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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  Contesting the contest Moderators: Don
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eldave1
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 12:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RJP
You hear a lot of that online. ďYeah but has anyone actually got their movie made after winning that contest?Ē Stuff like that. Donít fall into that trap. It is very hard to become a professional screenwriter. There are film schools pumping out graduates every year and thatís on top of all the regulars that have been doing it professionally already. Itís sort of like putting down a fashion student for winning an award like: ď well does she even have her own clothing line though.Ē

We know Nicholl scripts have been made into movies. We know Nicholl placements lead to getting signed. But asking the hundred or so regulars on the Simply Script forums if anyone has made something from a contest placement is asking a very small group in the large scheme of things.

When you got Semis in the Academy Nicholl, you were pretty pumped right? It made you feel like you had the right stuff. Thatís why I enter contests. Because I want some way of gauging my skills so I can improve. And sometimes contests get it wrong, I understand this.


IMO - it's not one or the other.

I finished 2nd in a PAGE contest in the comedy category. I got 5 Agent queries from that, 1 request from a Production company - no success.

I've sent tons of queries to production companies/agents. As you can imagine - very low response rate.

I believe that if your query has PAGE Finalist or even better NICHOLLS FINALIST on it you chances of getting a hit are much better.

I also look at contests as part of the "hobby". I'm competing in a hobby I enjoy against other writers. It's ego rewarding to do well. Nothing wrong with that.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Angry Bear
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
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I can't see how placing in one of the bigger recognizable competitions could hurt, at all. If you can afford to enter, go for it, IMO.

I have never sent out a query letter. I'm interested in what they look like. Just a one page? How much to include as far as info goes. Do you tell them all about yourself and your accomplishments or just info about the script in question?


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eldave1
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 1:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
I can't see how placing in one of the bigger recognizable competitions could hurt, at all. If you can afford to enter, go for it, IMO.

I have never sent out a query letter. I'm interested in what they look like. Just a one page? How much to include as far as info goes. Do you tell them all about yourself and your accomplishments or just info about the script in question?


Here's a sample:

My name is David Lambertson.  I would like to submit my feature-length script to you for your consideration. This script one the Silver Award in the 2017 PAGE International Screenwriting Contest.

Title:  The Beginning of The End and The End.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Logline: A battle of wits ensues when a jaded, arrogant divorce lawyer moves into an office adjacent to a strong-willed marriage counselor. Ironically, a building fire that interrupts their battles sparks a relationship.

Comps to other Films.

A more condensed version of When Harry Met Sally. It has the witty dialogue of that film along with the physical comedy of Bridesmaid.

Production Considerations

The film should be able to be produced on a modest budget.  It is based in Los Angeles and most of the film takes place in a single location (Emily and Georgeís Offices). No special effects.

Target Audience.

A romantic comedy for adults. Suitable for either the big screen or small screen.

A brief synopsis of the story follows. I would like to send the script to you for your consideration. I can be reached at:

dlambertson@hotmail.com
Phone Number

Thank you in advance for you consideration.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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ReneC
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 2:04pm Report to Moderator
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Contests alone will rarely help you aside from the prizes, unless you place highly in the Nicholl. What they do for you is establish your credibility as a writer. Agents, managers, and producers don't have time to read every unsolicited script sent their way to determine if the script or the writer are any good, which is part of the reason many don't accept unsolicited scripts at all. Winning contests, especially the big ones, means someone who knows what they're doing has put their seal of approval on your script, and by extension on you as a writer.

That's where querying to agents and managers or submitting to open calls for scripts comes in. The more accomplishments you have to say you are a quality writer, the more doors will open for you. You still have to pitch your ideas and sell yourself, but you'll get those opportunities, as long as you've been vetted by someone the industry can trust.

Another excellent accomplishment is to make your own sale. For querying, that's number 1 and 2 on the list of desirables, the big sale or the small sale. After all, agents and managers want to make money from you, so if you can bring in money you're their kind of client. (By the way, for querying, it's suggested you put the one or two best accomplishments right in the subject line, such as "Nicholl Finalist" or "Blacklist rated 8.5").

The other great thing about contests is they give you a deadline. Writing for yourself has little accountability, but if a contest deadline looms over you it tends to make you finish and polish it where you might normally lose steam and not finish it or tuck it away, perhaps to never see it again.


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Anon
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 2:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RJP


You might be right. Do you live in the LA area? I live in Canada so can only try and network online. I feel like I need a decent placement at the Nicholl or Austin to put on my resume. Know what I mean?


Yes I hear you. And a good placement may help from what other folks are saying. I live in the UK so all meetings I have are London based. And I'm 200 miles away from London so that sucks! It's a 2hr train journey each way and it costs me a fortune going back and forth every couple of weeks. But still cheaper than living in London. I know there are Canadian based production companies that might accept submissions, though. One that I know of is Goldrush - who I've had contact with - but can't attest to their quality. Check them out.


Just curious, you didnít at all mention that your script was a semifinalist before getting read by that agent? A ton of people donít get the time of day by agents. Your placement may have helped you more than you know.

Funny thing - but like I said in the first post - it was a different script that got me the agent and that didn't place in the Nicholl at all (I entered both scripts both years).

I guess what I think - like others have said - best not to rely solely on placing in comps. You may never win the Austin or Nicholl but have a kick-ass low budget genre film that some prod-co would love. And it doesn't have to be a prodco - maybe you could send it to a Advertising Director - most of them are looking for a low-budget script to be their first film.

I bet SAW or BLAIR WITCH woudn't have got shit in the Nicholl but boy did they make a shit ton of money.



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RJP
Posted: July 31st, 2018, 3:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Anon



Thanks for the advice. And congrats on getting in agent. It's got to be really hard to land one if you live outside of Hollywood.
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