Select Page
Meet our Winter 2018 Writing Contest Third Placed Winner – CHARMER by David Kurtz

Meet our Winter 2018 Writing Contest Third Placed Winner – CHARMER by David Kurtz

We continue our celebration of our Winter 2018 Writing Contest top three winners – who all improved on previous placements.

Last time we commended Simon Bowler, who broke into the top three for the first time after winning two special TV awards. (Check out that article here.)

Today, it’s all about David Kurtz – our Summer 2017 Contest Third Placed winner who re-entered the Winter 2018 Contest to finish in Second Place!

We’re sure our previous Development Notes prizes have helped David out (we’ll let him tell you all about that, though!) but this is a great example of how every draft and version of your script will improve – so never give up!

Here’s what David said about his Second Placed finish…

“Doing well at the WriteMovies Screenwriting Competition brings great rewards – and you don’t have to win!  2nd and 3rd place receive the highest quality script Development Notes (+ INKTIP freebies!) – notes that have the ring of screenwriting experience and authenticity. Their readers really work at understanding what your script is all about – to you!  

They not only make detailed proofreading corrections – but they offer suggestions that make you feel like you have a co-writer. For me, the most important help I’ve gotten is to give me the courage to edit – to remove scenes and dialogue I loved but knew deep down didn’t serve to move the story forward. (I save all the edited cuts to possibly be used in another story – this makes letting go easier.)

I assume that most writers (like me) are on a tight budget, but I would suggest saving money on lesser competitions to use on these amazing Development Notes. If you move up toward the top they will be free!”

Here’s a little background on David:

“I retired to Northern California from Massachusetts several years ago and took up writing screenplays – not golf.  I’m a “gen Boomer” devotee of 1930s to 1950s movies that feature dialogue, romance, and humor.  I naturally tend to write contemporary takes in those genres that might appeal to younger audiences as well as all age groups.

My writing education has been limited to basic composition at college, a creative writing class with a Tufts University professor and a beginner’s screenwriting course at Santa Rosa Junior College. CHARMER is my first “completed” script.”

And here’s the logline to David’s winning script, CHARMER:

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.

Check out our script mentoring services for yourself. You could improve your script AND gain free entry into our Spring 2018 Writing Contest. View our services here

Meet Our Summer 2017 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner: SPOON FED by Scott LaFortune

Meet Our Summer 2017 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner: SPOON FED by Scott LaFortune

Meet Our Summer 2017 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner: SPOON FED by Scott LaFortune

Scott did anything but spoon feed our judges and readers with his winning script, and as our Grand Prize Winner, he wins a year of free script development, guaranteed pitching to industry and exclusive script and logline listings via InkTip’s script directory and increasingly popular magazine – oh, and the Grand Prize of $2000!

It’s always heart-warming to see a winner so happy after a win, and boy was Scott happy. Check out his initial reactions here…

“I’m too nervous and excited to even type right now!
I’ll respond more after I run around in circles, yelling hooray hooray…”
Later that day…
“Many thanks again for this opportunity!  First Place is still sinking in…
I first entered a WriteMovies competition in August, 2008.  Seriously, a humbling journey-
And what a wonderful life experience, that screenwriting has been!
Thanks John, you guys are the best.”

Here’s a short bio on Scott LaFortune, our Summer 2017 Contest Grand Prize Winner:

“Originally from Minneapolis, Scott currently lives and writes on historic Main Street in Park City, Utah.

He also changes lots of diapers, searches incessantly for stray sippy-cups, and can’t believe how many Lego’s can fit into a standard garbage disposal.

In his spare time Scott’s a research chemist and microbiologist, with a devoted passion for story, cynicism, science, and social commentary.”

Here’s Scott’s logline for SPOON FED:

“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. 

Based on true 1980’s events that led to the global diabesity epidemic.”

Read up on our Second (HERE) and Third Placed (HERE) Winners too, or take your chance to become our next winner with our current screenwriting contest… Will you be our next Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner?

 

ScriptPipeline’s October 2017 Script Sales review

ScriptPipeline’s October 2017 Script Sales review

ScriptPipeline’s October 2017 Script Sales review – Hanks set to go post-apocalyptic, Bob is getting a movie, and Michael Bay is working with… Dora the Explorer?

As Script Pipeline points out, script sales slowed down in the month of October. As the industry moves closer to Christmas the Hollywood “off-season” feeling is starting to creep in – but we still got some pretty cool news. Tom Hanks is set to star in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi about a robot taking care of his creator’s dog. I can’t tell whether this will be dramatic, comedic, or both, but damn I’m intrigued.

Otherwise, the biggest news comes from two animated TV shows setting off for the big screen. BOB’S BURGERS is getting the film treatment – the show has continually been rivaling FAMILY GUY’s and THE SIMPSONS’ ratings the past few weeks, even topping them! This is great news for what is one of the more refreshing, heartfelt, and relateable animated comedies out there.

And then… Michael Bay is set to produce a live-action DORA THE EXPLORER film… All in all, a mixed month for October… Read more at Script Pipeline: https://scriptpipeline.com/october-2017-script-sales

You can check out more of our recommended links, news, and buzz right here: https://writemovies.com/about/news/film-news/

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.

Example Studio Consulting: GONE GIRL Script

Example Studio Consulting: GONE GIRL Script

An example script consultancy on a reading of GONE GIRL script, a film that starred Ben Affleck and Rosalind Pike.

The script is long, but tightly constructed and there is no superfluous detail…” Extracts from a script report by our trainee Sandy chapman, based on a reading of the GONE GIRL script: If you want to learn more about the internship, too, just email info@writemovies.com.

To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!

WRITEMOVIES STORY DEPARTMENT COVERAGE

 

TITLE: GONE GIRL                                    LOCALE: Missouri

AUTHOR: Gillian Flynn                            SETTING: Urban

PERIOD: Modern                                            FORM: SP

PRODUCER: N/A                                          BUDGET: Medium

SYNOPSIS

Sinister voice over suggests Nick is a threat to Amy, but also that she is guilty of something. This is a tense relationship. Nick drives to the bar he runs with his sister, Go. It’s his fifth wedding anniversary. Flashback/Amy’s diary entry of when she met Nick at a party. There was an instant connection between them.

Present day, and Nick complains to Go that Amy’s anniversary treasure hunt will reveal all his shortcomings. Back home, Nick finds the front door open, the living room wrecked and no sign of Amy. Boney and Gilpin arrive. Boney recognises the ‘Amazing Amy’ books – her disappearance will grab the media spotlight. Gilpin questions Nick, who comes across as remote, detached. Police teams find ‘Clue One’ of the anniversary trail and evidence that Amy paid for everything the Dunnes own.

Nick heads to a press conference with Amy’s parents. He appears uncaring, is photographed smiling. Her parents have a big campaign launched. Boney wants Nick to solve the anniversary treasure hunt, to retrace Amy’s steps. They get as far as Nick’s office, where Boney finds a red lacy thong. Flashback/diary entry: Amy has given her parents most of her trust fund. Nick is unhappy as they’re both unemployed, but accepts the situation…

COMMENTS:

Amy’s disappearance, the inciting incident, occurs early in the script and is an immediate hook: will Nick be charged with murder? It’s already been revealed that their relationship had soured, and this, combined with a series of media gaffs, points the finger firmly at Nick’s guilt. Yet the opening voice over has already alerted us that things will not be as they seem in this script: we might suspect Nick isn’t guilty, but have no idea how he will prove his innocence. The script drips mounting evidence against him carefully throughout act one and the beginning of act two, from money worries to violent behaviour. The most damning evidence is his affection for Andie. Her appearance urges the audience to think that perhaps Nick is guilty after all, he’s certainly less likeable, and that perhaps we were wrong to be rooting for him thus far.   

The audience are thrown another twist at the mid-point. Even if we weren’t convinced of Nick’s guilt, the extreme measures Amy took to frame him are incredible and the initial hook remains intact. The shift is that we are no longer in any doubt that Amy is the driving force behind this story, and behind Nick’s future. Her motives and actions are believable: she may act beyond the boundaries of ‘normal’ behaviour, but she is disturbingly real. Nick is forced to play by her rules, and in a last-ditch attempt to save himself appeals to any vestiges of love she may have for him. Amy responds, but in true Amy fashion her plans require more extreme action that will keep the audience enthralled. Nick may have proved his innocence, but he is, in effect, sentenced to a lifetime with Amy. The ending avoids the cliches and neatness that one might expect from the genre, but is completely fitting for the characters, adding depth to the story and drawing greater empathy from the audience. 

The script is long, but tightly constructed and there is no superfluous detail. It retains the feel and the drive of the bestselling novel on which it is based and has the advantage of having been written by the same author…

 To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!

Example Studio Consulting: MOONLIGHT Script

Example Studio Consulting: MOONLIGHT Script

An example script consultancy on a reading of MOONLIGHT script, winner of Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 2017 Oscars.

“This screenplay is beautifully written, the central theme elegantly expressed in an almost poetic style…” Extracts from a script report by our trainee Edward Smith, based on a reading of the MOONLIGHT script: CLICK HERE to read the script online from Simply Scripts.

This example report was completed by Edward Smith as part of his internship with us, which has recently been successfully completed.

 To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!

WRITEMOVIES STORY DEPARTMENT COVERAGE

 

TITLE: MOONLIGHT                                    LOCALE: Miami, Atlanta

AUTHOR: Barry Jenkins                             SETTING: Urban U.S.

PERIOD: Present                                            FORM: SP

PRODUCER: N/A                                          BUDGET: Low

SYNOPSIS

This screenplay is divided into three chapters, each focusing on a different stage of the protagonist’s life and titled after the name he is currently using; in the first part, aged twelve, he goes by the name LITTLE. Chased by a gang of bullies, he takes refuge in an abandoned crackhouse, where he is found by the drug dealer, JUAN. Little spends the night with Juan and his girlfriend, TERESA, and starts to become close to them because his own mother, PAULA, is neglectful of him.

When Juan discovers Paula doing drugs, they argue about raising Little, with Paula implying that he is gay. That night, having been confronted by Paula, Little goes to speak to Juan, asking him what the word “faggot” means and whether he is himself gay. Juan reassures him, but is then forced to admit, to his shame, that he is a drug dealer and that he has sold Paula drugs.

In the second chapter, the protagonist, now sixteen-years-old, goes by his real name, CHIRON. In the intervening years, Juan has died and Paula has become even more abusive, but Chiron still regularly visits Teresa. He is now struggling with his attraction to his friend, KEVIN, while also still coping with bullies – particularly his classmate, TERRELL…

COMMENTS:

This screenplay is beautifully written, the central theme elegantly expressed in an almost poetic style. It deals with an oft-overlooked issue, studying what it is like to be a gay black man, charting the struggles the protagonist faces in establishing his own identity in a culture that is hostile to his sexuality; this is dealt with both delicately and realistically thanks to the high quality of the writing…

By portraying three distinct stages of Chiron’s life, we are able to see the intricacies of his situation and better understand how he develops as a character. He is forced to change because of the physical and emotional abuse he suffers, with very few nurturing figures to help him. From being a gentle, vulnerable child, he violently lashes out against his bullies and eventually reinvents himself as a drug dealer to hide who he truly is. In the end, he is only able to come to terms with his sexuality because of Kevin’s influence, bringing him full circle back to his true self after all the challenges he has faced.

Each chapter also has its own, miniature three act structure. For example, the first chapter has an inciting incident when Little meets Juan; the first act sees them become attached to one another, the second develops their relationship, and the third deals with the conversation between them when Little asks about being gay. Similarly, the other two chapters also have a three act structure, allowing each one to stand on its own as an independent story – albeit strengthened and given context by the others.

 To see the full industry-standard format we use for Studio Coverage, either commission your own (CLICK HERE) based on the script you submit, or purchase The Confidential Studio Manual to get the inside track on how the industry will really assess and process your script (CLICK HERE)!