The Black List Partners with Warner Bros. to Offer New Writers Two-Step WGA Deals

Black List partners with Warner Bros new writer dealsHere at NFS, we've written extensively about The Black List and its paid service for screenwriters to have their screenplays evaluated and hosted for industry executives to download and read. The Black List honestly seems to be trying to break down barriers between aspiring screenwriters and production executives, albeit for a fee. Writers will have to be judges of the value of the service for themselves, but The Black List has just announced another deal that might boost its value proposition. The Black List has partnered with Warner Bros. to give new, diverse screenwriters the chance to get two-step WGA minimum blind deals from the major studio on an ongoing basis. For more details about this announcement, hit the jump.

Here is the announcement from The Black List regarding its new partnership with Warner Bros.:

We are pleased to partner with Warner Bros. to further diversity within their screenwriting ranks by identifying up to four diverse screenwriters who have not yet earned $25K in aggregate for their screenwriting work to receive a two-step WGA-minimum blind deal (over $90,000).

Every six months beginning today, the Black List, using its script evaluation service, will select a short list of five writers from amongst those who have opted into consideration via the site. Those writers will be invited to submit a one-page personal statement, which will be reviewed along with their selected screenplay by the Warner Bros. development & production executive team.

One of those writers may be selected to receive a two-step blind screenwriting deal worth over $90K.

The first short list will be announced on November 3, 2013.

Certainly, The Black List and Warner Bros. are making no guarantees that one writer will get a two-step blind deal every six months (N.B. "One of those writers may be selected,") but Warner Bros. has already shown its faith in The Black List when it signed Richard Cordiner to a two-film blind deal to write the screenplay for Spacesuit.

According to The Black List, "diverse" is a broad term for this partnership:

Screenwriters who submit to The Black List can simply opt in during the script upload process to be considered for the Warner Bros. program. Writers with screenplays already on The Black List can opt in on their My Scripts page.

To read the fine print for this new partnership, check out the following:

The Warner Bros. Blind Commitment Agreement link above provides the nitty-gritty legal details on what this deal really entails for the select writers that Warner Bros. chooses. Basically, it gives Warner Bros. first crack at a screenwriter's ideas for a three-month period, but also allows Warner Bros. to pitch ideas to the select screenwriter during the same period to find a mutually agreed upon screenplay for the writer to write for the studio. Be sure to read the agreement in full to understand all of the details.

What do you think about this new partnership between The Black List and Warner Bros.? Does this raise The Black List's value proposition for aspiring screenwriters in your mind? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.

Link: The Black List

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Your Comment


I don't know why if you were a writer who had a genuinely great story to tell you would narrow your market to just a few studio executives. Making money from writing is hard enough as it is, why not widen the net? at least then if it flies the story can be adapted into a screenplay. You will also have more leverage in negotiating a fair price for your work as well, as the story has proven itself to an audience already.

July 26, 2013 at 5:51PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


By widen the net I mean write a novel!

July 26, 2013 at 5:54PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


IMO, if you're a younger female or an ethnic minority writer, it is worth a shot.

July 26, 2013 at 7:08PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I find the site name, The Black List, a bit disturbing. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, so a site for screenwriters that's named after the Hollywood black list is bizarre. It doesn't inspire confidence, and I want no part of it.

July 27, 2013 at 2:11PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


If I am a filmmaker that wants to direct my own writing, is this worth entering or do they solely want the script for purchase?

July 27, 2013 at 11:51PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


"the Black List, using its script evaluation service, will select a short list of five writers"

The judges at Black List will simply choose their friends. Who's to stop them? And, if there is any type of success at all, they'll claim it as proof that the site is worth your dollars. I call BS.

August 2, 2013 at 3:03AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Reality Check

An opportunity is an opportunity. As we all well know that mainstream film suffers from a lack of storytelling that is lost to the excessive use of explosions and other costly special effects. All told, studios are beginning to realize that recycled movie fodder isn't a consistent way to make money anymore. Perhaps this is a good thing?

September 6, 2013 at 6:59AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM