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!
WriteMovies Academy is almost here! Phase 1 is all about concept and theme development, but if you’re already ready to write, we’ve got you sorted. You can use “Phase 0: Project Selection” to make sure you’ve got a viable script – and it’s totally free when you buy the whole course!
Nobody wants to spend weeks of their life writing a screenplay only to realize they’re pursuing the wrong project – and that’s where Phase 0 of WriteMovies Academy can help. This phase of our virtual film school can help you choose the best project right from the start, with advice and recommendations from an industry expert.
So if you think you’ve got all your concepts in order and want to give Phase 1 a miss, and jump straight in to the other parts of the course, Phase 0 is here to help!
It includes all sorts of tools for defining your projects and picking out the most objectively viable ones, perfect for development through the other phases of the Academy. You’ll receive feedback on all your ideas, with webinars and activities to work through – all of which will allow you to identify your goals and which project will help you achieve them.
As with all phases of WriteMovies Academy, you can complete Phase 0 in your own time and at your own pace. You set your own deadlines; this is a course that works around you and your life.
Phase 0 is the perfect way to start your screenwriting journey with WriteMovies, and you get it for free when you buy the rest of the course, saving $250 in the process! Take a look at Phase 0 in more depth here…
Or buy all six phases here and get Phase 0 free!
Our unique Virtual Film School is all set to launch on September 15th, and we’re happy to announce here that our Phase 1 content is revealed!
This is the phase in which you discover the originality and depth that will make you stand out as you develop the main concept and themes for your script.
Just like creating anything of worth, a strong foundation is what will make your screenplay stand out from the rest of the crowd. If you really want to find your voice as a writer and come up with an amazing premise, then this is the right Phase of WriteMovies Academy for you.
Our industry experts, Mini-Masterclasses, and other tools and resources will help you develop your own style and give you new insights into your ideas.
Learn to identify yourself and your goals, find out what producers really want from writers, and figure out the target demographics of your project – who your script is actually for. We’ll keep adding more in-depth tools, advice, Mini-Masterclasses, and more, so keep watching this space!
So what are you waiting for? Click here to check out the full content of Phase 1 and how to sign up today!
Some of the feedback for Phase 1 we’ve had from users so far:
- “Nice bite sized, easily DIGESTIBLE, Nicely PACED”
- “I have some good tools for solving some sticking points in a couple of my exciting projects”
- “A very informative session”
Or take a look at the main page for WriteMovies Academy – with Phases ranging from Project Selection to Production, The Wrap, and the Long Game, there’s something to be gained no matter what stage of your writing journey you’re at!
WriteMovies Academy has arrived, and it’s arrived in style! We gave 23 fee-paying customers a preview run of whichever phases of the course they ordered, and the feedback we received was extremely positive, with an overall user rating of over 90%!
Our Virtual Film School is a unique way to elevate your screenwriting and production skills to the next level, while also bringing you closer to the industry than traditional film schools – and all from the comfort of your own home and in your own time.
Providing them with Mini-Masterclasses, tools, and activities, our first set of users were given a month to prepare for and work through each phase, ending with a joint session for those who were available, with feedback forms provided at the end of it.
Here are just some of the comments we received!
“Very well done and innovating: inspires me to write everytime”
“I think this is a wonderful collaborative space”
“I thought that this session was excellent and allowed me to make numerous changes to my script”
“A very useful course for me personally”
Plus, the confidence of our users jumped by 18.5% in the subjects covered and by 17% in their own projects – per phase of the course! And here are their ratings for the different parts of the course:
Mini-Masterclass Presenter: 93%
Presentation Media and resources: 91%
Presentation Content: 89%
Course Activities: 89%
WriteMovies Academy is committed to excellence, and is the place to be for people who are passionate about great writing. If you want to join our first set of users in boosting your confidence and abilities, join now: enrolment is now open for each phase of the official course!
We asked our users to return handwritten feedback to help demonstrate their authenticity – take a look below. All relevant feedback is shown here in full: user names and confidential project information have been redacted consistently on all forms but all relevant feedback is included in full.
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!