The 2018 Black List (and Then Some)

These days it seems like there are more lists of screenwriters than there are actual screenwriters. But the biggest and most prestigious list remains the Black List, which was revealed yesterday with exceptional gusto.

The full list can be found here along with a six-minute comedy video proclaiming it’s arrival.

This list is always useful for aspiring screenwriters to peruse for a few reasons.

First, it lets us see what the people who read scripts all day like, what gets them excited, what they want to work on.

It’s worth noting that a lot of these scripts never get made or even sold, but they get writers noticed, and that is a critical first step.

It’s also worth noting that this list should NOT be used to determine your next script idea. If zombie scripts were hot this year, that likely means they’ll be out next year. Rather, it’s useful to see what kinds of risks writers take, how they manage to stand out. The idea can be as important or even more important than the actual script, in some cases.

Second, and along those same lines, the Black List is a great place to study loglines. A lot of the loglines on the list are far from perfect, and the presented loglines aren’t necessarily what the writer used to get read. Indeed, as a lot of these writers are already repped, they might not have needed a logline at all, so these may have been written well after the fact and not necessarily by the writer.

Even so, take a look at these loglines to see how stories get boiled down, what the most crucial elements are, and how they build excitement in the span of just a few words.

Then, head over to Vulture to check out this cool comic book depiction of five of the scripts, plus an interesting breakdown of the overall list.

The 2016 Black List

The 2016 Black List is out! Download a copy of the list right here. You can also look back at Black List’s from year’s past here.

The Black List is a compilation of the year’s most sought after unproduced scripts. There are certainly politics involved in getting on the list, but no writer would scoff at the chance to be included. Screenwriters can benefit from studying the list by seeing what types of ideas are grabbing the attention of producers and agents right now. This year you’ll see a lot of true stories and biopics, which is in keeping with the trend of the last few years.

The 2015 Black List

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The 2015 Black List was posted yesterday. Take a look at the most popular unproduced scripts of the last year, as voted on by agents, managers, and production companies.

Note the kinds of big ideas that stand out to people in the industry. The winning script this year is the story of Michael Jackson as told through the eyes of his monkey, Bubbles. Now that’s creative!

Hopefully we’ll find lots of these scripts online over the coming weeks and share them with you all soon!

Screenwriter Jared Frieder on His Contest Wins, Black List Table Read

by Ashley Scott Meyers

In this episode of the podcast I talk with screenwriter Jared Frieder about how his AIDS comedy, Three Months, got his screenwriting career going. The script won numerous awards and ultimately helped him get his first manager and his first paid job as a screenwriter.

You can listen to the audio portion of the podcast by clicking here or through iTunes by clicking here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLNuHbDY4d4&w=640&h=360]

You can also read a transcript of this episode.

The 2014 Black List is Here

blIt’s finally here! The 2014 Black List has been published. The list contains the names and ranks of the top 51 unproduced scripts circling around Hollywood this year, as ranked by the industry folks who read them.

To everyone who made the list, congratulations! You’ve accomplished an amazing feat, and we hope to see your films on the big screen very soon.

To the rest of us, look through the list. Study the titles. Study the loglines. Learn how they work, what elements they use, what details they put in, and what they might be leaving out. And if you can manage to get your hands on any of these scripts, do it.

The 2014 Black List. Check out the 2011, 2012 and 2013 lists, as well.

The 2014 Black List Writing Calendar

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If you’re looking for ways to amp up your writing this year, familiarize yourself with the 2014 Black List Writing Calendar. The calendar is just that: a monthly calendar on which you can mark off every day that you write or how many pages you write each day — whatever helps you be more productive. But the great thing about this calendar is that it is also full of deadlines for all the biggest screenwriting contests, fellowships, and festivals. So while you work hard at not breaking the chain of your writing, you can also stay on top of your submission goals.

The calendar is available online and as a Google Calendar.

Happy writing!

The 2012 Black List

The 2012 Black List is out, and Scott Myers has kindly posted the full list along with links to stories about scripts that sold during the previous year. Franklin Leonard of the Black List commented:

This year’s list is a wide range of writing from several dozen writers who exciting up and comers. There are some riveting biopics, hilarious romantic comedies, and flat out novel scripts on this year’s list. I, for one, am looking forward to reading many of them, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Continue reading “The 2012 Black List”

The 2011 Black List

The official Black List for 2011 has been posted. Download this year’s Black List here.

For those of you who haven’t heard (from the Black List website):

THE BLACK LIST is a snapshot of the collective taste of the people who develop, produce, and release theatrical feature films in the Hollywood studio system and the mainstream independent system.

An annual list of Hollywood’s most liked unproduced screenplays published on the second Friday of December each year, THE BLACK LIST began in 2004 as a survey with contributions from 75 film studio and production company executives. In 2009, over 300 executives contributed their opinion.

Since its inception, dozens of screenplays that appeared on the list have been optioned, produced, and released, many to great commercial success. Two of the top three screenplays on the inaugural 2005 list – JUNO by Diablo Cody and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL by Nancy Oliver – went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2008 Academy Awards, with JUNO winning the Oscar.

Learn more and read Black Lists from previous years here.

The Black List

This article sheds some light on the infamous Black List, an annual list of the best unproduced scripts floating around Hollywood. No tips for actually getting on the elusive list, but an interesting read nonetheless:

If you’ve ever wondered what Jason Bourne was like in high school, you’re in luck. Today sees the release of Abduction, a bland-looking thriller starring Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner. Lautner’s complete inability to emote—what some people would call “acting”—precludes him from most roles, but not from woodenly scowling through a by-the-numbers action flick.  […]

That’s why it’s so surprising that as recently as last year, Abduction was listed as one of the most impressive unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The film ranked among the 76 movies featured on 2010’s “Black List”—an annual poll in which almost 300 anonymous studio executives weigh in on the most promising screenplays floating around in Hollywood. Each year’s Black List—which is ordered by the number of “mentions” a script gets from the executives surveyed—is a singular opportunity to look into the minds of the people who determine which movies you can see at your local theater. Continue reading “The Black List”

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