Here’s an excerpt:
Launched in 2005, The Black List quickly became a Hollywood institution. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly reported:
‘In just four years, the Black List has become Hollywood’s equivalent of the Rookie of the Year award—a neon arrow pointing to the work of undiscovered or unappreciated writers. It has launched careers, been an increasingly important weapon in the battle to get great original screenplays made into great original films, and even become a crystal ball for the Oscars.’
Franklin Leonard, then a development executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, launched the list by asking nearly 100 movie execs about their favorite unproduced scripts from the past year. He then compiled the results and initially distributed the list anonymously. The voter pool has now grown to approximately 500, with more than 200 Black List screenplays becoming features. Collectively, they’ve earned $16 billion at box offices worldwide, earned over 150 Oscar nominations and won 25 statues, including three of the last five Best Pictures and seven of the last 12 screenwriting Oscars.
However, as it turns out, few of the original Black List writers were truly “undiscovered,” since most of the scripts had already been sold and some were even in production. Furthermore, most of the writers were represented by agents or managers, including heavy-hitters like Quentin Tarantino and then-rookies like Diablo Cody.