It’s depressing to think that for every great script that gets turned into a Hollywood hit (and a lot more terrible ones), there are literally thousands of amazing scripts that never even get read.
For 10 years now though, The Black List has been trying curb that trend.
Created by film executive Fanklin Leonard, The Black List is a website that collects some of the best and most liked screenplays floating around Hollywood that somehow have yet to be picked up and then shares them with a network of script buyers, script representatives and other script writers to survey what the best unmade scripts out there are.
It then issues an annual compendium of the most-liked scripts for that year – a list that has now become one of the most influential and valuable sources for fresh material in Hollywood.
According to Leonard, since its inception The Black List has had around 300 scripts produced into films, with those scripts earning a combined $25 billion (yes, billion) at the world-wide box office. They’ve been nominated for 223 Academy Awards and won 43 of them.
Some of those films include American Hustle, Lars and the Real Girl, Juno, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Argo, and 50/50. So it’s suffice to say, The Black List and Franklin Leonard know what they’re talking about when it comes to great material.
Now Leonard has stepped into a new venture, taking some of those fantastic scripts and turning them into radio plays presented as a podcast called The Black List Table Reads.
So far one film, the equally vulgar / hilarious Judd Apatow-esque buddy comedy Balls Out, has already been serialised over four episodes, and featured the comedic talents of Paul Scheer (The League), Jason Mantzoukas (The League, The Dictator), Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is The New Black), Matt Walsh (Veep) and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) to name but a few.
The second script, The Other Side, is only just in its second week, but has already shown the versatility of the podcast, with the second script being a serious drama, examining the clash between the Hasidic Jewish community in modern Brooklyn, and the influx of hipster and consumerist culture in the rapidly gentrified New York borough.
As aforementioned, Franklin Leonard knows how to pick a winner, and based off what he’s been able to do in eight episodes, I’m going to go ahead and back the Black List Table Reads as one of the best new podcasts of 2015.
You can download episodes via itunes or the Black List Tables Reads website, and you can start with episode one of Balls Out in the player below: