Almost exactly two years ago, I held an open call for people who put their scripts up on the Black List site. From those submissions I selected 8 loglines that appealed to me and read at least 15 pages of each of them. In a few cases, I was so impressed with the writing that I completed the entire script and gave the best of those some attention in a "spotlight" post on the blog.
Derrick Borte got my attention with his strong logline and I came away even more impressed by his script H8RZ (HATERS). I felt the tense thriller merited a 9/10 rating and spoke at length about the reasons why in this earlier post.
As it turned out, Derrick and his co-writer Daniel Forte were already repped by an agency. In fact, Derrick already had one feature to his name, the David Duchovny indie THE JONESES. This fact had some other participants in the competition crying foul, even though I said it didn't factor into my decision to read the script. I wondered why someone with an agent and manager would use the still-relatively-new Black List site, and so I put the question to Derrick in this interview. Part of his motivation, he said, was, "This material seems to be a little difficult for some people and I thought that maybe this could help build some momentum/buzz that might uncover some production company that I'd like to partner with to make the film."
Well, I don't believe that my efforts had anything to do with this, but Derrick DID eventually find the money to produce H8RZ with a cast that includes Cary Elways, Abigail Spencer and Jeremy Sisto.
I'm having trouble embedding the trailer, but you can find it on Hulu here. It's available for pre-order on iTunes and comes out July 17th!