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 WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 was hotly contested, but one script shone and came through to take the prize: MONGER by David Axe!
With so many great scripts in contention, judging this new prize has been a tough process for us – but today, on the spookiest day of the year, we can finally announce the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 winner!
We’re nearing the end of another contest! Partnered with our first ever Horror Award – the winner of which is announced on Halloween – the end of the WriteMovies Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest is fast approaching, with submissions closing on October 13th!
Whatever genre your screenplay belongs to, we want to see it. WriteMovies has been helping writers to succeed for twenty years now, and we want to keep that going! We’re always on the look out for great scripts and fresh new voices that deserve to be heard.
That’s part of the reason why we offer our top three scripts a year of free script development followed by pitching to industry. We want to make sure that your work reaches its full potential – and that once it has, it gets the best possible chance of getting into production. A screenplay should be turned into a film – not left to linger on the page!
Don’t forget the Grand Prize for this contest either. The winner walks away with $2000… not to mention bragging rights!
So make sure you don’t miss your chance. If you’ve got a script you want us to champion, enter the WriteMovies Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest before October 13th to grab our attention. We believe that great writing deserves to be recognized!
You can also get free entry to this contest when you buy a script report from us. Get professional feedback on your script drawn from industry-standard templates, starting with Judging Feedback from $89 up to our more comprehensive Development Notes at $149.
With just one week to go, move fast if you want to enter the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest. Click here to submit today!
The WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 is almost over! With just two days until the contest closes, your chance to submit – and to become the first ever winner of this brand new prize – is fading fast. We’re saying goodbye to it with one final article celebrating the genre: our insights into zombie films!
There’s just one week to go until our inaugural Horror Award closes for submissions – meaning your chance to become the first ever winner of this new award is nearly over! But what are the advantages of writing in this genre?
There’s a good reason why we picked horror as the second genre to celebrate in our new series of awards. It’s a fantastic proving ground for new filmmakers to achieve success – and that includes writers! Here are some of the reasons why you should be writing horror…
- It’s almost always in high demand, giving you a better chance of getting into production than some other genres! Here at WriteMovies, we get plenty of interest in horror scripts from producers and companies. And that’s because…
- It’s often cheap to produce. A lot of classic horror tropes use a small number of locations and a small cast, and the use of suspense also cuts costs compared to all-out action! But even if your horror script doesn’t look so cheap, that might not be a problem–
- Because there’s a strong core audience for horror. Some people just can’t get enough of it, meaning that horror films have a good chance of recouping their budget and then providing profits!
So make sure you submit your script to our Horror Award by this Sunday, September 29th! The winner will receive two sets of Development Notes, guaranteed pitching to industry, and further advice on script development…
Plus all submissions get free entry to the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest, and the chance to win the Grand Prize of $2000!