2017 Annual Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab

Now open for submission for October 8–14, 2017 intensive writers workshop.

From the good folks at the Black List:

We are very pleased to announce that the opt-in period is now open for our 2017 Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab.

The Black List will invite six to eight promising non-professional writers to a weeklong, intensive writers workshop in Los Angeles, CA from October 8–14, 2017. All writers involved in the Lab will workshop one feature screenplay through one-on-one sessions with screenwriting mentors and in peer workshops. The weeklong program will also include attendance at several story-related events including screenings and Q&As with professional screenwriters and dinner with lit agents and managers.

The selection process will work like this:

The opt-in period will close at midnight on Sunday, August 27, 2017. On Monday, August 28, 2017, up to fifteen writers will be invited, based on the strength of their scripts as determined by the Black List, to submit a professional resume and one-page personal statement due on Thursday, August 31, 2017. From those personal statements, Lab screenwriting mentors and the Black List will select six to eight writers to participate in the Lab. Finalists will be notified on September 5, 2017.

Evaluations purchased before midnight on Thursday, July 27, 2017 will be guaranteed consideration. Please note, purchase of an evaluation is not required for consideration to participate in The Feature Lab.

Air travel (coach class roundtrip flights within the continental United States) and accommodations will be provided by the Black List. If you are accepted into the Lab, you will be required to board in the provided accommodations for the duration of the program. The Feature Lab is a residential program.

Writers are also available to opt-in for the Sloan Fellowship being offered in 2017:

  • The Black List’s 2017 Sloan Foundation Fellow at the 4th Annual Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab will be a science- and technology-focused writer with a science-rooted feature screenplay. Mentoring opportunities for the Sloan Fellow will continue throughout the year following the Lab. Writers will have the opportunity to be considered for this fellowship by selecting the “Sloan Foundation Fellow” option during the opt-in process.
  • Writers applying for the Sloan Fellowship are encouraged to have a science advisor for the project. Scripts that are selected for the short list will be asked to submit the name and title of the advisor, a brief description of their scientific area of expertise, and a statement that he/or she has read the script and attests that it is accurate. Writers are encouraged to submit this information in advance of the short list announcement as well.

Beginning today, writers who meet the below criteria can opt their scripts into consideration for the Labs selection process during the uploading process or the “My Scripts” portion of the website:

  • You are the sole and exclusive author of the feature screenplay submitted for consideration.
  • You have not received more than $ 100K in aggregate to date as compensation for film or television writing work.
  • If selected on August 28, 2017 as one of the up to fifteen writers invited to submit a professional resume and one page personal statement for additional consideration, you will deliver that personal statement by noon PST on August 31, 2017.
  • If selected for participation in the Lab program on September 5, 2017, you are available to participate in the Lab program in Los Angeles, CA on October 8–14, 2017.

Needless to say, we are excited by this opportunity to continue the educational work of the Black List with this singular opportunity to highlight and support up-and-coming television and film writing talent.

If you have any questions about the process, please check out our FAQ.

Make a note of the August 27th deadline and don’t miss your chance. We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles this fall!

The Black List

2014 Black List Screenwriting Lab session in Las Vegas

This will be the 4th Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab to go along with 5 mini-labs hosted in 2015. I have been a mentor at each one and am happy to report I will be participating again at this year’s event. Mentors at previous labs include Jessica Bendinger, Max Borenstein, Stephany Folsom, Derek Haas, Eric Heisserer, Brian Koppelman, Graham Moore, Billy Ray, Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith, and Beau Willimon.

To get a sense of how impactful these labs have been for participating writers, go here to read observations from past selectees.

To learn more about the 2017 Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab, go here.

Hope to see you there!

2017 Annual Black List Feature Screenwriters Lab was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 4)

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I will run a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

This week: How do you develop your characters?

Reading through all of the responses was a fascinating exercise. Once again, this group of writers demonstrates there is no one way to approach the craft. Their respective approaches to developing their story’s characters vary from highly intuitive, even instinctual to the conscious use of specific techniques and writing exercises. In all cases, the goal is the same: To make the characters come alive in the writer’s imagination and onto the printed page.

On Monday, we featured writers who start their character development process by focusing on real people. Tuesday writers zeroed in on brainstorming and the importance of asking questions about and to characters. Yesterday we checked in with writers who use biographies as a tool for character development. Today we see how some Black List writers use scene-writing to find a character’s voice:

Ashleigh Powell: “For me, how my characters speak informs a lot about who they are and how they see the world. Really nailing down that voice helps me shape their character traits from there.”

Spenser Cohen: “One thing that I do when I first start writing is to put the outline aside and just start trying to find the character’s voice. I’ll give myself space to explore, and I just let the characters go. No one’s going to see it. No one’s going to read it. There’s no pressure. It’s their story, and I let whatever happens, happen. I’ll often make up a scene that’s not in the outline and might not even make sense for the story… It’s almost like a rehearsal before you jump in and start doing the real work. Just exploring. Often in these rough passes the characters start to take shape.”

Julia Hart: “Just through writing the scenes of their dialogue. I write a ton and then I’ll cut a bunch of it out. I’ll write like seven lines where there needs to be one and just cut around that one right line and keep going. I find their voices by having them say too much, by writing down every thought that would be in their head and then cutting off the fat.”

No matter the writing, the goal is to get inside the character’s head:

Eric Heisserer: “If I need to develop the character further, typically that’s the harder work of trying to figure out what part of the story I’m not writing about. If I have to…and I hate it, but I’ve had to do this before…I will write act zero — what happens to a character before the story in my script begins — so I have a deeper understanding of where this character came from.”

James DiLapo: “Whenever I struggled with lines in “Devils At Play” I would stop and would run the whole story in my head from the character’s perspective, trying to feel what they are feeling and thinking how they would. It’s not always easy. I think that’s probably the hardest element of screenwriting. You have to find a way to stretch beyond your own understanding and become, for a moment, someone who is so foreign to the way you live your life. In my experience, however, the more you do it, the better you get at it.”


  • Feel free to write free. Free-standing scenes. Free-standing monologues. Give yourself “space to explore”. Write down “every thought” the character has and see what sticks.
  • For some writers, a character’s personality may shape their voice, however the inverse can work, too. Nailing down their voice can “shape” their character traits.
  • Do what you need to do to get inside their head. Feel what “they are feeling.” Think how “they would.” Write “act zero,” exploring what happened to the character before FADE IN. To riff off the name of this blog… go into the characters.

How about you? Do you write free-standing scenes to explore your characters? How do you go about finding a character’s voice? What do you do to get inside their head?

For Part 1 of this week’s series on character development, go here.

Part 2, here.

Part 3, here.

Tomorrow we take up another angle on prep-writing as reflected on by Black List writers.

Comment Archive

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 4) was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

First Teaser Trailer for Ryan Coogler’s ‘Black Panther’ Movie for Marvel

Black Panther Trailer

«What do you know about Wakanda?» Disney has premiered the first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Black Panther movie, directed by the talented Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed). The story picks up with King T’Challa, once again played by Chadwick Boseman, returning back to his African nation of Wakanda after the events of Captain America: Civil War. There he encounters new enemies that want to challenge his seat on the throne, and destroy Wakanda. The outstanding ensemble cast Coogler has assembled includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Florence Kasumba, John Kani, Winston Duke, and Sterling K. Brown. This is just a short teaser, but it looks fantastic so far. I’m so excited for this! Dive in. ›››

Continue reading First Teaser Trailer for Ryan Coogler’s ‘Black Panther’ Movie for Marvel


David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku developing The Black Company books for television

IM Global Television has announced development on The Black Company, an adaptation of Glen Cook’s books, a fantasy series with Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions and David Goyer’s Phantom Four.

Boston Diva Productions optioned the ten-book epic action fantasy series, as well as the forthcoming book, Port of Shadows, which falls between Book 1 and 2 in the series and will be published by Tor Books in 2018. Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will portray the pivotal role of the dark sorceress, “The Lady.” Under IM Global Television’s first-look deal, David S. Goyer (Da Vinci’s Demons, Flash Forward) will executive produce along with Kevin Turen (Birth of a Nation, All Is Lost, Arbitrage). Also on board as executive producers through their Boston Diva company are Dushku, Nate Dushku, and Ami Lourie, along with Sam Maydew (Ghetto Klown) of Silver Lining Entertainment.

IM Global Television President Mark Stern said, “Glen Cook’s books turn the traditional fantasy adventure tropes on their ear with wry, dimensional characters and a modern sensibility. We’re excited to explore this intricate and exciting world for television with David and Kevin along with Eliza, Nate, Ami and Sam.”

Dushku added, “’The Black Company’ is vast in scope yet remains fundamentally relevant through the morally ambiguous choices it presents at every turn. We are excited to bring Glen Cook’s classic story to life with Mark and David, luminaries in the cinematic pursuit of science fiction and epic fantasy, who will inevitably assemble poignant characters embroiled in jaw-dropping action.”

The series follows the exploits of the Black Company, an elite mercenary unit that carries out the often nefarious deeds of the highest bidder across a Tolkeinesque landscape. When these hard-bitten men discover the prophecy that the embodiment of good has been reborn, they must re-examine their loyalties. “The Lady,” who rules over the Northern Empire, uses the Black Company to further her domination of a power structure rife with usurpers. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

The book series began with The Black Company in 1984 with Cook having since published eight additional novels, a spin-off, several short stories, and with two more books forthcoming.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The post David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Official Trailer for Amber Tamblyn’s Directorial Debut ‘Paint it Black’

Paint it Black Trailer

«I want you to suffer the way I’m suffering now!» Imagination Worldwide has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Paint it Black, the feature directorial debut of actress Amber Tamblyn, who also co-wrote the script, adapting Janet Fitch’s book of the same name. The film stars Alia Shawkat, Alfred Molina, Janet McTeer, Emily Rios, Annabelle Attanasio, John Roberts, and Rhys Wakefield. The story follows Shawkat as Josie, who learns that her boyfriend has died, and she struggles with both grief and his intense, cruel mother, played by McTeer. Tamblyn says: «My hope was to make a movie that was as visually intoxicating as it is psychologically — a true and twisted look at the violent, terrifying, and beautiful subconscious lives of women in the throws of major life changes.» This definitely looks stylish. Take a look. ›››

Continue reading Official Trailer for Amber Tamblyn’s Directorial Debut ‘Paint it Black’


Exclusive Black Rose Clip Reveals a Killer

Black Rose

Serial killer thriller Black Rose is directed by actor Alexander Nevsky and co-stars Terminator 3’s Kristanna Loken

Released in Russia back in 2014, director and star Alexander Nevsky’s serial killer thriller Black Rose is finally hitting theaters at the end of this month — April 28th to be exact — before stabbing onto VOD and DVD on May 2nd. The film stars Nevsky as a Russian police major enlisted by the LAPD to help solve a series of gruesome murders perpetrated against young women by a sadistic sociopathic killer on the mean streets of Hollywood. Can the Russian supercop and his American partner stop the mad murderer before he spills enough blood to stain the streets red?

The slick, violent chiller is written by Brent Huff (Chasing Beauty) and George Saunders (The Hunt for Red October) and is maybe most notable for starring the still badass Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3, BloodRayne) and Highlander TV series star Adrian Paul, along with the great Robert Davi (Showgirls) in key roles.

Check out the exclusive clip with have for you below and the high-octane trailer below that. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Black Rose

The post Exclusive Black Rose Clip Reveals a Killer appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Watch: Is Black and White Still Relevant?

This video essay explores the timless beauty of black and white cinema and makes a case for its continued relevance.

For whatever reason, some people just don’t like black and white movies. Perhaps, as this essay from RocketJump Film School opines, it’s because a younger generation of viewers assumes that these films are going to be «old, unrealistic and boring.» However, some contemporary filmmakers—like the makers of festival favorites The Eyes of My Mother, Butterfly Kisses, and GOOK—have chosen to shoot their films in this format.

This essay, while favoring neither color nor black and white, (they’re «both a tool,» after all) makes the case that monochromatic cinematography can do things that color can’t, and watching it just might change some minds. Below are three we learned about black and white cinematography from this video.

Read More

No Film School

Watch the Trailer for Natasha Henstridge Shocker The Black Room

Species star Natasha Henstridge and Insidious mainstay Lin Shaye star in supernatural shocker The Black Room

Species star Natasha Henstridge and Insidious mainstay Lin Shaye star in supernatural shocker The Black Room

Natasha Henstridge will be forever loved by horror and sci-fi fans for her turn as the horny hybrid H.R. Giger alien/sexy blonde human in the Species franchise, and we simply don’t see enough of her anymore. Which is why cult director Rolfe Kanefsky’s The Black Room is cause for celebration. The supernatural horror movie stars Henstridge as well as beloved actress Lin Shaye (the Insidious films) and Dominique Swain (Lolita, Face/Off) in a terrifying tale of domestic bliss gone bloody and things locked up that want out!

Synopsis: Paul and Jennifer Hemdale have just moved into their dream house. But their happy marriage is about to be put to the test as they slowly discover the secret behind the black room in the cellar. Something else is already living in their new home and it is growing stronger every day.

The Black Room will be opening in theaters on April 28th and will hit VOD May 9th via Cleopatra Entertainment (a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records). For more on the movie, you can visit the official The Black Room site, the official Facebook page and follow the movie on Twitter.

Now, buckle in for the eerie trailer below and some sexy, twisted exclusive photos below that…

The post Watch the Trailer for Natasha Henstridge Shocker The Black Room appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Superhero Bits: ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’ Voices Revealed, Black Order in Infinity War & More

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

How will Black Widow deal with meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy? Who will voice Batman and Harley Quinn in the animated feature with the hero and villain? Will the Black Order be featured in Avengers: Infinity War? What does Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins think of Joss Whedon directing Batgirl? Which DCEU star did Tom Holland hope would end up playing Kraven in the MCU? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

Watch this clips from the animated movie Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, available now on Digital HD.

Daredevil star Charlie Cox says The Defenders got the four best directors from the other Marvel shows to direct.

Captain America Comic

ScreenRant looks at some of the weirdest things Captain America has done, including accidentally doing drugs.

At an MIPTV event, Disney Distribution Senior VP Mark End?man said Cloak and Dagger has a 10-episode order.

A new installment of Super Powered Beat Down has Batman Beyond square off with Spider-Man 2099.

Scott Speiser (NCIS) has been added to the cast of The Tick as a series regular, but we don’t know his character.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Here are some new banners for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that could make good Facebook cover photos.

Scarlett Johansson doesn’t think Black Widow will be phased by the Guardians of the Galaxy in Infinity War.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits>>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’ Voices Revealed, Black Order in Infinity War & More appeared first on /Film.


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