The Black List Launches Paid Script Service

Franklin Leonard
Franklin Leonard
 Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Hollywood's annual list of the best unproduced screenplays is expanding beyond Tinseltown.

The Black List founders Franklin Leonard and Dino Sijamic are launching a paid service that will allow a screenwriter, amateur or professional, to upload his or her script to The Black List's database, have it evaluated by professional script readers and, depending on its evaluation, have it read by showbiz professionals that are members of the service.

Screenwriters will pay $25 a month to have their scripts hosted on The Black List's website (http://www.blcklst.com), accessible by a cadre of industry professionals. They can pay an additional $50 for evaluations by anonymous script readers hired by The Black List.

"For years people have been asking me how to get their scripts to Hollywood," Leonard said. "Short of endless rounds of unanswered query letters and screenplay competitions that may, in the best case scenario, attract the notice of a few people, I never had a good answer. We built this to provide one."

The Black List will not claim a commission, finder's fee or producer credit on business generated by their service.

Leonard described the new service as "a screenplay competition with rolling admission," where the best scripts reach the hundreds of people who can help get them bought and made.

Leonard and Sijamic said the new service is consistent with their mission of heralding great screenwriting in order to help moviemakers find great scripts to make.

"We have an iron-clad 'do no harm' policy," Leonard added. "A script's evaluation will only be made public if a writer wishes to make it so. Moreover, the only time an industry professional's attention will be drawn to a script is if it's been evaluated positively or if our algorithm believes they personally will like it."

Over the past seven years, the Black List has become something of an unofficial Hollywood stamp of approval. More than 200 scripts that have appeared on the annual Black List were later produced and released for the domestic market, earning more than $16 billion in worldwide box office and garnering 148 Academy Award-nominations and 25 wins, including two of the last four best pictures, The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire.

Among The Black List projects that are in the awards-season hunt this year are Argo and Django Unchained.

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