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Messages posted since 07/26/2014

Topic: Silver Screenwriting Competition

Author: Patrick Daly Posted: 08/08/09 06:58 PM

So, who's advanced? (I'm out.)

Author: Nathan Goldman Posted: 08/08/09 07:28 PM

I'm out.

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 08/08/09 07:44 PM

I'm out. Curious if anyone else had the following as their comment:

"A meandering plot and underdeveloped characters were challenges that kept your script from progressing."

Author: Stephen Hoover Posted: 08/08/09 09:11 PM

HORROR COMIC advanced to the next round.

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 08/08/09 09:40 PM

Awesome Stephen. Congrats!

Author: Stephen Hoover Posted: 08/08/09 09:49 PM

Thanks. Forgotten I'd entered it but it's The Script Department. Good group of readers there. Updated the script a bit since then but fingers crossed. Think it and Trackingb are good 'below the radar' contests that are recognized within the industry. Entering some of these is like going to the WSOP main event. :-)

Author: John Arends Posted: 08/08/09 11:16 PM

Hey Irin,

Hhmmmm. It appears your reader has MUCH better grammar and proofreading skills than my reader. Here's a direct lift from my dink e-mail:

"An meandering plot and undeveloped characters were challenges that kept if from progressing."

Two a form letter passed off as feedback. Whoa...

Author: John Arends Posted: 08/08/09 11:18 PM

Nicely done, Stephen! HORROR COMIC is a juggernaut this summer. Good luck in all your races comin' round the final turns in the month ahead.

Author: Patrick Daly Posted: 08/09/09 07:18 AM

Way to go Stephen!

Irin: clearly your track record speaks for itself. In other words, even though I've never read one of your screenplays, your past successes lead me to believe that your screenplays do not contain "underdeveloped characters". Incidentally, the screenplay I entered in this contest (that didn't advance) is the same exact screeplay that just advanced in Scriptapalooza.

Author: Janet Hogate Posted: 08/09/09 07:49 AM

Thank you, John and Irin , for sharing the comments you received. Obviously, this is contest gos on my "DO NOT ENTER" list.

There have been allot of threads lately putting down people who complain about readers and contests etc and this I think, is a perfect example of why "we should" continue to complain or at least inform. Thank you.

Author: William Bienes Posted: 08/09/09 09:14 AM

Congratulations, Stephen. I'ts a Big Top World has also made to the next round.

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 08/09/09 10:33 AM

Congrats William!

It's all subjective, but what I found strange was that I got that comment for my very dark urban drama. And the exact same comment word for word for a Will Ferrell type broad comedy that my collaborator wrote. Just because they are different writers (though I helped on the broad comedy) and different genres doesn't mean they can't have the same issues, but I was curious if that was the standard "line" or a reader's opinion.

Typos aside, I don't mind being grouped with John A. - so no worries there.

One other thing - I don't understand why contests have this category for format and typos. Let's face it - we all use screenwriting software - it formats itself. I've written 13 scripts, I'm sure my format is spot on (not that everything is agreed upon as industry standards with certain things - like an AP Stylebook - anyway, all that matters is that the reader understands). And I am willing to bet anyone $500 that they will not find more than 3 typos in any of my scripts. So why do I receive "good"?

Beyond that, there are many contests that have format/typos as a category and often it weighs as much as structure or characters or dialogue. That's just crazy. I was a reader and no one gets more annoyed than me when I read a script with bad format or many typos. That's why I check my scripts. It's like handing in a resume with a big coffee stain on it. It really annoys ther person reading it.

BUT - as a reader, if I were to pass on a script solely due to typos, I'd really be doing my employers a diservice. Should I pass on Casablanca because there are typos? I should be annoyed, but not pass on it. How can typos be weighed as much as plot. If a script has bad plot, then I should pass!

Again, I'm not saying not to proof your script. $500 bet to anyone who wants to read one of my scripts and try to find more than 3 typos. I could use the money!

Author: Irin Evers Posted: 08/09/09 10:40 AM

Typo on "disservice" - just noticed as I read it back - lol!

I'll have to "pass" on my post.

Author: William Bienes Posted: 08/09/09 11:55 AM

Contests are very subjective -- for as many contests that Big Top advanced, it didn't make it past the first round in others.

A great many quality scripts will always slip through the cracks; we are all at the mercy of the first reader.

Author: Janet Hogate Posted: 08/09/09 01:11 PM

Actually it seems to me that the FIRST reader in all of the contests are the FORMAT-GRAMMER-STRUCTURE police. I agree with Irin that it doesn't make any sense to soley judge a script on those qualities.

Ive had coverage and comments come back from different readers and differents contests in the vein of "great title, great concept , great marketability". Too bad the plot and characters are not developed properly. What?

Author: Mike Souder Posted: 08/09/09 01:53 PM

"An overwritten script and underdeveloped characters were challenges that kept your script from progressing."

This is the script that got top 15% at Nicholl. Overwritten I can understand. It was my first script ever and I had a lot of unnecessary stuff in there (stuff that I should have left to the actors). That version was 115 pages, and I've since boiled it down to 101.

Underdeveloped characters is a bit of a weird one considering I got a Good check mark in Characters/Dialogue. Also, my script is a horror, so some characters are there just to get killed, but my 6 mains all get plenty of development.

Author: Stephen Hoover Posted: 08/10/09 12:56 PM

Agree that contests are subjective -- but it all is. Some of the blacklist scripts I can barely get through but obviously they found fans.

More concerned about the producer interested in HORROR COMIC.

Tougher getting passes from producers. Going through that now with my rom com, which had scored "consider" from five pro readers. Getting the usual, "Great, wonderful, talented writer, but... not for us" reaction. Then "Send us the next one." Good to have a door open but would be better to get at least an option. Should be hearing back this week from another 3 or 4.