Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EXCLUSIVE interview with Franklin Leonard about Black List 3.0!

As promised yesterday, here's my EXCLUSIVE video interview with Black List creator Franklin Leonard about the site's newly launched service, Black List 3.0.

For those who don't know, the Black List has been around since 2005 and is is an annual list of Hollywood's most liked unproduced screenplays. As their website boasts, "Since its inception, more than 125 past Black List scripts have become theatrically released feature films grossing over $11 billion in total and winning 20 Academy Awards from over 80 nominations. Both 2010 and 2011 Academy Award Best Pictures THE KING’S SPEECH and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE were Black List scripts. Along with Diablo Cody’s JUNO and Aaron Sorkin’s THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Black List scripts have won four of the last eight screenwriting Academy Awards."

Franklin Leonard has worked in Hollywood since 2002 and was most recently Vice President, Creative Affairs at Overbrook Entertainment.  Before that he was a Director of Development at Universal and has also worked at Appian Way.

(Apologies for some of the sound issues, folks. One of our mics decided to have a little fun with us.)

Franklin wanted me to correct two misstatments he makes in the interview.  First, current membership is at over 1,100, not one thousand.  Also, the site only has about 3600 titles on it, not 5000.

Hopefully you found this interview useful and please pass it along!

Related: The What, How, and Why of the Black List: The Long Answer by Franklin Leonard


  1. this covers a lot of ground. great questions!

    1. Thanks Amanda! My biggest goal was to discuss any areas that people might be concerned about and to address the topics of greatest concern. Hopefully I succeeded, but I guess that's for the audience to judge.

  2. Franklin mentioned confidentiality of the industry professionals but it is important for writers to know where their script has been and where it is being circulated. Will writers be notified when their work is downloaded? A writer could be in a situation where they are leaving a script out there for $25 a month yet every studio has seen it and passed on it. I think notifications of where the script is being viewed are important.

    1. The way I understand it is that they won't see it (in most cases) unless it's rated highly. If you're not getting responses from queries (and are confident in your script) this beats any contest out there because it's tailored to matching industry folks with the right scripts.

      You should do a cameo in the next Muppets Movie.

  3. A) The whole puppet thing cracks me up.
    B) Good questions.

  4. This is such a great idea, and I love how this interview is done - equal parts lighthearted and no-BS. Thanks for putting this together and sharing it with us!

    And is that the complete collection of Angel I see on the shelf behind Franklin? I'm actually in the process of rewatching the series now. Clearly this is some sort of sign :)