Nicholl 2021

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  • Bono
    replied
    Just search for rejection letters to famous writers. You will feel better.

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  • DaltWisney
    replied
    Bought three evals of the new thing from WeScreenplay:

    #1: Top 39%
    #2: Top 2%
    #3: Top 10%

    There's subjectivity for you. I had a pilot a couple years back that got a "recommend" from them (top 3% or better) and ate **** in every contest. You just never know.

    Anyway, I took the feedback from these three evals and made some minor changes. Second draft is out to Black List for 3 more evals. Those won't arrive in time for the Nicholl deadline most likely, and that's fine. I'll enter it regardless. Advancing in the Nicholl would be awesome, but it's just one door of many. Mainly just trying to get the script to the best place possible.

    Incidentally, I finally encountered a Nicholl QF+ on my way through last year's industry Black List: "Good Chance" by Tricia Lee. Was a semi-finalist in 2020 under a different title. Good script, but it was about an elderly Asian widow and a trans teen. Not exactly helping to change the perception that the Nicholl is skewed towards on-the-nose "issues" dramas that foreground diversity and quirkiness. I did enjoy the read though. Fun characters and hits all the beats you would expect.

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    16 days till the deadline of May 4th.

    Here's where I'm at:

    Finally got to fade out during a draft on Friday on my sixth attempt. The way it went for me was I would start a draft and keep going until I became either uninspired, lost, or I get a new idea and need to start over. The first draft I got to around 35 pages, the next was around 50, then I got to 70, then 85, then 100 and I finally made it all the way through to 117. I was revising and editing some as I was writing so hopefully the pages shouldn't be as raw as a first draft. I gave the the script to someone to read who is a real stickler for grammar and prose because I feel like I'm weak there. I'm taking five days off and stepping away from the script and working on something not screenwriting related. Starting Thursday I'll sit down and comb through the script once more 10 pages at a time incorporating ideas from the feedback as well as enriching the story with ideas I have. Then out the door it does May 4th.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Matthew was so high when he wrote that.

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  • sc111
    replied
    Originally posted by Bono View Post

    Just that post alone, tells me two things.

    1. You're funny.
    2. You're smart.
    3. You can write well.
    4. I can't count to two, but I am handsome as hell.

    So many posts on this board -- just the posts are boring and written very dull. Not engaging at all. I know it's a forum, but there are writers on here who write boring and confusing posts -- and then I think to myself "zero chance" their specs aren't also the same way.

    A lot of those posters are not with us anymore -- so this is not a subtweet -- just saying it's not a coincidence that Jeff Lowell is successful and his posts are also the most clear and well written on here. And also concise.

    Just a general thing I notice is that I judge writers not only by their words on the page, but their emails, texts, and posts on done deal. The same way an employer looks up your social media history and sees you "liked" by accident that porn star.
    LOL! You're a judging machine, aren't you.

    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you.

    Matthew 7:2

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    Crazy. Because I made the QF twice and I look back at those scripts now and think how in the world could somebody advance this?

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  • Jai Brandon
    replied
    I’ve never placed in the Nicholl. This includes scripts that have won or placed highly in other reputable contests. Actually, did I say I’ve never placed? What I meant to say is that I’ve never even cracked the top 20%! It’s ridiculous to me, but will make for an interesting story one day...

    Leave a comment:


  • DaltWisney
    replied
    Originally posted by Cyfress View Post
    24 days until the last entry deadline for Nicholl. Where are you with your entry? I’m scripting the last ten pages of Act 3 then Act 3 will need major revisions. Then I have a grammar snob and tough critic gonna read the script for me then I’ll have time for one more page 1 rewrite then off she goes for better or worse.
    I'll have something new to submit. Rounding the corner on a first draft.

    Am I confident? Not necessarily, but it's fun to have a horse in the race. I'm bullish on the concept. The genre suits my strengths and is in line with other stuff that has performed decently for me in the past.

    I'd be happy to make the QFs, but it's not a life-or-death thing for me.

    I'm just trying to be more practical and targeted with my output. It's a long-term challenge, rather than being all about one script or one piece of validation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cyfress
    replied
    I'm entering the Nicholl and hoping to make the QF so I'll get my script into the hands of a dozen people in the pipeline. I never said there was anything wrong with querying, just I wouldn't do it without getting the script read by a non partial party who won't be afraid to critique it.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Originally posted by Prezzy View Post
    The Nicholl is all knowing. The Nicholl is truth. The Nicholl is God.

    The Nicholl possesses the sole ethereal ability to decide who shall be repped and who shall not. But only once the Nicholl has been pleased.

    The powers of the Nicholl shall only be bestowed on the worthy few after feasting on the life force of the lowly inferior.

    The Nicholl demands sacrifice!

    We must please the Nicholl. The Nicholl must be fed.
    Just that post alone, tells me two things.

    1. You're funny.
    2. You're smart.
    3. You can write well.
    4. I can't count to two, but I am handsome as hell.

    So many posts on this board -- just the posts are boring and written very dull. Not engaging at all. I know it's a forum, but there are writers on here who write boring and confusing posts -- and then I think to myself "zero chance" their specs aren't also the same way.

    A lot of those posters are not with us anymore -- so this is not a subtweet -- just saying it's not a coincidence that Jeff Lowell is successful and his posts are also the most clear and well written on here. And also concise.

    Just a general thing I notice is that I judge writers not only by their words on the page, but their emails, texts, and posts on done deal. The same way an employer looks up your social media history and sees you "liked" by accident that porn star.

    Leave a comment:


  • Prezzy
    replied
    The Nicholl is all knowing. The Nicholl is truth. The Nicholl is God.

    The Nicholl possesses the sole ethereal ability to decide who shall be repped and who shall not. But only once the Nicholl has been pleased.

    The powers of the Nicholl shall only be bestowed on the worthy few after feasting on the life force of the lowly inferior.

    The Nicholl demands sacrifice!

    We must please the Nicholl. The Nicholl must be fed.
    Last edited by Prezzy; 04-12-2021, 09:12 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    I understand you feel that’s an odd statement but I’ve read well over 100 amateur scripts. All 100 suffered from the same issues. Like exact. Character Depth. Pacing. A solid through line.

    I've written 40-50 amateur scripts and going to guess I've read way over 250 in my time... and read more specs that sold or written by pro writers too... and why I find the same issues in many scripts because they are screenplays and not flying cars so how many things could there possibly be to find -- 100 have the same exact issues? That's impossible.

    Also those 3 things are not the top things I'd be worried about when judging writing -- what about the concept? If it's a horror spec was it scary? Is it well written? Do you care about the characters? Did you feel like you just watched a real movie it was that good?

    You know what else is an open event? Querying reps? Breaking into Hollywood. You can enter the Nicholl -- but I think it's 100x harder to win the Nicholl than to land a rep. And that's very hard. Because reps will be open to your comedy, action or horror spec more than this contest.

    Enter. Or don't. But please let's all stop over blowing how important this one contest is. Also it's almost impossible to win (way to go Vango). But it's far from the only way to break into Hollywood.

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    I understand that the percentage of Nicholl scripts that don’t make the QF but wind up selling or getting someone an agent is not 0%. But it’s not even 1% either. Outliers exist in every single probability and statistic study.

    Im not in the camp that believes subjectivity is to blame for most of the cuts. I think it’s effectiveness of the story.

    I absolutely hate period romance stories. Not my genre at all. However, if I read one that was well written I’d be able to tell vs one that was a train wreck.

    if I was a judge and my two scripts were a period romance and a crime genre and the period romance was an obviously better written script, I’d advance that one.

    I understand you feel that’s an odd statement but I’ve read well over 100 amateur scripts. All 100 suffered from the same issues. Like exact. Character Depth. Pacing. A solid through line.

    Being able to move people with words is hard. Real hard. There’s lots of aspiring writers out there that have no aptitude for it. This contest, the Nicholl, is the big daddy and it comes once a year. And it is an “open” event. Meaning there are no minimum qualifications you need to enter. Any amateur can enter and they do. Only 50 scripts have a legit shot to win. That’s what I think.


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  • figment
    replied
    Originally posted by Cyfress View Post
    I think 80% of the entries will be a first draft that's unrevised and unedited.

    You have some potential in terms of ability and you put the work into the script then your script should be better than 95% of Nichol entries. off the bat.

    I know others feel there is great subjectivity in contests but not really for the really good scripts.
    You're forgetting SUBJECTIVITY is a real thing. Like Little Miss Sunshine not even making Nicholl QF but winning an Oscar. I would call an Oscar winner a "really good script."

    Likewise, to say that just having "some ability" means you're automatically better than 95 percent of Nicholl entries is an odd statement. Even people with ability still need the right CONCEPT that is appealing to Nicholl itself.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Originally posted by blue439 View Post

    Sure, I agree with this -- theoretically. In reality, if you're unrepped how are you going to get your script into the hands of most the industry's execs so that they can vote for it? If you are repped and you made less than the minimum, I suppose you could enter the Nicholl but even if you win it seems like a backward move to me. What's to gain? You already have representation. And yes you don't need the Nicholl or the Black List to break in.
    What is your genre you write in? I'm a comedy guy. So my route was to write comedy and query reps directly. I did well in trackingb contest, but at the same time I was querying -- got 2 offers for representation -- took the one I found myself via email query. Same spec.

    Black List your reps can I guess push for votes -- but yes it's aftermath of already being successful. But a lot of my friends got on the list with specs and it helped their careers a lot. They may have sold specs before, but getting on that list go their Q rating up and it lead to more work...

    Anyway keep writing.

    Leave a comment:

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