Screenwriting contest feedback

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  • #16
    Re: Screenwriting contest feedback

    Originally posted by Rhodi View Post
    There are plenty of examples of non-native speakers making it in Hollywood, but typically they build up their portfolio in their local film industry and work from there. Perhaps you should try to get some writing credits in the German film industry while continuing to develop your English skills. Best of luck!
    Don't get me wrong-- many people have found great success, both financially and artistically, from writing in languages that are not their native tongues. Tom Stoppard's first language is Czech. Samuel Beckett was an English-speaker who wrote primarily in French. Nabokov translated his books into English, and within those translations can be found some of the most beautiful English-language sentences ever crafted. TTT, I don't mean to discourage you in any way from writing English-language screenplays, if that is your ambition. I just wanted to point out that you either need to study language more or be more vigilant in your grammar if you want your work to read coherently to English-speakers.

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    • #17
      Re: Screenwriting contest feedback

      Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
      Don't get me wrong-- many people have found great success, both financially and artistically, from writing in languages that are not their native tongues. Tom Stoppard's first language is Czech.
      Wow, thanks for this! I had no idea Tom Stoppard's first language was Czech. In fact, I just looked him up and saw he also wrote a screenplay Largo Desolato, which I think is by the (recently) late president Vaclav Havel. My second language is also Czech, so this makes me happy. Shakespeare in Love is a beautiful piece of work and now I can gloat a Czech wrote it! Whoohoa.

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      • #18
        Re: Screenwriting contest feedback

        Originally posted by TalesToTell View Post
        Hi there, I'd like to know what you think about screenwriting contests and their feedbacks.

        It's because I sent a script to a supposedly well known one, and in the feedback my main character 'faked his own death' (what he actually not did), meanwhile another's initial intention was a robbery (what's wrong as well).

        Is this the 'normal way', that in the heat of the contest the judges get lost (and maybe mix different scripts)? I mean, one pays for the feedback, and obviously hopes to 'be discovered' by this way. But it seems they don't even read the scripts well.

        Thanks in advance.

        To be honest, I sincerely doubt contest feedback is worth it. There are some very good consultants, who give better feedback, and I'd recommend using them instead.

        You enter competition's to either place or win, so that you can show the industry your stuff is worth reading. Other than that, the feedback, from just about all accounts, is hit or miss.

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        • #19
          Re: Screenwriting contest feedback

          I think both VVC and Rhodi give good advice.

          I do not know what the problem with the contest feedback was - but it may have been a misunderstanding on the contest reader's part due to some small problem in translation. Or, they may have just read your script too fast and missed things - that happens in the production side as well.

          You might start with your home country's film industry - if it is Germany, that's good: they have a very active TV and TV movie business that often hires Americans because there are not enough German writers. Writing in your native language will be easier, and you are also closer to the companies that might hire you. Much of this business is knowing people and meeting with people, and it will be easier to meet with people in your own country. There are many people who beciome successful in their own country, and Hollywood hires them. Look at the stars of Hollywood movies: how many are Americans?

          Good luck!

          - Bill (Marc Norman wrote SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE)
          Free Script Tips:
          http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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          • #20
            Re: Screenwriting contest feedback

            Tom Stoppard's parents were Czech, but he grew up in English speaking colonies and was educated at English speaking schools. His stepfather was also English. I doubt we would regard English as his second language. Interesting, though, that England (or Czech Republic)'s most brilliant and intellectual playwright didn't go to university. He did have a hand in writing Shakespeare in Love, but wasn't the creator. On the other hand, English was the second language of Conrad. From memory, I don't think he even visited England until his twenties.

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