Last month, The Black List—Hollywood insiders' go-to source for discovering great, unproduced screenplays—launched an online script evaluation service that allowed even screenwriters without professional representation to get a shot at landing the attention of the Black List's 1,250 members, who include industry professionals from assistants to studio heads.
Justin Kremer, a screenwriter hopeful who used the new service to pay a Black List reader $50 for an evaluation, has just signed with industry heavyweight Creative Artists Agency, thanks in part to his script, which became the highest rated uploaded script on the site.
The two ironic twists? Kremer's script is about the rise of McCarthyism, the era that gave rise to the Hollywood "blacklist" of industry creatives accused of being Communist sympathizers; and Kremer used to be an intern at the Black List.
That second point might come as a sting to those who'd like to believe that even the no-name talent that tries to make it in Hollywood will get what's due, but Black List founder Franklin Leonard, one of our 100 Most Creative People in Business, was quick to dismiss any notions of favoritism at play.
"The internship, to the extent that one exists, is a very nebulous program and it didn't affect [Kremer's] involvement with the site at all as an aspiring screenwriter," Leonard tells Fast Company. "I didn't even find out he had uploaded his script until I saw the review on the site."
Leonard adds that although finding great scripts is difficult, when they surface the industry will take notice of the talent behind them.
"This validates that great writing is seeing equal success," he says. "He wouldn't be signed if it weren't for the fact that his script was very good."