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Black List Scripts: Read Our Top 10 Loglines From the 2020 List.

See which concepts made it onto the 2020 Black List. Here are our 10 favorites.

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by Script Reader Pro in Best Screenplays to Read
December 16, 2020 24 comments
hollywood Black List scripts 2020

2020 Black List scripts. Here are the loglines from the scripts that made the list. 

For the uninitiated, the Black List is a yearly roundup of the best unproduced screenplays doing the rounds in Hollywood, as voted for by producers.

It was started by an executive named Franklin Leonard back in 2005. He came up with the idea of forwarding a spreadsheet of the best unproduced scripts to fellow producers in the business.

The concept took off immediately, and many Black List screenplays went on to become well-known movies such asThe King’s Speech and Juno.

What’s coming up:

A breakdown of our top 10 loglines from the scripts that made it onto the Black List in 2020.

You’ll also find the link below to all the loglines for the latest Black List movie scripts below.

The benefit of reading these loglines is that it helps you assess the competition. These concepts and ideas represent the standard that’s to be achieved if you want to get your own script on the Black List.

And as you know, the basis of any great script is a great idea.

How does your logline stand up? Is your concept good enough to make your screenplay one of the Black List scripts in 2021?

Find out below!

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Our top 10 loglines from the latest Black List scripts. 

The Black List is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.
— Franklin Leonard

And the same applies to our top 10 list of the latest Black List loglines. We’re not saying they’re “the best,” they’re just our “most liked.” Feel free to disagree in the comments below!

1. Birdies by Colin Bannon.

When Tabitha, a struggling foster kid, wins a contest to become part of the BIRDIES, a popular daily YouTube channel featuring the radiant and enigmatic Mama Bird and her diverse brood of adopted children, she soon learns that things get dark when the cameras turn off.

Why it made our list:

We love the way this logline starts off in a happy-go-lucky way with images of a Sesame Street-style show, before flipping our expectations on their head. There are so many different ways this script could go.

2. Cosmic Sunday by MacMillan Hedges.

A small percentage of the population is stuck in a time loop and have had to create a society that functions within the same day, repeated day in and day out. One man struggles to find himself for the first time in ages amidst a society clinging to a sense of normalcy.

Why it made our list:

Yes the “stuck in a time-loop” thing has been done a ton of times before. But, as with the recent movie Palm Springs, it really doesn’t matter if you can put an original spin on it. In this case, the fact that a whole percentage of the population are in the loop.

3. Crush on You by Shea Mayo.

Summer on a secluded campus takes a dark turn for three college girls when a supernaturally sexy mystery man begins haunting their dreams.

Why it made our list
:

This script just sounds like a blast. An updated and sexier take on A Nightmare on Elm Street. You know you’re onto a winner when, as with this logline, you wonder how this movie hasn’t already been made.

4. Flight Risk by Jared Rosenberg.

An Air Marshal transporting a fugitive across the Alaskan wilderness via a small plane finds herself trapped when she suspects their pilot is not who he says he is.

Why it made our list
:

We love the sparseness of both the cast and the location in this logline. It’s easy to picture the kind of movie this is: a tension filled thriller full of great dialogue and, no doubt, an epic fight to the death at the end.

5. Gabi Seems Different by Victoria Bata.

After spending several years recovering from a devastating car crash that pulled her out of the spotlight, Gabi, a famous pop star, gets ready to perform again for the first time. But with the pressure mounting and her memory failing her, the young woman begins to doubt who she really is — and if Gabi really survived the crash at all.

Why it made our list
:

Having a protagonist who doubts their own reality can be a super effective device to create mystery and suspense. From Gaslight to Jacob’s Ladder, it’s been a staple of thrillers through the ages and this one sounds like a winner.

6. Gusher by Abigail Briley Bean.

Based on the story of Anna Nicole Smith, a shrewd young mother rises out of a small Texas town to become a famous Playboy centerfold, but when she falls in love with an eighty-nine-year-old billionaire, his son and the entire world believe she’s nothing but a gold digger.

Why it made our list
:

Gaining the rights to a true story can be a great way to give a screenwriting career a boost in today’s tentative market. This rags-to-riches story about Anna Nicole Smith’s relationship with Hugh Hefner could be the perfect vehicle to do just that.

7. Lurker by Alex Russell.

An obsessed fan maneuvers his way into the inner circle of his hip hop idol and will stop at nothing to stay in.

Why it made our list
:

This perfectly crafted logline is the shortest on the list and one of the best. The conflict is so clear purely because the protagonist is so obsessed. Imagine this film directed by Dan Gilroy or Damien Chazelle. We pray this gets made.

8. The Neutral Corner by Justin Piasecki.

A Nevada court judge who moonlights reffing high-profile boxing matches must face his demons when he’s assigned to the Olympic fight of an ex-con he’d previously sentenced for murder.

Why it made our list:

There’s plenty to admire in this logline which has irony in spades. Both protagonist and antagonist are conflicted and possess two sides to their character: court judge/boxing referee, Olympic boxer/ex-con. It’s contradictions like these that make for truly great characters.

9. Uncle Wick by Gabe Delahaye.

An action comedy wherein Benji Stone, a lovable but deeply unpopular sixteen year old, is pulled into an international assassination plot by his uncle, a retired undercover assassin charged with babysitting Benji for the weekend.

Why it made our list:

This one sneaked onto the list as you know what you’re getting with this movie: a fun-filled two-hander between a nerdy teen and his macho uncle. We say “sneaked” as the only thing that tripped us up was the “babysitting” element. Maybe Benji should be younger? Nevertheless, it’s a great idea.

10. The U.S.P.S. by Perry Janes.

Following in his murdered mother’s footsteps, Michael Griffiths enlists in the United States Postal Service… only to discover a mail route full of surprises and a job that means maybe, just maybe, saving the world.

Why it made our list:

Who cares that we don’t know what Michael may end up saving the world from? This is a fantastic logline that, once again, feels like it should’ve already been made. (Some writers say that you shouldn’t use the characters name in the logline and in this case we agree. Did you also read “Melanie Griffiths” first time around?)

Here’s the link to read all the loglines to 2020’s Hollywood Black List scripts.

What do all these loglines and Black List Scripts have in common?

Like all great loglines, these are original, interesting and make you say things like “I wish I’d thought of that,” and “I would watch that movie.”

Each of these concepts helps you see the movie. The genre is clear. The protagonist is clear. And the conflict is clear.

If you take a look at the logline to your own script, does it do the same? It can be hard to step back and look at your own work objectively but it’s a vital skill to learn if you want to make your screenplay one of the next Black List scripts.

Our post How to Write a Logline: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide has a ton of info in it that you’ll find useful in tightening up your concept.

Also, note how great the titles are: Gabi Seems Different, Lurker, The Neutral Corner, etc.

We have a post called Movie Title Ideas: 3 Ways to Come Up With Cooler Titles that can help brush yours up if needs be.

hollywood Black List scripts 2020

Read Black List scripts. 

As you probably know there’s no magic bullet when it comes to screenwriting. When it comes to getting your screenplays on the Black List, though, there’s one key piece of advice we recommend you take…

It sounds obvious, but far too few aspiring screenwriters actually put it into practice. If you want to get your screenplay on the Black List, you need to be reading scripts that are already on it.

Reading scripts that made it on to the Black List will help you keep abreast of what’s hot in Hollywood and the kind of standard you need to reach.

If you want to succeed as a screenwriter, you need to read screenplays all the time. And Black List screenplays are a great way of doing this. It will help keep your finger on the pulse of Hollywood and you’ll pick something up from each script you read.

Where to download Black List scripts.

Type “download blacklist scripts” or “the black list screenplays download” into a search engine, you should be able to locate a few. Here are some to get you started:

•  Black List scripts 2017

•  Black List scripts 2009

And read more Black List loglines…

As well as reading Black List screenplays, you should also read all of the loglines to the scripts that made it onto the list.

This will also teach you how to write a logline and is an invaluable way of getting the creative juices flowing if you’re trying to come up with a concept for your next screenplay.

You will find all the loglines to screenplays that made it onto the Black List over the last few years here:

 Black List loglines 2020

 Black List loglines 2019

 Black List loglines 2018

•  Black List loglines 2017

•  Black List loglines 2016

•  Black List loglines 2015

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A note: Hollywood Black List scripts vs. the Black List website.

Please bear in mind that the Black List we’ve discussed in this post is a completely different entity from the Black List website which Leonard Franklin set up years later.

The Black List website is a site where aspiring screenwriters can (for a fee) upload their screenplays. Industry people who’ve also opted into the site, can then read and vote on them.

This online voting system means the writer is able to track their script’s progress as it either falls or climbs up the rankings. It’s a good way of tracking the progress of your writing.

Obviously, though, your main aim should be to get your script on the original Black List that circulates Hollywood.

Black List scripts: conclusion.

Getting a script on the Black List takes a dedication to the craft of screenwriting and knowing how to write a screenplay that’s good enough to compete with the best.

Reading scripts on the Black List will help get your writing chops up to speed. You should also be reading as many pro screenplays online as you can. Watch how your screenwriting ability improves exponentially and soon you may find your own screenplay on the Black List.

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Have you ever had a script on the Black List? How many Black List scripts have you read? How does your script stand up to them? Let us know in the comments section below!

hollywood Black List scripts 2020

Enjoyed this post? Read more on the best screenplays to read…

50 of the Best Screenplays to Read and Download in Every Genre

50 of the Best TV Scripts to Download and Study to Improve Your Writing

Best Screenwriting Books to Read for Aspiring Screenwriters

[© Photo credits: Unsplash]

24 Comments
  1. Sylvia says:

    This year’s scripts are hot property! I feel my script could make it on next year’s black list. Fingers crossed!

  2. Davis B says:

    I called a few of my screenwriting friends and getting a script on the Black List is actually not as impossible as it seems.

  3. D Hall says:

    I pretty much agree with all of these posts. Some readers actually “read” the script and others put in an effort. But I doubt an producers are looking here to find something. I have an outstanding historical mini-series packed with a punch and backed by honest research . . .If a producer liked “Atonement”, “Schindler’s List”, “Darkest Hour”, or “1917” they would scramble to option “Gutenberg”. And sorry guys – it is seriously copyrighted.

  4. Robert W. says:

    Getting on the original Black List is great. Still, I focus on getting my work in front of managers. That won’t change. I also was interested to see that many if the loglines were well over 25 or 30 words. So busting my ass to keep it super brief is good, but say what needs to be said.

  5. Michael Valiah says:

    Can’t wait to watch this movie: “An obsessed fan maneuvers his way into the inner circle of his hip hop idol and will stop at nothing to stay in.” There are some brilliant loglines of this year’s black list.

  6. Jordan M says:

    Flight Risk and Gusher are the best. Clear problems = clear question. If my producing career was an additional 10 years mature, I’d buy the rights to Flight Risk right now.

  7. Martin says:

    Selling a script is a matter of hard work and luck. Everybody knows. The right producer comes from an unexpected place.

  8. Oscar Julian Lopez Rincon says:

    Great-job, guys!!!

  9. Nikki says:

    I’ve been looking into this stuff for a while and still somewhat confused. Would love any clarification! So, you host a screenplay on the blcklst website and have it evaluated a few times… say it’s an amazing script and impresses those professionals who are evaluating. Does that mean you have a chance at making it to the annual Black List? I guess what I’m asking is… are the professionals who evaluate scripts on the site the same professionals who are voting on their faves for the annual list? So if you get great evaluation ratings that could be an indication that you’re being considered for the annual list, right?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Nikki, no the site where you pay to host your script and have it evaluated is completely separate from the Black List that circulates among Hollywood. The latter aren’t on any website, it’s just an informal list.

  10. Randal Harris says:

    You dont say at all how to go about trying to get on the original blacklist.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      If you read these and other Black List scripts and their loglines you’ll have a better idea of what it takes to get on the list. 🙂 At the end of the day, though, it’s all down to the amount of work any writer puts into his or her script.

  11. Script Reader Pro says:

    The original Black List as described in the post is not something you pay for to get on. It’s a list of the year’s most promising spec scripts circulating Hollywood.

  12. M. L. says:

    You’re still promoting lists that are designed to hook writers into paying for false hope.

  13. HarrytheHatKing says:

    “Get on the ORIGINAL Blacklist…”

    Now that is some seriously good advice. Of course, in order to get on that “List”, you actually have to have your script read by producers so they’ll circulate it to other producers. No. Really. That’s how it works.
    Hmmm…
    Now, comes the $64000 question: How do make that happen?
    Well….
    One way is to kidnap a producer or his/her family member – check that, who are we kidding, producers don’t care about their families, so forget that one – and force him/her to read your screenplay at gunpoint. If you’re lucky, really lucky, he or she won’t hold the kidnapping thing against you and will think your screenplay is the greatest thing since his or her last success in 1984 and pass the screenplay around to other producers much smarter than he or her and you’ll get a deal…
    DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH.
    Good luck.

  14. gerasimos rozis says:

    Hmm, blacklist… let’s see.
    The site requires two evaluations for the top lists, with a minimum of 6.something. So getting there, you actually need two 7s. At the very least. Every single of my scripts, had an overall rating of 7 or 8. I’m talking about the very first evaluation for each script. What about the second? Every single one of them 3s and 4s. All of them. That means, you have to go for a third evaluation, as I did. All 5s and 6s. This is no joke. This is their system. With an average crap score, that sets us outside the top lists, so we have to buy another, and another. Blacklist says that “Empirically, rating variance of overall scores in two or more reviews has been low”, but at the same time “Subjectivity is nearly impossible to get rid of when evaluating scripts and is ingrained in the process”. No shit. Taking into account that “Blacklist’s readers are the best of the bunch”, I come to believe that they’re the best in forcing you buying more and more evaluations. At least your service, worth the money, because your people actually read the script. Blacklist’s people, do not.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Yes, this is a problem with the Blacklist website. It can all get pretty confusing, so just to clarify for readers: In this post, we’re advocating that you should try and get your script on the real Blacklist – the list of the best unproduced circulated around Hollywood to producers, execs, etc. Not pay to have it put on the Blacklist website.

      1. Darwish says:

        Well thanks
        As you have you said to get to the original website how will I know that website where I should upload my scripts. It will be better if you share with us the link to the original website . Thanks

        1. Script Reader Pro says:

          Sorry for the confusion – the “original” Blacklist isn’t a website. As we say in the post: “But, obviously, your main aim should be to get your script on the original Blacklist that circulates Hollywood.”

    2. Jason Holland says:

      I am a member of the blacklist, Yes you pay a monthly fee to have your script put up. My script been there for some time now, no views. I don’t know if people are even on their looking to buy scripts. You have to pay $75 for a person to review your script and give you advice. From my standpoint i am just losing money, but worth a try.

  15. Daley Nixon says:

    Do you have any black list scripts before 2008?

    1. SRP says:

      Hey there, no sorry we don’t. Try contacting them directly.

      1. Walter says:

        So if I’m getting this right the original Blacklist is a list of best new scripts that circulates Hollywood and the new blacklist is a paid for subscription service to get it in hands of managers and agents. Hopefully.

  16. Taylor C says:

    That’s good thinking guys. Nice

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