Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

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  • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by emily blake View Post
    While searching for threads that answer your question, Iggy, I found THIS THREAD that YOU started, in which Greg tells you about the process.
    Wow! Completely blank on that! Thanks.

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    • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

      Originally posted by iggy View Post
      This category idea's got me bewildered.

      I wasn't going to enter this year because of plot problems at the end of Act 2. But if the other aspects are the best I can make them should I enter? Definitely not going to win or make semi's with a script with plot problems, right?
      the categories mean nothing in the long run. all genres have equal weight.

      but i would suggest to you to save your money at this point since it's not a contest that gives feedback or a scoring card. try Page -- their last submission date is the same, but you can get feedback... i think.

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      • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

        Originally posted by emily blake View Post
        While searching for threads that answer your question, Iggy, I found THIS THREAD that YOU started, in which Greg tells you about the process.
        Wait... I see Greg explained in that thread that a strong positive score is an 80 or above.

        I don't see the categories they rate to arrive at the total score.

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        • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

          Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
          the categories mean nothing in the long run. all genres have equal weight.

          but i would suggest to you to save your money at this point since it's not a contest that gives feedback or a scoring card. try Page -- their last submission date is the same, but you can get feedback... i think.
          Oh, I didn't mean genres. I mean categories to score like dialogue, formatting (but Greg said there's no formatting category in the Nicholl), etc.

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          • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

            A recommendation:

            Don't worry about categories.
            Don't worry about competitions.
            Don't worry about readers.
            Don't worry about agents.
            Don't worry about managers.
            Don't worry about producers.
            Don't worry about executives.

            If you must:

            Worry about finding and developing a great story.
            Worry about writing the best script you can write.
            Worry about writing your next script - and the one after that.

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            • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

              Please... just tell me the categories so I can stop thinking about it.

              Please. I beg you.

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              • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                Iggy, I've read the final round of a big contest for the last couple of years. And I'll offer you this perspective: the numbers and categories never play into what I advance. I read a script and think "that was great. It's moving on." Then I make sure the numbers reflect that.

                I never read a script that's so so, fill in the numbers, and think "huh, turns out that script was great. I didn't really like it, but the numbers don't lie."

                I also will go back at the end and adjust the numbers so they reflect my order. There's no mathematical precision to it - what's the formula that differentiates an 8 from a 9 in dialogue?

                Write a compelling script, and it will advance.

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                • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                  Originally posted by iggy View Post
                  Please... just tell me the categories so I can stop thinking about it.

                  Please. I beg you.
                  please stop begging. you're getting ridiculous.
                  here - use this as a guide for ALL your scripts:


                  VOICE - Your voice is the style and personality with which you write. A strong voice should resonate long after the material has been read. It is the one aspect of screen writing that can not be taught, rewritten or developed through traditional development methods. It can however be developed by the writer themselves as they hone their skills and craft.

                  FORMAT - There are specific guidelines for writing screenplays. Are the guidelines being met? The format of your script is the first impression. A script that does not have proper formatting lacks professionalism. Formatting allows an experienced reader to scan material in a way that he or she understands what is happening and what is being said, without being bogged down in dense text.

                  STORY- The story includes the hook, the set up and the pay-off. Do the first ten pages hook the audience and is the story engaging enough to sustain their attention for a full 90 minutes?

                  STRUCTURE - Does the screenplay have a clear 3 act structure with beginning, middle and end? If not does it benefit the story? Does the end of act one challenge your protagonist, pose a question or force him/her to make a decision?

                  THEME - The theme of the film is what you want people talking about when they leave the cinema. Why do we care? Beyond the story and characters, what is your film about?

                  TONE - Tone is most likely determined by genre, so the question here is how well the tone of the screenplay compliments the genre.

                  PREMISE/ CONCEPT - How clear is the premise to identify? Is it a high concept premise, or low concept? Is it a genre driven concept, or character driven.

                  PLOT POINTS - Do the plot points twist and turn the story in unpredictable ways? Do the plot points add to the dramatic tension, provide obstacles for the protagonist in accomplishing his goal?

                  PACING - How well does your screenplay flow? Are the dramatic stakes constantly rising or is there a lull in the action? Pacing is closely related to structure so if the structure is flawed, pacing will often suffer.

                  CONFLICT - Conflict provides dramatic tension. Conflict is the driving force of any story and usually involves physical (man v man) and emotional (man v himself) conflict. What’s at stake for our protagonist?

                  CHARACTERIZATION - Are your characters likable and relatable? Are the character motivations believable? Does their personality fit their character? Do they have a strong, clear character arch? What do they learn and how do they change from beginning to end?

                  DIALOGUE - Dialogue should be natural, not "on the nose." People rarely talk like you write. People talk over each other, have accents, emphasize certain words and speak with different inclinations. Do all your characters sound a like? If the reader just read the dialogue, would they know which of your characters is speaking?

                  MARKETABILITY - How easy is this concept to market? Can the concept be conveyed easily on a movie poster? What is the merchandising potential? (Action Figures, Happy Meals, video games?) Does it have sequel or franchise potential? Does the concept lend itself to any of the new forms of marketing and distribution models? (Trans-media, social networking.) Is it a viral concept?

                  CAST-ABILITY - Are your characters rich and memorable? Do they scream out for a particular actor or actress? Will the characters prove challenging to a leading actor or actress or are they run of the mill characters that we've seen a thousand time before?

                  COMMERCIALITY - How broad is your film? Is it a 4 quadrant summer tent-pole or is it a personal, niche oriented film destined to a limited release in art house theaters.

                  MARKET POTENTIAL (SALABILITY) - The trends and needs of the market place change often. One day something is hot, the next its not. How easy is this film to sell according to the current landscape of the industry?
                  taken from some other contest guidelines.
                  Last edited by NikeeGoddess; 04-20-2012, 04:16 PM.

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                  • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                    Iggy, I've read the final round of a big contest for the last couple of years. And I'll offer you this perspective: the numbers and categories never play into what I advance. I read a script and think "that was great. It's moving on." Then I make sure the numbers reflect that.

                    I never read a script that's so so, fill in the numbers, and think "huh, turns out that script was great. I didn't really like it, but the numbers don't lie."

                    I also will go back at the end and adjust the numbers so they reflect my order. There's no mathematical precision to it - what's the formula that differentiates an 8 from a 9 in dialogue?

                    Write a compelling script, and it will advance.
                    Thanks. That makes perfect sense. Made me curious about 2 things: Do you ever get scripts at that stage which you think are only so so?

                    When you say "That's great. It's moving on." Do you think in terms of contest scripts and judge less harshly than you'd judge a script by a professional screenwriter?

                    Thanks!

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                    • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                      Nice post, NG, thanks.

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                      • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                        But you're really judged on how many spaces are after each period.

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                        • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                          Originally posted by iggy View Post
                          Thanks. That makes perfect sense. Made me curious about 2 things: Do you ever get scripts at that stage which you think are only so so?

                          When you say "That's great. It's moving on." Do you think in terms of contest scripts and judge less harshly than you'd judge a script by a professional screenwriter?

                          Thanks!
                          Yes.

                          No.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                            Was hoping to make the deadline for this, but it doesn't seem likely I will now.

                            Best of luck to those of you who enter (and not just 'cos I haven't made it)
                            @MacBullitt

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                            • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                              Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                              Yes.

                              No.
                              Thank

                              You.

                              Comment


                              • Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

                                Greg,

                                Now that you've got 2 readers grading every first round script, do you find the whole process is as subjective as everyone says?

                                Are you getting similar scores (total and across the categories) from both readers or are they wildly divergent?

                                Thanks!

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