Continuing from yesterday's post, Cassian Elwes was nice enough to answer a few questions about the Fellowship he's created with the Black List.
My first question: Why the Black List? What makes Franklin Leonard's site an attractive partner for a producer who has four films being circled by Oscar buzz this year alone?
I love what the Black List is about - identifying material that should be made into films and hasn't yet for one reason or another. In a way it energizes the people involved to actually get their movie made and also helps highlight their project to people looking for things to finance. We're trying to take that notion and put brand new writers in front of 'Hollywood. ' I know there are new voices out there looking for as way in and the Black List is a proven entry point
The Black List is going to send you ten scripts. I'm sure every writer wants to know "Will Cassian Elwes read my script in its entirety?" Do these go straight to you, or will you have one of your development people do coverage on them as a way of culling that ten down to a smaller number first?
I'm absolutely going to read the 10 scripts myself. I love finding great scripts. Anyone who knows me pretty well knows when I find something I like I'm relentless in seeing it get made. I'm not committing to finance the movie of the winner but chances are good that I will.
How much direction does the Black List team have as to what sort of material you might be looking for? Obviously the first prerequisite is that the writing be strong, but is it worth submitting if the writer doesn't have a period piece or a prestige adult drama? Is there a scenario where you might end up attached to, say, a high-concept script like THE TRUMAN SHOW?
It really doesn't matter what the script is about or what genre it is. A
good script is a good script if I can see the movie in my head and it's
a movie I want to see. If you look through my work I've done almost every
kind of movie there is.
The purpose of the Fellowship is, in part, to allow a young writer to be mentored by you. Could this mean you might use the winning submission as a writing sample and attempt to develop a new property with the writer, or is your intent to select a script that you can guide and develop?
I'm looking for scripts that could be great independent movies. I want material that directors and stars would jump at so no, it's not about development, it's about production
What exactly does mentoring from Cassian Elwes entail? Is it analogous to a writer working with you on development of a script, or do you foresee more frequent, hands-on interaction with the writer?
I'm really hoping that I get to mentor someone who I can help guide to a long career and that I can have a long term professional relationship with. I know I have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, relationships and access to financing.
I envision this fellowship generating great movies which is what I'm all about.