For the uninitiated… started in 2004, The Black List is an annual list of Hollywood’s highest profile unproduced screenplays. Essentially, the most liked scripts each year that, for whatever reason, haven’t yet been produced, compiled from the suggestions of over 300 film executives, each of whom contribute the names of up to ten of their favorite unproduced scripts.
Since its inception, dozens of screenplays that appeared on the list have been optioned, produced, and released, many successfully so. Two of the top three screenplays on the inaugural 2005 list – Juno & Lars And The Real Girl – went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2008 Academy Awards, with Juno, of course, winning the Oscar.
And if you’re a screenwriter, toda’s news just might excite you.
LOS ANGELES (October 15, 2012) – The Black List founder Franklin Leonard and cofounder/CTO Dino Sijamic announced today the launch of a paid service that allows any screenwriter, amateur or professional, to upload their script to The Black List’s database. The script will be evaluated by professional script readers, and, depending on its evaluation(s), read by as many as 1,000 film industry professionals who are currently a part of the membership site.
Aspiring screenwriters will pay $25 a month to have their scripts hosted on The Black List’s website, accessible only by a closed community of Hollywood professionals. They can further pay $50 for evaluations by anonymous script readers hired by The Black List. Every read by industry professionals generated by those evaluations is entirely free. Moreover, The Black List will not claim a commission, finder’s fee, or producer credit on business generated by their service. “Writers retain all rights to sell and produce their work and are free to negotiate the best deal they can get. All we ask is an email letting us know of their success,” added Leonard.
“For years people have been asking me how to get their scripts to Hollywood. Short of endless rounds of unanswered query letters and screenplay competitions that may, in the best case scenario, attract the notice of a few people, I never had a good answer,” said Leonard. “We built this to provide one. It’s essentially a screenplay competition with rolling admission, as many prizes as there are good scripts, and instead of a check, you may be rewarded with a career as a professional screenwriter. But it’s also more than that: we’re delivering the best scripts directly to the hundreds of people who can help get them bought and made.” vLeonard and Sijamic claim to have “an ironclad ‘do no harm’ policy. A script’s evaluation will only be made public if a writer wishes to make it so. Moreover, the only time an industry professional’s attention will be drawn to a script is if it’s been evaluated positively or if our algorithm believes they personally will like it,” added Leonard.
Over 200 scripts that have appeared on the annual Black List of most liked unproduced scripts have been produced and released for the domestic market, making over $16B in worldwide box office and earning 148 Academy Award-nominations and 25 victories. This includes two of the last four best pictures (THE KING’S SPEECH and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) and five of the last 10 screenwriting Oscars (JUNO, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE KING’S SPEECH, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and THE DESCENDANTS.
The Black List began as a survey of several dozen executives’ favorite unproduced scripts. The 2011 edition surveyed over 300 executives, which comprise over 60% of Hollywood’s studio system corps.
I posted this about a month ago; but here it is again, if you missed it – Leonard talking about identifying good scripts, and specifically, how the black list came about; and if you’d like to take a look at past lists, click HERE: