Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

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    acquaformosa
    Regular

  • acquaformosa
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Very true. The year I was a Finalist (seems like light years now), a Finalist script was sold (by whatever definition that might mean), though we'll never know if that particular script might have gone to win a Fellowship.

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  • Ronaldinho
    Member

  • Ronaldinho
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by LighterD View Post
    I think one of the finalist scripts sold "Road to Oz" before the fellowship selection. So that may have been the fifth choice, maybe not.
    This happens all the time, though.

    I believe the Nicholl's rules are that, if you sell a script during the competition, the deal can't close and you can't get paid until after the fellowships are awarded.

    But there's only a tiny chance that a script which sold in September or October would have signed contracts before the early-November awards ceremony, and it would be a non issue for the legal departments in question to just stall for a couple of weeks if it was an issue.

    I believe more than one of the fellows scripts were optioned or sold before the awards ceremony last year, but "sold" in Hollywood parlance generally means that the handshake has been struck, and that's it.

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  • tinlizzie
    Regular

  • tinlizzie
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by LighterD View Post
    I think one of the finalist scripts sold "Road to Oz" before the fellowship selection. So that may have been the fifth choice, maybe not.
    This - especially since most of the people who have read it seemed sure it would be one of the five. Maybe the sale took it out of the running and the judges simply decided not to substitute a second choice.

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  • Howie428
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by anxt View Post
    Not sure about the vanilla ice cream analogy, but I would say that a universally-loved script deserves to win more than a "love it or hate it" script. Adding judges and scores lends credibility to the process, because it lessens the impact of a flukey score, and confirms the merit of scripts that receive consistently high scores.
    Something "universally-loved" would be at the top, although I'd venture that to be loved a script probably needs an edge or an original aspect that wouldn't work for some people. The nature of popularity contests is that you're more likely to see things that are universally not-hated rise to the top.

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  • LighterD
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    I think one of the finalist scripts sold "Road to Oz" before the fellowship selection. So that may have been the fifth choice, maybe not.

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  • LateNightWriter
    Member

  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    I have to say, I agree with Howie on this. I would assume that the judges would find all 10 finalist scripts worthy of a fellowship and have to struggle to narrow it down to five.

    I find it disheartening that out of the top 10 from 7,511 scripts they only felt four deserved the fellowship.

    Late Night Writer

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  • anxt
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Not sure about the vanilla ice cream analogy, but I would say that a universally-loved script deserves to win more than a "love it or hate it" script. Adding judges and scores lends credibility to the process, because it lessens the impact of a flukey score, and confirms the merit of scripts that receive consistently high scores.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howie428
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    well, maybe only 7,500ish

    but i think it speaks more to the challenge of writing a script that highly engages three QF judges, three more SF judges, and then the 14 finalist judges. finding one reader who loves any given script that much is hard enough as it is
    By saying we need to impress all these people you're getting into a questionable feature of all popularity contests. If you have a best ice cream contest, plain vanilla always wins once the number of judges gets high enough.

    A contest like Nicholl begins with the specificity of the first round judges, but the further you go the more judges are added. They make some allowance for this by dropping low scores, but ultimately it'll be tough to get through with a love it/hate it script.

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  • Howie428
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by acquaformosa View Post
    I guess my question to Howie428 would be . . . what has changed today on October 7th that you didn't already know when you submitted your script back in Mar/Apr/May? It's fairly common knowledge that QF totals are in the 200s . . . the Semis are in the low 100s . . . and then there's something like 10 Finalists before picking the Fellows.
    The main change is that I would have expected them to be having a hard time deciding on the five winners. I would have expected that far more than five of the 7,511 would be valid and worthy winners, and that the judges would be pained by the need to pick just five.

    It turns out however that they couldn't even find five.

    That's either a comment on the entries, or it's a question mark on the process that selected the finalists, or I guess you could throw in the possibility that the committee had a big row and couldn't agree on a fifth choice.

    Whatever the explanation, I think it's fair to point out that this is not an outcome I'd have expected.

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  • JoeBanks
    Member

  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by Howie428 View Post
    As an entrant into this year's contest, I find this news a bit disturbing. You're saying that from 7,511 entries you could only find four "promising new screenwriters-?

    So 7,507 of the entries are no-hopers. That's bleak.
    well, maybe only 7,500ish

    but i think it speaks more to the challenge of writing a script that highly engages three QF judges, three more SF judges, and then the 14 finalist judges. finding one reader who loves any given script that much is hard enough as it is

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  • acquaformosa
    Regular

  • acquaformosa
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by Howie428 View Post
    As an entrant into this year's contest, I find this news a bit disturbing. You're saying that from 7,511 entries you could only find four "promising new screenwriters-?

    So 7,507 of the entries are no-hopers. That's bleak.
    As Greg pointed out (and as stated in the rules), this isn't exactly a sudden revelation. Becoming a Finalist . . . much less winning the Fellowship . . . is a longshot and it's why it's such a big deal. For whatever the reasons and we all acknowledge that subjectivity with written works is certainly a strange animal, the committee chose four scripts instead of five. Each Finalist also has to submit a Letter to the Committee, which might have also played a small part in the decision. Who knows?

    I guess my question to Howie428 would be . . . what has changed today on October 7th that you didn't already know when you submitted your script back in Mar/Apr/May? It's fairly common knowledge that QF totals are in the 200s . . . the Semis are in the low 100s . . . and then there's something like 10 Finalists before picking the Fellows.

    Leave a comment:


  • Howie428
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    As an entrant into this year's contest, I find this news a bit disturbing. You're saying that from 7,511 entries you could only find four "promising new screenwriters-?

    So 7,507 of the entries are no-hopers. That's bleak.

    Leave a comment:

  • acquaformosa
    Regular

  • acquaformosa
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    No, this isn't correct. As mentioned above, the rules state "up to five fellowships," so committee members don't have the discretion to award a sixth fellowship.

    If there were an extraordinary desire on the part of a majority of committee members to award a sixth fellowship in a given year (which has never happened), I don't know whether the five fellowship limit could be exceeded. When and if the push for six occurs, we'll find out.
    My bad, Greg. Shoulda looked it up since I'm discovering (lately) that relying on my memory isn't such a good idea anymore. Case in point . . .

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  • gregbeal
    Member

  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by acquaformosa View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, I don't believe there's necessariy any hard-n-fast rules regarding the number of scripts that might be chosen for a fellowship. In other words, there could also be six scripts chosen, just as easily as four. Kinda like the new Oscar rules for Best Picture nominations . . . kinda.
    No, this isn't correct. As mentioned above, the rules state "up to five fellowships," so committee members don't have the discretion to award a sixth fellowship.

    If there were an extraordinary desire on the part of a majority of committee members to award a sixth fellowship in a given year (which has never happened), I don't know whether the five fellowship limit could be exceeded. When and if the push for six occurs, we'll find out.

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  • gregbeal
    Member

  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Academy Nicholl Fellowships - 2014 - Questions & Answers

    Originally posted by LateNightWriter View Post
    Am I reading the fellowship results correctly, Greg? Only four of the ten finalist scripts (rather than five) were awarded fellowships this year? Does that mean the judges didn't find at least five scripts worthy of a fellowship?

    Given the extraordinary level of quality in this competition, that seems unusual.

    Late Night Writer
    Competition rules read that "Up to five $35,000 fellowships are awarded annually," and Academy Nicholl Committee members made the decision this year only to award four. That had last happened in 1995.

    The writers of the remaining six screenplays simply did not garner enough support from committee members during the selection meeting.

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