What's the difference?

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  • What's the difference?

    In the world of contests, it seems there are four subcategories - so what's the difference between contests. awards, fellowships and labs?

    Source: Click Me!

  • #2
    Re: What's the difference?

    A lab is usually where you send a script and if it gets picked you travel to where the lab is being held, and stay on site. Think a week-long summer camp, or writer's retreat type situation. You have group meals to commune with the other writers who won, and private writing time. You're provided a mentor and you do rewriting and revising under their guidance to help develop your script. Sometimes, like Sundance, if you sell the project "the lab" will probably get some money from it, which would be in the fine print of their entry rules.

    A contest is just where you pay an entry fee and are thus entered into the contest. No one mentors you or helps develop the script. If you win you get cash or other prizes. It gets you some publicity hopefully and maybe you can parlay that into getting reps or a sale. But no one makes money off your script except you.

    A fellowship is like the Nicholl -- where you enter and are read and scored, and if you win, you get (a lot of) cash. They're not there to help you develop the script. But there are also rules, for the Nicholl you have to use the "fellowship year" to write. The fellowship provides you with money enough to continue writing uninterrupted, meaning you are supposed to be treating it as a job, essentially, for that fellowship year.

    Imagine Impact created their own rules. Unlike all the others, there is no entry fee at all. They're doing a two month "lab" where you have to move to LA, and have a mentor who I assume is there to help you develop your script, but unlike other labs, which do not pay you, you're getting 40k as a stipend. And unlike a "fellowship" you don't have to prove to anyone that you are using the money to write for the next year; the money has no obligations attached to it (other than you can use it to relocate for the 2 month lab).

    There are others for TV -- WB (?), but I've never entered and so I'm not sure about them. I think if you get chosen, they retain the right to your work for that year, meaning if they want it, you have to sell it to them for a fair price. Not sure. Maybe someone else will chime in.

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    • #3
      Re: What's the difference?

      Thanks, Fig.

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      • #4
        Re: What's the difference?

        I think the Universal Writers fellowship is among the highest paid. It pays in the 70K range for one year. You write 2 screenplays (which you own) during that year, with the help of their mentors. Universal gets a first look on those two scripts, which means they would buy them if they like them. Seems like a great deal.
        Manfred Lopez Grem
        WGA Writer - Director | Zero Gravity Management

        REEL - IMDB

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