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I got the same note from Larry that I had made it into the "next round". I also wasn't sure if that meant I made the top 50 or I just made some internal cut down round that he used prior to selecting the top 50. I figure I'll find out on the 30th. In any case, he provided detailed, insightful and helpful notes that were well worth the price of admission regardless of how my script fares.
Anyone hear anything from Larry about the delay in announcing the top 50 finalists? They were supposed to post them yesterday.
Thanks for the update, David. Good luck.
Congrats to Jean for the great win. Just wanted to pass on some info I got from Larry. Someone had asked about total submissions. He said there were 379. Larry also said that he still may be a couple weeks away from totally wrapping things up with the contest and getting all the results and loglines on his site, etc.
All: Just wondering if anyone on this board has tried the "Virtual Pitchfest" service and if so, what was your experience like? For those of you who don't know, virtual pitchfest is a web site where you purchase a set number of queries, then you choose from their list of producers, agents and managers who to send your query letters to. You are then guaranteed a response to your query letter from that industry pro within 5 business days. They seem to have gotten a few fairly successful producers on their client list and they boast of a couple movies made and a few sales and options have resulted from queries made off their service. Just curious if anyone has anything good or bad to say about them. Regards, Todd
I've used Craig Kellem in the past and will use him again in the future and can recommend him. If you've never used a script consultant before I would suggest reading the posting that was made on this board a few weeks ago about "things to do to get the most out of a script consultant". I thought that posting was helpful and should help you get the most bang for the buck.
In regards to Craig, keep in mind that he has professional screenwriting clients as well as emerging writers so he will be evaluating your work based on professional and not "contest" standards. What I mean by that is that since contests are generally for amateur and emerging screenwriters they generally grade and write feedback on a curve (i.e. they are evaluating your screenplay against other amateur screenplays and not necessarily against "professional" quality, produced screenplays. Therefore, your feedback will usually spend some amount of time telling you all the things you did right and what the reader enjoyed before gently giving you suggestions for improvement.
On your call with Craig he will not spend a lot of time telling you what you did well. He will focus on the deficiencies and areas needing improvement (at least that was my experience). On his follow up notes he will make notations on what he liked and what worked but the phone call is to work on problems and not to pat you on the back. Craig is professional but blunt and straight forward. Bottom line is if you are just hoping to hear how great your script is (and I think a lot of people who hire script consultants are just looking for affirmation and not consultation) have your Mom, spouse, etc. read it and save yourself some cash. If you are looking to get your script up to professional standards then I recommend Craig. Good luck! Todd
Paula, Congrats and good luck on the screening. I read "The Donor" on your site and thought it was great. I'm sure it will go over well. Todd
Paula, Thanks. Yes, my script, "One Man's Nightmare" won this year. I'm glad to e-mail it to you if you'd like to read it. I don't have a web site or I'd post it. They are supposed to read excerpts of it this weekend. Unfortunately, I can't make it to Ithaca to be there. Please let me know how it goes over. Thanks for starting this thread. Your posting alerted me to the contest which I didn't know about. I was in between features at the time and figured I'd give a shot at a "Twilight Zone" spec since I was always such a fan of the show. I had great time writing the short that won and the folks at the festival have been great to deal with. Just a fun contest all around. Would definitely recommend. Again, best of luck this weekend. Knock 'em dead. Todd
I'm a frequent lurker but seldom poster. However, I wanted to chime in on "Ben Lanyc". He has been playing the same game with the same and similar postings on this board for a very long time. Personally, I don't care if someone wants to post under a pseudonym (although, it does creep me out, just a little bit, why someone would feel they have to have a fake identity to participate in something as innocuous as a screenwriting BB). It also doesn't bother me (although it's a bit sad) if someone wants to lie about coverage or contest placements or anything else...even if said person has never demonstrated an ability to string two coherent, grammatically correct sentences together, never mind 90-120 pages. I do believe, however, people like this should be called on this type of behavior because it wastes a lot of well meaning people's time who respond to his B.S., thinking he's authentic.
His recent rant about "READERS" is the same as previous rants he used to post a year or so ago under his previous pseudonyms, "Bobby Deol" and "Bill G. Chaulau". Below are a couple of those old posts that I found. A quick read of the postings of these two identities shows that "Ben" just continues to recycle the same old premises for his postings. You can change your online identity but it is quite a bit harder to change your style of writing or your grasp of the rules of spelling or grammar from identity to identity.
I would say that the best solution is to just ignore "Ben" until he goes away but unfortunately that won't work. There will always be new people cruising through the board that will get sucked into this guy's web. If he gets sufficiently flamed after this posting, look for "Ben" to go away and for a "new" member to join the board with a strikingly similar writing and posting style...that is, until he wears that pseudonym out...and on and on...
Topic: CONTESTS THAT PROVIDE FEEDBACK, ARE THEY FOR REAL??? Author: Bobby Deol Posted: 05/21/07 02:03 PM
I can't sleep until I get a reasonable answer to this question. How is it possible for someone like me to pay a scriptwriting contest and then get feedback. ALL FOR $50.00 DOLLARS.
I know I am human, then how is it possible for them to read a "120" page script for 50 dollars. Are they X-MEN?????
Is this for real, I want to know if they are really reading my "WHOLE SCRIPT".
And what proof do I have.
If they don't have the business plan or time to read the whole script, then don't provide feedback, be honest.
I need to hear from someone, so I can gain some faith in this business.
Right now I spend so much money on contests with feedback and to tell you the truth, NO ONE CAUGHT THE TWIST ENDING BUILD UP IN ACT 2.
The only one that caught the "twist" was a feedback provider who I paid $250.00.
What should I do???/
Topic: SCRIPTWRITERS, INDULGENT? Author: Bill G Chaulau Posted: 05/15/07 10:21 AM
I need help here... I am told by a contest that my script is indulgent?
What does this mean?
The last time I heard this word when it was used to describe a script KILL BILL 1 AND 2. But those were great scripts.
I think if the dialouges is "INDULGENT", then it shows the eccentric side of the characters.
I think being INDULGENT is o.k. and the readers won't mind, is this true? Please advise?
Topic: More is good, most scripts lack in atmosphere and environment!!! Author: Bill G Chaulau Posted: 05/16/07 01:05 PM
I just finished reading some award wining scripts (all three won over 15 awards, yes over 15 awards!!!!). The are well writen but they failed to transport me into their world for eg. if it takes place in year 1910 or 1940, I don't feel it upon reading. Its just a bunch of words put together nicely, like reading a great high school or community award winning story.
If you read the script for Black Hawk Down, without knowing the title, it is richly atmospheric. The writers wrote an article on this.
If you read the script Blade I, its richly atmospheric. Again the writer works hard to give it that flavor.
I read THE MATRIX script...my god, how atmospheric is it, breathtaking.
But why? is this the latest trend, writers are not detailing the story's setting and environment.
I had a famous script doctor tell me to take out all this sorts of stuff. If I did that , none of the readers will be able to know "when" and "where" and geet a feel for the stressful settings.
For example....describing 1977 Manhattan or 1930 New York, the script has to be atmospheric....
I think I have a point, do you agree?????
I agree with Shell. If I thought there was even a 1% chance that "Ben" was asking the questions he asks to actually learn something I certainly wouldn't have chimed into this. But when someone asks the same questions or posts the same or similar comments, under different aliases, over and over, a logical person says, "this person is just looking for attention, not answers". Maybe "Ben" has never done anything negative to anyone specifically, but when you lie and waste well meaning people's time then I would argue, that's negative behavior. How many people would have taken the time to write the thoughtful responses to his postings that they did if they had known all the information in this thread? My guess is that many would have chosen not to.
"Ben" has every right to continue to lie, pose, post, whatever. But I think it's also reasonable for others to feel they are justified by shining a light on his M.O. so that people can make an informed decision as to whether they want to engage with him or not going forward.
I wouldn't be so sure he's gone, anyway. He played the same victim card last year when he signed off with his "Bobby Deol" alias (See the posting below). It looks like he borrowed pieces of it for his latest "poor me" "Ben Lanyc" sign off on this thread. If anyone misses Ben, don't worry, I'm sure, in the not too distant future, we'll have a new poster to fill the gap. Probably with a name like, "Haywood California". (Hey, "Ben", go ahead and use that name. It's on me)
Topic: SCREENWRITING CONTEST WITH A MUTUAL TWIST Author: Bobby Deol Posted: 06/25/07 02:35 PM Come on, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I have four scripts. And only two are being marketed by me. I never went to film school. I learned my screen-writing skills by reading over 50+ books and magazines and spend over $2000.00 of coverages, development notes, contests and networking. I am not faking anything or trying to pick a fight. Why are people complaining? Hollywood has no rules. I am civilized and treat people with respect. I only write specific style of screenplays. I'm trying to make. Everyone has a hungry heart. I just have 4 scripts in this life time. If I sell it, good. If not, I'll work harder. I don't get it why pick on me.
Why can't we break the rules and respect rule-breakers.
Also I do help other screenwriters, THEY don't criticize me like I'm a nobody. I want to be a somebody.
So if you guys want me to leave I'll leave but I have to know that and I respect your views.
Maybe do a survey to see if I should leave.
Good night and good luck in future writings.
Thank you kindly.
Actually, good contests can help entrants option and sell scripts. Some contest coordinators have deep contacts with agents and producers and have been known to pick up the phone and call contacts about specific scripts and writers that they have come across in their contests. These communications from various contest coordinators have ultimately resulted in many scripts being optioned, sold and even produced.
Many coordinators do this as a courtesy and don't look for points on your sale for their effort but I don't necessarily see a problem with someone who is looking for compensation for their efforts as long as they are clear and upfront about what they are doing. Similarly, I don't blame writers from steering clear of contests that have these types of terms. Now, if all the contest in question is doing is posting your logline on their website and somewhere down the line you sell your script and they expect compensation for that "effort", then that's a little different story.
If you spend some time hitting the web sites of the major contests you'll find plenty of evidence to the contrary. Almost all of them have a "Success Stories" type section where you'll find that many, many writers have garnered representation, options, sales and even had movies made based on placing well in contests.
I also received a congratulations / condolence, advancement / elimination letter from Austin today. "Congratulations, your script advanced to the Second Round / Top 10%...before being eliminated."
I think Austin is fairly unique in that they announce advancement not only in the same letter but in the same sentence as announcing your elimination. You only get about a second to enjoy the advancement before you get hit with the elimination.
I like it though...very efficient. It's a great contest. Best of luck to those who moved on.
Yeah, the handwritten note at the bottom of the letter was a classy touch.
It is weird these days to get the snail mail notification letter. Nice weird though. Still more fun to pull an envelope out of your mailbox and see that logo as opposed to just clicking on an e-mail. Not real green I guess but I love the old school style.
Yeah, I'm a long time lurker, infrequent poster. I'm great. Hope you're the same. Good to 'see' you. I see you are (not surprisingly) burning up the contest circuit. I've got to read some of your new stuff. I see a couple cool titles.
Sounds good. I'll hit you on e-mail.
I'd definitely echo Nathan's comments about Screenplay Festival. I also received an Honorable Mention in their contest a couple years ago and received quite a few requests. In fact, a year after the win I was still getting notes from the contest organizer with contact info for producers looking to read the script. I think they've been the best out of the contests I've placed in. Now, full disclosure, most of those producers were tier 2 and 3 indie producers with not a lot of credits to their names. But today's tier 2 guy is tomorrow's yada yada...and besides, it's still better than most contests, who don't get you any reads with your win.
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