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Old 06-09-2017, 03:04 PM   #1
manfredlopez
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Default A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Can anyone recommend a good source for pre-screened short screenplays? I am a director and am looking for a couple 10-page max scripts with strong female leads. The only site I know about is Inktip.
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
catcon
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

www.ScriptRevolution.com

Absolutely.

As a writer, I'm on the site, too, but I don't have any shorts listed. So this isn't a self-serving recommendation!
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catcon View Post
www.ScriptRevolution.com

Absolutely.

As a writer, I'm on the site, too, but I don't have any shorts listed. So this isn't a self-serving recommendation!
Wonderful. Will dive head in first! Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

http://forums.nycmidnight.com/

Make a post and you will find many good ones from over the years if the writers are still on the forum.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

I didn't even know this existed. Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin View Post
I didn't even know this existed. Thanks!
That's sort of the my point, above. From the p.o.v. of both the writers and film-makers, it's just another great system to try out.

Oh, as for the OP's query, I just visited the site and got 75 results for short scripts (max 10 pages) with female leads:

Under the Search menu:
- Female Led Scripts

Then, on the initial results screen, of 232 results, I applied a filter of 10 under "Max Number Pages"

That got me 75 results (3 pages worth).

On the initial results screen, you can apply tons more filters to further reduce that, eg. genre, etc.

I'm not familiar with the film-makers' views of InkTip, VPF or BlackList, but this is pretty amazing stuff... for free for both the buyer/seller!
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

MY THOUGHTS ON SCRIPT REVOLUTION

After experimenting with the search filter settings, what I ended up doing is just reading all the 200+ synopsis for the short films. The only filters I used where for female leads. Then I read several of the screenplays. As expected, the quality level is all over the place. I was excited to find several talented writers. Then there were a couple who didn't even know how to format a basic screenplay (for example, no indication whatsoever of time of day, etc).

After reading for several hours yesterday, I came to suspect that there wouldn't be a single screenplay worth purchasing for my situation. It's not that there are no talented writers on there (there are!), it's just that the screenplay ideas weren't developed enough to be produced.

Many of them read like cute throwaway ideas that seem neat. Or they explored a cool idea but concluded them in a weak way.

But if one were to actually invest funding, pin one's career on them, they generally didn't provide enough of the elements needed. I have been going to several film festivals lately, and all I can say is that the competition for short films is brutal. The selected films generally tend to be very good to excellent, with very strong execution in most departments, including the screenplay.

So I guess this is more of a critique of the writers, and not the site itself. For the site I would suggest they include the genre in the results, because some of the synopsis are not clear if they are supposed to be comedy, horror or just bad. The genre can sometimes make all the difference.

Another suggestion I have for writers is to limit the material you publish to just 3 screenplays. Many have too many listed at once, thereby diluting their overall perceived quality. Sometimes it felt like being at a used car lot. No sense in having 10 if there are 7 marginal ones and I end up reading one of those 7. I will move on to another writer.

Overall I think the site is a fantastic idea. Maybe there should be more of a recruiting push by the site's operator to get top talent to offer their screenplays. Then maybe also offer some basic coaching to the writers on how to present themselves. I believe this is what seed & spark does.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Hey Manfred, I created and run Script Revolution, which launched in Aug last year.

There is rarely a night I don't lie awake fretting over how best handle the issue of quality. Time is also finite as I have to fit management and development time around my career and other hobbies. Script Revolution isn't a business for me, it's something I've created for my fellow screenwriters in the hope to make a difference, and the learning curve building it and running it continues to be steep.

I'm sorry you feel there can't be a single screenplay listed worth you purchasing - that's something that cuts pretty deep but I appreciate the cold, hard truth. As you can imagine, I like to fantasise every filmmaker who visits the site walks away feeling they've found a hidden gem.

I keep Script Revolution open to everybody and appreciate that many writers perhaps go to market too early. I don't intervene and keep the site unbiased for two reasons; firstly, I had some minor successes with my own first few scripts despite their many basic flaws, and secondly, I've seen so many "objectively" ridiculed scripts go on to bring some form of success to writers.

I feel any filmmaker who isn't in the position to solicit many submissions (i.e 99.999% of them) is going to have to do a lot of what feels like muck-raking, and hopefully I'm helping ease that burden somewhat. Of course, for every one script I help connect to a interested party, there will always be far more they personally deem garbage. That's a dynamic of the industry as a whole.

At a festival level, the standard of writing required is going to be exceptional. With Script Revolution being 10 months old and pretty much unknown to the world, I'm not going to kid anyone by suggesting the site is going to have a lot to offer at that level.

There are some mechanics in place to help well received scripts get and assist filmmakers in finding the right writers for them;
- Anyone who loves a script can see what other material a writer has produced and follow them.
- Scripts that readers have marked as favorites are highlighted in listings.
- Competition placements are confirmed, added to script meta-data, and again highlighted.
- The Shootin'-The-Shorts team led by Janet Goodman Clarke work hard to feature short scripts they love.

A lot is very new and it's going to take some time for these mechanics to become fully effective. I do also plan to provide some degree of educational materials to assist writers in learning more about their craft, but finding time for that on top of everything else is hard and perhaps not really my job.

As for recruiting top talent, would love to do that. However, despite a lot of reaching out, very few influences even acknowledge me contacting them, never mind spread the word about what I'm doing. Free and open to everyone is seen as pretty toxic in this industry at the moment. A lot of writers that deem themselves of high calibre simply don't want to have to rub shoulders with who they see as the riff-raff. This creates a catch-22 situation where there's little to shout about in terms of success stories and thus the attraction fails to materialise. Thankfully, some amazing writers have joined up from day-1 and have been building a following since then. Needless to say, there's always a direct link between news getting out of a success story and subsequent signups. Compounding this is the sad fact that some platforms have actively deleted any mention of Script Revolution for reasons unknown.

I beg to differ on how much material I feel a screenwriter should be promoting in the marketplace. My own experience optioning over 20 short scripts now is to never write off a script as I've often had material I'd lost faith in connect with filmmaker. The way I've built the site means a writer's most appreciated scripts rise to the top of their profile. Personally, I can't blame any writer who uses the scattergun approach. I appreciate how it looks from the other side though. I'll keep it in mind and try to find a solution.

To conclude, Script Revolution is young and the work is hard, but it is growing and it is organic. There's no bottom line. No need to make money which dictates its direction. Whatever I feel is best for the industry as a whole is what I intend to keep implementing. Feedback like yours is always appreciated.

Thank you so much for giving it a try, Manfred, and again I'm sorry you didn't net a result. I sincerely hope Script Revolution can develop into a valuable service to you in the future and help you further your already impressive career.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Oh btw - genre's now listed with the log-lines as you suggested.
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: A Good Source For Short Screenplays?

Hi CJ

Thanks for the detailed reply. And especially thanks for integrating the Genre into the summary view of the results. That made my day

I want to clarify a little bit my comments. First of all, I really love what you are doing and I am convinced it will work even more than it already has. My comments are geared from someone who actually has a budget in place and needs a great short screenplay for immediate purchase and production. It is not common that I find myself in this situation because most of the times the funding already comes with a screenplay.

So what are we looking for? Well, here are basically the things we discussed with the producer who put the funding together (Presented in order of importance to us in this particular case):

1. WHAT THE ACTRESS WANTS

First of all, it must be a showcase piece for a lead actress who is attached to the project. This may seem like a weird requirement to put on top, but the reality is that many times specific actors are the ones looking for screenplays to advance their careers and they are the ones who make the funding possible by working with a producer before even contacting a director.

2. WHAT THE PRODUCER WANTS

Must have a very distinguishable concept. Not necessarily high-concept, but it has to jump out enough from the 4,000 to 8,000 submissions of short films that a typical high-profile festival gets.

3. WHAT I WANT (AS THE DIRECTOR)

It has to clearly evoke a strong emotion from the reader / viewer. This means no 'think pieces', no clever dialogue a la Tarantino or Sorkin, or twist endings if that's all the script has to offer. While these are fun to read, they tend to fall short once you actually film them and populate them with real people. The finished piece usually begins to feel like all of it is shallowly in the service of just that aspect of the writing.

The Raindance Festival has a great write-up on suggestions on what to avoid. They then link to two short films they consider wonderful. One is by Wes Anderson and of course it is great. But what is worth noting is that the screenplay is markedly understated and allows the emotion to come from the actors. So in other words, many writers are trying too hard to shine with their writing and forget all the other aspects of what can make a movie great.

SCRIPT REVOLUTION

So getting back to your site, I think the idea is wonderful. I write all this with the hope that writers read this and maybe adjust their strategies. There **are** people like me out there who are looking for good scripts for purchase.

I believe the issue right now is that there aren't enough writers on there yet to provide a big enough selection.

When I did the search with female leads I got back around 230+ results. But when I actually started reading through them I noticed that some entries appeared twice (or maybe it was my imagination). And then I noticed that many writers had many screenplays on there. So the actual number of writers with short screenplays is probably less than 40 (I'm guessing). So maybe this is not yet a big enough pool to satisfy all tastes.

By the way, I did come across a couple screenplays that had two of the three requirements, but then the third one was the deal breaker for one of us. There was a wonderful screenplay of two sisters dealing with a painful memory of their father who committed suicide when they were young. This script has good dialogue, strong understated visuals and a very clearly defined emotion. What it lacked was a stronger concept to the producer's linking. Something that would look better in the logline. Superficial I know, but that is part of the reality of the financing.

FINAL THOUGHTS

So here is a possible solution to populate your site with more and better screenplays.

1. Start a short screenplay contest.

2. Start a Spark & Seed campaign to get funding together for a really juicy top price. Offer $10,000 and a lot of writers would enter.

3. For the contest don't charge a submission fee or keep it really low.

4. When you get flooded with screenplays, have a robust judging team in place to really go through the screenplays.

5. Then, after the contest is over, offer all the quarter-finalists, semi-finalists, finalists and winners the chance to be in a special prestige section of the site.

6. Watch people like me be all over that section in the hunt for my next film. There's nothing like curated content
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