The book with the best screen potential is… A SHADOW IN SPACE by Bryan Reilly! We’re delighted to announce Bryan as just the second ever winner of this special award and we can’t wait for Bryan to claim his prize! Bryan now receives FREE Development Notes to help him adapt his book to a screenplay, or we’ll help him find a screenwriter who can. This could be an exciting breakthrough for Bryan!
Oh, but there’s more… In second place is THE LOCKSMITH by Jeffrey Ryan Morales– congrats Jeffrey! We will also be providing Jeffrey free Development Notes to guide him in the process of adapting his book to a screenplay.
Hopefully, this is the first chapter of many for these two talented writers!
We are delighted to announce the Semi-Finalists for our Winter 2018 Screenwriting Contest.
We are delighted to announce the 26 Semi-Finalists for the Winter 2018 Screenwriting Competition! Selecting the scripts with the strongest claim to join our winners has made for a tough but enjoyable task for us the past couple of weeks.
Check out the full list of 26 Semi-Finalists below.
Head on over to our Facebook page and our Twitter feed to congratulate the Semi-Finalists yourselves!
The final results will be announced in two weeks’ time – Friday, March, 16th.
At this time, we try to only include scripts that we’re still considering as a potential winner. Having made the Quarter-Finalists shows that a script or writer already has some clear potential, and a Semi-Final place means that with more development this script could become a contender. Keep that in mind as you think about what to do with your script next. These results should give you a good guide to the current state of your idea, writing and script.
Next, we refocus our attention to the book and television entries as we wind up to next week’s TV and book awards announcement!
Here are the Winter 2018 Screenwriting Contest Semi-Finalists…
|THE DAWN OF EVE, James Bingham||TO DIE IN TAJOUTE, Virginia Bola||INSURRECTION, Simon Bowler|
|THE OUTSKIRTS OF PARADISE, Montgomery Burt||WHEN THE WHITE DOVE SPEAKS, Al Case||VALENTYNE, Dashiell Finley|
|ENDANGERED SPECIES, Mark Flood||SHAKESPEARE OF AVON, James Hanson||MAGIC MAN, Norma Hickox|
|BLACK SHEEP, John Hunter||WHEN WE FALL BEHIND, Dan Hutchinson||NEW REALITY, Carolyn Kras|
|CHARMER, David Kurtz||THE LOCKSMITH, Jeffrey Morales||BAD DOG, Phil Olsen|
|THE CRAWL UP, Gabriell DeBear Paye||A SHADOW IN SPACE, Bryan Reilly||SAVIOR, Bo Sanders|
|STAR BLUE SOLDIER, Donahue Silvia||THE FOURTH COURIER, Timothy Jay Smith||THE FIRSTBORN, William Smith|
|SLAVE SHIP, Tyler True||LAST PRINCE OF WALES, Ethan Westgate||COLD FOOTED, Tanya M. Wheeler|
|THE REALM, Tanya M. Wheeler||LEGACY OF THE GODS, Tim Wong|
We are delighted to announce the Quarter-Finalists for our Winter 2018 Screenwriting Contest.
Since that Bonus Extension in January, we have had a lot of interesting and high-quality scripts to get through – but it’s been another great judging period!
Congratulations to the 51 Winter 2018 Quarter-Finalists! All of them had some special spark that caught our eye and we’re looking forward to giving them new eyes as we consider our Semi-Finalists and winners…
Those who didn’t make it this time were an equally fascinating set of submissions too, and showed a lot of promising qualities. We hope that you will stay in touch with us: we’re currently confirming details for our next contest and will keep you informed.
If you want to know why your script didn’t make it, or where to take it next? Has a revised edition of your script come out short yet again? We recommend that you consider getting a mentoring service or consultancy, too. That way you can find out what we currently feel is holding your script back. And as a sweet bonus, you’ll get free entry into our next main contest!
See the full list of Quarter-Finalists below…
Congratulate the Quarter-Finalists on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.
|STRANDED, Christopher Andre||STEVE DEUCE, Justin Andreas||BUSHIDO BASEBALL, Charles R. Astone|
|MEGABALL$, Marc Baron||THE DAWN OF EVE, James Bingham||TO DIE IN TAJOUTE, Virginia Bola|
|INSURRECTION, Simon Bowler||THE OUTSKIRTS OF PARADISE, Montgomery Burt||WHEN THE WHITE DOVE SPEAKS, Al Case|
|ADIONA, Ian Causer||DEAD MAN’S HEAD, Ronald Ecker||ICE CREAM DON’T MELT IN ENGLEWOOD, Richard Ehrenreich|
|VALENTYNE, Dashiell Finley||ENDANGERED SPECIES, Mark Flood||THE OATH, Axel Gerand|
|SHAKESPEARE OF AVON, James Hanson||MAGIC MAN, Norma Hickox||BLACK SHEEP, John Hunter|
|WHEN WE FALL BEHIND, Dan Hutchinson||BOMMY!, Boim Hwang||A SECOND CHANCE, Manny Jimenez Sr.|
|MATANZAS, Piotr Kaszuba||NEW REALITY, Carolyn Kras||CHARMER, David Kurtz|
|TALK THERAPY, Thomas Moore||THE LOCKSMITH, Jeffrey Morales||PROJECT ΩMEGA, P. James Norris|
|BAD DOG, Phil Olsen||TREE HOUSE, Chris Ossman||FINDING ATLANTIS, Katherine Panzella|
|AMERICAN REBEL, Sydney Parran||THE CRAWL UP, Gabriell DeBear Paye||GATEKEEPERS TO THE STARS, Thelma Pickett|
|A SHADOW IN SPACE, Bryan Reilly||2020AD, Mike Rogers||SAVIOR, Jerome Sanders|
|STAR BLUE SOLDIER, Donahue Silvia||THE FOURTH COURIER, Timothy Jay Smith||THE FIRSTBORN, William Smith|
|TIMBER, Patricia Stevens, Marian Mathews Clark||CUL DE SAC, Charles Stock||SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, Charles Stock|
|SLAVE SHIP, Tyler True||THE VENUS SYNDROME, Lynee Vincentnathan||LAST PRINCE OF WALES, Ethan Westgate|
|COLD FOOTED, Tanya M. Wheeler||THE REALM, Tanya M. Wheeler||ISOLATION, Brian Whiteman|
|LEGACY OF THE GODS, Tim Wong||DISRUPTED, Meredith Wood||AMERICAN MYTHS OF BLACK & WHITE, Aaron Yarber|
How we’re pitching our screenwriting contest winners to the industry…
Since our relaunch in February 2016, we’ve gained a wonderful, varied slate of award-winning scripts and writers, many of which have now completed their year of free script development as we prepare them and their writers for the pitching process. As our campaign to pitch them gathers momentum, I thought now would be a great time to show you what we’ve been doing for our winners and the great responses we’ve been getting. We can’t reveal the confidential details of course, but there’s plenty we can show you as this gains pace.
STEP ONE – NAIL THE SCRIPT.
Even our winners’ fine scripts usually have a few important question marks in them, from a producer’s point of view. (If you would lose your job and your reputation for greenlighting a project that bombs, you’d feel the same.) So we use all our expertise and industry experience to feed back studio-quality reports and guidance for our winners, for a year, for free. It often takes that long – sometimes even longer – to get the script so sharp and convincing that producers can’t use easy excuses not to greenlight.
The process can even go beyond the one-year mark. One of our early winners has been very ill for much of the time since his prize; another – who is aiming high – decided to give the script a big review when I fed back to him my concerns that the things I felt producers would be wary about when I gave him the prize, still hadn’t noticeably progressed in his script. The writer’s approach to feedback, and their general responsiveness and promptness of redrafts, makes more difference than the guaranteed year-long timeframe: some scripts and writers are ready far sooner, others never convince us they’d reply promptly enough to a concrete offer from a serious producer.
Remember, WriteMovies have been pitching scripts to the industry for twenty years, and launched two Oscar-nominated writers into the industry. Things are ready when they’re ready. We don’t take any cut of option fees whatsoever – so we’re prepared to put in as long as it takes to give our winners the best chance of breaking through. When we succeed in doing that, everyone wins.
STEP TWO – THE ONE-PAGE PITCH
We’ll show you more about these and why you might want to make one, in another article soon. But these are meant to be a short, snappy, visual teaser of what this script would FEEL and LOOK like to the viewer. In an industry where the real decisionmakers are often hard to get on the phone, it’s important to present your script in the most professional way possible – that clearly shows how this movie could be SOLD to top talent and audiences. Getting our one-page pitches right is an important way to show that we, and our writers, mean business.
In the Terms & Conditions of entering our main contests, you’ll see a promise of ‘intensive pitch coaching’. This is it. We coach our winners to prepare their logline and one-page pitch, guiding them through multiple drafts as we get this right with them. At the end of it, the writers are far better placed to present and pitch their scripts in future.
And you know what else? More than a few have found that the process of presenting their script in a one-page pitch, has made them sharpen and focus and intensify their script more effectively. Everyone wins.
Meanwhile, we often give our Elite Mentors the chance to feed back on the scripts on our slate – and the writers love getting feedback from top industry pros like them. Sometimes the Elite Mentors even get involved and help push the script forward towards production themselves, which is the best of all worlds.
STEP THREE – RESEARCHING WHO TO TARGET
From quite an early point, we’ve already warmed up the industry to the projects on our slate, because of the promotion we give our winners in the weeks after their win, and consequently when their logline is promoted extensively to the industry through InkTip. We also sometimes use our dedicated Industry Newsletters (which go out to hundreds of producers and agents) to promote scripts more widely too. But these methods are only a small part of the real pitching process. The world is busy and full of competition, and everyone you want to reach out to needs treating as an individual.
Lots of writers take a scattergun approach, approaching as many producers, directors or actors as possible. Lots of writers think the world OWES them for creating their scripts, and should now bow down before them. Good luck with that. If you don’t understand the real life of producers and talent, you’ll need a totally world-changing script in order to break through with that attitude. And, if you’re so oblivious to the individuality and business needs of the people you’re approaching, you almost certainly won’t have achieved a script that good anyway.
So, between us and the writer, we compile SHORT lists of producers or talent who we think could really go for this project (exploring all sides of my motto: Aim High, Use Allies, or DIY – Do It Yourself). We research them properly, their track record and preferences, and how best to reach them. We then make our approach on whatever platform, opportunity or situation is the one they’d be most likely to favour. With our track record and polished scripts and one-page pitches, we’ve got a good chance of getting in the door. If we’re then invited to send the whole script, awesome. From that point, it’s up to the writer and producer/talent: we keep the line open and follow up until there’s a result, for better or worse. And then seal the deal or get proper feedback that we can use to improve the script or our understanding of its prospects, and then move on to the next on our shortlist.
Wherever possible, of course, we pitch in person, or failing that on the phone. Most people prefer doing business with strangers by email, but building their trust and their image of us gets us in a lot of doors that writers alone couldn’t. Our in-person pitching in the last two years has got many of our scripts read by leading players and has earned us important new allies, some of whom put us in touch with other people who’ll read the script now it’s been recommended by someone they trust and rate.
Getting a ‘no thanks’ often isn’t a closed door, if we’ve handled the approach right. It’s just a no to this script at this point in time. But with the range of our slate – now and in the future – and all the other services we offer, we always look to keep the door open for mutual support in the future. We keep in regular touch with all producers or agents who are happy for us to, such as through our industry newsletters.
It’s often frustrating how little of all this activity we get to share with you publicly. For obvious reasons, producers and talent wouldn’t want us to share the detail of what we discuss with them. But believe me, if you become a winner in one of our main contests, we’ll be working furiously behind the scenes to take your script as far as it can go.
While many agents and writers would be annoyed to learn that the company we approach have already got something similar on their slate (maybe worried they’ve been plagiarized!), personally I welcome it. Why? Because it shows we really did get this to the people who’d be interested in it. And the praise we often get back from them is great momentum to take into our next approach.
Enter our latest contest now, or enter our next one early by purchasing a consultancy service, to get the benefit of our decades of industry experience into YOUR project.
© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.
Our Wall of Fame 2017: Grand Prize winners!
We look back at our Grand Prize winners from 2017 today and reveal the full Wall of Fame infographic. If you enter the Winter 2018 Contest and come out on top, you could see your name up on next year’s Wall of Fame – as well as winning $2000 in cash!
Here’s all you need to know about our Grand Prize winners from 2017… The scripts are improving every day, and we’re closing in on pitching them to our industry contacts soon…
- BLACKOUT.CON by Ruben Bush III: “Two young African-American men find a unique and dangerous way to handle white supremacists and help their community.” Read more here…
- CHOKE JOB by David Dell Johnson: “A slick defense attorney with a penchant for getting guilty clients acquitted has his life methodically destroyed by a mysterious stranger and must embark on a desperate race to clear his name of murder.” Learn more…
- SPOON FED by Scott LaFortune: “A feisty feminist with a sweet-tooth is hired to curb the obesity crisis, then battles USDA corruption as she brings down a chauvinistic sugar lobby.” Read more…
Check out the full 2017 Wall of Fame below – click on it to see it in all its might! Then, with the inspiration juices flowing, finish off that script you have sitting on the shelf and take a chance with the Winter 2018 Contest before Sunday’s deadline…
Meet our Second Placed Winners from our Wall of Fame 2017…
No way is second the first of the losers with any of our contests as you receive one year of free script and pitching development and the guarantee that we will pitch your project to industry – which is what the Second Placed winner for our current Winter Contest will also receive!
Here’s all you need to know about our Second Placed winners from 2017… The scripts are improving every day, and we’re closing in on pitching them to industry very soon.
- THE ARENA by Belinda Whitney: A futuristic gladiator battles for his life while trying to shield the son he loves from the brutality of the arena. Read more here…
- THE FACTION by Kevin Karp: In 1978, crippled by a blown operation that sees one of its agents murdered in West Berlin, MI6 activates skeptical veteran HILL to exact revenge on the man responsible: ex-SS war criminal ALD STITZMAN, who has taken control of the Stasi-funded Red Army Faction that is terrorizing West Germany. Read more…
- FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY by Ron and Tony Basso: 70 years after an extraordinary true story of freed slaves volunteering to return to the South to spy on Confederate military forces, one spy questions if it was worth it. Learn more here.
Enter our current main contest and you can have your face appear on next year’s Wall of Fame…
It’s the final week of our Winter 2018 contest, and a great chance to celebrate our 2017 Wall of Fame. Today we honor our Third Placed Winners and their fine scripts!
Coming in third is a big win with our contests as each of the below winners is currently receiving a full year of free script and pitching development and the guarantee that we will pitch their project to industry – as the Third Placed winner for our current Winter Contest will do too.
You can see your face up in 2018’s Wall of Fame if you come in third in any of our main contests (Winter 2018 closes this Sunday!)
Here’s all you need to know about our Third Placed winners from 2017… These scripts are progressing fast and already getting attention from the industry!
- IN THE SHADOW OF FREEDOM by Elliott Riebman and Michael Gozzard: “Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a boy soldier who escaped the Congo to become a decorated U.S. Marine, but he is still haunted by his past demons.” Read more here…
- BURNER by Bob Canning: “A Palm Springs police detective must put aside her health and marital problems to solve a brutal homicide, while the hitman responsible is now experiencing uncharacteristic bouts of guilt and anger after killing the wrong person.” Learn more…
- CHARMER by David Kurtz: “A burned-out middle-aged accountant and a young daredevil woman put their polar opposite lifestyles aside when they team up on dangerous hostage-rescue mission.” Read more…
Stay tuned, as we release a special one-off Wednesday newsletter celebrating our Second Placed winners. Then we conclude our celebrations on Friday with our Grand Prize winners – as we also reveal the full Wall of Fame infographic…