Happy New Year from everyone here at WriteMovies! The first deadline approaches for our latest genre award – the Romance and Comedy Award 2020 – with just a couple of days left for you to enter at the standard price!
At standard entry for this contest, you can submit a screenplay, stageplay, or TV pilot for just $39, or a book or video game script for $49. But you’ll have to move fast – the standard deadline is this Sunday, January 5th!
The successor to our first two genre prizes – the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award 2019 and the Horror Award 2019 – the Romance and Comedy Award is here to celebrate more great writing. We’ll accept scripts that belong to either genre, or which are romantic-comedies.
And don’t forget that in addition to some great prizes, including development notes to help enhance your work and guaranteed pitching to industry, you’ll also get FREE, automatic entry to the Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest too. The winner of our Horror Award 2019 also took the Grand Prize of $2000 in our Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest – so give yourself the same chance and enter today!
We can’t wait to see what you’ve got for us. Submit by the end of Sunday January 5th for standard entry – but if you’re not completely ready yet, don’t worry. The final deadline is February 9th, so there’s still time.
Click here to visit the contest page and submit your work. We can’t wait to see what scripts you’ve got for us!
It’s been a great year for us here at WriteMovies, with three successful contests – Winter, Spring, and Fall – producing a lot of great scripts! We’ve also been very proud of our first two genre awards to celebrate great writing: the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award and the Horror Award.
We’re already hard at work with our winners on developing their scripts and getting them out there to the industry, but today we look back at our contests and reveal our full Wall of Fame for 2019.
Here’s a reminder of our Grand Prize winning scripts…
- PROMISE OF TOMORROW by Andrew Pennington: A fantastic British rom-com that made us laugh out loud from start to finish, capturing our attention with its quirky characters, heartwarming story, and fantastic audience appeal.
- CARAVAGGIO by Alasdair McMullan: Based on the tempestuous life of the Italian painter, this television pilot was as fun as it was fascinating, making the most of its strong concept and engaging main character.
- MONGER by David Axe: The winner of our Horror Award also took the Grand Prize in the Fall Contest. The plot and the monster that haunts the protagonists both feel fresh, and with well-rounded characters we quickly came to care about, it kept the suspense high throughout.
And a special shout out to the first ever winner of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award, too: THE TIME-TRAP by Mark Flood! To describe this script as a thrilling ride would be an understatement; it kept us gripped from the first page to the last.
If you’d like the chance to see your name on next year’s wall, submit to our Winter 2020 Contest and Rom-Com Award today – just one week until the Standard Deadline!
Every year without fail, there’s a question that I can’t seem to answer. To this day, it remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the world of cinema: is THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS a Halloween film or a Christmas film?
To some, it’s obvious. “It’s both, isn’t it?” they say. This stop-motion animated classic (usually associated with Tim Burton, although actually directed by Henry Selick) tells the story of Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who grows bored of his usual holiday and decides to take over Christmas instead – so of course it’s both.
I’ll admit that this answer may be right, but it doesn’t help because it doesn’t tell me when I should be watching the film. Do I watch it at Halloween or Christmas, or at some strange midpoint on November 27th? Which set of celebrations should it be a part of?
This year felt like the year to try to resolve the issue. With WriteMovies running our first ever Horror Award and announcing the winner on Halloween, we’ve read lots of scripts and watched lots of films that made us think about the Pumpkin King’s holiday, whether they be scary and violent or more light-hearted like THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
And after some thought, I think I’ve finally figured it out. I think I’ve finally found an answer to the question…
Because I genuinely believe now that it’s a Christmas film.
Even writing that out now, it still looks strange to see. After all, this is the film that still, 25 years since it’s release, is most emblematic of Tim Burton’s visual style – a style that has been embraced by goths, outcasts, and lovers of the weird and spooky ever since.
It’s a film which has a skeleton as its main character, which opens on shots of ghosts and pumpkins, and which sees Santa Claus (or “Sandy Claws”, as the residents of Halloween Town call him) kidnapped by a misbehaving gang of trick-or-treaters. To call it a Christmas film therefore sounds strange even to my own ears.
But I’ve decided that it is – because thematically, it shares much more with Christmas films than anything else. Fundamentally, it’s the message a film conveys that determines where it belongs. Christmas films generally have a focus on family and community, and THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is just the same.
After all his (mis)adventures, at the end of the film Jack comes to realize the folly of his mistakes. By turning his back on his friends and the town that loves him, disaster has followed. It’s only by returning to where he belongs, embracing his community, and accepting the love of the ragdoll Sally that he finds happiness again.
Nobody would ever accuse THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS of being a horror film, but I believe this shows that it’s not even a Halloween film either. It belongs firmly to the realm of Christmas, and that’s why I’ll be watching it as part of my holiday celebrations this year.
Of course, give it another twelve months… and I’ll probably change my mind again.
From all of us here at WriteMovies, a very Merry Christmas. Oh, and I supposed a Happy (belated) Halloween, too!
The number of reboots and remakes continues to climb, as can be seen from both the September and October script sales as reported by Script Pipeline… And there are a few other interesting things to note.
- After a great start, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN hasn’t done so well in recent years. Disney are now planning a reboot of the series, with original writer Ted Elliott being joined by CHERNOBYL creator Craig Mazin as they seek to develop a new story, reportedly without Jack Sparrow.
- It might not have the same box office draw, but another Disney franchise getting a reboot is INSPECTOR GADGET. SNL writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell are attached.
- And if you’re already getting sick of remakes, unfortunately we’ve got another one for you. Paramount has started work on a new version of FACE/OFF, the 1997 action thriller that was directed by John Woo.
- THE PRESENT seems like a script that shows there’s new potential even in old concepts. Despite similarities to GROUNDHOG DAY, it puts a new twist on the story – just as HAPPY DEATH DAY did – by having a young boy repeatedly relive the day his parents broke up and trying to prevent it.
- Bret McKenzie of FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS won an Oscar for 2011’s THE MUPPETS, and now he’s returning to the Jim Henson company once again. He’ll be writing the script and music for EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS.
Click here if you’d like to see the full Script Pipeline report for September, or click here for October. And if you think you’ve got a script more original than anything you see here, get it into our hands by submitting to one of our contests here!
Everyone in the world thinks and speaks differently. The differences in our characters come about for a number of reasons such as our brain structure and genetics – but they are expressed in the way that we conceive of things and our choice of phrases and the words we use.
The last WriteMovies competition of 2019 – our 20th anniversary year – is over. It’s been a fantastic contest, with amazing scripts at every stage – but in the end, there can only be one victor. And today is the day that we announce the winner!
What is it that separates our winner from the rest? How do we make that decision? We’ve given our hints and tips in the past, but here’s a quick guide for all you screenwriters as you hone your craft…
- Come up with a concept that we haven’t seen before. Your script needs a unique selling point that will make people sit up and take notice!
- Grab us in the first ten pages. These are the most important pages of your script, your chance to make a good impression; make sure you don’t have a weak opening.
- Get us invested in your characters before hitting us with the action. We need a reason to care about the things that are happening – and that means we need to care about the people those things are happening to!
- Make sure you understand the basics before trying anything more complicated. The true masters of the craft know the fundamentals inside and out, and often the best scripts are the ones that implement do the simplest things well.
These are all things we’re looking for when judging – and the things that guided us when making our decision this time around as we picked… the WriteMovies Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest winner!
|GHOSTED, WITH LOVE,
|THE PAPER ROUTE,
|SUNSHINE STATE: DUENDE,
|WHEN NIGHT AWAKENS,
The importance of world-building – in all genres, although particularly science-fiction, fantasy, and horror – can’t be understated. The world of your script isn’t something that should be designed separately from the story, but in tandem with it.