| 11/29/2012 | 0 Comments

While there are many challenges that come to making it in the film industry, arguably one of the hardest things to do as an indie filmmaker is to actually find someone who believes in your vision and project. Many filmmakers often talk about the politics that come with trying to push a script into development or actually getting their work noticed by small or large studios. However, thanks to the internet, indie filmmakers may have found a way to circumvent having to go through the traditional studio system to get their work noticed.

In 2005, industry insiders and development heads, possibly tired of seeing great scripts being passed over or not ever getting noticed, came together to create a survey of what they considered the best scripts that were not produced or picked up that year. One hundred individuals weighed in on all the titles of unmade scripts, which resulted in “The Black List,” a now-coveted list that everyone in the industry wanted to get their hands on. Some titles that were on the list that went on to critical acclaim include, The WrestlerSlumdog MillionaireJuno, and The Kings Speech, just to name a few.

The Black List has brought a new way for many independent filmmakers who, whether lacking the connections or not being able to physically shop their scripts, get their work the exposure it deserved. This advancement even took a more effective turn by finally going digital. One month ago, The Black List transitioned from becoming a simple survey of opinion to a full online experience and database to compare and review popular scripts without having to wait for the annual listing, giving real time results for scripts that may grow in popularity as more members of the site read and review the work.

In a short amount of time, The Black List website has already created ripple effects in the industry.  In a little over a month of the site becoming active, a screenwriter was signed by a major talent agency and also many received many prospective buyers for his script. However, there are still many questions about whether the politics are truly out of the selection process for scripts that gain exposure through the site, as noted in an article from Deadline Hollywood.

While the reach of the innovation that is The Black List’s script database is still being realized, it has definitely opened up an avenue for filmmakers that until this time had never really existed. Now, a screenwriter can showcase their talents without potentially having to physically uproot themselves to LA or NY just to have their work viewed and assessed by industry professionals. This can only help the industry and the filmmaker by having even more talented individuals get an opportunity that they would have never received before, and possibly take the industry in directions that may have never even been imagined. Only time will tell if this is the beginning of the new status quo, or just another experiment in media that doesn’t ever reach its full potential.

Photo credit: The_Vikkodamus / Foter / CC BY

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