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FilmmakerGround >> Screenwriting Competitions?


2/8/10 1:43 PM
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Joe Ray
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Outside of having great connections these seem like the best way to get your screenplay noticed.

Anyone have experience of entering a screenplay into these?
2/10/10 3:23 AM
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Valentino Slice
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i've done a few and the vast majority of them are scams/not worth your money. only enter one if you're 100% confident that your script is the most incredible thing written since the creation of film. only half-joking here.

the Nicholl Fellowship, network fellowships, sundance, etc, those are legit, but they prefer indie drama-esque stories about dysfunctional families and shit like that. competition is insanely fierce and many pro screenwriters wouldn't get past the first round. but, if you place in one of those contests you'll likely get representation.

now, the other competitions with a little bit of reputation out there like Page and Bluecat, while not outright scams, are NOT worth your money. you pay 40-60 dollars for a KID to read your script. forget about the top prize and whatnot. the person that first reads your script, is some starving film student that they pay 10 dollars per read. that is what you're paying for. bottom line. and that kid's opinion doesn't mean jack shit.

these contests can and have helped people, but they are very few and FAR FAR between. only enter one if you KNOW you have an amazing script that even the dumbest of script readers will recognize as teh awesome. otherwise, tuck your script away and WRITE ANOTHER ONE.

i've been writing for a couple of years now and at first i was overly eager to enter every contest, get my scripts read, yadda yadda, which was a big waste of time and money. focus on your writing. be completely honest with yourself and how shitty your script is, and believe me, it probably is. work on your craft. if you have an amazing script, agents and producers and directors will come to you. these contests sell you a dream of sliding in the back door.

don't fall for it.

don't fall prey to these parasites that feed on the desperate dreams of aspiring screenwriters. there's a whole fucking industry that thrives upon our naivete. don't pay for contests whose #1 goal is to make money for themselves, don't buy books written by people who've never had a project produced, don't pay for seminars from writers who pay their rent from seminars. get the picture? forget the contests. write 5 scripts. write 10, 15, 20, as many as it takes until you know FOR SURE that what you've written is undeniably good. there are plenty of stories about writer's who've found a way into the biz through some stroke of dumb luck, but the only 100% guaranteed way to break in, is to have a spectacular script, and if you don't have that, don't bother with doing anything else but writing.
2/10/10 5:00 AM
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Joe Ray
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Thanks for the advice. Yes I'll be discerning in the ones I enter.
2/10/10 8:34 AM
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Valentino Slice
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do you have a screenplay finished? if so, what's it about?
2/10/10 3:08 PM
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Joe Ray
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Edited: 02/10/10 3:08 PM
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Not finished by far but I have a good structure set up. I am rather busy but I'm giving myself until the end of the year to finish it.

It is a dramatization of the Jasper lynching of James Byrd Jnr. It's about what happened to Bill King and his co-conspirators before, during and after they entered prison leading up till the murder.
6/30/10 3:07 AM
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victorchensky
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Valentino Slice - i've done a few and the vast majority of them are scams/not worth your money. only enter one if you're 100% confident that your script is the most incredible thing written since the creation of film. only half-joking here.

the Nicholl Fellowship, network fellowships, sundance, etc, those are legit, but they prefer indie drama-esque stories about dysfunctional families and shit like that. competition is insanely fierce and many pro screenwriters wouldn't get past the first round. but, if you place in one of those contests you'll likely get representation.

now, the other competitions with a little bit of reputation out there like Page and Bluecat, while not outright scams, are NOT worth your money. you pay 40-60 dollars for a KID to read your script. forget about the top prize and whatnot. the person that first reads your script, is some starving film student that they pay 10 dollars per read. that is what you're paying for. bottom line. and that kid's opinion doesn't mean jack shit.

these contests can and have helped people, but they are very few and FAR FAR between. only enter one if you KNOW you have an amazing script that even the dumbest of script readers will recognize as teh awesome. otherwise, tuck your script away and WRITE ANOTHER ONE.

i've been writing for a couple of years now and at first i was overly eager to enter every contest, get my scripts read, yadda yadda, which was a big waste of time and money. focus on your writing. be completely honest with yourself and how shitty your script is, and believe me, it probably is. work on your craft. if you have an amazing script, agents and producers and directors will come to you. these contests sell you a dream of sliding in the back door.

don't fall for it.

don't fall prey to these parasites that feed on the desperate dreams of aspiring screenwriters. there's a whole fucking industry that thrives upon our naivete. don't pay for contests whose #1 goal is to make money for themselves, don't buy books written by people who've never had a project produced, don't pay for seminars from writers who pay their rent from seminars. get the picture? forget the contests. write 5 scripts. write 10, 15, 20, as many as it takes until you know FOR SURE that what you've written is undeniably good. there are plenty of stories about writer's who've found a way into the biz through some stroke of dumb luck, but the only 100% guaranteed way to break in, is to have a spectacular script, and if you don't have that, don't bother with doing anything else but writing.


decent advice, screenwriting in my opinion is much more difficult than making it as an mma fighter. there are so many procedures one must follow in writing and owning a work. then there are the endless copies of screenplays that never ever get read. it's a tough business indeed. when entering a contest or writing an agent, the odds are always stacked against you so it's very important to send your best work, even if the work is good, there is a high chance it still won't get anywhere.

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