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2019 BlueCat Screenplay Competition

BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Contact

Hollywood , CA 90078
(323) 785-2338 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Gordy Hoffman, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: Gordy Hoffman

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.7/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Report Cards: 183    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Objective

The BlueCat Screenplay Competition, now in its 21st year, is accepting submissions for its 2019 competition.

Founded in 1998 by award-winning writer Gordy Hoffman, BlueCat has supported thousands of screenwriters through written analysis provided to all entrants, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the film and television industry. BlueCat's Alumni include:

Aaron Guzikowski (Verve/Madhouse) wrote PRISONERS and the remake of PAPILLON, which will open in theatres on August 28th, 2018.

Fergal Rock wrote DEPARTURES starring Nina Dobrev and Maisie Williams, which opens in theatres this year. An early draft of DEPARTURES entitled Calvin & Skye won the BlueCat Fellini Award.

Ana Lily Amirpour (CAA), won Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival for THE BAD BATCH, directed by Lyle Vincent (DREAMLAND) and starring Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves. Show More

Deadline/Entry Fees

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early September 30, 2018 $50 (features); $45 (pilot/hour); $40 (pilot/half-hour); $35 (short film/script)
October October 21, 2018 $60 (features); $55 (pilot/hour); $50 (pilot/half-hour); $45 (short film/script)
Regular November 18, 2018 $60 (features); $55 (pilot/hour); $50 (pilot/half-hour); $45 (short film/script)
Final December 16, 2018 $70 (features); $65 (pilot/hour); $60 (pilot/half-hour); $55 (short film/script) 1
Late January 20, 2019 Feature Screenplay $80, Pilot (Hour) $75, Pilot (Half-Hour) $70, Short Script $65 35

Rules

We accept features, pilots and shortsvisit our website for more info! www.bluecatscreenplay.com

Awards

  • The Feature Screenplay Competition winner will receive $10,000. Four feature finalists will receive $1,000 each.
  • The Pilot Winners will receive $5,000, one Winner for half-hour pilots and one Winner for hour pilots. Four Pilot Finalists for both categories will receive $500 each.
  • The Short Script Winner will receive $5,000. Four Shorts Finalists will receive $500 each.
  • The Fellini Award will be awarded to the Best Screenplay from any category of the 2019 Competition written by a screenwriter residing outside the USA and will receive $5,000.

BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Contact

Hollywood , CA 90078
(323) 785-2338 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Gordy Hoffman, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: Gordy Hoffman

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.7/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Report Cards: 183    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest Comments

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BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Contact

Hollywood , CA 90078
(323) 785-2338 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Gordy Hoffman, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: Gordy Hoffman

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.7/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Report Cards: 183    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

How to Start a Screenplay: Treatment or Free Fall?

by Gordy Hoffman

Starting a screenplay can sometimes be as hard as finishing one. Impatient to pull up to the front door of a classic motion picture, I want to get everything right so quickly. This impatience challenges my trust in the work, the creative process of screenwriting. What exactly does trust mean? If I don’t trust my writing, then what am I? Frightened. This is the battle. If I’m scared that everything I’m typing is worthless, then what? My hands find something else to do. So trust is good and important and essential to beginning this journey, alone, a trip that will eventually take what comes out of you into millions of people. But it’s just you now. And your trust.



Now, does trusting your writing mean sitting down with no ideas,opening a new document, and starting to type? Of course. And no. What I need to do is make a decision and execute. And this decision often comes back to whether I should write an outline or treatment before I start writing my screenplay, or, with a rough idea, a shadowy shadow of something calling from my brain, start writing?

I have done both in the past. When I wrote the first draft of LOVE LIZA, I really had very little idea of where the story was going. I had a few things to start off with, and somewhere I wanted to end up down the road, but that was it. It was terrifying and difficult to remain seated. But the most original characteristics of the screenplay came out of the immediacy of trying to come up with what’s next, with my fingers resting on the keyboard. I became sold on this process. Outlines killed creativity, because writing an outline is not actual screenwriting. It’s outlining.

But then I came to Hollywood and tried to tell executives the little ideas I had. I would very proudly announce an image, a picture in my head, that I knew contained the fire of an entire epic. I was shocked when they asked, “Then what happens?” I didn’t have an answer. Why? Well. BECAUSE I HADN’T WRITTEN IT YET. It seemed like a completely stupid question. What happens? What happens?? Did I say I had a complete screenplay to show you?!

You know the rest. No phone calls and bewilderment and then I found myself in the city of pitches, and starting to flesh out things into 14 page screenplay treatments. I did so, convinced that it could never be that good, that it was forced, and staged, and predictable. I was shocked to find out that it did not destroy my creativity. I was still able to come up with interesting, original things. But deep down I knew. This was still not screenwriting. This was not the art of screenwriting. And I’m right.

So now what was I going to do? What was better? If I was to sit down and spec something out, how was I supposed to go about it? First off, I’m lazy, so having a treatment or an outline sitting next to my laptop to walk me through the first draft is very appealing, despite knowing that the inspiration driving a treatment is different than the juice that comes when writing the screenplay blindly. And I have sat down and written 90 pages, trying to find the story, only to simply start over. This is a lot of work, but I’ve come to recognize that this work is not lost. This is the path. It hurts, it kills, it bludgeons, it fatigues, it flattens, but it’s the road. Believe me.

But what about a heist movie, or a mystery? A thriller with twists? Aren’t movies sometimes puzzles? Can we find this stuff without a plan? Don’t you have to figure this stuff out? Yes and no. Flying by the seat of your pants often produces jaw-dropping turns the audience will never see coming. Why? The writer didn’t. This is the largest reason why studio movies are predictable-the fabric of the script is shot through with the knowledge of the ending of the story.

If we are to plot out the map of our movie with a treatment, beat sheet or outline, we better be damn sure it’s the real thing. Putting our best foot forward with a very strong outline is only the start of what will end up as a screenplay. Despite putting that golden outline next to our keyboard, we will find that turning it into a screenplay is still, I’m awfully sorry, a lot of work. Scenes that we imagined to be amazing will suddenly be impossible to write. And why does that upset us? Why does that frustrate the writer?

Well, we thought we had a short cut. We thought we were going to sneak into the back of a classic movie. My journey as a writer has been marked by the learning and relearning that all that wood has to be cut out there in the back yard, whether I like it or not. If I wanna do this, I have to swing the axe.

But we know, if we trust our gift, that something beautiful is coming, regardless if we have an outline or not. Perhaps the writers who work from outlines should throw them out. Perhaps the writers who write like the house is on fire, with nary a note within miles, should sit down and write a treatment. Treatments are fun, too.

I do both, switching back and forth when I need to. When I’m writing and I start to feel blindfolded, I turn to jot down a few notes, sketch a few ideas, track a character arc, reorder an act. But when I think I’m caught up in pitches and notes and beat sheets and the safety of plans, I chuck it all and write like I did when I was a kid.

Did we use notes when we were kids?

Copyright © 2006 BlueCat Screenplay Competition

About the Author

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for LOVE LIZA , Gordy Hoffman has written and directed three digital shorts for Fox Searchlight. He made his feature directorial debut with his script, A COAT OF SNOW, which world premiered at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival. He is also the founder of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Dedicated to develop and celebrate the undiscovered screenwriter, BlueCat provides written screenplay analysis on every script entered. In addition, Gordy acts as a script consultant for screenwriters, offering personalized feedback on their scripts through his consultation service, www.screenplaynotes.com. For more articles by Gordy on screenwriting, visit www.bluecatscreenplay.com.

Updated: 02/14/2006
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BlueCat Screenplay Competition

Contact

Hollywood , CA 90078
(323) 785-2338 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: Click here

Contact: Gordy Hoffman, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: Gordy Hoffman

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.7/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Report Cards: 183    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview: Gordy Hoffman

An interview with Gordy Hoffman regarding the BlueCat Writing Competition.

Updated: 01/29/2007

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Lily Amirpour

An interview with screenwriter Lily Amirpour regarding the BlueCat Contest Writing Competition.

Updated: 03/06/2008

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Rick Stempson

An interview with screenwriter Rick Stempson regarding the BlueCat Writing Competition.

Updated: 02/07/2007
Contest Winner? Let's talk. If you've finished first, second, or third in the 2019 BlueCat Screenplay Competition, MovieBytes would like to interview you.