How a Simple Email Survey Pulled Scripts Out of Hollywood Purgatory & Turned Them Into Award-Winning Films

How did the Black List get start­ed? Not the Hol­ly­wood black­list that ruined the careers of count­less direc­tors, actors and actress­es dur­ing the 1940s and 1950s. No, we mean the Black List, cre­at­ed by Franklin Leonard in 2005, which has allowed more than 300 scripts, once stuck in Hol­ly­wood pur­ga­to­ry, to get turned into fea­ture films–films like Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire, The King’s Speech, Argo and Spot­light.  This all start­ed when Leonard cre­at­ed a sim­ple sur­vey, ask­ing near­ly 100 movies exec­u­tives to name their favorite scripts that had not yet been made as fea­ture films. The new Vox video above tells the rest of the sto­ry.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jean-Paul Sartre Writes a Script for John Huston’s Film on Freud (1958)

When Aldous Hux­ley Wrote a Script for Disney’s Alice in Won­der­land

How Movie Stu­dios Reject­ed Scripts Dur­ing the Silent-Film Era: A Cold, 17-Point Check­list Cir­ca 1915

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.