Using the Black List for a British centric script?

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  • Using the Black List for a British centric script?

    Hello all,

    First post on here after 10 years. Good to be back.

    Hope this hasnt been posted before, if so, apologies and/or if it's in the wrong place.

    I have a very very British script, setting, location, humour (think cornetto trilogy style). My question is, do people think it is worth hosting on the Black List? I'm not sure how well non US based work is received?

    I'm just thinking sales strat for this. Any advice, personal stories would be awesome.

    Much love

  • #2
    If you're looking to sell a work to US studios, I think it's fine. We love British TV and movies. But if you want to get it set up in Europe, then probably not that helpful.

    However, I don't think black list would be my first stop. My first stop if you think the spec is read is to query producers and reps directly with your work. See what the market is directly for what you've written.

    I had to google it, so you're saying your work is like •Shaun of The Dead •Hot Fuzz •The World’s End -- well those are all crazy popular in the US as well, so don't see why your spec being set in Britain matters if the story is about things we all love like zombies or drinking or police action movies.

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    • #3
      From someone who uses The Black List website consistently, if you can afford it, and you receive high enough ratings to get on the top lists, then yes, it's worth it.

      A lot of industry folk use it, including managers, directors, and producers.
      "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy b/c you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." -- Edward Snowden

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      • #4
        Also, check out other places like reddit with more first hand experiences. https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriti...eval_discount/

        Owner of the site Franklin is active there so you could seek out the answer directly too from him. But from what you told me, the black list (if you choose to use it) won't care if your setting is London vs NYC. Many American movies are set not in the US about very very British things.

        https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriti...the_blacklist/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bono View Post
          If you're looking to sell a work to US studios, I think it's fine. We love British TV and movies. But if you want to get it set up in Europe, then probably not that helpful.

          However, I don't think black list would be my first stop. My first stop if you think the spec is read is to query producers and reps directly with your work. See what the market is directly for what you've written.

          I had to google it, so you're saying your work is like •Shaun of The Dead •Hot Fuzz •The World’s End -- well those are all crazy popular in the US as well, so don't see why your spec being set in Britain matters if the story is about things we all love like zombies or drinking or police action movies.
          Thanks fella.

          Great advice and the producer idea is certainly something I will be doing.

          I'm also going to look down the reddit route. I guess just go for it on all fronts.

          Do you get reports/Edits done on your script before starting a shopping campaign? I have two happening at the moment via a site called creative pool.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
            From someone who uses The Black List website consistently, if you can afford it, and you receive high enough ratings to get on the top lists, then yes, it's worth it.

            A lot of industry folk use it, including managers, directors, and producers.
            Thanks for this insight.

            I've never used it before as the two scripts I shopped in the past were taken up by managers and they never put them on.

            My budget is 700 USD for the year, will this be enough for the Black List plus some evaluations from the site?

            Thanks

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            • #7
              Let's see...

              The hosting fee is $30/month/script to start. Evaluations are $100 per eval. You need to purchase two AND score above the community average to be listed on the top lists: MTD, QTD. To get on the top list for YTD you must have at least 4 scores averaging (prorated by type) above the community average.

              Minimally:
              It will take two months of hosting and two evals with scores above the community average. Initial investment = $260
              • if your two scores aren't high enough you will have to buy 1 or more evals and secure high enough ratings ON ALL 3-4.
              • It isn't unusual for a script to receive high scores and low score, seriously it happens more often than we would like
              To stay on the top QTD will cost $90 for the quarter and minimally $200 - $400 or more to secure scores that will keep you on the lists for 3 months.

              It goes up from there.

              You can receive scores from industry professionals but it doesn't happen often (but does happen, I have a few) and they don't hold the same "weight" as a paid eval, which is strange.

              That's the basics
              "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy b/c you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." -- Edward Snowden

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kylewillmott View Post
                I have a very very British script, setting, location, humour (think cornetto trilogy style). My question is, do people think it is worth hosting on the Black List? I'm not sure how well non US based work is received?

                I'm just thinking sales strat for this. Any advice, personal stories would be awesome.

                Much love
                I think there's an element here of how you present your Britishness. The Cornetto trilogy takes American genre tropes from zombies and action movies and relocates them to the UK. So we get a zombie movie set in a pub, an action movie set in a quaint country village, an alien invasion movie set on a pub crawl. US viewers can understand those British movies. But if you write a Ken Loach or Mike Leigh type movie, dramas about and filled with details and the language of British (and often regional, i.e. not London) working class life then it will have little US appeal. As for the BL, I have no idea if British producers use it.

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                • #9
                  The BL is a crap shoot. I have clients who've received 3s and 9s for the same script. If you're lucky to get high marks, however, that *can* lead to downloads. So if your budget is tight and you're mostly looking for actionable notes or experienced feedback, find a reader(s) others vouch for. The services that keep the readers anonymous are best avoided IMO, because too many outfits use inexperienced readers, or if they do have experience, they're likely skim-reading bc the compensation is so low.

                  A good reader will take into account your objectives. If the British tone and colloquial nature of the story isn't going to fly with US producers without refinement, or it's best shot is with UK outfits, then I would hope they'd state as much. Mostly though, you should seek feedback for structure, character, dialogue, etc. Just see if the material works as a movie first and foremost.
                  NOTES / COVERAGE
                  15,000+ Screenplays
                  [email protected]

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                  • #10
                    i also enjoy how the BL named the paid service the same as the non paid annual list just to cause what seems like intentional confusion to a lot of newbie writers.

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                    • #11
                      I’ve grown increasingly bearish on the paid site over the years. Of course people have had success because of it. Plenty. Spend your money how you want. But I just think a good, commercial logline is going to find a way in the querying world.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bono View Post
                        i also enjoy how the BL named the paid service the same as the non paid annual list just to cause what seems like intentional confusion to a lot of newbie writers.
                        I've heard Franklin Leonard stated somewhere that the Black List paid for his house in Malibu. Which one is anybody's guess and reinforces your excellent point.
                        NOTES / COVERAGE
                        15,000+ Screenplays
                        [email protected]

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                        • #13
                          I got 48 or 49 downloads and offers of representation with a very British-centric script, Full of 'geezer' slang and references to little-known English culture and locations.

                          It also broke a slew of the mythical 'rules of screenwriting' on the opening page alone and it wasn't the death knell that noobies are often told it is.

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                          • #14
                            So Sundown are you repped then? This is new info you never shared before and is one of only positive BL reports I've ever heard around screenwriter land. Congrats on the success.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bono View Post
                              So Sundown are you repped then? This is new info you never shared before and is one of only positive BL reports I've ever heard around screenwriter land. Congrats on the success.
                              I've shared it many, many times.

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