By now, I expect you’ve heard all about The Black List’s new initiative, hosting scripts by new writers in a searchable database in exchange for a small fee, and for a further fee, having those scripts read and rated by professional readers.
(If you haven’t, go to http://blog.blcklst.com/author/admin/ for full details. Or alternatively, watch founder Franklin Leonard being interviewed by The Bitter Script Reader puppet at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhXQ6_POV3A )
Lots of smart people have already weighted in on this, lots of good questions have been asked, and in fairness, Leonard’s been very open to those questions and provided sensible answers to them. So my two penn’orth probably isn’t needed. But that’s never stopped me before!
I’m not normally in favour of reading services – few of them provide insights on your work that you can’t get by joining a good writers’ group, and the fees can be astronomical – and I’m definitely not in favour of any other service that claims it can get your script to the people that matter in Hollywood (because none of them can).
However, if ever there was an initiative that a) was genuinely trying to help writers find producers and producers find scripts, rather than just make money out of the niave, and b) had a chance of success, it’s this one. Leonard’s Hollywood contacts are second to none; and more importantly, he’s established as a man whose instincts can be trusted.
I don’t know whether this will work. Producers are busy people, and their assistants have enough to do dealing with the deluge of scripts that pour through the letterbox every day – even if they need good material, do they really have the time to go out and look for it? But I applaud Leonard and The Black List for trying to make a difference – and if I had a suitable script ready to go right now, I’d probably post it on their site and see what happens…