Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Franklin Leonard on The Black List

There are two events an aspiring screenwriter looks forward to all year: Nicholl quarterfinals, and the publication of The Black List.

Since this year's Black List is nigh upon us, I'm reposting this video that Scott at Go Into The Story posted, and that a few people on Done Deal have been talking about. It's Franklin Leonard, founder of the Black List, talking about its inception. It gives a nice look at how things work on the inside.

All executives want is something good to read.


  1. Anonymous10:35 PM

    great speech

  2. Thanks Emily

    This is really interesting stuff. Makes me understand a bit better why it's so hard to get scripts made into movies.

    Also makes me realise I'm much more likely to write "SuperStorm" than something as good as Juno!

  3. Anonymous2:03 AM

    thanks for posting. q: how to get your stuff read to be noticed to be included on the list? if you're already being read by the big agencies/the studio, aren't you already far along/farther along than most other writers?

  4. Anonymous7:35 AM

    In past years it was always possible to find a copy of the scripts, usually on a single website. This year, with the recent Fox lawsuit it seems like it'll be a lot harder to find the scripts. Bit of a tragedy.

  5. Second Anonymous - Please leave names, guys! - Being repped is only the first step in the writing career. The scripts on the Black List are sometimes written by writers with healthy careers (Tarantino springs to mind) but most of them are written by writers who have written something great that's being passed around but haven't made any huge splash in their career yet. Making the Black List pushes them from an unknown with a good script to being an in-demand writer.

    As to how to get your work on that list, it's pretty unlikely without being repped. But write an awesome script and send it to people, and eventually it will make its way.

  6. I am positive I read somewhere that, "...good writing always gets noticed".


  7. Jim I absolutely believe that. All it takes is time and hard work. A lot of time and a lot of hard work.

  8. Such a great speech, damn lucky and smart of Overbrook to nab this guy, bravo them, and, wow, what a huge inadvertent gift to the screenwriting craft and industry this casually wrung gesture became. To give voice and community to the passion of the readers, and just maybe to provide a tool for analyzing good stories (to help counter the audience shift of focus away from movies), Leonard's done a real service.

  9. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Hey Emily

    Is the black list about LOW BUDGET QUIRKY films,scripts\How about a black list Michael Bay would want to read/
    How about a black list on graphic novel adaptations


  10. The Black List is whatever scripts people enjoyed reading regardless of genre, budget, whatever.

    Juno was on it, as was Inglorious Bastards, The Beaver, Cop Out (as A Couple of Dicks), Zombieland, Blindness, Eagle Eye, Book of Eli, The Hangover, The Wrestler, Easy A, Sherlock Holmes, Up in the Air, Balls Out, Due Date, Social Network and about a ton of other great produced and still unproduced scripts.

    So as you can see, there are no rules. These are just scripts people in the industry think are good.


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