Carl Sautter contest



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  • Carl Sautter contest

    Is anyone familiar with the Carl Sautter Memorial Scriptwriting Competition hosted by I entered it at the recommendation of a friend, but I don't know much about it. I'm one of the finalists, and I was invited to the gala next month in which they will announce the winners. It turns out there were only 209 entries in the features category, and I am one of five finalists. There is no cash prize, as far as I know, and they have not offered to pay for my flight (which would be cross-country in my case). Do you think it's worth attending on my own nickel?

  • #2
    (Edited based on what Cynthia said.)


    • #3
      Sautter Contest

      I won this one in 1999. (:eek How time flies)

      I also had to decide whether or not to fly to LA without knowing the contest outcome. Montana is not cross-country, but flying out of here is still expensive.

      I went because ...

      1- black-tie gala does sound neat. But who were they kidding, it was catered Chinese in a big room on the Univeral lot. It was cool to enter a studio lot under the arched sign -- just like in the movies -- Others may hint that I'm easily entertained.

      2- it was a trip to LA and (at that time) I hadn't been there. I took my family along and within one hour of our arrival, we saw Eddie Murphy. After that, everyone looked suspiciously like a movie star. Yes, it was Lucy and Ethel tour Hollywood revised.

      So, we ate our Chinese. The only person who talked to us was another guy from Montana. And then I won. For some reason a television crew from Japan was filming the event so after the announcement, I gave an incoherent interview to Japanese television.

      The prize is guaranteed reads by people/companies/studios who don't usually read unrepped writers. The list they gave me had 27 contacts on it including Dreamworks, Lightstorm (Jim Cameron), TIG (Costner), Jersey (DeVito) Castle Rock and others like that plus a couple of agents. Miramax called later and asked for the script.

      Alas, everyone eventually passed, BUT, when they did almost everyone on the list called and I (that's right, little ol' me from nowhere Montana) got to have a conversation with real in-the-business professionals.

      This was the real prize for me -- getting to talk to the creative execs, listening to what they offered and learning something new.

      Back to the gala event - you'll also get other prizes, software, gift certificates, books and a nifty trophy. (well, I like it.)

      So, if it's too expensive to get there, my advice, don't go for the gala. Their prize is worthwhile, but you don't have to be there to get it.

      Good luck.



      • #4
        Re: Sautter Contest

        Thanks, Cynthia. That was very helpful.


        • #5
          Re: Sautter Contest

          GO...period...the SWN are good people

          whether you win or not, you're going to make wanna succeed? you make contacts WHILE you improve your writing, hoping they converge...when you realize how few people want to read your scripts in L.A....


          • #6
            Re: Sautter Contest

            Scribble! Congratulations!