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Messages posted since 07/26/2014
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Topic: Contests that have gotten you requests...?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/30/09 08:32 PM

As for Slamdance, if you dig through the website (under News & Community/Spotlight News) you can find the finalists.

Topic: Expo Quarterfinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/07/09 01:46 PM

Any chance you can paste the list here? Thanks.

Topic: Expo Quarterfinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/07/09 02:11 PM

Thanks for posting it. Odd that I entered and didn't receive the email, but people who didn't enter got it. Oh, well.

Topic: On the Value of Script Contests

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/10/09 07:01 PM

On the topic of read requests, as a Nicholl semifinalist this year for SCHOOL SPIRIT, I've had 10 contacts so far. I'm pretty sure the list came out Thursday morning, October 8, because that's when the requests started. Mostly managers, which is good, since I'm looking for a manager. Most either simply requested the script, or asked for a logline/short synopsis, then requested the script. I guess all they get on the list is the title and genre. Mine is a script for a family picture, and a couple of the managers requesting the script said they were particularly looking for family writers, so genre may have a lot to do with how many you requests you get.

As for the writer pretending to be younger than she was, my recollection is that she was considered a wunderkind because she was a good writer for being so young, and was also writing for a teen market. So when they found out she was older than a teen, and had been around the business for a while, she didn't seem so amazing. That's the way I remember it, anyway.

First, Sky Masterson.

As for the query letters, I recently sent out about 30 queries to agencies and managers mentioning my semifinalist status in the Nicholl competition (before the finalists were announced). Only got two requests for scripts. I sent out one fairly standard query letter and one more "fun" query. Both requests were a result of the "fun" one.

Topic: Script Savvy Opinions?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/13/09 06:21 PM

I did the standard for the September Contest. The notes were great. Notes to make your script better, not ideas on how to change it to something else that the reader would written. I'm actually incorporating every one of the notes. I've done the longer analysis option for a script in the October contest, I'll let you know on that at the end of November. The standard was worth the price of the more expensive option, so I can't imagine I'll be disappointed.

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/05/09 12:42 AM

Any idea how many entries they had?

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/05/09 12:49 AM

Also glad I read about this one here. I like the breakdown by genre.

Topic: Champion Screenwriting Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/11/09 11:03 PM

So who won?

Topic: Weedend of Champions

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/15/09 08:20 PM

Had a great time this weekend with Jim Mercurio of Champion Screenwriting Competition. He gave classes this past weekend for some of the Finalists (others attended a weeklong class the previous week). It was informative and fun, with work on concept, theme, dialogue, writing for actors, and a number of other topics. Jim teaches in a way that I could implement his work not only in my Finalist script, School Spirit, but also in the project I'm working on now. Congratulations to the other finalists and winners.

Topic: Weedend of Champions

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/15/09 09:16 PM

Should, of course, be Weekend of Champions.

Topic: StoryPros

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/23/09 09:59 PM

Semi-Finalists are up:

http://www.storypros.com/09ISCSemifinalists.html

Topic: StoryPros

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/24/09 01:54 PM

Thanks, James. Congrats and a Merry to you, too.

Topic: Script Savvy November Contest

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/01/10 06:51 PM

Irin, do you remember what your number score was when you won?

Topic: Script Savvy November Contest

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/03/10 12:14 AM

And the winner is ... me. My RomCom, The Freebie, won the November contest. I actually got turned onto this contest in these threads, so thanks for that.

Topic: TrackingB

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/04/10 04:23 PM

Free Pass is a different script. Guess it's in the air.

Topic: TrackingB

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/04/10 04:40 PM

You know what really hurts about this? I finished THE FREEBIE almost three years ago, let it sit in a drawer for almost two years, and really worked to get it out there only earlier this year. Now it's competing with at least one other script with a similar storyline (even a similar title) that's getting competition attention.

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/06/10 04:21 PM

I think the Finalists are announced in February.

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/06/10 04:24 PM

Wish I could say good luck, Steve, but we're competing in Comedy, Drama and Family. Oh well, good luck anyway.

Topic: TrackingB

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/08/10 12:22 AM

Seven of the top 9 signed with Abstract?

Topic: So how many contests have you submitted to?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/08/10 12:35 AM

Mike, have you gotten any requests based on the-greenlight win?

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/09/10 01:37 PM

I keep a list of competitions I'm in and the announcement dates. The email announcing Semis dated December 8 said they expected to announce finalists in a month or two. I think that's where I got that it's February.

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/09/10 02:45 PM

Thoughts on this contest? Wasn't going to enter because no cash prizes, but the timeline is short, and one comment said it helped with a manager. Anybody with any experience with this one? Deadline is tomorrow.

Topic: Conflict... God's Penis Calls In Sick.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/10/10 10:27 AM

Well, your first order of business should be to pay that girl her money and send her on her way.

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/10/10 01:55 PM

Thanks, Susan. I hadn't heard from anybody, and the deadline is today, so I went ahead and entered. At least the timeline for notifications is relatively short.

Topic: House of Scribes

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/11/10 03:12 PM

Anybody with any experience with this company? Got an email from them, can't get much information from their website.

Topic: Screenplay Search

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/11/10 09:04 PM

March 10 (Deadline for entry was Jan. 10)

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/12/10 11:35 AM

Good luck to you too, Steve. Just my RomCom in this one. Rewriting my others before entering them in any more contests.

Topic: Top Ten Contests

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/13/10 12:43 AM

Okay, last year I put too many scripts into too many contests.

Here's what I learned: Better than most isn't good enough. I also learned that while some notes from readers are useless, some notes from readers are invaluable.

This year I'm going to concentrate on rewriting my scripts, and putting the one(s) I think are really ready into competitions that could make a difference.

So the question is: Which competitions can make a difference?

I know there have been threads on this, but things change. Also, for me, what I want to know is: Placing high or winning which competitions will get you read by (a) people who really make movies, and/or (b) agents/managers with working clients who can get my scripts to people who really make movies. Sure, money's nice, but getting read is what matters to me. (And you prophets of doom out there, I know getting read doesn't guarantee me anything, but I also know that not getting read guarantees me nothing.)

What are the top ten competitions?

Nicholl, I know. I've been a semifinalist twice, which led to reads.

Austin, I know. Been a second rounder there twice, but didn't attend, waiting for a higher placement.

So what are the others that have gotten people reads?

As for monthly contests, I know about Script Savvy. Their notes are great, and I'm hoping my November win will get me some reads. What other monthly contests have helped? (I like the near-term satisfaction of a monthly contest.)

Thanks for all responses.

Topic: Top Ten Contests

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/13/10 03:30 AM

Thanks, Stephen, figured I could count on you. I checked out the Atlanta site, don't see anything about the screenplay competition. Is it over?

Topic: Any down side to putting full script on InkTip?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/13/10 11:11 PM

I got a free listing on InkTip as a prize in a competition. Any reason not to put my full script on there? I could just to the logline and synopsis, or full script.

Mike, this is probably a result of the-greenlight.com win. I got a couple of similar things after high placements in competitions (see House of Scribes below).

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/25/10 11:45 AM

Semifinalists announced:

http://www.moviebytes.com/NewsStory.cfm?StoryID=3773

Many familiar names on the list.

Topic: Debunking Hollywood Myths for Unproduced Writers

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/06/10 02:39 PM

Great series of articles. Thanks for the post.

Topic: The final word on Contests

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/07/10 12:55 PM

If you're going to measure contests by how many scripts get made, I think you're missing the point. What's important is what value the writer gets. I'd bet a lot of working writers today entered contests when they were starting out. Did any of them make contacts that helped them later? Did any of them get managers or agents, even indirectly, that helped them get writing assignments? Who knows? Working writers tend not to post on this site. They're busy making money doing what we want to make money doing. It's not a big story when a contest makes a contact for somebody that years later pays off, or helps in some incremental way. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Last year I entered a lot of contests. Spent about 2 grand. A lot of money. So what did I get back?

I learned a few things:

First, my scripts are better than most.

Second, that's not good enough.

Third, some feedback is useless.

Fourth, some feedback is invaluable.

I also won $700 cash, and prizes that I'm valuing at $200 (less than the value the contest put on them, but a fair value of what they're worth to me). So $900.

I got some great feedback, on all four scripts, which would make each script better. Really. I'll value that at $200 per script. (Actually, I think it's worth more than that, but I'll put a conservative value on it.) So $800. Total so far: $1700.

I got entry into a class for free. This isn't something I ordinarily would have sought out. But it was a valuable class; I learned some stuff. Easily worth the remaining $300. A similar class somewhere else would have cost more without the contest placement.

So I broke even, right? No.

I also got about thirty reads from the competition placements. As I've said in other posts, this is what I really enter the contests for. I want my scripts read. Now, some of these were companies that aren't so great. But some are managers or agents or prodcos I'd be happy to work with. Let me tell you, I've spent hours writing query letters, sending emails, etc., and it got me zilch.

You know what else I got? Go back to my list of what I learned. I found out my scripts needed to be better. In the cocoon of my class, I thought my scripts were as good as they could be. They were ready to go. I was wrong. Just finding out they needed more work, that knowledge alone, would make my scripts better because I would go back and work on them now. And I'd go back with feedback that would help me make them better than I could on my own. So what's that worth? To me, it's worth the entire $2000. The rest is a bonus. Could I have gotten this knowledge another way? Sure. But as it happens, I got it through competitions.

I probably could have entered fewer contests and gotten the same information, but I might have skipped the contest I won, or missed the best feedback (in my case, it was the same contest, but I got good feedback from other places too), or missed getting a class that helped make some screenwriting concepts clearer in my mind. I can enter fewer contests this year because I can use my experience this past year to focus on ones that can help me the most. And I'll enter just the scripts that I've had a chance to make as good as I can with my new knowledge.

For me, my ''Year of the Contest'' was a bargain.

Topic: The final word on Contests

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/08/10 01:23 PM

George,

You say we all made your point, but I think you missed mine. You can't CONNECT WITH THE READER (caps yours), if they don't read it. And I've found that high placement in a respected contest is one way to get them to read it. Not the only way, but one way. Nobody's going to say ''Hey, this won a contest, I'm going to put it into production without ever reading it.'' But then again, they're not going to say that if CAA sends it over either. Somebody's got to read it and like it (a lot of people, actually). But first you have to get them to read it.

Topic: Acclaim Film Announcements

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/15/10 10:43 AM

Acclaim announcements:

http://www.acclaimscripts.com/winners_film.php

Stephen (of course) has a runner up and a finalist. I have two finalists. A couple of other names look familiar, but don't know if it's from here or not. (Stephen, I changed THE FREEBIE to PICTURE ME AND YOU, after you told me about the other script placing in some contests and hearing about yet another script at Sundance this year, and did a minor rewrite to avoid any connection. Unfortunately, some of the contest placements have been announced under the old title.)

Topic: 7th Annual Indie Screenwriting competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/15/10 10:48 AM

Just two winners in this one, Mike? You're slippin'.

Congratulations.

Topic: Acclaim Film Announcements

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/15/10 03:46 PM

I asked Frank to list PICTURE ME AND YOU under its new title and logline, which he changed right away. Very attentive.

Topic: It's that time again... Contest Season!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/17/10 03:06 PM

George, which contests don't read the last-minute entries? That would be really helpful info. Thanks. Personally, I've been holding off until near the end, in case I make changes to the script before the deadline.

Topic: It's that time again... Contest Season!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/22/10 04:26 PM

Martin, you'll find that these threads can be very helpful. You can learn a lot of useful information. But to come here just to make snarky comments about other writers on the site doesn't really help anybody. You say you don't target Janet, and I assume you've never even met her, but you've suggested that she's a liar. You really want to contribute here? Tell us which competitions don't read late entries. That's information we could all use.

Topic: re: Nichols Fellowship 2010 Screenplay Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/25/10 10:09 PM

This isn't actually a rule, it's a suggestion. From the website:

Q: I noticed that entry scripts should be ''approximately 90 to 120 pages.'' Does that mean that a 85- or 125-page script will be disqualified?

A: No. We include the word ''approximately'' in the competition rules to allow some leeway on script length. The shortest script to earn its writer a Nicholl Fellowship was 85 pages long; the longest was 153 pages.

Be aware, however, that short and long scripts could prejudice a reader. This applies especially to long scripts, which readers tend to approach with some resistance.

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/08/10 12:52 AM

Winners and Finalists:

http://www.moviebytes.com/ContestDetail.cfm?StoryID=3803&ContestNumber=2398&NewsTab=TRUE

Congrats, Michael, on Shadow Trade (pretty sure all contests are now contractually obligated to make Mike at least a finalist).

Picture Me And You made the finalists under Romantic Comedy.

Topic: Screenplay Search Competition?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/08/10 12:54 PM

Janet, happy to send it to you. Search Robert Watson Los Angeles on Facebook and message me your email, or leave it here. (I'm the one with the dog as my picture; much better-looking than my real image.) BTW, I'm in L.A. now, but I'm a Des Moines boy. Go East High!

Topic: Copyyright Question

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/08/10 01:27 PM

I wouldn't bother as long as it's the same story, characters, and enough dialogue to identify it as the same script.

Topic: Copyyright Question

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/09/10 11:49 AM

I don't put WGA Reg or Copyright info unless they request it. It's not necessary, and many books, articles, etc., say putting either on the cover page is a sign of an amateur.

Topic: It's that time again... Contest Season!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/09/10 06:38 PM

What's the worrisome part? I entered, did I miss something?

Topic: Help!! I need a title!!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/11/10 08:45 PM

So the lead is the girlfriend, or the teenage merwolf?

Topic: Help!! I need a title!!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/12/10 01:35 AM

I don't really know about the teenage romcom question. I can't put my finger on a teenage romcom, that follows the typical boy meets/loses/gets girl story, so that's probably the answer. (On the other hand, I don't watch a lot of teen-centric movies, so I could be wrong.) I guess look at Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie). I can't remember if there's a romcom element to that or not. I guess if it's for kids, it might be as simple as __________ (her name), the Teenage Merwolf. Or Adventures of a Teenage Merwolf. Something like that. As far as title, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably a good example. Certainly says what it is. I would probably put what she is, be it merwolf or weremaid, in the title, since that's a major element, and would (I think) prompt somebody take a look.

Topic: Help!! I need a title!!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/12/10 09:24 PM

Personally, I liked the BTVS movie, but like the movie or not, you've got to admit the title worked. I was on the subway in New York, before the movie came out, and I heard a little girl, maybe 8 years old, say "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I thought, what a strange thing for a little girl to say. Then I saw ads for the movie. That title stuck in that little girl's head, and when her parents asked what movie she wanted to see, she knew what she wanted. (Not to mention it spawned a series, which in turn spawned a spin-off.)

Topic: Help!! I need a title!!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/20/10 02:43 PM

Okay, consider combining two previous ideas: Sorelle the Sea Wolf.

Topic: Champion Early Bird Deadline is One Week Away

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/20/10 07:20 PM

I use Without A Box only when it's the only option. It's kind of a pain. Much rather pay through PayPal and either upload from the contest site or email it.

Topic: Analysis From Contest Reader

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/22/10 03:49 AM

Do you guys tend to respond to contest feedback that's way off base?

I recently got feedback from a competition reader where they referenced a scene that wasn't in my script. Also, they clearly misread a scene that affected the way they felt about the lead character.

It's not a question of whether they liked the script or not. There were a lot of things they liked (including the scene that wasn't even in it, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut about that).

The analysis itself was poorly written, with contradictions, repetitive sentences and typos.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by the few contests that actually provide helpful feedback. (There was no extra charge for the analysis, by the way.)

The email that included the feedback said to let them know about any questions or concerns. But do you really do that?

Thanks.

Topic: Analysis From Contest Reader

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/22/10 07:47 PM

Thanks, this answered my question.

Topic: Another, another format question

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/23/10 10:58 AM

Okay, now I'm hooked. What does he do with the sandwich?

Topic: Screenplay Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 03/30/10 03:38 PM

Finalists announced.

http://www.screenplayfestival.com/2009_final.html

Topic: All Access Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/02/10 10:12 PM

Did anybody hear from them? Website says announcement of quarter-finalists would be on the site April 1, but I can't find anything there.

Topic: All Access Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/04/10 01:49 PM

Just found the link to the quarterfinalists. It may have been there all along, and I just didn't notice it.

http://www.sellascript.com/source/competitionplacings.cfm?competitionyear=2009

Picture Me And You is there, along with Louisiana Blood. Congrats again, Mike. And to any others on there from Moviebyters.

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/08/10 02:17 PM

I got ten or so requests from the sellascript listing that came as a prize for my Script Savvy win. One suggestion: Make sure your title and logline are compelling, since that's probably all they'll look at, either from a listing or a contest placement, to decide if they want to request the script.

Topic: Small Prodco Interested - Need Advice

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/09/10 12:03 AM

Many entertainment attorneys work on a percentage.

One question I'd ask is: Do they actually have the money to make the projects. I've been burned by this before by people who don't want to do a regular option because there's a time limit. They want to tie down the material, then take their time raising money. If they've got the money and are ready to go, there's no reason for them to balk at a time limit.

That being said, if they have the money, and you really think they can get it (them) made, and think they'll do a decent job of it ... go for it. But set a time limit that if they don't have it made by then, you can take the projects elsewhere.

Topic: Question re the SASE

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/18/10 08:47 PM

Unless they specifically ask for a SASE, I wouldn't send one, and expect them to discard the script rather than return it. If they ask for one, send one the right size for the script with the proper postage.

Topic: Help with logline/synopsis!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/28/10 07:24 PM

Just a suggestion, but if the scientist is the lead, you should ''lead'' with him rather than the group. Something like: After a zombie apocalypse, a scientist joins forces with a group of survivors, but he hides from them a terrible secret: not only did he create the undead virus, but he's also infected with it.

And though I haven't read your pages, you might want to explain the zombie virus thing. Something like: After a virus turns most of the population into zombies, a scientist joins forces with a group of uninfected survivors, but he hides from them a terrible secret: not only did he create the undead virus, but he's also infected with it.

Topic: Contest of Contest Winners

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/29/10 01:58 PM

Irin and I made the Finals of this one. Congrats, Irin, and any other MB'ers I may have missed.

Topic: Contest of Contest Finalist

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/11/10 09:04 PM

Thanks, Janet. I'll let you know.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/15/10 09:51 AM

Congrats Janet, Michael, Steve, and any MB'ers I missed.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/22/10 01:40 AM

Semi's Announced:

http://www.storypros.com/2010AwardsSemifinalists.html

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/22/10 03:15 AM

Thanks. Congrats, James, Susan and Mike (and, yes, anyone I missed). And to Sharon Clark (we're in the same class together).

Topic: English or American English?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/24/10 11:28 AM

If you're submitting it here, I would use American spellings. Even if it's the proper spelling there, I'd think it would hamper the flow for the reader to use the English spelling.

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/28/10 12:23 PM

So the Driskill is the place to stay? I haven't been before, but planning to go this year. Are the events in a central location, or will I need a car? Thanks for any info.

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/28/10 01:07 PM

Just got some serious sticker shock looking at hotels for Austin. Anybody know of hotels near the action that aren't 300-400 a night?

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/28/10 06:25 PM

So far I've just checked Driskill and Stephen Austin. Obviously the most convenient, but pricey.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/29/10 02:18 AM

Finalists Announced:

http://www.storypros.com/2010AwardsFinalists.html

Picture Me And You is still in it.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/29/10 02:43 AM

Thanks, James.

Congrats, Susan.

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/29/10 05:41 PM

Thanks for all the input. For now, I've booked the Driskill, for convenience, not needing a car, etc. I have some time to do more research before I'd have to cancel, and figure it's not getting any cheaper closer to the Festival. I'll just have to count on winning, I guess.

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/29/10 05:51 PM

Okay, one more question. People are only there, basically, the 21st through the 24th, right? I mean, there are films going on, but the conference activities are just those dates, right?

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/29/10 10:17 PM

Thanks, Irin.

Pretty standard in cases like this, I think, to request 2-1/2 to 3 percent of the production budget. If it's really low budget, they're probably not a guild signatory (if they are, of course, go for guild minimum). Not much money, but if it gets done ...

Topic: Mike Murphy wins Script Savvy

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/01/10 08:19 PM

Congrats. I got a lot of requests from this a while back, and I hope the same for you.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/02/10 12:52 AM

Winners Announced:

http://www.storypros.com/2010AwardsWinners.html

Happy to report that Picture Me And You took first in the Comedy category.

Susan took 3rd in Sci/Fantasy/Horror. Congrats, Susan, and any other MB's whose name I missed.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/02/10 04:52 PM

Thanks, everybody. I've already heard from them, so not only are they incredibly discerning ;-), but they follow up.

Topic: Story Pros announces Q.F.'s

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/02/10 10:23 PM

Thanks Janet, and Michael, props from me too.

Topic: Austin Hotels for AFF

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/02/10 11:02 PM

They do have discounted reservations for attendees. Thanks for the info, everybody.

Topic: Write Movies Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/03/10 07:35 PM

Congrats!

Topic: Table Read My Screenplay Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/04/10 12:17 PM

Congratulations Stephen, Mike and Irin.

Topic: Ink Tip - Comments?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/04/10 11:55 PM

For the most part, works mostly for low budget films. Consider sellascript. I got both for winning a contest, got one request from the inktip listing, about 20 from sellascript. Mine wasn't a low budget script. I have a friend who has one on inktip and it's gotten a lot of hits, but nothing's come of it yet.

Topic: Ink Tip - Comments?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/05/10 11:21 AM

Just re-checked my records, it was actually about 15 requests for the script as a result of the sellascript listing/eblast; I got a few requests from the contest itself. About half were companies I had heard of, mix of producers, managers, manager/producers, and a couple of agents. As part of the win, my logline and synopsis were posted on both sites, and went out in eblasts. (Sellascript also had me fill out a bio where I mentioned other contest placements.) Not dissing inktip, btw, just saying that I've heard that it's more effective for scripts with modest budgets, and my experience with a non-low-budget RomCom was that I got more requests to read the script from sellascript.

Topic: DO NOT ENTER

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/07/10 01:13 PM

Sorry, Janet, but I actually had a good experience with two of these myself (Acclaim and Contest of Contest Winners). At the risk of incurring wrath, I think a single person (or a handful of people) not getting reads from a contest shouldn't be a reason to get them blacklisted under a post headed, in caps, DO NOT ENTER. (First of all, many contests say that scripts will be considered, not read, which isn't the same thing. Maybe the contests distribute titles, loglines and/or synopses, and the companies choose which ones to read, and maybe the people who didn't get read didn't have compelling loglines.) I bet, if you worked at it, you'd be able to find a number of people who are perfectly happy they entered most of the competitions on this list. Do as you please, of course, but if the main issue is reads, wouldn't it make more sense to have a list where people report which contests got them reads? That list at least would have evidence to support the inclusion. You know how they say ''you can't prove a negative''? Well, with this list, there may be lots of people who got reads from these contests, but they didn't happen to read this post; conversely, a single person who happened to read it (or one of your earlier posts), and didn't get reads, can - and did - get a contest blacklisted.

Topic: DO NOT ENTER

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/07/10 04:37 PM

I don't think James P's or Irin's comments were directed at me, but just in case, I didn't go at Janet or slam her. I also think her intentions are good. I was suggesting two things. First, make it clear that her list is only for people whose only reason to enter contests is to garner reads. Second, and most important, I was pointing out that one or a few reports of no reads isn't proof that nobody who wins or places in these contests gets reads.

Paul:

In your initial post, which you titled:

"FilmMakers International Screenwriting IS A SCAM!!!!"

you wrote:

"But I have spent all last month trying to contact them with no result so I have to say that this contest is a SCAM!"

and

"THIS IS ONE BIG SCAM."

Now, you say:

"Personally, I didn think it was a scam,"

Huh?

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/08/10 12:15 AM

Feedback was additional. For what it's worth, I didn't order the feedback and still won the Comedy Category, so they give them thorough reads regardless. (I only mention this because some people on other threads have suggested that scripts that order feedback get a more thorough read in certain contests.)

Topic: Blazing Quill

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/08/10 10:44 AM

Congratulations, Janet, on making the finals.

Topic: Ink Tip - Comments?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/08/10 04:10 PM

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/11/10 02:30 PM

Planning on entering Final Draft/Big Break. Any other contests with deadlines coming up in the next few weeks that are really must-enters? Money's getting thin, but I don't want to miss "the one."

Topic: most contest winners never sell??

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/13/10 11:26 PM

A pitifully small percentage of specs sell, even those by seasoned writers. Yes, it happens, occasionally, that a contest winner gets sold or produced, but it's by no means a given.

For the most part, what a competition will reveal is which writers may, just MAY, be ready to move up. For those industry professionals who do pay attention to contests, and many don't, they're looking for those writers who may be ready.

Most projects that get produced are based on books, or franchises, or comic books, or are developed in-house from ideas, or are rewritten from scripts that aren't that hot but have a great concept, or that a bankable star wants and has time to do. What you can hope, and just hope, mind you, is to become one of the people they go go to write those projects.

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/14/10 01:49 PM

Stephen:

Wow. And I thought I was addicted.

Topic: Need a writing partner/ co author

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/14/10 02:23 PM

I waited a bit to respond to this, in case you were actually able to find someone interested. Please accept this comment in the spirit it's intended. I'm trying to be helpful.

Many beginning writers assume that the hard part of writing is coming up with the idea. This is simply not the case. If you ask the other writers here, not to mention professional writers, you'll find that most of us have a file with dozens of ideas that, well executed, would be a good script. But the execution is the key.

I'm sure your intentions are good, but here's what, from my perspective, you're offering. You're asking a writer (in their already limited time) to walk (or more likely, carry) you through the process of writing a screenplay. This would actually be harder and more time-consuming than writing a solo project. And at the end, they'd be getting half (I assume you meant half) of the sale of a project that would most likely never sell. That's not a comment on the quality of what you'd end up with, it's just that most specs don't sell.

You've said you've read a book. Great. Read another. Take a class. You may find that you have the talent to execute your ideas on your own. The likelihood of finding a shortcut is slim. If you find somebody to take you up on this offer, I suspect that, if not the blind leading the blind, you'll find yourself with someone with very poor eyesight.

And if you're able to find a good writer to execute your idea and give you half the money, forget writing. You should be a producer. I mean that.

I wish you the best of luck.

Topic: Need a writing partner/ co author

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/14/10 07:33 PM

Well, if Brooke has really come up with an idea that, in the entire history of storytelling, has never been thought of before, then God bless her, and she certainly doesn't need my advice.

But I suspect if she were to reveal her idea, the response would be "Oh, you mean like __________?" (That's not a diss to Brooke; after all, they're mostly looking for "the same thing, only different." But in my opinion the "different" is in the execution.)

Once again, Brooke, good luck, whether you end up with a partner or going solo.

Topic: Need a writing partner/ co author

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/15/10 11:08 AM

Couple of things. Maybe you should hire a consultant to take a look at what you've got. For a few hundred dollars, whether you've got a full script or a treatment, you can get a professional take on how much promise the material has. Hire a couple. Could save yourself months of work by finding out the materials not that special, or if it's fantastic, it could give you some juice to get somebody interested. Not to mention the assistance in actually developing the material. There are a couple of threads on consultants here.

And if you've got a head for business, you really might consider producing.

I don't know the legalities of this, but you might also consider hiring a writer to take a stab at the script. Particularly if they're not a WGA writer, this would be a work for hire, and you would still retain the rights. Obviously, you'd want to consult an attorney before you went this route.

Topic: Bluecat 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/15/10 06:45 PM

First cut happens tonight. Good luck, everybody!

Topic: Bluecat 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/15/10 10:40 PM

A few familiar names (mine, unfortunately, not among them). Congratulations.

Quarterfinalists:

2gether 4ever by W. Boyd Ford

38th Parallel by Michelle Kelly

4 to 6 Days by Drake Conrad

4-20 by Kerry Cox

A Bad Day Long by Jeremiah Tapper

A Bucket of Chains by Jonathan Dean Draxton

A Day's Grace by Malcolm Megaw

A Good Witch Is Watching Over Me by Corneliu Mitrache

A Like Story by Candice Tillery

A Novel Approach to Suicide by Brien Kelly

A Poisoned River by Akeba Gaddis

A to B by Danny Yang

A War for the City in the Sea by Justin H. Montgomery

Absolution by Mark Evaniuk

Absolution by Christopher Dennis

Aether by Garrett York

After Ever After by Jeremy Lazar

Alamo Records by Matt Belfiore

Almost Amanda by Robert Cholette

Amerie's Wish by George Allen

Among The Dead by Sohrab Noshirvani and Rory Haines

An Improbable Life (resubmission) by Matthew Myers

Apocalypse Theory by Cameron and Brandon Laventure

Appropriate Measures by Amy D. Hubbard

Artifice by Steve Hochman

Athletismus by Rosen Kostadinov

Awaken by Robert Jason Clark

Bali Justice by Art Blum

Ballpark Frank by Mark Cohen

Band Mom by Kathy Swift Albert

Bare (resubmission) by Natalia Leite

Barstow by Adam Martinez

Basic Indecency by Brendan Paul Gallagher

Behind the Fat Lady by Mark Scullard

Believe by Nikki Folsom and Andrea Howard

Below the Waist by Robert Ian Simpson

Best Seller by Danny Yang

Betrayal by Phil Ferriere

Between Paths by Christopher Talocco

Blackburn Burrow by J H Levy

Bleeding Kansas by Michael Menyk

Blood and Dreams by Suzanne Griffin

Blood In The Pines: The Legend of Moses Doan by Robert Casiello and Brian Jason Kelly

Blue Thunder by Cameron Alexander and Sean Harrigan

Body by Alison Kathleen Kelly and Douglas DaSilva

Bombshells by Tawnya Bhattacharya

Bounce House by Jeffrey Ashkin

Bourbon Road by Jack Daws

Boy Without a Face by Jan Lampen

Brand New Girlfriend by Jason Molloy

Broken Dash by Micah Ovadia

Brooklynese by Troy Ransome

Brothers Mussolini by Johnny B. Dunn

Brule's Ghosts by Caesar Voghan and Charles Towne

Buddy Billings by Seth Larsen

Burnt by Adam Sullivan

Butterfly's Child by Harlan Hague

By the Hands of Wally Vine by David Warnock

Canaries by Craig Cambria (aka Daniel C. Jay)

Capa and Taro by Jose Ygoa and Martin Copeland

Chatter by Greg Rempel

Christmas Kills! by George Kimmel and Andres Rosende

Cooper's War by Timothy Jay Smith

Creature by Lydia Rawlings

Credit Risk by Jon Raymond

Crossing Into Night by Rachel Stevens

Cut + Paste by Jason Yarusi

Czechmate by David Muhlfelder and Robert Thielke

Da Vinci's Dreams by Michael Oakes

Dandyland by Doug Mallette

Dare! by Reno Perillo

Day of the Lords by James Edwards

Daysleeper by Mark Loughlin

Dayworkers by Frank Cristelli and Eric Gegenheimer

Dazzle Land by Steve Schoen and James Loos

Dead Man Working by David Granger

Demonhunter by James Tichenor

Devil's Machine by Joseph Kisch

Devlin by Kelly Michels

Do No Harm by Indigo Thomas

Dog Woman by Gail Grenier

Don't Make Jack Pick Up His Guns! by Mauro Corstiaans

Dragon Bones by Mark H. Zhu

Earline by Rachel Stevens

Easy Pick by Ron Staszak, Robert Staszak, Justin Ross, and Michael Miller

En Route by David Aslan

Europa by DJ Mhlanga

Everyman by Matthew Gilleece

Eyes of Ligeia by Tristan Jardee

False Sense by Craig Cambria (aka Daniel C. Jay)

Family Jewels by Brooks Jackson

Feast by Caroline O'Meara

Fenlands by Stephen Ridley

Flashover by Carolyn Miller

Flesh and Blood: The Vampocalypse by Larry Brenner

Fly Girls by Helen Whittaker

Four Eyes by Shira Levin

Four of a Kind by John Marchetti and Michael Gaynor

French Dressing by Francis Connor

From the Heart by Austen Jon Courpet

Gamblin' Ray by Meahaose Heng

George's Song by Bob Bland

Getting Over Goshen by Dennis Willson

Ghosted by Stephen Hoover

Godforsaken by Andrew B. Smith

Good Friday by Vilsoni Hereniko and Jim Bryan

Goodbye Dubai by Dave Cowen

Granite Mason by Jonathan Holly

Grounded by Ann Kronlage

Gut Shot by Joshua Grote

Hair of the Dog by Shira Levin

Half-Life by Jeremy Engle

Hank by Hank Putnam

Happy Genius of the Household by Richard Eschenroeder

Haven't Met You Yet by Thomas Holbrook

Hay's Code by Andrew B. Smith

Heart by Angela Lynn Wilson

Hell Hath No Fury by Tonina Kelly

Help Self by Matthew Aaron Nelson

Henry by Candace Lee and Darina Voloshina

Her Extra Husband by Annette Chandler and Will Chandler

Here Lies Johnny Peacoat by John Michael Bister and Tadhg Kelly

Hit by Jamiyl Samuels

Holy Roller by Tim Sigur

Horror Comic by Stephen Hoover

How Do We Look by Ana Brown

I Am Eye by Carson Bekcer

I Am John Horse by Zoe Krasney

I Dream Machine by Kevin Landon

I Love Satan by Craig Schwartz

Ice Nine or When Bad Weather Happens to Good People by Craig Schwartz

I'm Old and I Wanna Die by Jordan Imiola

In a Different Light by Naomi Lamont

In Eden by Michael Choi

In the Heart of the Rain by Steve Schoen and James Loos

Inferno Inc. by Leila Nicotera

Interstate by Emiliana Dore and Adrienne Lusby

Inward Bound by Kate Lee

Iraq: The Sand Box by Hector Troy

Ivey by Taylor Ivey

Jam Jars for the Manor by Dermod Judge

Jesse James vs. Jack the Ripper by Alasdair McMullan

Jesus and Johnny by Alejandro Morales

Jobbers by John Dexter

Joe by Toby Scales

Juan Bago Saves The Day by Jaime Fernandez

Judas Kiss by J.T. Tepnapa and Carlos Pedraza

Judgey by Mary Anderson Casavant

Junk Boy by Dan Doyle

Just Kill Me Already by Sundae Jahant-Osborn

Justus by Brian Lee Johnson

Kill all the Lawyers by Scott F. Butler

Leap of Faith by Alicia Lomas-Gross

Left Lonely by Andrew Shafer

Lemons by Richard Bertelsen

Let Them Come Apart by Jeffrey Scott Richards

Libertyville by Michael D. Zungolo

Life on Pause by Vivi Gregg

Little Red Lies by Alina Petrescu

Lord Ockley and The Alien by Stan Evans

Love Game by Gerhard Posch

Love Rocks by Frank Arnot and Alyson Conway

Lucy Canary by Margaret Bertels

Ludlow Massacre by Sam Neil Kesler

Madness Takes A Trip by Robert Pence

Me and the Major by Michael Saul

Meg Foster by Ian David Diaz

Midlothians by Richard Bertelsen

Mimi and Me by Elizabeth Kerin

Miracle Murder by Oliver Stauffer

Miss Gay US of A at Large by Benjamin C. Hunter

Money, Guns & Russian Roulette! by Ian Snyder

Mortajjan by Nicolas Hinze

Mortimer by Justin and April Pollack

Motion Sickness by Christopher Gallu

Mountain of Refuge by Thomas Pa'a Sibbett

My Heart Struck Sorrow by Carey Campbell

My Wife's Next Husband by Richard Littler

Nailed by Juan Hector Cristoforo by Ung Gi Park

Nature of the Beast by Eric Sentell

Never Date a Teen Idol by Kat Candler and Toddy Burton

Never Too Late by Lish Chocholous and Jason Burkey

New Freedom by Joy Martinello

Nicholas by Cody W Urban

Northern Cross by Melody Cooper

Not Like Mom by Maria E. Mayobre

Notes of Page by Christian Tipples

Off-White by Michelle Davidson

Olympus by Nicholas Turner

On the Ocean by William Howard Norris

Once More Eden by Vanessa King and Mike Palmisciano

One Good Shoe by Mich Avant

One Night in Asbury Park by Maurizio Marmorstein

One Week 'Til Next Year by Bruno Derlin

Open Pit by Dana Garrity

Orgasms and Other Lies by Elizabeth Appell

Out Side In by Ryan Misuro

Patchwork by Carrick Bartle

Peace of Violence by Judy Vann

Peace Weaver by Katheryn Shamrell

Pigeon-Toed by Camille Verzal

Pipe Dreams by Jason Singleton

Piss Tank by Kathryn Mockler

Pisser by Eric Hueber

Pixer Knows by Caroline Farrell

Porcelain Stingers by Marie Robinson

Potential Chemistry by George Mehelis

Prenuptial Enragement by Atif Shaikh

Proposing Wine by Katherine Blaine Hurley

Puppy Love by Julie Young

Purga-Story by Kem Welch

Quantum of Rumpy-Pumpy by Brendan Paul Gallagher

Queenie by Rebecca Jean Tingley

Red Flag On The Moon by Harold Bashor

Releve by Michelle Davidson

Reminiscence by Stacy Talus

Remy by James Grayford

Restless in Peace by Ethan Marrell

Revealed by Anmari Linardi

Runaway Colt by David Warnock

Ruth and Rose by Brian Nicol

Schmear Therapy by Patrick Brady

Screwball by David Ferrell

Seacoast of Pan by Jim Mather

Season of Mists by Kevin Stuart Brodie

Security by Jon Morgan Davies

Selva by Nadia Desyatnikova

Shame by Steve Spiro and Anna Coats

She Move Through The Fair by Caroline Burns Cooke

Shotgun by Melissa Harkness

Side Effects May Include by Sarah Schaffner Rothschild

Sin No More by Ricki Holmes

Skirt by Chris Mason Johnson and Kate Stayman-London

Soccer Don by Erik Selekman

South by Southeast by Tom Shipley

Splitlog Seven by Travis Hughes and Mark Hodge

Squirt by Randy Kaplan, Scott Bernstein, and Graham Nugent

Starfish Waltz by Brad Hoover

Stolen Senses by David A. D. Gould

Stop Barraiya by Clyde H. Farnsworth

Strays by Hannah B. Coverman

Strong St. by Mario G Lopez

Sultana by Lee Ann Lennon-Costanzo

Sunny Kincaid by Penelope Kahler Swan

Sunshine and Cigarettes by David Mulholland

Superzero by Tyler Theofilos

Talented Tenth by Cliff Pulliam

Tales of the Borderland by Sidney Brammer

The A Train by Michael Barnett Brettler

The Alphabet Protocol by Michael S. Hiller

The Black Lotus by Michael D Thornton, Jr.

The Burning Love of Dong Bonders by Eric Chambers

The Call Girl by Melissa J. Stanton

The Case of the Passionate Preacher by Sheila Lawrence

The Croft by Natalie Sloan

The Cure by Monica Drake

The D Team by Mike Peake

The D Train by Richard McNally

The Death of Christopher Marlowe by Joseph Abisso

The Deprogramming of Fahim by Steve Hochman

The Dock Porter by Dave Mcveigh

The Drowned by David Gane and Angie Counios

The Dukes Child by Lauren Hunter

The Early Retirement of Vincent Truman by Andrew Thompson

The End of the Rainbow by Matthew Spira

The Fabulous Forties by Donald Erlandson

The Firewood Tree by Gary Milin

The Golem of Washington Heights by Aaron Wolfe

The Greatest Traitor by Kathryn Radmall

The Hard Yards by Patrick Lewis

The Heart of Texas by Peter Tulipan

The Highwaymen by Adira Rotstein

The Hitler Family Reunion by Andrew Rothschild

The Hole in the 'Wall by Josh Hamelin

The House of Louie by David Poulshock

The House of Love by Jan Lampen

The Insurgent by David Jones and Amy Jones

The Intake by Rich Sheehy

The Knights of Barn Castle by Tom Higgins

The Korean War by Raymond Coreleon Roswell

The Last Adventure of Martin Finch by Aaron Marshall

The Lazarus Group by David Sakmyster

The Legend of Amedee by Tony Chassion III

The Legend of the Lone Stranger by Ken Chadwick

The Light by John Leonard

The Lincolns by April Pollack

The Lion by Justin Perry

The Little Death by Gary Hoover and Beth Hoover

The Lodger by June Escalante

The Man in the Watch by Joshua Chaplinsky

The Manpyre Chronicles by Han-Yee Ling

The Memorial by David Selzer

The Monkey's Ass by Bob Cousins

The Motorman by Gil Seltzer

The Newsboy by George Mehelis

The Painted Grass by Patrick Carew

The Palmist by May Chaplin

The Payoff by Shawn Boxe and Rick Majzun

The Pearl Diver by David Ernst

The Penitent Man by Jason George

The Perfect Spy by Matt Kungie

The Phoenix by Jonas Collins

The Physicist by Teresa Lo

The River of Light by Kyle T. Cowan

The Sarodin by Kieran McGowan

The Sensational Count Guitarcula by Eric Maloney

The Shield of Athena by Dave Scoville and R.J. Nestor

The Sibling Rule by Mari SanGiovanni

The Sophia Project by Perry Blakshear

The Source by Thom Ferrell

The Sun Also Rises in Tijuana by Marie Roughan

The Sunset by Steve Schoen and James Loos

The Super Days of Hansel Minus Gretel by Mike Wong

The Tailors of Shanghai by Susan Tuan

The Tenth Power by Kristopher White

The Third Testament by Stephen Jones

The Unexpected by Tom Putnam and Jeff Malmberg

The Unnatural Flights of the Human Mind by Ryan Creason

The Unwanted by Mohsin Hassan

The Visitant by Steven Brooks

The War of the Redwoods by E. Kevin Collins

The Way of the Dead by Andrew Wheeler

The Will Of The King by George Bradshaw

The Writ Writer by Michael Murphy

The Zombie Hunter by John Shermer

There Is No Second by Ricki Holmes

They Might Be Kennedys by Ted Collins

Tigers in Tutus by Kathy Larson

Til Death Parts Us by Elizabeth Ditty

Tilford by Steve Ruttley

To Live, Press 1 by Stephen Hoover

Toretto's Unfinished Symphony by Geoffrey Schmits

Tough Love by Alison Wilkie

Tremble by Nick DiChario

Troop 51 Saves the World by David Anaxagoras

Tropical Candy by Scott Roberts

Tug of War by Julie Knudsen

Twin Moons by Seth Patrick Newton

Two Evils by Jon Eastman

Two Fish One Bowl by Adam Grabinski

Two Ton Tony by Ken Pisani

Uncultured Swine: An Epidemicomedy by Anthony Del Vecchio

Under the Rising Sun by Michael McCoy

Underwood by Theresa Giese

Unplugged by Jared Ingram and Brian Sharp

Unretired by John Arlotto

Voting Vertigo by Xander Davis

Weapons of Mass Dysfunction by Laura Jean Richter

Wedding Knight by Stephen Hoover

Wellington Manor by Rita Marcotte

Wheel by John Scott 3

Whiplash by Lauri Donahue

Why Me by Julia Aaryn Montanez

Women in the Attic (resubmisison) by Gloria Uhler

Xmas Voices by Dominic Graham

Yanks vs. Sawx by Billy Duberstein

Topic: Bluecat 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/16/10 11:29 AM

Steve:

Yes, "Picture Me And You" (besides StoryPros Comedy Category it won Script Savvy last November) was in Bluecat this year. I've never done well in this one. I write pretty mainstream stuff, so maybe that's not their thing. Maybe they just think I suck.

Topic: Are they ever gonna fix this website?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/20/10 11:47 AM

Me either (PC/Firefox).

Topic: Are they ever gonna fix this website?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/20/10 01:26 PM

Try going in through another browser.

Topic: I don't understand!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/24/10 01:46 PM

I've won two comps (Script Savvy and the Comedy Category of StoryPros Awards), and placed in about 20 others in the last year or so: one Honorable Mention, seven Finalists, six Semifinalists, and the rest Quarterfinalist or ''Second Round.'' I've received reads from only two of them — winning Script Savvy and being Semifinalist in Nicholl (StoryPros is recent, so it's too soon to know what reads I'll get from that). Some of the others have garnered requests for a title/logline.

So to a great extent, I think it depends on the contest. Seven Finalists with three different scripts in various contests and no reads, but a Semi in Nicholl got lots of them.

Another factor, I think, is that while a few production companies (and no studios) may request competition winners, most of the read requests come from managers and agents. I don't know if the competitions reveal addresses for contestants, but if they do, I think it may be less likely that managers and agents will consider a writer who doesn't live where their business is based. More than half the requests I got were from managers or management/production companies, plus a handful of smaller production companies and a couple of agents.

If the contest releases a list of titles and loglines, that could be a factor. They get hit up a lot for requests for reads, probably hundreds a month, so they may screen based on a title and logline they think they can sell. Personally, I think a lot of writers underestimate the power of the logline, or think it shouldn't be a factor. I completely understand it, embrace it even. Sure, just about any prodco or studio will read whatever a huge agency sends over. But a smaller agency or manager, the kind of guy that pays any attention to contests at all, has to convince people to let him send over a script (particularly now). If you can't sell me, briefly, on what your story's about, and what makes it special, how do you expect me to, briefly, sell somebody else on the idea of reading your script? It has to make me not just want to read that script, but make we want to see that movie. (Many successful writers put so much emphasis on the logline that they won't even start writing a script until they come up with a logline that makes a stranger say, ''I'd go to see that movie.'')

My advice would be, first, take a serious look at your logline. Is it really intriguing? Second, don't wait for contests to do your advertising for you. Email companies, or write them letters, putting your most recent (or biggest) contest win in the re line. Put your incredibly fascinating logline in the first paragraph. Then in the second paragraph list the other competitions in which it has finished Semifinalist or higher (personally, I think Quarterfinalist is too far back in the pack to even mention, it may even hurt your chances). If you have other scripts that have placed in competitions, mention them (not in great detail just a sentence saying you've had other scripts place highly in competitions). And tell them at least that you have other scripts and what genre they're in. Your percentage return on this will likely be low, but it's better than sitting around waiting for somebody to contact you. And as I've said before (and I'm not promoting them, just passing along the info), the sellascript listing that I got for winning Script Savvy, mentioning that win and other placements for that and other scripts, got me a lot of requests, one of which led me to my new manager.

Good luck.

Topic: PAGE Round 2 e-mail

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/30/10 04:25 PM

Congrats, everybody. PICTURE ME AND YOU also advanced.

Topic: ScriptPIMP Finals!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/01/10 10:57 AM

Congrats, Stephen. Competition must have been very tough on this one, considering that only 18 scripts made the top 20.

Topic: ScriptPIMP Finals!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/01/10 03:06 PM

Just added two more. Now an official 20. Congrats again, Stephen.

Topic: SilverScreenwriting Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/02/10 01:26 AM

Thanks for posting, Stephen, and congratulations. This is my new one, happy to see it advance.

Topic: Should contest judges decide after 2 pages?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/07/10 07:19 PM

Don't look at me, Janet. I don't mind saying I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals of this one. 3 Grand? Free computer or cash equivalent? Lunch with Shane Black? Skype with the writer of Buried? I want that stuff. I've been following all of this but trying to keep my head down. Do I need to tell you who's side I'm on in this one?

And between you and me, I think Walter's real name is David Barkley.

Topic: Should contest judges decide after 2 pages?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/08/10 04:22 PM

I've had time to think about this (which was probably a mistake). And Janet, rather than feeling ''low'' or ''upset,'' I'm actually kind of pissed. I've been supportive of the people on this board. Then after advancing in a competition, I have to read a post here suggesting that there's a pretty good chance (forty percent, in fact) that rather than my script being one of the best in this competition, it's actually one of the worst. Thanks a lot, Marjory, really appreciate it. Next time you make the winner's circle, I guarantee you I won't question on a public board whether you really deserve to be there.

For the record, I find the suggestion that 20 scripts were plucked from the bottom of the pile and simply dropped into the quarterfinals to be ridiculous. Unless you believe every word they've said is a lie (in which case there's nothing to talk about anyway), there was at least one round of judging between the time the reader evaluated those 75 scripts and when the quarter-finalists were chosen. (Actually, from what I've read, including a re-post from you, Marjory, there were at least two. Even if you assume Margeaux's read moved those twenty from the bottom to the top 200, which isn't a given, there was a cut from 200 to 70, then 70 to 50.)

Topic: Should contest judges decide after 2 pages?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/08/10 06:58 PM

Thanks for your words, Marjory.

However, to be clear, I'm in no way suggesting that people shouldn't post whatever they want. I tend not to go negative here, but people are free to say what they please. And if I have an opposing point of view, I'll feel free to post it. Just as anybody who disagrees with something I say is free to say so. I took issue with what you posted, I didn't say you shouldn't be free to post it.

Topic: Script consultants?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/09/10 03:14 PM

Anybody worked with Mike Cheda or The Story Specialists?

Blake Snyder raved in his books about Mike Cheda, a script consultant (as well as a writer who's sold stuff). Anybody work with him before?

Also got an email from The Writer's Store about The Story Specialists. Anybody work with them recently? (I gather there are several different people, who may change over time.)

I know I'll probably get recommendations about other consultants, plus the ones above in this thread, which is great. But I'm particularly interested in hearing about these two. (I'm into Blake Snyder's books, and The Story Specialists price is in my range.) Thanks in advance.

Topic: ScriptPIMP Finals!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/09/10 07:32 PM

Congratulations again, and good luck.

Topic: Table Read My Screenplay Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/10/10 12:30 PM

That's great, Stephen. Congratulations.

Topic: % of viable entries

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/11/10 03:11 PM

I agree with the concept, but I think the actual percentage is lower. In any contest, the best scripts entered are your only real competition for the top spots, in the view of the judges of that particular competition. Nicholl actually only advances about 5% to the quarterfinal round. Some do more, some even announce cuts with as many as 25% advancing. But once that cut is made, those who don't make that cut have no chance of winning. In each successive cut, in which ostensibly only the best of that group move up, those who don't advance are out for good. For most contests the only real "value," either in prizes or marketing value, is the top handful of scripts. Unless you reach at least the semi-finals, placing in any competition doesn't help much, aside from encouragement and the knowledge that your script needs to get better. (And reaching the semifinals only really helps in Nicholl and maybe one or two others. I've reached the finals in a couple that provided no prize money for getting there, and still got no reads, although I'm still glad I entered and placed.) So in any competition, whether there are 60 entries, 600 or 6,000, you're only really competing against a relative handful of scripts.

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/13/10 11:30 AM

Thanks for the update, Irin. I hadn't been looking at Movie Script that closely, I'll have to give it another look.

Topic: Write Movies Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/13/10 04:31 PM

Hey, just saw that Mike Donald took 2nd place in this. Congratulations, Mike. You must have won enough with that one to produce it yourself.

Topic: Write Movies Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/14/10 11:30 AM

And I see Mike also made the semifinals in Great American Screenplay Competition with a different script. Way to go, Mike.

Topic: Circalit.com

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/14/10 12:26 PM

Stephen, did you use afilmwriter.com? If so, how was the coverage? I just sent my new one to a consultant, but if this one is any good at all, wouldn't hurt to get another take on it at that price. Thanks.

Topic: PAGE Quareterfinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/15/10 04:15 PM

Congratulations, everybody!

Topic: PAGE Quareterfinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/15/10 11:04 PM

4412

Topic: PAGE Quareterfinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/15/10 11:05 PM

565 QFs

Topic: Ink Tip - Comments?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/16/10 12:54 AM

Glad you got a good response, as far as reads go, anyway.

Topic: Screenwriting software

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/19/10 11:39 AM

Final Draft and Movie Magic are the standard. Probably more on Final Draft, but plenty are using MM too. If you figured out how to post here, you could figure out either of these programs. If you have friends who are writers, who you might want to trade scripts with, or even collaborate with, you might check with them before buying, since FD and MM aren't on speaking terms.

Topic: writing a comedy...

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/20/10 04:26 PM

If it's a romantic comedy, you should definitely read "Writing the Romantic Comedy" by Mernit. Easy read, and solid information.

Topic: What exactly is a "beat"?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/22/10 01:35 PM

I'm with Irin, they may not be talking about pauses. Maybe it's not clear how a character got "emotionally" from point A to Point B, and the reader wanted to see the beat that showed that. Or maybe they missed where a character got a piece of information they seem to be acting on. What's the entire note?

Topic: Nicholl Quarterfinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/22/10 02:09 PM

My entry also was in the "Next 100." At least they think it's getting better. The first time I put this one in, it was in the "Top 15%," last year the "Top 10%," and Next 100 this year, which I calculate puts it in the top 7%. At least my revisions seem to be headed in the right direction. Now I regret not putting my last year's Semifinalist back in, even though I haven't had a chance to rework it. Ah, well.

Topic: Nicholl Quarterfinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/22/10 04:25 PM

L.J., here's the link to the 2007 Quarterfinalists.

http://old.oscars.org/nicholl/fellows/2007quarterfinalists.html

Topic: Table Read My Screenplay Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/25/10 12:22 AM

Congrats, Stephen, good luck with the read and meetings.

Topic: Divebomber Radio Contest Announces Winner

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/25/10 04:11 PM

Congratulations, Patricia. Stop back by and let us know how it goes.

Topic: Ink Tip vs. Sellascript

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/26/10 12:43 PM

There's a thread on this about 15-20 down called "Inktip - Comments?"

Topic: Confessions of a Screenwriting Judge

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/30/10 08:51 PM

Wow. Which competition was this for? I thought that Nicholl was the biggest one, with 6,300 entries. Bluecat? Austin? Scriptapalooza?

Topic: The-Greenlight.com June

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/30/10 11:35 PM

Congratulations, James, on winning! Is this one autobiographical?

Topic: AAA Semifinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/02/10 01:29 AM

Congratulations, Susan. Good luck with the next round.

Topic: SilverScreenwriting Semifinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/02/10 03:26 PM

And me. I won't take that personally, Stephen.

Topic: ScriptSavvy, June 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/03/10 11:55 AM

Congratulations, guys. MBers are tearing it up out there.

Topic: SilverScreenwriting Semifinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/03/10 09:09 PM

Thanks everybody. Always feels good to get support from your fellow writers.

Congratulations, TJ.

Topic: PAGE Semifinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/15/10 05:09 PM

Congrats. I see Mike's name too, and there may be some other MBers in it. Good luck.

Topic: We optioned our movie!!!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/20/10 01:15 AM

Congratulations! For all of us toiling away in the contest trenches, did competitions play a role anywhere along the way? Helping to get representation, convincing anyone to read it? I'd love to hear how it went down.

Topic: WriteMovies International

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/30/10 11:14 PM

Congratulations, Stephen and Mike!

Topic: JUNKIE, yes, I AM A SCREENPLAY CONTEST JUNKIE!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/30/10 11:20 PM

Anybody else have a twinge of regret every time there's an announcement for a competition you didn't enter? Every time, I think, maybe that was "the one."

Topic: Please stop with all the "pseudos"

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 08/31/10 09:55 PM

Please leave me out of this. I'm getting pretty tired too with all the mean-spirited stuff, name-calling and accusations. Lately I've been dropping by to read about the new announcements, congratulating my fellow writers and leaving.

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/01/10 01:58 PM

Lots of MBers in the prelims. Still a large group, but good to see many familiar names. Congrats, everybody.

Here's the link:

http://www.creativeworldawards.com/prelim2010.php

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/01/10 03:41 PM

Also, besides Jameses S. and P., Janet and Mike. Have we missed anyone? Congrats to all.

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/01/10 10:08 PM

Thanks, everybody.

Topic: Screenwriting Contests -- SEPTEMBER edition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/02/10 01:08 PM

As for Zoetrope, I think (but I could be wrong) that they tend toward a more independent feel. Nothing wrong with that, of course. I'm putting my latest in it this year, but it has a more edgy/independent feel than my others.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/04/10 10:28 PM

One rejection in yesterday's mail. Nothing in today's mail, and no phone call. Still waiting on one.

Topic: Screenwriting Contests -- SEPTEMBER edition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/06/10 12:29 PM

James P. and Mike D., did you get much interest from your thegreenlight.com monthly win? The Annual deadline is this month, and since the prize money isn't a lot, I'm wondering how actively they promoted the scripts, if people responded to you promoting the win yourself, etc. Thanks.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/06/10 02:18 PM

I made the second round the last two years, and I regret not going. This year, I've already committed to going, bought my badge, bought a fairly cheap non-refundable plane ticket, and booked a hotel room through the festival. Pretty expensive trip. Unfortunately, my previous second-rounder didn't make the cut this year, and I'm still waiting to hear about the other one. I'm hoping the other one advances, but I'm going either way. On the plus side, I was one of five early registrants chosen to have lunch with John Lee Hancock, and there's a panelist I particularly want to see. If you're second round, and you can afford it, I'd go (particularly if you're a good schmoozer, since I hear the opportunities to meet industry people is better here than most festivals, expos, etc.). Have you already heard that you made the second round?

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/07/10 07:36 PM

I hate my life. No love from Austin. I make the worst choices.

Last two years, I make the second round, and decide I can't afford to go. This year, I commit to going, buy the badge and plane ticket ahead of time, both non-refundable, of course. And the script that made the second round the last two years - nothing. The new one that's already made two finals - nothing.

Have I mentioned that I make bad choices? And that I hate my life? Today, anyway. I'll probably like my life again tomorrow.

Congratulations to the Second Rounders who are progressing no further. And good luck to those still in the running.

If you go, I'll see you there. You can't miss me. I'll be the one passed out in the bar at the Driskill.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/07/10 08:28 PM

Thanks, Marjory. If you go, you'll know where to find me. Wake me up and introduce yourself.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/07/10 08:48 PM

Yep, got the Producer's Badge. Spent as much as possible.

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/08/10 12:09 PM

Quarterfinalists:

http://www.creativeworldawards.com/prelim2010.php

Just had time to skim, but still many of us in there. Congratulations, everybody.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/08/10 05:54 PM

S, congrats on Slamdance. Marjory and I are still in that one, too.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/09/10 06:35 PM

You're ahead of 90% of entries. Sounds pretty good to me.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/09/10 11:11 PM

I'm rooting for both of you. Let's hope the delay means a phone call is coming.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/10/10 01:36 PM

Congratulations, Stephen. Hope to see you there.

Topic: Austin Notifications

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/10/10 03:00 PM

Heather, where is your article? I'd like to read it. Thanks.

Topic: Scriptapalooza TV

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/12/10 02:18 PM

Congratulations, Natasha.

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/15/10 10:53 AM

Semifinals:

http://www.creativeworldawards.com/prelim2010.php

Still plenty of MB'ers in it.

Congratulations, everybody.

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/15/10 12:40 PM

Still in it. Congrats to T.J. Cimfel, Mike Donald, Irin Evers, Stephen Hoover, Susan Russell, Hallie Tassin, and anyone I missed.

Topic: PAGE Semifinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/15/10 02:56 PM

Mike Donald, Chris Bloom and John Arends in the finals. Congratulations!

Topic: PAGE Semifinals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/15/10 04:50 PM

Sorry I missed you, Marjory and Scott. Congrats.

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/16/10 03:05 PM

Well, shoot, if nobody else is going to mention it, I guess I will. My script, BANK ROBBING FOR DUMMIES, took 2nd Place. 1st went to a script that I understand took BlueCat this year under another title. 3rd went to Ron Cecchini.

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/16/10 06:23 PM

Believe me, Irin, I will. Hey, I know. I'll buy a beer for the first person to congratulate me on this in the presence of a director, producer, executive or agent while in Austin! Stick with me, and you may not have to pay for a beer all weekend!

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/17/10 03:00 AM

Thanks, everybody. Stephen, I hope you're right about the commercial part. I was specifically going for an edgy romcom with a modest budget.

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/17/10 03:12 PM

Thanks again, everybody. Looks like I'll need to bring plenty of cash. But hey, if it means my script will be mentioned in front of a director, producer, agent or executive it'll be worth it. Bring it on!

Topic: Irin Evers optioned a script!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/17/10 06:28 PM

Fantastic news, Irin. Looking forward to seeing you in Austin.

Absolutely not. This would be like a mechanic asking for a percentage of the sale price when you go to sell your car. I've read and given notes a hundred times over the years, and never asked for a piece. It's something you do for your friends. If you had a deal in place before you started, and then they sat down with you at the computer and you co-wrote it, that's another thing. But giving feedback? No. It does encumber your script. If you really feel obligated, offer to give them a small amount of cash if it sells, but writing credit should absolutely not be on the table. You would be giving them part ownership. Offer to do the same service for them on their scripts. Maybe they won't help you next time around, but you can address that if you need their help next time.

Topic: SILVER SCREENWRITING TOP TEN

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/18/10 04:49 PM

Stephen was right about the prizes coming quickly. I was contacted about one of the prizes the day after the announcement, another the day after that, and today, three days after the announcement, I got the check in the mail.

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/20/10 12:03 PM

My script, Bank Robbing For Dummies, took 2nd in the feature category. Marjory took first in shorts. Congratulations, Marjory.

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/21/10 12:15 AM

Thanks, everybody. I'd love to hear advice from anybody who's attended Slamdance before.

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/22/10 11:52 AM

Finalists announced:

http://www.creativeworldawards.com/prelim2010.php

Congratulations Irin, Michael, Susan, Mike and Stephen. They're still in it. Sorry if I missed anyone.

Topic: T.J. Cimfel takes 2nd at Golden Brad shorts

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/25/10 01:06 AM

Congrats, T.J.!

Topic: Creative World Awards 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/30/10 04:23 PM

Congratulations, Stephen!

Topic: Austin - who's going?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/01/10 06:43 PM

I booked a double room at the Driskill for Oct. 20-24. Anybody interested in sharing a room? I want to be at the Driskill since it's at/near the action, but I'd also like to keep costs down if possible.

Congratulations, all.

Topic: Sharing a Room at Austin?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/03/10 11:41 PM

I got a double room at the Driskill for 20-24. Would like to split the cost with another Moviebyter, if you're interested. Half of $249 per night. Most events are at the Driskill or across the street at the Stephen Austin.

Topic: Champion lists quarter finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/04/10 06:33 PM

Still in it. Congratulations, everybody.

Topic: Champion lists quarter finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/04/10 08:29 PM

http://championscreenwriting.blogspot.com/

Topic: Austin - who's going?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/06/10 01:26 PM

My flight gets in at 7 on Wednesday. If I can get there and registered in time, I'm going.

Topic: Wow! This place has died.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/12/10 08:12 PM

I think it's more a matter of the "contest season" being over. Fewer announcements, fewer deadlines, etc.

Topic: PAGE Winners

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/15/10 11:06 PM

Congratulations!

Topic: Congratulations TJ

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/16/10 12:26 PM

Congratulations, T.J.

Topic: Austin - who's going?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/18/10 07:24 PM

Driskill Bar after F&F sounds good. See you all there.

Topic: Austin Film Festival

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/26/10 11:20 AM

I just got back from Austin. I went to a lot of panels, and unlike some other conferences/seminars, etc., the people presenting at Austin are working in the business right now. Execs from studios, agents, managers, and, of course, writers, making movies right now. From indies to Hangover (1 and 2) and Toy Story 3.

What I took away from the panels, etc., can be summed up in four words:

1. Logline

2. Theme

3. Pixar

4. Vomit

Others who attended different panels (or even the same ones) may have a different take on it, but these are things I heard over and over and over:

LOGLINE: For anyone who commented on this, logline was crucial. They wouldn't start without it. ''If you don't have a logline, you don't have a script.'' ''If you can't tell me what your script's about, in 1, 2, 3 sentences, you don't know what your movie's about.'' And that's from the writers.

THEME: I didn't really pay much attention to Theme until my last couple of scripts; I'd write it, then I'd try to figure out the theme in case anybody asked me. But to the writers at the conference, it was paramount. ''The story is the main character's relationship to the theme.'' One described the theme as a deeply held belief of the main character, that is usually disproven by the end. In Finding Nemo, Marlin believes the outside world is dangerous, and so he must protect Nemo from it at all costs, but by the end he realizes he must set Nemo free. Harry believes men and women can't be friends, and tells Sally that at the beginning of When Harry Met Sally, but by the end he realizes that in order for a true love to happen, they must be friends. If it doesn't have to do in some way with the theme, maybe it doesn't belong in the script.

PIXAR: I heard this over and over again. If you want to understand Theme, watch Pixar movies. If you want to understand story structure, watch Pixar movies. If you want to understand character arc, watch Pixar movies. Basically, if you want to understand screenwriting, watch Pixar movies. Michael Arndt showed a terrific short on ''Beginnings'' that's included in the Toy Story 3 DVD, which I can't wait to get.

VOMIT: No, this is not me at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. It wasn't exactly universal, but over and over again, writers said they vomit out their first draft. They don't expect it to be good, and they are not at all disappointed when it lives up to their expectations. That's not to say they don't outline it and plan it out. Everyone who addressed it, said that they at least knew what the ending was before they started. Most had a pretty detailed outline. They just tended to get the first draft done, quickly. A few weeks to a couple of months. Then they went back and fixed it. Even the guy who said he did some, went back and fixed it, then went further, went back and fixed what he had a bit , then went further, went back, and so on, said the first draft was fast. Just get it done. They considered the first draft a starting point.

I had a great time at Austin. Met some Moviebyters and other writers I'm glad I had a chance to finally meet. Shane Black joined the group I was with at the Driskill Bar the first night. Had lunch with John Lee Hancock. Saw a couple of movies (Exporting Raymond, which was very funny, even though I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond; and Peep Show, which, sorry, just isn't my kind of movie). Ate and drank too much.

But mostly, I was inspired to keep going, with a few tips to help me along the way. There were writers there who, a year, year-and-a-half ago, couldn't get people to take their calls. Now they've got calls lined up, deciding in what order to return them.

Topic: The-Greenlight top ten Semifinalist

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/30/10 10:20 PM

Ditto-ditto.

Wow, that's disappointing. I was really looking forward to that.

On Amazon, it lists the "Beginnings" short on the BluRay disc. Maybe a dumb questions, but if I don't have a BluRay player yet, does that mean I can't watch it?

Topic: 2010 Contests to Enter & Why

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/08/10 04:19 PM

Thanks, Irin.

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/09/10 04:33 PM

Nancy, where did you stay during Slamdance? Anybody else going?

Topic: SCRIPTOID Semi-Finalists Announced!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/10/10 04:38 PM

Congratulations to all.

Topic: Champion 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/11/10 03:23 AM

Once again, congratulations to Marjory, Champion 2010 shorts finalist. Features to be announced soon.

Topic: Champion 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/12/10 10:57 PM

Finalists announced. The only names that jumped out at me were mine (Bank Robbing For Dummies) and Stephen Hoover (Horror Comic).

Here's the link:

http://championscreenwriting.blogspot.com/

Congratulations, Stephen.

Topic: Champion 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/13/10 09:46 AM

I'm planning on it. Congratulations, and hope to see you there.

Topic: Movie Script Contest Golden Brads Semi-finals

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/15/10 04:59 AM

Congratulations, everybody.

Topic: Champion 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/17/10 12:14 PM

Jim hasn't given out that info yet, about the location, but last year, if I remember right, it was in/near Hollywood.

Topic: Storypros International 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/20/10 09:19 PM

Quarterfinalists announced. Some familiar names (including a couple of people I take class with, Sharon Clark and Mikki Daughtry, each with multiple scripts, and a third, Ken Lemm, with one). Congratulations to Moviebyters James, Craig, Mike, and anybody I missed. Here's the link to the Moviebytes announcement:

http://www.moviebytes.com/ContestDetail.cfm?StoryID=3976&ContestNumber=2134&NewsTab=TRUE

And to the Storypros page:

http://www.storypros.com/4thISCQuarterfinalists.html

Topic: Goodbye to All That (Hoover's Exit)

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/21/10 12:13 PM

Best of luck, Stephen. Keep us posted.

Topic: Golden Brad Winners!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 11/29/10 12:39 PM

Congratulations, Irin and Mike!

Topic: Congrats SCRIPTOID Finalists!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/02/10 01:34 AM

Congratulations, Marjory, Heather/Kate, and Hallie!

Topic: Champion Screenwriting Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/05/10 12:52 AM

My script, Bank Robbing For Dummies, came in second. The winner was Civil War by Geoffrey Elsner and Carson Griffis.

Topic: StoryPros International Announces Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/05/10 12:59 AM

Congrats, guys. Also to Mikki Daughtry, who I take class with. (Not a regular MBer, but it's a fantastic script.)

Topic: Champion Screenwriting Competition

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/05/10 08:59 PM

Thanks, everybody. Lots of good info in the class, and Michael Lent (Breakfast With Sharks) came to speak to us today. And a thousand bucks!

Topic: StoryPros International Announces Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/11/10 10:41 AM

Congratulations to all three of you.

Topic: SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL: 2010 Semi-Finalist

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/15/10 07:14 PM

Congrats and good luck, everybody.

Topic: Mike Donald Wins Green Light

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/16/10 03:51 AM

Congrats, Mike!

Topic: What's going on?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/09/11 12:26 PM

Not a lot of announcements happening. Tends to slow down "off-season."

Topic: Screenplay Search 2010/11

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/09/11 12:29 PM

Semifinalists announced. The only name that jumped out at me was Janet Hogate. Congrats, Janet, and to anyone else whose name I missed.

Topic: Amazon Studios

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/14/11 01:04 PM

Congrats, Stephen. Good luck!

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/18/11 07:27 PM

Marjorie, have a great time. Unfortunately, the financial gods have not smiled on me this year, so I won't be able to make it to Slamdance. Let us know how it turns out.

Topic: Story Pros comp.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/27/11 12:19 AM

I'll third it.

Topic: Slamdance 2010

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/30/11 06:57 PM

Marjory, give us an update. How did Slamdance go?

Old school, but Private Lives.

Topic: SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL: 2010 Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 04/21/11 03:44 AM

Thanks, Janet. Congrats and good luck to all.

Topic: Cinestory quarterfinalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/12/11 01:16 PM

Thanks, everybody. Hallie Tassin's also in the QFs.

Topic: story pros

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/21/11 04:53 PM

What Irin said.

Topic: Donna White and Script Savvy update

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/27/11 01:36 PM

First, before anybody else says it, I don't claim to be impartial. I won the competition about a year and a half ago.

But for God's sake, I'm stunned by some of the stuff said here. Is it a good situation? No. But this demonizing Donna is ridiculous. A lot of writers feel that they were treated fairly and were happy with the competition and the feedback they received. Apparently it wasn't universal, but I wouldn't expect that from any business. For years, prizes were awarded promptly. The competition did lead to script requests for many writers, both directly and indirectly.

Then something happened for which she was unprepared. Perhaps she should have been, but she wasn't. Hasn't that ever happened to any of you? Maybe not. Consider yourself lucky.

This ''Hey, your mother's dying. No big deal. Get over it!'' attitude is kind of ghoulish. On top of all that, she stands to lose the business she has devoted years to. (I'm not saying she bears no responsibility for that, I'm just saying it's been her career. And now, when the situation is over with her mother, she will, quite possibly, have nothing to return to.) I find it odd that writers can't accept somebody reacting differently in a situation than they would. People are different.

And you're talking lawsuits? Really? Over what, a hundred bucks at most? Serving her with papers? Where? Maybe you can find out where her mother is in the hospital, or hospice. Or with luck, she's dying at home. Probably a public record of that. Get on tracking her down. Knock on that door. ''Hey, Donna, use the hand that's not holding the hand of your dying mother to take these papers. You've been served.''

There are some crummy contests out there, and some unscrupulous contest runners. I have to believe that's not the case here. I don't believe it was ever Donna's intention to take people's money and leave them hanging. I truly believe it's a situation beyond her control.

I'm sure, though, that Donna would gladly trade places with you. She'd gladly have the biggest problem in her life be that she didn't get her feedback on her script when she wanted it. She'd gladly lose the few dollars each of you are out, to have her mother back and healthy.

I wish her the best in her current situation. I hope she comes back to what she loves doing, and I hope she is somehow able to make things right with the people who have lost faith in her. I hope the fact that so many of the people she served over the years have turned on her so quickly doesn't make her give up working with writers altogether.

And for all of the people who have badmouthed her here, I hope if the same thing were to happen to you, you would be treated with more compassion than Donna has been shown by you.

Topic: story pros

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 05/28/11 05:30 PM

Congrats again. Good luck in the next round.

Matt:

In my opinion, only a very high placement in a respected competition is useful for marketing purposes (Win, 2nd, Honorable Mention). There are a few very highly regarded competitions where a lower finish can help (Nicholl, Austin, maybe a few others).

It's great to win, of course, but make sure you're looking at the full range of benefits of entering competitions. You've already seen that some can provide helpful feedback.

Competitions can also provide a needed ''atta boy'' when you need it. If the script does well in a few competitions, you at least know you're not completely crazy.

The most important, for me, is they can let you know where your script ''ranks'' among other non-pro scripts. I'd recommend entering a range of competitions. If your script reaches no higher than Quarterfinals in any of them, you've learned your script needs work. When I first started entering competitions, I was certain I had four camera-ready scripts. I was wrong. Very valuable to find that out. I can't over-emphasize how valuable that was. When I got that first quarterfinal placement, I thought ''Look at all the other scripts I beat.'' It took me a while to start thinking, ''Uh-oh, look at all the scripts that beat mine.'' Enter genre-specific competitions if possible. Before sending out a script, make sure it's really as good as it can be. If your script isn't better than 99 percent of non —pro scripts (meaning you're finishing at or near the top of at least some competitions), there's no way you can compete against the pros. (You might also consider using a script consultant, but finding a good one can be very hard.) Put another way, if you're reaching no higher than Quarterfinals, don't worry if that's useful for marketing purposes; you shouldn't be marketing that script now anyway. Wait until it's ready.

And if you win, of course, there's some money. If you're lucky, enough to cover the fees for all the competitions you entered.

Good luck.

Matt:

In my opinion, only a very high placement in a respected competition is useful for marketing purposes (Win, 2nd, Honorable Mention). There are a few very highly regarded competitions where a lower finish can help (Nicholl, Austin, maybe a few others).

It's great to win, of course, but make sure you're looking at the full range of benefits of entering competitions. You've already seen that some can provide helpful feedback.

Competitions can also provide a needed ''atta boy'' when you need it. If the script does well in a few competitions, you at least know you're not completely crazy.

The most important, for me, is they can let you know where your script ''ranks'' among other non-pro scripts. I'd recommend entering a range of competitions. If your script reaches no higher than Quarterfinals in any of them, you've learned your script needs work. When I first started entering competitions, I was certain I had four camera-ready scripts. I was wrong. Very valuable to find that out. I can't over-emphasize how valuable that was. When I got that first quarterfinal placement, I thought ''Look at all the other scripts I beat.'' It took me a while to start thinking, ''Uh-oh, look at all the scripts that beat mine.'' Enter genre-specific competitions if possible. Before sending out a script, make sure it's really as good as it can be. If your script isn't better than 99 percent of non —pro scripts (meaning you're finishing at or near the top of at least some competitions), there's no way you can compete against the pros. (You might also consider using a script consultant, but finding a good one can be very hard.) Put another way, if you're reaching no higher than Quarterfinals, don't worry if that's useful for marketing purposes; you shouldn't be marketing that script now anyway. Wait until it's ready.

And if you win, of course, there's some money. If you're lucky, enough to cover the fees for all the competitions you entered.

Good luck.

Topic: Slamdance on the edgy side?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/03/11 03:35 PM

Personally, I think they tend toward edgy. On the other hand, maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe they end up with edgier winners because writers tend to think of them as edgy, so that's what gets submitted. It's a well-respected competition, so unless it's a real financial strain, one more submission won't hurt. If nothing else, you'll learn something whether it advances or not. I took Second last year in the Feature category (with an edgy, violent and profane romantic comedy). I was treated well, the award ceremony was in L.A. where I live, and it got me an invite to join the WGA Independent Writers Caucus.

Topic: Slamdance on the edgy side?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/03/11 06:13 PM

Irin:

Was it a mainstream kind of romcom? Wasn't planning on submitting my newest one, which is pretty mainstream, but maybe I should reconsider. Thanks.

Bob

Topic: SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL: 2010 Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/04/11 10:23 PM

Congratulations, Janet and Susan!

Topic: SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL: 2010 Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/08/11 12:24 AM

Thanks, and congrats to all the MBers who placed.

Topic: MB Story Pro winners

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/09/11 11:47 AM

Congratulations!

Topic: SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL: 2010 Finalists

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 06/29/11 03:05 PM

Update: All the rest of the prizes arrived within days, and got the check today. Everything delivered within two weeks. I've gotten several logline requests directly from Screenplay Festival, which have already lead to one request for the script, the Inktip listing mentioning the win has led to a few more reads; and the Script Delivery e-blast that went out today has already gotten me half-a-dozen requests for the script. Fast deliver of money/other prizes, and reads, what more could I ask for?

Topic: E-mail blast web sites

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/06/11 11:35 PM

Recent Script Delivery e-blast mentioning a Screenplay Festival win has gotten me about 15-20 requests, including 2 very good management companies, one pretty good management company, one very good agency, and the rest managers, manager/prodcos, or prodcos that I wasn't familiar with (but may be fine). I had a similar number of requests from Sellascript about a year and a half ago, although no agency requests and the managers weren't as well-known (but that could have been a problem with the logline for all I know). Something to tout, like a win or high placement, is important, and of course a good logline.

Congrats, guys.

Topic: My short films screening in LA

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/07/11 01:15 PM

Marjory, must be great to see your work up on the screen. When I was a playwright, I got to see my work performed, but one of the frustrating things about screenwriting is not seeing it the way it was meant to be seen. Congratulations.

Topic: cinestory

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/08/11 04:40 PM

Thanks, guys. Looking forward to that retreat. I'll fill you in on it afterwards.

Congratulations, June.

Topic: Let's play the name game, AGAIN!! LOL

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/14/11 02:05 AM

Thirst.

Topic: Page Notification?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/16/11 10:43 AM

Congratulations, everybody! Good luck.

Topic: Austin Film Fest

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/02/11 01:49 AM

Thanks, Steve, Irin, D.

Probably going this year. Semis gets me the badge for 150. Still an expensive long weekend, but worth it.

I don't know if it's the same for consultants, but if you were an employer and intended to base your hiring on answers to some of these questions (sexual orientation, marital status, religious beliefs), it would be illegal (in California, at least, I don't know if those laws are federal or state).

More importantly, though, I don't think any of these questions will help you figure out if the reader/consultant is any good. You're better off asking other writers for recommendations of readers/consultants that have helped them make their scripts better. There are a number of threads here that address this, both for contest feedback and script consultants.

If you get a request to read your script from a producer, studio, manager or agent, you won't be able to pick the reader who reads it. And if you try, I suspect the request to read the script will disappear. I don't think people who make movies really care about your political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, or any of the other things you want the answers to. They want to find scripts that, if they make a movie based on it, will sell enough tickets to turn a profit. None of the rest matters.

Tell you what. If you hire me, I'll absolutely guarantee you'll receive an offer to purchase your script for $100,000. My fee: $200,000.

Topic: Has Anyone had Experience With Champion Contest?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/06/11 08:03 PM

I recommend it. Big 1st prize, I took second last year. And last year (probably the same this year) all finalists got a free class with Jim Mercurio here in L.A.

Topic: Slamdance

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/09/11 10:02 PM

Congrats, Irin!

Topic: Cinestory Retreat

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/27/11 07:25 PM

I just got back from the Cinestory Retreat, and it was fantastic. All Semifinalists and up are invited, and even though you do pay to attend (except for the Grand Prize Winner), it's more than worth it if you're invited. There were about 20 writers, and about 10-12 mentors who are there with you for four days giving advice in informal sessions, joining you for meals, having individual meetings, etc. Working writers, directors, agents, managers, producers, development execs, all of them actively involved in making movies or representing people who do. I had three 90 minute meetings with producers who, most importantly, had already read my work, and could be specific about suggestions for changes, where to send it, what pitches I'm working are most promising, career advice based on where I am right now and what the next step is. Personal advice from working professionals geared to my individual situation. Every writer should be entering this competition, and if you're invited, you should do whatever you can to attend the retreat.

Topic: Did I just sabotage my story?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/02/11 10:46 AM

Most pro writers I've talked to/listened to/read say they tell their stories to anybody who will listen before they even start the script. IMO, when you told your comedic story, and most didn't laugh, you missed an opportunity by not asking them why they didn't. Maybe it's a subject that's funny to you, but not to most others. Maybe it reminded them too much of a similar story, so it didn't surprise them. They may have given you a gift that you refused, trying to save you months writing something that, no matter how well you write it, won't strike most people as funny. I think you should go back to those people and ask them. They may be able to help you. Let them.

Topic: Cinestory

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/06/12 01:55 AM

I've said it before, but with the final deadline approaching, want to say that you should enter. And if you make it to the semifinals or higher and are invited to the retreat, you should go. Even if you have to pay for the retreat, it's well worth it. I was a semifinalist last year, and the retreat was great. Last year the winner got the retreat for free plus prize money, 2nd and 3rd got prize money that they could take as cash or apply toward the retreat, finalists and semifinalists got an invite and a discount. Don't know what the numbers are this year, but if you have a chance to go, go. Private time with mentors, informational discussions, meals with fellow writers and mentors. Invaluable. And Idyllwild is beautiful.

Topic: Why You Haven't Broken In Yet

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/12/12 11:03 PM

Feuding sisters risk life and limb battling evil smugglers aboard a runaway train to rescue someone neither of them can stand – their mother.

Topic: Why You Haven't Broken In Yet

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/13/12 12:46 AM

Little change:

Feuding sisters battle evil smugglers aboard a runaway train to rescue someone neither of them can stand - their mother.

Topic: Austin news

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 10/22/12 09:58 PM

Congratulations, Michael! Well done.

Topic: We've all done it...

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/17/13 10:25 PM

If you think the script is better, I'd say reenter. I was a finalist in Cinestory twice with the same script (the invitation to the retreat goes out to semifinalists and up, and the retreat is invaluable). The retreat isn't free, but more than worth the cost. One-on-ones with industry pros who have read your script, seminars, meeting other writers who've advanced. 20-25 writers, and a dozen or so mentors, so lots of personal time, formal and informal. Hanging out with the mentors at lunch, dinner, after hours. I've been encouraging people to enter for a couple of years now. Great people.

Topic: We've all done it...

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 01/18/13 01:24 PM

Re Cost of Cinestory Retreat: Last year, it was about $1,300. Finalists and semifinalists get a small discount, and the winner gets the retreat for free in addition to the cash prize. This includes the seminars, one-on-ones, most meals, etc. Lodging isn't included, but in Idyllwild, you can get a room near the place where the events are held for $100 a night or less. All together, less than Austin would cost, assuming you want to stay in one of of the event hotels in Austin. And driving distance from L.A. Yes, it's money, but it is a truly unique experience. The 3 mentors you meet with have read your work. This past year, one of the mentors (a working, produced writer) really went through my script, talking about how to deepen the emotional impact, making it more personal, and thereby making it funnier. Another was with a development executive with an active production company. He thought my contest script was in good shape, so I told him about the projects I was thinking about tackling next. This turned into essentially a development meeting, fleshing out the project I'm nearly done with now. They're writers, producers, managers, etc., working in the business right now. You can see some of the names on the Cinestory website. And you're hanging out with them, having dinner with them. They're knowledgeable, generous people who genuinely believe in the retreat process and want to help. The informal seminars are interactive, not lectures. I came away, I think, a better writer, with a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, because the feedback you get is based on your work, not theoretical, general advice. The other writers (about 25, to about a dozen mentors), have all reached some level of accomplishment, because only semifinalists and up are invited. Typically they have between 500-600 entries, and I really believe if people knew how valuable the retreat can be, it would be one of the most popular competitions out there.

Topic: Need Support from my fellow Byters.

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/01/13 07:40 PM

Done. Congratulations.

Topic: Anyone claiming victory in The Big One?

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 07/31/13 03:11 PM

One made the quarterfinals, one in top 20%. Good news. Interestingly, the email regarding the 20% made it through, the qf advancement email got caught in my spam filter, and I didn't discover it until a few minutes ago. Probably because two emails from same address with a .org extension came so close together.

Topic: congratulations

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/04/13 05:06 PM

Congratulations to all. Marjory, see you in Idyllwild.

Topic: Congratulations Paul Undari!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/15/13 01:46 PM

Congratulations, Paul!

Topic: Congratulations, Santa Sierra!

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/16/13 03:27 PM

Thanks, folks. Good luck to all.

Topic: THE BLACK LIST

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 09/26/13 09:01 PM

For what it's worth, my experience was different. I had over a hundred distinct pro views, 45 downloads of my script, and several requests for other material. More reads and requests than for any contests I've entered, even for ones that I won.

Topic: Troll Heaven

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 12/11/13 08:13 PM

You didn't imagine it, I saw them (all three new threads on the same ranting topic). Maybe Fredrick is fed up and deleting them.

Topic: Cinestory

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/11/14 10:56 PM

The Cinestory deadline is approaching, and I encourage all to enter. I've gone to the retreat the last three years (Semifinalists and up get invited). The First Prize this year has been increased to 10G, in addition to the fellowship and getting the retreat for free. The real prize is being invited to the retreat. Here's some info I wrote last year in response to questions I got.

Re Cost of Cinestory Retreat: Last year, it was about $1,300. Finalists and semifinalists get a small discount, and the winner gets the retreat for free in addition to the cash prize. This includes the seminars, one-on-ones, most meals, etc. Lodging isn't included, but in Idyllwild, you can get a room near the place where the events are held for $100 a night or less. All together, less than Austin would cost, assuming you want to stay in one of of the event hotels in Austin. And driving distance from L.A. Yes, it's money, but it is a truly unique experience. The 3 mentors you meet with have read your work. They're writers, producers, managers, etc., working in the business right now. You can see some of the names on the Cinestory website. And you're hanging out with them, having dinner with them. They're knowledgeable, generous people who genuinely believe in the retreat process and want to help. The informal seminars are interactive, not lectures. I came away, I think, a better writer, with a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, because the feedback you get is based on your work, not theoretical, general advice. The other writers (about 25, to about a dozen mentors), have all reached some level of accomplishment, because only semifinalists and up are invited. Typically they have between 500-600 entries, and I really believe if people knew how valuable the retreat can be, it would be one of the most popular competitions out there.

Topic: Cinestory

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/13/14 10:25 PM

The website says the late deadline is February 15, and that's the last date they mention. If there's been an extension, I don't see it. I'm entering a rewrite of a script I previously entered.

Topic: Cinestory

Author: Robert Watson Posted: 02/13/14 10:27 PM

Moviebytes says Extended Late Deadline March 5.