MovieBytes WinningScripts
GREAT Exposure for Contest Winners & Finalists!
WinningScripts PRO
      Message Board| Contest Comments| Update Profile| WinningScripts|

Screenwriting Contest Discount Coupons

Subscribe to WinningScriptsPRO

Message Board

Screenwriting Contests Discussion Forum Subscribe in an RSS Reader

Messages posted since 08/23/2014

Topic: % of viable entries

Author: nate donaldson Posted: 07/11/10 02:14 PM

Hello, new here. Just read a post that said something like 90% of contest entries aren't really in the running.

Do you all agree with that?

Sounds like it would mean the Nicholl is really only 630 entries or so.

Never knew there were so many fantastic contests out there! It's exciting. I'll have to save up so I can give them all a whirl next year!

Thanks for sharing your experiences. This is a great resource!!

Author: James Pickering Posted: 07/11/10 02:44 PM

I'd say what they mean is that a lot of people rush through a first draft and think a script is finished. They won't rewrite; they won't use a coverage service; they won't hire a consultant; they won't read other scripts or do the required research, etc. Instead they'll just presume their work is done and send it off.

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.

Author: Tom Bragg Posted: 07/11/10 08:12 PM

Bottom line, if your scripts sucks it won't do well. Especially if it doesn't reach the QF in several contests.

Author: Poetist Soul Posted: 07/12/10 05:17 AM

That's not entirely true.

I had a couple of scripts that placed high -- up to the finals, but time did not serve them well.

Flash forward, and I'm trying to get my groove.

I think writing is fickle. If it reads old or the theme is played out, then it will get passed up for something fresher.

Author: Stephen Hoover Posted: 07/12/10 07:35 PM

I wouldn't put Quarterfinals as an accomplishment (unless you're still in the competition) as the first cut is pretty brutal for reasons already described.

Good point though that people think they are competing against 1,000s of scripts and usually it's that final 100 or 50 you have to sweat out. Gets down to a mater of personal preference, which judge you get, which draft you may have submitted.

Greg B. from Nicholl had an excellent post here about the jump from contests to the pro ranks. Still a long way to go.

One development exec told me that the average pro script -- average -- coming across his desk is 99 times out of 100 better than the contest winning scripts he sees.

Sort of like being a college all-star doesn't equate to a pro sports career. Still a big gap to fill moving up to that level of quality. That's why the contests exclude pro writers (with a few exceptions like TrackingB).

This post ... the 10 Scripts 10 Years. These aren't meant to intimidate or bully anyone. Whole point is: This is a tough business to break in and gets tougher every day. Adapt and get better.

Better approach for many might be start making short films. Work on producing your own work. May be the only way to get your movie made.

Author: Steve Hochman Posted: 07/12/10 08:41 PM

''&.average pro script -- average -- coming across his desk is 99 times out of 100 better than the contest winning scripts he sees.''


No doubt there's a jump from top amateur to pro ranks, but that is complete rubbish based upon the crap that's being produced. I suspect I know which consultant fed you that line&.just watch the trailers for the movies being produced. Lots and lots of garbage. Steve

Author: Janet Hogate Posted: 07/12/10 10:37 PM

I think I have to agree with Hochman on this one. I mean maybe on an average scripts by established writers are well written, formatted, structured etc and better than ours but good grief the content in them these days is just horrible.

Author: Walter Winton Posted: 07/12/10 11:19 PM

Never judge the development industry as a whole based on what's being produced. By the time a script goes from Final Draft to screen, so many people have put their fingers in it that it's easy to turn a great script into slop. And that's not to mention the projects that were rushed adaptations... or pet projects... or chasing some trend.

Judge the industry based on the quality of all the scripts out there that are getting SOLD.

Now, with that said, the idea that 99 out of 100 times, pro-scripts are better than contest winners is certainly "rubbish." They're generally more marketable, yes. But there are many many god-awful scripts out there by pro writers. What always gets me is how producers often fawn over these unreadable projects.

But let there be no mistake - If a contest script by an unknown writer were AMAZING and MARKETABLE, that writer wouldn't be unknown for very long.

Author: Steve Hochman Posted: 07/13/10 07:39 AM

Some good points in here. I can imagine that a script can be ruined by the time it makes the big screen. That said, watching the trailers does leave me scratching my head quite a bit and saying "you've got to be kidding."

Marketable and Amazing? always pick one or the other. Crap! No wonder this is so diffilcult. That's actually a very good point. Probably lots of amazing scripts out there that they're certain would never make a ripple in the marketplace when produced.

Blue Cat announces semis in two days.....good luck everyone.

Author: Stephen Hoover Posted: 07/13/10 12:54 PM

There are numerous books, articles, etc. you can read from Hollywood readers.


Everything you read tells you to nail your first ten pages. I've had a producer tell me he can tell on page ONE if he's in the hands of a legit writer.


Nail your opening and get out of the weed out pile.

Author: James F. Hollmer Posted: 07/13/10 02:30 PM

Twitter is a viable option for following ones ongoing adventures.

Warm Regards!