Hollywood has a diversity problem. The Black List and Warner Bros. are trying to change that, starting with the writer.
The Black List announced that a new submission period has opened for consideration for a two-step blind deal with Warner Bros. Pictures to find new diverse writers. Screenplays hosted on The Black List for at least one week between March 22, 2016 and September 6, 2016 by writers who have not yet earned $25,000 in aggregate for their screenwriting can opt-in to be considered for the script deal with Warner Bros.
What is a two-step blind deal? To define this term, let's work backwards. "Blind" means Warner Bros. is making a commitment to work with a screenwriter on a future screenplay without having seen or heard a specific pitch or spec script for the future project. Why would they do this? Warner Bros. is so impressed with the writer's script on The Black List, they want to work with the writer on a future project. According to the blind agreement, for a three-month period, the writer will submit to Warner Bros. on a first-look basis all material the writer has created, owns or controls that is available for sale, as well as any pitches for projects that the writer would like to turn into screenplays for feature-length films. Once Warner Bros. decides which project they want to pursue with the writer, they will commence a "two-step" deal based on WGA minimums. The first step is the first draft of the screenplay, and the second step is the first rewrite of the screenplay.
The blind agreement also lays out the specifics of the three-month submission period, how the project can be chosen, and how the writer can submit any rejected ideas to other studios and producers after completing the required screenplay draft and rewrite per the Warner Bros. deal.
How is diversity defined for this deal? Here's how The Black List founder Franklin Leonard defined diversity back when this partnership with Warner Bros. was announced in 2013:
The Black List starts new submission periods every six months for writers who host scripts on their site and opt into consideration. So if you miss this round, you can opt in later as long as Warner Bros. continues its partnership with The Black List. You can learn more about the specifics on the FAQ page for the Warner Bros. submission call and read the fine print about the deal in the links below.