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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  The 2015 PAGE Awards Moderators: Don
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  Author    The 2015 PAGE Awards  (currently 9114 views)
Stumpzian
Posted: January 7th, 2015, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
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I think I'm going to enter, mainly for the experience. Seems like the perfect thing to do with the feature I'm finishing up (rewrites, cutting, etc.) after a year of working on it.

I get Dustin's point (if he's correct) about the early-round judges, etc etc., but I don't care. The contest seems pretty high class. Comments on this thread have been helpful to me.



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Bogey
Posted: January 7th, 2015, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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I wouldn't give any merit to theories regarding the Page Contest readers' pay scale. Page derives income from other sources besides the modest Contest entry fee (contest judge's feedback, year round script services, etc.), so the readers may actually be making their real Page money outside of their basic contest read. Bottom line - it's one of the most highly respected contests by people in the industry who can advance a writer's career.
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Dustin
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 2:52am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from marnieml
Page is, IMO the 2nd best screenplay contest out there, Nicholl being the first. But I guess there will always be people who complain. Like writers who don't make it to quarter finals and blame the judges instead of their own work. Happens all the time. Sour grapes.


I've never entered the Page. I was considering entering this year... but after figuring some shit out I'm not going to bother. The quarters are also a fail. You only get read by pro's at the semis.



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Dustin  -  January 8th, 2015, 3:04am
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marnieml
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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I didn't mean you, Dustin. I understood by your comments that you hadn't entered. I meant in general, the people who complain are ones who don't even make quarters and blame it on bad judging instead of problems with their entry. I know people who've been finalists over the years, and it really helped open doors for them. And I'm pretty sure Matias is happy about winning in 2014.   


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Dustin
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 10:06am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from marnieml
I didn't mean you, Dustin. I understood by your comments that you hadn't entered. I meant in general, the people who complain are ones who don't even make quarters and blame it on bad judging instead of problems with their entry. I know people who've been finalists over the years, and it really helped open doors for them. And I'm pretty sure Matias is happy about winning in 2014.   


I don't doubt it. Mattias is a great writer and deserved it.

It just seems like something of a lottery until those crucial stages. There's no glory until the semi's of most competitions. Yet to get to those stages involves some shady goings on. As far as I can see. It's murky. I don't like murk. I like to see everything clearly.

The judges are there... the CEOs are there... I can't find business information though. Is the company registered under a different trade name?

They reveal who these pro readers are only if you pay $80 for a 3 page assessment. Apparently so we can get an idea of who they use to read our scripts. Which comes across as smoke and mirrors to me. If you pay then you get a different script reader, maybe somebody that can spell.

Why not be transparent and list all of the script readers just like they do the judges so we can check their credentials?


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PAGE Awards
Hmmm...  From what I can glean here, it seems Dustin read one of our 250 Semi-Finalists' scripts that he thought was a "novelette" and he now assumes that's what we're looking for.


It's all relative. The script made the top 25 out of 1159 entries in its category. Dustin has never entered the competition before, so I think his assumption is legit. I too had a similar reaction.

2014 was my first time in Page and I enjoyed it, specifically the judge's feedback. It was nice to have a professional whose experience in the industry reflected the category. And it showed. Their analysis of my work was accurate, raising outstanding questions that warranted my time and effort.

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Angry Bear
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 11:07am Report to Moderator
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I'm actually with Dustin here. Not about PAGE necessarily, but with screenplay competitions in general. I've seen many people make it to the QF and SF at Nichols and other comps and then rewrite these same scripts again and again until they shine and enter them again to the same comps and not even make QF. Makes you wonder...

I entered 5!!!!! horror features into the ScreenCraft Horror comp a couple of years back. None of the scripts made it to the QF. Am I a disgruntled writer who just think my scripts are better than they really are? I'd like to think I'm not. Two out of those 5 scripts have been sold and produced, so I don't think they could've been THAT bad. Like Dustin said, it makes you wonder who reads these scripts. Especially in the early stages.


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marnieml
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 12:11pm Report to Moderator
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I disagree about Semis not counting for anything. If there are 7000 entries and you make semis, that's a huge accomplishment. It will make people take a more serious look at you and possibly read your work or consider you for a writing gig. It's a way to weed yourself out from the less experienced.

If you sit down at a pitch fest, the first thing you're supposed to do is sell yourself as a writer. It helps to have some kind of contest success, even if it's semis and/or to have pro feedback.

I guess it all depends on what you're looking for though. If you're only looking to have the screenplays you've written filmed, then peddling them around yourself works. But if you're looking to be a working writer, getting paid to work on a project, then I think showing contest success is important. I recently spoke with a really good agent (he had several clients on the watch list) who said he considers semis and above very important to list when you're selling yourself.

It is somewhat of a cr@pshoot though. You could have a student reading your work in the first round...and they hate it and it goes no further. Or they could love it and a reader in the later rounds hates it... It's very subjective but it's the same thing when you pitch. You could sit in front of someone from a prodco and he passes on your idea, but another person from the same company might have loved it.

Personally, I'll keep trying. Even more so after people I know have been successful. Matias winning Page and my friend Nick Horwood won Final Draft. Other friends who have made finals and snagged agents and then paid work... That's what I'm in it for.


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Angry Bear
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 12:17pm Report to Moderator
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I hear you Marnie. I just agreed with exactly what you said about the early stages being a crapshoot. Makes you wonder who reads the scripts in the early going. That was all.


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marnieml
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 12:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
I hear you Marnie. I just agreed with exactly what you said about the early stages being a crapshoot. Makes you wonder who reads the scripts in the early going. That was all.


I think the whole industry is a cr@pshoot and we're all masochists to want to be a part of it.    


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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eldave1
Posted: January 8th, 2015, 8:51pm Report to Moderator
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Wow - this is weird. I opened the thread on the PAGE Contest to see this years dates and found at that somehow my script became a topic of conversation. Specifically, I'm the semifinalist (a.k.a novelette writer) that Dustin was referring to.  

Just one paragraph about me first. I am an old fart. I retired in 2003. I write as a hobby, not for a living. So anything I have to add is from the perspective of an elderly hobbyist rather than a writing professional. Moving on...

Dustin read the first page of my script and found that page lacking in format and tense and I suppose other items as well. In his view, the first page sucked and, despite that, the script was inexplicably a semi-finalist in PAGE. His conclusion, for lack of a better term - the contest must be a charade. I looked at it a bit more optimistically. Specifically, despite some format problems with the script, there was enough of a story, characters and dialogue there to get it through two rounds of the contest and rather than abandoning it, I should edit/re-write it. I am sticking with my view (although a nasty flu has kept me from getting to the re-write it as quickly as I would like )

In terms of the contest itself. I liked it and will enter again. I got some valuable feedback, I got goal oriented (i.e., the contest gave me an incentive to complete the damn thing) and the cost was relatively marginal. I enjoyed it which may not be a sufficient measuring stick for some - but it was for me.

I has another script that made it to the Nicholls Quarter Finals in 2010. I got four agent queries off of that.I did not get any from making the PAGE semis. That may be due to the types of things that Dustin (as well as some other SS reviewers) had issues with. So I believe that almost any time you can get feedback (contests, sites such as this one, etc.) there is value.

Personally, I have read perfectly formatted scripts that I hated and sloppy ones that I loved. So format alone certainly isn't the litmus test for me as a reader. I am more of a character - story - dialogue guy (again, I'm a hobbyist, so maybe I got this wrong).




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: January 9th, 2015, 3:01am Report to Moderator
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Eldave.. did you get feedback that would help you as much as the feedback I provided on your first page? Could you post that feedback?


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Dustin
Posted: January 9th, 2015, 3:09am Report to Moderator
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I have tried reading more of your script eldave and got to page 12 or so. There should be a hook by page 10-12 that isn't there. Have all the main characters been introduced?

Romcoms are really not my thing. I never watch them. I'd go so far as to say I hate them. So that is another reason I'm struggling with your script. However, there is still a lot wrong with your script. The information I provided on your first page you can use to rewrite the entire thing. Those errors on the first page are repeated all the way through... they usually are. That's why I usually only need to review a single page.

As a Page semi finalist, in the very least I expected to see a well written (in regards to screenwriting) script. I was genuinely shocked.

I also didn't say that the contest was a charade. Please don't misquote me, especially as I've already done an excellent job of explaining myself. Maybe up to the semi finals is a charade. It's also not just this competition... but all of them.


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marnieml
Posted: January 9th, 2015, 7:06am Report to Moderator
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Out of curiosity, I read the first 10 pages. I agree it isn't written as well as it could be, but I love rom/coms and this one had me cracking up a few times. Especially the counseling session. Really funny. If it's funny like that throughout, that's why it made semis. I was surprised to see it was 120 pages, but skimmed through and it's dialog heavy which would make for an easier read.

What Dustin sees as questionable judging, I actually find encouraging. Instead of stopping at page 1, the readers continued on and found the gems within.


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Stumpzian
Posted: January 9th, 2015, 7:33am Report to Moderator
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What's the title? I'd like to take a look, too. Henry



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