Nichols Contest



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  • Nichols Contest

    Last night I had the strangest dream. I was reviewing the Nichols contest script scores. I saw that some of the scripts scored as high as 83, and the same script would get a 40 the next time. And then the script would get a 50 after that.

    Some scripts just got low marks the first time out. My script was one of them. I got a 39. I remember panacking in the dream, not for the script that was not going to make it to the next round, but the one I'm working on now.

    In my dream, it occured to me that maybe I don't know how to write. I don't have good ideas. And then I asked myself, what can I do to make the script I'm working on now the best it can be. But I couldn't answer because if my score was a 39, I was not the person to ask advice of. So speakly plainly when you respond. And if you are compelled to answer a great story, then tell me what a great story is. Should I modernize the tale of Opedius? That's a great story.

    So what the hell am I missing? What's the point? What are the key factors that makes a script advance or sell or get notice? Because no matter how good I think I am getting, it doesn't speak to the question of how far I am away from success.

  • #2

    Were these actual dreams, or hypothetical for-the-sake-of-discussion dreams? Pay no attention to the first kind.

    Who the heck is Opedius?


    • #3
      great scripts

      The factors that make a script advance in contests are not necessarily the same factors that would get that script noticed or sold in hollywood. It has been often said by industry professionals that the finalists in contests are NOT viable commercial projects. While placing in a contest can be nice barometer of whether or not your writing does not totally suck, it nonetheless means very little in the real world. Would American Pie place high in the Nicholls? Most likely not. Did it make a lot of money and succeed in the genre in which it was written? Yes, and quite well.

      For a first-time scribe -- and because it is more difficult than ever to break in selling a spec -- you need to primarily concern yourself with creating a compelling "high" concept. (No, "high concept" and "great story" are not mutually exclusive terms.)

      When you find that terrific concept that you can pitch in 30 seconds that everyone wants to see, then work hard to create unique characters and a solid, unpredictable story structure.

      Easy as that!


      • #4

        The Oedipus story is the myth about the guy who killed his father and married his mother. Although at the time of killing this man, it was unknown to him that he was his biological father.

        Psychologists based theories of parent and children relationship from the Oedipus story which is where Freud derived the "Oedipus Complex". Freud used the myth as an example to formulate ideas about the bonding between father and son. There was a difference between your real father (the man who raised you) and your biological father (the man who gave birth to you). Other pschologists built on Freud's ideologies of the "Oedipus Complex" developing ideas of abusive fathers, sons who fear their fathers and seek attention from mothers, men who develop a liking for mature women etc

        I think it would be a great story, Cheryl. Although, I believe you would have to delve deep into human psychology between father and son and mother and son and perhaps look up some of Freud's work. I think playing it from a deep psychological angle would be best rather than simply modernising the story. For a guy who would marry his mother, you would have to consider some really screwed up psychological issues. You'll should look up some of the more recent works by renowned psychologists who have built on Freud's ideology of the "Oedipus Complex".

        Good luck.


        • #5
          Re: Questions

          Actually, a friend of mine suggested to me a modern translation of Oedipus that he thought could easily be adopted to the screen, but Oedipus as the first black president.


          • #6
            Close... it's "Oedipus."


            • #7
              Thanks, everybody. (I knew who Oedipus was.)