My first contest

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  • My first contest

    Dear all,

    I am a new member here, as I found this forum after searching for reviews on reputable contests. I know there are some who are against contests, but me living in Europe, I don't have another option(?) to approach agents or production companies.

    My script is a high concept, sci-fi feature and my plan is to submit to Page, Austin, Nicholls, and possibly TrackingB and Scriptapalooza.

    The motivation for screenplay competitions came when I heard about the first look project from the script pipeline, several years ago. Now that the script is done and after more research it seems that the script pipeline is not so well regarded around here. At least on comparison to other contests.

    I am not interest in money, just representation and script circulation within the industry. I was wondering if there is any strategy that you'd suggest me to follow regarding submission.

  • #2
    Re: My first contest

    Those are all good competitions and will definitely give you a little extra to put into your queries if you place. It is also a good way to determine if your script is ready. If you reach quarterfinals or higher on one or two, that's a decent indicator. But if you don't place in any of them, it might be a good idea to get some feedback on your script to see if a rewrite might be in order.

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    • #3
      Re: My first contest

      Thanks. Sounds that I am aiming for the quarterfinals then.

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      • #4
        Re: My first contest

        Originally posted by nostromo View Post
        Thanks. Sounds that I am aiming for the quarterfinals then.
        No, no, no, no! You aim for the FINALS.

        You SETTLE for quarters... (well, actually, semis)

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        • #5
          Re: My first contest

          Ok. Yes you are right.

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          • #6
            representation

            As a subquestion on this thread, is it possible and would it be advisable to seek representation at the same time I am waiting for results?

            I am asking because today I received some great feedback on my script from a reader that works for a major distribution company, here in Europe.

            It feels that it might be a waste of time, or a bit unproductive to wait for several months on a potentialy marketable script. This made me wonder if there is an option of contacting some managers or agents directly, and if this would be advisable.

            The person who read the script proposed to bring me in touch with independent companies, and it sounded that the best outcome would "only" lead to a sale. As I have no idea about the height of the payment, or how independent companies do work, as opposed to studios, I am a bitt baffled. As I mentioned, my main interest is to cross the gates and get decent representation.

            Any thoughts?

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            • #7
              Re: My first contest

              Hi there.

              If you have confidence in your script, it would be advisable to seek representation as you wait, and it is common for writers to do so.

              Remember, there are no real rules for this. Instead, it is your job to be a go-getter, being entrepreneurial in your pursuits.

              If money is of little concern, you could also submit your work to the BlackList website, which will have a much faster process of evaluation than the contests you entered.

              In the meantime, you could also try to query producers or managers if you have the time. Or you could keep honing your craft while you wait for the contests' results. It's up to you.

              just my 2 cents

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              • #8
                Re: My first contest

                also, previously i didn't read the part about you having good feedback from the reader

                yea, that sounds like a nice opportunity if it pans out

                also, for most people pursuing this craft, their main goal is to make a living at their craft -- and obtaining representation is only a means towards potentially (or potentially not) getting that main goal. in other words, doing business with that contact should be higher on your list of priorities than a writing contest or querying reps, in my opinion

                You'll need to become familiar with pay rates in your area. and if that opportunity with that company leads to an offer or negotiation, then you might want to contact a local entertainment lawyer or rep who will handle your deal at a reasonable rate, whatever that is

                just my 2 cents again

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                • #9
                  Re: My first contest

                  Originally posted by bill the scholar View Post
                  If money is of little concern, you could also submit your work to the BlackList website, which will have a much faster process of evaluation than the contests you entered.
                  I have considered doing that, putting it up for only a couple of months, but decided to pass, mainly because it is unclear to me who the various readers are, what they are looking for, when they are looking for it, etc. Perhaps I am wrong, but it also seems that it is not regarded very highly.

                  Thank you for your input, Bill.

                  Regarding the contact though, he would be only be suggesting people from US independent companies. My fear is that he didn't mention anything about managers/agents but perhaps he doesn't now more than that. So between a deal that gets me representation and one that doesn't, I'd choose the first.
                  Last edited by nostromo; 01-13-2018, 12:53 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Virtual Pitch Fest or similar?

                    Not so important as to start a new thread, so I am asking here:

                    I've read on this forum mostly good things about Virtual Pitch Fest, and since several days have passed and have received no reply to my query emails to managers, I am thinking additional options.

                    Are there any platforms similar to VPF? (besides blacklist, which receives mixed reviews)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Virtual Pitch Fest or similar?

                      "I've read on this forum mostly good things about Virtual Pitch Fest, and since several days have passed and have received no reply to my query emails to managers, I am thinking additional options."

                      Hey, not to put a damper on your enthusiasm but I don't think VPF had mostly good things said about it on this forum. I for one screamed at the top of my lungs that it should be avoided. Black list too. Now you're gonna ask what else is there. My answer is "I don't really know." You're probably on the right track doing contests and querying agents/managers on your own. I wrote in detail the weirdness of VPF. I'm not saying you can't get discovered by it but there's some oddities to it like many production companies they list aren't taking queries. Sure, VPF will give you another pitch in it's place but it gets pretty ridiculous at times. There's that and getting no response...

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                      • #12
                        Re: My first contest

                        Stage32.com. They have managers and producers on the site who read scripts for a few bucks. You might have good luck over there.

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                        • #13
                          Re: My first contest

                          Originally posted by ewtaylor View Post
                          Stage32.com. They have managers and producers on the site who read scripts for a few bucks. You might have good luck over there.

                          paying managers and producers to read scripts is frowned upon by me and thankfully by many on this forum.

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                          • #14
                            Re: My first contest

                            Originally posted by nostromo View Post
                            paying managers and producers to read scripts is frowned upon by me and thankfully by many on this forum.
                            This doesn't make the sites that offer pay-for-reads useless, however. I'm going to be looking for representation more actively this year and those Stage 32 emails where the reader talks about what they're looking for are helpful.

                            Discard the ones saying they're interested in everything, save the ones that sound like they might be a good match, and maybe try cold emailing them later when you're in a good place to reach out to them.
                            "The intrepid Spaceman Spiff is stranded on a distant planet! Our hero ruefully acknowledges this happens fairly frequently." Calvin & Hobbs

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                            • #15
                              Re: My first contest

                              Originally posted by nostromo View Post
                              paying managers and producers to read scripts is frowned upon by me and thankfully by many on this forum.
                              I second that. All I see is the CEO posting their narcissist pictures of his trips that are paid for by the people that pay. But what I do not understand, is why I read a short screenplay that had camera directions in it and it was a finalist in a particular contest.
                              I will not fall into despair! I will keep myself hearty, till freedom is opportune!

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