Get Your Film Made: Franklin Leonard Announces Black List Film Fund
Submit your scripts!
While speaking at the Wall Street Journal's Tech D.Live conference, Black List founder Franklin Leonard announced he's shaking up the entertainment industry again and will raise funds to produce some of the screenplays discovered on his platform.
For those unfamiliar, the Black List was founded in 2005 as a survey of the industry's best unproduced screenplays, based on the opinions of executives. Titles are ranked and announced in December of each year. Since its founding, it has grown to include an online writing community, which in 2012 began hosting screenplays for executives, agents, and producers to access. The site also features a paid script evaluation service. In a recent TED Talk, Leonard boasted of the list's success. According to the Black List site, over 400 of their scripts have been produced, and 262 have been nominated for Academy Awards, 53 of which have won.
Leonard has said for a while that he wants to help scripts get noticed and get made. (Which is great news for us.) In April, the Black List made a move into producing when the company partnered with Chinese group Meridian Entertainment to make low-budget indies. The Black List is also currently producing the Allison Janney and Laura Dern starrer Breaking News in Yuba County. The script by Amanda Idoko is—you guessed it—a Black List alumnus.
Financing films is a new and exciting direction for the Black List to take. Getting films made might seem like a slightly more attainable goal now, especially if the company is willing to take risks on the unconventional material it loves to feature.
Regardless of how this plays out, the Black List has provided a way into the industry for writers who might be unrepresented or unproduced, and they have certainly had some success stories. In fact, No Film School's own Jason Hellerman is a Black List writer. His script Shovel Buddies made the list's top ten in 2013 and was later produced by AwesomenessTV, and it premiered at SXSW in 2016. You should for sure be following his free screenwriting seminar and definitely read his features on three-act structure and how to write a treatment.