Update on new Black List service: Writer signs with CAA

November 19th, 2012 by

Well, that didn’t take long. From Indiewire:

A month into its new online service allowing screenwriters to have their work read, reviewed and (potentially) pursued, the Black List announces its first success story. After submitting his script to the Black List site “out of sheer curiosity,” writer Justin Kremer has signed with CAA. His script, “McCarthy,” about the rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist excitement, was up on the Black List four days after it launched. It quickly became the highest rated script on the site after getting a stellar rating by its first professional reader. Over 1100 screenplays have been uploaded to the site since its launch.

Kremer say, “The script had been completed for some time and was collecting dust in a drawer. The response I’ve received has been truly incredible. None of this would have been possible without the Black List site. The avenue it has provided has been invaluable, and one that I expect to breed many success stories.”

Black List founder Franklin Leonard adds, “We’re incredibly happy for Justin and even moreso for everyone who will get to read ‘McCarthy’ and the screenplays that he will have an opportunity to write now that he is represented by a major agency. He’s a hell of a writer whose great work simply hadn’t been exposed prior to his uploading it to our site. This is, simply put, why we created it.”

Congratulations to Justin! Let’s hope this is the first of many success stories arising from Black List 3.0 which has created a new pathway into Hollywood for aspiring screenwriters.

Deadline takes note of the signing here.

You can read the Bitter Script Reader’s review of the script “McCarthy” here.

You can read my take on the new Black List service here.

You can read the official Black List press release below the fold and update from Franklin below the fold.

IN A TWIST, MCCARTHY BLACKLISTING IS SITE’S FIRST CONFIRMED SUCCESS

BLACK LIST WEBSITE DISCOVERY JUSTIN KREMER SIGNS WITH CAA LOS ANGELES

(November 18, 2012) – Only one month after launching its new online service allowing unrepresented screenwriters to have their work considered by industry professionals, the Black List can announce its first confirmed success story. Last week, screenwriter Justin Kremer signed with Creative Artists Agency. In a twist worthy of a screenplay of its own, Kremer’s script chronicles the rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist fervor, the same fervor that wrought the Hollywood blacklist that partially inspired the Black List name.

“I submitted MCCARTHY to the Black List site out of sheer curiosity, and entered the process with absolutely no expectations,” said Kremer. “The script had been completed for some time and was collecting dust in a drawer. The response I’ve received has been truly incredible. None of this would have been possible without the Black List site. The avenue it has provided has been invaluable, and one that I expect to breed many success stories.”

The script was uploaded to the site on October 19, four days after its launch. Kremer paid for a single read from a Black List reader, and the high score that resulted merited inclusion in the site’s weekly member email highlighting its highest rated scripts. After dozens of downloads from Black List industry members and further high ratings from those who read it, it quickly became the highest rated uploaded script on the site.

“We’re incredibly happy for Justin and even moreso for everyone who will get to read MCCARTHY and the screenplays that he will have an opportunity to write now that he is represented by a major agency. He’s a hell of a writer whose great work simply hadn’t been exposed prior to his uploading it to our site. This is, simply put, why we created it,” said Black List founder Franklin Leonard. “Beyond that, the coincidence of its content is just remarkable. My personal interest in this period of Hollywood history is no secret. It’s part of why the Black List is called what it is. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read the script as soon as the review was completed to be sure someone wasn’t playing an elaborate practical joke.”

On October 15, the Black List, Hollywood’s annual list of most liked screenplays, launched a paid service that allows any screenwriter to upload their script to The Black List’s database, have it evaluated by professional script readers, and depending on its evaluation(s), have it read by as many as 1,250 film industry professionals currently a part of its membership site.

Since launch, over 1100 screenplays have been uploaded to the service, from 21 countries and 41 states.

Justin Kremer attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Conservatory at the State University of New York – Purchase. He formerly worked as an assistant at Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures.

Over the last seven years, the Black List has become one of Hollywood’s primary arbiters of taste in material. The Black List started as a survey of several dozen executives’ favorite unproduced scripts, the 2011 edition surveyed over 300 executives, over 60% of Hollywood’s studio system’s executive corps.

The Black List, run by founder Franklin Leonard and CTO Dino Sijamic, now includes the annual list of most liked unproduced screenplays, the membership community and “real time Black List,” and the Black List blog, home of Scott Myers’s “Go Into the Story” and Xander Bennett’s “Screenwriting Tips… You Hack,” two of the premier and best-trafficked screenwriting blogs online.

Over 200 Black List scripts have been produced as films grossing over $16 billion in worldwide box office. Black List scripts have won 25 Academy Awards – including the last two of the last four Best Pictures (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and THE KING’S SPEECH) and five of the last eight screenwriting awards (JUNO, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE KING’S SPEECH, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and THE DESCENDANTS) – from 148 nominations. It is also solely responsible for tens of thousands of yearly introductions of Hollywood actors, directors, producers, and financiers to new material and writers they were heretofore unaware of.

Other notable Black List scripts include 21, 3:10 TO YUMA, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, ADVENTURELAND, BABEL, BLACK SNAKE MOAN, CEDAR RAPIDS, CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR, DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY, DUE DATE, EASY A, FANBOYS, FROST/NIXON, HANNA, IN BRUGES, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, INVCITUS, JUNO, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST, NO STRINGS ATTACHED, ORPHAN, RECOUNT, RENDITION, SALT, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, THE SOURCE CODE, STATE OF PLAY, SUPERBAD, THE BLIND SIDE, THE BUCKET LIST, THE FIGHTER, THE HANGOVER, THE IDES OF MARCH, THE KITE RUNNER, THE QUEEN, THE TOWN, THE WRESTLER, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, UP IN THE AIR, WE ARE MARSHALL, and ZOMBIELAND

UPDATE: A follow-up from Franklin Leonard:

“In a press release this morning announcing Justin Kremer’s recently signing with Creative Artists Agency after submitting his script to the new Black List website, I failed to mention that he had previously volunteered work to the Black List as an “intern.”

To clarify, from time to time, we put out calls for individuals to assist us with various tasks like transcribing interviews and alerting us to information about Black List scripts that comes up via the news. In exchange for such occasional assistance, we allow those individuals to call themselves interns though it is an “internship” in the loosest possible sense of the term.

Justin submitted his script without our knowledge. He paid to have his script hosted.  He paid to have it read.  It was read with no further information beyond its genre, as is the case with all of our screenplays.  It was evaluated and included in our emails based on that evaluation and was downloaded and subsequently rated highly based on the evaluations of individuals who had no knowledge of Justin beyond his screenplay and the fact of its high scores.

I personally only became aware of the screenplay when its evaluation was published to our site.

I cannot emphasize enough that the process his script experienced was in no way different than any other submitted script.  I have no tolerance for anything but a pure mathematical experience when it comes to the Black List, and we will continue to function in exactly that way.

If there was an error here, it was in my failure to include the information about our previous, tenuous relationship in the press release that announced his great success.

It is my sincere hope that this failure does not affect the view of Justin’s script. It shouldn’t. The path his script took did not and could not have been affected by his previous work.  The failure here is mine in failing to mention it when celebrating his good fortune.

Sincerely,

Franklin Leonard”

3 thoughts on “Update on new Black List service: Writer signs with CAA

  1. Malibo Jackk says:

    Congratulations to Justin, Franklin, Black List and all involved.
    Cool news.

  2. […] Go Into the Story – “Update on new Black List service: Writer signs with CAA” […]

  3. […] writer signs with agency after posting script on the Black List 3.0 website. What are you waiting […]

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