The desert takes care of its own… A hard-bitten oil explorer and a desperate group of orphans led by two unorthodox nuns are forced into a hellish desert confrontation to escape the Nazis and help ensure an Allied victory.
From the fierce competition of our most recent contest, one script emerged victorious. We are proud to introduce the WriteMovies Spring 2018 Contest Winner: DESERT RUN by Christopher Thomas!
A wartime action-adventure script set in Egypt, 1942, DESERT RUN is a thrilling script that rejuvenates the classic era of adventure. Full of excitement and romance, it kept us on the edge of our seats from the first page to the last, and deservedly took the top spot in our contest. Chris wins a cash prize of $2000, a year of script development worth up to $3200, and more!
Here’s a summary of the WriteMovies Spring 2018 Contest winner…
Michael Quinn, a man haunted by memories of a war-scarred childhood, grows into the roughshod desert explorer who discovers the enormous oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. By 1942, his company is the most important source of oil in the world – a world that craves his product – a world at war.
As Quinn tries to keep the oilfields out of Hitler’s hands, he discovers that the lives of a young nun and her crew of streetwise orphans are pawns in a deadly deal. And as the Nazis brutalize North Africa, Quinn and the boys devise their escape.
With Nazis at their back and the Sahara desert before them, a monster sandstorm offers them refuge. It’s said that the desert takes care of its own but the price is high, and when the survivors are finally confronted with a real hell-on-earth, they find their bonds irrevocably forged and their mettle tested.
And a short bio of Chris…
As a little girl growing up in Saudi Arabia, I was aware that I was surrounded by stories of epic proportions. History was happening everywhere and it gave me a particularly urgent perspective on humans, their conditions and their resilience that continues to feed my screenwriting. When I’m not mired in some dark and dire world I’ve created, I’m a creative writing instructor and a writer/designer of educational material based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m also the Director and Lead Instructor for the Boulder Writing Studio’s Summer Creative Writing Camp series in Boulder, Colorado and serve on the Board of Directors. Prior to that I spent over 20 years as a senior level creative in the fields of animation, broadcast advertising, media design and film/video production. I have an MA in Educational Design E-learning from the University of Colorado Denver.
Want to follow Chris and become a Grand Prize Winner? Our Winter 2019 contest is now open – final deadline January 2019! Enter today and take your first steps towards writing success with WriteMovies!
We’ve got another great script to present to you! Our Spring 2018 contest 2nd place script is KLONDIKE MIKE by Thomas Zmiarovich!
This hilarious family comedy has an unusual Alaskan setting, lovable characters, and brilliant set pieces that will have you roaring with laughter. A big congratulations to Tom for his win; he receives Development Notes, previews of our Virtual Film School, exclusive prizes from InkTip, and more! Read on to find out more about this script…
Here’s the logline for KLONDIKE MIKE:
A family start a new life in Alaska where they encounter extreme wildlife and an eccentric local prospector with a talent for finding gold…
And the writer’s summary of his script:
In this adventurous family comedy, Sam McCord inherits a gold claim and decides to put his dead-end job with a corporate mega-store chain on hold and move his dysfunctional family to Alaska for the summer in hopes to strike it rich and solve all his problems.
Virtually dragging his wife, 16-year-old son and 9-year old genius daughter to the wilds of Alaska, he soon realizes that he knows nothing about working a gold claim. At a local saloon, Sam meets Klondike Mike, a rustic, flamboyant, vagabond lady’s man prospector, who convinces Sam he’d make the perfect straw boss to run the claim. With no other options, Sam hires him, and under Klondike’s direction the claim is soon running like clockwork. So, what could go wrong?
For Sam, everything – from pesky Yellow Jacket attacks, feisty raccoon encounters, cell phone-outhouse mishaps, Magic Mushroom trips with a cookie eating Grizzly bear, and the underhanded dealings with the Bible thumping claim jumpers trying to steal Sam’s claim back. Not to mention, Sam’s worries that his children admire Klondike more than him.
Thomas Zmiarovich Bio:
Born in Seattle, in the shadow of the aerospace giant, Boeing, my love for movies began as far back as I can remember. From the age of 10, much of my paper route money found its way to the cheap, week-day, matinees in summer at the Columbia City theater, a mile walk from my home on Beacon Hill. Sci-fi, comedy, action, you name it, I could have lived there if I could.
As an adult, I never lost that love of the big screen. Even as I raised a family and worked as a Tool Design Engineer, for Boeing. I always dreamed that I had something to contribute to the craft I loved so much.
Through the years, I wrote my stories and scripts, developing and learning the craft of writing and story-telling from names like Stanley Kramer, Abby Mann, Michael Hauge, Richard Walter, and others. I’ve had scripts finish in the quarter and semi-finals at Nichol, Austin, and others; am a finalist with Script Pipeline and the Washington State Screenplay Competition; and have had numerous Top Ten finishers.
My love of story telling will never allow me to stop trying to get those stories to the big screen for all to see.
It’s time to introduce the cream of the crop from our Spring 2018 Contest! Landing in third place is an exceptional screenplay, a topical mystery-thriller set in Greece: FIRE ON THE ISLAND by Timothy Jay Smith!
Congratulations to Timothy, who also won our award for Best Indie Script and is a former Grand Prize Winner from 2010! His prizes include a year of script and pitching development worth $3200, previews of our Virtual Film School, exclusive prizes from InkTip, and more!
Here’s the logline for FIRE ON THE ISLAND:
When an arsonist threatens an important Coast Guard station on a Greek island, the FBI agent stationed in Athens arrives to investigate, finds himself immersed in a community rife with conflict, and falls in love with his chief suspect.
And Timothy’s summary of his script:
An arsonist threatens to burn down a Greek island village by blowing up a fuel tank in its harbor. Alarmed by the possible disruption of the local Coast Guard’s vital operations in rescuing refugees, Nick Damigos, the FBI Agent posted to Athens, arrives to investigate.
The arsonist has struck eleven times in as many months, each fire coming closer to tiny Vourvoulos, and each followed by a mysterious poison pen letter. The last one makes it clear: the arsonist plans to strike within days. With no clues, Nick searches for a motive that would drive someone to such a destructive act. He discovers a village embroiled in conflicts, some dating back generations, and uncovers earlier crimes—all casting a wide net of suspicion.
Gradually the mystery is revealed through the interwoven stories of a struggling restaurant owner and her feminist teenage daughter, a seductive widow and lovelorn waiter, a scurrilous priest and patrician mayor, and a host of colorful characters who paint a portrait—both humorous and soulful—of Greece where the past mingles with the present. While sorting it out, Nick’s life is threatened, and he falls in love with a young waiter who becomes his chief suspect.
Plus a biography of Timothy himself:
Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.
Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel, and his screenplay adaptation of it was named Best Indie Script by WriteMovies. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.
Tim was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.
Timothy’s latest book, The Fourth Courier is now available for pre-order on Amazon – click here!
Among the many screenplays we received in our Spring 2018 Contest, one television script stood out. It advanced all the way to the finals of our overall contest as well as winning this award – HOLLYWOOD’S MOST WANTED: I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP, ESE by Manny Jimenez Sr.!
Television may have long seemed like film’s little brother, but the truth is much more complex. A television pilot is only the first episode in a much longer story arc – so it has to convince us that there’s series potential that will keep audiences coming back time and time again!
Congratulations to Manny for winning in this category; his script made us laugh with its great premise and wacky situations. He now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as his prizes, plus a set of Development Notes to give him professional feedback on his work.
Read on to find out more about the winning script – HOLLYWOOD’S MOST WANTED: I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP, ESE!
Here’s Manny’s summary of his script…
“HOLLYWOOD’S MOST WANTED is a single-camera, comedy-drama series based on the life of Manny Jimenez and Suspect Entertainment.
From the ‘hood to Hollywood, Manny takes his knowledge of gang-banging and turns it into dealmaking. He straddles two worlds — fatherhood, and managing former gang members — turning the latter not into actors but into law-abiding citizens. In the process, Manny becomes the C.A.A. of East L.A.”
And a short biography of Manny, too…
“LA gang member-turned-filmmaker Manny Jimenez Sr. took his knowledge of the streets and applied them to Hollywood. Manny’s unique journey has led him to be the subject of numerous news stories on CNN, ABC, Fox, Telemundo and Univision. They’ve also led to articles in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and Emmy.
As a gang consultant, Manny worked on such films as Ali G Indahouse, Training Day and Criminal starring Diego Luna. Gang-consulting led to screenwriting. Manny believes authenticity is key and he writes from the truth. Now, as a screenwriter, producer, and finally taking a seat in the coveted director’s chair, Manny wrote and directed the short film A Way Out — an anti-gang story that will be used to deter at-risk youths.
Although working in the entertainment industry is Manny’s main endeavor, he has found his true purpose in life by guiding young people towards finding their passion and showing them that there is a better life without drugs and gangs.
Take a look at Manny’s YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/c/MannyJimenezSr
Manny has won previews of the WriteMovies Academy, and Phase 1 opens on September 15th – join now to take your work to take your screenwriting and production skills to the next level!
Our International Screenwriting Contest isn’t just for full length screenplays – we accept short scripts as well! In our Spring 2018 Contest, the winner of Best Short Script also made it all the way to the semi-finals: ROLL WITH IT by Rosie Byrnes!
As most of our readers know, writing a screenplay is tough work that takes diligence, planning, and a whole lot of hours spent typing. It might seem like writing a short script is easier, but it brings with it an entire set of challenges you won’t find elsewhere. Imagine trying to cram a 120 page story into 10 pages and you’ll see how difficult it is!
Congratulations to Rosie for winning in this category; her script charmed us with its rich story, likeable characters, and colorful concepts. She now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as her prizes, plus a set of Development Notes to give her professional feedback on her work.
Read on to find out more about this short script which captured our hearts: ROLL WITH IT!
Here’s Rosie’s summary of her script…
“Max is the king of the roller disco, and he knows it—that is, until the spunky (and far more admirable) Lucy arrives at the rink. His crown threatened, Max challenges her to the ultimate dance-off. But he’s in over his head, and finds that he’s head over heels for the gal who knows what it means to be groovy.”
And a short biography of Rosie, too…
“Rosie Byrnes is a writer, a second grade teacher, and a notorious ice cream lover. Originally from Colorado but currently residing in Tainan City, Taiwan, Rosie has spent most of her life writing outlandish stories. Only after following her crush into a college screenwriting class did she realize that, hey, it’s actually pretty neat. Her most recent passion project is a feature-length screenplay about Bigfoot (who’s a big softie, deep down), and she currently holds the “Worst Female Bowler” title in her hometown’s championship.
Rosie can be found on Twitter via the username @rosiebwrites.”
Rosie has won previews of the WriteMovies Academy, and Phase 1 opens on September 15th – join now to take your work to take your screenwriting and production skills to the next level!
The winner of our Best Stageplay Award in our Spring 2018 Contest also made it all the way to the final, receiving an Honorable Mention: THE CRACK IN PEGGY SUE’S FLOOR, by John Woodard!
Our congratulations to John for this achievement; stageplays are judged on their screen potential but equally the quality of the writing. “Viability” is the deciding factor here! John now receives a copy of our Confidential Studio Manual and exclusive previews of our Virtual Film School as his prizes.
Read on to find out about the stageplay which took the prize in this category: THE CRACK IN PEGGY SUE’S FLOOR!
Here’s John’s summary of his script…
“In 1944 racist Georgia, a black drifter saves a white recluse by killing her lecherous neighbor — setting in motion a chain of deadly events while uncovering secrets better left hidden.”
And a short biography of John, too…
“John Woodard is a multiple award winning screen, teleplay, and stageplay play writer living in Los Angeles, Ca.. Winner of The 2016 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Youth Theatre Award for his play “The Princess Parodies.” John has written screen and teleplays in a variety of genres that have all gone on to win various contests, including The Scriptapalooza Grand Jury Prize, Several Nicholl Fellowship finalists, Rhode Island International Grand Jury Prize, 2nd Place Story Pros Screenplay Contest, Page and Page International and many others.
John looks forward to seeing the first production of “The Crack in Peggy Sue’s Floor” on stage as well as his screenplays on the big screen!“
If you’ve got a stageplay that would adapt well to the screen, why not commission our help to get it there?
With our Summer Offers running until 31st August 2018, you can get all the professional feedback you need at great prices – take a look at our Script Report services!