Friday, December 12, 2008

Tangental Thoughts on the 2008 "Black List"

Calling all screenwriters and other dreamers:

Current must-see reading is this year's Black List Scripts.

Here's the thing: Perhaps I'm being obtuse -- but as a prospective movie-goer, I don't see a single title on the list that even remotely piques my interest and makes me wish that movie would ever get made. Is it just me?

Some thoughts:

* Is it the inherent evil of the Log Line that sucks all soul from a great project?

(As one Black List blog commenter pointed out:

None of these sound spectacular, but it's hard to do 'spectacular' in a one-sentence summary. I'll say what I usually say in these situations… it's all in the execution.

Iron Man by Mark Fergus & Co.
A rich guy makes metal suit.
Status: The guy who played Chaplin is signed to attached to star.

I have to agree with him. Consider, for instance:

"Wanted," by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas.
A loser geek embarks on a quest to become an assassin.
Status: Star vehicle for "Narnia's" Mr. Tumnus.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Wanted," the movie, but seeing it listed like that wouldn't exactly make me want to find a babysitter and line up for popcorn...)

* Is it the fact that no casting (or dream-casting) is included, so I don't know whom I should be envisioning in the title roles?

Hugh Jackman as "The Cockroach King," and Elisha Cuthbert as "Princess Powderpuff" you say? I'm there!

* Or is it a base vindictiveness that makes me wonder how on earth some of those projects ever even found an agent?

(Did you see the one about the amputee fetish brothel -- ::bleah!::)

Maybe I'll download some of these scripts and see what I'm missing...

I figure: anything that makes agents and execs say they like something is probably worth examining just for the sheer novelty of the situation.

And then I'll go back to work on my own nearly finished, hopefully produced-in-2009 biopic, while thinking Beaver puppets and butter carving... Now THERE's an idea for a movie...

To every screenwriter on the list, congratulations! Regardless of whether or not a one-sentence logline makes me want to see the movie, you've made an impact with enough industry bigwigs for people to go on record as champions for your work. Kudos! Here's hoping that 2009 sees you moved from Black List to Greenlit!

And to the rest of us, realize that you have just received a glimpse of the projects Hollywood is pushing right now. From what I can determine, some of the scripts on the list have already moved into production. See what we have to look forward to for cinematic entertainment in the coming months?