“The Oscar goes to?”

17 Nov

By: Sunnie Elliot

With a few months to go, Hollywood is beginning to make predictions on who will win next years Oscars. However, instead of writing about who will win next years Oscars. Why don’t we focus on what studio will produce next years Oscar winning screenplay?

On December 11th writers, agents and film studio executives all anxiously await what is known as the “Blacklist” to arrive in the mail. Hollywood agents like Keya Khayatian, has represented some of the writers who’s been on the list she states; “That’s the day the list drops into inboxes and any script that makes it will have a previously unheard-of level of exposure. Those that are in the top 10 will almost certainly be optioned by a studio within months.”[1] The Blacklist is the hottest list to be on, if you are a screenwriter in Hollywood. One of the films released this year The Social Network written by Aaron Sorkin was one of the Blacklist Top 10 picks. The Social Network distributed by Sony/Columbia pictures[2] is said to be a contender for Best Film in next years Oscar ceremony in February 2011.

It’s interesting to see who has consistently produced award-winning films and performed well at the box office. The studios films that either won or been nominated consistently over the past five years for an Oscar, are Universal/Focus Features with three nominations and one win, Fox/Fox Searchlight with four nominations and Paramount with four nominations. The studios with the biggest box office numbers over the past five years are Fox, Disney and Warner Brothers. Of course it takes more than a good script to win an Oscar, certainly we are not dismissing this fact.  However, at the genesis of any good film is a script. The green lighters, money handlers and development executives like Franklin Leonard of Universal Pictures who created the list has 311 people on his email list. In this volatile economy film executives need some assurances and said to be one of the reasons the Blacklist was started.

Although, some unknown writers screenplays have yet to be produced by studios could look like a failure. This could not be further from the truth instead the recognition on the list alone can be a stepping-stone for writing for other large film studio or productions in the future. 

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5 Responses to ““The Oscar goes to?””

  1. kneon65 November 17, 2010 at 5:00 PM #

    It seems to me that even if you make the list, you still have to have some kind of luck or great pr to get noticed. Yes, make the list gets you noticed by the studios but doesn’t automaticaly mean your screenplay is going to be made. Especially in this economy. I would love to see the statics on what screenplays made the list and were made into movies during the 1990s when the economy was doing compared to now, when studios seem to be looking for those automatic money makers.

    • Open Book November 17, 2010 at 7:32 PM #

      Well I believe the Blacklist only began in 2005 if I’m not mistaken. However, I think your idea about looking at the statistics of who and what screenplay get developed that appear on the list, is fascinating. I believe there is like 97 scripts that made the list last year and for a writer to make the top 10 is pretty amazing…….. Do u think writers that make the Brit list are any better at getting studios to produce their work?

      • kneon65 November 17, 2010 at 8:03 PM #

        I don’t know since I really am new at both list and how all this stuff works. But if I had to guess I would probably say “no.” Just because its a smaller market so more competition. But like I said this is a total guess, I would really need to read and research it out before I gave a clear yes or no.

        • Open Book November 17, 2010 at 8:19 PM #

          U know it’s funny but films made in the US are doing better at the Boxoffice in foreign release than in the US. Inception and Avatar made more in foreign than domestic.

          • kneon65 November 17, 2010 at 8:45 PM #

            That is very interesting. I do remember hearing that Remember Me did better in foreign release than it did in US release when that came out.

            I wonder why that is?

            Personally, I don’t see to many foreign films, because my husband has a distaste to read his movies. I’m the one that will sit through a foreign film if I have heard good things about it.

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