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Latest Black List Scripts Revealed + How to Get Yours On It Next Time

Here are our top 10 loglines from the latest Black List. Is yours good enough to make the grade?

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by Script Reader Pro in Best Screenplays to Read
December 17, 2019 14 comments
hollywood Black List scripts 2019

Our top 10 loglines from the latest Black List scripts (and how to make your script one of them in 2020).

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:

We’ll start with a breakdown of our top 10 loglines from the scripts that made it onto the Black List in 2019. Then, we’ll take a look at how you can go about trying to get your own script on the list next time.

You’ll find the link below to all the loglines for the latest Black List movie scripts below. So, let’s dive on in!

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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. Say Something Nice by Erin Rodman.

After she catches her boyfriend cheating, Liv goes on a social media tirade that lands her in court for slander, and the judge forces her to make amends by composing one positive comment for every negative comment she posted, while under the supervision of a reclusive mediator also on the rebound from a failed relationship.

Why it made our list
: This one is based on a true story and we love not only how interesting it is and ripe for romantic and dramatic complications, but how relevant it is in today’s age of the online hate mob.

2. Voicemails for Isabelle by Leah McKendrick.

A low-level TV writer struggles to cope with the death of her little sister by continuing to leave her voicemails chronicling the shitshow that is dating in LA. When the phone number is unknowingly transferred, a cocky New York real estate agent begins receiving the hilarious and confessional voicemails and feels pulled to California to find this stranger he feels intimately close to.

Why it made our list
: This logline kind of switches perspective at the end and could have actually been written from the perspective of the real estate agent. Either way it’s a novel idea and could be a great movie.

3. Atlanta on Fire Adam Morrison.

The true story of Leo Frank, a young, Jewish businessman who, due to widespread anti-Semitism/the KKK in the post Civil War South, was wrongfully accused, tried, and convicted of murdering a 13-year-old factory worker, Mary Phagan.

Why it made our list
: This little-known true story would make a remarkable but heartwrenching movie. There are quite a few true stories on 2019’s Black List which is a testament as to how powerful they can be (while giving you a story right off the bat).

4. Apex by Stephen Vitale.

A mysterious loner heads to Muscle Beach in 1985 to pursue a career as a competitive bodybuilder. Struggling to transform his physique, he unleashes a darker side of himself as he descends into madness.

Why it made our list
: The anti-hero in this logline conjures up images of Lou Bloom, Travis Bickle and Arthur Fleck set within the world of professional bodybuilding. Great stuff.

5. 10-31 by Peter Gamble and Ian Shorr.

A young woman takes her niece and nephew trick-or-treating and discovers a note inside a candy wrapper that says there’s a killer loose on her block.

Why it made our list: Love the set-up of this slasher movie: a young woman and her niece and nephew being hunted by a killer during what should be an innocent night of fun. The juxtaposition of the two is really unique.

6. Wayward by Andrew Zilch.

The wife of a megachurch pastor seeks atonement after she and her lover kill an attacker in self-defense, but don’t report it out of fear of exposing their affair.

Why it made our list
: This logline expertly sets up Act 1 of the movie: 1. the moment the couple is attacked and 2. their decision not to report their killing of the attacker. We’re left hanging wondering what could happen next and wanting to know more.

7. Fire Harvest by Kevin McMullin.

George runs a struggling farm where he cares for his terminally ill wife, Alice. Everything changes when he decides to bring home an orphaned baby he found out in the field. The child’s presence begins to unearth buried secrets while engulfing the family in a series of supernatural events.

Why it made our list
: While this concept could be accused of trying to pack in too much—the buried secrets and the supernatural events—it’s a great play on the horror formula of a child disrupting the family home.

8. Fire Ascent by Colin Bannon.

Two years after a free solo accident nearly kills Hillary Hall, she enlists the help of her old climbing partners to document her comeback—the first ascent of [a] 4,000 foot [sic] rock wall in rural China. During the harrowing climb, Hillary struggles with her inner demons and supernatural forces, as it slowly becomes clear that this mountain does not want to be conquered.

Why it made our list
: What makes this logline stand out is the fact “this mountain does not want to be conquered.” It’s kind of buried at the end of the logline here making us assume at first that the story’s a normal mountain climbing drama, but, nevertheless, it’s a great idea.

9. The Repossession by Megan Amram.

Twenty years after a failed exorcism, a meek young woman becomes unlikely friends with the foul-mouthed demon that possessed her as a child.

Why it made our list
: You can’t help but smile after reading this logline. It’s so original and irreverent it just had to make the list. This could be a hilarious black comedy.

10. Grandma Wants to Die by Patrick Cadigan.

When Ben is left footing the bill for his own wedding just weeks before the big day, he’s forced to make a deal with his estranged grandmother Minnie. She’ll give him the money if he signs the papers for her assisted suicide. Ben gladly agrees, only to unearth Minnie’s final agenda before she departs… destroy the wedding from the inside and seemingly ruin Ben’s life.

Why it made our list
: Last but definitely not least, this concept is pure genius. Our only quibble would be the logline itself could just end after the second sentence: “She’ll give him the money if he signs the papers for her assisted suicide.” The info about destroying the wedding feels superfluous but, hey, it’s a fantastic set-up either way.

Here’s the link to read all the loglines to 2019’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 get your script on next Black List.

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: “Grandma Wants to Die,” “Say Something Nice,” “Wayward,” etc.

And on the actual 2019 Black List you’ll also find gems like “High on Christmas,” “My Boyfriend’s Wedding,” and “Black Mitzvah.”

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.

Black List scripts

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 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 2018

•  Black List loglines 2017

•  Black List loglines 2016

•  Black List loglines 2015

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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.

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!

Black List scripts

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]

14 Comments
  1. M. L. says:

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

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sorry, no idea what you’re talking about.

  2. M. L. says:

    The blacklist is just another scam to get money from struggling, dream struck, aspiring writers who have no concept of the Hollywood sharks and their greedy schemes to extort cash from the innocent. The blacklist and other rip off lists and contests are all about making money. It’s that simple. If you want your screenplay to be made into a movie, network with people in the business. Make your own luck. The Internet is a gold mine of contacts. Don’t pay hard earned money to lists and contests that are designed only for profit.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

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

  3. Madisun Leigh says:

    This article is really confusing. You use a quote from Franklin Leonard, have links and tons of references to the Blacklist website, then say that this is not what you’re referring to.

    We should really strive to be on the “Original Hollywood Blacklist” and the headline of the article states that you will tell us how to get on it yet you don’t.

    Please clarify as to why you use them interchangeably in the article.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Not sure what you mean. The article states at the beginning: “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’s only at the end that we mention there’s also a website.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.”

  6. 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.

  7. Taylor C says:

    That’s good thinking guys. Nice

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