Oh how times have changed for screenwriters! 60 years ago making the Black List would have been a career disaster, although it would have put you alongside names like Ring Lardner Jr and Dalton Trumbo. Today getting on the Black List is a major career boon, and you’re alongside a bunch of writers nobody ever heard of.
But that’s sort of the point of the modern Black List – it’s the best unproduced screenplays bopping around Hollywood. And I’m really wrong about the nobodies, especially this year, when names like Scott Frank, Kat Dennings, Richard Price and BenDavid Grabinksi are on the list.
Wait, you don’t know BenDavid Grabinski? You might, if you read the CHUD boards. I promised him I wouldn’t give away his identity*, but he’s a great friend of the site (and of myself) and his script, The How-To Guide For Saving the World, has made this year’s list. Big round of congrats to BD, who I know already got drunk and went to see Punisher: War Zone to celebrate (which is like the best way to celebrate anything, including the births of children and deaths of enemies).
BD is the latest CHUD friend to hit the Black List; last year our own resident board curmudgeon and one-time DVD reviewer Jeremy Slater made the list with his script Score. His life has since been free of trials, tribulations, problems and sadness. And we shouldn’t forget that CHUD’s own Smilin’ Jack Ruby, aka Mark Wheaton, has gone on to a terrific career in writing movies AND comic books (check out his series The Cleaners from Dark Horse, and check out his story credit on the new Friday the 13th).
Take heart, future filmmakers reading this site. You’re rubbing elbows with some really talented people who are bucking the odds and actually making it. And these are just the guys who have been really identified with the site over the years – there are plenty of regular readers just like you who have seen me at junkets for their movies and said that they’ve been reading CHUD for a decade, long before they came out to Hollywood and made it big. You’re not alone, and you have a real chance to make it happen.
*hint, he’s Duke Fleed