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Can anyone recommend Coverfly, any thoughts please pros and cons?

Described as "the largest database of emerging talented screenwriter", seems to me that Coverfly has numerous script writing competitions that you pay to submit to, winning accolades at them then pushes you their ratings system (importantly only some writing competitions are recognised by Coverfly). I guess that the once at the top the script might develop some "heat" and interest from production entities and producers but how much do you need to spend (invest) to work your way up to the top of the heap? Your thoughts and experiences please either posted publicly here or to me in confidence by dm please.
Many thanks Ray

  • I met John Rhodes this weekend at the London Screenwriters Festival. John leads on Coverfly's marketing/non-techie side. A nice guy, he described it as a mix of Rotten Tomatoes and Film Freeway for screenplays; and is positioning it to rival The Black List.

    So I had a look at it, and the scoring does seem a bit random. A script with one moderate result may well place higher than another which has a mix of good and bad results. In one case, a short script which was semifinalist in the only contest it entered, was listed higher than another which won that same contest! (Presumably because the second script's average was pulled down by not doing so well in other contests).

    So to answer your question, Ray, it may not take much to score well. Or it may take six or more competition quarter- semi- or finalist places.

    On the plus side, Coverfly itself is free for writers - the expense comes with the competitions themselves. A good ranking may make an agent look at you, but agents will be interested in productivity too, so multiply several scripts by several competitions, and the costs do rack up.

    Final thought: it's part of an American culture that expects people to market themselves. There is a whole industry around this, some respectable, some shady. I'm sure Coverfly isn't one of the latter, because if it wants to rival Black List and Film Freeway, it needs to develop a good reputation. But how this crosses the Atlantic, in terms of its effectiveness in launchng careers in the UK, no-one knows.

    Anyone used it?

    8 months ago
    • Someone on here posed the question: who are the readers? But that is the same on The Blacklist, it's the same with any contest, pretty much. I guess the best way is to go through previous winners and see what happened to their scripts (or the writers) As for ranking - you can be in the top ten in one contest and not even quart-finalist in another because it depends on the readers and we don't all like the same material. Nicholls - worth it, I think, same for Austin and Page - otherwise...? No doubt someone will come on here and challenge me. But there do appear to be DOZENS of contests now. You could spend a thousand a year on entry fees.

      8 months ago
  • Just taken a look. Seems very expensive but who are the readers??? I know that one company uses students barely with a writing degree! I tested one who gave a damning report on one praised by Stephen Fry...

    8 months ago
    • This one praised by Stephen Fry will be your script then? Unfortunately you need producers and financiers to like it enough to pony up the finance. Entering scripts into contests for validation purposes is all well and good but we have to ask ourselves when is enough enough?

      8 months ago
  • I took a list at their contests. The only one I've heard of is Scriptapalooza. I'm not sure if the contests pay to get listed, but a lot of the top contests aren't there (which is kind of suspicious.)

    If I were an agent or production company, I'd probably ignore it.

    A lot of these websites are designed by people who understand short films or self-funded films, and know how to sell to aspiring filmmakers, but which are ignored and even mocked by the industry.

    8 months ago
  • It's a similar issue to that one we discussed recently about the value of lower tier film festivals, let alone the value of the laurels that they award. There's a whole somewhat paracitical industry that sucks on the energy and aspirational intent of creatives.

    Whilst I can imagine that some of the laurels subjectively doled out, by who knows whom, has been known to lead on to career success, I wouldn't bet much on the odds of such being central to success for most. If making money is the tangible measure of success it's because we are functioning in an industry, it's a business. If creatives can produce a marketable entity they ought be creative about being thier own producer too. If such a skill is beyond one, even though ones creations are more than just good, then find an agent, collaborator or producer whose method does not major in entering second tier competitions.

    8 months ago
  • Many thanks one and all for your points and for taking the time to objectively answer my question, excellent Shooting People team effort, your combined deductive reasoning means that I am discarding any further consideration of Coverfly, as Coverfly but you may be free but even to register as a user you need to commit to investing (yes that is what it really boils down to) paying for submission of a script to one of there affiliated script writing festivals. In case you are curious, I was interested in attracting an agent, in turn, to attract a producer/s or production company that I could develop future horror genre themed 200 to 500K indie feature film/s with, I thought that getting my scripts noticed by winning script writing laurels might help move me closer to that goal. So, I am going to open a new more relevant thread.
    Once again, thank you all so very much for contributing, moving on.

    8 months ago