a dumb question about contests

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  • English Dave
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    Guys, it depends on your definition of success. Most assignments are not listed. 'Heat' can't be calculated. It appears to me [never having entered a competition] that if you choose the right competition, and do well, it may open doors for you. More than if you just rely on throwing out log lines and queries to a blanket audience.

    Choose wisely. There are many worthless competitions and a few good ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • BROUGHCUT
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    repost:

    Quick check of winners 2002-2004.

    Some may be pocketed etc, the following winners have reps/credits listed on studio system:

    2004 winners

    Sean Mahoney - Gotham (Lindsay Williams)
    Whit Rummel - Gotham (Lindsay Williams)


    2003 winners

    Andrea R. Herman - Agency Group

    Tejal K. Desai and Brian C. Wray - Paradigm (Trevor Astbury) / Nine Yards (Steve Crawford)

    Bragi Schut Jr.
    Agent Brant Rose / Brant Rose Agency
    Attorney Robert Szymanski / Eclipse Law Corporation
    Manager Brian Spink / Benderspink


    FEATURE FILM
    Writer
    THE SUB-MARINER (Feature Film / 2006 / In Development) Screenplay (rewrite)
    CRIMINAL MACABRE (Feature Film / In Development) Screenplay (rewrite)
    THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER (Feature Film / In Development) Screenplay
    SEASON OF THE WITCH (Feature Film / In Development) as Bragi F. Schut Jr Screenplay (spec) **NICHOLL SCRIPT** MGM bought the spec script by Bragi Schut Jr. for a reported mid-against high-six figures
    PATHFINDER (PHOENIX PICTURES) (Feature Film / 2006 / Wrapped) Screenplay (production polish)
    James N. Mottern - CAA (Brian Kend)
    FEATURE FILM
    Writer
    BOOMERANG (BONA FIDE) (Feature Film / In Development) Screenplay **August 2005**
    2002 Winners:

    John Ciarlo - Sean Marks (atty)
    Matt Harris - CAA (Jay Baker) / Kustom (mgr)
    Kurt Kuenne - UTA (Tony Babst)/ Kaplan Perrone

    I originally went back pre-2000 but it hacked up and got lost when I tried to post.

    seems to be a healthy picture overall for representation. Greg said 45% of winning scripts have been opitions/sold? Well, options can be free, and I don't think anywhere near that proportion enter active development. That's not the fault of Nicholl, or course, their results are hugely impressive, everything considered.

    Leave a comment:


  • English Dave
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    Originally posted by writer0825
    "It's a big mistake to assume that specs are only worth something if they become the object of a bidding war."

    I wasn't assuming anything, I was just asking an innocent question.
    I hope the answer is to your satisfaction.

    Leave a comment:


  • writer0825
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    "It's a big mistake to assume that specs are only worth something if they become the object of a bidding war."

    I wasn't assuming anything, I was just asking an innocent question.

    Leave a comment:


  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    I realize that it's far easier to post off the top of one's head rather than to do a little research prior to posting. As Purple Curtain notes, this very subject is discussed with some regularity. Most recently, I posted about it on this board on January 26. Here is a portion of that post:

    13 of 91 Nicholl-winning scripts have been produced. The most recent of those -- AKEELAH AND THE BEE and LAND OF THE BLIND -- are currently premiering at festivals and are slated to be released theatrically later this year. [AKEELAH on April 28, to be more exact; you may have noticed a little promotion for it in your local Starbucks.]

    At least 28 (and perhaps a few more) of the remaining 78 Nicholl-winning scripts have been sold or optioned. Several of those scripts are currently in active development. Thus, at least 41 of 91 Nicholl-winning scripts have been produced, sold or optioned.

    Several writers who did not sell or option their Nicholl-winning scripts (so far as I know) have done fairly well since then, including Susannah Grant, Andrew Marlowe and Allison Anders.

    A number of Nicholl-winning writers have been hired on assignment without the benefit of a spec sale.

    Nicholl Fellows have provided the story for, written, co-written and/or directed 51 feature films, which have earned over $2.7 billion in worldwide box office. (Unless release schedules change, the 52nd film will be CHARLOTTE'S WEB.) This does not include films written or co-written by fellows who did not receive credit on those films. [It also does not include 'TIS AUTUMN: THE SEARCH FOR JACKIE PARIS, a feature doc directed by Raymond de Felitta that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.]

    Nicholl Fellows have also written a number of produced and unproduced cable and television movies and have served on TV series writing staffs.

    For a number of other writers, advancing in the Nicholl competition served as an indication that they were ready to make the leap into a professional writing career. Included in this group of past Nicholl quarter/semi/finalists are such film and television writers as Vince Gilligan, Gavin Hood, Wayne Kramer, Damon Lindelof, Greg Poirier, Scott Rosenberg, Frank Spotnitz, Meredith Stiehm and Marianne Wibberley, to name only a few. [To update, Gavin Hood's TSOTSI won an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film; his top 30 Nicholl script was A REASONABLE MAN, which was also produced. Jason Smilovic's LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN placed among the top 30 Nicholl scripts in 2001.]

    Leave a comment:


  • English Dave
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    Totally agree with Purple. A spec I wrote about ten years ago has directly or indirectly got me just about every job I've had since. It's still unsold.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheKeenGuy
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    Perhaps they would have made for great movies, but not commercial movies.

    Remember, people don't run to the movie theaters in droves because they heard a film had a really great script.

    Leave a comment:


  • writer0825
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    If these scripts are so brilliant, how come more of them don't sell? I checked out the page on Nicholl to see the past winners and I don't recall seeing any of the scripts in the trades. I'm not hating, I'm just wondering, everyone claims they're the best of the best (and I agree Nicholl is one of the best contests) but like I said, I haven't seen any of their winners sell. (obviously I don't read EVERYTHING, it could have been somewhere, but I read the trades religiously and if one of Nicholls winners sold, it would be in the trades)

    Leave a comment:


  • TheKeenGuy
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    If you expect to lose, don't pay money to do it.

    Zoetrope.com and Triggerstreet.com are what you want to use to gage your progress. You should not pay money to enter a contest unless you have confidence that your script will win, because even then it still probably won't.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cornelius Pug
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    If you live in LA you can go to the Library and read the winning scripts. (Don't know which library, but www.oscars.org tell you where to find them).

    I've read some of the finalist and fellows scripts for last year. Don't kid yourself, the standard is very high. You need to be a writer on the cusp of being able to write professionally, with deadlines. You need to be able to tell a story with an edge, or from a different perspective, or high concept, or dramatically different from what's been told before. And you need to have a compelling style, that's visual. In other words you need to be able to write at a professional level.

    One of the scripts was set in Bosnia and the writer went to Bosnia to research. That's dedication and professionalism for you, and one that deserved to win. I would think that the luck aspect, if it exists, is whether or not your script scores in the top 30 or top 10, as I imagine that the points are very close up there. Yes, it is subjective, but a good script is a good script, regardless of whether a reader 'likes' it or not, it still has to touch him in some way. I recently read a script that was brutal and violent, the kind of script I hate. But it was a fabulous script, written with strong energy and passion. It won me over, and that's what you need to be able to do with the Nicholl. The readers at semi-final level are Academy members - they may be producers, or screenwriters, or actors, but they are professional people with a long history of the business who give up their time to help new scriptwriters. They know what they are looking for.

    Good luck with your endeavours.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harbinger
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    A little off topic, but would any of you who mentioned placing highly in Nicholl be adverse to letting me read the script in question?

    I'm entering for the first time this year and would relish the chance to get an idea of the level of quality we're talking in order to progress. I'll even provide my humble feedback for those who are interested.

    My critiques are always respectful and for the most part helpful (I hope). You can check my previous posts to confirm that.

    And don't worry about plagerism or anything of that nature. Not my style. Besides I would assume you've already registered the script.

    I just hoped to get an idea of what was necessary to succeed. I understand, purely from what I've read here, that a lot of it is luck with regards who you get to read your stuff and wether they identify with it. I just hoped for an idea of the quality necessary and perhaps prefered subject matter.

    If you're okay with it, just PM the script. If not, no worries and good luck in future endeavours.

    Leave a comment:


  • LauriD
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    I agree. The first script you write CAN suck, but there's no rule that it MUST suck. Sometimes, that first script is the one you HAVE to write -- and the passion shows. My first script made the quarters of the Nicholl twice, then the semis after a rewrite. I'm now on #6, and #1 is still my favorite.L.

    Leave a comment:


  • magicman35
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    Originally posted by BROUGHCUT
    cool post. also refreshing to hear someone talk about their first complete script like this. I get tired of that "you need to write three/ten/nth scripts before you're ready to move" crap that people like to drum into new writers like it's gospel.
    The first script I wrote (long time ago now) made the quarters of the Nicholl. Like Purple that early validation gave me the confidence to keep going.

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    TATAM78: You won't recieve any feedback unless you make it a long way through the process, even then you might not get any feedback ... What you seek is VALIDATION.
    That is correct.

    We all do it in some way or another.

    I cannot blame you at all. But it may prove futile. It is hard to compete against thousands of entries.

    Leave a comment:


  • BROUGHCUT
    replied
    Re: a dumb question about contests

    cool post. also refreshing to hear someone talk about their first complete script like this. I get tired of that "you need to write three/ten/nth scripts before you're ready to move" crap that people like to drum into new writers like it's gospel.

    Leave a comment:

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