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The Black List

I hadn’t seen last year’s Black List, so if you missed it too, here it is. Thanks to Scott at Go Into The Story for posting the link over at his site.

If you don’t know what The Black List is, it’s the most eligible screenplays around written by the top writers of the moment – we’re talking the likes of Tony Gilroy, Diablo Cody, The Coen Brothers etc. It’s quite an education, since you suddenly realise what you’re up against as a spec writer: these guys are already “in the ring” so to speak, yet just like everyone else they have to pitch and see if their masterpieces will get funding and get made – options, agreements, etc don’t always guarantee success after all. Sometimes projects get abandoned, some get stuck in development hell, some never see the light of day for personal or political reasons. Similarly it’s very useful to see how many “mentions” certain stories get at the end of the document – in other words, which are the most popular.

It’s also useful to see what kind of scripts are doing the rounds over the pond – I was surprised to see a few Zombie movies in there for example and no obvious Vampire flicks (I did skim read it, admittedly: it’s 37 pages!), plus I was interested to see what appears to be some family-orientated drama and Rom Com. Not that I would ever suggest a writer writes solely for the market of course, but it’s interesting to see what the zeitgeist *could* be a year or so from now.

So, go and have a look.

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7 thoughts on “The Black List”

  1. “After a zombie plague ravages America, a pair of ‘odd couple’
    survivors team up to find purpose and combat the living dead in the
    post-apocalyptic Southwest.”
    Not only is the logline generic, so is the title.

  2. ““Zeus’s son, Perseus, journeys to save Princess Andromeda. During his
    adventure, he must complete various tasks set out by his father,
    including capturing Pegasus and slaying Medusa.””

    Seems like a less imaginative Hercules. Rescuing princesses? Really?

  3. Hehe, sorry for the multiple comments.

    “Prompted by a corporate transfer, a father and son move to Japan and
    find that all the fantastic elements of the son’s favorite Japanese
    movies – Godzilla, giant robots, secret ninja cults, etc. – are a real
    and borderline mundane aspect of everyday Japanese life. Adjusting
    proves difficult, hijinks ensue.”

    Sounds funny. Hijinks will, indeed, ensue.

    What’s with the influx of iraq/current affairs movies, though? Nobody really watches them, and they aren’t exactly exciting nor accurate (at least the two dozen released within the past 7 years haven’t been). But still, we are seeing scripts like “Enron”, “I rock Iraq”, “Curveball”, and many more.

  4. Yes, it’s interesting this. If you get the preferred newsletter from Inktip, there’s always requests for scripts about Christmas or dogs.

  5. Very true Elinor – I’ve been reading those lists InkTip send out for years now and there ALWAYS seems to be a request for a Xmas script or one involving animals – yet I see very, very few of either!!!

    Carlo – I’m not struck by Iraq movies and can’t think of one I’ve watched either, but someone must like ’em else they wouldn’t keep making them I’d have thought.

  6. Zeus’s son, Perseus, journeys to save Princess Andromeda. During his
    adventure, he must complete various tasks set out by his father,
    including capturing Pegasus and slaying Medusa.

    Is from the Greek myths – stories that were not required to be written in Courier.

    Pegasus sprang from the blood of Medusa when her head was cut off by Perseus, but in the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans, the horse was captured grazing. That way Perseus could ride him rather than use the winged sandals given to him by the nymphs.

    Disney’s Hercules was fun to work on but… well, almost all their films don’t stick to the original texts, you know.

    Zombieland is a pretty weird one. The first ten pages is all voice over as well, which would have some teacher types frothing at the mouth.

  7. WTF?! I thought Disney was a documentary filmmaker!!! ; )

    Where did you find the script of Zombieland, GD? I wouldn’t mind reading it – was it online?

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