Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Screenplay Contest-Why Bother?

I have entered about 10 screenplay competitions in the last 4 years. And each and every time I enter, the results come back the same. Half the people absolutely love my work. The other half tear it to shreds. Without fail, this relegates my screenplay into middling territory. Purgatory, if you will. (I did finish in the top 10 twice which makes the bad reviews hurt even more) This isn't a one or two time occurrence. It's just about unanimous. I've tried to write more mainstream stuff but my writing ends up going somewhere darker than I intended. And while I love black humor, many don't get it, or just don't like it. One more disappointment and I'm going all out writing Failure to Launch II. Fuck it.

So the time is near. To enter or not to enter? I'm leaning towards not entering anything except the Nickelodeon fellowship. Which reminds me...I had better get that The Office script going.

I'll leave my readership (two people, including me) with this question: Which screenplay contests are worth the hassle? Like risk vs reward sort of thing? Because, dude, I'm not made of green and I've been eating Ramen noodles for weeks now.


Writeprocrastinator said...

"Why bother?"

How else will a marginal producer get to do his or her imitation of Scrooge McDuck by swimming in money, if you don't send it?

Obviously, the Nicoll and Disney pay off big time, by all the people that finish in the top three every year being trotted out in the screenwriting magazines.

I received feedback from Writers On The Storm and that's rare among most contests. Some of the comments were dead-on and some of them actually made me wonder:

A) Whether they even read my script and just faked it.

B) Did they read my script, then picked up another, then resumed with mine again.

C) Became dizzy from reading so many rom-coms that script just overlapped in their heads.

I dunno, I've never made the Top 200, so I've pretty much given up on contests altogether and screenwriting as a medium to get my writing across to the world.

Anonymous said...

I gave up contests last year, did Nicholl, Bluecat, CS Magazine's AAA and Scriptapalooza in 2005... I am a judge in a major one right now and I am only required to leave comments for the contest personnel, no helpful notes go back to the writers, but now I have an appreciation for what a Hollywood Reader has to go through. I may enter some again this spring into summer since the damn strike will probably clog up the arteries for 6 months or so and us newbies will get nothing past the front desk