These days it seems like there are more lists of screenwriters than there are actual screenwriters. But the biggest and most prestigious list remains the Black List, which was revealed yesterday with exceptional gusto.
The full list can be found here along with a six-minute comedy video proclaiming it’s arrival.
This list is always useful for aspiring screenwriters to peruse for a few reasons.
First, it lets us see what the people who read scripts all day like, what gets them excited, what they want to work on.
It’s worth noting that a lot of these scripts never get made or even sold, but they get writers noticed, and that is a critical first step.
It’s also worth noting that this list should NOT be used to determine your next script idea. If zombie scripts were hot this year, that likely means they’ll be out next year. Rather, it’s useful to see what kinds of risks writers take, how they manage to stand out. The idea can be as important or even more important than the actual script, in some cases.
Second, and along those same lines, the Black List is a great place to study loglines. A lot of the loglines on the list are far from perfect, and the presented loglines aren’t necessarily what the writer used to get read. Indeed, as a lot of these writers are already repped, they might not have needed a logline at all, so these may have been written well after the fact and not necessarily by the writer.
Even so, take a look at these loglines to see how stories get boiled down, what the most crucial elements are, and how they build excitement in the span of just a few words.
Then, head over to Vulture to check out this cool comic book depiction of five of the scripts, plus an interesting breakdown of the overall list.