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Blacklist?

Simple question - what are people's thoughts on The Blacklist? I've just had my first experience with them and am looking for some perspective so I'd like to hear people's opinions.

  • There's a blacklist? Who or what is being proscribed on it?

    1 month ago
  • I think he means this, (yes, oddly named).

    blcklst.com/

    1 month ago
  • Thanks Marlom
    One man's shop talk is another man's gobldegook. After 47 years in media, arts and entertainment I'm still learning.

    1 month ago
  • I have worked with people (non UK) who rate it highly. I am far less convinced. I haven’t read a huge number of rated scripts but I got a distinct impression from those I have seen that style was winning over content – a very ‘Hollywood’ style, which can almost make reading an unpleasant experience at times. Having been assessed by them I didn’t feel that the comments were reflected in the final rating. I would love to hear more of other people’s experience.

    1 month ago
  • Thanks Terry.

    1 month ago
    • A pleasure. I do hope you get some more comments. I am really interested in hearing about other people experiences with Blacklist. .

      1 month ago
  • I'm one of four writers in what we have called our Blacklist group. The others are all American, though one is based in Hong Kong. We meet up virtually every two weeks to discuss a script chosen from the top Blacklist scripts of recent years. Some of them are excellent, and many have been produced or are in development - but some of them are frankly awful. It's made us wonder how they ened up so highly rated.

    1 month ago
    • I think that's a brilliant idea Stephen! Wish you could make this generally available in some way. Do you think some of the erroneously high rated simply 'look' the part? That's what worries me the most.

      1 month ago
  • It is perceived quite highly in certain parts of the industry. If you score an 8 or higher, your script gets a lot of attentions from producers.

    My personal experience has been inconsistent to say the least. It seems very much a lottery as to the script reader assigned to you. I suppose the same is for any company that outsources the script reading to third-parties.

    I’ve had notes that don’t reflect the score. I’ve had a score of 5 for a script that then went into the semi-finals of Page and Austin, then a script that did not perform as well in other competitions get a 6!

    The film Extinction on Netflix was one of the top unproduced films on the Blacklist in 2013 and it’s is dire. I’m sure other films produced from Blacklist scripts are great, but that’s the only one I’ve seen.

    It’s the luck of the draw really. If you don’t get an 8 or bad notes, just try elsewhere is all I can advise.

    1 month ago
  • Hi Mark, just for clarity's sake, there are quite a few features named "Extinction" made in the last few years, so which one please were you referring to. Personally, of the two latest ones, I really quite enjoyed the Fox/Donovan one but thought the Pena one was really disappointing.
    Regards Ray Brady

    1 month ago
  • I agree with Mark. It's the luck of the draw. They have a great support, though, and if you get a review that contains factual errors (and you can prove it - it has happened to me more than once), you'll get a refund.

    By the way, don't bother to keep a script online if you don't get an 8 at least. A script of mine got a 7, but no one downloaded it.

    1 month ago
  • Hi All.

    A few years back I uploaded an indie script I wrote to shoot in my home country of NZ just to see what happened. The first review was a rave - 8 out of 10. It was a thoughtful and well written review that understood exactly what the script was including my intended themes and sub-text etc.

    When you score an 8 they then give you two free reviews to assess if it was an accurate assessment. That's when the issues started. Each of the two free reviews were poorly written - they contradicted themselves and the site marking rules, had grammatical errors, and generally appeared rushed. Almost as if they skimmed over the script, barely reading it just to cash the cheque. The scores were low.

    The Blacklist had little interest in my concerns. The problem was that the admin staff were unable (due to policy and time constraints) to read my script to verify the accuracy of my concerns.

    So, as Mark mentions, it is a complete lottery as to who you find reading your script. Are they conscientious? Do they love only specific genres? Are they having a bad day?

    Due to incredibly lucky timing in regards to a competition they were running at the time, the initial review did get me a meeting with a respected Hollywood indie producer who also raved about the script (but has not made it). So it can work. And it's relatively cheap so you have nothing to lose by uploading a script. And, despite the above, I'd still trust it over screenwriting comps. Just don't invest too much hope in it.

    1 month ago
  • Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. They seem to echo my own. Pragmatically speaking, from a financial point of view it seems like it could end up being an expensive venture. It costs to keep the script up there, it costs for reviews - even if you were to go away and tweak your script according to their feedback, how much money, along with time, passion and effort are you going to spend chasing a perfect Blacklist rating, especially as not only is it luck of the draw, as some of you have said but also, ultimately, all subjective?

    1 month ago
    • I prefer to give my scripts to a few readers because:
      1. I trust their feedbacks.
      2. I can have a conversation with them.
      About the Blacklist, unless one of my scripts gets an eight or more, so you get two free reviews, I never buy more than one review. And I take the script offline immediately if the review isn't an eight.

      1 month ago
  • The Black List you are referring to is a scam.
    The original Blacklist was, and probably still is an annual survey of the "most liked" motion picture screenplays not yet produced for whatever reason. Perhaps they were in turnaround, or for some reason lost favor with the studio that optioned it. It was started by Franklin Leonard, a development executive who worked at Universal Pictures and for Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment. All of the scripts had been submitted to various studios and optioned via literary agents.
    Mr. Leonard started circulating his list to his colleagues at other studios in the early 2000’s letting them know that great scripts were available and could be optioned or re-optioned. Some of the scripts on the original Blacklists were Argo, American Hustle, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Spotlight, and The Revenant.
    These scripts weren’t sitting up on a site available to the public. The list was an inside studio trade secret. In 2005 Franklin Leonard began publishing his list every second Friday of December - still for studio/industry people only.

    When word leaked out that these lists existed, writers wondered how could they get their script on the list. At some point a service like www.inktip.com/ or ScriptShark saw this as a new way to exploit aspiring writers and created the Blacklist site that you are now talking about.

    Like the old saying about Hollywood goes: there’s no there there. You are more likely to have your script or idea ripped off on sites like those then actually selling it to a major studio or any reputable production company.

    4 weeks ago
    • Now there's a story worthy of being a movie :-)

      4 weeks ago