Nicholl 2021

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  • Originally posted by Hasil Adkins View Post

    I'm certain there is at least one person here that made the QF.
    Me too as I said it in a previous post I thought. But they don't post much. So maybe 2?

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    • Originally posted by asteven50 View Post
      I made QF with a script I wrote 6 years ago that didn't sell. Literally can't believe it.

      Best part is I sold a TV show this year and am waiting on payment. As soon as I get it I'll be ineligible. So hopefully they judge semis fast!
      Did you sell a TV show w/o first selling a feature btw? I always hear you can't sell a TV show unless you sell a feature first and then I hear the opposite from writers. Just curious as outside looking in, TV looks easier than features. But everything I hear, it's harder for the unsold writer... as they want a person who can run a show not just a script like in film.

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      • Originally posted by asteven50 View Post
        I made QF with a script I wrote 6 years ago that didn't sell. Literally can't believe it.

        Best part is I sold a TV show this year and am waiting on payment. As soon as I get it I'll be ineligible. So hopefully they judge semis fast!
        Clint Hill
        Member
        Last edited by Clint Hill; 08-23-2021, 12:39 PM.
        “Nothing is what rocks dream about” ― Aristotle

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        • Originally posted by Hasil Adkins View Post

          I'm certain there is at least one person here that made the QF.
          Amazing. Congratulations! Anything you can share about genre, history of script, etc?

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          • Originally posted by asteven50 View Post
            I made QF with a script I wrote 6 years ago that didn't sell. Literally can't believe it.

            Best part is I sold a TV show this year and am waiting on payment. As soon as I get it I'll be ineligible. So hopefully they judge semis fast!
            Congrats!!

            This is from the NIcholl FAQ:

            Q: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF A WRITER WERE TO SELL A SCRIPT DURING THE COMPETITION?

            A: If a writer were paid more than $25,000 during the competition, that writer would become ineligible. Given the typical slow pace of contract negotiations and writer payments, it would be possible for a writer to reach the Academy Nicholl quarterfinals, to sign a contract for the sale of a script, and to remain eligible for a fellowship, so long as he or she does not receive payment for the script during the competition.


            -- Seems like you could ask the TV show peeps to hold off on paying you -- if you continue to advance in the Nicholl -- until the Nicholl competition has ended? I say ride this wave as long as possible, asteven50!

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            • Originally posted by figment View Post

              -- Seems like you could ask the TV show peeps to hold off on paying you
              Do not do this. If you have a legit sale to a place/people that are known in the business then get paid and get on with the show, you are beyond the Nicholl. Congrats, btw!

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              • Originally posted by Northbank View Post

                Do not do this. If you have a legit sale to a place/people that are known in the business then get paid and get on with the show, you are beyond the Nicholl. Congrats, btw!
                This! Who cares about the Nicholl if you're getting paid for a show. Congratulations on both achievements, the show and the Nicholl placement!

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                • Thanks all! Definitely trying to ride the wave and enjoy it while it lasts. I've been grinding for years now so it feels crazy that multiple things are breaking at once. Super-reductive cliff notes answers to questions below. Feel free to DM for longer answers.

                  The Nicholl Script - Thriller in the vein of The Shallows. Like I said... I'm shocked it made it. But I made Semi-finals once before with a period action thriller, so it's all subjective. This script went wide 5 years ago and didn't sell but a studio-based production company attached. In those 5 years I've done 30+ unpaid rewrites (not an exaggeration) including a couple page ones. Went through title changes, multiple director attachments, took it out and again didn't sell. Producers and director and still technically attached, but I have no hope for it at that production company. I re-read my original spec recently and fell in love with it all over again. Since I still own it, I decided to submit.

                  TV show - No, I have not sold a feature. This is my first major sale and the first TV pilot I've ever written. I had a feature spec that went out a few years ago and didn't sell for a bunch of reasons that have nothing to do with the writing (long story). My manager and I were devastated by it and he gave me the good advice of distracting myself by trying something new. Maybe get a TV sample good enough to get me into a room. I stumbled upon a great idea and we took it out. Producer got attached. Producer happens to be the development guy for an A-list actor/director, and he attached to direct. A year later a studio came on. Then a showrunner. 8 months later (thank you pandemic) we started pitching and the first network we pitched bought it.

                  My experience so far is that neither one is easier than the other. You're less on your own with TV in that if you're new, they'll surround you with experienced creatives and help you along.

                  Winning the Nicholl has always been a dream, but once my check comes and I'm ineligible, I'll humbly bow out. I don't see any reason to try to bend the rules.
                  Write, rite, wright... until you get it RIGHT.

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                  • Originally posted by asteven50 View Post
                    Winning the Nicholl has always been a dream, but once my check comes and I'm ineligible, I'll humbly bow out. I don't see any reason to try to bend the rules.
                    James Simpson became similarly "ineligible" by selling his Nicholl finalist script "Armored" (straight-up action heist movie, BTW) between the time finalists were named and the actual ceremony. Worked out fine for him.

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                    • Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post

                      James Simpson became similarly "ineligible" by selling his Nicholl finalist script "Armored" (straight-up action heist movie, BTW) between the time finalists were named and the actual ceremony. Worked out fine for him.
                      Armored was still eligible when fellows were selected.

                      As long as a writer - or his reps - hasn't been paid over the earnings limit, that writer remains eligible in the Nicholl competition. It's possible for a feature or pilot script to sell during the competition and the writer remain eligible throughout. It just depends on the time taken by negotiations and then by business affairs actually cutting a check. Not unusual for months to pass between a sale and a check being received.

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                      • Originally posted by Bono View Post

                        Always remember, that 99.999999999% of the pro writers in Hollywood did not come close to winning the Nicholl either. It's just one way in, not the only way. Keep pushing.
                        I realize you're exaggerating for effect, but this isn't remotely true. Your percentage equates to 1 in 100,000,000,000. Depending upon one's definition of "close to winning the Nicholl," the number is probably between 97% and 99%.

                        As I posted many times in the past here, there and everywhere, Nicholl is just one of many paths to becoming a working writer.

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                        • Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
                          As I posted many times in the past here, there and everywhere, Nicholl is just one of many paths to becoming a working writer.
                          Unrelated, sorry these threads keep pulling you back to DDP after stepping down from Nicholl (while still covering the exact same ground as when you were the director). How is the post-Nicholl life treating you?

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                          • Hi Folks,

                            Does anyone know how much the supporting documents/materials, requested for the finals, affect the judges decision to admit a writer to the fellowship? Greg? I have had a look around but haven't had much luck finding an answer... brain fog... eyes glazed... half-a-dozen empties... who knows TBH I'm just really grateful I made it to the QF: You know how it is after years of NOs/Passes/ Striking out.
                            Jackanory
                            New User
                            Last edited by Jackanory; 08-25-2021, 04:58 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post

                              Unrelated, sorry these threads keep pulling you back to DDP after stepping down from Nicholl (while still covering the exact same ground as when you were the director). How is the post-Nicholl life treating you?
                              Doing well, thanks. Much more relaxed than during my last years at the Academy.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Jackanory View Post
                                Does anyone know how much the supporting documents/materials, requested for the finals, affect the judges decision to admit a writer to the fellowship? Greg?
                                Can't tell you what it's like now, but during my years the selection of Nicholl Fellows was almost exclusively based on the screenplays. The letter was intended to help committee members get to know the writers a little bit. The letters often gave committee member presenters something to mention in their introductory remarks during the awards ceremony.

                                The materials also helped the PR staff as they reached out to hometown newspapers, colleges, etc. to publicize the new fellows.

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