Monday, December 15, 2008

The Black List & Bill On TV Part 3

Thursday they released The Black List - a list of best scripts compiled by development people. Many years ago, Vanity Fair magazine ran their 10 Best Unproduced Scripts list every year. Over a decade ago, when Script Mag was looking for article ideas, I came up with the concept of polling development execs to find the best unsold or unproduced scripts of the year. Script already had a column about hot new writers, and I thought this would be a good companion piece to that. But here was the problem - like many of the cool article ideas I proposed, I wasn't offering to write them. My connections with development people is limited, other writers on the mag had much better connections. So, the article never happened. Every year for over a decade, when Script asked for article ideas, I basically sent the same list including the Best Unproduced List idea. And nothing ever happened. Then, a couple of years ago the Black List popped up. It was a good idea, and someone else came up with it, too.

So here are the scripts on the Black List - almost all of them have been bought by someone, and way too many of them are assignments. (My list would *only* be originals.) The script, then how many votes.

67 Mentions (First Place)
THE BEAVER by Kyle Killen

61 Mentions
THE ORANGES by Jay Reiss & Ian Helfer

44 Mentions
BUTTER by Jason Micallef

42 Mentions
BIG HOLE by Michael Gilio

40 Mentions
THE LOW DWELLER by Brad Ingelsby

39 Mentions
FUCKBUDDIES by Liz Meriwether

34 Mentions
WINTER’S DISCONTENT by Paul Fruchbom

29 Mentions
BROKEN CITY by Brian Tucker

24 Mentions
I’M WITH CANCER by Will Reiser

22 Mentions
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS by Peter Straughan

21 Mentions
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS by Quentin Tarantino

20 Mentions
UNTITLED VANESSA TAYLOR PROJECT by Vanessa Taylor

16 Mentions
GALAHAD by Ryan Condal
THE WEST IS DEAD by Andrew Baldwin

15 Mentions
MANUSCRIPT by Paul Grellong
THE TUTOR by Matthew Fogel

14 Mentions
THE DESCENDANTS by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
SUNFLOWER by Misha Green
GOING THE DISTANCE by Geoff LaTulippe

13 Mentions
THE AMERICAN WAY by Brian Kistler
NOWHERE BOY by Matt Greenhalgh
RAINDROPS ALL AROUND ME by Reed Agnew & Eli Jorne
SEQUELS, REMAKES & ADAPTATIONS by Sam Esmail

12 Mentions
A COUPLE OF DICKS by Mark Cullen & Robb Cullen
GAY DUDE by Alan Yang
THE MANY DEATHS OF BARNABY JAMES by Brian Nathanson
UNDERAGE by Scott Neustadter & Michael Weber

11 Mentions
CODE NAME VEIL by Matt Billingsley
EVERYTHING MUST GO by Dan Rush
THE FOURTH KIND by Olatunde Osunsanmi
FOXCATCHER by E Max Frye & Dan Futterman
THE PHANTOM LIMB by Kevin Koehler

10 Mentions
THE APOSTLES OF INFINITE LOVE by Victoria Strouse
THE F-WORD by Elan Mastai
UP IN THE AIR by Jason Reitman

9 Mentions
BACHELORETTE by Leslye Headland
JONNY QUEST by Dan Mazeau
THE KARMA COALITION by Shawn Christensen
KEIKO by Elizabeth Wright Shapiro
KNIGHTS by Nick Confalone & Neal Dusedau
TWENTY TIMES A LADY by Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden

8 Mentions
CLEAR WINTER NOON by John Kolvenbach
FIERCE INVALIDS HOME FROM HOT CLIMATES by Eric Aronson
ROUNDTABLE by Brian K Vaughan

7 Mentions
THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE MONOGAMOUS DUCK by Neeraj Katyal
THE GARY COLEMAN –EMMANUEL LEWIS PROJECT by Dan Fogelman
THE LAYMAN’S TERMS by Jeremy Bailey
THE MALLUSIONIST by Robbie Pickering & JaceRicci
PLAN B by Kate Angelo
WHAT IS LIFE WORTH? By Max Borenstein

6 Mentions
ACOD: ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE by Ben Karlin & Stu Zicherman
BAD TEACHER by Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY by Charles Randolph
CHILD 44 by Richard Price
EASY A by Bert Royal
GIANTS by Eric Nazarian
GRAND THEFT AUTO by Jason Dean Hall
HELP ME SPREAD GOODNESS by Mark Friedman
INFERNO: A LINDA LOVELACE STORY by Matt Wilder
LONDON BOULEVARD by William Monahan
MEMOIRS by Will Fetters
SHRAPNEL by Evan Daugherty
YOUR DREAMS SUCK by Kat Dennings & Geoffrey Litwak

5 Mentions
AFTER HAILEY by Scott Frank
THE BLADE ITSELF by Aaron Stockard
BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE by Adam Cozad
FRESHLY POPPED by Megan Parsons
GAZA by Frank Deasy
GREETINGS FROM JERRY by John Killoran
GROWN MAN BUSINESS by Justin Britt-Gibson
THE HERETIC by Javier Rodriguez
HOW TO BE GOOD by Cindy Chupack
MAN OF CLOTH by Josh Zetumer
SLEEPING BEAUTY by Julia Leigh
THE SPELLMAN FILES by Bobby Florsheim & Josh Stolberg
STOP HUNTINGDON ANIMAL CRUELTY by Adam Sachs
A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Beau Willimon
UNLOCKED by Peter O’Brien
WHAT WOULD KENNY DO? by Chris Baldi
THE ZERO by Stephen Chin

4 Mentions
RONIN by Chris Morgan
BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER by Rich Wilkes
THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED by Hanna Weg
A BITTERSWEET LIFE by Mark L Smith
BOBBIE SUE by Russell Sharman, Owen Egerton, & Chris Mass
BOBISM by Ben Wexler
DEADLINE by Soo Hugh
THE DEBT by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Chris Terrio
HEARTSTOPPER by Dan Antoniazzi & Ben Shiffrin
THE HOW-TO GUIDE FOR SAVING THE WORLD by BenDavid Grabinski
I KILLED BUDDY CLOY by Nick Garrison & Chase Pletts
JAR CITY by Michael Ross
A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY by Susan Walter
THE MOST ANNOYING MAN IN THE WORLD by Kevin Kopelow & Heath Seifert
MOTORCADE by Billy Ray
THE MURDERER AMONG US by Lori Gambino
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HELL by Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman
SAMURAI by Fernley Phillips
THE SCAVENGERS by Nate Edelman
SERIAL KILLER DAYS by Mark Carter
SHERLOCK HOLMES by Tony Peckham
SWINGLES by Duncan Birmingham & Jeff Roda
‘TIL BETH DO US PART by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
UNTITLED CHANNING TATUM PROJECT by Doug Jung

- Bill

PS: My interview continues on the Writer's Bloc Show on Virtual TV Network, with part 3, about how to get pages actually written:

THE WRITER'S BLOC: ** Bill On TV **


Sunday 12/21, Movies4Men2 (UK) - 19:10 - Steel Sharks - When a United States submarine is seized by terrorists, a rescue attempt by Elite Navy Seals goes awry. The submarine crew wages a silent war beneath the waves in this tense undersea thriller.

Monday 12/22, Movies4Men2 (UK)- 16:35 - Black Thunder - When the world's most powerful stealth jet fighter falls into enemy hands, only one man can get it back. Starring Michael Dudikoff.

You have been warned.

6 comments:

The Moviequill said...

if you want any of the Black List to read, just let me know

ObiDonWan said...

I'd like to read THE MOST ANNOYING MAN IN THE WORLD and also SHERLOCK HOLMES. Those sound like the movies I'd most like to see.

Grant said...

I had a question based on a comment you made in the video. You mentioned that your goal was five pages a day that you could turn into a producer. There was a similar thread over on johnaugust.com where he talked about producers getting antsy and wanting pages.

Is it normal that producers will start wanting pages early on?

Here's the way I've been writing, basically full time:

Three weeks for prep. Treatment, outlining, character bios, all that. At the end of that time, I pretty much have the whole story written out in narrative form.

Two weeks to churn out a rough draft. I've got a pretty good idea of the direction of things. There aren't any major changes from the treatment. But there are still plenty of little surprises, finding the characters, adding some subtlety, etc.

Three more weeks for rewrites. The first set of rewrites are notes I accumulated during the rough draft, that I just jotted down and kept on going.

So I guess on this schedule, I don't really have the first 10 pages in a format that's suitable for human consumption until five or six weeks into things. Even though I have a pretty good idea of what's going on way earlier than that. I'm not trying to figure out the story, and I don't get stuck 30 pages into the rough draft.

Oh, wait, I had a question in there somewhere. Does a routine like this work if I was writing on assignment? Or are the producers going to want to see polished pages earlier on? Not counting crazy two week deadlines, of course.

wcmartell said...

Grant - I'm answering your question in a blog entry, because it was getting just too long for a reply, and it's a good question.

- Bill

How to Party with an Infant said...

The Descendants better be good, damn it:>

Laura Reyna said...

Having a 'best of' or 'most liked' list of just SPEC scipts is a great idea.

(When I 1st heard about the BL that's what I thought it was. Was a bit surprised to learn adaptations were included.)

There is really something special about a quality movie script that was forged out of nothing.

The writer who makes something out of nothing should be celebrated-- esp now a days with so many movies being remakes/adaptation etc...

I guess we have to make our own if we want a 'just specs' BL .

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