Year Six is here! With 2015 almost ready to tick over to a new year, and everyone gearing up for a winter break with loved ones, it’s time once again to dig into some of the stats from the years Hit List and spec market and share a glimpse into the who’s, what’s and where’s that made up the best specs of 2015.
All next week we will be diving into and analyzing some of our 6 year Hit List stats compared to the spec market, taking a look at the over 300+ writers and specs who made their first appearances on the Hit List, as well as a look at the reps, genres, and voters who made it all possible. So, keep an eye out for that adventure beginning next week!
By reading the below, we’re of course assuming you’ve already read THE HIT LIST 2015 or for the best experience went ahead and downloaded the THE HIT LIST 2015 – INTERACTIVE PDF and had a chance to look over THE HIT LIST 2015 – BY THE NUMBERS. If not, click those links and check them out, because they’re referenced below.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the 2015 Hit List, let us break a couple things down for you!
HIT LIST QUICKIES
While we have our largest voting pool and turnout in 2015 (550 invited voters / 473 voting before deadline) our top voted script had the lowest top score to date. However, competition between those on the script was the fiercest we’ve ever seen with only 10 votes separating 1st place and 5th place, and our total active vote count (votes making the cut on this list) topping 2000 once again. Comparatively going from 1st to 5th in previous years was a difference of 29 votes (2010), 49 (2011), 20 (2012), 15 (2013), 12 (2014). So just how close was 1st and second place on the list? 1 vote. This was undoubtedly our most compact list to date, with single votes deciding placements on more than 80% of the entire list. But, lets ask keep in mind, to make the top spot 79 voters had to single out the top script, and finding that many people in Hollywood who think you’re script is the best spec they’ve read all year – well that’s an amazing feat!
So, now lets dive into some of the fun…
At the time of the list release, 36 of the projects (40%) were still available to be picked up. That means 60% of the projects on list are set up in some capacity at studios or production companies. To those of you looking for a late season pick up, you have some pretty solid options this year!
This year, we had nearly 500 individuals cast their votes for their favorite specs of the year!
The (not so) great divide. We used that exact line last year for this section, and this year we’re reiterating it once again. In previous years we’ve seen significantly higher vote counts for our top script with 113 (2010), 142 (2011), 119 (2012), 91 (2013), 87 (2014), but this year also featured the least amount of individual scripts voted for (only 207 of the 378 eligible scripts earned at least one vote) since 2011 (202 of the 358 earned at least one vote). So, when you consider the top 5 specs earned 79, 78, 76, 73 and 69 votes, that hammers home how loved these top picks had to be!
THE WRITERS (We counted all writing pairs as one writer… sorry guys and gals)
76 of the writers on the 2015 Hit List are first timers, having never before appeared on a previous Hit List. That makes 83.5% of the list freshman! The most we’ve seen since 2010, when everyone was new!
10 of the writers on the 2015 Hit List were here a second time (appearing on a Hit List once before). That makes 10.99% of the list Sophomores!
4 of the writers on the 2015 Hit List were here a third time (appearing on the Hit List twice before). That makes 4.39% of the list Juniors!
1 (1.1%) of the writers on the 2015 Hit List was here a fifth time (Brian Duffield returned with his 5th appearance in 6 years). Duffield now jumps over former Hit List King Jonathan Stokes, who had appeared on 4 lists prior to 2015. Welcome to Spec Grad school Mr. Duffield!
4 (4.39%) of the writers on the 2015 Hit List were alums of our Launch Pad Competitions. Congrats to Mike Van Waes, David Hoffman, Alex Carl and Shane Joseph Willis!
25 (27.47%) of the projects on the 2015 Hit List were from writers who made an appearance earlier on this year’s Young and Hungry List. While 38 (41.76%) of the projects were from writers who made an appearance on a previous Young and Hungry List, which continues to be a launching point for every annual list, with now over 79% of all annual list writers appearing on the Young & Hungry Lists.
20 of this year’s writers are women, marking the highest number we’ve seen since this list began, and making up 21.98% of this years list!
LET’S TALK AGENCIES & AGENTS
After UTA hit a low last year, dropping below 10 specs on the 2015 Hit List, they came back with a vengeances in 2015, topping the list with 15 projects (16.48% of all the projects), which also tied their previous high from 2012. Welcome back guys! UTA overall has represented 63 projects in the the six years of Hit List.
After back to back years of 20+ scripts on the list in 2011 and 2012, WME dropped by a staggering 12 scripts to land at 8 in 2013 and 2014, only to jump back to second place this year on the 2015 Hit List with 12 specs (13.18%). They also represented 3 of the Top 10 this year, falling just behind CAA in top 10 specs.
CAA made the biggest drop, going from 17 specs in 2014 to 10 specs on the 2015 Hit List (10.99%). That’s a drop, but still lands them in the Top 3 on the agency front. Also, of those 10, 4 of them landed in the Top 10, which is the best of all agencies! CAA also still claims the most scripts represented in the six years of Hit List, with 79. WME is just behind them with 77.
Paradigm and Verve once again wrap out the top 5 spots with 9 a piece (9.89% of the list). For Verve it was a slight drop from their high of 13 last year, whereas Paradigm tied last years numbers once again. Verve has now represented 43 scripts on the list since 2010, and Paradigm an equal 40.
New shop ESA meanwhile has jumped from 1 script on the list in 2014 (their first year as a company) to 5 (5.49%) in 2015 with agent Varun Monga repping all of them.
Matching last years numbers, once again there were 11 projects on the 2015 Hit List without agents. Look for that number to change aggressively before year end, as has happened in years past.
Adam Perry at APA and David Boxerbaum at Paradigm each repped the most specs on this years list with 6 projects apiece (6.59%). For Adam that was a +1 boost from last year, and for David he matched his numbers from last year, also with 6.
Charles Ferraro at UTA, Parker Davis at Verve and Varun Monga at ESA each landed 5 projects (5.49% each) on the 2015 Hit List. For Charles that number matches his 2014 numbers, but for Parker that was a +3 boost from last years 2 projects, and for Varun a +4 boost).
12.08% of this year’s list have no agent representation.
3 projects are currently repped by an agency only.
AND NOW THE MANAGEMENT & MANAGERS
This year we saw the most number of management companies to ever cover the Hit List, with 44 different companies representing 88 of the 91 projects. That record breaking number also leads to our next record breaking number, which is that 88 (96.7%) of the projects on this years list were represented by managers. That number has continued to climb year over year since the list began in 2010.
Once again, no management company had more than 9 (9.89%) projects repped this year, with Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment once again tying their record high from when the topped the list in 2013. They have now represented 41 specs on the list since 2010.
Following Kaplan/Perrone was a new comer on the list in Bellevue Productions, who made the transition from production company to management/production in 2015 and brought in former Resolution agent Jeff Portnoy to work alongside owner John Zaozirny. Collectively they represented 6 (6.59%) projects on the 2015 Hit List, which is the most for a newcomer company since the first years list when everyone was new.
Industry Entertainment and Circle of Confusion each represented 5 (5.49%) projects on the list this year. That puts each company in the top 3, but also saw drops for both, with Circle dropping from 9 in 2014, and Industry from 8. But remember, there were 7 new management companies on this years list, so while both companies dropped, they still remain right near the top, and have done so consistently since the list began.
With 4 (4.36%) projects on this years list, Madhouse stays in the top 5 management companies for the sixth year running. They have represented 41 projects on the list since the beginning, which is the record for all management companies.
Meanwhile, Grandview another new company in 2014 (akin to ESA on the agency front) matched their spec total of 2014 with 3 (3.3%) projects on the 2015 Hit List, and are the only management company with multiple projects in the Top 10 with 2 earning that title.
With the most management companies ever on the list this year, we also saw the most managers ever, with our top projects repped number being the lowest it’s ever been, with only 4 (4.4%) projects per manager. Considering however that only 6 managers repped more than 2 projects this year, that’s still quite incredible. With 4 projects apiece, Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue productions, Josh Goldenberg at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, and Michael Wilson at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment topped the list.
Following the top of the list with 3 (3.3%) projects apiece were john Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions, Michelle Knudsen at MXN and Sean Perrone at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.
11 (12.08%) of all the specs on this years list were only represented by managers.
TWO IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN ONE
All but on of the scripts represented by the Top 5 agencies, UTA, WME, CAA, Paradigm, Verve were paired up with management companies amassing for 54 (59.34%) of the entire list. Only 1 project Verve represented currently does not have management.
On the opposite side, of the Top 5 management companies, 8 of the 9 projects Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment represented had agents, 3 of the 5 from Bellevue Productions, 5 of 5 for Circle of Confusion, 4 of the 5 for Industry Entertainment and 4 for 4 with Madhouse Entertainment.
The most teamed up pairs on this years list were Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and UTA, who paired on 4 projects together for the 2015 Hit List.
A LITTLE SWEET GENRE TALK
Here are how the genres have broken down over the last 5 years. For 2015, we’re covering each genre used each time as 71% of all those on this years list had more than 1 genre listed.
The genres of horror, western, fantasy, romance, crime, supernatural, war, coming-of-age, biopic, historical, and mystery have never broken double digits on the list in any year.
We hope you enjoyed the stats this year. Keep an eye out next week as we break down some big picture 6-year stats and analysis!