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Horror Award 2019: Why you should be writing horror…

Horror Award 2019: Why you should be writing horror…

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!

CARAVAGGIO – Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner!

CARAVAGGIO – Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner!

From our highly competitive Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest, one script rose to the top of pile to win our Grand Prize: CARAVAGGIO!

Based on the tempestuous life of the Italian painter, this television pilot caught our attention with its strong concept, engaging main character, and commercial potential. Congratulations to its writer, Alasdair McMullan, for winning the competition!

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WriteMovies Horror Award Deadline – Two Weeks to Go!

WriteMovies Horror Award Deadline – Two Weeks to Go!

The WriteMovies Horror Award deadline approaches… With just two weeks to go until the competition closes, make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to become the first ever winner of this new prize!

For our 20th Anniversary year, we decided to celebrate great writing with a series of genre awards. After the success of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award in the spring, horror is the next genre we wanted to get people writing.

Do you think you’ve got a talent for scaring people? Whether it’s serial killers or monsters, drenched in blood or all in the mind, we’d love to read what you’ve got!

The winner of this award will receive:

  • Guaranteed pitching to industry
  • Two sets of Development Notes to help take their script to the next level
  • Further advice to fine tune their script from our experts

Plus, all entries to the Horror Award also receive automatic entry to the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest. That gives you the chance to take home the Grand Prize of $2000, plus other prizes!

Most importantly though, this is your opportunity to be the first writer to win the award for this genre. Prove your skills as a screenwriter and be recognized for your work!

Remember, the Horror Award deadline is just two weeks away on September 29th. Make sure you submit by then to take your first steps towards becoming one of our winners!

If you need some inspiration before then, take a look at our reviews of some of our favorite horror films and shows. Find out what we like and what we’re looking for in a horror script.

And then, when you’re ready… Click here to enter the WriteMovies Horror Award 2019!

Writing Insights: Your Script’s Budget

Writing Insights: Your Script’s Budget

With films from Marvel, Star Wars, and other big franchises dominating the box office these days, a lot of screenwriters are left wanting to write big budget films. You have to spend money to make money, right?

Well actually, a lot of the time it’s the budget that will stop a script getting produced. Making a film is a risk that requires an investment; the smaller the risk, the more likely it is that your script will get made.

If you can get the budget down to $5 million or less, you’ll have a lot more success selling your work. But how do you get a budget that low? A lot of the time it comes from the inherent design of the story.

Here are our tips…

  • Limit yourself to one location – preferably a simple, interior one. Transport costs between locations are no longer a factor, and filming should take less time without the need to repeatedly set up equipment. If it sounds like a challenge to write a single location movie, just remember that limiting yourself can really make you get creative. 12 ANGRY MEN, Alfred Hitchcock’s ROPE, and LOCKE are just a few examples!
  • Have a small cast. Fewer actors means fewer people to pay and cater for; you can still tell a great story with only two or three characters as long as you’ve got a clever enough concept driving the drama. Get clever enough and you can even go smaller! Locke features only one character on screen for the entire film as he deals with a number of difficult phone calls.
  • Let dialogue drive the story. Action is an inherently expensive thing to shoot and there’s a lot of risk involved – but tension isn’t fuelled by things blowing up, a fact which is proved by all of the films mentioned above. Instead, it’s the conflict between the characters that provides the drama. Get that concept right and you can make a thriller without needing to shoot anyone!
  • Don’t show everything. If action is important to your script and can’t be completely cut, think about whether the audience actually needs to see it to understand the story. A great example of this is RESERVOIR DOGS, a film about a diamond heist gone wrong where we never see the heist itself, just the buildup and the aftermath!
  • Focus on the human drama. Big fans of science-fiction and fantasy may feel that the above suggestions leave them hamstrung, but by concentrating on the characters at the centre of the story, you can keep the scale small despite an intergalactic setting. MOON does this extremely effectively; it might be set on a lunar base, but it’s the main character’s personal crisis that matters most.

So if you’re looking for your big break in screenwriting, don’t forget to take all of these factors into consideration. Here at WriteMovies, we think about this kind of stuff when judging our screenwriting contests – and producers think about it a lot, too!

If you think you’ve got a good shot at winning one of our contests, the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest is currently open – as is our inaugural Horror Award 2019, which gives you free entry to the Fall Contest when you submit. Don’t forget to submit before the closing dates of October 13th and September 29th respectively!