Austin 2019

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  • Austin 2019

    Has anyone else entered? Have you heard anything back yet? I know notifications should be trickling out soon.


    I entered a TV pilot, but haven't heard anything back either way. I'll be a little disappointed if I don't make the second round because top 20% seems very doable, but I'm not assuming anything.

  • #2
    Re: Austin 2019

    semifinalist calls are in process of being made at the moment. i believe many if not all second rounders have received their ding email/letters

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    • #3
      Re: Austin 2019

      It's odd... last year I got my second round notification in 9/13. I've seen three people online saying they got second round notifications - one letter, one phone call. I went all out this year and entered five scripts in four categories and haven't heard about any of them. I assume that means none advanced - they do the "sorry but you suck- notifications last.

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      • #4
        Re: Austin 2019

        I've gotten a Second Rounder notification via phone and snail. No word on the other two things I entered.


        But I will say that I got my Semifinalist email on the same day as the general announcement last year. Didn't even get a call. So who knows.

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        • #5
          Re: Austin 2019

          No word on a drama feature. Did anyone else opt in for the Humanitas category?

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          • #6
            Re: Austin 2019

            Things are running a little differently this year because there is a new contest director. A friend who is a reader for AFF said that the second round reading deadline is apparently tomorrow, so they are still reading for several categories. We'll all likely hear by the end of the week.

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            • #7
              Re: Austin 2019

              Well, it's officially Mid September and no word. Playing the "Waiting Game" sucks.

              https://comb.io/UgXRVC

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              • #8
                Re: Austin 2019

                I got an email on Sept. 11 with the subject, "Exciting Screenwriting Panels, Podcasts, and Austin Film Festival News!"

                About a third of the way into the body of the message, there is a section under the heading, "SCRIPT COMPETITION NOTIFICATIONS ROLLING OUT!"

                "After receiving 11,907 scripts entered in our Screenplay, Digital Series, Playwriting, and Fiction Podcast Competitions, we are eager to share with you this year’s group of Second Rounders and Semifinalists. We have already begun sending notification letters via postal mail and e-mail and they will continue to be sent out through the next 1-2 weeks.

                Semifinalists will receive a personal phone call from Steven DeBose, Director of Script Competitions. The full list of Second Rounders and Semifinalists will also be available on our website in the near future. Please allow some time to receive your letter and e-mail before inquiring about the status of your script."

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                • #9
                  Re: Austin 2019

                  I got one that said I won the grand prize. Yee haw. Good effort guys.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Austin 2019

                    Not really though. I just got an email saying I made the 2nd round but didn't make the semifinals. Better than nothing.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Austin 2019

                      I got an email from AFF last night telling me my script did not make it to the 2nd round (I think the '2nd Round' is like the top 2000 scripts or something ridiculous like that)

                      which was pretty surprising, since the same script placed in the top 2% of other contests, got a bunch of 8's and 9's on the Blacklist, and some fairly glowing studio coverage.

                      I get that this is all a subjective crap shoot, but I'm guessing that Austin's front line readers don't have a high level of competence or experience, which makes any money spent on entry fees a legit gamble.

                      I doubt I would enter again.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Austin 2019

                        If you did make it, you'd feel the complete opposite though right? I'm simply saying, you were right -- it's all a crap shoot. But it works both ways.

                        This script did well in A, B, and C. They're all great. It didn't do well in D.
                        D must have bad readers.... But there are other writers thinking, A, B, and C had bad readers... you get it... it's subjective based on how well the writer did in said contest.

                        I'm saying to all writers, celebrate your successes but when you send it out to be evaluated expect a "no" or "I hated this" and just be surprised if it's something positive. That's the only way to do it.

                        No script or writer will get passed all these tests. We can submit the best scripts ever written and they would get rejected at some point. Just the way it is.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Austin 2019

                          True. I feel good because I made the 2nd round but I also hosted this script on the blacklist and I didn't get higher than an overall 7. One reviewer gave me a 4 on dialogue and said that it was "wooden and in serious need of a pass." The very next reviewer gave me an 8 on dialogue and said that it was "exceptional."

                          I don't know how good some of the readers are for these contests, but in my experience many of the blacklist readers suck (sorry). Scriptapalooza also has some bad readers . It's one thing to disagree on execution and whatnot- it's another thing entirely to **** up almost every character's name and the chronological order of the script. I'm not saying I'm all that but it's pretty clear that some of these guys don't even read the script.
                          Last edited by DDoc; 09-14-2019, 05:13 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Austin 2019

                            Originally posted by Bono View Post
                            This script did well in A, B, and C. They're all great. It didn't do well in D. D must have bad readers....
                            I get the point you're trying to make, and it's probably a valid one for most people, but if you have a script that does well in A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, and then P says it's no good, well, then P is probably wrong.

                            I just saw on Reddit that Austin's first round readers are mostly former second rounders who volunteer to read in exchange for discounted badges. Apparently this is not a very well known fact because they have them sign NDA's.

                            I had assumed that at least part of my entry fee was going towards paying someone who was qualified to evaluate scripts (as is done in most other contests). Had I known this beforehand, I would not have entered.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Austin 2019

                              Readers are a crapshoot in general. I've had that type of thing happen many times. First reader: "Wow, this dialogue is great. Some of the best dialogue I've ever read." Next reader: "It was a good script, but you might want to take another look at the dialogue. It seemed flat and wooden."

                              I've read Nicholl winners that I thought were trash. How many rounds of judging did those get through? It's definitely subjective to a point, and unless you have the absolute killer app, it's pretty likely that some readers just aren't going to vibe with your material.

                              I try to look at the aggregate. If 1/10 people hates your script then it may not be any cause for alarm. If 9/10 people hate your script then you may have a problem. Even that may not be entirely true. Most people do not like death metal music (myself included), but the people who like death metal really like death metal, so maybe that 1/10 keeps your death metal band in business. Serving a small niche can be a viable career strategy, but is unlikely to work well in a contest where you have to please multiple rounds of judges.

                              As for Austin, I've still heard nada on my TV drama pilot. The same script is entered into Launching Pad, which is supposed to announce the top 100 on 9/17. The particular script I entered is pertinent to the above conversation because it got some rave reviews from various readers, but has thus far been a huge dog in contests (crashed out of PAGE, Scriptapalooza, Tracking B, and Nashville Film Fest earlier this summer). I'm buckling up for a double dose of bad news this next week, but ready to be pleasantly surprised.

                              At risk of sounding like a delusional guy who doesn't want to admit that his script sucks, I will say that the overall vibe I've gotten from participating in a few of these things for the first time (particularly PAGE and Scriptapalooza) is that they feel kind of dodgy. Still, if EVERY contest rejects my script then...well...ball don't lie...it's probably because my script isn't all that. I just wouldn't stress if it were thriving everywhere and 1-2 places didn't like it. That can come down to one judge with suspect taste.

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