and successful in life, then that Reader will (one hundred percent) provide a meaningful and respecful coverage.

The only reason a Reader is negative is because that reader faced too many negativism in (his,her) life and work. They should seek help and advice.

It's called Bad Karma, negativism breeds negativism and make us lonely and unfair. Being unfair is too easy. We have to be strong and educate those nasty Readers.

After all, respectful, social and decent Readers live the longest, a prosperous life and when we turn 99 years old, for example, negativism means nothing. It does not exist. Its a waste of time. I love to delete negative and mean-spirted coverage from my hardrive and then request for a refund. Yes I'm also a screenwriter.

But I am foremost a Reader(part-time), I have my long term clients. I will never "hurt" my clients. I am a businessman. My clients come to me because I am brutally honest with them on a respectful level.

It's simple...give them the truth on a respectful level. What is so hard about that.

Okay negative cry babies (meaning negative Readers), grow up.

So far The Script Department and Julie and her team are the only decent folks addressing this issue.

Okay Julie, I read most of your post. You're a leader that can be trusted and you're way above those other Readers.

Bravo! It's a pleasure reading your blog and coverages and notes.