EXCLUSIVE: Fox Broadcasting Company has partnered with The Black List to find television drama writers for Fox projects. The way it will work is, The Black List will solicit scripts to be evaluated by its in-house readers, and will recommend a short list of scribes to Fox for consideration. If Fox likes them, a drama script deal or drama staff position might be the result. Writers can begin submitting material today, to www.blcklst.com/fox, and the program ends May 1 at 11:59 PM.
Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 has created a Hasty Pudding Institute Screenwriting Fellowship in conjunction with the Black List. The idea is to increase the visibility of satire and social commentary in the arts and will bestow a $20,000 grant to help aspiring writers of satire or social commentary to continue developing scripts and projects in that tradition. The grant will be curated by the Hasty Pudding Institute and the Black List, Franklin Leonard’s service that tracks the best unproduced scripts.
This latest deal for Franklin Leonard’s script service comes about six months after a tie-up with Warner Bros, which resulted in a two-step WGA minimum deal worth about $93,000 for Tasha Huo, who was a Universal assistant at the time. Today’s announcement marks the first TV network deal for the Black List, which is expanding into episodic content in its quest discover writers from underserved demos. Here’s the release:
TNT and TBS are partnering with The Black List on an initiative to promote diversity in the industry by identifying talented writers to develop scripts and concepts for the networks. TNT and TBS are the first television networks to team up with the Black List following the site’s expansion into episodic content. The networks will be looking for writers from diverse backgrounds for possible blind script deals and staffing consideration on TBS and TNT series, with the goal of signing script deals with particularly strong writers in the half-hour comedy and hour-long drama genres.
EXCLUSIVE: Indie producer Cassian Elwes and The Black List chief Franklin Leonard have chosen screenwriter Matthew Hickman to attend the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as the recipient of the inaugural Cassian Elwes Screenwriting Fellow. Elwes, whose producing credits just this year include Dallas Buyers Club, All Is Lost, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, hatched this plan in October for aspiring scribes who are agent-less and haven’t made more than $5000 writing. The scripts were chosen from among those displayed on the Black List service. The winner gets their trip paid for, and will be mentored by Elwes as he makes his way around the slopes for the films he will undoubtedly be talking up at Sundance. Hickman was chosen from among 10 finalists for his script An Elegy For Evelyn Francis. That work was described by the Black List’s evaluation as “a script that never lets up; it constantly plows through the consequences of every action, raising the dramatic tension and emotional stakes at every level.”
Elwes wants to make this an annual event. Who knows where Hickman ends up, but aspiring writers need a leg up and this seems a worthy gesture, as did the one I wrote about yesterday, in which neophyte scribe Tasha Huo got a blind script deal through a program initiated by Warner Bros’ movie chief Greg Silverman and The Black List. Hey, you never know.
Here’s the new Viewfinder List, the entertainment industry survey which polls studio executives, producers and creatives for their top 10 short films, commercials and/or music videos. This is similar to The Black List, as the Viewfinder List honors short form content and the directors who made them. The list was created by producer Jeff Schroeder, Aaron Schmidt (Langley Park Pictures) and Patrick Chu (FilmNation). In recent years, some of the shorts have been optioned and some of their directors have gotten jobs — and hey, the attention never hurts. This year’s top vote-getter, Fool’s Day, was directed by Cody Blue Snider, the son of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. Here is the website where it is possible to watch the shorts:
Fool’s Day, directed by Cody Blue Snider
Agents: WME – Roger Green, Solco Schuit
Managers: Circle of Confusion – Zach Cox
Noah, directed by Patrick Cederberg & Walter Woodman
Agents: WME – Jeff Gorin, Jordan Cerf, Simon Faber, Andrew Mathes, Ryan McNeily, Sarah Self
Managers: Anonymous – Bard Dorros, Tariq Merhab, Michael Sugar
Controller, directed by Saman Keshavarz
Agents: UTA – Emerson Davis, Ramses Ishak, Michael Sheresky
Manager: Energy – Angelina Chen
Room 8, directed by James Griffiths
Managers: Fourth Floor Productions – Jeff Silver, Chris Goble
EXCLUSIVE: Jean-Francois Richet, whose two-part gangster epic Mesrine was nominated for 10 French Cesar awards — winning three, including Best Actor for Vincent Cassel and Best Director for Richet — has been tapped to direct Pox Americana for CODE Entertainment. The Frank John Hughes-scripted Pox Americana made the top 10 on the just-published 2013 Black List and tells the story of an Army officer and an Indian scout in the New Mexico Territory in the 1850s who are sent by the U.S. President to lead a special ops team to assassinate the head of the Navajo nation.
CODE Entertainment is fully financing the movie, which will start production in 2014 and is currently casting. The company is in post-production on The Forger, starring John Travolta, Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan, and is in prep for Mission: Blacklist, starring Twilight’s Robert Pattinson.
UPDATED WITH VOTES, LOGLINES & REPS: The annual Black List today revealed the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted on by over 250 film execs. A total of 72 scripts made the cut in the 2013 edition of the yearly ranking compiled since 2004 by Franklin Leonard, with Andrew Sodroski’s Holland, Michigan receiving the most votes of all. As usual there are plenty of familiar names on this list, including Jason Fuchs for his Pan screenplay that’s set up at Warner Bros with Joe Wright aboard to direct, and Jason Dean Hall’s American Sniper, another Warners project. Black List alumni that have gone on to Oscar and box office glory include Argo, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire. This year 33.3 percent of Black List entries have financiers attached; 68 percent have producers attached; and 5 writers or writing teams don’t have agents. Here is the list by votes, with votes by agency here and manager reps here. More complete info as it comes:
2013 Black List Screenplays
When a traditional Midwestern woman suspects her husband of infidelity, an amateur investigation unravels.
Agents: Jon Cassir, John Garvey, Ali Trustman
Management: Principato-Young Entertainment
Manager: Peter Dealbert
Production: Le Grisbi Productions
An exploration of the formation of Great Britian’s secret intelligence agency, Military Intelligence, Section 6, known as MI6.
Agents: Bryan Besser, Adam Levine
Management: Caliber Media
Manager: Adam Marshall
Producers: Grey Matter Productions, Marc Platt Productions
A forty-something pediatric allergist, who specializes in hazelnut and is facing a divorce, learns lessons in living from a wise-beyond-her-years terminally ill 15-year-old patient when she crashes his weekend trip to a conference in San Francisco.
Agents: Peter Dodd, Geoff Morley, Julien Thuan
Producer: Tom McNulty
A MONSTER CALLS
An adolescent boy with a terminally ill single mother begins having visions of a tree monster, who tells him the truths about life in the form of three stories, helping him to eventually cope with his emotions over his dying mom.
Agency: Michelle Kass Associates
Agents: Michelle Kass
THE SPECIAL PROGRAM
The true story of Jack Goldsmith, a young attorney who took charge of the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel, then courageously took on Vice President Cheney and his powerful inner circle when he discovered they were running a number of illegal activities through their so-called “Special Program”.
Agent: Craig Brody
Financier: The Weinstein Company
Producer: Spring Creek
HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
A teenager’s life spirals out of control when he befriends the town’s rebel, falls in love, and gets entangled in selling drugs over one summer in Cape Cod.
Agents: Zach Carlisle, Tanya Cohen, Aaron Hart, Adam Levine, Melissa Solomon
Managers: Josh Goldenberg, Alex Lerner, Sean Perrone
Geoff Tock, Greg Weidman
A man goes to space to destroy the ship that, upon going sentient, killed his wife.
Agents: Daniel Cohan, Solco Schuit
Management: Fourth Floor Productions
Managers: Chris Goble, Jeff Silver
Production: 21 Laps Entertainment
Jason Mark Hellerman
Over 24 hours, four teenage friends try to complete the “Shovel List” (a will/bucket list) left for them by their best friend before he died of Leukemia.
Agents: John Garvey, Ali Trustman
Management: Management 360
Managers: Ali Itri, Dean Schnider
Frank John Hughes
In the Old West, a group of soldiers go on a mission to slaughter a peaceful tribe in retaliation for another tribe’s attack on a white settlement, only to suffer at the hands of a devastating disease.
Agents: Peter Dodd, Charles Ferraro
Financier: Code Entertainment
Producer: Code Entertainment
Lisa Joy Nolan
An “archeologist” whose technology allows you to relive your past finds himself abusing his own science to find the missing love of his life.
Agents: Kassie Evashevski, Keya Khayatian, Julien Thuan
Financier: Legendary Entertainment
With America’s first viable independent Presidential Candidate poised for victory, an idealistic young journalist uncovers a conspiracy, which places the fate of the election, and the country, in his hands.
Agent: Ida Ziniti
Management: Madhouse Entertainment
Manager: Ryan Cunningham
Related:Black List 2013: Full Results
CAA – 16.5
WME – 16.5
UTA – 11
Verve – 7
APA – 4.5
Paradigm – 4
ICM – 3
Gersh – 1.5
Original Artists – 1
Resolution – 1
Rothman Brecher – …
EXCLUSIVE: Franklin Leonard’s Black List has become a buzzy barometer for promising screenplays, but here’s a genre-centric version of the script service suited for the spooky season. The Blood List names the 13 best unproduced horror, thriller, and sci-fi scripts of the October-to-October calendar year as voted on by more than 100 film execs. This year’s #1 pick: Ink and Bone, Zak Olkewicz’s horror spec about a writer held hostage by his own creations that Dimension snapped up earlier this year. Independent manager/producer Kailey Marsh runs the annual Blood List, which has no affiliation with the more mainstream-leaning Black List but in its fifth year is turning out more and more high-profile alums. 2012 Blood List topper The Disciple Program landed at Universal with Mark Wahlberg attached to star for Morten Tyldum, while Barbara Curry’s 2011 selection The Boy Next Door is in production under the Blumhouse banner with Jennifer Lopez starring.
The 2013 edition was voted on by 108 feature execs, each of whom chose their top three favorite genre screenplays. Seventy-seven of them earned votes, with screenplays requiring a minimum of four votes in order to make the final cut. The 2013 class is announced, as it has been for four years, on Halloween:
LOS ANGELES (July 9) – This morning, the Black List announced that it will host the inaugural Black List Screenwriters Lab from September 30-October 5, 2013, inviting six nonprofessional screenwriters to an all-expense paid screenwriting workshop with four screenwriting mentors including already confirmed Billy Ray (HUNGER GAMES, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS) and Kiwi Smith (LEGALLY BLONDE, the upcoming EXPENDABELLES). Scott Myers, host and founder of Go Into The Story, the Black List’s official screenwriting blog, will serve as an additional mentor.
The new partnership between the Writers Guild Of America West and script service The Black List will give WGAW members discounted rates on paid Black List services, including script hosting and reader evaluations. The website in turn will promote WGAW resources and educational info. Here’s the announcement made today:
Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and script-hosting website The Black List have formed a strategic alliance with a mutual goal to advocate on behalf of writers, as well as benefit Guild members by providing them with a credible platform to help spotlight their work within the entertainment industry.
EXCLUSIVE: Big Beach and Donald De Line’s De Line Pictures have made a deal for Don’t Make Me Go, the script by Vera Herbert that made last year’s Black List. It tells the story of a single Dad who, after learning he has a serious illness, takes his teenage daughter on a road trip to find the mother who abandoned her years before. In the process, he seizes his final opportunity to teach her essential life lessons.
De Line will produce with Big Beach’s Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf. Big Beach will finance the film. Leah Holzer of Big Beach and De Line’s Jacob Robinson will oversee development.
MANAGERS – by number of scripts
Madhouse Entertainment 8
Anonymous Content 4
Energy Entertainment 4
Circle of Confusion 3
Industry Entertainment 3
Management 360 3
The Arlook Group 2
DMG Entertainment 2
Fourth Floor Productions …