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Has anyone heard anything about the results for this? I had emailed Anna a couple weeks back for an ETA, but no response, which is pretty unlike her. Anyone know what's going on? All this finger-crossing makes it hard to type.
THE SCREENWRITER'S BIBLE by David Trottier is essential for every screenwriter learning how to write. Second, HOW NOT TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY by Denny Martin Flinn is essential for every screenwriter learning how not to write garbage.
After that, the books I've found most useful are as follows (in no particular order): 1) CRAFTY SCREENWRITING, Alex Epstein; 2) WRITING FOR EMOTIONAL IMPACT, Karl Iglesias; 3) WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT SELL (THE ACKERMAN WAY), Hal Ackerman; 4) WRITING MOVIES, Gotham Writers' Workshop; 5) SCREENPLAY: WRITING THE PICTURE, Robin U. Russin and William Missouri Downs.
Most of those also talk about the business end of screenwriting, but here are some books I found especially good that focus on the subject: 1) BREAKFAST WITH SHARKS, Michael Lent; 2) THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY, Cynthia Whitcomb; 3) THE SCRIPT-SELLING GAME, Kathie Fong Yoneda; 4) HOW TO SELL YOUR SCREENPLAY, Lydia Wilen and Joan Wilen.
And some other good books on screenwriting in general: 1) SECRETS OF THE SCEEN TRADE (FROM CONCEPT TO SALE), Allen B. Ury; 2) 101 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL SCREENWRITERS, Karl Iglesias; 3) 500 WAYS TO BEAT THE HOLLYWOOD SCRIPT READER, Jennifer Lerch.
And as a final note, Michael Hauge is about the most brilliant speaker on the subject of screenwriting, so while I've never read any of his books, I suspect they must be at least as good as his DVDs.
Hope this helps!
It is with a mixed measure of amusement and despair that I read threads such as this, wherein people shout at each other in entirely different languages how best to build the Tower of Babel that is mankind.
Every so often, someone hears an opponent utter a word derived from a similar root but having sprouted quite a different meaning in their own peculiar dialect, and desperate efforts to sew understanding result merely in the fruiting fungus of further confusion and acrimony. Words do not lift us out of hate or misunderstanding; they are the source of them.
Thus it is inevitable that my words will be misunderstood by most and misconstrued as the vilest of lies by many, for such is the way of speech. But for the sake of those who will hear, I'll utter them:
The purpose of writers is not to tell people what to think. It's to tell people what to think about.
Ask questions? Yes. Provide answers? No.
Truth is the province of the priest, not the writer. A writer is no more equipped to provide truth than a mathmatician is to perform surgery.
Would the fur trade make a good subject for a screenplay? Since the conflict and drama surrounding the topic is patently apparent, clearly the answer is yes. Would a screenplay meant to enlighten people about the horrors of the fur trade be a good screenplay?
No. It would suck, and suck hard.
Why? Because you might as well be writing it in Swahili or Esperanto or Klingon or beetle pheromones. You'll only be communicating with people who already speak the language. That audience might swoon over the profundity of your work, but you won't have enlightened a single new individual -- more likely, you'll have alienated them further with your self-righteousness.
If you think it will turn out otherwise -- that somehow you'll create a work so brilliant that its truth is undeniable -- know that better men (and deities) have tried and failed.
Speaking of such better men, for any who truly dare to seek an exploration of truth on this topic, I'd recommend C.S. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain." You can read an excerpt here: http://www.cslewisclassics.com/books/problem_of_pain-excerpt.html
As for lesser men, being one of them I doubtless have failed to persuade anyone. Therefore, let the bitter recriminations begin.
Perhaps, at least, I'll have provided something to think about.
I received my feedback just about a month a go, and I was pretty happy with it. I found the "likes" section to be quite praiseworthy, and while the "dislikes" section was fairly harsh, screenwriters do need to learn to take the bad with the good -- and to come to terms with the reality of subjectivity. So no complaints on that front.
I can sympathize with this being a new, small contest, so they're probably swamped with more screenplays than they can read and review in a timely fashion. However, it would be nice if they sent out a batch e-mail to entrants every so often for an update on the situation. I think screenwriters can be quite patient as long as they're kept informed!
By the same token, I am mystified by the Creative Screenwriting/AAA contest's lack of updates on the long delay for the summer contest (which was supposed to have the results no later than Nov 1st, yet still hasn't even announced the feature semifinalists). This is a well-established larger contest, so I can't fathom why there's been no update or even acknowledgement about the delay. None of my emails to the coordinator have been answered. Has anyone heard anything on this?
I can personally vouch for Colin O'Reilly's uber-coolness. This guy is rad. Send him your scripts and/or money! If you're not 100% satisfied with his notes then, well...your writing probably sucks. But then at least you'll know -- and knowing's half the battle!
(Seriously though, Colin is awesome. Do it.)
Terri, I read that thread (at least until it degenerated into absolute drivel), and I saw no evidence of writers being jerked around. Unfortunately, some inexperienced writers did seem to labor under the misguided notion that an open call for scripts meant they were each entitled to be individually contacted with a response. But that isn't being jerked around -- that's being delusional. You rarely get individual responses with a paid contest; you sure as heck aren't gonna get that from a single guy offering to look at your material for free to see if it clicks with him on a personal and financial level.
With most reps and producers in the industry, getting them to let you even send them your script (much less actually take a look at it) is like pulling teeth -- or rather, like persuading them to allow you to graft your own teeth into their gums. Colin, on the other hand, lets you send him pretty much anything, and he'll eventually take a peek at it on the off-chance it's something that works for him. That alone separates him from 97% of the producers and reps out there. But don't think that his generosity in accepting submissions means he *owes* you a response! It's that kind of narcissistic myopia that prevents most writers from having many friends to show their t-shirt of Colin's signed release form to.
So I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Colin is awesome, and you guys are lucky to have the opportunity to have him potentially read your work. But unless you pay for his analysis, he doesn't owe you a guaranteed read, much less a response. So I suggest you buy a critique! Or at least confine your oral hygiene issues to another thread. :P
Just got an email from Lighthouse explaining how a hospitalization is the cause of the delays; they've updated the website to explain the situation. That's a more than adequate explanation for the delay, so let's all wish them well.
With regards to AAA, I certainly hope that all is well over at Creative Screenwriting and that Anna is okay. (Thanks John for sharing your experience with the situation, and for wishing us luck. And mega-congrats on the PAGE win!)
I had figured that the strike might have had something to do with it -- I'd been wondering myself what effects it would have on contests like this. Still kinda wish they had let us know about this a few months ago...as I always say, it's awfully hard to write with your fingers crossed. ;)
Again, thanks for the info John, and best of luck with SW!
I think "Estella Ransom" was the winner for the 2006 competition, so the winners for the 2007 contest haven't been announced yet. Rich Owens emailed me to say he's been in the hospital for several months, and that's the reason for the long delay and why he hasn't been able to tell people about the problem with the contest. So don't be too upset with him yet -- he's still recovering.
But just like Jay, I'd like to say that all of your friends here have been praying for you since we found out what happened. And we all wish you a very merry Christmas and hope next year is much better for you!
Excellent job John and Danny!!
I'd also like to give a shout out to my good buddy Geoff Breuder for taking 7th place with his script THE ACE OF ACES. Considering that this is the first finished script that he's sent out on the contest circuit, I'd say that reaching the winners' circle is pretty impressive! (And far better than I did with my first shot at contests.)
Huzzah to the three of you!
Once again: nobody owes anybody anything in this business. If someone takes your script and actually contacts you again in the future, consider yourself fortunate. But don't expect them to, because they're under ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY no obligation to do so. Not even out of courtesy (odds are, they're being courteous by NOT telling you what they thought of you and/or your material).
However, if someone like Colin "ignores" you, that means nothing necessarily more than that your material wasn't right FOR THEM, i.e., that they don't think they can (or want to) sell it. Maybe their best industry connections work on different types of projects. Maybe they just enjoy selling specs in their own favorite genres. There could be a million reasons why one rep doesn't want to promote a screenplay that others would sell in a heartbeat. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the script.
Then again, there could be other reasons for a rep not to want to get involved with a piece of (otherwise exceptional) material...usually having to do with the writer.
I hate to say it, but reputation is everything in this town. And if an unsold writer goes around badmouthing people who are actually in the industry with significant producer credits to their name, just because he or she is disgruntled about their personal perception of what constitutes a "meeting" or other idiosyncratic notions of "disrespect," then that person is just going to get a reputation for being high-maintenance, egocentric, and uppity -- none of which are selling points to a representative or a producer.
So just a suggestion I'm throwing out to you folks: if thy tongue offend thee, tear it out...because people with planks in their eyes look really silly.
I just have to ditto Randy's praise for Shell's brilliant statement:
"Whatever you do, and whomever you kill off in your script, for God's sake, let hope live. Don't send your audience out into the cruel world without it."
I see that quote becoming one of the standard aphorisms of screenwriting wisdom, alongside such greats as "sometimes you have to kill your babies" and "if you want to send a message use Western Union."
Of course I still have to wonder whether it is *always* true. After all, the makers of SE7EN rue to this day letting the studio force them into adding the semi-hopeful coda at the end (as it was, the studio had long told them "there's no way this movie is ending with a head in a box" -- at least they won that battle). Granted, a story like SE7EN is the exception that proves the rule, but would it have been better without that hint of hope?
Is there any hope for a script about a demise of hope?
Anyone want to place bets on whether this will have a nice happy Hollywood ending, or if this will end with a head in a box?
Who among you have used this service? I'm curious about your experiences with it. How does it compare with InkTip?
Anyone at all care to share their thoughts on this?
Thanks for the info Jean. :) That at least indicates that some folks are checking out the site.
Has anyone else gotten any requests or similar attention from using this? Does anyone use the Pro version?
I've never heard of them. It honestly sounds a tad fishy to me.
If you really want to get more exposure, go to film festivals, especially Austin, and network. Or at least wait for actual managment companies to contact you based on your contest placements.
I go by the theory that if it's not an agent, manager, or producer, then it's probably just someone looking to take your money and/or material. The only exception I've found thusfar is InkTip -- though if anyone knows of others feel free to clue me in. :)
Best of luck Mike.
In case you don't know, if you email Michael Trent and ask for feedback on your entry, he'll send you the judge's coverage right away -- even if you didn't advance to the next round.
Considering that my screenplay contains the greatest number of severed heads in cinematic history (certainly the greatest number with spinal columns still attached), I was strongly anticipating something like the Church Lady condemning every word. Instead I found my coverage to be quite insightful: "The Christian portion of this script is subtle but unique. It is interesting to mix a Christian/uplifting theme within a scary thriller. The story shows how our search for peace and unity without God can only lead to death and destruction." Clearly the reader understood what I was going for (and gave my script an "A" in overall rating and writing mechanics) -- but it seems that any amount of profanity or graphic violence is ultimately a deal-breaker for Kairos.
Regardless, it's good to know that they've got some astute readers over at Kairos, and that they don't dismiss horrors or thrillers out of hand. Clearly a PG-13 horror script could do well in their contest.
So go ahead and email Michael if you want to see what the reader thought of your entry!
I received the exact same email yesterday, verbatim. Well, at least things seem to be coming together. I noticed that they signed the letter "CS"...wonder if that means that Anna is gone.
I also wonder if this means they're gonna skip the feature semifinals altogether. Seems like if they figure on having the finalists and winners in two weeks, they should know the semis before then.
In any case, it's good to know that something's finally moving on this! (Not that I expect to advance any further when up against the likes of John...but I feel bad that he hasn't gotten his prizes yet!!)
Well heck John, *any* script can get eliminated in the first round of a competition. My extensive research has discovered that all screenplay contests use the same method for the initial cut: a dumpster is opened behind the building where the contest is run, and the screenplays received are thrown off the roof. Those that land outside the dumpster go on to the quarterfinals. That's why it's so important to keep your script's page-count down -- not because it results in tighter writing, but merely because lighter ones flutter more on the way down. ;)
I can't speak to the Aussies' modesty, however, since I've never been outside the good ol' U.S. of A (I've updated my profile to reflect my Yankee origins). I figure you must be thinking of my good buddy Geoff Breuder, who is both living in Australia and married to one -- but he's technically an American too. But any well-wishing is always gratiously accepted! So in American terms:
Rock on to you too dude! :)
John, I've been called far worse things than an Aussie, believe me! So as they say Down Under, "No worries, mate." :)
And thanks for the props on BlueCat! Did you enter that one, or did cold impersonal physics consign your entry to the dumpster?
Also, got an update on AAA: Anna is apparently no longer running the contest -- they have a new contest director named Pasha. Those emails we've been getting are from CS' customer service rep (who declined to give his/her name). But the very fact that they responded right away to my email praising them for getting the contest back up and running and letting me know this info says to me that they're really starting to whip things back into shape after their shakeups over at CS.
I'm with Paula on this one Tom. When crafting a logline, you've got to give the prospective reader *something* to grab on to, that goes beyond vague assurances that it will be good.
Look at it from the reader's perspective. Most scripts out there are either A) awful, or B) not what the reader's looking for. He can't afford to waste time requesting scripts that fall into those categories if he can avoid it. So your logline at least has to try to prove it's neither A nor B.
I submit to you it's almost impossible to tell if a script is A from a logline alone, but at the very least the reader should be able to determine B. Hint: if he can't determine B, he's gonna assume A -- which really isn't fair, since crafting a story and crafting a logline are totally different skills, but hey, life is hard.
Your logline leaves the reader with the following questions right off the bat: what "exciting ways"? what "inevitable end"? what sort of "journey"? what "mysteries of their pasts"? why do they need "a second chance at happiness"? You don't have to give everything away, but at least give us a hint or two.
Your script could very well be a very touching, profound story. Or it could be an incoherent mess. There's no way to tell based on your logline alone -- and it doesn't give the reader a single clue about what will actually be going on in the script that might interest him.
Take Paula's example about the "PS I Love You" logline. I've never heard of that movie much less seen it, but just from that sentence we know it's about a young woman dealing with an untimely death. If that's a concept/topic that interests someone, they'll know right away if they want to see the movie. As an added bonus, it's got the basic core element of the story (the series of letters from beyond the grave) right there, so you know a little bit about what you're in for.
Here's the logline I've used on InkTip over the past six months, from which I've gotten several reads and contacts from managers and producers:
UNITY (horror/thriller): When a California mudslide unearths a mass grave of hundreds of headless, spineless corpses, relentless FBI psychologist Melody Mastersen risks everything to find an explanation.
Ok, it's still not very good, but at least it's caught the interest of a few pros out there. I suppose if anyone is as curious as Agent Mastersen is to find out why there would possibly be hundreds of bodies missing skulls and spines buried out in the CA woods, they'll take the risk to read the screenplay. If that doesn't make them curious...well, odds are they wouldn't like the script anyway.
(If anyone out there has tips on making my logline better, please share them!!)
Anyway, try to put something at least a little specific into your logline to catch a reader's interest. Promising them all sorts of interesting or enlightening journeys without any tangible evidence that there's a cool concept behind this story just isn't gonna make them take the time to find out.
Hope this helps Tom! :)
John, thanks for that insight on what Gordy may be looking for. I've been scratching my head wondering why my risky, controversial political/military thriller made the cut, and my far more commercial (and thus far more successful) horror/thriller didn't. I thought maybe it was because the commercial one was four pages longer than the controversial one, so it plummeted more straightly into the dumpster's waiting maw. But your theory is good too. :)
Good luck with your new script -- though not sure I would be advertising it as "less commercial" if you can avoid it. ;)
And thanks for wishing me well with the Lab -- it does sound uber-rad. And here's wishing to your success (and to the other MBers in the runnung) in AAA!
John, that is fantastic news about the rep and the assignment! Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Except maybe for Geoff, because he is an amazingly nice guy. But I'm sure you're at least in the top 10. ;)
We'll be praying for your success! (Especially because now you'll be up against *industry* dumpsters...)
Thanks Randy! Needless to say, we're astonished that ONE NATION UNDER has advanced so far. It must be due to all the goodwill MBers like you have projected our way. :) So here's wishing you the best on your projects too!
--Gene & Paul The Brothers Langlais
Thanks again all! We're up against some stiff competition, so we'll need all the positive vibes we can get! :)
And don't lose hope Orlanda. Our scripts (including ONU) have fallen prey to the BlueCat dumpsters more than once in the past. Just gotta keep at it!
Connie, I too want to say what an inspiration you've been to us. So many people here have been moved by your words, so always remember that you have friends here that love you and are praying for you and your family.
We can't wait to see one of your screenplays made into a movie -- and I hope someone starts up a screenwriting competition in your honor!
Keep being such a good person Connie, never give up, and know that we all care about you!!
One of my scripts did make it to the quarterfinals in ASA, but the other one did not. Last year I didn't make it at all. It all depends on the person who reads it. Just like some people hate movies that other people love, one reader might love a script, while another reader doesn't. Unfortunately yours were read by people who just happened to like other screenplays better. But who knows, next year someone else might read yours and like it better. So don't let yourself get discouraged! If I had given up on ASA after not making the quarterfinals last year, I wouldn't have made it this year. You've just got to keep trying and keep praying. :)
This will probably be more information than you need, but I'm going to wax voluble on the subject in the hopes that some contest directors who genuinely want to improve their competitions may be reading this thread.
"When selecting a screenplay competition to enter, what are the most important features that you look for?"
1) Handling of results: The primary reason to enter a competition is to rack up placements for your resume; therefore the way a contest handles their results is the absolute primary concern. The more tiers of results announced (i.e., quarterfinals, semifinals, etc.), the better chance your payment for entry will at least earn you a placement. By the same token, having separate categories for different genres is a *huge* plus. Also having a relatively quick turnaround time from the earliest entry deadline to the first round results announcement is a bonus. Finally, revealing the number of entrants so you can gauge your percentile rank is highly appreciated.
2) Prizes: While the primary goal of entering a competition remains merely to place rather than win, the value of the prizes offered to the winners is a huge measure of how serious the contest is. If they're not willing to put their money on the line, why should I be? Alternatively (or better yet, additionally), contests which have lesser prizes for finalists or semifinalists -- like magazine subscriptions or InkTip listings -- provide an added incentive to enter.
3) A professional, well-organized website: A website that looks professionally done tells me that the folks running the contest have done well enough for themselves that they might actually be able to deliver on some of their promises. And if the website is actually organized well enough that one can easily find information (my standard test is to see how long it takes me to find the super-secret instructions on how the title page should be formatted), then one can hope that the contest will be similarly well-executed. Websites which have bios on the staff, info on the history of the competition and its philosophy, and similar human touches gain extra points.
4) Online entry: Be it for environmental or economic reasons, all writers should agree that submitting scripts online as opposed to printing and mailing them is superior in every respect. Just let me enter the blasted thing online, either on the contest's website, by email, or via Without A Box. I'm at least twice as likely to enter a contest that takes online submissions than one that only takes paper ones -- especially since I'm ten times as likely to not get around to it until one hour before the deadline anyway. So if you want my money, let me send it to you over the net.
5) Customer service: If emails are not answered in a timely, courteous, and preferably personable fashion, you aren't going to get my business. Before I enter ANY contest, I send them an email asking them some token question (usually because I couldn't find the answer on their confusing or uninformative website) just to see how they'll respond. I consider that a good indication about how the contest itself will be handled.
6) Price: Speaking of which, it should come as no great shock that the lower the price, the more likely I am to enter -- especially if I'm considering entry of more than one script. If you're charging $50, I'll probably enter one script; if you're charging $35, I'll probably send you two scripts. Shouldn't take an MBA to figure out the math on that one. Also, no competition is worth more than $60 per script; however, if the price is $30 or under I'll probably enter it barring any major disqualifying factors.
7) History of placements: An essential feature of the well-designed website is that one can easily find previous winners and contest placements. I want to know that in the future people will be able to find my name and script listed there, and that if they Google my name they'll find a record of my placement. Furthermore, when considering entering a contest, I'll scan the lists of previous placements to see if there are any names that I recognize; that way I have someone I can contact to find out their impressions of how the contest was run in the past.
8) Free Feedback: Any competition which offers free feedback (assuming a reasonable submission fee) automatically gains extra consideration for entry. Feedback provides a number of invaluable benefits: a) it conveys the message that you're actually trying to help screenwriters and not just make a quick buck; b) it proves that you actually read the script, and lets us measure the quality of your readers; and c) it prepares us for the inevitable subjectivity and occasional idiocy of the outside world. Plus it might actually help us with our writing. With only one notable exception (A FEEDING FRENZY), I cannot recommend playing an additional fee for feedback, so offering feedback for an extra charge is equivalent to not offering feedback at all...or perhaps slightly more insulting.
9) Multiple reads: Far too few competitions promise to read each entry more than once, but I can guarantee you that I'll enter any that do -- perhaps I'd even pay slightly more for additional reads. Off the top of my head I can only think of one that does (SCRIPT PIMP guarantees two reads) but I entered that contest on that information alone (and made the finals in it, so it clearly paid off).
10) A decent name: Once again, writers don't enter competitions for the prizes; they enter them for the bragging rights. Some competitions have really crappy names, to the point that it's difficult to brag even about winning in them. Sadly some great competitions fall into this category: the aforementioned SCRIPT PIMP being one of them (unless you've heard of them, it sounds really sleazy). Particularly bad are ultra-generic sounding competitions, such as MOVIE SCRIPT CONTEST (an otherwise excellent competition, but just how do you work that into a conversation at a networking party? "Yeah, my screenplay just made the finals in 'Movie Script Contest'"...I can already see the blank, unimpressed stares).
"When reviewing screenplay competitions, what causes you to eliminate a competition from consideration?"
1) A hokey-looking website: If the contest website looks like it was thrown together by a college student, I'm going to assume that this is either a fly-by-night scamjob or the contest will be run by a bunch of amateurs. Count me out.
2) A confusing/uninformative website: Even if the website is professional, if I have to spend 45 minutes spelunking webpages to find the info I'm looking for, or quickly realize that information that should be readily apparent is nowhere to be found (often the case with film festivals that kinda/sorta also have a screenplay competition), my confidence level in the competition plummets. And if there is contradictory information on the website or between the competition's website and its listings on MovieBytes or Without A Box, that is certainly cause for chagrin.
3) Obnoxious entry requirements: Any competition which makes you submit only a portion of the script for the first round(s) of judging is automatically out. Likewise, competitions which only promise to read X number of pages are suspect (though if they let you send them the entire script, it's not in itself an instant deal-breaker). Requirements to send multiple copies of the scripts or lengthy synopses before the script has even cleared the quarterfinals is also grounds for disgruntlement.
4) Word of mouth from other entrants: While one cannot always trust every individual writer's rant about how some contest screwed them over or failed to recognize their genius, once enough of them have had something bad to say about a competition, that contest is anathema. Only a fool would enter it.
5) Treating Connie Tonsgard badly: Any contest that sends a cruel email to Connie won't get my business, period.
"What influences your decision to re-enter a competition in subsequent years, or to recommend a competition to someone else?" (Yeah, you didn't actually ask this question, but you should have.)
1) RESPECT: Competitions that show respect to the entrants get re-entered or recommended; those that do not, do not. Writers and other artists tend to be a notoriously sensitive bunch. That sensitivity means that we are both especially susceptible to slights, and particularly capable of understanding. If you don't answer our emails or update your websites when schedules change, we're gonna get mad at you. But if you *do* do that, then you should apologize and explain the situation, because we're probably going to accept it. Don't treat us like a bunch of idiots and assume that if you just leave your websites untouched and emails unanswered for weeks or months at a time, we'll just get distracted by some floating dust mote caught in a sunbeam and wander off. No, we're going to be silently seething and plotting our inexorable revenge...and some of us are horror writers, so it ain't gonna be pretty. ;) So seriously, just let us know what's going on, and we'll be happy with that. And making "ninja edits" on your websites doesn't count -- you have to *boldly proclaim* the changes you're making and the reason you're making them. That shows respect, so we'll respect you back, regardless of the situation. Pretty cool, huh? So do it.
(I would like to give a special shout-out to the American Screenwriters Association for doing precisely that with the recent quarterfinal results; they both updated their website and sent out a blast email informing everyone that one of the judges had come down with an illness that was delaying the results. That's what I call CLASS. ASA gets my official thumbs up.)
Hope this is some help to you Diana. Happy Easter!!
Thanks John, Ben, and Jean -- I'm glad you appreciated the post!
If we can get more MBers to throw their support behind it (or otherwise respond to Diana's highly relevant questions) maybe we can provoke some really positive changes in the competition universe.
To that end, I think we should conspire to keep this thread at the top of the forum until all contests are run perfectly... ;)
Does no one else have anything to add on this subject? I'm not gonna let this thread die until it at least gets more posts than the free advertisement given by everyone who keeps bumping up Rob Tobin's "buy my f*ing book you p*sies" threads!
I'm going to give you about seven-cents worth. :)
My advice to you is, don't worry about it. Your goal as a screenwriter is to create a well-crafted, emotionally impactful story, and then try to get your writing talent noticed. As long as you don't actively plagiarize or defame anyone, you'll be fine.
Unless you plan on producing the film yourself, or specifically seek to market your screenplay as an adaptation of that particular book you mentioned, those legalisms shouldn't concern you. Your screenplay has no monetary value until somebody else wants it -- and very few people will sue to get a percentage of nuthin'. And nobody will want your script until they think that they can make significantly more money on it than they're going to pay you for it -- at which point their own army of lawyers will deal with securing any additional rights they may need or similar CYA activities.
Bottom line is, you're not Speilberg yet. ;) Nobody's out to sue you. Once you sell your script to Speilberg -- assuming you haven't willfully stolen copyrighted expressions of ideas or slandered anyone (in which case Speilberg will be cross with you for selling him fraudulent merchandise) -- then it's no longer your problem, legally speaking.
As for optioning the book: once again, unless you genuinely want to do a screenplay adaptation of *that* book's depiction of the events, or specifically want having the rights to it as part of your marketing strategy ("based on the 1969 Brazilian best-seller!!"...or whatever country it's from), you absolutely do not need to go around optioning books that people just happen to have written on the same subject as part of some preemtpive legal maneuver. If absolutely necessary, those are things which can be worked out later when you actually have a deal for selling your script in the works. Otherwise it's the studio's or producer's problem to deal with the inevitable onslaught of frivolous lawsuits that follow any production of a historical film.
So my best advice is to tell you to worry about your *writing,* and leave lawyering at the office. Odds are strongly against you selling a period piece on spec (because of the budget required), so your primary goal with this script should be to write it well enough that it places in contests and can get you noticed for your writing ability, not necessarily the script itself. So get out there and tell a great moving story!
Hope this helps, --Gene
P.S. Note how I don't even include a disclaimer saying how I'm not an attorney and this should not be construed as legal advice! Feel free to construe it however you want. And if anyone really thinks that vitamin water from the commercial actually does cover the world in bubble-wrap, ignore the barely-visible "Do Not Attempt" warning at the bottom of the screen -- go ahead, jump off a building; you'll be fine, honest. ;)
Just goes to show you, everyone has different tastes and you never know what will happen with your scripts in these contests. I had two scripts in the semis for this contest, and your script beat out both of them for the finals. Frankly, you deserve it more than I do anyway. :)
Keep up the good work Connie. :) I hope I get to read your screenplay sometime!
You can't cover everything Paula. It's not possible. And even if you did, as the case with AMISTAD proves, someone will sue anyway if there's any money to be made.
By the same token, every film production is a lawsuit waiting to happen; that's already a given from the get-go. I guarantee you that every Hollywood production has legal action brought against it by somebody. The studios know this. It's just part of life. And that doesn't just go for historical films. Back during the airing of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Rod Serling had a fund that he used to hand out money to anyone who claimed that an episode ripped off their idea (which happened with *every single episode*). He figured that he read so much, for all he knew any ideas he thought were his might really have been something he read, so he just paid anyone who lodged a complaint, no questions asked.
In the realm of technology, the issue is the same. Whenever anyone files for a new patent, every competitor out there files a lawsuit to challenge it as infringing on their own proprietary technology, just as a matter of course. Should scientists stop doing research and development on anything that might result in a competitor's lawsuit? Should a scientist even waste his mental energy on such concerns when he could instead be focusing on inventing?
The obvious answer is no. That's what lawyers are for. And technology companies exist so they can employ both scientists to do R&D and lawyers to deal with the legal results of the scientists' work. Studios do the same thing. No studio or major production company expects a writer to also be an entertainment attorney; that's why they hire both.
"Fear is the mindkiller," folks. Our job is to worry about our storytelling; let people whose job it is to worry about other stuff be the ones to deal with it.
Kyle, we don't put up with people messing with Connie around here. So you had best apologize.
Quite frankly, I'm getting a little sick of people bashing each other on this forum. So knock it off, all of you. Grow up and show a modicum of professionalism.
Kyle, do you honestly think it's helpful to go around calling people a novice, egotistical, arrogant, or retarded? I don't care what you may or may not have inferred from Connie's post -- what possible motivation other than asserting your own superiority could you have for saying such things about someone you don't even know?
Thus far we've largely refrained from telling you how you sound to us. However, I would strongly advise you to take Jean up on her advice and skim through the history of Connie's posts, before you make yourself even more of a persona non grata around here than you already have.
Kyle, please tell me that you no longer work for BlueCat.
We have tried several times at this point to alert you to the fact that you have your head buried deep within your excretory system, and offered you methods to remove it. Jean and I both advised you to read the history of Connie's posts. Randy has suggested that you send him an email so he can privately explain our position to you. But instead you persist in *your* arrogance to tell us what sounds arrogant to you -- as if any of us care.
We have been extremely patient with you, since some of us have learned the hard way not to judge people lest they turn out to have personal difficulties of which we may be unaware. But you are making it increasingly difficult to be charitable towards you.
This represents your last chance to show that you are one tenth the decent human being that Connie is.
Paula, I've cut Kyle a slim amount of slack because he's fairly new here. You have no such excuse.
Words like "idiot" are no longer welcome on this forum -- especially when aimed in Connie's direction.
I am appalled by your lack of sensitivity. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Paula and Michele, I apologize for overreacting.
Once again I am *powerful proud* of Geoff Breuder for pulling 3rd Place in the Phoenix Film Festival with his WWII action/drama THE ACE OF ACES. Rock on Geoff!!
Geoff, how about posting the address for your MySpace page here so people can see how awesome it is?
Connie, great job!!
Jean and Nathan, congrats on your Worldfest prizes!
Nathan, we won't be heading out to Charleston unfortunately -- hope you have a great time, and best of luck! Let us know how it goes. Maybe we'll cross paths at the AFF this year.
And once again, I'm *powerful proud* of Geoff Breuder for making the quarters in StoryPros with THE ACE OF ACES. *Powerful proud.*
Hi Jean and Nathan,
Congrats again -- great job. :D But I'm curious how you guys came about submitting to the competition.
I've always shied away from Worldfest for violating several of the conditions I once outlined in a dissertation about screenplay contests (may be time to bump that thread up again!), specifically the confusing website (coupled with the fact that you need a graphing calculator and an MBA to read the actuarial table they use to report the competition results) and the seemingly egregious entry fee (something like $85 now -- enough to enter two or three other comps).
So hey, if I'm missing out on a great competition, let me know the mitigating factors which drew you to it, so I can decide whether or not to put it back on my "to-enter" list!
Thanks -- and congrats a few more times. ;)
You're welcome, Diana -- hope it helps! :)
(Marvel at the shameless thread-bumping.)
Nathan, how was Charleston? Did you win? The website hasn't posted any results yet.
What was the Festival like?
Hey thanks Nathan. :)
So who did win?
Jean, if you love the 40's, then Geoff's Myspace page is going to blow you away!
It has 30 whopping minutes of good ol' 1940's music, so be prepared to spend some time there. While you listen to it, you can enjoy the spinning newspaper headlines and photo slideshows that tell the whole story of America's all-time greatest fighter pilot (and his sweetheart back home).
And when you finish with that, pause the music on that old-fashioned radio control and watch the Machinima movie Geoff made to illustrate one of the scenes in his script. :)
I encourage everyone to check it out. Did I mention that I am *powerful proud* of Geoff's work? ;)
Oh -- and thanks to John and everyone else for the props for UNITY!
Thanks for letting us know about this Connie. I was planning on entering this competition, but now I'm not going to. Please let us know about any other contests that give you a hard time.
Is anyone else here at Moviebytes getting as fed up as I am with the way competitions have been treating Connie? Or am I on my own on this?
You're absolutely right Jean -- Connie's never asked for special consideration in judging, just to be given a fair shake and to verify that her material was actually read (which, as you've said, is something that *all* of us want: some proof that my "dumpster theory" isn't terrifyingly accurate).
But as far as this contest is concerned, they are clearly discriminating against Connie because of her medical condition. Seems to me like this is a clear case for a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"Reserves the right not to accept entries at our discretion"? Imagine if they had said this to a screenwriter on the basis of their race or gender or religion! Since when do businesses get to tell handicapped people "we don't serve your kind here"?
I think everyone should refrain from entering the Writers on the Storm contest until they apologize for this extremely distasteful--and probably illegal--behavior. I hope you all are with me on this.
Paula, WOTS *does* give feedback on every entry. But that doesn't help Connie if they won't even accept hers.
Bobbette, does that mean you're rescinding your declaration that "This is one contest that will not be getting my movies!!!"?
Michael, as one of Connie's self-appointed defenders here, I have to say you showed a rare amount of class for your sincere and preemptive apology for your solecism. :) We need more folks like you around here.
Hey there Mark,
I've never actually been to the Great American Pitchfest (though it's on my list of things to sign up for when money magically falls into my possession) -- but I did meet Signe Olynyk (who runs the thing) at the Austin Film Festival last year, and she's pretty cool.
I've met some of the lecturers that are going to be there. Michael Hauge is awesome (met him at one of the Screenwriting Expos), and you should acquire some of his books or DVDs and scrutinize them before even trying to pitch, because he knows what he's talking about. If you sign up for the private consultation, pick him as the person to meet with!
And I met Bill True at the past two Austin Film Festivals, and that guy is as cool as they come. Make friends with him and his wife, because they're a blast to hang out with.
While I've never been to this Pitchfest, I've done the pitchfest at the Screenwriting Expo, so I can share my experiences with that if you like. (In summary: it's a brutal but necessary rite of passage -- kind of like the Klingon Rite of Ascension, complete with painsticks.) The GAPF sounds much better though.
If you're willing to make a trip out to the States, you should definitely consider going to the AFF (and if you haven't entered the screenwriting competition yet, do it asap because the deadline is fast approaching). If you can afford to fly out for both, do both. Perhaps you should email Signe and ask her to come on here and "pitch" us why one should go to her pitchfest as opposed to, say, the Austin Film Festival. ;)
Hope something in all this was moderately helpful!
Nice job on making the StoryPros semis Geoff! *Powerful proud.*
Also congrats to Jean and Connie for making the semis too!
And Jean, thanks for the props for us on the ASA semis. :) Did you ever check out Geoff's myspace page?
That's pretty cool Lisa. :) I'm surprised that a writer would have direct contact info on imdb though -- did you have to go through their agent?
I too got a request yesterday, from a relatively new production/management company. Wonder if we're all getting requests from the same company... ;)
I can pretty much second everything John said. So I will. :)
As the indefatigable Mr. Arends astutely points out, the folks running PAGE are among the best of the best (Jen and Zoe rock!!). Plus they emphatically disavow using the "dumpster method" for script selection. ;) (Do a search of the board messages for "dumpster theory" if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
In short: PAGE is awesome. Do it. :)
I saw him at the Austin Film Festival just two years ago -- hard to believe he's gone. He was an amazing guy. Let's all keep him and his family in our prayers.
And while we're doing so, let's also say one for all the soldiers who have and continue to fight and die for our freedom to pray and to express whatever we believe.
Jean, it's a real bummer that you're not sharing the finalist slots with my man Geoff (of whom I remain *powerful proud*), but being the first to be on here congratulating the others shows you've got class, so it will all work out in the end for you anyhow. :)
Connie, good job on making the finals! I can't wait until someone makes A DEATH IN CONCORD into a movie!
And congrats to you too Elaine!
Alex actually already covered that in the "Cheap Studio Style Coverage" thread. Not only are his answers entirely satisfying, but the very fact that he took the time and effort to explain everything to us (and continues to communicate with us on this board) proves that he's a class-act.
At the end of the day, even the best contest can get some bad readers. I've met several of the readers at the Austin Film Festival, and have made life-long friendships with them, because they're awesome. On the other hand, I met one reader there last year who boasted about how his favorite thing about being a reader was seeing how much better a writer he was than all the people submitting scripts to the AFF. He laughed heartily about how many pathetic scripts he read, right to the faces of a bunch of screenwriters. We probably should have beaten him up, but the Festival puts one in too high of spirits to seriously consider screenwriter vigilantism. ;)
To summerize: Austin rocks, and Alex is cool. So do it. :)
The truth is Karen, we never get the readers we want right off the bat; that's how Hollywood works, so why shouldn't film festivals be the same? If you want the Creative Exec at a prodco to read your script, you're gonna have to wait until after their part-time administrative assistant or some unpaid intern reads it first and assures them it's worth their time. That's just how it goes, so we all might as well learn to roll with it.
As long as contests continue to accept the thousands of "unsolicited" scripts that we send them, they can't afford to have brilliant, paid screenwriting experts reading the first round of scripts. It just can't happen. And Austin is certainly not unique in that.
If you're writing and your story is good enough, it will eventually get past the lower-echelon blockers and get up to the folks you really want reading it. :)
I've never once seen Ben attack anyone on these boards or do anything negative towards anyone -- which is far more than can be said for most of the posters here.
I say stick around Ben.
Ben, I say feel free to jump on the couch and be yourself (no matter who and how many people that may be) -- and let the pretentious elitists on this board just learn to lump it.
All it takes to be a producer is money and/or connections. You only need employees if you're a production *company*. As for track records...who'da thunk that the director of PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING would have ever amounted to anything?
Heather, just send him a PDF file rather than, say, a Final Draft file. If you need software to print to PDF, I can post a link to some freeware that does the job nicely. :)
For writers who aren't accustomed to reading the fine-print on contest applications and release forms, you should be aware about these two, in case you're rushing to make the deadlines:
Filmmakers International (filmmakers.com):
"In the event of any sale or option of your screenplay or teleplay that is due to the ongoing promotional efforts, direct or indirect, by FilmMakers.com and/or FilmMakers Magazine, 7% (seven percent) of that amount will be paid by the purchaser or you, the author, to FilmMakers.com (contract value, sale or option under $3000 will be exempt)."
The Movie Deal! (themoviedeal.com):
"In the event of any sale or option of your screenplay or pilot that is due to the ongoing promotional efforts, direct or indirect, of THE MOVIE DEAL, 7% (seven percent) of that amount will be paid by the purchaser or you, the author, to THE MOVIE DEAL (contract value, sale or option under $10,000 will be exempt)."
It's the "direct or indirect" bit that blows my mind. So if you place in their contests and at any point in the future have the good fortune to make a sale, they can claim that somehow the promotion they made of you "indirectly" contributed to your success, so they own 7%.
I must admit I'm kinda stuned to see that 107 scripts are listed in Winning Scripts that have placed in Filmmakers. Aren't you guys a little concerned that these guys have a claim on 7% on all your future earnings?
Hopefully I'm missing something, in which case I hope one of the MBers or one of the contest directors can fill me in and explain why this isn't as egregious as at sounds.
Not at all Shell -- pointing out typos is one of the first signs of good character.
Oh, was it? Tell ya what, let's check with Geoff.
Geoff, did you find that funny? Did you think that Shell was having fun *with* you, or making fun *of* you?
I've found that the free software from www.pdf995.com works just fine. An advertisement pops up every time you print with it, but it's pretty easy to ignore (especially if you have any ad-blocking software). Give it a shot.
I looked at Starz Denver on WithoutABox.com. Unfortunately this festival only takes finished films, not screenplays.
That is true Nathan, but why has it been given such a high rating? Is it because so darn many screenwriters have had their scripts place in it?
This contest posts the results for two qualifying rounds *before* the quarterfinal rounds (which they call the eithfinal and sixteenthfinal rounds). Just about anyone who enters this contest is going to place *somewhere* and use that to pad their resume. So that is going to make everyone who enters (and doesn't read the fine print) happy that their work has been recognized and appreciated.
But once they've listed their Filmmaker placement on WinningScripts or InkTip, Filmmakers can claim their 7% for their "indirect promotion" of the material. So it makes sense for them to get their hooks into as many writers as possible by appeasing them with placements.
And I hate to say it, but any contest that wanted to get a stellar rating on MB need only create a few dozen hotmail accounts with fake names and submit report card after report card to put them into the top 5. What kind of contest would do such a thing, you ask? Well, how about the kind that would hide in the fine print that they forevermore own 7% of your future earnings?
Honestly, I really hope I'm wrong about all this. If someone out there really believes in Filmmakers or Movie Deal, please get their administrators to come on the board and we'll hear them out.
There is no "anti-Michele" sentiment on this board. There is an "anti-treating-other-people-with-disdain-and-mockery-because-you-don't-think-they're-as-cool-as-you-are" sentiment.
I'd have no problem with Michele if she chose to use her powers of wit for good instead of evil. I would have found her first post on this thread to be laugh-out-loud funny -- if not for the fact that it was made at someone else's expense (and don't give me any lame-arse bullfeces that it wasn't actually directed at Ben, 'cause that ain't gonna fly for anyone with at least half a cortex).
I'm glad for those who have met Michele's approval and are treated by her with nothing but congeniality. That's swell. And in grade school it came as no surprise that anyone aspiring to be a "cool kid" would try to curry favor with the schoolyard bullies by joining in their ridicule of the awkward "uncool" kids -- or at least tacitly approving of the behavior lest they too find themselves a playground pariah. It gives one pause to see that the exact same dynamic at work on these boards. (And I literally mean "one"...perhaps two or three who have dared to speak up. Kinda disappointing, I'll admit.)
No doubt that's among the (admittedly many) reasons I never made it to the rank of "cool kid" myself, but I figured my days of having to go around pulling the "kick me" signs off the backs of the picked-upon were long behind me. I'd rather not have to.
So is *anyone else* in favor of the notion of treating *everyone else* on these boards with civility and respect -- no matter how we actually feel about them -- as long as they do the same? (I think that's called a "community," or something.) Then maybe we can get back to talking about screenwriting.
--Uncle Gene ;)
P.S. Robert, I'm sorry I didn't notice your name among the StoryPros finalists! I'll admit I haven't learned to recognize all the MBers' names yet, and yours just didn't register with my memory banks. So I hope you'll accept both my apology and my belated Huzzah! :)
Robert, by all means promote yourself! We can't just wait for people to notice us in this biz, so feel free to sound your own horn! :)
Of course now we'll all recognize your name whenever we see it on a list of contest placements, so we'll all be able to give you shout-outs and encouragement in a timelier fashion!
Speaking of encouragement, I just read your synopsis and excerpt of FLAT PENNIES, and I really like it. I especially like the character of Ian. Makes me imagine what it might actually be like to be a lonely, troubled outcast unable to interact normally with the rest of the world, and has to substitute his painful reality for something else, like a train set...or, say, an internet message board. I also found the character of the pitiless Mrs. Guth to be disturbingly familiar. It's a good thing that at least Alex is able to look past Ian's eccentricity and treat him with compassion instead of contempt. Sure wish more people would make the effort to do that.
Thanks for using your writing talent to increase the level of understanding in the world, Robert. Kudos.
P.S. Thanks Jean and Geoff. It means a lot.
Thanks Ron for performing such beyond-the-call-of-duty research on this...and even admitting that the original YouTube video had snookered us, and was all a bunch of "the sky is falling" nonsense.
Nobody should be putting their faith in government protections anyway. And most of us don't -- which is why we pay the WGA to register our scripts, *despite* the supposed protection of copyright laws.
Also, we shouldn't let fear-mongering like this get to us. If the government really did "abolish" copyright protection, and Google went around stealing people's YouTube videos for profit, those profits would dry up faster than spit on a skillet -- because nobody would ever post their work to YouTube again. Likewise, if screenwriters (including the successful A-list ones) weren't reasonably certain their scripts couldn't be used without fair remuneration, the movie business would collapse overnight. So even if the entire corporate world suddenly went simple and no longer understood basic economics, as long as we're living in a free market the "invisible hand" that guides all industry by the basic law of self-interest would immediately smack the bejeezus out of the brain-numbed would-be profiteers who thought they could get away with a free lunch.
Can the government pass stupid self-destructive laws? Certainly -- they're in the process of trying to pass a law to put a cap on gas prices even as we speak (because as we all know, denying producers their profits always results in a surplus of their product, right?). But since such laws *are* self-destructive, they are also eventually self-correcting thanks to the wonders of capitalism. Hooray! ;)
So thanks for bringing this up Orlanda! But there's nothing to worry about, so don't sweat it. Just focus on your writing and all will be fine. :)
Wow, are we actually talking about screenwriting now? Sweet! :)
Thanks Janet for bringing us back to Ben's entirely legitimate (if couch-pouncingly expressed) question.
One of the things I try to keep in mind when absorbing feedback on my material: some people actually don't like STAR WARS. I know, it seems impossible -- but there are just some people out there who don't like it. But of those who *do* like it, the majority of them think that EMPIRE was the best of the three, when it was in fact the worst (according to me, at least). So it just goes to show you...in this business, we're in for a world of subjectivity.
I think the most important skill for a writer to develop is the ability to take in feedback and determine whether the root of the problems they point out lay with *you* or with *them*. Sometimes readers have very insightful criticisms and suggestions for improvement; other times, not so much. Indeed, one of my primary sources of exercise comes from shaking my head in bewilderment over how one set of feedback can report that the best thing about one of my scripts is the same thing that another set says is its biggest failing.
The first year I entered UNITY in the PAGE Awards, I got dumpstered out in the first round, and the feedback I paid for advised me to "lose the
As to the issue of originality and marketability, sometimes things that are "too" original instantly strike people as unmarketable. Sometimes they're right, sometimes not. Based on some feedback I was getting, I was actually ready to permanently shelve my script ONE NATION UNDER as being just too controversial and disturbing for the marketplace when it (to my considerable astonishment) advanced all the way to the finals in the BlueCat Lab. (Ironically, I only submitted it to the Lab because when they first opened the competition they had a 2-for-1 script entry deal. If it hadn't been for that, I would have only entered with UNITY -- which got dumpstered on the first round!) And now it's doing pretty good in the ASA comp, so maybe it's not half bad after all. Or maybe it's so mind-manglingly bad that some readers are mistaking it for genius -- kinda like Picasso. Or CITIZEN KANE. Who knows? ;)
I think what it will come down to for you, Janet, is your passion for your story. Passion can be the difference between whether people will believe in your work or not. And you need to be passionate enough to be willing to potentially make major changes to your script if that's truly what it needs to make it shine -- and be passionate enough to retain the aspects that you believe in, no matter what others say, while polishing the script to the point where enough readers become just as excited about it as you are. A good screenwriting rule of thumb: the first person your scripts should satisfy is you; but that shouldn't be the last person. :)
Keep at it, Janet. There are plenty of fine folks here to help you out if you need it. :)
P.S. Anyone interested in truly learning the importance of rewriting need only go to http://www.starwarz.com/starkiller/scripts.htm and start reading. Just imagine if Lucas insisted on keeping Han Solo a "huge, green skinned monster with no nose and large gills" as he is described in the first draft! ;)
Good job again Connie!! :D
That is your choice Patrick, but just remember that if you place in these contests and list that placement on WinningScripts or InkTip or any other screenwriting resume, that falls under the "indirect" category of the "ongoing promotional efforts." You'll also have to avoid mentioning the placement at screenwriting conferences, pitchfests, networking parties, industry meetings...
So since you can't mention the placement aloud, online, or in print without automatically entitling them to that 7%, what is the point of entering? (I suppose if you actually *win* it might mitigate some of that...but that's a lot of risk against a very remote possibility of beating out every other entrant.)
And hey, don't take my word for it; trust John Arends! If anybody knows what he's talking about around here, it's him. :)
Either way, I wish you all the best Patrick. Good luck in your competitions!
Thank you so much for posting this video for us Connie. I hope people will watch it and realize that none of us should take our ability to understand for granted. Any minute all of the intelligence that we think makes us so much better than other people could totally disappear.
I am very grateful for knowing you Connie, because ever since I met you on these boards I've tried not to be so proud of myself but to look on other people with compassion, no matter how smart they seem or don't seem to be. You've shown us that it's not writing or intellect or wit that makes someone a good person, but how we live our lives and treat other people. If only more people could learn that from you.
You are one of my heroes Connie. Keep working hard to recover, and no matter how hard it gets, know that you have friends here who love you and are praying for you -- and will stick up for you when others put you down or treat you badly. And good luck with your screenplays! I am certain that someday we will get to see them made into movies!
My apologies John! It's hard not to impute Jedi Master status to someone with a script that plows down the competition wherever it goes -- and who actually lands a highly respected agent from his contest wins! I'll try to remember that you're as mortal as the rest of us (though it will be difficult). ;)
I certainly hope you'll be able to make it out to the AFF! Heck, I'll even buy *you* the beer!
Nathan, this will be the third year that my brother and I go to the AFF every year, so we hope to see you there! Have you ever gone before?
Well that's not exactly true Patrick -- if you mention someone who's given you accolades about your script, *they* are still the source of the accolades, hence *they* are the one promoting your script, albeit "indirectly" via the fact that it is you rather than them ("directly") mentioning it. Elaine's lawyer husband has already said as much (Elaine, I would love it if you could persuade him to sign on and type out the legal jargon you mentioned for us!). Perhaps we can get an entertainment attorney to comment on it.
Hey, I'm with you Patrick, that it would be totally unfair and unreasonable for them to claim a share of the profits just for awarding a placement in their contest. But the law is rarely fair or reasonable -- especially if people sign away their rights with wide-open clauses like "direct or indirect," which means you've given *them* all the power to determine what does or doesn't constitute promotion. I can already see their lawyers arguing that by listing a writer's name on a list of contest placements they have "created a climate in which said name is more recognizable to the film industry community blah blah blah..."
I truly hope these contests wouldn't actually do something that low. But the fact already in evidence is that, unlike scores of other contests, they are already so low as to include a clause in their terms giving them access to a writer's profits. So I don't have very high hopes for their sense of fair-play or decency.
P.S. Looking forward to seeing you at the AFF too Randy!
The sister of a friend of mine actually has a small part on that show. So I'm going to see if maybe I can get her to pass along your kind words about it to the folks she works with. :)
I'm with you, Acton.
For some reason, there are certain contests out there who don't realize that most screenwriters enter in the hopes of getting some recognition, not to win prizes.
And you're right, it costs the competition nothing to recognize a list of the best entries -- yet it makes their customers happy and encourages more writers to enter. Plus everyone who places will tell their fellow writers about it, so that's free advertising. From a marketing standpoint, it's a no-brainer. So why are there so many contests that can't figure this out?
Then again, I also can't figure out why so many writers continue to enter them. If a contest doesn't list at least ten names (be they finalists, semis, quarters, whatever), I don't see how it makes sense to enter, with the odds so stacked against any individual entrant.
The best thing we can do is write to the contest director and tell them we'd like them to list more placements. I wrote a few months back to Greg Ropp at the Eerie Horror Film Festival about that. He sent a nice email back saying that he was passing the message on to their VP, and confirmed that they did receive hundreds of entries every year (which seems to me like plenty for them to find more than a mere three scripts to single out). But as it stands, they're sticking to only announcing the top 3 winners -- so they're not getting my entry fee. So if anyone else out there wants Eerie Horror to list more placements, fire off an email to them and let them know!
So which contest was it that you had in mind on this issue, Acton?
Michael makes a great point with that interview exerpt (which was from Rima Greer of Above The Line Agency, in a WBW interview, by the way). What you convey in the description of a character should reveal personality traits while it sparks the imagination, rather than just provide a physical description like you're making an eyewitness report for a police sketch.
I agree that it's often important to point out the number of decades your character has lived in a description (assuming it's a main character), because that tells you a lot about their length of life experience. As for how you communicate the age, the screenwriting format police aren't going to get you for not using some industry-standard notation.
P.S. If anyone has recently been to the Santa Fe conference and attended Rima Greer's workshop (or otherwise intereacted with her), I'd be interested in finding out your impressions...
You can find their past winners here: http://cinestory.org/contest_past.php
It looks like they didn't have a contest for 2007.
Hope this helps!
Did I ever mention that I am *powerful proud* of my boy Geoff? ;)
Good job Toby! Best of luck on the rewrite!
And same to you Patrick! Though hopefully you won't have to cough up $70 grand to Filmmakers.com when you sell your script for a million. ;)
Do either of you care to share which consultant you used?
Oh darn, yeah, I missed Heather's post altogether. Congrats! :)
My guess is that they're offering a way for writers to try and bypass the standard Hollywood system, so they can discover scripts that the people on the board want to produce or represent. That's just a guess though -- so why not email them and ask them?
Colin O'Reilly is on the board, and I like that dude, so it can't be a total scam.
Someday, when I give up on screenwriting and turn to supervillainy and/or despotism, my primary goal will be to hunt down and destroy people who misuse the word "literally." "Literally" has become the intelligent-sounding version of "like," and it annoys me to no end.
People will say things like "I was literally blown away" or "I was literally scared to death." Really? So you're "literally" dead now? Then why are you here butchering our language??
Congrats on making the semis, John!
So is anyone game for saying what logline we voted for and/or posting our own efforts at writing one here?
I picked #3. Here's my feeble effort at a logline:
To catch a vicious serial killer, a rookie FBI investigator must probe the mind of another psychopathic murderer -- but the only way to get into his head is to let him inside hers.
What did you write for a logline Jean? :)
You're gonna make me blush Jean, but thanks. :)
One of the things that I'm *slowly* starting to learn with loglines is that they can't be written too well. "A shrouded vision from the past leads to truth and redemption" is probably just too *literary* for a sales pitch -- unless you're selling to other brilliant writers...which unfortunately, we're not. ;)
So how does a writer "turn off" his writing ability to create a logline? I'm developing a theory on that, but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts.
I can't believe you guys picked #4! That's a "dark comedy" logline! It sounds like "POLICE ACADEMY meets ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST." :D
You can't say things like "gets more than she bargained for" (let the wacky hijinks ensue) and "insane ex-psychiatrist" (take two doses of irony and call me in the morning) in a serious thriller pitch! Might as well have said that she "bites off more than she can chew" when she teams up with a cannibal. Or you could use Don's "lunch date" line. ;)
Okay, so now I'm especially curious as to why you all picked that one.
Here's why I picked #3: ("When a brutal serial killer kidnaps a Senator's daughter, a top FBI trainee is chosen to probe the dark mind of a brilliant and violent psychopath to solve the investigation.")
The formula of the logline is "When *situation occurs*, *protagonist does something about it.*" Pretty straight forward and to the point.
While the specific bit about the Senator's daughter is useless towards selling the story, it does at least establish an obstacle to overcome. "Top FBI trainee" is interesting in that it both indicates the character has exceptional skills but limited experience. "Probe the dark mind of a brilliant and violent psychopath" -- that's just awesome. It sets up the sinister psychological tone of the script and invites you to anticipate the unusual, horrific world of a psycho's mind that you're going to explore with the protagonist -- while wondering how she'll use his insane insights to solve the crime.
Here's what I don't like about #3 (and hence tried to correct in my attempt at a logline):
The bit about the Senator's daughter is, as stated previously, completely irrelevant to the logline (and, incidentally, largely irrelevant to the story itself -- I defy you to name one way in which the dramatic thrust of the story would change if the latest victim was an accountant's daughter instead). If a producer doesn't care about a story about stopping a serial killer, I'll give you 1000 to 1 odds that the fact that his latest victim is a Senator's daughter isn't going to push him over the edge into caring. The only thing that *might* make him care is if there is something about the protagonist and/or her struggle that connects with him on an emotional or intellectual level. Plot points never sell stories!!
Next, the "top FBI trainee" is interesting if you think about it...but I'd never count on a reader to actually think that hard about a logline. He has to react to it instantly. For that reason I think that the "rookie FBI investigator" from Logline #6 works better. A reader assumes a protagonist has strengths (that's why they're the protagonist), so highlight the weaknesses to be overcome (in this case, inexperience).
Finally, I'd rather see this logline have the formula "When *situation occurs*, *protagonist does something about it* -- but *dramatic complication.*"
While the concept of probing a psychopath's mind sounds interesting and scary, it doesn't in itself convey any sense of threat to the protagonist; the notion of her letting a psycho into her own mind does (plus it promises an even more dramatic interplay between the two characters). Michael's bit about "playing dangerous mind games" works well too -- though I think saying "is forced to play" conveys more of the sense that she's at a disadvantage in these games, thus raising the dramatic stakes. But I still personally prefer the sense of *violation* that the notion of a madman getting inside your head implies, and I think that better conveys the sense of what Clarice must endure.
So hey, that's my take on #3! Can't wait to hear what you guys say about #4. :)
And thanks to PAGE for giving us plenty to debate about! :)
It does seem like there are a few people on the finalist list who may be in violation of the contest rules -- assuming they don't just happen to have the same name as the people with the IMDb credits (which is possible).
However, it's not the contest's job to check up on their entrants -- all of whom signed an entry form stipulating that they were eligible to participate. If you folks think they weren't, I'd contact Chadwick and let him know so he can disqualify them. But don't blame the contest; blame the entrants who participated in violation of the contest rules.
Congrats as always Jean et al.!
Mary, I've got my script excerpts posted on WinningScripts, so you (or anyone else here) can feel free to read them. :)
And good job Geoff...powerful proud. ;)
I haven't taken this course, but I can second Eric's sentiments that Philippa is pretty darn cool.
Also you can get a $50 discount from Info List.
Great news folks --
Looks like Craig James from Movie Deal took notice of our concerns and will be removing the 7% clause! That shows a good deal of class in my book, and it seems to indicate that they do in fact respect the concerns of screenwriters.
Once that clause is officially out, Movie Deal may be worth another look, so check it out.
Now if we can just get Filmmakers (and American Gem) to do the same, we can set our sights on re-negotiating the next WGA contract! ;)
Once again, great job everyone. :) And thanks to Craig at Movie Deal for stepping up and addressing our concerns.
ARGUMENT FOR THE DEFENSE -- what an awesome title!
Sun, if the drama in the relationship involves the arguments between the two lovers, this title has a great double-meaning.
Who exactly is the protagonist in this story? It sounds like the lawyer is the one who needs to change, but she's the one who performs the action.
Also, why does he love her? Why does she love him?
"Pride Without Prejudice" sounds like a movie about bigotry or race relations. There's nothing about it that suggests romance.
I agree with Martin -- never remind them they passed on your pitch! But do remind them they told you to query them on the love story.
One of the great things about Hollywood executives is that they are far too busy to remember anything. Writers must learn to use this to their advantage.
I 100% guarantee you that this exec has *absolutely no memory* of your prior pitch -- and since it failed, you don't want to remind him of that fact. Here is the thought process that goes on inside an exec's brain when you tell them they passed on an earlier pitch but told you to pitch them again:
"Hmm -- don't remember the first thing about that pitch, but if I passed on it before, there was probably a darn good reason. I must have decided there's some reason I'd never want to read this person's work under any circumstance, and probably only told them they could pitch me again with a different genre to get them off my back. So no point in me wasting my time with them again."
Here's what goes through their mind if you merely tell them that "the last time we spoke you said you were interested in reading a serious love story":
"Hmm -- don't remember talking with this person...but I talk to so many people that doesn't surprise me. And they do know that I'm interested in love stories, so they must actually know me somehow...at least enough for me to tell them what I like, which might mean I've not yet completely ruled out reading their material. Maybe I'll consider it, if the rest of this query letter doesn't totally stink."
Hint on making your query letter not totally stink: you can't make it longer than three paragraphs, none of which can be longer than five lines. You're allowed to have one or two additional single-line paragraphs (like the one in the example Patrick gave). Anything more than that will never be read.
And get rid of the "and remain" part at the end! It's old-fashioned, and will come off as pretentious.
Hope this helps...
Jean, that is a fantastic query letter! The only thing I'd change is the mention of the Virtual Pitch Fest. Just saying "last time we spoke" is a much better way of making them (or their assistant) think they might know you from somewhere. Otherwise, it's perfect. I'm gonna come to you for help with writing all my query letters. :)
Sun, Jean is right -- never send a synopsis. A synopsis is never as engaging as the actual script, so why give them something that might make them reject your story before they've even read a single page of your actual screenplay?
Ditto on all the above. Jean is not just supportive and helpful, but a true friend.
Jean, you truly are the heart and soul of the MB board. :)
P.S. All in favor of granting Jean SUPREME EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY over all that transpires on this board, say "Aye!"
Powerful proud, as always. ;)
It's official: these guys are as good as their word -- in response to our concerns, the dreaded 7% clause has indeed been stripped from the fine print. :)
I also want to point out that these guys have been nothing but polite and of good cheer when contacting me about resolving this issue. I had gotten so used to certain contest admins getting apoplectic about people "slandering" their contests when someone mentions a legitimate gripe, that it was truly refreshing to see these folks actually see our opinions as valid and take the initiative to solve the issue with professionalism and courtesy. Rock on, dudes.
So I encourage everyone to take another look at Movie Deal -- Craig and company seem like they're on the side of the good-guys. :)
Hey thanks everyone! This was the first I even heard of it. :)
Heh heh...right on Patrick. ;) Never get discouraged by the fickle winds (or lack thereof) of fate.
Awesome Robert! Though you may not want to listen too carefully to my feedback when doing your rewrite -- neither of my rejection letters included a note, so mine must have been dumpstered pretty early in the process. ;)
Keep up the good work! And congrats to Heather too on making the top 15%!
Congrats to Martin Stack with CRYSTAL DEATH!
And since congratulating Jean is rapidly becoming a full-time occupation, I'm just gonna say "congrats ad infinitum" to cover this and all past, present, and future accolades. ;)
So Noah, you're not the co-writer of Primitive Recall?
I'm not sure everyone would agree with that Noah. IMDb and the Skyline Films website have Primitive Recall listed as in post-production, and give you a shared writing credit on it. That's one more shared writing credit on an in-production feature than most of us have here. And heck, the movie even has the bimbette from those male-enchancement infomercials in it! Er...not that I've watched many of those... ;)
ScriptPIMP's rule #2 states that "individuals who have received sole or shared writing credit as to any film, series, or episode that has been produced for presentation in theaters or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium" are ineligible for the contest. Maybe you could quibble with the definition of "has been produced" on the grounds that the film is still in post, but that seems like pretty shaky ground to me. Plenty of A-list writers do work on films that never get released at all, yet the work still counts on their resumes.
I'd wager that there are plenty of MBers here who'd give their eye teeth to have a co-writer credit on IMDb for a maybe straight to DVD feature. I would, and my eyes don't even have teeth.
Hey, it's ultimately up to Chadwick and the other ScriptPIMP folks as to how the rules are interpreted. But it's up to other potential entrants to determine if the contest's procedures are above board.
The way I see it, if you don't think your work on Primitive Recall "counts," tell Skyline to remove your name from the writing credits. If it does count, tell ScriptPIMP to remove your name from the finalists. I don't want to be a jerk here, but it honestly doesn't strike me as fair to other writers for you to try to have it both ways.
I could be totally off-base on that then. But no doubt other people came away with the same impression, so at least we've gotten it all out so no one will feel like they got a raw deal (at least as far as your entry is concerned).
You might want to let Chadwick know the paucity of your role in that work, in case he IMDbs you and gets the same wrong idea and therefore doesn't advance your script to the winners' circle. Or you could just count on him not paying any attention to the squawkings of MBers and leave it at that. ;)
Anyway, thanks for clearing everything up for us Noah -- and best of luck to ya!
Irin, have you gone to it before?
Don't pay anybody anything. Ever.
Congrats to Martin Stack and Patrick Daly for making the semis (hope I didn't miss any other MBers on the list)!
I'm curious -- did anyone use the Hollywood Query service to get the free entry into the contest, and if so, what has your experience with it been like?
Interesting...so out of curiosity, why didn't you guys use it? I mean, the entry for the contest was $35, or free if you used their Horror query package for $20. Even if their service was useless, that's still a $15 discount...seemed like a pretty good deal to me.
I got it too. Something's rotten in Denmark.
Here's the simplest outline I know for three-act structure: ~pg 30: protagonist becomes committed to the quest (by choice or circumstance) ~pg 60: midpoint turning point (significant change or development in the plot -- often the "point of no return" for the protagonist) ~pg 90: protagonist at his lowest point (everything has turned against him)
If your script fits that pattern, we can move on from there with more specifics. If it doesn't, well, we've found the problem. ;)
We've written a bit about the AFF at the Done Deal forum. You may want to check out these threads:
In those threads somewhere we address the issue of the Awards Luncheon. As for the pitch competition, we personally advise against it. You'll be missing out on too many panels waiting in line to pitch. Spend your efforts pitching execs you meet at parties.
Also don't forget that your Producers' Badge *doesn't* cover the Film & Food party the Wednesday before the conference, which we strongly advise people to attend (more on this party in the threads mentioned above).
Panels begin at 9am on Thurs-Sun, and you'll be partying until 2am Thurs-Sat (and at least until 10pm on Wed if you go to Film & Food), so if you aren't completely wiped out by Sunday night, you did the festival wrong -- go back in time and start over. So factor that in to your travel plans (we find traveling to be enough of a pain without being exhausted while doing it). Also Sunday night may be your best chance to actually see a film or two at the festival. Some folks do stick around on Monday, but by Tuesday there really isn't much reason left to stay.
If you (or anyone else) have any other questions about the AFF, fire away...
--Gene & Paul
Go ahead and email it to me, and I'll gladly add it to my growing queue of scripts I'm supposed to read...eventually. ;)
But if it already fits that pattern, it sounds to me like something must be going on other than structure that is throwing people off. I'm curious enough about what the possible problem could be that I'll have to put it near the top of my queue just to satisfy my curiosity!
Nothing *but* guano.
Colin doesn't charge a reading fee. He charges a script consultant fee...like all script consultants do.
If you want him just to read your script, pitch it to him and if it sparks any interest, he'll read it until he determines it either is or isn't for him. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this Colin.)
But like every other script consultant out there, if you want him to spend hours of his time reading an entire script (that may either suck or be in a genre that does nothing for him) and writing coverage or notes on it, it's gonna cost ya.
Colin is also a totally cool guy. Never gotten notes from him, so can't speak to that...but I can vouch for his coolness. :)
I guess not everyone can be as professional as you are, Roy. Please stick around on these boards -- clearly we have a lot to learn from you. :D
Thought I'd chime in here since your logline seems to be mutating into some sort of sesquipedalian melodramatic monstrosity. ;)
(Warning: this is gonna hurt a bit. So find something to bite down onto.)
First thing is this: a logline needs to be something you could actually say to a producer. Without an aristocratic British accent. Hopefully you aren't the kind of person who uses words like "anew" in casual conversation. If you are, then you'd better be shooting to pitch to the most artsy-fartsy fancy-prancy-pants arthouse producer you can find. Might as well feign the British accent while you're at it.
Furthermore, a friendship can never "transpire" into a forbidden romance, by all known rules of etymology. But even if it could, nobody would have any idea what you're talking about -- which brings us to the next rule of loglines: BE SPECIFIC. If the logline doesn't say what is forbidden about the romance, it's pointless to mention that; and if it *does* say what is forbidden (i.e., she's getting married to someone else), you don't need to use vague terms like "forbidden romance." The same thing goes with "mournful past" or anything regarding unmentioned personal "demons." In fact, don't ever mention "demons" unless it's a supernatural thriller which does indeed have demons in it.
Next, use adjectives sparingly and carefully. Unless a "resistant young man" is a youth with a high coefficient of friction or especially poor at conducting electricity, the only way I could ever deduce what you meant by that is by reading an entire thread devoted to the evolution of your logline (loglines which need Cliffs Notes to decipher are never well received by industry execs).
Similarly, choose your verbs carefully. Your verbs convey what will "happen" in your story. "Strives" and "struggles" are always good words -- but only if we can actually envision or imagine the forms that the striving or struggling will take. I defy anyone to tell me what specific picture they form in their mind when told to imagine someone striving to "bury his mournful past" or struggling "for the courage to love anew."
And as others have pointed out, this is the major problem we're all facing with what you've told us about your story: what actually freakin' *happens* in it?? So he falls in love with a girl engaged to be married -- so, what then? All we can imagine so far is that it's 120 pages of a guy and a girl sort of hanging out and getting closer, maybe wrangling over some personal issues, and eventually magically deciding to be together. Well that sucks.
Now, if it was about this guy realizing that he's in love with a female friend who is getting married, and he has to work to subtly sabotage the wedding and get her to fall for him without doing anything to jeopardize their friendship in the process, now *that* would be rife with possibilities for conflict, humor, and drama. Heck, there's enough for a movie right there without all the stuff about mourning dead girlfriends and emotional attachments to engagement rings.
So my challenge to you is, right now, tell us what actually happens in this story. In a single sentence. If you can't do that, you've got what we call a "character piece," which means you could be in serious trouble -- because it really does sound like "2 hours of this guy moping around about his dead girlfriend" as Patrick said.
(Keith Eiler's suggestion is a *perfect* character piece logline -- just not at all sure whether it has anything to do with what your script is about. But study it, hard. Imagine all the situations that could arise from a man comparing the memory of a deceased girlfriend to a new potential relationship. The very fact that one *can* imagine such situations proves that it's a logline that works.)
Finally, the logline should convey the emotional tone of the material. You're not selling a story, you're selling an emotional experience. How is this story supposed to make us feel? So far, every logline you've proposed strikes me (and probably others) as maudlin or angsty. I suppose there's a market out there for people who want to feel that way, but you'd better target your producers carefully. And that better really be the feeling you're trying to convey, or all you're gonna do is get producers looking for angsty romances to read your script and then toss it aside when it turns out to be a hope-filled free-spirited romp.
Wish I could help you more, but I honestly remain totally in the dark as to what this story is actually about. Once you can tell us that, helping you with a logline should go a lot smoother. :)
David -- much better. :) Still not quite there yet though. To answer your questions:
1) "Unexpectedly" is usually good. 2) No, "romantic" implies actual romance. 3) Yes -- BE SPECIFIC. And only mention the fact that he's an heir if it has a direct and immediate impact on the story *as described in the logline.* Right now the fact that he's an heir doesn't mean anything. 4) She's a girl about to get married -- that's all we need to know about her for the sake of the plot (as far as what makes this romance "unexpected").
However, you STILL haven't said what actually happens in this story. Is it really just about a friendship "becoming" (among the most passive of passive verbs) romantic? Is there nothing more to it than that?
--Gene & Paul
P.S. As a side note: though we haven't been posting much here of late (since it cuts into our for-profit writing), we continue to ghost here constantly and take note of all of the accomplishments of our fellow MBers..."powerful proud" of all of ya. :) Keep it up!
For anyone who'd care to comment on it, my brother and I have posted our Cowrite submission here:
We'd love some feedback. :)
Also props to Michael Murphy for making the Top 24 (which I guess counts as semifinals?) in the Phoenix Film Festival!
--Gene & Paul
Unfortunately we won't be there, but just wanted to see if any other MBers were attending...
--Gene & Paul
Hmmm...Michelle Muldoon...the name doesn't ring a bell, but that doesn't mean much because I wasn't feeling well during that trip and wasn't at the top of my networking game. Maybe you could ask her if she met us. ;)
Best of luck to all the finalists (including the super-secret ones whose names haven't hit the website list yet) -- but especially to Connie Tonsgard. :)
P.S. Now I *really* wish I could go, just to see the look on their faces when a nightmarish horde of COUNTRY BALLROOM DANCERS swarms in upon them...oh the chaos, the terror, the inescapable madness...!!
Looks like all the SUPER-SECRET FINALISTS have been posted... :)
Anyone hear anything from the event?
Well Irin, looks like Michelle is a winner! Sure wish I could remember if I met her or not.
Strangely, there are fully 17 winners in this contest. Fortunately we're not among them, so we don't have to agonize about how one would list such a win on WinningScripts.com without a 1st/2nd/3rd ranking. ;)
Powerful proud!! ;)
Took me a while to find the finalist list hidden under the "schedule" page. And there's Michelle Muldoon again! Irin, have you found out if I met her yet or not?
Save yourself some time and just post the non-annotated versions. We'll let you know if we need additional info from you.
Powerful proud!! :)
Could you give us a bit more background on how/why these two pets get lost, where they have to travel through, etc.? Also, what are the personality quirks of these two characters, and why do they clash? There needs to be something else in this logline to make it interesting besides "a cat and a dog don't like each other, but learn to work together."
I think a good exercise would be to try to write a logline for one of the Family Guy "Road To..." episodes as if it was a movie. See if you can find single adjectives to describe Brian and Stewie, and convey why it would be hilarious to see them stuck on a wacky adventure in some improbable location or circumstance.
As a side note, another reason you may not be getting reads is because your title is kinda weak. "PALS" just doesn't promise any sort of drama or conflict. Consider something more evocative like "CAT BITES DOG" or "WAR ON TERRIER." ;)
This logline probably has nothing to do with your script, but it would make *me* want to read it (for whatever that's worth):
"Two indoor house pets--a pretentious Persian and a tasteless Terrier--wage a relentless struggle for territory in a tiny apartment. But when the cat's diabolical scheme to banish the dog forever backfires, they both wind up lost together in the unfamiliar outside world."
Would anyone else want to read a script based on that logline? Am I being of any help here whatsoever? :)
Thanks folks! :) We're pretty amazed the script made it all the way to #3. And happy to win some prize money -- looks like we may be able to afford our trip out to the Austin Film Festival this year after all. :D
Much to our surprise, today we received our software prizes in the mail -- already! We highly recommend this competition. :) And this "Power Structure" software actually looks pretty cool...looking forward to trying it out.
Thanks again all!
Dang it...Robert beat me to the "powerful proud." Oh well, ditto. :)
Any MBers from Connecticut who know something about their state trooper system?
You'll always have me as a friend, Connie.
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