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.