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Topic: SCRIPT PIMP - I LIKE YOUR PROFESSIONAL attitude AND already STARLIKE WINNERS

Author: Ben Lanyc Posted: 07/10/08 07:53 PM

Hey Folks,

Just saw the list of the winners at Script Pimp 2008.

Mine, mine, they are all screenwriters with a professional BIO list as long as my laptop.

Google tells me that most of these winners are already well-established screenwriters and I'm happy they have a load of advice and wisdom to share on the internet. One of the winner is renowed teacher in the art of screenwriting. Good work Script Pimp --a screenwriting Teacher won? , finally? Huh?

Script Pimp, you really know how to pick them. Thanks for picking leaders and movers and shakers -- so we could learn from these already successful writers and --- one day, we hope our little but surely big names will come up on your list and then our names will be shine in IMDB, GOOGLES etc.

Cheers my friend.

Here is a toast to Script Pimp.

The best contest on and off this planet. I mean to say the best contest in the Universe.

Any thoughts?

Wish you were here.

BL

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/10/08 08:42 PM

Right on, Ben!

My thoughts exactly. I read the list of ScriptPIMP finalists this morning and I didn't recogize any of the usual suspects -- the very talented writers you find here at MB, the scribes with the familiar names who typically place or win many of the contests out there.

I also did a little googling and found out that most of the ScriptPIMP winners already have IMDB credits. In fact, the first person I looked up is a producer with -- as you said -- a list of accomplishments a mile long.

If I had known that I would've had to go up against a field of almost entirely seasoned pros, I probably would have passed on the comp and saved the jack. Just goes to show you... we really have to read ALL the fine print.

You really called it, Ben.

Robert

Author: janet hogate Posted: 07/10/08 08:49 PM

I guess what I don't understand is why people like that even enter comps. I mean they obviously have representation and connections so what exactly does it do for them? I don't get it. The rest of us need these comps, they don't, do they?

Author: Geoffrey Breuder Posted: 07/10/08 09:49 PM

I just checked that out Ben. I didn't recognize any of the names either. Good pick!

And if going up against pros isn't hard enough, don't they usually get thousands of entries?

It looks like they named only a handful of people, so I imagine they'd probably be like the top 1% or so of all entrants.

When you combine the two factors, not the greatest odds I would think.

Author: Ben Lanyc Posted: 07/10/08 11:18 PM

Hi folks,

I am about to expose a procedure that some screenplay contests use -- (I am not saying which one, but I'm sure it exist) --

1. First enter all entrants name in a database

2. Use a "free-ware" software to run that database into Google. Then the software will spit out a percentage list/grid. For example Jones XY, screenwriter, 80%; Linda MYZ, screenwriter, 76%....

3. Select 20 of them and then read their script(the first page!). Most likely they rest would be decent.

4. Last and most important step - I take my money ($40 or $50 or $35) out of my pocket throw it down the toilet and flush, once, you know water preservation.

5. OR just hire a admin junior staff to do this( that is to enter entrants name in a database). It takes one full day to do this manually and with some Google help.

I am so sad that I felt like crying this morning. But I did not. 'Mad Max' does not cry!!

But I will survive and I will work harder for a better tomorrow.

Peace, non! aka Mad Max

Author: Michael Raymond Posted: 07/11/08 01:00 AM

I don't think the absence of recognizable names from this forum is any reflection on the quality of the contest.

Every contest lists the eligibility requirements so I'm not sure what the big deal is.

I think there's a tendency to forget that placing in one of the more competitive screenwriting contest is not supposed to be easy. Nor is it a reflection of any perceived lack of talent. At the end of the day, it's still subjective, but also damn hard.

Author: Orlanda Szabo Posted: 07/11/08 01:49 AM

A good percentage of screenwriting contests have open entries. And then there are the ones that require that you have not made X amount of $$$ in screenwriting to enter.

It is up to the submitting writer to read the rules and regulations before they enter. Yes?

I have entered both types of competitions.

Can you imagine the rush; The personal high and the run on your writing if you were to win, against all odds, over the pro writers?

I can. :-D That's why I do it.

Every writer had to start at the bottom. Remember that.

:-) Orlanda

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 07/11/08 02:32 AM

There's something about this contest that just isn't sitting right with me. I entered through withoutabox and sent them an email requesting receipt. I have two versions of my script on withoutabox (one with a synopsis and one without) and asked which version they had downloaded from WAB. I got a very short response saying that my submission was complete but they never specified which version they had received (after several requests). Also, WAB does not show that they even downloaded a version. Second, I asked if they would be announcing Semi-Finalists this year like they did last year....I was told by the contest coordinator that they would be.

I'll be steering clear of this one in the future.

Author: Geoffrey Breuder Posted: 07/11/08 02:43 AM

That's interesting that they told you they'd be listing semi-finalists Martin. Have you noticed the announcement here and then the one on their webpage?

On MovieBytes the contestants are listed as Semi-finalists. However, on the actual Script PIMP webpage it lists the same exact contestants as finalists.

I don't know if this is what they meant when they told you they'd be listing semi-finalists -- or if it was just a typo and the real semi-finalists will be announced later on.

It might be worth checking this out with them.

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 07/11/08 02:52 AM

General Rules for Submission (according to their website):

I acknowledge my understanding that eligibility to compete in this contest is limited to individuals who do not fall within any one of the following:

1. Individuals who have received sole or shared producer credit as to any film, series, or episode that has been produced for presentation in theaters or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium;

2. Individuals who have received sole or shared writing credit as to any film, series, or episode that has been produced for presentation in theaters or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium;

3. Individuals who have received sole or shared directing credit as to any film, series, or episode that has been produced for presentation in theaters or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium;

4. Individuals who have sold or optioned, in consideration of the receipt of the sum of $15,000 or more, any film screenplay to any entity or individual.

Sorry for the formatting.

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 07/11/08 02:59 AM

Geoffrey -

I was referring to the Semi-Finalists that they listed on their website for 2007. They had listed the winners, finalists, and semi-finalists last year. I asked if they would be listing the semi-finalists again this year.

http://www.scriptpimp.com//writing_competition/home7.cfm

I don't believe contacting them again will do any good as they haven't been very forthcoming or accurate with their responses so far. I figure its one of those 'live and learn' lessons.

Author: ERIC SENTELL Posted: 07/11/08 04:22 AM

While I completely understand the concern of undiscovered writers about competing against accomplished pros, in reality that's the name of the game. When you submit a script to a producer, you're not only competing against every Tom, Dick and Harriot out there who has yet to break in, you're competing against seasoned pros as well.

You should be prepared to match your work against anyone in the biz. Let's face it, we're in the big pond now and it's up to you if you want to be a big fish or a minnow.

Think about it. If you won or placed in a contest against writer's with real credibility, you'd be taken a lot more seriously.

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 07/11/08 04:48 AM

Can't speak for everybody but the issue I have isn't with competing with pros. Its with the way the contest was administered. They appear to contradict their own submission guidelines and are not good at responding with accurate information to emails.

Proclaiming themselves as a "Pipeline into Motion Pictures" means they are targeting the aspiring writer. Charging for a contest and allowing semi-pros/pros to submit (eventhough it is against their submission rules) seems to be a direct contradiction to what they are marketing themselves as.

Also, I don't pay ProdCo's to read my script.

I'm sure at this point it may sound like I'm complaining....maybe it's the hour. I'm not really, I just wanted to share my experience with them.

Caveat emptor.

Author: ERIC SENTELL Posted: 07/11/08 06:26 AM

Martin, I agree completely that the rules should be obeyed and enforced. The contest organizers should take immediate action and the rule breakers disqualified.

You must admit though it's a great sneak preview of what lies ahead in the shark infested waters of Hollywood. As you yourself wrote "let the buyer beware."

Author: Ben Lanyc Posted: 07/11/08 07:48 AM

Hi all,

There are other contests type and similar contests around the world. And the legalities are unique in each country.

Some of these contests are even on TV.

These contests have ethics and rules.

Just imagine the scandal, if one of these top contests had a pro or semi pro pretending to be an aspiring artist. It would not exist in UK for example.

It would not be tolerated.

It's a sad day.

But if we work even harder and never give up, we will show these CONTEST PROVIDERS.

We will make it with and/or without some other more ethical contests out there.

The law and society has defined the definition of 'CONTEST'. I suggests they look it up. It foremostly has to do what's fair and not fair.

Peace.

BL

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/11/08 10:38 AM

Yes, I agree that our work should be able to stand up against the work of anyone, including professionals. And yes, I agree that it would be quite thrilling to place or win against the scripts of pros.

However, as Martin pointed out, the rules of this competition were not followed. If you think about it, we are always held accountable, to the letter, of each and every rule. The same should hold true of the contest providers.

Feel free to read the General Legal Rules on the scriptpimp.com site and then Google the finalists and see what you think.

If you think something isn't kosher here and you entered this competition, I recommend you contact Chadwick Clough, Contest Director, at comp@scriptpimp.com

It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out. Robert

Author: Gene Langlais III Posted: 07/11/08 11:52 AM

It does seem like there are a few people on the finalist list who may be in violation of the contest rules -- assuming they don't just happen to have the same name as the people with the IMDb credits (which is possible).

However, it's not the contest's job to check up on their entrants -- all of whom signed an entry form stipulating that they were eligible to participate. If you folks think they weren't, I'd contact Chadwick and let him know so he can disqualify them. But don't blame the contest; blame the entrants who participated in violation of the contest rules.

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/11/08 01:00 PM

Gene, you're right about the entrants being the responsible parties here.

And I agree, it's possible that some of those finalist names could be identical to professionals with extensive credits.

It wouldn't take Inspector Clouseau to spot the cheaters. There are numerous people on that finalist list who shouldn't have entered and I could push the issue but won't.

I hate that role and try to avoid it at all costs: The unhappy, sour-grape-eating, muckrakin' poo-stirrer with the "I've been ripped off because my brilliant script wasn't picked" malcontent.

So, back to my rewrite! Robert

Author: Geoffrey Breuder Posted: 07/12/08 01:24 AM

I hear what you're saying Robert, but if the rules really are being broken you have a legitimate gripe -- or grape ;).

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/12/08 11:52 AM

Good one Geoff.

"Sour Gripes" would make a nice movie title, huh?

Congrats on your recent Honorable Mention.

Robert

Author: Sarah Jane Stevenson Posted: 07/12/08 04:39 PM

This is a really interesting problem. Would you guys mind horribly telling me which names I should check on Google? If possible, since you've already done the detective work, I don't want to have to go through the entire list.

Author: Terry Frazier Posted: 07/12/08 06:02 PM

I'm not positive about this, because I'm depending on a year's worth of memory, which is risky for me.

I believe Script Pimp requires that you sign an agreement which states that, if your script wins, you must allow them exclusive representation of the script for a period -- a year, I think. This alone would exclude that script and, in some cases, all your scripts, from other contests. I have always chosen not to enter Script Pimp because of this contract. There were other terms I didn't like, too, but I don't recall them.

DISCLAIMER: I may have this wrong, but I'm too lazy to go look up their submission contract, which, if memory still serves, you only see when actually submitting your screenplay. I don't believe their terms are listed in their contest rules and guidelines, only in the actual submission documents.

Good work, Ben! Especially after all the shit we've given you on this BB!

Author: Paula Smith Posted: 07/12/08 06:34 PM

I didn't enter this contest but my curiosty got the better of me. I checked a couple of names on imdb and they showed up, but it looks like they produced the films themselves. That's a different scenario than someone who sells their script to someone else.

I've produced several of my own shorts but this would not disqualify me from most contests (I'd say "any" but their might be one out there with odd rules).

Someone who makes their own shorts using their own money does not earn a living from this and would not be disqualified.

Author: Geoffrey Breuder Posted: 07/12/08 11:48 PM

I'm just going by why what Martin posted with respect to the rules:

"Individuals who have received sole or shared producer credit as to ANY FILM, series, or episode that has been produced FOR PRESENTATION IN THEATERS or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium;..."

There doesn't seem to be any exception or disclaimer noted for producers, directors, or writers who have made their own work. Nor is there any exception or disclaimer for whether the work generated a profit or not.

It sounds to me that the key points are whether a finished product has been presented to the public in a theatre, TV, video etc...

So, if you've produced something that's never been shown publicly you might be fine. But if it's being presented publicly then it sounds like it would be up for disqualification based on their definition.

However, if these entrants performed functions other than directing, producing, or writing they might be fine too because those are the only roles that seem to be specified in the rules.

Author: Paula Smith Posted: 07/13/08 08:19 AM

Most shorts are produced for presentation at festivals, not theatres. Very few theatres will actually show a short. They show commercials because they get paid but shorts don't get them any revenue. The way I read that rule you quoted, someone who had produced a short would still be eligible. It is not a film produced for theatre, . . .

Author: Michael Raymond Posted: 07/13/08 12:29 PM

Let it go.

Far too much wasted energy. I don't have enough time to worry about things I can't control with regard to the few contests that I choose to enter.

I glance at the list of names, shrug my shoulders, and move on. The policing and monitoring of rules compliance I leave to the organizers.

Author: Geoffrey Breuder Posted: 07/13/08 10:07 PM

Sorry, but I didn't single out shorts since it looks like some of these entrants have done more than just shorts.

Your interpretation could be wrong -- as could mine. Film festivals usually screen shorts in a theatre. And since there is no disclaimer made for shorts, it is sufficiently vague.

So, if I were entering a contest like this though, I'd err on the side of caution and ask the contest director how the rules apply to my situation.

Ultimately, it's up for them to decide and enforce.

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/13/08 11:52 PM

Geoff is right on the money.

And Paula, check out a few more finalists than just a couple and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Google a few more names (and type IMDB behind the name) and see if you think they meet the rules of the competition.

Robert

Author: Volodymyr Lyudvikovskyy Posted: 07/23/08 06:37 PM

Guys, I'm simply knocked out!!!

One of the winners is an Emmy-nominated producer??????????????

http://www.hilarygraham.com/

IMHO, it's contest's moral obligation to check at least top 20 for eligibility.......... don't you think?

Author: Robert Ward Posted: 07/23/08 08:03 PM

Hey Vol:

There are many on the winners' list just like that.

Google "julie anne wight imdb" and your eyes will pop out.

Of course, it could be an entirely different Julie Anne Wight since that is such a common name.

Oh well. Robert

Author: p s Posted: 07/26/08 05:36 PM

Hi guys,

I haven't run an imdb on any of the other finalists, but I'm one of the finalists and there's an IMDB page with my name, but it's not me. I wish it were, though :) So I'm guessing at least some of this is a case of mistaken identity.

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 07/26/08 08:23 PM

well, there it is....incontrovertible evidence, right there. I don't know WHAT I was thinking.

Author: p s Posted: 07/26/08 09:55 PM

Martin, I wasn't out to prove anything except that, in my case, "I" have an imdb page that isn't "me", so the mix-up does happen and did, in my case.

Of course, it's possible I'm a secret Script Pimp agent... I just came onto this board, because on their website, Pimp said they'd be announcing the grand prize winners on July 24th, but there's nothing on the website, and I couldn't make it to the show, so I'm going to various boards, trying to see if anyone was there and who won, while I wait for word.

Author: Noah Ruderman Posted: 08/01/08 03:10 PM

I'm one of the finalists and they moved the awards ceremony to August 29th, so the winners haven't been announced yet.

I wish I was a pro or semi-pro writer, but alas, I'm still a struggling one. :)

Good luck to everyone who made it.

Author: Gene Langlais III Posted: 08/01/08 04:17 PM

So Noah, you're not the co-writer of Primitive Recall?

Author: Noah Ruderman Posted: 08/01/08 04:50 PM

I did a one week rewrite on that for no pay back in 2006 (I did it for the experience.) But it was never released since it was shot in 2006 and I don't know if it will be. I assumed getting no pay to rewrite a still unreleased no budget direct to dvd maybe project two years ago doesn't disqualify me.

Author: PJ McIlvaine Posted: 08/01/08 05:07 PM

I don't know about you, but to me, Graham and Wight are professionals. How their credits jibe with the contest rules are beyond me.

Author: Noah Ruderman Posted: 08/01/08 05:21 PM

I'm not saying they aren't pros but I haven't earned anything from writing yet unless you count the pride of having a popular myspace blog.

Author: Gene Langlais III Posted: 08/01/08 06:13 PM

I'm not sure everyone would agree with that Noah. IMDb and the Skyline Films website have Primitive Recall listed as in post-production, and give you a shared writing credit on it. That's one more shared writing credit on an in-production feature than most of us have here. And heck, the movie even has the bimbette from those male-enchancement infomercials in it! Er...not that I've watched many of those... ;)

ScriptPIMP's rule #2 states that "individuals who have received sole or shared writing credit as to any film, series, or episode that has been produced for presentation in theaters or by means of television, home video, or any similar medium" are ineligible for the contest. Maybe you could quibble with the definition of "has been produced" on the grounds that the film is still in post, but that seems like pretty shaky ground to me. Plenty of A-list writers do work on films that never get released at all, yet the work still counts on their resumes.

I'd wager that there are plenty of MBers here who'd give their eye teeth to have a co-writer credit on IMDb for a maybe straight to DVD feature. I would, and my eyes don't even have teeth.

Hey, it's ultimately up to Chadwick and the other ScriptPIMP folks as to how the rules are interpreted. But it's up to other potential entrants to determine if the contest's procedures are above board.

The way I see it, if you don't think your work on Primitive Recall "counts," tell Skyline to remove your name from the writing credits. If it does count, tell ScriptPIMP to remove your name from the finalists. I don't want to be a jerk here, but it honestly doesn't strike me as fair to other writers for you to try to have it both ways.

--Gene

Author: Noah Ruderman Posted: 08/01/08 06:38 PM

I think you're grasping straws here. The movie might be listed as "in post" but it was shot over 2 years ago and doesn't appear to be released anytime soon. All the info on it is old. My entire "work" was fixing a few lines over two days just to have the experience.

I think it's clear to me that the rules were put in place to keep paid professional writers who have credits out of the competition, not bartenders who eat ramen noodles and have never earned a penny for writing. Obviously I'd remove the "credit" in a second if it hurt me in this case or in others, but I don't see it being an issue.

To the best of my knowledge the movie was never finished and may never be, so I don't even know if that counts as produced anyways.

I really feel like I'm the last guy who should be targeted compared to others who may have done actual paid work in the last two years and might be considered pros.

FYI, that area in the skyline website has not been updated since early 2007.

Author: Gene Langlais III Posted: 08/01/08 06:57 PM

I could be totally off-base on that then. But no doubt other people came away with the same impression, so at least we've gotten it all out so no one will feel like they got a raw deal (at least as far as your entry is concerned).

You might want to let Chadwick know the paucity of your role in that work, in case he IMDbs you and gets the same wrong idea and therefore doesn't advance your script to the winners' circle. Or you could just count on him not paying any attention to the squawkings of MBers and leave it at that. ;)

Anyway, thanks for clearing everything up for us Noah -- and best of luck to ya!

--Gene

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 08/01/08 07:01 PM

Keep in mind that the issue is not whether or not credited writers can enter contests. There are plenty out there that limit entries based on earnings received.

The issue is whether or not ScriptPimp did their due diligence to insure that they ran a fair and open competition which is marketed to aspiring writers who wish to gain access to industry pros through the contest's professed "Pipeline Into Motion Pictures." Seems like some finalists have already established their own pipeline by receiving credit.

I have nothing against the writers or their stories and think its great that they have written a story that ScriptPIMP enjoys as well. My issue has to do with the way the contest is administered. Certainly, there are way too many "trash can" contests out there already.

I submitted to ScriptPIMP because, historically, they have been a well-organized and professionally run contest. This year's contest leaves me wondering whether or not they've decided to change their focus. For me, I started having concerns about the contest well before the finalists were announced. The listing of finalists was the "straw" that confirmed my suspicions.

It will be several years before I even consider submitting to this contest again.

Now some positive news.....my screenplay made the Semis in PAGE!

Marty



Author: Christian Heinze Posted: 08/01/08 09:11 PM

I'm one of the finalists, too, and there's an IMDB account that is NOT me. Some actor.

Also, just for my background: I've never received a dime for writing, know absolutely nobody in the industry, and am almost as newbie as you can get. In 2004, I took a leap and finally submitted a script to Pimp Contest and Scriptapalooza and it made the finals in both, but until late last year when I started writing again, had stopped writing and was busy getting a master's degree in sociology (that did involve some writing; just not for the screen :)

So I just wanted to let you all know that for me -- as a complete unknown (feel free to IMDB and google me to death) -- script pimp contest was a great and satisfying experience, and I'm proof that you don't have to be somebody to place.

And congrats, Noah! I look forward to seeing you in late August and congrats and good luck to everyone on Page and Scriptapalooza. It looks like there are some excellent writers on this board, and I'll look forward to learning from you all.

Author: Joseph Kenny Posted: 08/02/08 01:14 AM

I refer you back to the organization's name.

Author: Michael Raymond Posted: 08/02/08 12:25 PM

Personally, I don't think Noah should have felt like he needed to clear anything up. Unfortunately, he was thrust into that position by a rush to judgment and a bit of mass hysteria based on incomplete information and general assumptions.

Be rest assured if my name ever appears on a finalist list and some subscriber on a screenwriting forum gets it in their head that I'm not deserving or violated the contest rules, they can go stand on a street corner and shout about the injustices of the world at the top of their lungs for all I care. The organizers of the contest will know all the required and necessary details.

So congrats to Noah on a job well done and undoubtedly, a fine script.

Author: Noah Ruderman Posted: 08/02/08 03:20 PM

Congrats Christian and anyone else who was named a finalist. And thanks to everyone for your responses.

Author: Paula Smith Posted: 08/02/08 04:45 PM

Personally, I would much rather compete in, and be a finalist in a contest that allows professional, paid, working writers to compete (with a 'blind" read). Being a finalist in such a contest would have a lot more meaning.

This is one reason why screenwriting contests get no respect. When you have a contest and don't allow the "A" students to compete, what kind of a bar are you setting?

That said, I still think Noah, and others in his situation, had every right to compete. I don't think we agree on the definitions of "credited writers" they've outlined. But then, I didn't enter so it doesn't effect me either way.

Author: PJ McIlvaine Posted: 08/02/08 04:45 PM

I think it's regrettable that Noah and Christian, who appear to be the kind of screenwriter this contest was designed for (and no snarky remarks, you know exactly what I mean) feel the need to justify or explain themselves when no explanation should be necessary. It's not their fault--but I do fault the admins of this particular contest.

Author: Martin Stack Posted: 08/03/08 03:45 AM

PJ- That is exactly my position.

Author: Patrick Daly Posted: 08/04/08 09:13 AM

I was perusing my HCD and there's a Patrick Daly that works for Jean Doumanian Productions (who is not me). There's also some Patrick Dalys on imdb that aren't me. My point is simply that I'm wondering how many times we search contest winners in IMDB and they're not the same person as the results.

Author: Joseph Kenny Posted: 08/04/08 09:27 AM

I bet it happens almost Daly.

Author: Patrick Daly Posted: 08/04/08 09:58 AM

Good one.

Author: PJ McIlvaine Posted: 08/04/08 04:43 PM

No, IMDB is not infallible. But when you go to the person's website and it lists credits as long as your arm...it does tend to confirm that it's the same person.