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Dec 11 2009

The Black List

Today is the drop date of the list of Hollywood’s favorite “unproduced” screenplays of the year.  Of course, almost everything on the list is in production or has been optioned.  But there are a few scripts that might get that extra needed bump simply by being on this list!

Here is the list: http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/the-black-list-to-be-posted-here-in-entirety/

More on what the black list is: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-currid11-2009dec11,0,6702050.story

40% of the 2005 list and 30% of 2006 list have been made into films so far.

Some Black List Scripts: The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Hancock, Things we lost in the Fire, Rendition, A Mighty Heart, There Will Be Blood.

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  1. 1
    steveonfilm

    My buddy is #59.

  2. 2
    steveonfilm

    And it’s a fucking awesome buddy cop flick. Think Lethal Weapon meets Se7en.

  3. 3
    A Modern Hell

    Interesting concepts… And I am sooo seeing The Muppet Man!

  4. 4
    Thomas Lorne

    Hey Ashley…
    Was it just me or did anyone else find that LA Times article to be kinda, well… disgusting?

    I mean, okay, yes – true enough: the black list, which I imagine is largely (if not entirely) made of spec scripts, does NOT include many market-oriented, mega-budget, franchise-based, tentpole blockbusters that have gone on to pull in numbers like the Pirates of the Caribbean – duh. Generally when studios want stuff like that, they ask for it. Or they have it built based on an existing spec-treatment or spec-pitch.

    The list wasn’t made for that – it was started so people could try to find the cream of the quality-oriented crop. So that an actor (or other industry person) could find a script they believe in and could help it transition from development hell (or even obscurity) to reality.

    So to assail the list for not producing something it never really intended or designed to produce just seems asinine to me. It is manufacturing failure from a false metric – and a metric that is never even appropriately and honestly applied anyway. The author never tries to show what the return is versus the investment (since these will tend to be smaller budget films, justifying smaller profits) and how that measures up to industry averages for other films of the same budget level. Instead she seem to simply attack movies with budgets of 2mil for *only* making 9mil… (oh the horror of the near-500% investment return).

    And obviously the metrics the list is geared towards (namely, producability and quality) seems very much confirmed by the large percentage of films that are able to be “rescued” from the list and get made, and the impresively large presence the list has at major industry awards like the Oscars. It seems INCREDIBLY successful in these regards, yet the article only begrudgingly admits these facts as if it was a mere sidenote to the list’s otherwise damnable ultimate failure. …as it somehow manages to even turn There Will Be Blood into a failure with its mere 40 million domestic theatrical (and shelf full of awards).

    The articles eventual conclusion is that Leo Dicaprio, who no one dares think is hurting much for money, is somehow “wrong” (almost morally so) for looking for quality projects that might gross lower total revenues than the G.I. Joe 2′s of the world… as if it is unthinkable to make any decisions in ones life on any other basis than what will yield the most profit (“Sorry mom, I was gonna visit you this Xmas, but then I discovered that staying home and nurturing my business of selling crack to schoolchildren was likely a tad more lucrative”) So the final morale of the article is that ol’ Leo (and those of his ilk) needs to wake up and quit looking for quality projects with artistic merit, and start making movies that [and I quote:] “people in Kansas will want to see.” Right. Good thing that is not condescending to the good, quality-hating folk of Kansas and the rest of the pitiable “flyover states”. After all, we all know what kind of genetic garbage the people in Kansas are constituted from. Indeed, if only they were as sophisticated and evolved as the writers of the LA Times…

  1. 5
    The Black List 2009 « My Other Career

    [...] You can find the entire list by stopping by Ashley’s blog and clicking on the link in her post. I’ve linked to it here. [...]

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