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I want to strongly encourage everyone to enter this contest. It has changed my life in a very good way.
Reasons to Enter
1. Michael Trent is the most encouraging and helpful person. He follows through and sticks with his writers. It's been a years since I won and I routinely call him for advice.
2. The prize money! I won 2nd place and I took home $15K. My friend David won $25 K!!!
3. Legit producers are calling them asking to see scripts that won AND scripts that didn't. (I know this from several producers and assistants)
4. If you win you get to go on an all expense paid trip to Beverly Hills for two days. I got to stay at the Beverly Hilton, but the next year the winners stayed at the Regent Beverly Wilshire (Pretty Woman hotel)
5. The "restrictions" that some people complain about with regard to the kind of scripts they'll accept are really very minimal. They basically need to be PG or G. So, it's not for everyone, but if you've got a script that uplifting and not rated above PG you fit the bill. This contest is put on by Christians, but they don't reward overtly preachy entries. For instance films the sponsors have honored in the past include Charlotte's Web, Blindside, The King's Speech.
Okay, that's my little speech. I don't qualify to enter any more, but would if I still could. BTW, I don't get anything out of endorsing the contest and am not officially connected to it in any way.
Heather, I entered this contest last year and didn't hear back from them. Nothing. And it was very expensive. I think the kind of films they want are very limited in scope. I sent a script with a Christian viewpoint but not of the kind of overly warm, "Fireproof style" of squishy cinema. My beef is that Christian films all have that same sun-filtered, warm and fuzzy look, the same content, the same trailers, the same kind of blah-ness and could be more appealing aesthetically and intellectually to attract a secular audience who need to hear the message. Christian films are primarily preaching to the choir. So my script took some chances. I didn't even know whether or not they received the script. I think I had to contact them to find out. Anyway, I wanted to enter a script this year which is a modern retelling of the Noah story. But uplifting, it isn't. It's more of a satire on the media and global warming. And something tells me satire would not sit well with the readers of this contest. But I'm glad you had a great experience.
Good point on Christian films being rubbish. I couldn't agree more and I'm a very devout Christian. They are hands down the worst films ever. Ditto with contemporary Christian music.
I'm sorry you didn't hear back. That hasn't really been my experience, but I'm bummed that it happened to you because it makes them look amateurish. No excuse for that.
I don't really think $50 is a lot for a contest, but that's probably because I've had such good luck with this competition. For me the return on investment has been spectacular. However, with this economy we have to be careful of every penny, so I totally understand.
Although, I encourage people to enter, I would advise you not to enter something that isn't uplifting in some way. That would be a total waste of money because of the subtitle the contest uses - ie "spiritually uplifting". Having known these people for a while I think something snarky wouldn't do well.
I think I'm really encouraging people who have a G or PG script, who might think it isn't religious enough, to give it a go.
Which contests have you really liked? I know for me Austin is the creme de la creme.
The fee was higher last year, I believe. I could be wrong.
And satire is NOT snark. Snark connotes a negative viewpoint. Not sure why you'd use that word. Satire exaggerates man's foibles to make a point. I find the tale of Noah's ark uplifting but there is also the reality that much of humanity was drowned. Therefore it isn't all warm fuzzies. My impression is warm fuzzy is the way to go in this contest. Which limits artistic expression.
Nicholl Fellowship is definitely the creme da la creme.
Isn't it a writer's duty to write what we believe in -- not what we think will win in a contest? Doesn't matter if it's PG or XXX as long as it makes us happy to write it. Otherwise you're a hack and your writing will show it.
I think Heather is saying to enter a G or PG script if you have one, don't churn one out just for the chance of winning a specific contest.
Her other point is that Kairos specifies spiritually uplifting screenplays. No matter how good your satire is, it's probably not what they're looking for.
Again, I'm being ascribed things I didn't say. I'm not writing for just a specific contest. It's just that there so few contests for Christian writers. And the parameters are very limiting. I guess you can't understand that point of view.
Sorry I used the word snark. Didn't mean to offend. I love satire. I think when you said it wasn't uplifting at all and a satire I projected it as snarky. I love snarky writing, so I guess I was just projecting what I'd like it to be:)
John Cleese for instance is amazing and I think every word he utters is snarky. I'd give my right are to be as hysterically funny at he is.
Stan, you misunderstood my post. I wasn't talking about you except at the very last, when I agreed with Heather that Kairos was looking for spiritually uplifting scripts and probably wouldn't consider satire to be uplifting. Don't get mad. We love you.
I'm not angry, lol. I just think satire is beneficial and viewed in the right light, ultimately uplifting. Love all around!
I love satire too and your script sounds interesting. I saw another thread where someone complained because his script was misunderstood because it was meant as satire and the reader didn't seem to know what that was.
Ha ha, yes. Readers. They can get your blood boiling. I have to remind myself that they are often film students who get hired at low rates with looming deadlines.
Stan, have you noticed that a lot of contests claim their readers are NOT students but working professionals? Maybe its the truth because they're actually 9th grade drop-out instead of students. Much of the feedback I've seen is darn near illiterate.
Thanks for the clarification on what to enter. Every year I take a look at this contest and remain undecided on what their definition of "spiritually uplifting" knowing it is a Christian inspired contest.
I have a couple of PG scripts so I'll take another serious look.
Valerie, Just posted on the other thread about some bizarre reviews I receieved from Bluecat.
And the Kairos contest also mentions that they like "compelling" stories that increase our understanding of God. Which is what my script is. However, the overall "uplifting" thing has me thinking I'd better save my money.
Yeah, I'm thinking that if we knew what these contests are actually looking for, we might save a lot of money and time.
I decided to resubmit my screenplay from last year. I was being too grumpy and even if I don't win, I'm contributing to a worthy contest. God bless!
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