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Old 01-26-2017, 10:49 PM   #21
Cyfress
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

Here, here Purple. That is something I realized about 7 years ago. Most amateurs could not put a story together with a road map. Not with a color by numbers story template. Yet, talk to them about their script and they'll go on about this great struggle involving the human condition and then you read their script and none of what they talked about is on the page. They are blind to their own work.

Only, I think you should read their babies, as treacherous as it can sometimes. See, how in their pages there is no real conflict, there are no scenes that give depth to character, there is no real antagonistic force present at all.

How many amateurs do you feel really take the time to do a rewrite from the villain's POV. How many amateurs are finding real creative answers to story problems or are they just skirting around the problem?

If you can't see that your writing sucks (as compared to pros), then you can never get better.

I am realizing the preparation to write takes time. I now know what kind of things to think about. Always looking to incorporate theme, symbolism, and irony wherever I can. Getting deep into a character psyche. Understanding what he/she wants and why.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:35 AM   #22
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

So Stage 32's isn't worth the entry fee?

I had to block e-mails from that site a few months back because they were inundating me with pitch sales slots! Writers can pay to pitch to a producer, manager or agent via Skype or e-mail, but everyone I've ever asked who just sent any of those people e-mail pitches off their own back, never got a reply, despite al the agents and managers claiming to be on the constant look-out for talent, and the producers all saying that they're looking for their next film.

Of course, sucky queries/concepts aren't going to get replies, but I'm very sceptical. Man, maybe I should be a manager and instead of reading my e-mails to find clients, I could just charge wannabe writers to talk to me.
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:07 AM   #23
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

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So Stage 32's isn't worth the entry fee?

I had to block e-mails from that site a few months back because they were inundating me with pitch sales slots! Writers can pay to pitch to a producer, manager or agent via Skype or e-mail, but everyone I've ever asked who just sent any of those people e-mail pitches off their own back, never got a reply, despite al the agents and managers claiming to be on the constant look-out for talent, and the producers all saying that they're looking for their next film.

Of course, sucky queries/concepts aren't going to get replies, but I'm very sceptical. Man, maybe I should be a manager and instead of reading my e-mails to find clients, I could just charge wannabe writers to talk to me.
Stage 32 may be beneficial for the networking opportunities presented by its forums. But as far as its pitching opportunities, I consider it a huge rip-off. You can pitch a wider selection of pros for much cheaper (only $10 each) on Virtual Pitchfest and get a guaranteed response. I've also managed to get several reads through VPF.

Interesting that Stage 32 has also started several competitions. I think it started out with a good mission but has now turned into a money-grubbing operation. How could it resist the temptation?

Writers need to learn to do a cost-benefit analysis with any of these services, or they'll get suckered in.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:55 AM   #24
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

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First of all, every little town in the USA these days either has a screenplay contest or a film festival. But, they all seem (including the BIG BOY contests) to have the same characteristics. As follows:

1) They all charge a placement fee - $25 to $95 (even higher with late fees)

2) They all take an average of 6 months to 1 year evaluation time. Guess
your script gets in line with 5,000 to 15,000 worldwide screenplays. Ends up looking like a subjective beauty contest to me.

3) All the contests claim you script will be read by industry professionals (meaning - professional, perpetually staffed college interns).

4) Most all the contests now offer script coverage from industry professionals at anywhere between $95 to $950 fees. Add on extra fees for a phone call with the college intern writing your coverage report. Script coverage report reads like this: "I liked this part, these other parts suck!"

5) After 6 months to 1 year the day arrives to hand the screenplay contest awards. IF your script is still available then, the awards read like this: 5,000 quarterfinalists; 500 semifinalist (each receives a ticket to Lego Land); 50 finalist (each receives a used copy of Final Draft) and the overall single winner (a one on one phone call with an industry professional - the receptionist at Weinstein).

6) Despite the promotion by pro screenwriters, script consultants, screenwriting professors for screenwriters to enter contests to get your script out there in front of industry professionals (college interns), from here on out I'm gonna say, "No thanks."

~Authy
Who do you suppose -- as a neophyte with no track record -- should be reading your script? The president of the studio?

In Hollywood, scripts from unknowns start at the bottom and move up. Sometimes "the bottom" means interns read scripts first. That's not going to be different at studios or production facilities so if you are expecting to get read by the big dogs first anywhere? Including competitions? That is maybe wishful thinking.

There are many prominent and working screenwriters and filmmakers whose careers launched with a competition win. (Generally the big very legitimate competitions. That's what people in Hollywood pay attention to first and up front. Bottom up, remember?) Susannah Grant (28 Days, Erin Brockovich) is a Nicholl winner. Andrew W. Marlow (Air Force One, Castle) is a Nicholl winner. Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, True Romance) is a Sundance winner.

BUT. If there are 7,000 entries and only 5 winners? Probably the board members don't read a script till it gets to the top of the pile. And it's quite possible an intern reads it first.

Don't snear so hard at interns. Today's intern is tomorrow's Paramount president.

You don't get to start at the top, as a baby unknown writer, you start at the bottom and get to work your way up just like everyone else.

Welcome to the club.

*Edited for typo ahhh!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:13 AM   #25
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

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Who do you suppose -- as a neophyte with no track record -- should be reading your script? The president of the studio? ....
You don't get to start at the top, as a baby unknown writer, you start at the bottom and get to work your way up just like everyone else.

Welcome to the club.
Great post.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:50 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

No one forces you to enter. Some of them seem mildly extortionary, but you can just skip those and enter the good ones. Quality will usually stand out in these things and if you get a little bit of heat from it, who knows where it can lead?
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

i haven't entered my drawings, paintings, etc into contests or tried to sell my art in a long time, but i remember back when i did, there was a big difference in entering a piece into an art contest somewhere as opposed to showing up at a place that sold art and found the owner, and after a talk we walked outside to the parking lot so he or she could take a look at my stuff as i pulled it out of my truck and displayed it in the truck bed. i had better luck trying to sell my stuff than trying to get blue ribbons stuck on them on a village green. but not that much luck either way, but there was a difference.

may have been not many artists show up wearing dirty clothes on a tight lunch break in old pickups at galleries with the sun and sawdust and work plastered all over them from some construction job, while trying to sell seascapes painted on old barn boards. 'i'll give you wall space for six of them and we'll take it from there. how does that sound.' construction worker responds, 'good.'

that sort of thing is why i've said before that as far as query letters...it may help a lot if try to get more in there than the log line. get some sweat and sawdust and real effort in there, too.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:46 AM   #28
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

I just won the Screencraft Family Screenplay Contest last week. I'll let you guys know if anything positive comes from it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:31 AM   #29
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

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I just won the Screencraft Family Screenplay Contest last week. I'll let you guys know if anything positive comes from it.
Congratulations!!
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:26 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why I Hate Script Contests And So Should You

Well, that's exciting news... to say the least. And if good things come out of it, you can start a new "Why I Love Script Contests and so Should You" thread.

Well done... I've heard (generally) positive things about Screencraft so fingers crossed.
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