Nicholl 2019

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  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Actually, here's the WGA's 101 Greatest Screenplays list for anyone who wants to skim it.

    https://www.wga.org/writers-room/101...reenplays/list

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    Over the years, dozens and dozens of big budget action scripts advanced beyond the first round of the Nicholl competition. There were years when two or three big budget scripts reached the finals. One writer had his 100+ million dollar budgeted action script reach the finals in two different years.
    I'm curious what decade that was. I believe it's happened just seem incredibly rare.

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    Well written, well crafted action scripts, or for that matter well written, well crafted "studio" scripts of any genre, were not mostly left behind in the first round. Those scripts advanced in about the same percentage as did well written, well crafted scripts of any genre (about 5% of entries in any particular genre advance to the quarterfinals each year).
    I hope that's true.

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    I would love to be proven wrong about the following, but so far as I know no big budget action script that went on to be produced and have significant success in the theatrical marketplace has ever been entered in the Nicholl competition.
    I believe it, as those scripts are the hardest to get financed. Especially now. However, there's still the option of getting signed/gig using it as a writing sample. The gritty/dark action script I entered that didn't pass round one did both for me. CAA/Matrix producer.

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    In my mind the Nicholl Fellowships has always been a best screenwriter rather than a best screenplay competition (while noting that only through the screenplays could the best writers be identified).
    The BEST? Or the most liked for that particular competition. I gotta take issue with the idea of finding "the BEST writer." Begs the question: Best writer to who? I think the clarification is in order that it's "The BEST writer to Nicholl, not Hollywood."

    Originally posted by gregbeal View Post
    (By the way, dark, troubling scripts in various genres have done quite well in the Nicholl competition over the years. A number of Nicholl-winning scripts fit that description.)
    I hope that's also true, because a lot of what wins Oscar/Globe are dark troubling stories about the ugly underbelly of society that we know is true, but is hard to talk about honestly. And I'd wager a guess (without cheating) that the WGA's 101 Best Screenplays EVER list is littered with those types of stories... Dark/Troubled... And I bet it's the majority of them.

    The directive of "HEART" throws me personally. Feels to me like it's meant to imply "Heart-warming." It's a fairly vague directive to describe the emotional connective tissue of a screenplay IMO. I believe the directive should be SOUL. Everyone knows what that is: "Does this script have a SOUL?" That's not the same as HEART in my mind. In the literal, medical sense, many creatures on this planet have a heart... but do they have a soul? Are they capable of self-reflection?

    I wonder how many Nicholl winners are on the WGA's 101 list. Not being facetious. Dead serious. Any?

    Leave a comment:


  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    What I'll state in the next few paragraphs applies to the period 1989-2017 when I administered the Nicholl program.

    Over the years, dozens and dozens of big budget action scripts advanced beyond the first round of the Nicholl competition. There were years when two or three big budget scripts reached the finals. One writer had his 100+ million dollar budgeted action script reach the finals in two different years.

    Well written, well crafted action scripts, or for that matter well written, well crafted "studio" scripts of any genre, were not mostly left behind in the first round. Those scripts advanced in about the same percentage as did well written, well crafted scripts of any genre (about 5% of entries in any particular genre advance to the quarterfinals each year).

    I would love to be proven wrong about the following, but so far as I know no big budget action script that went on to be produced and have significant success in the theatrical marketplace has ever been entered in the Nicholl competition.

    In my mind the Nicholl Fellowships has always been a best screenwriter rather than a best screenplay competition (while noting that only through the screenplays could the best writers be identified).

    (By the way, dark, troubling scripts in various genres have done quite well in the Nicholl competition over the years. A number of Nicholl-winning scripts fit that description.)

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Greg Beal can correct me if I'm misremembering that quote but I think it was more in the vein of "a Nicholl winner may not always have the best 'script' in the strictest sense of the term but the committee is looking for the best 'writers'"

    that is, executing Save The Cat structure flawlessly with a by-the-numbers story isn't going to be rewarded as highly as a writer who might take a bigger chance on a more compelling story even if they don't pull it off 100%

    Leave a comment:


  • nguyensquared
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
    Gotcha. But then why pass on writers who have already proven (the script they just read) that they can do it?

    I mean, I kinda get it cuz Hollywood does the same sh!t: You write a flick about the guy who invented toilet paper and they like you for a Superman reboot. So... yeah.

    But I don't super get it: What about set pieces, fresh ones, that's a specific skill. If I read John Wick as a spec and Toiletpaper-Man, I'm hiring the John Wick dude to write a super hero movie. But, that's not how Hollywood works. So, I agree, I'm wrong.
    I get where you're coming from and I'm with you there. It'd be great to find a writer who has amazing execution on an amazing concept. But if Nicholl (or any competition/fellowship) held their submissions to those kind of standards, likely they won't be handing out any winners at all

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by nguyensquared View Post
    I remember reading somewhere that the Nicholl's mission isn't necessarily to find great writing, but to find great writers (who can potentially be groomed into writing those bigger franchise tent pole movies).

    Congratulations to all the Nicholl winners this year. I've read some of Karen McDermott's work and really enjoy her writing. Glad to see it's paying off for her!
    Gotcha. But then why pass on writers who have already proven (the script they just read) that they can do it?

    I mean, I kinda get it cuz Hollywood does the same sh!t: You write a flick about the guy who invented toilet paper and they like you for a Superman reboot. So... yeah.

    But I don't super get it: What about set pieces, fresh ones, that's a specific skill. If I read John Wick as a spec and Toiletpaper-Man, I'm hiring the John Wick dude to write a super hero movie. But, that's not how Hollywood works. So, I agree, I'm wrong.

    Leave a comment:


  • nguyensquared
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
    I wanna say this too:

    Here's why it pisses me off (The Nicholl puffery): Because there's some writer out there (MANY) who fukking KILLED their script (the good kill) they send it into Nicholl and don't make it past round 1. Many of them likely think "Dang it... thought I killed it. Maybe I'm not good?" Meanwhile, the dude may be holding a franchise flick in their hands.

    Fukk that! Go around Nicholl, send it straight to Hollywood if you're positive you nailed it! I promise you this, my script HYBRID would have done ZERO at Nicholl, but who cares if I'm sitting in the office of someone with the Bat-Mobile outside their office door.
    I remember reading somewhere that the Nicholl's mission isn't necessarily to find great writing, but to find great writers (who can potentially be groomed into writing those bigger franchise tent pole movies).

    Congratulations to all the Nicholl winners this year. I've read some of Karen McDermott's work and really enjoy her writing. Glad to see it's paying off for her!

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    I wanna say this too:

    Here's why it pisses me off (The Nicholl puffery): Because there's some writer out there (MANY) who fukking KILLED their script (the good kill) they send it into Nicholl and don't make it past round 1. Many of them likely think "Dang it... thought I killed it. Maybe I'm not good?" Meanwhile, the dude may be holding a franchise flick in their hands.

    Fukk that! Go around Nicholl, send it straight to Hollywood if you're positive you nailed it! I promise you this, my script HYBRID would have done ZERO at Nicholl, but who cares if I'm sitting in the office of someone with the Bat-Mobile outside their office door.

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by Max Otto Schrenck View Post
    That said, Street Rat Allie Punches Her Ticket is a great title...

    For a book of bad pomes and/or short stories.
    Could be a completely rad script. Not trying to slam the writer....

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Lemme explain my gripe:

    If you are THE most visible contest, yet you are ***excluding*** certain (HIGHLY TALENTED/VIABLE) writers based on them being too COMMERCIAL...

    ...Ummmm, ain't that definition of fukkin stupid? The only way those skilled writers can win is to NOT (NOT????) write sh!t Hollywood wants to make? Dude... WHAT????

    I super don't get it.

    (MORE)

    I don't trust this bullsh!t FAKE WOKE-NESS on the Oscar stage during their fake woke speeches nor in screenplay contests. Sorry. The truth is something far different.

    (AND)

    If you actually tell the truth in a screenplay about say, race. Guess what happens.... people get scared. "Can we say that?" Dude, I just fukkin said it.

    I'm gonna enter my racial (feature) screenplay into Nicholl next year. Just to prove my point to MYSELF that it's a hoax. I already know the out come. I won't make it past round 1. My stories are socially relevant, but they're often ugly. Nicholl doesn't like social relevance if it's ugly, only if it's "SWEET."

    POINT: Nicholl needs to stop pretending they are helping writers TELL THE TRUTH. Bullsh!t... they are helping writers get eyes on super small feel good movies.

    Nothing wrong with that. But, just be honest about all the lines drawn in the sand and therefore the BOX writers have to fit into to have any chance of winning.

    --RANT ACCOMPLISHED--

    Leave a comment:


  • Max Otto Schrenck
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    That said, Street Rat Allie Punches Her Ticket is a great title...

    For a book of bad pomes and/or short stories.

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Eesh... I hate to be a d!ck but here goes. (Maybe Bono is rubbing off on me... Ha!)

    ...but, I mean, c'mon... it's like they used a Nicholl title generator to name these.

    I hate to say bad sh!t about fellow writers so I'ma stop right there and retract that comment, cuz hey, WHATEVER THE FUKK IT TAKES! Right? I can't fault that.

    However, I can fault the process. Sorry, Nicholl for me is way to pretentious to give a fukk. Yes, I know, there's a million reasons why I'm wrong. But, they are PASSING on perfectly (HUGELY!) marketable scripts ONLY because they're a bunch'a bitter, d!ck writers looking to punish writers who actually thought of something super fukkin high concept and PULLED IT OFF on the page. Why is that dude's ("dude"... not gender specific) script NEVER the winner?

    Your big idea that would land you 5 gazillion meetings across town with the biggest tastemakers? Nah, you're DEAD in Nicholl round one. It's not "SWEET" enough for them. It's not socially relevant as some 12 year old chick in Kentucky makeing mud sculptures in a town of 100 that makes everyone smile. Swear to god, I could see that shitty concept winning.

    John Wick wouldn't make it past round 1. Yet... it's a fukkin FRANCHISE.

    Yeah? Hollywood wants "Mudhoney" (actually that's not a long enough title) over "John Wick"? HAAAAA! You're funny.

    Nicholl feels like a pretentious clothing designer show where the winner designs clothes that look like trash bags that no one would ever wear, yet the designer has a neat story of growing up homeless (Cue the standing ovation! This is the "pat yourself on the back for being a humanitarian" moment.)

    Writers shouldn't be OVER LOOKED based on having RAD ideas that are far more intune with what AUDIENCES (remember them?) want to see. You've got to be fukking kidding me. The whole thing has become too 'pat' for me to give a fukk. To the point where I'm convinced writers are TARGETING Nicholl with specific "Nicholl Friendly" material.

    And if any of you guys won, then I take it all back. HA!

    Leave a comment:


  • figment
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    2019 Winners are listed. No loglines as of yet.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...owship-1245519

    Leave a comment:


  • bladebeam1
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by Vango View Post
    I have spoken with a couple Nicholl winners and I can tell you what they told me. Basically the Nicholl looks for several things. True stories, or original takes on true stories (a la inspired by), stories which are personal to the writer, stories which are historical, yet still relevant in today's political or social climate, and most importantly, winning the Nicholl is all about character. They want something with a lot of heart.
    Wow, super interesting to read it layed out like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vango
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    I have spoken with a couple Nicholl winners and I can tell you what they told me. Basically the Nicholl looks for several things. True stories, or original takes on true stories (a la inspired by), stories which are personal to the writer, stories which are historical, yet still relevant in today's political or social climate, and most importantly, winning the Nicholl is all about character. They want something with a lot of heart.

    Leave a comment:

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