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Messages posted since 01/23/2014
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Topic: Breakthrough with a Scream contest

Author: Jimmy B. Posted: 02/23/02 11:39 AM

Anyone have any info on this one, other than what's provided on this site? (Likewise for Another Sleepless Night Screenwriting competition which is running concurrently and run by the same person, Marisa Sommerville, founder of Sleepless Nights Productions.)

A google search came up with a couple other links, one which yielded a website, www.sleeplessnightsproductions.com

The website above, besides its rather amateur appearance, offers very little information...not even an entry form. The submission address (Beverly Hills) is indeed a business locale, but for all I know it could be a Mailboxes, Etc. What makes me question its legitimacy is that the contest coordinator/founder's phone number has an area code of '858' (San Diego!!) not '310' which is the a.c. for B.H. I emailed the contest coordinator, Marisa Sommerville, asking a few qualifying questions, but have yet to receive a reply.

It all looks highly suspect, like another starving wannabe writer or film student trying to make a few bucks by running a fly-by-night contest. The deadline's March 15th. The only reason I'm considering this contest is because it's one of the few contests specifically for horror/sci-fi. I'm just wondering if anyone's heard of or entered this contest before who can offer feedback, negative or positive, to help me decide if it's worth risking the $50 entry fee.

Thanks.

Author: Thomas Mclaughlin Posted: 02/24/02 01:00 PM

I'm the same way about it. Part of me really wants to get involved with it because let's face it there is not a lot of contests for horror scripts, but I am also kind of paranoid about the whole thing. It is sort of amatuer and it does smack of those fly by night contests.

I can't tell if the winning prize is worth it. It claims a read from a studio professional, but that could be a reader. It does not mean an exec from Warner Brothers or anything.

I'm unsure as well. Something is amiss with it but the temptation is there.

Author: Earle Williams Posted: 03/07/02 05:57 PM

I'd remembered seeing this post... Thought you might find this of interest:

http://www.cinescape.com/scriptcontest/

Might be worth checking out.

Author: grover grant Posted: 03/08/02 03:09 PM

Check out screenwriting contest companies. Are there are pros in L.A. who will help check the reputation and experience of those starting or operating a contest? Many of them don't have any reports for the report card section. Will anyone at USC or UCLA help us save money by avoiding the scammers? Bob Zeidman, are you there? You said you helped write contracts. Does that infer you are a lawyer? Willl you look at a couple of loglines regarding my scripts? Did you ever work for a five percent finder's fee? Any tips? Sounds to me like you're in the film/tv business or close to it. Best regards, GG

Author: Bob Zeidman Posted: 03/08/02 06:23 PM

Hi grover, et al.;

I’m actually a consulting engineer so I work on a contract basis with my clients. Also, I work on very large patent infringement cases as an expert witness, which gets me into the very thick of contracts and legal documents. I started several companies, which require me to negotiate contracts. Finally, I’ve been sued a couple of times but won because I had explicit contracts.

As far as contests, I know as much as you do. I’m currently talking to an entertainment lawyer about one contest that seems to be a scam since they never announced a winner and don’t return emails. I think there are subtle things you can look for: 1) Check the MovieBytes scorecards, 2) if you search for them on the Internet, do you find articles about them, 3) is their website professional looking. I do know that I won’t enter any contest that requires me to give up any rights to my screenplays, even if I’m a winner. I’ve been kind of lax about checking recently because I figure any contest results on my writing resume looks good. I've found that most if not all contests I've entered are legit; some are just better run than others.

I’d love to take a finder’s fee, but that wouldn’t be fair. I’m trying to shop around my own screenplays right now.

Good luck and thanks for asking. -Bob

Author: brandon Smith Posted: 03/08/02 09:32 PM

Hey Bob,

You sound like you have some money. Would you like to commission a screenplay? I'll contractually agree that less than 10 lawyers (consulting engineers, whatever) will be decapitated before page 60. Deal?

Author: Barbara Marshall Posted: 03/08/02 09:59 PM

Hey Bob, Is this one possible scam contest based in Canada? Does it have a web page that hasn't been updated since the contest was announced? Did it announce finalists and never a winner sometime in October of 2001? If so, you go get em, tiger!

All the best, Babs

Author: Bob Zeidman Posted: 03/10/02 12:22 AM

brandon,

Have 10 producers and/or agents get decapitated and you’ve got a deal. Or how about a fantasy where a brilliant, unproduced writer (preferably a consulting engineer) gets read, gets optioned, and gets a great production deal in Hollywood. Nah, too far fetched.

Babs,

I plead the fifth (popular these days). Email me if you want to join forces or get an update.

-Bob