The Black List Partners with ALMA

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We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with ALMA, a union for Spanish screenwriters! ALMA members will now experience the same benefits of those in the WGA, WGC, WGNZ, and other Guilds that we are partnered with. 

Check out an interview with Franklin over on the popular Spanish screenwriting blog, Bloguionistas, about The Black List and our partnership with ALMA. Please note that the interview was conducted in English and then translated into Spanish.

ALMA members, you can go ahead and opt in for the partnership on the ALMA website. We look forward to seeing your scripts on the site!



The Week In Rep: 7/31-8/7

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Ah, the dog days of summer: you’ve already binged on The X-Files twice and can’t go back to the multiplex because A: you cried too hard during INSIDE OUT; B: you got a little rowdy during MAGIC MIKE XXL; C: are too busy being worried about STAR WARS to care about any new releases; or D: all of the above. What’s a sweaty media-lover to do??? Hopefully, you’ll go to a repertory theater to check out some classic films! We are incredibly lucky to have so many outstanding repertory theaters in LA — it’s almost criminal for film fans not to take advantage of the films screening in the city each week.This will be a new blog feature, debuting every Friday. If you think we’ve forgotten a theater, please let us know!

 

Cinefamily: Free screening alert! Marielle Heller’s Sundance smash, the 1970s-set warts-and-all coming of age tale THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL screens on 8/1, seats are first come, first serve. Calling all Camp Firewood campers! Cinefamily brings WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER to its Heavy Midnites series on Saturday in anticipation of the series debut on Netflix this weekend, as well as Saturday morning cartoons with BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and Ralph Bashki rarities. Throughout the week, Cinefamily continues its series on acclaimed Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson with SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR and YOU, A LOVE STORY screening.

The New Beverly: Can you hear the Morricone? Leone’s seminal Dollars Trilogy continues its residence at the New Bev this week. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY plays through Saturday, and then on Sunday, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE begins its run, which continues through 8/8 with western classics like DEATH RIDES A HORSE and DAY OF ANGER on the double bill.

The Egyptian: The Egyptian gets spooky with their celebration of 1980s VHS horror and they’ve got some — cue Crypt Keeper voice — killer double features. Two of horror’s finest splatstick comedies, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, screen 8/1 with cast (Clu Gulager!) and crew attending. HELLRAISER and PUMPKINHEAD screen on 8/2 with a bonus horror burlesque show (let’s just hope no one is doing Pumpkinhead cosplay.) On 8/5, director William Lustig presents new restorations of MANIAC COP and MANIAC COP 2, and shlock auteur extraordinaire Larry Cohen brings SPECIAL EFFECTS and THE AMBULANCE to the Egyptian on Thursday.

The Aero: Comedian-turned filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest doc, a profile of legendary Boston comedy club owner Barry Crimmins, CALL ME LUCKY, screens with Goldthwait in person on 8/2. The Aero then begins its retrospective on Peter Bogdanovich with the Oscar-winning PAPER MOON and WHAT’S UP DOC? on 8/6. The Bogdanovich series continues throughout the weekend with the filmmaker appearing in person for the 8/7 screening of THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and NICKELODEON in anticipation of his latest film, this year’s SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY.

LACMA: Cheap matinee alert! One of the best children’s films of the 90s, Alfonso Cuaron’s goregeous, evocative A LITTLE PRINCESS screens on 8/4 for only $4!

Cinespia: Oh, Suzy-Q! There’s not a lot left to be said about Francis-Ford Coppola’s Vietnam masterpiece APOCALYPSE NOW, but, if you’ve never seen the film on a big screen, why not experience it at Hollywood Forever Cemetery among some of the city’s other biggest film fans? Tickets are still available for this Saturday’s screening.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Filmmaker Rob Garver brings WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL to Cinefamily on 8/4. As Garver works to finish funding on this doc via Kickstarter, he brings Kael rarities (a 1982 interview on her writing process, 1970s interviews with Hitchcock, Scorsese, and others, clips from the doc including Tarantino and Paul Schrader) to Cinefamily for this one-night-only event. Considering that film critics and critical discourse feel more threatened than ever, exploring the work of one of film’s finest critics seems especially vital. Celebrate Pauline Kael by spreading her gospels!



The Black List Interview: Ruckus and Lane Skye

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For our latest interview, we spoke to Ruckus and Lane Skye whose script RATTLE THE CAGE was recently produced by Image Nation as the Arabic-language film ZINZANA. We talked to them about how the past, present, and future have shaped their journey as writers.
The Past:
What was the first film that had a major impact on your life? 
“E.T. It was the first time I remember having any concept of a film having a cultural impact. I think it’s the only film I saw more than once in the theater when I was still a kid. I had one of those rubber E.T. fingers that lit up when you touched something. To this day I think about E.T. anytime I’m walking through a neighborhood during magic hour.” – Ruckus
“Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first film that had a major impact on my life. It was scary as hell, Vincent Price’s maniacal laugh is enough to give anyone nightmares, but it was impactful because of the behind the scenes videos they used to promote it. Watching the making of Thriller was the first time I thought about the people who weren’t on screen, the first time that I realized there was such a thing as a filmmaker.” – Lane
Was there a single film that made you want to be a screenwriter? 
“A Few Good Men was the first film where I took notice of how well structured the storytelling was. How each character was unique and had their own arc. I still watch that film four or five times a year.” – Ruckus
How else did the decision to pursue that career evolve? 
“I wanted to be a filmmaker, but didn’t have access to original scripts that I could shoot, so I figured I’d have to write them myself.” – Ruckus
“It was Ruckus who encouraged me to try writing screenplays. I’ve always loved movies and I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until after college that I even dared to think I could do it. Something about it always seemed inaccessible to me.” – Lane
Most writers have to have “day jobs” in order to stay afloat. What was the strangest job you ever had before becoming a writer?
“We once moved to South Florida for a year to sell antique toys on Ebay. It was a strange experience, but we ended up making our first short film while we were there” – Lane

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Go Big (Screen) or Go Home (Video)

I don’t think anyone will deny that we’re at crossroads in film distribution.

The two paths? Traditional theatrical distribution and Video on Demand (VOD). There are lots of ways to approach this topic and already has been considerable back and forth on speculation about what’s going to happen. Broadly speaking, I think there are a few ways people have approached this conversation:

  1. Emotional/Nostalgic – You could flat out say that watching movies is best in a crowded theater on the big screen. The crowd, the sound, the popcorn. This is an experience opinion. It’s about how we feel.
  2. Product Quality – Watching movies at home causes the quality of experience to suffer. We should be watching on the big screen because we’re getting a subpar product by watching on VOD.
  3. Financial Justification – The theatrical experience does still / doesn’t make sense anymore. With the advent of home theater systems that replicate the experience (with additional comforts of being at home) and with ease and cost efficiency of online distribution, people will opt to watch at home and cannibalize traditional moviegoers. Revenues don’t justify costs.

However, I want to approach it not from an all or nothing standpoint, but from a strategy refinement standpoint: I want to look at when it’s demonstrably less risky to opt for a theatrical release instead of a straight-to-VOD release. In order to do this I want to look at films that have done well theatrically in the past, that is, in a financial sense. As we (unavoidably) start to see more films go straight to VOD, these will likely be the only ones competitive enough to justify a theatrical release.

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