Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

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  • #61
    Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

    Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post

    ... But let me ask you this: Would you want to have your script substituted into the Semi-Final Round after the fact, knowing that it was coming in at the bottom of the list?

    Since PAGE allows writers to submit an updated draft at this point, and given that there is a level of subjectivity in judging, not to mention that hope, as they say, springs eternal, I suspect most writers would answer that question with a yes.

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    • #62
      Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

      I would also answer that question with a yes. It sounds as though you think the next script would be completely unworthy of going up by one place. Someone had to be the 26th after the top 25. Also you say yourself in the email you send out with results info., that with different readers, who knows if the top 25 would indeed be the same. I can tell you this, I entered a script that one year didn't even get to the QF, the next year it was in the TOP TEN Finals. So it is unfair to make writers feel guilty, unworthy and maybe even embarrassed to be moved up after another writer has been caught cheating.

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      • #63
        Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

        Agree w/P-Jay. The revised draft makes the difference for me. Otherwise i'd say no. Of course no way to tell if #26 will submit a revision. I would.

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        • #64
          Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

          Originally posted by liverbird View Post
          I would also answer that question with a yes. It sounds as though you think the next script would be completely unworthy of going up by one place. Someone had to be the 26th after the top 25. Also you say yourself in the email you send out with results info., that with different readers, who knows if the top 25 would indeed be the same. I can tell you this, I entered a script that one year didn't even get to the QF, the next year it was in the TOP TEN Finals. So it is unfair to make writers feel guilty, unworthy and maybe even embarrassed to be moved up after another writer has been caught cheating.
          Wow, you're very quick to assume the worst of me! I was not implying that the scripts that score next in line are "completely unworthy" at at. Many very good scripts just missed the Top 25 cut this year.

          And I do not have either the power or the desire to "make" anybody feel guilty, unworthy or embarrassed. Why on earth would I want to do that?

          I was simply asking how you guys would feel about being in that position, since this is something we've never done before. I can imagine that some writers would be grateful for the chance to have their scripts read by the next round of judges. I can also imagine that some writers would feel it was awkward or bittersweet or embarrassing because they'd know that their script didn't make the initial cut. So I was interested in hearing your thoughts about the idea, to see how you'd feel and to try to figure out if this was a new policy we should consider implementing.

          Now I'm sorry I asked!

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          • #65
            Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

            Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
            Now I'm sorry I asked!
            Why? Your question was answered.

            And people may infer something you didn't intend when you load the question you're asking with a disclaimer that a substitute script would be "coming in at the bottom of the list".

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            • #66
              Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

              That bottom of the list script, number 26 would have been the 25th script if the ineligible writer had not entered. I feel thats the point that The Page Awards is missing. And the ineligible writer can still use the semi-finalist placement as an honor. For me, they ultimately still got a good result from cheating even though they will not be read again.

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              • #67
                Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
                But let me ask you this: Would you want to have your script substituted into the Semi-Final Round after the fact, knowing that it was coming in at the bottom of the list?
                Yeah, I have to agree with what the posters above are saying.

                I think PAGE is recognized as one of the best-run contests out there. And we do all appreciate the organizers coming to this forum to answer writers' questions (which they don't have to do).

                But --

                You probably should have thought twice about asking if we would feel okay with having our script bumped up to semifinalist level in the case that another one was disqualified. Mainly for two reasons:

                1) If someone just missed the cut, that means their script was pretty close in quality to the one above it (and given the range of subjectivity among readers, may even have been better); and

                2) Given how hard it is to break into this industry, no writer in his right mind would feel bad about getting another shot at exposure, especially if the shot occurs because someone else broke the rules.

                Oh, and on the topic of rules -- based on your previous post, it seems that when it comes to determining if someone eligible to enter the contest, PAGE utilizes an honor system. So, you trust people to tell the truth when they are self-reporting whether they are below the earnings limit, etc. I can understand doing this at the initial level, since there are so many entrants.

                However, not making a proactive effort to confirm eligibility after the QFs are announced seems rather problematic, as I'm guessing at least a few writers out there would be willing to lie in order to get some heat going for their latest script. As of right now, it seems PAGE just has QFs complete an eligibility questionnaire, so it is once again self-reporting, which is subject to dishonesty. I posed a concern of this nature to the Nicholl competition once, and I was assured by the organizers that they check to confirm eligibility after the Quarterfinals are identified (through examining film and TV credits, etc.). That seems like a smart way to conduct disqualifications (in addition to checking sites that post sales/option deals such as DDP and the Scoggins Report).

                Of course, I could be wrong in the above paragraph, and PAGE could indeed have such a system in place (it would instill more faith in the whole process if this was clarified on the website).
                "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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                • #68
                  Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                  Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
                  And people may infer something you didn't intend when you load the question you're asking with a disclaimer that a substitute script would be "coming in at the bottom of the list".
                  Sorry, I don't see how that's "loaded." It's not a disclaimer, it's simply a fact. A substituted script would obviously be scoring at the bottom of the list. It's something the writer would know, and it's the crux of the problem.

                  Doesn't mean it's not a good screenplay! It's still scoring better than the other 400-1200 scripts in its category.

                  But there's a big question in my mind as to how the writer whose script was substituted would react in those circumstances.

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                  • #69
                    Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                    Originally posted by liverbird View Post
                    That bottom of the list script, number 26 would have been the 25th script if the ineligible writer had not entered. I feel thats the point that The Page Awards is missing. And the ineligible writer can still use the semi-finalist placement as an honor. For me, they ultimately still got a good result from cheating even though they will not be read again.

                    You keep using the word "cheating." Just to be clear, I don't think most (if any) of these writers are intentionally trying to cheat. I think they simply neglect to read the rules when they enter and don't realize that they're ineligible.

                    Witness the fact that when I emailed that message out this summer reminding our Quarter-Finalists of the rules, several came forward and told us they were ineligible and apologized for their mistake. If they were intentionally trying to cheat, why would they do that? They wouldn't! They'd lie and let their script advance as far as possible in the contest.

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                    • #70
                      Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                      Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
                      Yeah, I have to agree with what the posters above are saying.

                      I think PAGE is recognized as one of the best-run contests out there. And we do all appreciate the organizers coming to this forum to answer writers' questions (which they don't have to do).

                      But --

                      You probably should have thought twice about asking if we would feel okay with having our script bumped up to semifinalist level in the case that another one was disqualified. Mainly for two reasons:

                      1) If someone just missed the cut, that means their script was pretty close in quality to the one above it (and given the range of subjectivity among readers, may even have been better); and

                      2) Given how hard it is to break into this industry, no writer in his right mind would feel bad about getting another shot at exposure, especially if the shot occurs because someone else broke the rules.

                      No doubt. Clearly, I should never have asked. I certainly will not make that mistake again.

                      However, I'm afraid that you are sadly mistaken if you think that writers can't get upset or feel bad over just about anything. For example, when we used to send out Round 2 notifications, we'd have writers send us outraged emails once the Quarter-Finalists were announced telling us that we shouldn't have "led them on" or that they'd prefer not to have known they advanced to Round 2 if they weren't going to advance to the Quarter-Finals, etc. etc. (sigh...)

                      Re our confirmation process, yes, there is honor involved in it. And I'm happy to say that it seems most of our contestants are pretty honorable. Each year, when I've sent out our reminder messages and some writers realize that they didn't read the rules up front and aren't eligible, they have come forward and reported that to us, disqualifying themselves. And they "didn't have to do that" as you say.

                      As an additional bit of insurance, before we present the Awards, I do also do a search for any credits/deals the 31 potential winners might have on IMDb and in the trades before we actually announce the winners, and if I find something they haven't already told me about, I do investigate anything that looks questionable. But once again, I'm happy to say that thus far I've found our contestants to be quite honorable.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                        Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
                        However, I'm afraid that you are sadly mistaken if you think that writers can't get upset or feel bad over just about anything. For example, when we used to send out Round 2 notifications, we'd have writers send us outraged emails once the Quarter-Finalists were announced telling us that we shouldn't have "led them on" or that they'd prefer not to have known they advanced to Round 2 if they weren't going to advance to the Quarter-Finals, etc. etc. (sigh...)
                        That's fascinating.

                        Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
                        As an additional bit of insurance, before we present the Awards, I do also do a search for any credits/deals the 31 potential winners might have on IMDb and in the trades before we actually announce the winners, and if I find something they haven't already told me about, I do investigate anything that looks questionable. But once again, I'm happy to say that thus far I've found our contestants to be quite honorable.
                        Good to know
                        "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                          The PAGE eligibility rules are clearly stated on their website. I'd like to believe that the disqualified writers just "neglected" to read the rules.

                          For what it's worth, if I had a screenplay that just missed the semifinals at #26, I would jump at the chance to move into the spot vacated by a disqualified semifinalist. We all know how subjective judging can be (look at the variance in Black List scores). Greg Beal has said in the past that one thing that separates the Nicholl semifinalists from the top ten finalists is that the finalist scripts have at least one reader who falls in love with the script and champions it. How do we know that the #26 script won't find its champion in the semifinalist round?

                          The PAGE is one of the best contests out there. It's run with integrity and transparency. The fact that writers who advance to the semifinals are permitted to send in a recent draft of the script... that's so amazing. It shows genuine compassion for writers -- God knows we're always re-writing (and hopefully improving) scripts, as well as obsessing over the typos we failed to catch on the first submission.

                          Just a hunch but I bet the folks at the PAGE are seriously considering the feedback here.

                          Late Night Writer

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                          • #73
                            Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                            Originally posted by PAGE Awards View Post
                            Sorry, I don't see how that's "loaded." It's not a disclaimer, it's simply a fact. A substituted script would obviously be scoring at the bottom of the list. It's something the writer would know, and it's the crux of the problem.

                            Doesn't mean it's not a good screenplay! It's still scoring better than the other 400-1200 scripts in its category.

                            But there's a big question in my mind as to how the writer whose script was substituted would react in those circumstances.
                            Again, that question was answered. But it's apparent that you thought you knew the answer and was taken aback by the "wrong" answer.

                            Here's the thing: There is no "problem" with substituting scripts. The same principle is applied in sporting events and in a variety of other contests (just ask Miss America) and though there will always be the courteous thing to say, "I didn't want to win this way", I don't think anyone's ever given up that win.

                            You make it sound as if there's some ethical debate with doing something like this and that's just not the case. If anything, it's pretty cut and dried and not something to be ashamed of.

                            For the record, I did enter Page and made QF, but I think the script I entered has some major flaws and there's no way my script was #26 so my responses in this thread were more of an intellectual exercise for me and a chance to respond to what I thought was flawed reasoning by Page Awards.

                            Also, for the record, I don't think Page should have to investigate beyond what was already mentioned regarding the 31 potential winners.

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                            • #74
                              Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                              I am reminded of that scene in the Night Court pilot when Harry tells his snooty court clerk how he was appointed to the bench. The vacancy needed to be filled on on a Saturday and everybody else on the list of possible appointees wasn't home.

                              The clerk points out that he was on the bottom of the list. Harry points out, "Yes but I was on the list."

                              I doubt screenwriters would be insulted or ashamed or even reluctant to advance. I submitted two tv pilots to PAGE last year and they did not advance. One advanced in Austin and the other got 9 on the blacklist. A feature that made the PAGE semis last year didn't advance in a minor contest sponsored by my local screenwriting group.

                              One man's 26 is another man's 2 is another man's "set this script on fire and chop off the writer's hands so she never writes again."

                              ETA: I did not enter PAGE this year in any category, so I have no stake in this decision. But I did just miss out on a mentorship program a couple of years ago (12th place when only the top ten moved on) and I would have been absolutely thrilled if I had a second chance at that.
                              Last edited by bmcthomas; 08-24-2014, 07:09 AM.

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                              • #75
                                Re: Page International Screenwriting Awards 2014

                                Originally posted by bmcthomas View Post
                                One man's 26 is another man's 2 is another man's "set this script on fire and chop off the writer's hands so she never writes again."
                                Exactly. Which is why I would feel no shame in being plucked even from the very bottom of the contest and elevated to anything above that. Because if you get another read, it gives you one more chance to find a reader who will love your script.

                                My website:www.marjorykaptanoglu.com

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