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  • He placed SECOND

    http://www.thewrap.com/enders-game-a...iting-contest/

  • #2
    Re: He placed SECOND

    What do you make of that result?

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    • #3
      Re: He placed SECOND

      Maybe more concerning is the "automated evaluation process" and "scores are normalized and weighted according to our algorithm".

      Sounds a bit... mechanical.
      @hairingtons

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      • #4
        Re: He placed SECOND

        Looks like he did really well for a novice screenwriter.

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        • #5
          Re: He placed SECOND

          I think using the technicality of not actually being a screenwriter even though he is a novelist who seems to have done pretty well for himself does not make him look good. These amateur contests should be for amateur writers, imo. This man already has his foot in the door and probably many ways for him to get his script to "someone" unlike the 99% of the rest of the entrants.
          This is not a coverage only contest. If he wanted only scores then he could have gotten scores and evaluations from plenty of other places. I have entered this contest so I know how it goes, if you want coverage it is a separate charge and you can get it without entering an amateur contest.
          Again, just what I think. I'm sure other pro writers will disagree.

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          • #6
            Re: He placed SECOND

            Bizarre... Can't wrap my head around why a novelist with his creds would enter a no-name screenplay contest? So weird...

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            • #7
              Re: He placed SECOND

              So what this tells me is that the system works--a proven writer who also happens to be a novice screenwriter-- does well in an anonymous screenplay contest.

              His evident strengths elevated him to the top of the heap, fair and square.

              To me, that suggests the competition must be hiring fine readers/judges or whatever who are able to spot talent.

              What else could you take away from this? Does anyone see anything wrong with this outcome?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: He placed SECOND

                The contest itself says "technically" he followed the rules but then listed another second place winner as well as him. So this year they had two second place winners because of this "novice screenwriter". This makes me think even the contest organizers themselves think this is a little off. Anyway, thank goodness JK Rowling's first script, Fantastic Beasts, got made into a movie otherwise she could have entered next year.

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                • #9
                  Re: He placed SECOND

                  Originally posted by ewtaylor View Post
                  Looks like he did really well for a novice screenwriter.
                  I've said this before and I'll say this again, but one of the biggest challenges facing young writers is how to evaluate their own material. How do you read what you wrote and see it for what it is, not what you wanted it to be when you were writing it.

                  If you don't have this skill, it's almost impossible to write a good screenplay. If you do have this skill, you won't submit a screenplay that isn't good, because you'll KNOW that it isn't good.

                  As a successful novelist, it seems almost certain that Card as developed this skill. Nor would he be the first novelist to jump to screenwriting with significantly better results than a raw newbie. If you know how to write, you know how to write.

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                  • #10
                    Re: He placed SECOND

                    I see this confusion / mix up/ ambiguity about "pro and amateur" the least interesting part of this thread, though it does suggest that the organization might need to tighten up their rules as they basically conceded that they see a case can be made either way by making two Second place winners.

                    As a true amateur, I remain heartened to see that [what we must assume was] good writing was identified as such in what we are lead to understand is a "blind taste test." If I don't win some contest, I'd at least like to think that the talented judging found better writing.

                    I'd be concerned, though I guess not shocked, if an anonymous screenwriter who actually had real credentials failed to get through the first rounds of several contests, as that might suggest poor judging.

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                    • #11
                      Re: He placed SECOND

                      I have been sitting here trying to think of something profound, witty, or maybe just nasty to say, but I really do not want to be nasty, and my wit has run dry, and my profundity can do nothing better than the trite and trivial.

                      So I will just throw out a few observations.

                      Some novelists did not do well when they tried their hand at playwriting (which I will take as roughly equivalent to screenwriting for the sake of this discussion). I am mostly quoting other people here. Cervantes (Don Quixote, you know) is not regarded as a great dramatist. I do not know. I have not read any of his plays. But I read that somewhere. It was something written by somebody who was supposed to know about these things.

                      Henry James, a great novelist from a technical point of view (though his works will probably bore you to death), tried plays but failed.

                      I have read that Tolstoy was little more than a flop as a dramatist. Again, I do not know. But I am still working on reading his novel War and Peace, and I have to say that it is magnificent. It is truly fascinating and enthralling. It is hard to understand how such a heavyweight talent could not have written plays that were impressive. I think it probably relates less to talent than to interest and technique. Some novels are wonderful because they draw the reader into a world where characters are inseparable from the writing style, because they have become part of the narrative texture - the language, the turns of phrase, and the wit of the implied or explicit storyteller. A novelist who relishes in style as a means of building effective characters is probably not going to do so well in drama, where everything depends on images, action, and dialogue. The dramatist does not get to smirk with readers or whisper praise, reproach, or explanations to them.

                      Despite the failures of some novelists to achieve stature as dramatists, it is true that someone who has learned to write well in the novel genre at least has some notions about good dialogue and storytelling and is able (we hope) to use language well. Competency in language is really important. That is why I stress it so much.

                      "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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                      • #12
                        Re: He placed SECOND

                        I'm smelling marketing and promotion for the contest.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: He placed SECOND

                          It probably depends on the novelist and their writing style. Orson Scott Card is a compelling author, but his dialogue and style are fairly straightforward. I'd imagine that translates to screenwriting pretty well.

                          On the other hand, you have someone like Michael Cunningham, whose books are wonderful (and have been adapted into some fantastic movies - The Hours being a notable one). But his script for Evening is...well, it's not bad. The movie is still lovely. But it's very novelistic. The dialogue doesn't quite sound like naturalistic dialogue, it's got just that hint of stylization that you can get away with in novels.

                          I do think that on the whole, if you can write then you can write. But there are some differing conventions that make crossing over difficult.

                          As for this contest, my bet is that Card entered on a lark to see how he'd do. This isn't his first time writing a script (he's written a couple of plays), but the only film project I've heard he was connected to was religious, uncredited, and could be a rumor.

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                          • #14
                            Re: He placed SECOND

                            Originally posted by SBdeb View Post
                            So what this tells me is that the system works--a proven writer who also happens to be a novice screenwriter-- does well in an anonymous screenplay contest.

                            His evident strengths elevated him to the top of the heap, fair and square.

                            To me, that suggests the competition must be hiring fine readers/judges or whatever who are able to spot talent.

                            What else could you take away from this? Does anyone see anything wrong with this outcome?
                            Agreed. To me it's like giving someone a bow and arrow, asking them to hit a target from a football field away, and then saying, "Oh, he only hit the second ring."

                            It may not be a bullseye, but it's still far better than random chance would predict, so it actually affirms the legitimacy of the contest process more than it damages it.

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