Here it is, gang. The big one.
On a number of occasions, I have used my site to promote unsold scripts that have really impressed me, often by unrepresented writers. It's something I've been happy to do, especially since the nature of the Black List website has made it possible for me to vet those unrepped screenplays as well as inform people in the industry of where they can find these scripts. A number of those people have seen good fortune find their script subsequently.
As I've said many times before, having seen the Black List process up-close and through the eyes of readers who have benefited first hand from it, I absolutely think there's value in it. I really think of a site or service marketed to amateurs that has a better method (and believe me, there are a LOT of them.) I don't speak highly of the Black List because I'm paid to promote them, I speak highly of the service because I consider my blog a resource for amateurs looking to break in as writers and in my honest opinion, the Black List is the one site worthy of your money.
And now I'm putting MY money where my mouth is.
Right now, my script TOBY IS NOW FOLLOWING YOU is up on the Black List website.
Logline: After a chance encounter, a young man becomes infatuated with an attractive woman and is determined to become the perfect man for her. His curious voyeurism turns obsessive as he exploits her online footprint to insert himself into her life. And the more success he has in manipulating her, the greater the temptation to go further...
It's a low-budget thriller that is essentially a stalker story from the point of view of the stalker.
I have had this script vetted by a number of fellow writers and other folks in the industry - many of them with professional credits. The enthusiasm they had for the writing convinced me that it was ready for the Black List and the eyes of its professional members. I have asked those individuals who liked the script to please rate it accordingly on the site.
And industry professionals who lurk around here, I hope that you will be interested in checking out the script, as well as spreading the word to reps, producers, filmmakers and actors who might be interested in reading it. It's a brisk 90 pages so hopefully it won't take up too much of your time unless you read slowly.
And just in case a little audio/visual pitch might grease the wheels a little bit....
Honestly, my inclination is to keep the pitch brief, but for those who are interested in knowing a little bit more about the screenplay...
I wrote this script in part because I wanted to write something low-budget enough that it wasn't entirely impossible to direct it myself, should I scrape together enough money. Most of my other scripts have tended to land in the mid-budget range. I didn't have a writing sample that was achievable on less than a $1M dollar budget, at least not without vastly compromising the quality.
After struggling with a few contained thriller ideas, I decided to tell a story with a little more scope but could still be done micro-budget under the right circumstances. The basic concept of TOBY IS NOW FOLLOWING YOU grew out of my desire to tell a story about how much easier it is to dig up information on someone now than it was 10 years ago.
Facebook didn't exist when I was in college, so if there was a girl in one of my classes who I liked, I had to actually talk to her. I didn't have easy access to a self-generated stream of her thoughts. There was no site I could go to to look up the photos she took at wild parties or on the beach. When these existed as physical photos, you mostly only saw them when people publicly displayed them in their homes, or let you browse their actual photo albums.
I'm drifting, but my point is that it's become more normal it's become to keep tabs on your friends (or people you might not even know) without actually having to interact with them to get that information. And that means that behavior that might have once made one feel like a stalker no longer seems as dirty.
I wanted to tell a story about a man who's gradually taken over by his worst impulses. One small step leads to another, and another. Yet no matter how small the steps may be - they still are leading in a particular direction. I've read a lot of thrillers about psychopath stalkers - guys who are just straight-up nuts. I think those stories are less scary because the bad guy is often unrecognizable as a normal person. This is not a story about a deranged madman. This is the story of a very normal guy, a guy we might even sympathize and identify with, who makes some very disturbing decisions.
For now, I'm not able to put together the money to make this myself, but the very positive reactions I got from my trusted readers has made me think that the Black List might be the right place to take it first.
I like that the Black List makes it possible for me to publicize my work without having to make it available to everyone on the internet. I want their users to access it, and so this will be the only place to get it. I'm not posting it anywhere else and if it does surface publicly outside of the Black List, I can assure you it is without my permission.
Regular readers, I know that might be frustrating to you, but one thing I will promise is to be as transparent as the situation allows. I will be updating you regularly on the traffic to my script and perhaps use this experience to give you even more information about what it means to have a script on the Black List site. If you have questions about the experience, please leave them in comments and I'll do my best to be as open as possible.
And Black List members - it's your move.
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