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Timeline Early Deadline: Apr 18, Regular Deadline: May 23, Final Deadline: Jun 27, Extended Deadline: Jul 12, Announcements Semi-Finalists Oct 31, Emerging Screenwriter Award Dec 11, Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition. Share it:. Yes, this contest offers feedback. Development Slate Evaluation. Looks like you are already a registered member!! You will be redirected to login in 10 second s or click here to login. Feedback Type. Rules All writers from all countries are welcome to enter the competition; however, all scripts must be submitted in English, and entry fees must be paid in U.

Emerging Screenwriters Grand Prize Winners and their screenplays are ineligible to enter into any future contest season. If screenwriters receive 2nd — 6th place awards 3 times with 3 different screenplays the writer will no longer be eligible to submit. Scripts must be the original work of the author s and may not be encumbered by any third party. Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.

Your script must be an original screenplay or teleplay. Screenplays adapted from your own self-published books, plays, or other source material are eligible if you have retained all rights to your work. Adaptations of works in the public domain are permissible. Collaborative work is eligible; the writers are responsible for the distribution of the competition prize s.

Those that receive a free script feedback are not eligible to receive a free resubmission, which may come as an option with purchased script analyses or unless otherwise stated in a promotion. The writer understands that a script feedback can take up to days turn-around time and may not be received before the end of the contest. You may submit your entry and payment online only. Promotions must be used at the time of submission and will not be added to previous submissions.

Multiple entries are permissible and get a discount. After that, under no circumstances will we accept changes. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your script, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee. Competition applicants must accept without reservation the decisions rendered by the judges. All major credit cards accepted. By entering this competition, and in the event you are declared a finalist, you understand and accept that Emerging Screenwriters and the ISA will be free to use your name and likeness for advertising or promotional purposes without additional consideration.

Contestants are under no obligation to participate therein. No agreement for compensation, other than the prizes, has been implied. Prizes may be distributed in the rate of 1 package per person based on the highest placement and not per winning screenplay, depending on the request of the sponsor. The cash prizes will be distributed over 3 months from the date of the final announcement.

Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. The Judges will adhere to our competition guidelines; however, the competition and its administrators may not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the Judges. Length requirements are as follows: 1. TV Pilots: Up to 70 pages. Please do not enclose synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes or photos with your submission. They will not be forwarded to the Judges. Email them to: Submissions EmergingScreenwriters. McCormick's original tv pilot called "Homebound" was written in graduate school while studying Screenwriting at Loyola The screenplay is based on the story of young Abraham Lincoln and the love of his life: Ann Rutledge.

It is told through the You have ten pages or ten minutes to grab an audience. With some people in the business, even less. Does the screenplay allude to the essential points in the story two or even three times and hit the key point very hard? It shouldn't be obtuse. Repetition of locale. Saves money during the production. Repetition and echoes can be used to tag secondary characters.

Dangerous technique to use with leads. In a good screenplay, there are many two-inch scenes. Sequences build pace. Small details add credibility. Has the subject matter been thoroughly researched? Every line in the script must either advance the plot, get a laugh, reveal a trait, or do a combination of two - or in the best case, all three - at once. No false plot points; no backtracking. It's dangerous to mislead an audience; they will feel cheated if important actions are taken based on information that has not been provided or turns out to be false. Silent solution; tell your story with pictures.

No more than pages, no less than Don't number the scenes of a selling script. Are the parts castable? Does the film have roles that stars will want to play? Action and humour should emanate from the characters and not just be thrown in for the sake of a laugh. Comedy that violates the integrity of the characters or oversteps the reality-world of the film may get a laugh, but it will ultimately unravel the picture.

Very rarely used, for good reason. Are the characters people who care deeply about something - especially other characters? Is there one scene where the emotional conflict of the main character comes to a crisis point? This is especially important and should relate to both their inner and outer conflict. In other words, the hero has an internal problem that is hidden from him.

Then the second act brings it out and then in the third the hero has to act resolve the plot to resolve both the inner and outer conflicts. First impression of a character is most important.

Lead characters must be sympathetic - people we care about and want to root for. Needs should be strong, definite and clearly communicated to the audience. Read 45 again. What does the audience want for the characters? Concerning characters and action: a person is what he does, not necessarily what he says.

Characters with doubts and faults are more believable and more interesting. Heroes who have done wrong and villains with noble motives are better than characters who are straight black and white. In Splash the Tom Hanks character is afraid he can never fall in love. A banker who fiddles with his gold watch is memorable, but cliched; a banker who breeds dogs is somehow a more acceptable detail.

All character conflicts should be both internal and external. Characters should struggle with themselves and with others. Characters should not all think the same. Each character needs to have a definite point of view in order to act and not just react. Distinguish characters by their speech patterns, vocabulary, sentence structure, revealed backgrou0nd, level of intelligence. NOTE: This does not mean the audience should be able to predict the plot!

Run each character through as many emotions as possible - love, hatred, laughter, despair, grief, revenge Characters must change. The credibility of the screenplay world is defined by what the reader knows of it, and the reader gains that knowledge from the characters. Unbelievable character actions imply an unrealistic world; fully-designed characters convey the sense of a believable world.

Is the lead involved with the story throughout? Yes, it's a fairly known list, more appropriate for studios than for agents.

10 Reasons Your Screenplay Sucks (and how to fix it)

And here's an opposing POV - "When asked if Hollywood's response to a lack of original ideas is to rely on remakes, the Three Amigos director replied: "There are no original ideas. What there is -- and this is something no one understands -- is that it is never about the idea, it is about the execution of the idea. Still a fun film and arguably his second best ever. I think it's hilarious that they'd pass on a movie that lacks substance, yet they'd take a meaninful story and suck all the life out of it. I suspect this is a bigger issue when dealing with spec scripts.

The biggest problem for writers is that what they hand over isn't the final product. It's so hard to get your work produced and see it live as a real film that it's no wonder good writing is hard to come by. So much writing goes on through production and into the edit and often writers play no part in that. So perverse. With the exception of the TV, where the showrunners all come from the writing background. It wasn't like that in the past.

31 comments on “SCREENPLAY CONTESTS (Careful, 72% of Them Are Scams. The Best 10 Are…)”

In the 's, many of the studio executive positions were held by accomplished screenwriters, whose job was to guide the script from the writers drafts and into the directors hands. The directors, obviously, had their own ideas but these execs pulled a lot of weight too. Since the 's, big budget film making has mostly become a director's led project. Unless a writer had ambitions to direct too, his contribution ended at an earlier stage. The coherent story telling suffered as a result. By the way, off that "Breaking Bad" clip, Gilligan's action lines would have been deemed excessive until recently.

And, as in every area of the industry, women are disproportionately shut out from representation. Here's a word from the Peanut Gallery. Think of me as a member of The Audience.

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As a mom of teens and somethings I feel that too many movies are lame and unengaging these day if not trite. Well, honey, I do hate feeling manipulated. If you want me in the cinema, give me more - and sometimes you do. Avatar was great fun. Iron Man 1 was a hit in our household for action, plotting, the stars. I fell asleep during Twilight as did The Rabid Fan. The consensus here was that the latest Thor was not good. Hunger Games was better than the novel.

But I miss the old days, the feeling you had after leaving the theater, how the ideas stayed with you. How you felt a certain universality. Maybe it's because I'm older and jaded, but for me, a lot of the movie magic is gone. The Force, the wonder, we shivered with as kids is no longer with us. Some of the wonder is back. Majority of these BAD points are indeed in many movies. I'll tell you right now, a history of Oscar-winning screenplays probably has a good 40 percent of these BAD points.

And because they haven't put the work in, when writing itself, is the cheapest way to break in the HWD industry They want a weekend seminar or a screenwriting book to show them exactly how to lazy their way into HWD success. It's as bad as an actress getting on the floor of a producer's office for the lead slot in a movie; a crew member running to get drugs for his crew boss or the star on the set. They will say NO to even a good script if there's a chance it will make them look good in their boss's eyes, so these gatekeepers can get promoted. Sorry, but that's what I learned -- hands down -- interning at various prodcos while in graduate film school.

I had no inclination to work at these place after film school Fellow Readers who had bills to pay They simply do their job to say, "no" and look good. And guess what? Get promoted. And yes And disagreeing with this point This is a point that is just not debatable. You need to understand You get that early on from They want to be producers. They want to make tons of money. They want big paychecks up front. In their mindset At all. These are not the "Wein.

These are the type of producers who truly believe that success is about saying NO to almost every script that comes across their desk. This is how they get their paychecks, over and over again. I won't even get into the grey areas of taxes- financial accounting, double sets of books, etc. Belief, that in this digital age indie filmers, screenwriters and producers are finding ways for direct distribution to the GLOBAL auds -- and not just LA and BYC; and great, low cost, digital equipment where, if time is well served in pre production The minute you believe in saying , " That's not the way it's done in Hollywood And Hollywood has the last laugh.

I liked the read! Nice to know that there are 38 reasons my scripts could or should be recommended! What do you think? I understand the paint by numbers structure. What I don't understand is the constant conflict.

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If ART imitates life there must be some period of mellow flow. There must be peace after the conflict because YOU have to heal at some point to go on. As someone who is yet to write their first feature script, this is all very useful information. However, my only problem with this is that, as someone at the beginning of the journey, there aren't indicators of what the desire is from scripts. For example, should the answer to all of the JPS's questions be 'yes' I realise that some are more obvious than others. Either way, a very interesting read, thanks all. I would say write whatever idea is currently occupying your brain.

Make an outline. Use the 3 Act Structure. The perfect, script, imho, is basically Mamet speak Dialogue wise, because it has an organic feeling to it. Instructors will tell you to only write what you "see" or "hear. Like a voice. For instance, in an action script that I read ages ago a later extended shot car chase was simply worded: "Two cars exchange paint down a busy freeway. Pale, one sick cookie.

Maybe he's seven or eight or nine. He holds a remote in one hand, presses it, and the video game moves a little bit. Then he's hit by another spasm of coughing, puts the remote down. His room is monochromatic, greys and blues, mildly high-tech. We're in the present day and this is a middle class house, somewhere in the suburbs. There is suddenly a tremendous air of expectancy, you can feel it. Now we see why as five men in dark business suits are led in; they've been stripped of belts, ties, and shoelaces.

McCord is taller than the others. The five men do not move or reply. Then, after a long pause, Barker says Hi, great article. Does anyone have any advice or handy links for how to get your script to readers? I'm aware of feedback services for a fee and competitions, am I missing something? Thanks, this is helpful and eye opening.

I am a woman writer and was kinda shocked honestly when I saw how few of us there are out there. I do think more women should be writing due to the fact we have a completely different perspective to offer than men do, not to discount a man's perspective either. Good article. What is film genre and sub genre i need complete and easy description, Secondly how i write a film treatment??? Films by sub genre. Also, I'm not advocating the Lights Film School. They simply had a decent write up about Treatments.

If you're worried about formatting, there are templates built into nearly every screenplay writing software. There are a lot of stories like that. I had heard from a friend about their friend being a reader for a studio. If they referred a script and the producer didn't like it, they were fired. So, right out of the gate - the gods are against you. Then, the reader is usually a fellow writer who is jaded. Again, the gods are against you. I had heard one talent agency would actually break out a ruler and see if the formatting was proper within the screenplay.

If it wasn't, then the trash bin. Did you use two brackets or three to bind your screenplay? You used three? The trash. Finally, taste is subjective.

You will most often see very generic coverage on screenplays. If you have the opportunity to see the coverage, one will often scratch their head wondering if the reader even read the script. The truth is, many readers read the first pages and skip to the last pages. Also, certain genres are hot and sometimes not - nearly cyclical. There is no way a screenplay like Memento would make it past a reader.

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And, Lawrence of Arabia? At least Shane Black makes his screenplays amusing to read. This is very interesting, but I don't see any mention of the lenses and cameras used to write these screenplays, or whether they were written in standard or anamorphic page margins. I would love to be able to disagree with you but I suspect that you are right. The growing power of companies like Netflix, Amazon and others still to come may change the playing field.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again. This demographic breakdown is pretty much useless beyond telling you want doesn't work. What is needed is a breakdown of what DOES work. Breakdown recommended scripts and then you're talking about useful stats. On the other hand, you are lacking the factor of marketing. Popularity of genres change. Do do other factors like types of scripts like character versus plot versus action and so on.

But this stuff has to be factored in for such a study to be meaningful. I appreciate the effort. But you need a much more scientific and comprehensive approach. Of course, you're a reader, not an analyst. Anyway I have to pass on this analysis. Thanks for the effort. Skip to main content. No Film School. November 25, Below are 38 problems that the script reader found repeatedly in scripts, listed in order of frequency click for larger : Let's take a look at the 3 most common problems listed above.

The story begins too late in the script As screenwriters, we don't have much time or many pages to get our stories started. The scenes are void of meaningful conflict This is a great way to determine if a scene needs to be included in a story. The script has a by-the-numbers execution This is one of the biggest reasons I am not a fan of so-called screenwriting gurus that believe all scripts have to fall into a specific formula.

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These sound like descriptions of most movies that are widely released. Reply Share Share this answer:. I was wondering the same thing, why dont most big hit movies get checked by these parameters? Ego is the answer. Jorge Kafkazar. Warner Brown. Great find! Daniel Pisterzi. David J. Go along with it when it works, avoid it when it doesn't. I agree. I almost barfed the first time I read that book. Aren't we all, deluded that is It's up to us to say where he's headed, I'd like to call it something better. Dana Yurcisin. Do whatever you want.

Why are most scripts rewritten by other writers? We need "38 reasons your screenplay is getting recommended". Hell yea! The above is a checklist that circulates the studios and their readers, real world checklist. Thanks for sharing that, all ammunition gratefully received. Dave N. Opening the doors to more women writers means opening doors at all levels of the industry. What saves us all now? You just have to do it very differently than the past-current HWD standard.