A huge thanks to everyone who has entered our Winter 2019 Screenwriting Contest so far – we’re hard at work reading through your scripts! While the official deadline was yesterday, we’re announcing a one week extension to deal with technical and administrative issues we’ve been having recently – so we’ll be accepting further entries until January 20th!
The prizes we’re offering in our Winter 2019 Screenwriting Contest are:
- A grand prize of $2500, up from $2000!
- Top three scripts all receive a year of free script development worth up to $3200, with detailed analysis and advice on structure, characters, commercial viability, and other important aspects.
- Top three scripts all receive guaranteed pitching to industry, including packaging and promoting the projects to professional producers, directors, and actors!
- Plus exclusive prizes from InkTip, and more!
Thank-you for your patience during the email issues we’ve been having over the last few weeks, which has been the result of problems with our hosting. WriteMovies will be moving to new hosting shortly, which should resolve all the problems we’ve been having (and if you’d like to know which hosting provider we’d never recommend, feel free to get in contact with us privately!)
If you have sent us an enquiry at any point recently and not received a reply, contact us again now at email@example.com and we will endeavor to resolve your query as quickly as possible.
This might be the last time we run a contest in this format, so don’t miss out on this chance. Click here to submit by Sunday 20th January and take the first steps on your screenwriting journey with WriteMovies!
Today we look back at the winners of our Grand Prize from 2018 and reveal our full Wall of Fame 2018! If you’d like to see your name on next year’s Wall of Fame, enter our Winter 2019 Contest for a chance to come out on top – as well as the chance to win our Grand prize of $2500 in cash!
Here’s some more info on our Grand Prize winners from 2018. All of our winners received a year of free script development with us and we’re now working hard at polishing them to perfection!
- SLAVE SHIP by Tyler True: “A devout African man chooses to work on a slave ship in order to ensure the safe passage of other Africans sold into slavery.”
- DESERT RUN by Christopher Thomas: “A hard-bitten oil explorer and a desperate group of orphans led by two unorthodox nuns are forced into a hellish desert confrontation to escape the Nazis and help ensure an Allied victory.”
Wish you’d been featured on our Wall of Fame 2018? If you think you’ve got a script that will take you to the top, be sure to enter our Winter 2019 Screenwriting Contest! Closing on January 13th 2019, this might be the last time we run a major competition of this kind… And with an increased cash prize of $2500, this is an opportunity not to be missed!
Feature films tend to get most of the glory among filmmakers, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore short film as a medium! In a new series of Insights articles, Ian Kennedy looks at the benefits of writing in this format.
There’s a reason there’s not just one but two categories for shorts at the Oscars: one for live-action and another for animated. They can be a great way of telling stories that a lot of filmmakers overlook – and that includes writers!
So why write a script for a short film? Why get one made? Well, there are actually quite a few good reasons…
- You’ve got an idea for story that doesn’t suit feature length – sometimes, even the best concept can’t be spun out into a longer screenplay! That doesn’t have to a negative, though. Use the opportunity to tell the story in short form instead.
- To improve your skills by writing under constraint. All writing is done under constraint of some kind – of format, style, etc. – but the additional restrictions of length and budget with short film can be a great chance to prove yourself. Learning to write under constraint can actually be a great way to improve your writing!
- As proof of concept for a feature film. Making feature films is an expensive business, so why not show how well your idea works by making a short based on the same idea?
- To get a production credit. Getting a script produced can take hard work, but if you’ve already got a track record in short films, it can look great on your writing CV and give producer’s faith in your abilities.
- As a personal project – just because you love your idea or are passionate about filmmaking! Be careful, though; if you’re making a short film for personal reasons, make sure that everyone on the production knows what your motives are.
Making a short film brings all sorts of challenges of its own. You’ll still need a unique concept, a well-structured story, and characters that audiences can fall in love with – but you’ve got to get it all into a much smaller space! That’s why it can be such a great test of your skills as a storyteller.
Whatever your reasons for making a short film, make sure you know exactly what they are before you begin, whether you want to use it to take the next step in your career or just because you’ve got a story you’re desperate to tell!
Take a look at our other Writing Insights articles here for great hints and tips on crafting your scripts!
Video games are a massive market for writers to explore: the recent RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 made £725 million in its first weekend and shipped 17 million copies in two weeks – the largest opening weekend in the history of entertainment! If you want to get into this market as a writer, this article is for you…
Video games might be lucrative, but it’s not always easy to figure out all the terminology means. If you don’t know the difference between an FPS and an RPG, or an emote and a cutscene… Well, you certainly wouldn’t be the first!
That’s why Mark Brendan, our Elite Consultant for video game writing, is here to help. Mark has put together a handy guide for anyone who wants to get involved in writing for this new medium that cuts through the confusion and explains what all the terminology means…
Game Genre Terminology
RTS = Real-time Strategy
Normally top down view, often wargaming, but could be running a power station or theme park. Involves managing resources in real time to achieve a goal.
Command and Conquer, Total War series
FPS = First Person Shooter
An extremely popular style of game where the perspective is first person, as if through the eyes of the ingame character. Sometimes nothing of the character is visible, on other occasions hands with weapons are visible and the player can see some of their body when they look down, or press to interact with ingame objects. Shooter refers to the style of the game play – the gaminig is predominantly fighting with ranged weaponry.
Call of Duty, Bioshock, Half-Life
RPG = Role-playing Game
While the FPS is predominantly concerned with fast-paced action, an RPG takes longer to unfold. There are likely to be action sequences, often combat, sometimes challenges such as climbing. The player will gnerally be required to have much more of a relationship with the ingame world than in an FPS. To advance the player will need to talk to NPCs (Non-Player Characters), find and use objects, and solve puzzles to advance. While an FPS often makes the main character invisible, most modern RPGs allow extensive modification of the player’s character to customize it to their own preferences.
Fallout 3, Oblivion, Mass Effect
In a third person game the player can see the character they are playing onscreen. The action is viewed as if from behind the character’s shoulder.
Prince of Persia, Uncharted, Tomb Raider
MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online
An online game that involves many people accessing the same game world at the same time.
World of Warcraft, Guild Wars
A cutscene is a non-interactive section of a game. This is generally used to tell story and to set up the key gameplay points for the next level i.e. Get to that bridge!
A scripted event is an interactive cutscene. Here the player retains control while an event they don’t control such as a building collapsing, a plane flying by, or someone appearing on a balcony takes place.
This is dialogue that happens during the interactive sequences. The player will retain control as they hear pedestrians talking as they walk by, enemy soldiers calling orders, or companions calling warnings.
Emotes are sounds rather than words such as a scream, a grunt, the effort sound of lifting; these are emotes rather than lines.
Player Activated Dialogue
Dialogue which the player triggers themselves by pressing to interact with characters in the game.
As the title infers, this is the character the player controls. There can be numerous player characters in the game and the ‘character’ can lack many of the key things that define a character in other fiction (backstory, personality, etc.)
NPC = Non-Player Character
A non-player character is one that the player does not control. They could be an enemy, an ally, or neutral in terms of their approach to the player character.
With any luck, you’ve now got a better grasp of the gaming terminology a writer needs. If you really want to take your writing to the next level, we’d recommend get Elite Mentoring from Mark Brendan himself!
Take a look at Jamie White’s thoughts on writing for video games too in this article, where there are plenty more hints and tips to be found!
This is a great time to be getting involved in writing for video games; WriteMovies is still looking for scripts for both films and games to be directed by 2x BAFTA winner and 2x Oscar nominee Habib Zargarpour, too, which can be submitted to our Winter 2019 Contest.
C’est la rentrée les amis ! Le soleil brille encore et encore sur certaines contrées, et enflamme toujours l’imaginations fertile de nos auteurs préférés, autour du monde. Mais voilà qu’au loin se profile déjà un prochain Concours, et l’hiver naissant. Les chapkas vont remplacer les panchos, il est temps de se mettre au travail!
Vous pouvez d’ores et déjà nous envoyer vos textes, et ce jusqu’au 13 Janvier. Savez-vous que depuis longtemps nous faisons le pont entre les auteurs francophones et l’industrie cinématographique mondiale ? Nous offrons un accès total à nos compétitions internationales, et à nos services d’analyse et d’évaluation. Nos services, analyses évaluations sont de la même qualité et du même format que les plus grands studios de production internationaux. Entre autres choses, nous présenterons les scripts gagnants à nos contacts les plus haut placés dans l’industrie cinématographique pour vous et les gagnants recevront 2500$ USD ainsi qu’un développent de script gratuit (valeur 3200$ USD!). Alors foncez!
Si vous avez des questions, vous pouvez m’envoyer ça en privé : firstname.lastname@example.org