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Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition

Scriptapalooza

Contact

Hollywood, CA 90046
(310) 801-5366 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: info@scriptapalooza.com

Contact: Mark Andrushko, President and CEO
MovieBytes Interview: Mark Andrushko

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.9/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 324    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

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Objective

Scriptapalooza was founded in 1998 with the goal of helping as many writers as possible through the competition. We have over 90 production companies, agents and managers reading all the entered scripts. (A complete list of participants is on Scriptapalooza's website.)

We actively push the Semifinalists, Finalists, Runners-Up and Winners for a full year with the intention of creating opportunities for the writers. We are a hands on competition because we feel it is important to continue supporting the top scripts beyond the cash and prizes.

We are proud to present the competition with Write Brothers, a company that not only provides the necessary tools for writing but is an advocate and true supporter of emerging writers.

We are endorsed by Robert McKee, author of STORY.

Deadline/Entry Fees

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early Bird January 6, 2015 $45 44
First February 3, 2015 $50 72
Regular March 10, 2015 $55 107
Late April 15, 2015 $60 143
Final April 29, 2015 $65 157

Notification: August 15, 2015

Rules

This competition is open to any writer,18 or older without produced feature film credits. Entering the competition constitutes permission to use the winners' names and likenesses for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation. We reserve the right to publicize and promote any and all progress, development and success of the entered scripts.
  1. Any script from any genre will be considered.
  2. Multiple entries are accepted, provided a signed entry form and appropriate entry fee is attached to each submission.
  3. Multiple authorship is acceptable. If the screenplay wins an award, that award will be divided among the writers, by the writers.
  4. Screenplays must be the original work of the author.
  5. Scriptapalooza recommends registering your scripts with the WGA or copyrighting your material with the Library of Congress.
  6. No substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages for script entries will be accepted under any circumstances.
  7. Entry must be accompanied by the following:
    a. completed official entry form (photocopies are acceptable)
    b. the appropriate entry fee
    c. completed original feature screenplay

Awards

First Place Winner

  • $10,000 Cash
  • Access to over 150 producers thru Scriptapalooza’s Network
  • Writer’s Studio from Write Brothers (Outline 4D, Movie Magic Screenwriter and Dramatica Pro)
  • 1 year of International Screenwriters’ Association Connect Membership
  • Scriptapalooza Professional Screenplay Coverage
  • Admission to Robert McKee Story Seminar in New York or Los Angeles
  • Hollywood Screenwriting Directory from The Writers Store
  • 6 month online subscription from Backstage
  • Phone consultation about your script with Amy Wagner of Abrams Artists Agency
  • Phone consultation about your script with Andrew Kersey of Kersey Management

Second Place Winner

  • Kindle Fire HD Tablet
  • Access to over 150 producers thru Scriptapalooza’s Network
  • Writer’s Studio from Write Brothers (Outline 4D, Movie Magic Screenwriter and Dramatica Pro)
  • 1 year of International Screenwriters’ Association Connect Membership
  • Scriptapalooza Professional Screenplay Coverage
  • Hollywood Screenwriting Directory from The Writers Store
  • 6 month online subscription from Backstage
  • Phone consultation about your script with Amy Wagner of Abrams Artists Agency
  • Phone consultation about your script with Andrew Kersey of Kersey Management

Third Place Winner

  • Kindle Fire HD Tablet
  • Access to over 150 producers thru Scriptapalooza’s Network
  • Writer’s Studio from Write Brothers (Outline 4D, Movie Magic Screenwriter and Dramatica Pro)
  • 1 year of International Screenwriters’ Association Connect Membership
  • Scriptapalooza Professional Screenplay Coverage
  • Hollywood Screenwriting Directory from The Writers Store
  • 6 month online subscription from Backstage
  • Phone consultation about your script with Amy Wagner of Abrams Artists Agency
  • Phone consultation about your script with Andrew Kersey of Kersey Management

10 Runners-Up

  • Access to over 150 producers thru Scriptapalooza’s Network
  • Writer’s Studio from Write Brothers (Outline 4D, Movie Magic Screenwriter and Dramatica Pro)
  • Hollywood Screenwriting Directory from The Writers Store
  • 1 year of International Screenwriters’ Association Connect Membership

All 30 Finalists

  • Access to over 150 producers thru Scriptapalooza’s Network
  • Receive Movie Magic Screenwriter and Dramatica Writer’s Dreamkit from Write Brothers
  • 1 year of International Screenwriters’ Association Connect Membership

Scriptapalooza Subscribe in an RSS Reader

Contact

Hollywood, CA 90046
(310) 801-5366 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: info@scriptapalooza.com

Contact: Mark Andrushko, President and CEO
MovieBytes Interview: Mark Andrushko

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.9/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 324    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

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Contest Comments

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Scriptapalooza

Contact

Hollywood, CA 90046
(310) 801-5366 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: info@scriptapalooza.com

Contact: Mark Andrushko, President and CEO
MovieBytes Interview: Mark Andrushko

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.9/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 324    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Related Contests

Contest News

Scriptapalooza Interviews Screenwriting Guru Robert McKee

Mark Andrushko, President of Scriptapalooza interviews Screenwriting Guru, Mr. Robert McKee. Like a good screenplay his answers will hook, hold and payoff.

"Despite it's frivolous name, Scriptapalooza is the best screenwriting competition I know."

- Robert McKee


Scriptapalooza: What is the biggest mistake first time screenwriters make when writing their first screenplay?

McKee: They make every mistake imaginable. I can generally say the impression that you get from reading a writer’s early work is that in their enthusiasm, as a first time writer, they do not doubt or question their work. They are not self-critical. Writers come up to me and they say, “I love to write, I love to write, I get up at three o’clock in the morning to write,” and I think nothing good will come of this. Professional writers do not love to write in that sense of the word because they know how terribly dangerous and difficult it is to write. They are extremely critical of everything they write; they are constantly tearing up their pages, pacing the room, tearing their hair out. They don’t love it. It’s painful, it’s difficult and they hate 99% of what they do. Every once in a while they write an acceptable page and think, “Well, that’s not bad.” So, great writers are extremely critical of their own work. Young writers, first time writers, as a generality of course, seem to love everything they write. When I look at their work, I say “Look,” and I show them a page, or a problem in the story, and then suddenly they see how awful it is and they say, “My God, you’re right. It’s terrible.” My question is, “Why didn’t you see that before you sent the script to me? It’s glaringly bad.” Young writers’ greatest weakness is their inability to criticize themselves.

Scriptapalooza: How important is the process of rewriting?

McKee: It’s absolutely critical. I quote Hemingway in my book who said, “The first draft of anything is shit”. What’s difficult for writers to come to terms with, and this is an extension of your first question, is to recognize that 90% of what we all do, no matter our talent, is not our best work. We are only capable of excellence maybe 10% of the time. So, how are you going to fill a screenplay with 100% of excellence? Everything has to have been experimented with, improvised, played with, ten times over. Ninety percent of our work must be thrown away in order to ultimately end up with the precious 10% of excellence. If, for example, you write a 120-page screenplay with 40 to 60 scenes, if you keep every single scene you write, and your so-called rewriting is just paraphrasing and re-paraphrasing dialogue, that’s not rewriting, that’s just polishing. Rewriting means deep structural change in character and story. THAT’S rewriting. If you keep the first draft of your 40 to 60 scenes, you can be sure that, at best, four to six of those scenes are of real quality. The rest is crap. Rewriting doesn’t mean drudgery. Rewriting means re-imagining, recreating, improvising and trying all kinds of crazy ideas. That’s rewriting.

Scriptapalooza: What is the most important thing to know when you are adapting a book into a screenplay?

McKee: You have to strip the story out of the book, expressing it in one or two sentence statements per event. You might reduce an entire chapter to one sentence. “He comes into the room expecting to find her, discovers a note that she’s left him for good” period. In the book, that little moment might be a whole chapter. So you strip the novel down to its pure events, then you look through the design of events that you’ve abstracted from the novel and the most important question you ask is, “Is this a well told story?” Ninety percent of the time you will discover that it is not. Just because a novelist publishes a work doesn’t mean that he or she is any better a storyteller than you. The storytelling in most novels is not very good. Therefore, you will not be able to adapt it, and you will have to reinvent it. You will have to tell the same essential story that the novelist told but in a very different, more effective way.

Scriptapalooza: What are the typical weaknesses in a script?

McKee: It’s a long list: “On the nose” dialogue is common. People have a very difficult time writing dialogue these days. The dialogue I read gets worse and worse, it seems, every year. Instead of taking verbal action, the characters constantly explain their motivations, explain the situation. Characters praise themselves, or praise each other for being really wonderful people, or condemn each other for being really bad people. But neither of them has done anything good or bad. The reason I think the dialogue is so often on the nose, so dreadful, is because the underlying story is dreadful. Because the storytelling is bad, the dialogue struggles to make up for its ineptness.

Scriptapalooza: You use the words “story design” frequently. What does that mean?

McKee: An event comes along in life we call the “Inciting Incident.” Either by choice, accident, or both life is thrown out of balance. That imbalance arouses in the protagonist a desire to put life back on an even keel. To do that, they conceive of something that they need, an object of desire so to speak, that they feel would restore life’s balance. It could be justice, it could be putting the bad guy in jail, or, as in the film About Schmidt, it could be a reason for living. Whatever it is, they pursue that desire. The design of the story is built from that inciting incident, when life went out of balance, to the climax when balance is restored for better or worse. Events must be shaped in a progressive way to hold the emotional and intellectual interest of the audience for two hours without interruption and deliver them a satisfying experience. Exactly how that works, film to film, story to story, is infinitely variable. The task of a good design is to hook, hold and payoff the audience’s interest. If that works, then the story can be in one act or ten acts; it can be mono-plot or multi-plot in any genre.

Scriptapalooza: Speaking of genres, you talk about Thriller, Horror and Comedy in your seminars, as opposed to other genres, why is that?

McKee: I talk about all genres in the Story Seminar. The one-day seminars I give are on Comedy, the Thriller, Horror and Film Masterpieces where we look at the so-called “art movie.” I give these seminars because they are genres I love and have studied closely.

Scriptapalooza: What’s do you think is the difference between reading your book and taking your seminar?

McKee: It’s a big difference, apparently. I always thought when I published the book that the seminar would become unnecessary. Then I realized that people need to learn both ways, through the eye and ear. At the university we have a textbook and lectures. In theory, you don’t need to go to the lectures. You could memorize the book and pass every exam with an ‘A’. But you go to the lectures because you read things that somehow aren’t clear and you hear it explained in the lecture, and you get it. Or you hear things in the lecture that didn’t make sense, but then you read it in the textbook and get it. There are two doors into the mind, reading and listening. Apparently when you both read and listen to the same idea you get a deeper understanding.

Scriptapalooza: You have a new publication coming out this Fall called the Writers Quarterly, can you tell us a little bit about that?

McKee: Every three months I’m going to bring out a journal for writers that will contain new lessons that are not in the book or the lecture. In addition, I will do close analysis of films, novels and plays. One section I entitled called Works and another I call Doesn’t Work. In Works I will take a story apart moment-by-moment to show a writer why exactly this works. In Doesn’t Work, I will do the same close analysis to demonstrate why the story fails. In the Doesn’t Work section, I will not examine writing that is clearly bad, but rather look at examples that had great potential – a great cast, a renowned director, a prize-winning author. In other words, a story that should have worked but doesn’t. This too, I will take apart moment-by-moment to show the writer how and why it failed. [For Details: www.WritersQuarterly.com]

Scriptapalooza: This interview will be read by a lot of new writers that are just starting out. When you meet these new writers at your seminars, what do you find that they all have in common?

McKee: Stars in their eyes. Stanislavski asked this question of actors, and I would ask this same question of anybody wants to be a writer. Stanislavski said, “You have to decide whether you are in love with the art in yourself or yourself in the art.” Too many people are in love with themselves in the art. They want to be in Hollywood for the glamour, the glitz, the vanity. They want to be a part of the great world of media. What I want are writers that are in love with the art in themselves, writers who have a passion for writing, for telling story, fiction or non-fiction.

Scriptapalooza: Do you have a final statement?

McKee: The best advice I have is patience. The writer must realize that in all probability he or she is not going to sell his or her first screenplay. The odds against them are astronomical. Write your first screenplay with all the passion you have. But if it doesn’t sell, are you going to quit? If so, you’re dilettante and should give up now. Be realistic and realize that in all probability it will take you ten years and ten unproduced screenplays before you find success.

Scriptapalooza: Do you tell everyone that at your seminar?

McKee: I do.

Scriptapalooza: Wow, what’s their reaction?

McKee: They all sit there with their mouths open. It’s the truth, it’s reality, ok? But they have to understand screenwriting is not a hobby. It is an art form and a profession.

Scriptapalooza: You know, I’ll tell you, I love your answers; they’re very hard-core, very straight and to the point. There’s no time for BS here.

McKee: [chuckles]



Updated: 04/29/2004
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Scriptapalooza

Contact

Hollywood, CA 90046
(310) 801-5366 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: info@scriptapalooza.com

Contact: Mark Andrushko, President and CEO
MovieBytes Interview: Mark Andrushko

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.9/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 1.5 stars1.5 stars (1.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 324    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

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Contest Winner? Let's talk. If you've finished first, second, or third in the Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition, MovieBytes would like to interview you.