This time of year there are a lot of notices going out in regards to screenplay competition advancement. Some of which has bred a firestorm of controversy online. This post from a reader at the BIG BREAK comp on script magazine, may not make you feel any happier about your screenplay’s non-advancement but it’s an important inside look at what constitutes a reputable competition and thus reader. The handful of worthy and respected competitions follow similar guidelines for their readers — trust me.
The bottom line is; as writers we have to learn to accept that someone else may not love our story as much as we do and use this as a challenge to make our writing and story better — irresistible even — we should be writers because we cannot imagine NOT being writers. And while yes, an advance in a contest is nice and encouraging but a non-advance should not be taken personally.
Do your research — please — there are but a handful of competitions that are not only reputable but even considered as a reason for a production company development executive to ask for your script. In other words, even the industry decision makers aren’t going to care if you placed in the ‘blue sky and yellow brick road’ competition, or not. They just want to be wowed by your concept — followed by being wowed by your writing of that concept (very much like a reputable screenplay reader). Don’t misunderstand me, most (worthy) competitions have panels of industry executives that will care if your screenplay is a finalist in that competition and that will open those doors. Here is where your research needs to be stepped up — is THAT panelist/insider making the same kind of movies you’re writing? My blue sky statement is for when you hope to pad your queries with a contest win — that’s when they care most about the concept — above all else.
If you have a great concept – send us your logline, we’ll be marketing to producers and development executives starting next month.