Screenwriter Interviews

MovieBytes Interview: Sharyn Grajeda

An interview with Sharyn Grajeda regarding the Sound Heritage Writing Competition.

Q: Who sponsors this contest, and what is their background in the industry? When was the contest founded?

A: Edgewater production is one of our sponsor's. We do have four other well known sponsors however, they do not want to be publicly viewed or discussed by the public. Every Sponsor is a production company that requests the top three winners screenplay for possible use.

Q: What role do you play personally in the adminstration of the contest?

A: I receive all entries, make sure they are correct with waivers signed and I briefly look through their screenplay to make sure everything is ready for the judges. I then email or mail a confirmation letter of receipt to each entry to notify them that Sound Heritage has received their screenplay. I put all screenplay in genre order and deliver them to the first round judges. If a screenplay has advanced to the second round I notify the authors/writers by email only.

Q: Have any of the winning scripts from the contest been sold or produced?

A: Yes, since this is the second year we have only had one winner. The winning script was produced by edgewater productions. This year we hope to have all three top winners have their screenplay produced or sold. It is Sound Heritage mission to give the winning scripts to over 70 studios, executives, directors and other media personal as we can.

Q: Who judges the early rounds of the competition? What are their qualifications? Who judges the final rounds?

A: I am not at liberty to discuss the judges. It is in the best interest for the judges not to be revealed. Unfortunately, our first year we gave out such information and many judges were contacted and this caused some problems. I can say that our judges are qualified and have many years of experience in judging screenplay contests. More than half of our judges have written screenplays that have been produced by well known production companies.

Q: Do the early-round judges read the entire script, or do they stop after a certain number of pages?

A: All scripts are read from beginning to end in all rounds of the screenplay contest. Again, this is why we can not give information about our judges to the public. They are very busy reading and judging each individual screenplay.

Q: Are the judges looking for any specific type of script? Are scripts of a certain genre more likely to do well?

A: No, we do not look for a specific script or genre. Sound Heritage does not accept pornography. Sound Heritage is looking for the best written screenplay that is sent to us.

Q: What do you do promote your winning writers, and to publicize their scripts?

A: Top three winners will receive the following: screenplay synopsis will be sent out to over 70 participating studios, production companies, agencies and managers; screenplay will receive a recommended listing with photo, resume and interview in our newsletter and website for four months. Free industry screenwriting software package; cash prizes: 1st place ($1,200), 2nd place ($500), 3rd place ($300).

Q: What advice can you offer to writers entering your contest?

A: The screenplay contest is an opportunity for screenwriters to submit an original feature length script and win. Through these contests the applicants have the possibilities to make professional contacts reciprocally, agents, studios, and production companies who know about the Sound Heritage contest may seek out the winning material and meet with the writer. Some competition winners sell their material or find writing assignments in the Hollywood community. Sound Heritage will announce their winners through various forms of magazines, internet websites and newsletter announcements. Sound Heritage may also forward screenplays that may have not won the contest but can match it with a production company seeking that particular screenplay.

Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006