Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Black Listed

The Black List has started a spin-off service looking to help aspiring screenwriters get their scripts into the hands of the right people. For a monthly fee, scripts can be uploaded, hosted and evaluated.

As a brand, The Black List has an excellent reputation in the screenwriting community. You’d be crazy not to want their stamp of approval, but I don’t think this service is going to be a game changer.

“The great hope is that...some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film.” - Francis Ford Coppola, 1991

Screenwriters have more resources at their fingertips than ever before, but are we better storytellers as a result? Nope. While there might be a few gems buried deep, deep, deep in the slush pile, most amateur scripts just aren’t very good. A lot of folks would be better served joining a writing group or free workshoppping sites like Trigger Street and American Zoetrope, before signing up for these pay services.

Secondly, getting reads is tough, but hardly to the point where your ONLY option is to plunk down cash in order to get someone to crack the first page. All it takes is a good logline, persistence and a bit of luck. Heck, I’ve gotten opportunities off the strength of my very average blog. The real challenge is crafting a script that’s worth reading -- still working on that part. This Black List service is probably best for writers with a few scripts under their belts; not the desperate noob gambling with rent money and his first script.

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