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Old 01-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #1
gregbeal
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Default Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

The 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition is open for submissions.

If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to ask away.

Academy Nicholl Rules & Application link

Many topics about the competition have been addressed in the FAQs.

Information and updates about the competition are often posted on the Academy Nicholl Facebook page.

The writers of nine of the Academy Nicholl-winning scripts have given us permission to post PDFs of their screenplays online. To read them, visit: Winning Scripts. All Nicholl-winning screenplays are available to be read at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills.

To see a list of produced and published work by Nicholl fellows, visit: Notable Nicholl Fellows.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Thanks for the notification Greg. And the links to scripts... Look forward to seeing some Winning Scripts!
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Yes, thanks Greg, this is cool.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Greg -- I've searched the forum and I'm wracking my brain because I'm sure you've answered this before: what is the reason for the 3 script limit?
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodi View Post
I've searched the forum and I'm wracking my brain because I'm sure you've answered this before: what is the reason for the 3 script limit?
Probably have answered it but I don't remember.

Multiple reasons: We didn't feel good about accepting entry fees from writers whose dreams may have exceeded their skill levels when they submitted 6 or 10 or 15 scripts. One of the last years prior to the limit a writer submitted something like 111 hard copy scripts. At least the early entry fee was only $20 that year.

Since the Academy Nicholl Fellowships is a best screenwriter competition and not a best screenplay competition, we didn't think the limit would hinder us from identifying the best writers. Off the top of my head I can only think of a single Academy Nicholl fellow who entered more than three scripts in the year he received a fellowship. More often than not, fellows only submitted a single script in their winning years.

Several entrants seemed to be attempting to game the system by entering multiple versions of the same script or scripts with different titles. By limiting entries to three and adding a rule against entering multiple versions of the same script, we reduced the possibility of any entrant being able to game the process.

Imposing the limit has probably reduced the overall number of entries by 300-500 each year, thus making the reading task slightly less onerous.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Hey Greg -- question. Other top contests/industry sites (Austin original Tv contest, trackingb, black list) have done away with earnings restrictions, is it something the Nicholl ever thinks about it?

Seems a little arbitrary. Who's to say a writer who has earned more than 25k lifetime is further along than a writer who's now repped at CAA who hasn't sold anything? Seems like there are many factors which could signal a "close to pro" writer, and income is just one.

Do you think it would mostly self-select? Those who have made it for the most part wouldn't use contests... Those who haven't, might.

Would probably help raise the level of entries and successes as well... Just curious!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsay View Post
Hey Greg -- question. Other top contests/industry sites (Austin original Tv contest, trackingb, black list) have done away with earnings restrictions, is it something the Nicholl ever thinks about it?
I think this is exactly why the Nicholl needs to keep its earning restrictions. Becoming a working, paid screenwriter is so difficult to do that earning $25,000 suggests that you've gained some kind of traction. There needs to be at least one contest out there that tries to limit entry to the really little guy.

Besides, Nicholl already gets more than 7,000 entries a year; dropping the income limits would only serve to make that number explode and make judging a real headache
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsay View Post
Hey Greg -- question. Other top contests/industry sites (Austin original Tv contest, trackingb, black list) have done away with earnings restrictions, is it something the Nicholl ever thinks about it?

Seems a little arbitrary. Who's to say a writer who has earned more than 25k lifetime is further along than a writer who's now repped at CAA who hasn't sold anything? Seems like there are many factors which could signal a "close to pro" writer, and income is just one.

Do you think it would mostly self-select? Those who have made it for the most part wouldn't use contests... Those who haven't, might.

Would probably help raise the level of entries and successes as well... Just curious!
Never say never - but much teeth-pulling was involved in convincing the committee to move from no earnings to $1,000 and then to $5,000 and most recently to a $25,000 limit. I don't think any additional change upward is on the horizon.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

I think it's excellent the committee raised limit to 25k.

In the future to make it seem less arbitrary, it might be cool if the limit was the same as the award amount.

Just a thought, but 25k is definitely an improvement.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

i think earning a minimum amount as a writer should be a threshold to entry
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