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News, opinions, interviews and more from Hollywood and the screenwriting contest scene.

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Interview with Wiki Contest Founder Bob McCullough

Bob McCullough, founder of Wiki: The World's FASTEST Screenplay Contest, and The Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards, was born and raised in Los Angeles, and attended Beverly Hills High School and USC. He went to graduate school at the University of Texas where he studied film and television before embarking on a successful career as a TV writer. (Posted: 08/20/2021)

Interview with Write LA Grand Prize Winner Nathan Dame

Nathan Dame Nathan Dame's television pilot Fräulein Schreiber's Mixtape was recently named the Grand Prize Winner of the Write LA Screenwriting Competition.

(Posted: 03/15/2021)

Interview with 2020 Creative World Award Winner Ross L. Mayberry

Ross L. MayberryRoss L. Mayberry is a Clinical Psychologist in Seattle whose pirate tale Sailing Off the Edge of the World was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2020 Creative World Awards Screenwriting Competition.

(Posted: 01/09/2021)

Interview with Author/Screenwriter Michael Weinreb

Michael WeinrebMichael Weinreb studied journalism at Penn State, and creative writing at Boston University, and published a book of short stories and several books of non-fiction before trying his hand at screenwriting with The Big D, a sports drama based loosely on the SMU football scandal of the 1980s.

(Posted: 08/04/2020)

Interview with Screenwriters Carlo and Erin Carere

Carlo and Erin CarereCarlo and Erin Carere are partners in life and in writing. Carlo was born in Naples, and published several novels in Italy before turning his attention to screenwriting. Minneapolis native Erin, meanwhile, was a playwright and singer-songwriter. The couple have been writing together since 2014, and their sci-fi TV pilot Dark Horizons has scored more than a dozen contest placements from some of the best-rated contests on MovieBytes.

(Posted: 07/13/2020)

Interview with StoryPros Comedy Category Winner Thomas Leupp

Thomas LeuppComedy writer Thomas Leupp was born and raised in Los Angeles, and his sports comedy Tres Banditos was the comedy category winner of the 2019 StoryPros Awards, and a runner-up for the 2019 Inroads Fellowship.

(Posted: 06/29/2020)

Interview with 2020 Fresh Voices Horror Division Winner Harry Aspinwall

Harry AspinwallHarry Aspinwall is a writer and actor who grew up in Scotland, but has been living the U.S. - currently Brooklyn - since he was 16. His historical horror script Henrietta was the First Place Winner of the Horror Division of the 2020 Fresh Voices Screenwriting Competition.

(Posted: 06/15/2020)

Interview with 2019 Shore Scripts Short Film Fund Winner James Gould-Bourn

James Gould Bourn James Gould-Bourne, winner of the 2019 Shore Scripts Short Film Fund Competition, is originally from Manchester, England, but now lives with his wife in Malaysia after four years of living in Lithuania. His debut novel, Bear Necessity, will be published in U.S. on August 4, 2020.

(Posted: 06/02/2020)

Interview with 2019 Creative World Award
Winner Taylor Hopkins

Taylor Hopkins was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2019 Creative World Awards for his screenplay, Stagecoach Mary, a true story about a hard-drinking, cigar smoking black woman in Montana in 1885, who uses her six shooter and tough as nails attitude to defend a convent of nuns from the perils of the Wild West. (Posted: 11/14/2019)

Interview with 2018 CineStory Second Place Winner Avishai Weinberger

CineStory Co-Executive Director Carlo Martinelli catches up with the 2018 CineStory Fellowship second place winner, Avishai Weinberger. (Posted: 03/05/2019)

Interview with ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner Davia Carter

Davia Carter was named a 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner on the basis of her TV pilot Double Time Dames, a one-hour drama set in the jazz age that tells the story of a brilliant female trumpeter who sheds her life of abusive men and attempts to start an all-female band as an Italian mob tries to stake their claim in her town. (Posted: 11/13/2018)

Interview with ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner Georgina Love

Georgina Love was named a 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner for her sci-fi feature Pig, which follows an experimental scientist as he raises a sentient pig as a mirror image of his terminally ill son. When the pig learns his "father's" plans have a sinister bent, he fights to resist the inevitable. (Posted: 11/05/2018)

Interview with ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner Brock Newell

Brock Newell was named a 2018 ScreenCraft Fellowship Winner for his feature screenplay Ravenous, a fresh take on the cabin in the woods horror genre, about a man who invites his new girlfriend on a camping trip with his friends, only to realize that she's a cannibal who intends to kill them all. Brock graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Creative Writing, and has been living in LA for 10 years by way of Chicago. (Posted: 10/23/2018)

Interview with ISA Fellowship Winner Sean Collins-Smith

Ever since graduating from film school in 2010, Sean Collins-Smith has wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue a TV writing career. His goal seemed unobtainable, though, until he won an ISA Fast Track Fellowship on the basis of his pilots End of Life and Lifers Anonymous. As part of his ISA prize package, he scored a week of industry meetings and wound up signing with manager Jewerl Ross of Silent R Management. He'll be moving to Los Angeles in September. (Posted: 06/10/2018)

On Winning the Austin Film Festival Script Competition, Part II

Troy Anthony Miller shares some thoughts about what it takes to win the Austin Film Festival Script Competition ... twice! (Posted: 05/11/2018)

On Winning the Austin Film Festival Script Competition, Part I

Are there actually writers out there who enter screenplay competitions thinking they might win? Because I am mostly certainly not that kind of writer.

(Posted: 05/07/2018)

Scriptapalooza Celebrates 20 Years

Scriptapalooza is one of the longest-running contests on MovieBytes. We caught up with contest founder Mark Andrushko on the occasion of their 20th Anniversary. (Posted: 11/10/2017)

How to Do the Austin Film Festival

Check out Heather Hughes inside scoop on how to get the most out of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Conference. (Posted: 10/19/2017)

Interview with Table Read My Screenplay Winner Mark Grisar

Screenwriter Mark Grisar scored a big 2016 contest win when his script Cleaning House was selected as the winner of the London edition of the Table Read My Screenplay Contest. The script has been optioned for production and is scheduled to shoot this spring with Nick Quested attached to direct. (Posted: 03/18/2017)

Interview with ScreenCraft Horror/Thriller Winners Colin Dalvit & Andrew Lahmann

Colin Dalvit & Andrew Lahmann won the 2016 ScreenCraft Action & Thriller Screenplay Contest with their script The Timbermen, an action-horror hybrid about a desperate father and son who join a group of rough lumberjacks on a dangerous mission in the Washington Territory in 1878, and must then fight to survive ferocious monsters deep in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. (Posted: 02/24/2017)

TrackingB Feature Winner Michael Thai

Mike Thai studied filmmaking at USC, focusing primarily on production, but has now turned to screenwriting, as well. His sci-fi detective thriller 10G was the recent winner of the TrackingB Screenplay Contest. (Posted: 02/11/2017)

Interview with Diverse Voices Feature Screenplay Winner Lillian Wang

Lillian Wang was recently named the Feature Screenplay Winner of the 2016 Diverse Voices Screenplay Competition for her script P.O. Box 1142, a story inspired by true, historical events about a Jewish interrogator stationed in a U.S. Nazi POW camp who learns that she must extract information from the high-ranking Nazi responsible for the death of her parents. (Posted: 01/26/2017)

Interview with ScreenCraft Horror Contest Winner Craig Peters

Craig Peters studied theatre at Stanford and UC Riverside, then moved to Los Angeles and slowly made the transition from acting to writing. His horror screenplay The 49th Day was selected for the prestigious "BloodList", an annual list highlighting the top 13 most well-liked, unproduced horror scripts of the year. The 49th Day was also named the 2016 winner of the ScreenCraft Horror Screenwriting Competition. (Posted: 11/29/2016)

CWA Champs Colette Freedman and Brooke Purdy

Friends and writing partners Colette Freedman and Brooke Purdy scored an important breakthrough earlier this month when they were named the Grand Prize Winners of the 2016 Creative World Awards for their post-apocalyptic screenplay, The Last Book Store. We caught up with the two prolific writers to ask about their partnership, their process, and their future. (Posted: 09/27/2016)

Pitching Tips from Panay Films' Jared Iacino

Jared Iacino is the Vice President of Film and Television Development at Panay Films, a film and television production company whose credits include Wedding Crashers (2005), starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, Van Wilder (2002) starring Ryan Reynolds, and Serendipity (2001), starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. (Posted: 06/07/2016)

Dear MovieBytes:
Can I use INT./EXT. for my action scenes?

Dear MovieBytes: A master scene in an action movie may have many quick twists and turns. Example: A car chase. You have a car, a driver, and a road. But if your headings bounce from INT to EXT to CAR, to Road a dozen times in one page, the spec script looks discombobulated. Can you use EXT. / INT. to cover both the external movement of the car and the internal movement of the driver? (Posted: 03/14/2016)

Tips on Contest Entry: Big Break TV Winner Eric Buchman Shares Lessons from the World of Script Coordinators

Meet Eric Buchman. By day, he's the script coordinator for the hit NBC show Blindspot, starring Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton. By night however, Buckman is the writer of his own show called 45 Wall and dreams of one day hiring his own script coordinator. (Posted: 03/01/2016)

Interview with ISA Fast Track Fellow David Baugnon

49-year-old David Baugnon grew up in New Orleans, and graduated from Loyola University there as a Communications major. He spent 4 years teaching in Kobe and Osaka, Japan, after college and then moved to New York in 1997. where he makes his living writing, mentoring and teaching screenwriting. He was recently named an International Screenwriters Association Fast Track Fellow for his script, The Messiah Project. (Posted: 02/23/2016)

Advice from 2015 CineStory Fellow Matt Fantaci

Last year I submitted my script to the Cinestory Foundation's 2015 Screenwriting Contest at the last minute, on the last day of their Extended Late Deadline. A friend/mentor of mine gave me just the nudge I needed. After reading up on CineStory I did a quick polish of my script and sent it off. A few months later I found out that I had won. (Posted: 02/16/2016)

Stage 32 Happy Writers Announces New TV Fellowship

Stage 32 Happy Writers has partnered with the Writers Assistant Network and over a dozen agencies and management companies to announce an intriguing new three month Fellowship for ten aspiring TV writers. (Posted: 02/01/2016)

Scriptapalooza Tips for Screenwriters

Scriptaplooza President Mark Andrushko has a list of do's and don'ts for entering Scriptapalooza Features & Shorts, and other contests, too. (Posted: 01/31/2016)

Dear MovieBytes:
Should I hire a screenwriting consultant?

M.T. wants to know if screenwriting consultants are worth the money. (Posted: 01/26/2016)

Industry Insider's Judd Payne Offers Contest Insight

Judd Payne has produced or executive produced over fifteen film and television projects including 2012’s hit comedy Bernie, among many others. He also came up with the logline for the latest iteration of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest. (Posted: 01/19/2016)

Script Pipeline's Matt Misetich

Matt Misetich started as a freelance reader at Script Pipeline in 2006, and gradually assumed more managerial duties until he eventually became the contest's full-time Director of Development. Prior to joining Script Pipeline, Matt worked at the film distribution company, Alpha Media. (Posted: 01/12/2016)

Taking Notes: Thoughts on Receiving Judge's Feedback

Months of pain and hard work. Maybe years. That's what it takes to craft a script you're proud of. You know there's something brilliant there. In fact, you're sure of it, so you submit your script to a contest. And then you don't win. (Posted: 01/05/2016)

Contest Winner Mark Stasenko

For 27-year-old Mark Stasenko, 2015 has been a very good year. First he was named the Grand Prize Winner of the American Zoetrope Screenwriting Competition for his screenplay Continuum, then he won a coveted ScreenCraft Fellowship for his script Losing Touch. We caught up with Mark to discuss his writing and the impact of these contest wins on his fledgling career. (Posted: 12/28/2015)

Dear MovieBytes:
Should I Give Away My First Script for Free?

R.C. wants to know if he should give away his first script for free in order to win attention for his other screenplays. (Posted: 12/26/2015)

Conquering the Contest Circuit -
Tips on Scoring & Placing Higher

It seems like more and more screenwriters are breaking into the industry by being discovered from a contest. From securing managers, getting hired, selling scripts to movies and TV pilots being produced, placing high in a reputable contest could lead to recognition that could jump-start your career. (Posted: 12/15/2015)

ScreenCraft Fellowship Seeks to Foster Strategic Relationships

After meeting initially at Open Road Films, John Rhodes and Cameron Cubbison founded ScreenCraft in 2012. We caught up with Cameron to discuss ScreenCraft and their 3rd Annual Screenwriting Fellowship, which has a final deadline coming up on January 15th. (Posted: 12/01/2015)

Ghost Ranch Writers Retreat

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