Nicholl 2019

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  • figment
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    The below is from their website. So, the bottom "Meaning and Magic" section I think is what Nicholl is looking for maybe more so than other competitions. Themes or thought-provoking stuff. So, a little less Taken and little more Goodwill Hunting, perhaps?
    -----

    Nicholl Reader Judging Criteria
    Nicholl readers use the following guidelines to judge and score screenplays during the competition.

    Story
    Does the story have an original premise?
    Does that story idea start the movie forward?
    Does the story itself have a strong beginning, middle & end? How about two out of three? If the story is non-linear, does it make sense?
    Does this script make you feel that the writer is taking you on a journey?
    Does the story connect with you emotionally, whether it’s a comedy or drama or another genre?

    Voice
    Does the script have a distinctive and original voice? (Or do you feel that you’ve read or seen this movie before?)
    Are the premise, story and characters new or fresh for you?
    Does reading the script make you think, “This person genuinely has the potential to develop into a professional writer”?

    Characters
    Does this script have vivid characters who each speak in their own voice?
    Do you want to know what happens to them?
    Does the central character change over the course of the story? If it’s an ensemble film, does more than one character change?
    Do the dialogue and tone seem consistent from scene to scene?
    Does the way the people speak fit the tone and setting of the story?

    Craft
    Does this writer know how to use description and dialogue to create suspense, tension, drama, comedy and conflict? Does the conflict propel the story forward?
    Do the main characters take actions that move the story along?
    Are these actions in keeping with who these people are? Or do they happen “conveniently”?

    Meaning and Magic
    Does this script genuinely make you want to keep reading? Are the themes of the story thought-provoking, across genres? Is the story “about something” that might spark discussion among friends?
    When you finish reading the script, even if it has flaws, do you still feel that there’s something special about it? Is there an indescribable “something” that elevates this script above the ordinary?

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
    Ahh interesting, I bet I'd like your stuff. ;-)

    Yeah, pretty much everything but a micro script won't do well in Nicholl. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe they'd love a 100 mil action flick. Dude... I'm kidding! Ha!
    You'd pinch yourself in excitement at experiencing such a monumental reading experience.
    Add a social message to the script, it will fare better

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    Thrillers. Charlie Kaufman meets Gillian Flynn meets Diablo Cody.


    Different competitions like Sundance all have particular tastes. I don't see a "There's Something about Mary" or "Diehard" faring too well in Nicholl.
    Ahh interesting, I bet I'd like your stuff. ;-)

    Yeah, pretty much everything but a micro script won't do well in Nicholl. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe they'd love a 100 mil action flick. Dude... I'm kidding! Ha!

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
    What genre do you write? What's your style?

    Yeah, my vibe definitely isn't what Nicholl likes. That's why I preach "just because Nicholl doesn't like you doesn't mean the town will agree with them.-

    Thrillers. Charlie Kaufman meets Gillian Flynn meets Diablo Cody.


    Different competitions like Sundance all have particular tastes. I don't see a "There's Something about Mary" or "Diehard" faring too well in Nicholl.

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    It does seem like Nicholl has a very particular taste. Like the Oscars on steroids. I think writers don't necessarily buy the notes to help them with the rewrite, more out of fear of missing out on what's said. I have no idea how to write a Nicholl style script, so never entered it.
    What genre do you write? What's your style?

    Yeah, my vibe definitely isn't what Nicholl likes. That's why I preach "just because Nicholl doesn't like you doesn't mean the town will agree with them.-

    Leave a comment:


  • Friday
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    It does seem like Nicholl has a very particular taste. Like the Oscars on steroids. I think writers don't necessarily buy the notes to help them with the rewrite, more out of fear of missing out on what's said. I have no idea how to write a Nicholl style script, so never entered it.

    Leave a comment:


  • GucciGhostXXX
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    I just want to know:

    How does a script that goes to the head of the Lit Dept at CAA, they love it, then give it to a mid-level, they love it, it goes around town, town generally loves it... I do a fukk ton of meetings off it... CAA tries to package it... The talent agent digs it and gives it to his client to star in... HOW does that script do ZERO at Nicholl if it's read twice? AND... it's a fukkin DRAMA.

    I bet I was signed to CAA that year and the winner of Nicholl wasn't. I should look that up. Would be interesting to know.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hernan Giaggio
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    I still haven't decided if I'm buying this year's notes, but I went back and read the notes from the last time I was a semifinalist. They actually aren't bad. They definitely pinpoint some issues that I've since heard from producers and managers. I didn't listen at the time because I was working on the script with a producer, so his notes were what I focused on. But I'm sort of impressed at how well they pinpointed the issues in such a small space.


    I will say, the QF-level notes are far superior to the first round notes.

    Leave a comment:


  • DDoc
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post

    for me, it's more important to know the weaknesses, something i can address to make it better. always trying to make it better.
    I agree 100%. It would also be helpful if they release a number breakdown with the notes. I assume they use that internally.

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by Strangerthanfiction
    This is a question for those that paid for Nicholl's comments, and who also host their scripts on the Black List with visible evaluations.
    Have you noticed any correlation between your Nicholl's comments and Black List comments?
    The reason that I ask this is I have noticed every year when I enter the Nicholls within a few weeks I get views on the Black List, even when I haven't had any views in months. It happens every year. I'm starting to suspect some readers look up the scripts. Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.
    This happen to anyone else?
    i'm certain there's a correlation.

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by DDoc View Post
    I didn't think it was unreasonable to assume that they could, considering they're readers for the most popular screenwriting contest. Clearly I was wrong though (or they just didn't even if they could have).
    i guess my concern is the description as, "brief notes." i don't know the totality of the kind of notes that are received, so i admit i am assuming to a degree, and with ignorance. my apologies.

    i mean, is it a single paragraph? does it give strengths and weaknesses or is it just that reader's opinion? idk? i couldn't find WHAT they charge for these notes, only that you can receive the notes for a fee. maybe it's visible WHEN you submit a spec? maybe i missed it? and based on the diametrical feedback one writer received for the same script regarding their characters, i guess, you need to take the feedback with a grain of salt, right?

    for me, it's more important to know the weaknesses, something i can address to make it better. always trying to make it better.

    Leave a comment:


  • DDoc
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    it's not like they can give you any great insights--
    I didn't think it was unreasonable to assume that they could, considering they're readers for the most popular screenwriting contest. Clearly I was wrong though (or they just didn't even if they could have).

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    i'm not really sure why anyone would pay to received "brief notes" other than to possibly stoke your ego. it's not like they can give you any great insights, can they? it's personal opinion.

    two interesting things from their website that i think addresses two of the biggest questions-- 1) do good scripts get passed on and 2) does Nicholl have a "preference?" the answer to both is a resounding, yes, imo.

    i also don't particularly believe that it's because a disproportionate number of scripts are dramas... just because there are more dramas doesn't meant they are all of equal quality.


    Q: IN THE COMPETITION, DO GOOD SCRIPTS GET PASSED OVER?
    A: Not intentionally, but there’s no way around it. The whole reading enterprise is incredibly
    subjective. That’s why every script is read at least twice in the first round. If the first reader just
    doesn’t connect with a script, the second read gives the script another chance to find a champion.

    We hope that our readers aren’t swayed by their personal tastes, but they’re human, too.

    To further the Academy’s commitment to encouraging and valuing diversity in the industry, the
    Nicholl Fellowships Program takes measures to ensure that our selection process is as fair as
    possible and without bias.

    Throughout the competition we direct scripts to readers who might have an affinity for them. We
    ask our readers about their genre likes and dislikes. If one says, “I love horror and science
    fiction,” that reader will receive relatively more scripts in those genres. If another says, “I hate
    horror and science fiction but love historical dramas,” that reader will receive more historical
    dramas and as few horror and science fiction scripts as possible.

    By adding a second read for every script during the first round, we have eliminated the possibility
    of a good script being knocked out by a single reader.

    WINNING SCRIPTS
    Q: WHAT ARE THE GENRES OF THE SCRIPTS THAT HAVE WON THEIR WRITERS ACADEMY
    NICHOLL FELLOWSHIPS?


    A: Genres of Nicholl Fellows’ Entry Scripts (1989–2018) 149 total

    action-adventure – 11
    animated comedy – 1
    comedy – 9
    romantic comedy – 5
    comedy-drama – 13
    coming-of-age drama – 12
    drama – 49
    romantic drama-fantasy – 2
    horror – 3
    science fiction – 3
    thriller / crime / caper – 23
    war / terrorism – 12
    Western – 3
    these are the results in 29 years. if you don't think there's a bias to a certain "type" of script, i think you're kidding yourself. 32% in one single drama genre. and if you add coming-of-age and comedy drama (all of which should be in "drama," imo,) the percentage is 49.6% for the drama genre.

    and i absolutely don't buy that the reason for this is that there is a disproportionate amount of drama scripts which are are submitted. good writing is good writing. that's like saying all scripts have the same quality by genre-- which is ridiculous.

    and this is not meant as a dig at the Nicholl, this is from their website, so they are being somewhat transparent. i commend them on that.

    think about those numbers. let's say, there are 5,000 scripts (it's an example i realize fewer might have been submitted in the older past) submitted a year they're saying that out of 145,000 scripts only 3 each in science fiction, western and horror were worthy of a Nicholl fellowship in almost 30 years? sorry, that's hard to believe.

    i would think they might want to look into that. i mean, if they're receiving a disproportionate number of drama scripts maybe someone might consider WHY that is? i'm sure this isn't a shocker, but i'm guessing there are a lot of writers out there that would love to submit their features for horror, sci-fi, western, and fantasy to the Nicholl if they thought the had a fair chance. there are a hella lotta successful screenwriters that haven't written an Oscar winning script-- that doesn't mean they aren't amazing writers, too. the reality is that $$ drive hollywood. all those beautiful dramas get made because of the draw from all those high-grossing sci-fi, fantasy, action-thrillers that the studios make.

    bottom line is this is the academy's contest and they run it the way they feel offers the best opportunity to writers.
    Last edited by finalact4; 09-03-2019, 07:07 AM.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Real feedback is your script made it to the top of the contest. Rest is waste of time and money.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2019

    Btw these aren’t helpful notes. They are what I call horoscope feedback. You can fill in the blanks. Take out specifics and these readers are probably using same reviews for more than one script. I’ve been on the other side and you’re just trying to fill 100 words or whatever the minimum is so the person will feel good and renter the contest next year.

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