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Nov 04 2010

Cinematic Appraisals: Scam or Science?

Their Site's Main Image

I’m a writer, which means that I have to spend a lot of time looking out for scams trying to take advantage of me.  There are fake agentsfake contests, and fake publishers who are all trying to get my money by promising me riches and fortune and, most importantly, an audience.  If anything can teach you skepticism, it’s trying to navigate the minefield of nearly, but not quite, professional writing.

I think you should go look at this.  It’s a “Mind Science” based analysis service for screenplays.  That seems highly unlikely to me, but here is an excerpt from the site:

Once your screenplay has been received, trained evaluators conduct an analysis using our proprietary Mind Science Method to ascertain individual scores for each line, each page, and for the screenplay as a whole. This scoring system evaluates the different criteria, story structure, dialog and action of each individual line.

Once the analysis is complete, a score is assigned that can be compared equally against the score of any other screenplay, if you have chosen to submit a second screenplay of a previously produced project.

After the initial page-by-page study is complete and individual score determined, the screenplay is then studied and examined by separate evaluators for its story structure and connection strength, yielding the second analysis based on content.

You will receive both the score and complete analysis in your final report, including a hardcopy of the screenplay with review notations.

The Mind Science score and analysis will allow you to gauge the degree of stimulation/mental connection the screenplay evokes. And, by comparing the score of a new script with the score of a script from a produced film in the same genre, you can compare its potential success apples-to-apples.

Does this sound like Scientology to anyone else?  It sounds like all they’re doing is providing detailed coverage and calling it “Mind Science”.

I mean, maybe what they do is legitimate in the sense that they provide a service, but they charge, get this, FIFTY DOLLARS A PAGE to review your screenplay.  That’s $6000 for a 120 page script.

$6000.

Everyone, for 1 dollar a page, I will read and review your screenplay!  I dunno how appealing that is, but it’s certainly a hell of a lot cheaper!  I’m no one, but at least I’ve optioned a screenplay and that makes me 100% qualified to use my own Proprietary Mind Science to evaluate your screenplay’s ability to engage an audience’s interest.  For $6000 dollars, who knows what I’d do (e-mail your inquiries).

Hell, pay an 8-year-old a dollar and see how long he can sit through it before getting up.  If it’s more than 10 pages, you’ve got a winner!

If you’re going to pay money to get feedback I recommend finding someone who is a screenwriter or actually works in the business — submit to ScriptSavvy or Carson Reeves, I can personally attest to both the quality and honesty of their services.

I realize that the Cinematic Appraisals Service is aimed at producers and people who are in genuine pre-production stages of getting a film made, not just struggling writers, but, until I see some evidence that what their doing actually has any evidence behind it or is more useful than, say, reading the script with a critical eye, I’m going to have to call this one as straight up bilking people out of their money.  Especially since I can’t find any information about them anywhere else on the net.  And taking money from producers, while potentially satisfying, means that there’s less money to make movies.

Writers Beware!

3 comments

2 pings

  1. 1
    TurboFool

    This reminds me: you owe me $94 for reading your screenplay and telling you I liked it. I accept PayPal.

  2. 2
    Sylwia Dudzinska

    If I ever write one Ashley, you’re my womans. I will pay you your dollars.

  3. 3
    Ashley F. Miller

    Just for that Sylwia, you gets a special deal, ONLY 50 cents a page!!!! And I will make out with you and wear your blue wig and do a dance. Just cause.

  1. 4
    I get e-mail — Cinematic Appraisals: “Mind Science” or Pseudoscience » Ashley Miller

    [...] few years ago, before I was at Freethoughtblogs, I wrote an article about a service offered to film producers called “Cinematic Appraisals”.  I had [...]

  2. 5
    I get legal threats: Cinematic Appraisals » Ashley Miller

    […] highlighting all of the things claimed without evidence on the scientific part of their website: http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2010/11/04/cinematic-appraisals-scam-or-science/ […]

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