Has anyone had any real luck with contests?



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  • Has anyone had any real luck with contests?

    This year, being a person who does not live in the LA area, I entered a "high concept" script in a scriptwriting competition, primarily to get a "read" by industry professionals. To that end, has anyone ever gotten any really good feedback or result from a contest or competition? Have you found it beneficial to enter the same script in more than one competition? Or do you find these competitions to be of any help at all?

  • #2
    Check this link to an earlier thread on this subject. p068.ezboard.com/fdonedealcontests.showMessage?topicID=999.topic


    • #3
      Thank you for the information. However in a business sense, I am asking what type of feedback people have received, not how they placed. Basically is there any benefit to entering these contests if your goal is feedback? And when you win, place or show what benefit do they have on your resume'?


      • #4
        You generally get no feedback from contests, other than the validation (or lack thereof) of having finished as a quarterfinalist, semifinalist, finalist, winner, etc. The Slamdance contest (deadline Julyish) is one of the few that I know that will provide one to two pages of feedback, though it's reflected in the higher-than-usual entry fee of about $70 ("usual" fee varies, from free (Disney) to $50 or so). The American Accolades will point out the strengths and weaknesses of your script (e.g. plusses pacing, dialogue, story, minuses characterizations and concept) -- though more than most contests, still virtually nothing.

        If you want reviews and feedback, contests really are not the place for it. You can get some free helpful feedback by joining Zoetrope or Triggerstreet. Word on the former is mixed, on the latter pretty bad (just my sense from what I've read). The catch is you have to read the work of others -- no big deal, of course, but you're basically exchanging services with other writers, and it's a crapshoot whether the particular reviews are thoughtful and constructive. Of course, take what you want from them.

        The other route is to obtain the services of a script reader or script evaluation service. Their prices range from $90 to $175 for studio-style coverage, to $200 to $400 for a more thorough review, to whatever (I've seen services costing several thousand dollars, though I can hardly imagine why anyone would pay that).

        If you want to check out some of the resources in this regard, you can go back to the main (Done Deal) site and select "links", or click on the link below:


        As for what benefit a contest will have on your resume, it varies widely, depending on the contest and where you finish. If you win the Nicholl, Austin, Chesterfield, or ABC/Disney, there's a very good chance you can make a career of screenwriting. If you win a lesser contest or if you finish as a semifinalist or lower in one of the above, there's a good chance it will mean virtually nothing. Of course, these are just likelihoods, probabilities, etc. -- anything's possible. But you get the idea. And I'm sure scads of DDers will tell you they made it in the biz without ever entering a contest at all. I'm not in the biz myself, yet, but as no one else saw fit to answer your question, I thought I might offer my two cents.

        Good luck.


        • #5

          there are some contests (usu the midsized ones) that offer feedback - if memory serves me....Applause and WriteMovies both give written feedback and scorecards to all entrants

          you can check out www.moviebytes.com
          they also have contestant scorecards