My brother sent me a link to a screenwriting contest this morning that looks like it could be pretty cool. One of the best things about this contest is that it can’t eat up a whole lot of my time. That’s the point of the exercise, in fact.
The contest is an elimination tournament of three rounds. For each round the writers are provided a premise, and writers must produce a 3-5 minute scene based on the premise. Only the best go on.
In the first round, participants have a weekend to prepare the scene. The submissions are graded and the top 100 writers advance to round two. The site promises feedback for each entry, but I don’t expect they will have time for anything terribly in-depth. Creativity is 25% of the score, and all over the site writers are encouraged to ‘think outside the box’.
Round two: A new premise for another 3-5 minute scene, and a new deadline. Overnight. The top ten advance.
Round three: Ninety minutes.
The top ten finalists will be judged at the Screenwriting Expo. Actors will rehearse and perform three finalist scenes before the expo audience, in what promises to be a pretty fun event. The winner walks away with a cool three grand and some pretty serious bragging rights.
I’m not sure how many people will be participating, but I will be one of them. It would be fun to make it to the second round, but a lot depends on whether the genius idea strikes at the key moment. I expect the competition will be pretty fierce. I’ll just sit back, relax, and let fly, and hope it sticks. With an entire weekend, the danger is over-editing or trying to do too much. The second round may actually be easier.
I’ll post each of my scenes here, as well. In fact, what the heck — I’ll do the following rounds even if I don’t advance, just for the fun of it, so there will be a total of three scenes here, no matter what the judges say. At the start of each round I’ll echo the premise in these pages, and if any of you care enough you can brainstorm rough ideas how you would treat the premise in the comments. If someone else wants to participate (either officially or as a shadow) I’d be happy to make a page here to share everyone’s results. Let’s make it a party!
On the subject of thinking outside the box, Harlean Carpenter (who is a fiction) refuses to play the box’s game.
I love the statement. I’m trying to decide among the mouse pad, messenger bag, mug, and magnet. Maybe I should just get them all … once I have money. Or I could just tell people to get these things for Pat’s and my anniversary (number 26) or my birthday (not telling what that number is).
I think what you really need is someone to remind you (and your myriad of followers) when the dates are approaching so you can be sure and get your fees paid in time and stuff like that!