Training for the CyberSpace Open: A script per day!

When I started my 10 day screenwriting challenge the other day, little did I realize how this might get me in shape for one of the most interesting screenwriting contests I’ve seen:  Screenwriting Expo’s CyberSpace Open. The contest is set up in round-robin (elimination) style. Each round the participants must write a five page short script around a specific premise. You can write from anywhere. To win you need to survive 3 rounds, each with a tighter deadline than the last. In the final round, the top 10 writers have only 90 minutes to write a 5-page script. Whew! I’ve been writing a short script per day for the past 7 days. I missed one day, so I only have 6 scripts. I was hoping to write 2 today, but I don’t think that’s going to...

Pick a Challenge, any Challenge

August is a fine time to work your creative mojo. Everyone’s doing it! And they’re doing it in the form of challenges and experiments. Below are a few that I recommend. Please let me know if there are any more out there in the coming month/s and I’ll add them to the list. The 3:15 Experiment Anyone who follows my blog with any regularity knows that I participate in the annual 3:15 Experiment every year. Basically, a shifting menagerie of poets (and prose writers, actually) wakes up at 3:15 AM EACH morning during the month of August and writes. Our goal is to write while riding a 1/2 dream state. Magic happens. We have a Facebook Group now. Join us. August Postcard Poetry Fest Started by Paul Nelson and Lana Ayers, the Postcard Poetry Fest...

G.A. Pitchfest Part 2

The Do’s, Don’ts, Myths, Facts (around the industry, pitchfests, and pitching) This post is a collection of things heard straight from the pros mouths and from my own observations of what I consider “bad behavior” – meaning things that will  make you annoying and appear difficult or amateur. The last thing you want to do is appear difficult to work with or ignorant of the industry. I don’t care how good your script is, if people decide off the bat that you are going to be a pain in the ass, you’ll never get your brilliant script read. You are asking them to invest precious time, energy, and money in your project, working with you for many months, even years… if you don’t sell yourself first, you certainly...

G.A. Pitchfest Part 1

There’s so much to tell about the Great American Pitchfest that I need to break my posts down into bite-size nuggets. Right off the top I have to say the whole thing is worth the price of admission. If you are serious about screenwriting and ready to take yourself to the next level, it is definitely the place to be. If nothing else, it will give you a crash course in pitch practice, something that every screenwriter must learn to do (no matter how much we detest it). (I have only been to the FTX Pitchfest in Vancouver and to this one, but there is also the Hollywood Pitch Festival in August, which is even larger) Saturday consisted of FREE workshops and panels that anyone could attend, even if they weren’t signed up to pitch on Sunday. I’ve...

One Page Screenplay Contest

What’s that you say? Don’t have time to write a screenplay? Well, why not enter the ONE PAGE screenplay contest over at Wild Sound. The top 20 finalists have their script read at WILDsound’s next screenplay event (in Toronto). The audience votes on their favourite and the winner’s script is produced. The film is then shown at their annual Film Festival. Past One Page winners’ films are available on the site. The DEADLINE is FEB 28. Come on!  It’s one page!

Blake Snyder’s Logline Contest

And speaking of Blake Snyder and loglines… he’s having a contest on his blog. The deadline is Feb 18. The idea is that you have to change one letter in the title of a famous movie, and write the logline for that film. For Example: GONE WITH THE WINE — Scarlett “Merlot” O’Hara is a southern belle and lightweight drinker, whose fierce ambition to save her ante-bellum home changes to a mumbled “fiddle-dee-dee” whenever she has more than one glass of “Tara-ble” table wine. One of his readers named Gary has come up with some good ones: Nightmare on Elf Street – A killer is targeting the happy helpers of the North Pole threatening to kill Christmas. Ho, ho horror. and The Fridges of Madison County – When called to fix an ice maker a Maytag...