Our inaugural Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award may have closed for submission, but the WriteMovies Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest goes on – and the final deadline is now just one month away!
Your last chance to enter will be on Sunday June 16th, with a Grand Prize of $2000 plus guaranteed pitching to industry and a year of free script development for the top three scripts. So get to work polishing that dialogue, tweaking your story, and fleshing out those characters, and make sure you give us lots of reasons to get excited!
But what will help you to get our attention? Here are some things we look out for:
- A unique concept. We read a lot of scripts, so show us something we haven’t seen before!
- Fully rounded characters that we love. If we’re invested in the people, we’ll always want to keep reading!
- Strong commercial potential. If the project won’t make money, it has little chance of getting made.
- A great opening. Make sure you grab us with the first ten pages. First impressions matter!
You should also take a look at our Director Ian Kennedy’s article on “What your writing submissions are telling us” for some hints and tips on what mistakes to avoid, and more details on what we’re after.
And then, when you’re finally ready… Click here to submit to the WriteMovies Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest by June 16th!
Writing a script is only half the work – getting it produced is the other half! To get that done, you need to get your work into the hands of key filmmakers – and that’s where we can help. WriteMovies is currently seeking scripts for two directors: Sean Hughes and Habib Zargarpour!
Sean is a director known for THE BARROW GANG – click here to take a look at a rough cut from the film! – and is currently on the search for scripts in the thriller/heist genre, along the lines of films like HEAT, THE USUAL SUSPECTS and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
If you’ve written a screenplay like this, submit to our Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest and if we think it’s suitable for Sean, we’ll pass it along to him for his consideration – no matter how your work places within the contest itself!
A special effects expert, Habib is a two-time BAFTA winner and double Oscar nominee for his work on THE PERFECT STORM and TWISTER, with other credits including STAR WARS EPISODE I, BLADERUNNER 2049, and THE JUNGLE BOOK. He’s now looking for science-fiction based projects to direct, and with the recent launch of the WriteMovies Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award, this is the perfect chance to get your scripts to him!
Habib works closely with our founder Alex Ross who will give all suitable scripts consideration for them to develop and pitch to studios together.
Alternatively, if you’re a writer with an agent and want your script passed to either Habib or Sean, you can contact our partners at TalentScout International Management directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Click here to visit the page for our Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest and get your script into Sean’s hands, or click here to visit the page for our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award and get it to Habib!
BAD LISTING: a horror/thriller where nothing is ever as it seems…
BAD LISTING is the kind of script where it’s impossible to say what will come next. This horror screenplay, where twists and turns leave you constantly guessing and where things are repeatedly turned on their heads, impressed us with its compact storytelling and execution. A very worthy second place goes to Brent Hartinger for this script!
Having taken 2nd place in our Winter 2019 Contest, Brent wins a year of script development from WriteMovies and guaranteed pitching to industry, which are both now underway! If you’d like to win these kind of prizes and find success with WriteMovies, make sure you submit to our Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest, which has a Grand Prize of $2000 and more (click here!)
Here’s a summary of BAD LISTING:
When Cleo rents a “shared” AirBnB unit, she worries the other guest, Jack, has a dark secret. But from Jack’s POV, Cleo isn’t who she claims to be either. Or maybe the real problem with this short-term rental isn’t Jack or Cleo, but an even darker, more sinister presence watching them both. A small-cast, minimal-location script.
If you’re a producer interested in this project, email email@example.com today!
And here’s a quick bio of the writer of BAD LISTING, Brent Hartinger:
Brent has had nine screenplays optioned for film; four of those projects are currently in various stages of development, including PROJECT SWEET LIFE, a teen caper story, now in pre-production for a 2020 release.
Also a novelist, Brent has had three of his books optioned for film. His fourteen novels include THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE (Simon & Schuster), which was nominated for an Edgar Award; and GEOGRAPHY CLUB (HarperCollins), which was adapted as a feature film in 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula, and is now being developed as a television series.
Brent has won many screenwriting awards, including first place at the Storypro Awards, the Fresh Voices Contest, Acclaim Scripts, the L.A. Comedy Festival, the Screenwriting in the Sun Award, and a Writers Network Fellowship. All his scripts on TheBlackList.com have been “featured scripts,” with scores of “8” or higher.
A former entertainment journalist, Brent co-founded of the website AfterElton.com, which was later sold to MTV/Viacom. Now Brent continuously travels the world as a digital nomad, writing his screenplays and novels along the way.
Find out more by visiting his website: www.brenthartinger.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
There are plenty of things that make us wax rhapsodic about a script: an exciting story, engaging characters, dialogue that jumps off the page… But we also look at a screenplay’s commercial aspects, such as its budget and chances at the box office.
That’s why it’s always important for a writer to always keep a finger on the industry’s pulse. Figuring out what sells and what doesn’t is vital if you want to be successful as a screenwriter, and right now, what’s selling is BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.
The Queen biopic may have had a turbulent time behind the scenes, but that hasn’t affected its success. Variety reports that the film has taken a massive $72 million internationally in addition to $50 million domestically, adding up to a tremendous $122.5 million. For a film that cost $52 million to make, that’s a major success.
Our own Ian Kennedy has seen the film already. His verdict? “To my surprise, that hit all the right notes for me. Impressive screenwriting and musical concision, to balance everything they did, acknowledge the untold, and keep a PG-13 rating.”
Musical dramas have already enjoyed success this year with A STAR IS BORN being a critical and commercial success, and being eyed by many as a potential contender at the Academy Awards. Of course, this isn’t the only genre succeeding at the box office right now – but by paying close attention to these kind of things, we know what to look for when judging scripts for our competition.
It’s also interesting to note that BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY has achieved huge success at the box office despite its mixed critical reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 60%. Much like the MAMMA MIA films, there’s more to success than just what the critics say!
We’re currently nearing the end of Standard Entry for our Winter 2019 Screenwriting Contest, from just $39 until this Sunday, 11th November. Don’t forget we’re also looking for scripts to be directed by 2x BAFTA winner and 2x Oscar nominee Habib Zargarpour, too – an opportunity not to be missed!
Click here to enter!
We’ve got another great script to present to you! Our Spring 2018 contest 2nd place script is KLONDIKE MIKE by Thomas Zmiarovich!
This hilarious family comedy has an unusual Alaskan setting, lovable characters, and brilliant set pieces that will have you roaring with laughter. A big congratulations to Tom for his win; he receives Development Notes, previews of our Virtual Film School, exclusive prizes from InkTip, and more! Read on to find out more about this script…
Here’s the logline for KLONDIKE MIKE:
A family start a new life in Alaska where they encounter extreme wildlife and an eccentric local prospector with a talent for finding gold…
And the writer’s summary of his script:
In this adventurous family comedy, Sam McCord inherits a gold claim and decides to put his dead-end job with a corporate mega-store chain on hold and move his dysfunctional family to Alaska for the summer in hopes to strike it rich and solve all his problems.
Virtually dragging his wife, 16-year-old son and 9-year old genius daughter to the wilds of Alaska, he soon realizes that he knows nothing about working a gold claim. At a local saloon, Sam meets Klondike Mike, a rustic, flamboyant, vagabond lady’s man prospector, who convinces Sam he’d make the perfect straw boss to run the claim. With no other options, Sam hires him, and under Klondike’s direction the claim is soon running like clockwork. So, what could go wrong?
For Sam, everything – from pesky Yellow Jacket attacks, feisty raccoon encounters, cell phone-outhouse mishaps, Magic Mushroom trips with a cookie eating Grizzly bear, and the underhanded dealings with the Bible thumping claim jumpers trying to steal Sam’s claim back. Not to mention, Sam’s worries that his children admire Klondike more than him.
Thomas Zmiarovich Bio:
Born in Seattle, in the shadow of the aerospace giant, Boeing, my love for movies began as far back as I can remember. From the age of 10, much of my paper route money found its way to the cheap, week-day, matinees in summer at the Columbia City theater, a mile walk from my home on Beacon Hill. Sci-fi, comedy, action, you name it, I could have lived there if I could.
As an adult, I never lost that love of the big screen. Even as I raised a family and worked as a Tool Design Engineer, for Boeing. I always dreamed that I had something to contribute to the craft I loved so much.
Through the years, I wrote my stories and scripts, developing and learning the craft of writing and story-telling from names like Stanley Kramer, Abby Mann, Michael Hauge, Richard Walter, and others. I’ve had scripts finish in the quarter and semi-finals at Nichol, Austin, and others; am a finalist with Script Pipeline and the Washington State Screenplay Competition; and have had numerous Top Ten finishers.
My love of story telling will never allow me to stop trying to get those stories to the big screen for all to see.
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!