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The Scoggins Report: December 2012 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report is a compilation of sales and trends in the industry. The Report is reprinted on by permission of the authors.

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
January 7, 2013

December 2012
Spec Market Roundup

Welcome back, Hollywood. We’ll keep this tight, since we know you’re preoccupied with locking down your Sundance plans and predicting the Academy Awards nominations.

Recall that the 2012 Black List and 2012 Hit List came out relatively late in December, followed by the unusually long holiday break. That combination meant the lists had less effect on December 2012’s numbers than 2011, when several scripts sold within days of the Black List announcement. We looking forward to seeing whether the Black List Effect has a larger impact on January and February’s numbers this year than usual.

In the meantime, it turned out December 2012 didn’t need the assist. The numbers were stellar even before the lists were announced, as you can see below. Not to mention 2012’s numbers overall -- we’ll have all the details locked down in the Year-End Spec Market Scorecard in two weeks, but we’ll leave you with this: 2012’s spec sale total ended up 10% higher than 2011’s record-setting pace.

Well done, 2012. Your move, 2013.





 New Specs





 Number Sold1





 Percent Sold2





Genres Sold

5 Action/Adventure 1 Drama 1 Horror 2 Sci-fi 2 Thriller

1 Action/ Adventure 1 Comedy 1 Drama 1 Horror 5 Thriller

3 Action/Adventure 2 Comedy 1 Drama 1 Thriller

1 Comedy

1 Total Sales in December

2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in December

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of December 3:

• 2 scripts hit the tracking boards, neither of which has sold

• 6 additional sales were reported (“Arminius,” from November, “Beneath,��� “Family Vacation,” “Untitled Robert Lynn Project,” “Scorn,” and “Willie Francis Must Die Again,” the 2012 Nicholl Fellowship winner)

Week of December 10 (Hanukkah, Hit List):

• No scripts hit the boards

• 1 additional sale was reported (“Empire”)

Week of December 17 (Black List):

• No scripts hit the boards

• 5 additional spec sales were reported (“Alter,” from April, “Peste,” a Black List script from October, “Story of Your Life,” the Black List and Hit List script that first appeared on the 2012 Blood List, and “Warden”)

Week of December 24 (Christmas):

• No scripts hit the boards

• No additional sales were reported

Genre Breakdown




% Sold
















Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)


Writers: John &Thomas Sonntag

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro) and Mosaic (Langley Perer)

Buyer: Voltage

Genre: Sci-fi

Attachments: Benderspink and Steven L’Heureux will produce.

Notes: Project was set up in April 2012 and came to light when the writers’ subsequent spec, “Warden,” sold to New Line this month (see below).

Logline: Centers on a team of scientists aboard a space station monitoring activity around a black hole when they receive a transmission showing their deaths at the hands of mysterious aliens.


Writer: Frank Moll

Reps: CAA and Rain Management Group

Buyer: Fox

Genre: Period action

Attachments: Radiant Productions’ Wolfgang Petersen and LBI Entertainment’s Julie Yorn will produce.

Logline: Arminius was a German who was trained as a Roman warrior but who switched allegiance when the Romans tried to take over Germania. At 25, he would eventually unite disparate Germanic tribes and rally them to victory against the Roman Army in the bloody Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, halting the Roman Empire’s expansion North.


Writers: Patrick J. Doody & Chris Valenziano

Reps: APA (Debbie Deuble-Hill, Sheryl Peterson), Hung Entertainment (Jonathan Hung) and New Wave (Josh Adler, Mike Goldberg)

Buyer: Revolver Pictures

Genre: Horror

Attachments: Austin Reading is attached to direct.

Logline: When a mine collapse traps a team of coal miners and a headstrong lawyer underground, they soon discover they’re not the only ones trying to get out. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY meets THE DESCENT.


Writer: Ben Ripley (“Source Code”)

Reps: Gersh (Bob Hohman, Devra Lieb, Bayard Maybank) and Mosaic (Michael Lasker)

Buyer: New Regency

Genre: Action

Attachments: The Mark Gordon Co.’s Mark Gordon and Drew Simon will produce.

Logline: Under wraps.

Family Vacation

Writer: Eric Reese

Reps: CAA (Stuart Manashil, Matt Rosen) and The Gotham Group

Buyer: Paramount Insurge

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Allegiance Theater's Daniel Dubiecki will produce.

Logline: Under wraps.


Writer: Barbara Marshall

Reps: APA (Debbie Deuble -Hill) and Industry (Ava Jamshidi)

Buyer: IM Global Octane

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Sherryl Clark will produce under her Busted Shark banner.

Notes: Script landed on the 2012 Blood List, Hit List and Black List. Purchase by IM Global Octane was announced within days of the latter.

Logline: During the C1H1 outbreak, a couple and their two daughters spent 48 days under mandatory Ohio state quarentine. The family's current whereabouts are unknown.


Writer: Derek Kolstad

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro, Max Michael) and New Wave (Josh Adler, Mike Goldberg)

Buyer: Thunder Road

Genre: Action

Attachments: Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk will produce.

Notes: Project was purchased through Thunder Road’s discretionary fund.

Logline: Under wraps.

Story of Your Life

Writer: Eric Heisserer

Reps: UTA (Barbara Dreyfus, Jon Huddle) and Art/Work (Julie Bloom)

Buyer: Film Nation

Genre: Sci-fi

Attachments: Lava Bear’s David Linde and 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy will produce.

Notes: Based on the short story by Ted Chiang. Script appeared on 2012’s Blood List, Hit List and Black List.

Logline: When alien crafts land around the world, a linguistics expert is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.

Untitled Robert Lynn Project

Writer: Robert Lynn

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro, Emerson Davis) and Kaplan Perrone (Josh Goldenberg)

Buyer: Fox

Genre: Action

Attachments: Davis Entertainment will produce.

Logline: Under wraps.


Writers: John & Thomas Sonntag

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro) and Mosaic (Langley Perer)

Buyer: New Line

Genre: Action

Attachments: Jimmy Miller and Lawrence Inglee will produce for Mosaic. John Zaozirny and Bobby Sabelhaus will executive produce through their Bellevue Productions.

Notes: Michael Disco and Sam Brown will supervise for the studio.

Logline: Story centers on a prison warden who, when his wife and son are kidnapped, is blackmailed into helping the American head of a Mexican drug cartel escape from his own high-security facility.

Willie Francis Must Die Again

Writer: Allan Durand

Reps: WME (Holly Jeter) and Madhouse Entertainment (Adam Kolbrenner, Kendrick Tan, Chris Cook)

Buyer: FilmEngine

Genre: Drama

Notes: Script won the 2012 Nicholl Fellowship in November. Writer was subsequently signed by WME and Madhouse, and now the project has been set up at FilmEngine.

Logline: The true-story of Willie Francis, a black teen who in 1946 was sent to the electric chair and survived.

About The Scoggins Report:

The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources. The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics. Caveat emptor. Mol??n labé.