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[Interview] Kailey Marsh on The Blood List & Faction M

Written by , on May 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm 

Kailey Marsh is a co-founder and literary manager/producer at Faction M with her business partner Nima Maleki. Kailey graduated from the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles and interned for Ozla Pictures (the company behind The Grudge movies, among others) and then worked as an assistant for Steven Jay Schneider, producer of Paranormal Activity. She was an assistant at the management/production company Circle of Confusion before becoming a manager in her own right.

Faction M has most recently been involved in producing the feature film THE DAY, currently in post-production.  Check out the Facebook page for all the details about the film and the teaser.

With the advent of The Black List, a collection of the top unproduced screenplays making the rounds in Hollywood, Kailey invented The Blood List, which compiles the best unproduced horror scripts. She was recently included in a Hollywood Reporter article examining this listing phenomena.

Kailey took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for The Film Stage.

You created The Blood List – has this system of listing top unproduced scripts proven successful as a vetting system?

I created the list because I love the genre and feel a lot of writers get overlooked if their script doesn’t go out wide. I think it’s a great way to get the genre and those writers/reps exposure. People seem to enjoy the list and it’s turning non-horror fans onto it so I guess that means it’s successful!

Several Black List scripts have been produced – “The Beaver,” for instance. Can you point to any scripts on the Blood List that have been/will be shot?

I try and state whether a script is set up, or what stage it’s in and some of them will be in production soon. I’m not going to name specific scripts but there are a couple of writers that had scripts on the list that have gotten work, or put on other lists, and a couple scripts have sold. I don’t take credit for that…more exposure majority of the time means more success if it’s in a positive light.

From your perspective as a literary manager, does the success of high-concept, original (not based on a toy or comic or video game) films like Inception (Chris Nolan’s pedigree put aside) signal an alternative to the big, franchise-based tentpole films?

There will always be ‘tentpole films’ and I always laugh when execs tell me that’s what they want because yeah, who doesn’t want a big, money making machine of a movie. In fact, I want 30 of them! While there’s the constant question I get asked when pitching a project ‘is there source material?’ followed by my pitch of something original that ‘they can’t do anything with right now.’

It makes my job as a manager extremely difficult because I have to develop material with my clients from scratch. On the flip side, with things like THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and THE HANGOVER being so successful, it shows people are willing to take risks. Sometimes I don’t think people realize that just because something is a comic book doesn’t mean anyone has read it. On the flip side I am also a fan of cross platform packages of the video game, graphic novel, manuscript and screenplay idea all in one…it shows an understanding for the project by the creator, and how it can be the most lucrative to the buyer if they choose to explore all aspects. My client Paul J. Salamoff does a packet for almost all of his screenplays he writes and I find it’s effective.

This next year especially there’s going to be a big surge of popcorn, comic book superhero, blockbusters…for everyones sake I hope audiences don’t get sick of seeing slight variations of the same product. I am a huge film lover and I know that when I walk out of a theater and I felt something after watching that the money I just spent (and boy are ticket prices high) was put to good use. The public isn’t stupid, and there are too many films coming out, too many scripts being written and floating around, not enough money to buy things, yet talent making $20 million salary on a picture that’s been rushed to be released and flops…eyes are being opened.

Do you see digital distribution as the future of exhibition? (Another, sorta related question: is 3D here to stay or will it die a much-needed death soon enough?)

The power of things going viral is insane…things can be passed around and an enormous amount of exposure can happen in a short amount of time, so I see digital distribution as getting more and more powerful…as far whether ’3D’ is a fad that will disappear I’m not quite sure. I will say this though… If I’m a mother and I have 3 kids and they want to see an animated film in 3D, then that is going to cost me around 75 bucks just for the tickets. I think that now that 3D adds to the ticket prices a lot of parents especially are opting for 2D films in the theater. In a short amount of time 3D televisions have been sprouting up and becoming cheaper so a lot of people are investing in the television and skipping the theater experience which hurts box office so it’s the two sides to the coin: ticket prices go up with 3D and it helps box office, but more people are option to stay home because ticket prices are too high and are staying home and this is hurting box office. I don’t think 3D will end but now it’s at a point where there so much 3D surplus that it’s not special anymore.

Our massive thanks to Kailey Marsh, a talented, tenacious professional whose positivity, creativity and never-say-die attitude should be a model for anyone entering the film industry.

And in case you were wondering, here’s the latest Blood List – the top-rated unproduced horror scripts currently circulating Out There.

The Blood List was created to get people more informed of what’s being written in the horror (and all sub genres within) community, and get new writers noticed. 75 execs, managers, agents and assistants voted for their top 3 favorite horror scripts of the past calendar year.

TOP 10 HORROR SCRIPTS (on the latest Blood List)

1. DARK CONTINENT

By: David Portlock

Rep: Steve Smith at Stagecoach Entertainment

Logline: A series of brutal murders begins in Darfur, then spreads to a small village in the Congo (DRC). A woman doctor – an aid volunteer – teams up with a UN military unit to track down the killers. The trail leads deep into the African rain forests, where the unit soon discovers that the people they’re after seem to be “more than human”. It has a tone similar to PREDATORS and ALIENS with an underlying social message.

2. THE LAST WITCH HUNTER

By: Cory Goodman

Rep: Scott Agastoni & Mike Esola at WME and Adam Goldworm at Aperture

Logline: Story centers on a man, who is the last witch hunter left in a world overrun by Witches, and who has one shot at keeping humanity from being wiped out.

3. SKIN

By: Adam Alleca

Rep: Kimberly Bialek at WME and Naren Desai at Brillstein

An insecure woman becomes addicted to plastic surgery after marrying a well-intentioned surgeon. When a procedure goes horribly wrong, she slips into madness. Blaming the surgeon and his friends, she takes gruesome revenge.

4. Hell’s Acre

By: Damian Nieman and Shane Clark

Rep: David Boxerbaum at APA

Logline: The true story of “The Bloody Benders” – a family of twisted and perverse German immigrants who confined and butchered nearly two dozen people over three months in their cabin lair just outside of Cherryvale, Kansas before they

mysteriously disappeared. Pitched as “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Halloween” with a dash of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

5. KIYO

By: Alex Daltas

Rep: Kailey Marsh at FACTION M

Logline: A family going through a painful divorce is further challenged when their youngest daughter brings home an antique doll that contains a vengeful spirit. The broken family is compelled to band together when the daughter’s well-being is threatened by the spirit that is bent on having her as a “friend” even unto death.

6. SPRAWL

By: Jordan Goldberg & Alex Paraskevas

Rep: Keya Khayatian & Rebecca Ewing at UTA and Ben Rowe at Oasis Media group

Logline: Suburban teenage misfits out for a wild night in Hollywood throw a bottle at a car and provoke the wrath of a faceless psycho who hunts them down through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles.

7. NOCTURNE

By: Andre Fabrizio

Rep: Valarie Phillips at Paradigm & Adam Goldworm at Aperture

FOX producing with Len Wiseman attached to direct/produce

Logline: A group of people try to solve the mystery of how they survived the end of the world.

8. EIGHT BALL

By: Keith Kjornes

Rep: Steve Smith at Stagecoach Entertainment

Logline: Two cops are tracking the release of a new street drug call Eight Ball, which is a thousand times more potent than heroin. However, this drug could destroy mankind if it is not stopped from being spread. It is in the vein of 28 DAYS LATER with elements of RESIDENT EVIL and potential for two more films.

9. Cure

By: Beau Thorne

Rep: Jay Baker at CAA and Michael Connolly Mad Hatter Entertainment

Brian Witten producing and Dennis Iliadis attached to direct.

Logline: After a young man sends his wife for an experimental treatment to save her from terminal illness, he discovers that she is suddenly infected with something more terrifying.

10. CHRONICLE

By: Max Landis

Rep: David Alpert & Britton Rizzio at Circle of Confusion

Set up at Davis Entertainment with Josh Trank attached to direct

Logline: A POV film about what happens to a group of 3 Oregon high school students after a mysterious “incident” changes their lives forever — think “Cloverfield” meets “Unbreakable”.

WITH 4 VOTES EACH…

BOY SCOUTS VS. ZOMBIES

By: Carrie Evans & Emi Mochizuki

Rep: Hohman Maybank Lieb and Entertainment

Andy Fickman attached to direct with Todd Garner / Oops Doughnuts / Brucks Producing. *SOLD TO PARAMOUNT * 12-15

Logline: On their last 4th of July camping trip together, a troop of Boy Scouts find themselves trapped on an island with a troop of girl scouts, and the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.

Bryan Brucks at Brucks

FRACTURED SOULS

By Kai Y. Wu

Rep: Dino Carlaftes at Kaplan Stahler Steve Smith at Stagecoach

Logline: A supernatural horror about an American family that visits Taiwan during lunar ghost month, a time when the dead are able to walk the earth among the living. “The Grudge” meets “The Others.”

STOKER

By: Wentworth Miller aka Ted Foulke

Rep: ICM

Set up a FOX Searchlight / Scott Free

Carey Mulligan & Jodie Foster to star

Logline: An 18 yr old girl must sort out the truth about her sinister but charismatic uncle, who has been absent for the past 30 years and arrives suddenly on the eve of her father’s death.

SPECTER LODGE

By: Amber Fonzen & Steven Richards

Not repped

Logline: An increase of mysterious and often fatal incidents around a remote lodge and national park high in the Cascades have the quirky owners and park rangers struggling for explanations.

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE

By: Mark Kruger (based on the novel by Shirley Jackson)

Rep: Scott Seidel at WME & Robyn Meisinger at Madhouse

WME packaging

Logline: An isolated family, which has lost four members to arsenic poisoning, is visited by a distant cousin who threatens to uncover their past.

WITH 3 VOTES EACH…

CIRCLE OF FIRE

By: John Todd

Rep Jennifer Au at Untitled Entertainment

Set up at Atlas Independent

Logline: Four early 20 somethings on a lighthearted camping weekend to scout Bigfoot find themselves in deeper than they bargained for, discovering more about themselves and what is lurking in the woods

DARK CORNERS

By: E.L. Katz

Current draft by Tim Day

Rep: Greg Pedicin at Gersh & Jeremy Platt at Generate LA

GreeneStreet / A Bigger Boat producing

Logline: Suspense young blind woman her parents dead, stalking her… and greed

FRANK AND PENELOPE

By: John Thaddeus

Rep: Nic de Armendi

Stephen Monroe attached to direct.

KISS BEFORE THE SLAUGHTER

By: John Michael Elfers

Rep: Mike De Trana Logline: When Bradly takes Raquel to Mexico for a black-market lung transplant, he discovers the underground organization butchers unsuspecting “donors”. Saving them would mean losing her.

THE LAST DJS

Set in the early 1990s. An undercover cop tries to break up a heroin ring by posing as a classic rock disc jockey, but soon discovers something far more sinister.

Screenplay by J. Patrick Rigney
Story by J. Patrick Rigney, John Hay and Paul Hay

Rep: Brett Carducci, Seth Nagel Set up at Aligned Entertainment

SALVAGERS

By: Francisca Hu

Shell

By: Ryan Spindell & Matt Taylor

Rep: Ryan Saul at APA and Ed Gamarra & Peter McHugh at The Gotham Group

Logline: A high-school outcast finds her life turned upside down, when an experimental plastic surgery transforms her into the most popular girl in school. But when the untested treatments begin to fail her, the new goddess goes to horrific lengths to try and keep her perfect face.

SURVIVALISM

By: Matt Pelfrey

Rep: D’Amecourt and Myers at WME and Adam Marshall & Brooklyn Weaver at Energy Entertainment

TRAUMA

By: Mark L. Smith

Rep: Harley Copen at ICM and Josh Krauss at Managment 360

Logline: Follows a young police photographer who becomes targeted by a killer who punishes his victims in the same manner as the Greek gods.

VIRAL

By: Matt Venne

Rep: David Boxerbaum, Debbie Deuble & Sheryl Petersen APA and Chris Ridenhour & Andrew Wilson at Prolific

WITH 2 VOTES EACH…

6 MIRANDA DRIVE

By: Greg Maclean

By: Jimmy Lui

THE BYE BYE MAN

By: David Britten Prior

Rep: Greg Pedicin at Gersh and Jeremy Platt at Generate LA

Set up at Intrepid

Logline: Story based on true events that occurred in Wisconsin in the 1990′s.

CHRISTMAS EVE

By: Damian Horan

DISCONNECT

By: Bridget Foley

Rep: Brandy Rivers at Magnet

Logline: When a college student witnesses a murder during an anonymous video chat, the freshman becomes another link in the chain for an online serial predator.

DYING WISH

By: Mike O’ Sullivan

FACELESS

By Meredith Berg

Rep: Marc Manus

Logline: After a car accident results in brain trauma for Taylor Swanson, causing a disorder in which everyone she sees has the same face, her dreams for a normal life are shattered when she must rise above her disability to survive a murderous stalker’s obsession.

HOUSE OF GRIMOIRES

By: Anthony Derrico Manus Entertainment

Rep: Zero Gravity

INFECTED

By: Sharat Raju who is also attached to direct

Rep: Bradley Glen at Kaplah-Stahler Agency

Logline: Set in India, the story centers on a virus that turns people into Vampire-like creatures

NEVILLE

By: Shant Hamassian

Rep: Joe Riley at Eyes on the Road Management

Logline: Follows a vengeance-fueled dentist hell-bent on going after the group of vampires that killed his wife.

OFF SEASON

By: Dan Kay

Rep: Hohman / Maybank / Lieb

Logline: A young couple discover something sinister in a small fishing town.

THE SWISS VILLAGE

By: Nicki Paluga Rep: Harbert & Ly at CAA and Shawn Simon at The Gotham Group

Logline: A girl with a rough upbringing is visited by an angel-like being, out to defend her against those who wrong her, even against her own family and friends.

THE UMBRA

By: Stephen Karczynski

Rep: Garfinkel at Gersh and Michael Schlain at Digital Conspiracy

Hal Lieberman and Endgame producing

Joe Carnahan attached to direct

Logline: An investment banker finds an audio cassette detailing a conspiracy between the government and aliens to breed with human chromosomes.

UNDERGROUND

By: Dave Cohen

Rep: Jeremy Platt at Generate LA

OZLA Pictures and Jeremy Platt producing with Neil Marshall attached to direct

Logline: A story set in in the world of gourmet underground supper clubs. The protagonist is an ambitious young chef who ventures into the terrifying underbelly of extreme cuisine.

WARM BODIES

By: Jonathan Levine

Rep: Ragna Nervik and Gering at CAA

Set up at Summit w/ Bruna Papandrea also producing and Jonathan Levine attached to direct.

Logline: Story centers on an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims and starts a chain reaction that will transform him and his fellow zombies.

What do you think of the scripts on the Blood List? Which should get produced? Is this a worth alternative to the Black List?


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