WarnerMedia has partnered with the Black List on a program designed to open doors for writers from historically underrepresented communities by offering free access to the social media platform that showcases screenwriters.
WarnerMedia will work with HBCUs and range of established organizations to identify up to 600 writers who will receive vouchers to use Black List for a month and to receive a script evaluation from an industry professional. The Black List charges $30 a month for non-guild members to host a script on the platform, where it can be viewed by industry insiders, and $75 for an evaluation of a feature-length film script or hourlong TV pilot. Evaluations of half-hour pilot scripts run $50, per the Black List website.
The vouchers will be distributed by the partner organizations, described as entities that are focused on supporting talent from underrepresented backgrounds in Hollywood.
“In addition to helping WarnerMedia find extraordinary new writing talent, this initiative will simultaneously provide all 600 writers with high-quality feedback and potentially help them find agents, managers, producers, financiers, talent, and even other studios interested in working with them,” said Black List founder Franklin Leonard. “It’s not a cure-all, but this is the kind of forward-thinking pipeline work that has been all too rare at the corporate level and can have a transformative effect both at WarnerMedia and throughout the industry.”
WarnerMedia said the six-month program is part of the company’s commitment to step up philanthropic outreach to support “diverse creatives” and nurture the storytellers of the future.
“We know that changing and growing the pipeline will take a collective effort, and this is part of our larger commitment as members of the creative community to increase opportunities for those who don’t have access through traditional means,” said Karen Horne, WarnerMedia’s senior VP of equity and inclusion. “It’s important that our showrunners have access to diverse storytellers and get to know them, even if they’re not staffing, to identify exceptional talent and create pipelines so they may launch their careers and flourish.”
Black List launched in 2005 as an annual list to highlight the best unproduced movie screenplays circulating in Hollywood, as voted anonymously by top development executives and other industry pros. In 2012, Black List evolved into an online community offering various free and paid services. The company has also branched out into indie film production as a partner on 2018’s “Breaking News in Yuba County” and 2019’s “Come As You Are.”