Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

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  • Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

    Quick Q: is it worth entering a well-written genre script in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship competition? Obviously for a $35 to $65 entry fee, the answer is probably "couldn't hurt to try," but has anyone had any success with a heavily genre-based script in this competition? Such as quarterfinals or semis?

  • #2
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

    Originally posted by Eric Boellner View Post
    Quick Q: is it worth entering a well-written genre script in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship competition? Obviously for a $35 to $65 entry fee, the answer is probably "couldn't hurt to try," but has anyone had any success with a heavily genre-based script in this competition? Such as quarterfinals or semis?
    I had a sports drama get to the QF twice.

    A domestic drama QF.

    A crime drama/thriller QF.

    And a drama/action (sort of half and half) make it to the "next 100" after the QFs.

    So -- only my domestic drama wasn't considered genre, imo. Though, most of the endings had one person sort of succeed and another major character sort of lose (at whatever their inner goal was) -- so not all happy-happy-joy-joy going on.

    Really -- to echo you, it can't hurt to try. Get it ready ahead of time and enter when it's cheap. Good luck.
    Last edited by figment; 12-12-2014, 02:14 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

      If it's a well-written genre script, it will do well in the Nicholl. I had an action-thriller make the top 50 semifinals of the Nicholl in 2013. Same script won the bronze in this year's PAGE (Action category).

      It's all about the writing. I've had past Nicholl semifinalist scripts that were political thriller and supernatural thriller, and quarterfinalist scripts that were dance (similar to a sports genre) and science fiction.

      My current semifinalist script is a family script starring a dog. Really, you can't get more "genre" than what I write.

      Is your script entertaining? Does it move the reader emotionally? Laughter, tears, adrenaline?

      If so, it should do well in the Nicholl.

      Late Night Writer

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      • #4
        Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

        our own XL (Lee Patterson) won the Nicholl with "Snatched" -- a contained(ish) psychological thriller

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        • #5
          Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

          Thanks guys. Good stuff here, and congrats on the successes. I'm not counting on the Nicholl really, but I imagine a qf or sf placement could only help. It would at least be something to mention in queries.

          I think the reason I was curious is that the genre script I'm currently rewriting is a bit more commercial than artistic, but the intention is to write something both entertaining and moving. Die Hard and The Grey are two inspirations. I just wasn't sure if the Nicholl was more... artsy, to use a familiar term. Like I assume Sundance is.

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          • #6
            Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

            James Simpson (Deus Ex Machine) was also a finalist with "Armored" and sold it to Sony before the fellowships were awarded.

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            • #7
              Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

              No kidding. Be interesting to read that script.

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              • #8
                Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                Originally posted by Eric Boellner View Post
                Quick Q: is it worth entering a well-written genre script in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship competition? Obviously for a $35 to $65 entry fee, the answer is probably "couldn't hurt to try," but has anyone had any success with a heavily genre-based script in this competition? Such as quarterfinals or semis?
                In 2014, the ten finalists consisted of:

                comedy drama
                fantasy family drama
                historical comedy
                historical drama
                romantic drama
                romantic science fiction drama
                romantic zombie comedy
                science fiction action
                supernatural action adventure
                supernatural historical action adventure

                Here's a list of the Top 50 scripts, with genres and log lines, in the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships competition from our Facebook page:
                2014 Academy Nicholl Top 50

                Each year, we also post genres of quarter/semi/finalists/fellows on the Nicholl Facebook page.

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                • #9
                  Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                  Hi, Greg.

                  Can you say when the quarterfinalist scripts will be posted?

                  Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                    Thanks Greg. Looking through the list now, and it's very helpful.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                      I think genre matters very little and writers using the genre excuse for not advancing are looking for just that...an excuse.

                      If I'm not mistaken, one of the Nicholl winning scripts has the F-bomb in the title.

                      Instead of asking questions about which genres advance, ask yourself these questions:

                      Does my script explore wants vs needs in my hero?

                      Does my setting provide the proper laboratory for creating conflict?

                      Does my B storyline provide valuable story events that affect the A storyline?

                      Does my narrative do a good job of setting up the visuals I need the reader to see and understand?

                      Does my Villain seem motivated and unbeatable?

                      There's many, many, many more questions to ask yourself but its too early in the morning to go on. Bottom line is that they are looking for scripts that make a statement. Scripts written by writers that did their homework. Scripts that have a good concept and good craftsmanship.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                        Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
                        James Simpson (Deus Ex Machine) was also a finalist with "Armored" and sold it to Sony before the fellowships were awarded.
                        Originally posted by Eric Boellner View Post
                        No kidding. Be interesting to read that script.
                        It's good stuff. Worth reading.
                        Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                          Originally posted by Storytell View Post
                          Hi, Greg.

                          Can you say when the quarterfinalist scripts will be posted?

                          Thanks.
                          Well, they were posted under the Ceremony tab at http://www.oscars.org/nicholl until some time towards the end of last week. When I looked Saturday morning, they weren't there - and this morning my colleagues confirmed their disappearance.

                          We're hopeful that the 2014 quarter/semi/finalist/fellows lists will reappear later today.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                            A contained thriller optioned through Nicholl (even without placing) started my screenwriting career in my country. So, the answer is a resounding YES.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Nicholl Fellowship and Genre Scripts

                              Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
                              Well, they were posted under the Ceremony tab at http://www.oscars.org/nicholl until some time towards the end of last week. When I looked Saturday morning, they weren't there - and this morning my colleagues confirmed their disappearance.

                              We're hopeful that the 2014 quarter/semi/finalist/fellows lists will reappear later today.
                              Apparently, an edit broke a page link. Quarter/semi/finalist/fellows lists are back up.

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