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Your Personal Screenwriting Black List

Your Personal Screenwriting Black List


When the 2014 edition of The Black List was announced, it inspired me to examine my personal screenwriting journey.  Before me was a list of 71 passion projects created by talented writers awaiting their respective green lights.  I wanted to come up with a list of my own…

Black List 2014 Winners Announcement | Deadline

I began thinking about all the screenplays I’ve written but more so, the screenplays I have yet to write.  So I looked through old notebooks and dug up old emails detailing ideas I’ve had over the years.  I came up with a list of approximately 20 projects and immediately started eliminating some of the weaker ideas. I think it’s important to be realistic.  Be honest about the ideas you feel genuinely passionate about.  I had trouble here and there but, ultimately, one question helped me narrow down my list:

Will this concept help me evolve as a screenwriter?

The result?

I came up with a list of six solid concepts I’m extremely proud of.  It was inspiring to see the potential on the page.  There are 3 dramas including the screenplay I’ve been writing for a year or so.  There are 2 high concept science fiction projects I’m extremely excited about.  I have yet to tackle the sci-fi genre and I’m looking forward to the challenges they will surely present.  Finally, a horror concept primarily focused on one character in one setting.  Another genre I haven’t taken on.

Next I put some thought into the titles I had selected and rewrote several loglines.  My personal ‘Black List’ was complete.

I don’t know if I’ll ever complete these six specific projects.  You never know when new ideas will come along.  However, it is encouraging to know that I’ve got more than one idea to be excited about.  I called this my personal Black List because it represents the best unproduced material I’ve got in my scattered brain.  The best of the best.

This exercise also helped me shape my goals for 2015.  I didn’t finish a single screenplay last year.  No features.  No shorts.  It may sound unproductive at first but I became a father and my priorities obviously changed.  Over the last six months of 2014, I found more and more time to write.  Now that I’ve settled into a new routine, it’s my hope to finally finish my superhero drama.  Then I intend to write at a new screenplay and, hopefully, develop a third for 2016. (Finishing a third screenplay in a year would be nice too.)

Regardless, I suppose my goal is simply to write as much as possible, challenge myself and evolve as a screenwriter.

Love every moment!

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