Thursday, June 27, 2013

I will read your Black List submission!

Many of you have asked about this and I have decided to give the public what they want.  Yes, I will read your fucking screenplay....

...IF you follow the rules I lay out in this blog post.

Many of you may remember back in October when I offered to read the first ten pages of any script whose writer provided a link to their Black List posting in the comments over a four-day period.  I had allowed for such a long period of submissions because I honestly thought I'd only get a few submissions and I didn't want to have only three or four applicants.

I, uh, underestimated the response. Like, by a LOT.  I had ten submissions within the first hour, which is even more remarkable when you realize I always post at midnight PST, when fewer people are likely to reply.  I ended up with 70-scripts that met the deadline, so I knew that if I ever did this again, there'd have to be changes.

The ultimate aim of this venture is to help out people who have taken the plunge on the Black List website.  A script needs two ratings in order to get onto the Top Uploaded and Top Unproduced Lists, which are some of the most valuable ways of attracting attention.  You can always take the chance that someone will discover your script and rate it, or you could pay for Black List reader reviews.  I have to imagine that getting one rating out of the blue is hard, and getting two is even harder.  Because of that, I want to help and possibly encourage other Black List members to dive into the submission pile.

I have no intention of hurting anyone's script by giving them a bad rating.  I want to find something I like, nay LOVE.  If I come across a fantastic script, it would be my honor to promote it on the blog and draw some more eyes over there.  But surely you understand that for my endorsement to mean anything, I have to be raving about the script.  I'm not going to give notes or "that was good for a first draft" platitudes.  I'm going to be saying "READ THIS SCRIPT!"

The best way to find scripts I love is going to be by thinning the herd so that I'm not spending time on concepts that "aren't for me."  Pay attention, because this is important - your logline must sell me on the script.  Yes, this time I'm not promising to read every submission.  The only submissions I will read will be those with loglines that interest me, just as if you were sending me a query.

The genres I'm most like to respond to are action, rom-com, horror, comedy, thriller and anything "high concept."

What am I less likely to be drawn to? Period pieces and torture porn.  So keep that in mind if you're considering joining the Black List just to take advantage of this opportunity.

To qualify, you must submit your comment from the time this post goes live to 11:59pm this evening.  24 hours, no exceptions and no extensions under any circumstance.

Your comment must include the following - Title, Genre, Logline and a link to your script's page on the Black List.  And remember that a logline is a sentence or a couple sentences.  Be concise, don't write me a paragraph. The link to your script's page on the Black List MUST be in the comments. Do not email me. Do not Tweet me. I will ONLY read scripts publicly pointed out here.

My aim is to select the 8 loglines that intrigue me the most and I will read at least the first 15 pages of each of those scripts.  In the event that you guys deliver a lot of awesome loglines, I'll consider going over that limit, but they're all going to have to be really good for me to consider giving that much time.   I probably will let you know if your logline was or wasn't selected, but I probably won't go into much detail why.  Don't take it personally - some ideas aren't for everyone.

I will offer no comments on any of the scripts I didn't finish reading. Don't ask me what you did wrong. Don't ask me for feedback. I doubt I'll have time to respond to everyone, and so to be fair, I will respond to no one.

I will be holding all scripts to the same standards as the material I read for my job. There's no such thing as "good for an amateur" on this scale. Scripts will be judged according to how they measure up to professional submissions.

If I really like your script I will spotlight it in a post on my blog, but know that it would probably have to rate an 8, 9 or a 10 for me to do that.  I'll do my best to write a review that sells people on the script.  It won't be full coverage, and I won't spoil any major secrets or plot twists.  If you want to get a sense of how these read, check out my reviews of MCCARTHY, DEAD CORPS and ALICE OF OZ.

So good luck, gang.  I hope to be very impressed by the submissions in the comments.

P.S. This goes without saying, but I'm not making any claim of who I will pass the script on to and I will not attach myself as a producer or anything.  No crazy promises - and no exploitation.

173 comments:

  1. Oh Hell, in for a penny....

    Title: Patient Zero

    Genre: Action / Horror

    Logline

    In the wake of a sweeping zombie epidemic, the source is traced to a still functioning individual, who is clinging to his fading humanity in the race to save his family.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8308

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I came really close to picking this one, as it's a take on zombies that I can't remember seeing before. The problem? It's a zombie script at a time when the market is really flooded with them. I think agents and managers have hit such a saturation point that they're not ready to embrace any new ones. For a review here to help, I'd have to be able to say "This is the greatest zombie script ever written."

      I also pretty much realized that the mere fact I kept going back and forth on this was a sign that I was lukewarm on the script, so despite the fact this is a well-written logline, my concerns about the concept made this a NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Awesome feedback, thanks Bitter.

      I get the timing issue with the market, I was in throes of finishing when I heard about Warm Bodies etc. I'm also keen to give it a bit of a rewrite now my current project is nearly done.

      Thanks again, appreciate being one of the lucky few that caught hold of this.

      Delete
  2. Title: HIGH NOTE

    Genre: Comedy/Drama

    Logline: Los Angeles drug dealer turned rapper, sells his soul to the music industry for fortune and fame. Turns out, it's more than what he bargained for.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8835

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the sort of script I've read a few times before. The Comedy/Drama genre confused me, and the way the concept is laid out in the logline, it feels like it could lean more to drama.

      The closer "it's more than he bargained for" is a little too ambiguous for my tastes. It could indicate either a comedic payoff or a dramatic payoff. The bottom line is that I read this and I'm not sure what I'm getting. As such, this particular logline was NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  3. Title: My Future Ex-Sister-In-Law

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Logline: A new couple must hide their relationship from their respective siblings—a divorced duo who hate each other.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7439

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did I pick this? It sounded fun. The logline hints at the character conflict and suggests engaging roles. Also, it felt like the kind of script I could really get a feel for within those first fifteen pages.

      Delete
  4. Title: Triage

    Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

    Logline: Wounded space marines fight to escape from a hospital ship when they discover that it is actually a military-run slaughterhouse, harvesting organs for sale on Earth’s black market.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/6534

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a sci-fi fan, but I've been burned by a lot of sci-fi scripts in the past. This logline is pretty clear about the concept, but the whole organ harvesting notion just didn't appeal to my tastes. It's a decently written logline but if there was a way to set up the main character, it might be even better.

      Delete
  5. Title: Evil Uprising

    Genre: Horror

    Logline: A struggling artist accepts a commission to produce five paintings while staying at a mysterious house in the mountains, unaware of his employer's true intentions or of the incredible evil waiting to be unleashed upon his family.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9123

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was another second-tier one. It's virtues are that it feels like it could be a low budget script with a lot of suspense. Ultimately, I think the last part of the logline is a little too vague. A slightly stronger tease of what the incredible evil is and what the employer wants could go a long way. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the feedback on the logline! I wasn't quite sure whether it was good or not and have been looking to get some feedback, I just wasn't sure from where. I appreciate the suggestions, they are very useful. Thanks for the opportunity!

      Delete
  6. Title: BOURBON AND ASHES

    Genre: Fantasy/Drama

    Logline: In an alternate New Orleans where ghosts, spirits and violent gods are a part of day to day life, a musician undertakes a dangerous journey to find closure with the murdered woman who broke his heart.


    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9378

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This script was a 2012 Nicholl Fellowship Semi-Finalist

      Delete
    2. This was pretty much a straight-up NOT FOR ME. The fantasy aspect didn't appeal to me, and I could tell this script had a higher degree of difficulty than many of the others. There are people who probably are really into this kind of script, so I hope the exposure perhaps draws them to this script.

      Delete
  7. Title: For Sale By Owner

    Genre: Comedy

    Logline: To avoid foreclosure on her home, a desperate Realtor and suburban mom begins doing sexual favors for money inside a vacant house she's trying to sell.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9319

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was another second-tier script. I mulled over this one and pretty much it came down to the fact I wasn't ga-ga over the idea. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the consideration and your explanation.

      If nothing else, your assessment has helped push me to tweak (and improve, I hope) my logline.

      Love the blog!

      Delete
  8. Title: Mickey Stanton and the Legions of Darkness!

    Genre: Action/Comedy/Supernatural

    Logline: When a commander of the underworld leads an unholy invasion to the surface, three lowly gas station attendants will battle his vile horde to stop them from wreaking havoc across the entire planet!

    This script was a Semifinalist on the Tracking Board's 2013 Launchpad Competition.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9389

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did I pick this? I felt I needed to pick at least one script that was a little further out there. I like that this logline really swung for the fenses, and yet, the idea feels very tone-dependant. I'm pretty sure I'll know in a few pages if this can pull it off.

      Delete
  9. Title: The 1 Percent

    Genre: Adventure Drama

    Logline: A poverty-stricken teen, who suffers a head injury and becomes a computer programming genius, develops a virus that redistributes the 1%'s money to the 99% but in doing so uncovers a bank committing the biggest act of financial market manipulation in the history of the US.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9390

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was just a case of me having a hard time buying into the premise. There's the notion of the teen becoming an instant genius and then also the fact this lets him develop a virus that will mess with the financial markets. Already, that's a lot to buy into, and I feel like the financial stuff is probably the first thing a prospective buyer would try to get rid of.

      Plus, all of those events are just prelude to our character finding out about a bigger act of financial market manipulation, and that's where I feel like this logline becomes too convoluted. Ultimately, we're going to be reading a script about stock market manipulation dressed up with sci-fi trappings. Seemed like a difficult mix to get right.

      Delete
    2. Ah, well thanks for the feedback anyway. I imagine replying to all these people is a big task and I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  10. Title: The Fad

    Genre: Sci-fi Horror

    Logline: In a dark future where people self-harm for fame and glory, one Painer searches for the ultimate stunt to win his girl -- and uncovers a sinister government agenda.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8073

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This script won 2nd place at 2013 StoryPros Awards. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Nothing against this script, but I've seen a lot of scripts with "dark futures" and "sinister government agendas" so I really need to be blown away to take up one of those voluntarily. The self-harm aspect also felt like kind of a big "buy-in" for me.

      It's a decently written logline - I'm just not the audience for it.

      Delete
  11. Why not...

    Title: A Phantom And A Fly

    Genre: Indie/Dramatic Comedy

    Logline: After being thrust into the spotlight of high-school popularity, teenage recluse Tim resorts to plotting his own downfall in order to reverse his reputation and fade away into the clutches of his frail and disjointed family.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9295

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of reversals here. The kid's a recluse, then he becomes popular, then he decides to tank that reputation. That's a lot of pipe to lay before we get to the fun and games. It made me think that it would take more than 15 pages to get going. It could be a great script, but this pitch is NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  12. Title: The Jaguar's Fang

    Genre: Action / Adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones

    Logline:
    A paratrooper, a gentleman thief, and an archeologist are sent to rescue a missing expedition on the trail of a mythical treasure.

    The Tracking Board 2013 Launch Pad competition Top 25 semifinalist

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/6736

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My NOT FOR ME mostly stems from the fact that I'm a HUGE Indiana Jones fan and I know that I'd be extra hard on this one for any resemblances to that series. A little more information in the logline might have tipped me in the other direction though.

      Delete
    2. (This is weird, my replies/comments end up vanishing on a refresh of the page - sorry if you're getting this for a second time)

      Aww, chucks. I really would have hoped for hard feedback.

      Would it have affected your decision if the genre listing didn't have "in the vein of Indiana Jones" in there?

      Maybe a better logline would be:
      When contact with an expedition on the trail of a mythical treasure is mysteriously lost, a paratrooper, a gentleman thief, and an archeologist are sent to find them, before they're lost forever to sinister forces bent on the same prize.

      In any case, thanks for the consideration! Hopefully I can convince you in any possible following "I will read your Black List submission" offers you'll maybe do in the future.

      Delete
  13. Title: Cold Crossing

    Genre: Thriller

    Logline: A desperate woman hatches a risky plot to escape her abusive husband, but when complications put her little girl in the crossfire, she'll sacrifice anything and anyone to save her daughter.


    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9267

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did I pick this? Points for being a thriller, points for being budget conscious, and a lot of points for suggesting this could have some great roles for actors, particularly a strong female protagonist.

      Delete
    2. I've read this one and it's quite good. Strong strong female protagonist.

      Delete
  14. Your comment must include the following - Title, Genre, Logline and a link to your script's page on the Black List

    Title: "Where Death Follows"

    Genre: Thriller

    Logline: When the FBI guns down his father, the teenage son of a serial killer goes on the run from a relentless and unstable Federal Agent who will stop at nothing to see him dead.

    ( https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5265 )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did I pick this? Because a good serial killer story is my kryptonite, and I was very intrigued by a script that followed the son of a serial killer being hunted by the FBI. It felt less predictable than the usual SILENCE/FUGITIVE knock-offs I often see.

      Delete
  15. Title: BRINGER

    Genre: Mystery/Thriller

    Logline: Two detectives track down a relentless killer while battling personal demons and the pressures of maintaining peace in a crime ridden city; they find every answer yields more questions and a long foretold plan is dramatically revealed.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8032

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one felt like a little too much of a stock-mystery. It's also another case where the last part of the logline is too broad and vague. Like I said earlier, a little extra information can be an effective tease.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the advice.

      I was hesitant to give away a bit too much in the logline, since there's a pretty massive twist (for lack of a better word) at the end and I was worried that putting it in the logline would take away some of the punch of the story.

      Should I stay away from spoilers in the logline or go for it to garner interest?

      Thanks again for doing this.

      Delete
    3. You don't have to give away the whole game, but you probably need to whet my appetite a little. I hear you on not wanting to spoil everything right off. Maybe try to figure out how the story would be sold in the trailers and reveal what you feel comfortable exposing.

      Delete
    4. Hmm what about:

      "As a brutal killer terrorizes a city with an overzealous application of scripture, two detectives try to solve the case while battling long-buried personal demons and are eventually forced to answer the ultimate question; do you believe?"

      Delete
    5. That's a LONG run-on sentence that reads oddly. Try to break it up. Also, work on the phrase "overzealous application of scripture." it reads a bit too euridite, particularly right in the middle there.

      Delete
  16. Title: CHAMBERS

    Genre: Psychological Thriller

    Logline: A wallflower college student, horrified at the discovery of a torture chamber hidden by his recently deceased father, struggles to save a young woman still trapped in it while his domineering brother wants to continue their father's work.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8686


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rolled the dice here. There is a chance this could be an unpleasant, violent script to read. But it's also a marketable idea - and has some potentially compelling characters. (Notice how that theme keeps popping up?)

      Delete
  17. Title: BLACK THURSDAY

    Genre: Action Thriller

    Logline: A disillusioned celebrity radio host must protect his estranged family and millions of innocent lives by making a connection with a mysterious terrorist threatening his city with hijacked military weapons.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8688

    or, if you're ready to start reading:

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/read/8688

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was another one I was borderline on. I've had a few too many "terrorist with nuclear weapons" scripts lately, so fatigue played a big part in me saying NOT FOR ME. It's a decently constructed logline, though.

      Delete
    2. I appreciate the honesty and feedback. Absolutely understand the fatigue comment, but rest assured this script will rejuvenate your faith in cerebral action thrillers.

      There are no nuclear weapons or cliched choices at play in BLACK THURSDAY. What it does have are three unconventional set pieces I guarantee you've never seen before. There are moments that share just as much in common with Lumet's socially-charged work in 70's as other moments are reminiscent of the original DIE HARD.

      (couldn't resist sharing just a few more details in a final attempt to pull you back from the borderline)

      Delete
  18. Title: CATASTROPHIC

    Genre: Drama/Disaster (or as The Black List puts it... Nature Gone Wild)

    Logline: A group of young girls survive a deadly tornado in a storm drain only to get trapped with the water rising.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9307

    And thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a potential contained thriller, which is always good. I just wasn't feeling it, though.

      Delete
  19. What an awesome gesture, Bitter!

    Title: THE FIGURE OF A WOMAN

    Genre: Suspense/ Super Natural Thriller

    Logline: During a blackout at a secluded boarding school, a haunted high school student and his dorky friend compete with a popular senior for the affection of a new girl in the dorms, they learn a sinister secret that places their lives in danger.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7934

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another case of being too vague. I'm not saying I need to know the secret, but it really helps to bait the hook a little more here. Seems like it could be a good setting and the logline sets up several main characters. Still, this just wasn't for me.

      Delete
  20. Title: BLISS

    Genre: Romantic Dramedy

    Logline: A failed mother tries to reconnect with her estranged daughter by agreeing to join her on a road trip to her father's death bed, but when mother and daughter both fall for the down and out folk singer who hitches a ride, it threatens to derail their reconciliation.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9324

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good logline that tells enough without revealing too much. The idea wasn't really my thing though. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  21. Title: OASIS

    Genre: Thriller/Neo-Noir

    Logline: Brutal criminals terrorize the residents of an isolated motel when their loot goes missing.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9016

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've got the location and the antagonists... but I was left wanting to have some sense of who the protagonists were. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  22. Title: H8RZ (HATERS)

    Genre: Crime/Mystery/Thriller

    Logline: The lone survivor of a massive school explosion is held against his will while the administration, police and school board appointed lawyer sift through a story of blackmail, cyber-bullying, and murder, to try to figure out exactly what happened.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9259

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting mystery, and I like the way this logline hints at the script's construction. Basically, there's a big mystery, a lot of questions, and high stakes. This was one I knew immediately that I wanted to read.

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's nothing really wrong with this concept, but I felt like I'd seen scripts similar to it before. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for this experiment. Hope it yields results for somebody here big time!

      Delete
  24. Title: Dreamship

    Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

    Logline: A headstrong teenager must venture into the secret world behind the clouds to rescue his little sister from an evil villainess who plans to create nightmares that never end.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/6696

    Tracking Board 2013 Top 25 semifinalist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fantasy stuff has a higher bar to scale with me. This just didn't feel like my kind of movie. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  25. Title: AMERICAN SPITE

    Genre: Crime Drama/Modern Western

    Logline: After brutally murdering the rural family of a US Marine, an angry drifter comes to terms with his own mortality and stumbles on an evil worse than himself.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8593

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The concept's clearly laid out, with the main character and the core conflict explained well. This just wasn't for me.

      Delete
  26. Title: Bulletproof

    Genre: Action/Thriller

    Logline: A cop shoots her husband in the line of duty and is sent to an asylum when she insists it must have been intentional. As she fights to regain her memories and her freedom, reality unwinds around her as she realizes she’s done it all before.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7951

    Thanks Bitter! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I smell a "mind fuck" story here. I've been burned by those before and they generally call for a lot more effort on the part of the reader. When I can, it's a genre I try to dodge.

      Delete
    2. Hmm. Your smelling is right on, however we took great pains to actually explain everything. Is that something we should try to convey in the logline somehow, if the genre itself is working against us?

      Or do you think querying with that logline and mentioning it got a 7 and a 9 on Black List would be enough for people to give it a shot?

      Delete
    3. The genre is probably what will work against you - though here is where I point out that not every person answering loglines will have the exact same hang-ups as me. Some certainly will, but don't pretend that my points are somehow "one size fits all" when it comes to readers or reps.

      You ABSOLUTELY should tell people this scored a 9 on the Black List. That will be very likely to help you out.

      Delete
  27. Title: BOMBSHELL

    Genre: Political Drama

    Logline: After Castro's revolution a Miami girl is forced to help throngs of Cuban refugees, sacrificing her own freedom while at the cusp of events that shape the USA's history and future.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8826

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kind of another case of something being not my ideal genre. Period political drama is lower on my preferred list. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  28. Title: Tackles

    Genre: Sports Comedy/(B)romantic comedy

    Logline: When a shy college football prodigy unexpectedly falls in love with the chubby girl his womanizing best friend foists on him, his efforts to impress her derail their athletic careers.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9186

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No huge offenses, this just didn't grab me. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  29. TITLE: THE RETURN

    GENRE: Horror/Thriller/Drama/Adventure

    LOGLINE: After a mysterious pandemic has left society in ruins and virgins are the new coin of the realm, desperate parents are determined to rescue their teen deaf-mute daughter from savage Infecteds.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5196

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had read a little bit of this one a while back when the Black List spotlight it, IIRC. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Understood, BSR. This baby isn't for everyone, but let me quote from the paid review: "Genuinely heart-pounding and intense, with the central family's plight being unrelentingly bleak and violent. John and Maggie are both strong, conflicted protagonists that show their vulnerability and strength in realistic ways, neither ever dipping into "Hollywood invincible" territory. There are many big questions about sexuality, family and loyalty that are teased at, giving the story a weight that the typical "infected" thriller lacks. The script is written with some flair for atmosphere and mood, with the over-the-top locations such as the Chinaman's lair and the bordello-from-hell Dogpatch center being vivid and horrifying. There's also an element of humanity in the Infected that works to the script's advantage - as opposed to being completely remorseless, faceless killers, they are clearly still human, just pushed to their limits and morally compromised." An industry pro reader gave every category a 7.

      Delete
  30. TITLE: Farewell, Great Leader

    GENRE: Drama/Thriller

    LOGLINE: A filmmaker and his actress ex-wife are abducted by Kim Jong-Il and forced to make a Godzilla knock-off propaganda film. Their only hope of escape is to use the film's final explosive stunt to cover their tracks.

    link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/4637

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would mention this is based on a true story (life of Shin Sang-Ok).

      Delete
    2. Whoops! Yes, I normally do include that.

      Delete
    3. I couldn't say no to this premise, it's ARGO with GODZILLA and it actually happened! I'm really looking forward to checking this one out.

      Delete
    4. reality is sometimes more absurd than fiction. I saw no mention of comedy in the logline -- so I went WTF? -- then do discover it's based on a true story. DAMN! Craziness. Hope the script rocks and gets some attention. What a story.

      Delete
    5. The details of the true story are sparse, being that North Korea is North Korea, but I filled in the gaps with details picked up from other escapees, reporters, and rumors.

      Delete
  31. TITLE: Clovis 9

    GENRE: Horror/Thriller

    LOGLINE: A group of girlfriends arrive in Clovis to help EMILY prepare her grandmother's funeral and unwittingly arouse the attentions of the town psychopath and Emily's former crush, EDDIE, who picks them apart in a game of cat and mouse, culling the herd down to his Emily.

    link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/4788

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I can go for a good slasher horror, but I wasn't quite compelled by this cat-and-mouse pitch. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Duly noted. I will return to using the original logline: "Lesbian Seinfeld meets I Spit On Your Grave".

      Delete
  32. TITLE: SHADOW GAMBIT

    GENRE: ACTION/THRILLER

    LOGLINE: An untested CIA agent is thrust into a dangerous international game of cat and mouse to find and stop an individual whose actions will trigger a nuclear WW III, unless, of course, this individual finds and stops him first.


    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/4223

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda like with the other one with the terrorist and nukes, I just feel like I've read a lot of these lately. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  33. Title: AND LIKE A BUTTERFLY (SHE WILL COME TO ME)

    Genre: European Vampire Mystery

    Logline: Following several disappearances a bereaved 19 year-old girl, a Belgian detective and a Chinese-American FBI agent find themselves drawn to an agelessly beautiful Countess. (The first in a TRILOGY of Inspector Rollin mysteries.)

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7543

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't drawn in by the concept, but I'll admit that the thing that really swung me away was the promise that this was the first in a trilogy. I feared that I might not get closure in this first story if you're planing two more. Unless you're adapting pre-existing material, I'd usually recommend avoiding revealing you have multiple scripts planned.

      Delete
    2. Thank you BSR for taking the time to do this - and for your perceptive insider advice. Ironically, I only added the "trilogy"
      reference very recently as I'm thinking in terms of a Columbo-esque character franchise across three discrete stories; but I take your point and have now removed the reference from my logline. Thank you again for this fantastic opportunity!

      Delete
  34. Title: CULT OF PORTMAN, NATALIE

    Genre: family adventure/comedy

    Logline: In this modern day Goonies-esque adventure, a young boy and his friends scour the streets of Beverly Hills to find a replacement fiancee for his father because the current one has something evil planned up her sleeve.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9393

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was really tempted by this one, but I wasn't fully sold on the premise. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  35. A very generous offer BSR!

    Title: THE OTHER SIDE

    Genre: Psychological Thriller

    Logline: After a devastating accident in his home, successful businessman Will is stuck in limbo. Torn between a blissfully ignorant return to his old life with his family and learning the truth behind his accident, Will is forced to make a choice between life and death.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5771

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While not quite a "mind fuck" script, I admit I was turned off by the metaphysical aspects of the premise for similar reasons. I wasn't in the mood for a script that might end up on some kind of meditation on reality. It's a solid logline though. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the feedback on the logline! It's so helpful that you're providing insight into the mind of a reader (it's sometimes frustrating, no matter the query method, not to have have any idea how choices are made on the potential reader level).

      I hope you find some great stories that you love to read (on your free time, no less!) from your wonderful effort. Thanks again!

      Delete
  36. Title: Soaring Eagle

    Genre: Action

    Logline: A super hero whose identity is discovered must confront the toll this takes on his family, as other super heroes from a distant planet travel to Earth to kill him.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8858

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to get a superhero movie off the ground if it's not based on an existing IP. The rare instance where it seems to work is if it's a commentary on the genre, like KICK-ASS. There's also the fact that I'm a massive super-hero fan, so it would be held to an impossible standard.

      Delete
  37. Title: Criminally Insane

    Genre: Thriller

    Logline: a migraine sufferer tries a new wonder drug which promises a cure, and vastly improves her quality of life. But when she starts behaving strangely and experiencing memory loss, she suspects she is the victim of a mind-control experiment.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9392

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really considered this one, but the simple fact is I already had a lot of thrillers that seemed more appealing to me. It's not really much more complicated than that. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, it's great to get your feedback. I definitely have some work to do to make my logline more exciting, so it does the script justice! I should look through your archives for tips. Glad I at least piqued your interest, thanks again for doing this.

      Delete
  38. Thanks for this.

    Title: SPECIAL SITUATIONS
    Genre: Crime Thriller
    Logline: An unfulfilled Tolu gets drawn back into the world of industrial sabotage in Lagos, Nigeria. Nnamdi, her husband, must risk it all to win her back.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9264

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Industrial sabotage in Nigeria didn't really provoke my interest, but the bigger lesson to take from this is how you need to make every word count. In a case like this, there's no need to give us the characters names. In this case, the names are so unusual that it became disruptive to the flow of the sentence for me.

      "An unfulfilled Tolu." I read that and I stop, thinking "Is that a noun? What's a Tolu?"

      Beyond that, there's very little information in this logline. All I know is that a woman gets involved again with industrial sabotage and her husband has to save her. It's not a big enough hook.

      Delete
  39. Title: MARK TWAIN IN LOVE

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Logline: On the lam from the law, a young steamboat pilot eludes authorities by joining forces with a runaway female slave, and together they escape down the Mississippi River on her raft. But during the course of their journey, while protecting her from bounty hunters and other ne'er-do-wells, the pilot does the one thing he least expects – he forbiddenly falls in love with the woman.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/manage/8489

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I've said, period pieces usually aren't my thing. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  40. Title: DESTINY OF THE SWORD

    Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Romance

    Logline: In a coming-of-age journey, a young prince must learn the sorcery of an all-powerful sword to return life to the girl he loves and battle an oncoming army led by his legendary exiled father.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8575

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not eager for fantasy epics like this because - like sci-fi epics - they often get bogged down in world building and backstory. This is dramatic death - particularly at the start of the script. I've read far too many fantasy specs that start one of two ways: a battle that introduces two dozen characters amidst the chaos; or an overly long introduction that ladels on the backstory.

      That said, the writer here wisely focuses his logline on the main characters and their relationships. We get a sense of the stakes and the players. Give this to someone who doesn't have my aversion to fantasy and they might go for it. Regrettably, this is NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for all your time and effort doing this. I've really enjoyed the comments. Very helpful to see your process play out. Hope you find a couple of gems!

      Delete
  41. Title: IN DREAMS WE LIVE

    Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Romantic Drama

    Logline: A man’s recurring dream of his deceased father keeps him from moving beyond his past. However, he soon discovers his dreams aren’t random and that demons are attempting to use him as a portal to the real world.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8960

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I said above, dreams and metaphysical scripts have burned me too much in the past. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  42. Title: Demon Whisperer


    Genre: supernatural horror/dark comedy

    Logline: In a reality where possession has become the new big disease, a young exorcist and his demon BFF fake exorcisms to scam the idle rich out of their money.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7470

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stayed away from this in part because this sounds vaguely similar to a script a friend of mine is working on and I wanted to ensure no cross-contamination in the notes I'm giving.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm, I have no response. LOL

      Well I am pleased in the sense that you MIGHT have liked it had circumstances been different.

      Delete
  43. Title: Born in the USA


    Genre: Comedy/Drama

    Logline: When a young man is drafted during the Vietnam War, he and his best friend take a road trip to Canada in order to both evade and have one last adventure together.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5517

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one's pretty simple to explain. I've just read a lot of these character dramas and my reaction is pretty consistently that these can be good, but they're rarely my cup of tea. NOT FOR ME

      Delete
  44. Cool.
    Love the idea.
    Hope you find a great script or two.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Title: Possum

    Genre: Crime Thriller / Heist

    Logline: When a vulnerable, autistic man is used by thieves to commit a heist, it turns out he has remarkably valuable skills.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5809

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The logline didn't grab me, but part of my aversion to this is that I know the writer has already been signed by Benderspink as a direct result of being on the Black List with this script. I wanted to spotlight some people who may not have already benefited from the Black List and the resulting media attention.

      Delete
  46. Title: Poker Face

    Genre: Crime Thriller

    Logline: A professional gambler uses his remarkable poker skills to beat a Vegas underworld conspiracy.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/5580

    Thank you for the consideration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hook feels mundane to me. I've seen enough Vegas conspiracy scripts that that alone isn't going to grab me. If there's something unique about the conspiracy, that would be a different story.

      Delete
  47. Title: Dead Ball

    Genre: Comedy

    Logline: Two disgraced ex-football players are forced to bury an old feud in order to save themselves from a killer murdering members of their losing Super Bowl team.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7484

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A comedy about a serial killer hunting a team that choked in the Super Bowl. The tone would be a major concern here. It would need to be darkly funny without getting all-out ridiculous. I had a little trouble buying the premise here. However, this IS high-concept enough that surely someone will want to check it out.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for doing this. This scored a 9 on the BL as well, but I guess I should've mentioned this earlier.

      Delete
  48. Title: Wicked Garden

    Genre: Horror / Horror Comedy

    Logline: A troubled teen inadvertently unleashes an evil garden gnome, who's hellbent on protecting his garden, and must stop it before it kills everyone he loves. In the vein of "Child's Play" and "Gremlins".

    Scored 9s on Black List
    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/6482

    Thanks for your time!

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was a late addition to my list. The comparisons to Child's Play and Gremlins had me intrigued, as that's something that could sell if the script lives up to the potential.

      But the clincher for me was that this got ratings of 9 on the Black List. An authority I trust has given this a stamp of approval. This is why if you guys have good scores and you're querying, you absolutely should beat the drum about any high scores you get. People will take notice.

      Delete
  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's high concept, but a little too far-fetched for me.

      Delete
  50. Title: ALTERNATE STATE

    Genre: Thriller

    Logline: The life of a lonely man with voyeuristic tendencies, suddenly takes a dark turn when a mysterious force from another world begins to hunt him down.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9413

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, vagueness in the supernatural loglines isn't always your friend. Maybe knowing why this mysterious force is after him would make a difference in my interest. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  51. Title: Toasting Julio

    Genre: Comedy

    Logline: When an old high school classmate dies in a freak accident, an uptight comic book shop owner and his friends use him as their cover to throw the ultimate bachelor party and raise money to save their store, only to find out their “friend” owed money to the New Orleans mob.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8623

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The set-up feels a little convoluted here. I'm not sure why we need to know about the bachelor party. The main point seems to be - their friend died and he was into the mob for money that they don't have. Further, they're already strapped for cash because their store is going under. I'm probably more interested in hearing about the mob compilations than I am the store.

      That said, I've seen a lot of mob comedy scripts go wrong. They succumb to stereotypes too easily. I didn't see enough here to assure me that would be an issue.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your feedback and for the opportunity! I will work on the logline with your comments in mind.

      Delete
  52. Title: Pan
    Genre: Action/adventure

    Logline: Peter Pan has gone insane and become a tyrant in Neverland. Now, Captain Hook and Wendy must work together to stop the boy who never grew up from destroying the fantasy world they once called home

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9417

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is an easy one, I've seen a number of Peter Pan scripts before. I think there are even a couple still in development. I thought about checking this out just to see how this script handled the subject matter, but in the end I realized my interest was lukewarm. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  53. Title: Neptune's Empire
    Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy

    After an actress's co‐star (and lover) is time‐snatched during their 1911 performance of Macbeth, the actress enlists the help of a Scotland Yard detective, and their theatre's well‐meaning but tortured ghost, to bring her lover back from the future.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/4216

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time travel AND ghosts? It feels like it might be a little too much genre-mixing. The period setting also probably turned me off a bit. This is a pretty clear NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Its a fun script :>) - perhaps I need to stress the comedy aspects as well. Thanks for your take.

      Delete
  54. Title: HOLLYWOOD LOST

    Genre: Period drama / Romance

    Logline: Based on the true story of actor David Bacon, who was originally cast to star in Howard Hughes’ western ‘The Outlaw,’ only to be replaced at last moment and subjected to Hughes’ passionate and controlling nature, resulting in a stalled career and untimely death for Bacon.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9420

    ReplyDelete
  55. Title: BREAKING EVEN

    Genre: Comedy/Dark Comedy

    Logline: A scheming lowlife organizes a youth basketball gambling ring to pay off his debt with an angry casino owner.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/7255


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys really like your gambling scripts, don't you? I was looking for something a bit more unique. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  56. Title: Mom's Weekend

    Genre: Comedy

    Logline: With aspirations of proving to the world they aren't some boring soccer moms, three mundane women travel to their kids university with the single goal of reclaiming their youth; but quickly find themselves on the run from a local Kingpin, proving to be a Mother's Day Weekend they'll never forget.

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9240

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You kinda had me until the "local kingpin" part. You guys probably notice a lot of mob bosses and gambling conspiracies in this logline. I see a lot of these in my day-to-day job and while the good ones might manage to be base hits, it's rare they hit the home run. As much as I see these sorts, they're not my first choice for something I'd read on my own time. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  57. Title: THE RECIPE

    Genre: Comedy

    Logline: Fierce rivals in a baking contest, a black woman and a white woman, discover they're related when they're caught cheating: With the same family recipe.

    Big Break Top 40, QF Bluecat and others

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8532

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it bad if I admit that I was wary of the potential racial humor in this one? NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  58. Title: While This Offer Lasts!

    Genre: Crime Drama

    Logline: Utilizing a sting operation, a federal task force targets the con man behind the most profitable pyramid scheme in U.S. history.

    Black List: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9145

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of earlier posts have covered the elements here that leave me lukewarm. A little more detail on the con man might have made this one stand out. As it is - NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  59. Title: Aperture
    Genre: Action/Thriller
    Inspired by real events

    Logline: When a veteran war journalist is implicated in the assassination of a foreign presidential candidate, the secrets she uncovers about the murder force her to choose between family loyalty and saving the man she loves.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8454

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another time, I might have gone for this. I've seen a lot of journalist on the run/political assassination stories and I was in the mood for something more escapist. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the generous offer and all the advice you send out! So much appreciation for people like you and Scott out there!

      Many thanks.

      Delete
  60. Title: Zombie Day Care Apocalypse
    Genre: Rom/Com

    B-movie actress Olivia Chesterfield has had it with her curmudgeon of a husband. Victor Chesterfield hasn't made a zombie movie in well over a decade, but now has to brush off an unmade script to win her back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why does he need to make a zombie movie in particular to win her back? Is it so she can star in it? Why hasn't he made a movie? How will making a movie make him less of a curmudgeon?

      I'm probably going a little overboard, but a little more information would definitely help this logline out.

      Delete
  61. Title: Soldier Sisters
    Genre: Action/Adventure

    When two female Vietnam War nurses are captured and taken P.O.W., they must escape the world's most gruesome conditions using only their wits or vanish forever.

    https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9429

    ReplyDelete
  62. Title: CROWBAR SMILE

    Genre: COMING-OF-AGE COMEDY

    Logline: A smart coming-of-age comedy set at an East Coast boarding school, CROWBAR SMILE deals with the lengths NATE – a perfectionistic 18-year-old – will go to in order to find the ideal woman, and with his complex relationship with his father – the school's notorious womanizing soccer coach.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9430

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At this point in the list, my thoughts were, "Am I more interested in this than anything else on my short-list?" The answer was no. Maybe if I got a sense of how severe the lengths he'll go to are, this would have stood out for me.

      Delete
  63. Title: From A to Zoe

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Logline: A shameless womanizer makes a bet that he can sleep his way through the alphabet. With one woman to go, he falls for Zoe, a sex addict who signed an abstinence contract. He has to choose -- win the bet or get the girl.

    Link https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9273

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The premise feels a little too contrived for me, at least when distilled down to logline form. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
  64. Title: UnDeath

    Genre: Slasher / Supernatural Horror

    Logline: Intent on stealing human souls from the powers that be, the Grim Reaper unleashes a relentless, undead killer on an exclusive golf resort.

    Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9432

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I've seen a horror film set on a golf resort before. Why does the Grim Reaper pick this place? Who is he up against? What motivates going after these souls?

      I worried this could easily become a generic slasher. NOT FOR ME.

      Delete
    2. Hey BSR. Thanks for having a look! Your insight is priceless to new writers like me. I realize that you are extremely busy with no time for follow-up questions, but I can't pass up this opportunity so I'll throw it out there anyway.

      The questions re: the plot that my logline raised for you - "Why does the Grim Reaper pick this place? Who is he up against? What motivates going after these souls?"

      Should this indicate to me that the logline 'works' in the sense that it piques your interest (on any level) in the story, or should the answers be laid out in the logline itself? It's my first one, so I simply don't know. Thanks again for this! Awesome.

      Delete
    3. I'd like to see a suggestion of those answers in the logline. It's a more attractive script the less it feels like the setting was chosen arbitrarily or just for the heck of it.

      Delete
    4. Beautiful. That answers it. Thanks so much!

      Delete
    5. Title: UnDeath

      Genre: Slasher / Supernatural Horror

      Logline: After being murdered to advance the development of a luxury golf resort, a mountain man is resurrected by the Grim Reaper as an undead killing-machine to take revenge. But Death has his own reasons for unleashing the monster on the unsuspecting country club.

      Link: https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/9432

      Delete
    6. Awesome. Thanks for your help, BSR! You rock.

      Delete
  65. Title: AFPAK
    Genre: Action Thriller/ War Thriller


    Logline
    An emotionally scarred CIA officer joins forces with a hardened Afghan warlord to hunt down a terrorist leader responsible for the death of the Warlord's son in this modern interpretation of Leo Tolstoy's Hadji Murad.
    URL:

    https://www.blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/8925

    ReplyDelete
  66. Did my submission get deleted or not go through? I don't see it on here anymore. I know I'm out of contention to get it read but I'd still love your feedback on improving my logline-

    Title: PLAYERS READY
    Genre: Action & Adventure

    Logline: Estranged brothers reunite as members of a Professional Gamer Clan who moonlight as a high-tech heist crew but soon find themselves playing to save their own lives from the Yakuza, FBI, and each other when one of them is accused of being an informant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm... Looks like the spam filter ate your post.

      My first thought - that's a long, run-on sentence. Break it in two. I think you might also be able to lose the detail about the Gamer clan. Focus on the high-tech heist crew element.

      I'd also reverse the structure of the last part of the sentence. Make it "When one of them is accused of being an informant, they are caught between the FBI, the Yakuza, and each other.

      Delete
    2. Better luck next time then... The brothers' personalities and skills as Professional Gamers play a big part in the storyline, but for the logline's purpose of trying to hook a reader, I can see your point.

      Really appreciate the advice, just made the revision. Thanks!

      Delete
  67. Just wanted to add...thanks for your generosity in reading all these and giving your brief thoughts. It really helps to see what grabs your attention and what doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thank you for the opportunity.

    I have read your posts and have just started on Blacklist. I wanted to get your perception of my piece.

    Title: PROSSER"S BLADE

    Genre: Sci Fi /Fantasy/ Supernatural Thirller

    Logline: Adam Mallory rejects a relationship, with someone he likes, and in the end realizes repair of that relationship to too far-gone.
    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/13983

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you for the opportunity.

    I have read your posts and have just started on Blacklist. I wanted to get you to review my piece.

    Title: PROSSER"S BLADE

    Genre: Sci Fi /Fantasy/ Supernatural Thirller

    Logline: Adam Mallory rejects a relationship, with someone he likes, and in the end realizes repair of that relationship to too far-gone.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/13983

    ReplyDelete
  70. I wanted to get rid of the previous post. I want to add this one. Thank you for the opportunity.

    I just started on Blacklist. I have read you Bitter Script posts. I would like to rally for your review. The piece:

    Title: PROSSER'S BLADE

    Genre: Sci Fi/ Fantasy / Supernatural Thriller

    Logline: Adam Mallory rejects a relationship, with someone he likes, and in the end realizes repair of that relationship is too far-gone.

    Link: https://blcklst.com/members/scripts/view/13983

    I apologize for any inconvenience.

    ReplyDelete