Opinion on prize

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  • Opinion on prize

    Hey Everyone,
    I wanted to get your opinion on a prize I was thinking about offering. My new contest's thematic thrust is to support writers in getting closer to being working writers.

    I am in discussions with a production company that is looking to produce low budget horror films in the under 100k range. I already have a cash prize for best low budget horror script, but I was also thinking about an alternative or additional prize where the winner of that category would win a "writing deal" with the company that is making the low budget film. Obviously, the budget for writers is a few thousand dollars.

    I think every situation is different. I have rewritten a script for $2000, turned down a $10,000 writing assignment, given free options and then turned down options based on the person not willing to give $100 as a sign of good faith.

    For some writers, the thrill of being paid and, more importantly, being involved in a project with other people--producers, directors, actors--and a physical production is very important for their mental state and growth as a professional.

    So I guess my ? is this. If my contest offered a prize of, say, $2500 in payments for a writer to do a couple of drafts on a LB horror script that would probably be made, would that be a cheezy prize that takes advantage of the writer, a cool option for the writer to consider or something in between.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Jim

  • #2
    Re: Opinion on prize

    Just my personal take, it doesn't sound like a prize but a great opportunity. I think a prize shouldn't have strings attached, even if they are a good thing. Fellowships blur this line a little, they give you money with the intention that you'll use that income to continue your craft, but that's why they're called Fellowships.

    However, it does sound like a great opportunity. Doing a few paid rewrites is a lot of work for the winner to commit to, even though I'm sure a lot of people would jump at the chance.

    Even if there was a smaller cash prize, and the winner also would get to meet with the prodco and be given the opportunity to do some paid rewrites if they wanted, I'd personally be interested in a contest like that.

    I guess my point is, great idea, just don't call it a prize. Some contests (the cowrite one comes to mind) sound like "First prize: you get to wash my car! But it's a very nice car."

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    • #3
      Re: Opinion on prize

      It sounds like an interesting opportunity. Please post it here if you go through with it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Opinion on prize

        Originally posted by Jim Mercurio View Post
        Hey Everyone,
        I wanted to get your opinion on a prize I was thinking about offering.
        http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=45965
        !!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Opinion on prize

          It does sound like a great opportunity. Do yourself a favor, though, and make sure your readers/judges are actual horror fans. Otherwise they'll pick some god awful horror parody script that's guaranteed to fail.

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          • #6
            Re: Opinion on prize

            I'd probably enter... sounds more interesting than some.

            But then, my ideal would be the Raymond Chandler Blue Dahlia Prize: you get put up in an Airstream with booze, cigarettes and a "nurse". Two weeks later a script is due.

            Well... sounds like a prize to me.
            "Forget it, Jake. It's Hollywood."

            My YouTube channel.

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            • #7
              Re: Opinion on prize

              Why not just produce the winner?

              I'm sure it would be better than the lame idea the production company comes up with, and since it's *the winner* it should be better written than anything they could develop. Everybody wins.

              - Bill
              Free Script Tips:
              http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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              • #8
                Re: Opinion on prize

                that's what i was gonna say. just make the prize a production deal. instead of rewriting what they have the winner can rewrite their own to fit the parameters they need.

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                • #9
                  Re: Opinion on prize

                  I think it would be a good opportunity for someone to see what it takes once that door is cracked open for them. A little experience never hurts.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Opinion on prize

                    Originally posted by Tig View Post
                    I think it would be a good opportunity for someone to see what it takes once that door is cracked open for them. A little experience never hurts.
                    The promise of a production is too risky of a thing to offer. It's a $100k commitment as opposed to a $2500 commitment.

                    I don't know if it's so much a door being cracked open as an experience that will motivate and inspire the writers to keep going. I don't know if a credit on a 100k film changes your life career-wise, but I know I have learned more from being on the set of movies and being involved in the creative process. I think that's why I am one of the few teachers who has a product on Theme in the marketplace. I see how everyone--dp, actor, writer, director, production designer, make up, costume--has to work together to create the ideas in a film. But then I try to teach screenwriters how to steal/recognize the skills from the arena of all of those other crew people and use it in their writing.

                    I will update soon if I can offer the prize.

                    Also, I will announce an increase in the Grand Prize if a certain number of scripts are received.

                    More soon.

                    Jim

                    Please sign up for my newsletter Craft & Career which will debut this summer. I think one of my first topics will be "Exploiting Concept."

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