Posts tagged ‘the Black List’

September 26, 2011

The Black List

This article sheds some light on the infamous Black List, an annual list of the best unproduced scripts floating around Hollywood. No tips for actually getting on the elusive list, but an interesting read nonetheless:

If you’ve ever wondered what Jason Bourne was like in high school, you’re in luck. Today sees the release of Abduction, a bland-looking thriller starring Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner. Lautner’s complete inability to emote—what some people would call “acting”—precludes him from most roles, but not from woodenly scowling through a by-the-numbers action flick.  […]

That’s why it’s so surprising that as recently as last year, Abduction was listed as one of the most impressive unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The film ranked among the 76 movies featured on 2010’s “Black List”—an annual poll in which almost 300 anonymous studio executives weigh in on the most promising screenplays floating around in Hollywood. Each year’s Black List—which is ordered by the number of “mentions” a script gets from the executives surveyed—is a singular opportunity to look into the minds of the people who determine which movies you can see at your local theater.

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April 19, 2011

Know the Rules, Then Bend Them: Ben Ripley on Source Code

This great interview from the WGA talks with Ben Ripley about the writing of Source Code. Ben wrote the script on spec and had to complete a few full rewrites before getting to the structure you see on screen:

When Ben Ripley first came up with the idea for Source Code, in which government operative Colter Stevens repeatedly relives the eight minutes leading up to a terrorist train bombing in hopes of finding the bomber, he had no intention of writing it on spec. Having established himself in Hollywood largely doing “studio rewrites on horror movies,” he felt a solid pitch would do the trick. Unfortunately, it didn’t. “I sat down with a few producers, and the first couple just looked at me like I was nuts,” confesses Ripley. “Ultimately, I had to put it on the page to make my case.”

So he wrote it on his own dime and, given the idea of a parallel universe-bending time traveler was already pretty esoteric, he played it safe with the structure, churning out a standard Syd Field-style script. As the writer puts it: “It was very plodding and things happened in a completely comprehensible way.”

And how’d that work out? “It was underwhelming. We thrashed around with rewriting that, and it was still underwhelming.”

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