Earlier this week Screen Daily posted news that the second ‘Brit List’ was doing the rounds in industry circles.
If you’re unfamiliar with the List (and most people will be, given its limited circulation) it ranks the most popular unproduced screenplays in the UK, compiled from a survey of 40 anonymous industry bods (producers, acquisitions executives, agents, sales agents and public funders).
It is intended ‘to echo the success of the US Black List in drawing attention and perhaps finance to these projects’, according to Screen Daily. ‘The Hollywood Black List is well-known for having identified and drawn attention to projects such as Juno and Lars And The Real Girl before they were produced.’
It may seem a cloak-and-dagger way of highlighting promising screenplays and their scribes, but it is in keeping with the shadowy world of feature film development. No one can say for certain how many scripts are currently ‘in development’ in the UK. Ditto the amount of money invested in development (in aggregate and on average per project), the average length of time a screenplay is developed, how many people are involved and who they are, and (perhaps most importantly) what proportion of screenplays make it into production. We know this last figure is low, but quite how small, and how it may have changed over time, is uncertain.