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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Speaking of Competition Winners....

Congratulations to the winners of the Silver Screenwriting Competition!!

We received so many wonderful scripts, it was really hard to narrow it down to the top winners. Really hard. Super hard. New wrinkle hard. I want to thank Jim Mercurio, my friend, my mentor and my partner in this. I also want to thank my business partners Margaux Froley and Andrew Zinnes for their hard work, wisdom, cajoling and much needed hard-nosed-judging. I want to thank the readers who worked hard, day and night, really giving their all to each script. What a wonderful group of talented readers.

And - before they cue the music and get me off stage - I want to take a moment to thank every single writer who gave it a shot. We found script after script with great ideas, interesting writing styles, hilarious moments of comedy and terrifying moments of horror. I was and continue to be completely lit up by the creativity out there. Just because you didn't place in the competition doesn't mean you aren't deserving of recognition for all the hard work, heart and soul you put into your script.

This has been a great experience with very few glitches and only that one bar brawl but, you know, that was totally not our fault. So without further adieu:

Grand Prize Winner: FREEBIRD by Hilary Graham
2nd place: THE De-HAUNTERS by Calvin Field and Brian Bagby
3rd place: THE ORCHARD by Diane Stredicke

TOP FIVE FINALISTS

BLOOD SNOW by Adam Hong
INFLUENCE by Dov Engelberg
SNILDERHOLDEN’S JUNGLE by Jennifer Thomas
SLEEPING WITH THE LUTEFISK by Wenonah Wilms
UNSIGNED: THE FEATURE by Christopher Wasmer and Danny Musengo

Our grand prize winner, Hilary Graham will be trekking out to Los Angeles on a tba date in October and will be reaping the rewards from her win, including drinks with Blake Snyder, a day of meetings, lunch with David Arata, one of the Academy Award nominated writers of CHILDREN OF MEN and much, much more. Hilary will be guest-blogging about her experiences right here on the Rouge Wave.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Julie. It's an honor. I won't be meeting you in person. But it's been a ride.

Adam

Jennifer Thomas said...

Thank you so very much, Julie.

This entire experience has been encouraging beyond words.

Mike Scherer said...

Congratulations Hilary and all the other finalists. Good luck with all of your future writing.

Regards,
Mike

wenonah said...

Yay!!!! Thank you and congratulations to everyone who placed, what a great accomplishment. I will have nothing but good things to say about the Silver Screenwriting competition. It was beautifully run and organized from start to finish - so congratulations to Julie and her fantastic group of people.

-wenonah

Dov Engelberg said...

Thanks, Julie!
You really made this whole process fun and encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

Please forward this to Jim Mercurio, one of the Judge for the Script contest

RE Not fair!!!
Memo to Jim Mercurio!

Hey Jim, how come you are only picking scripts that are "laid back" and not "forceful".Why are you not taking risk by picking scripts similar to "Pulp Fiction" or "The Matrix "or "Superbad" or "Boogie Nights" or "Magnolia' or "There Will Be Blood" or "Kill Bill" or even "Silence of the Lambs" etc. Hollywood is about talking risks. So far, from my research I found out those scripts you selected in your contest as being the best are too "laid back" and not "forceful" enough. The are decent but they are not "powerful" to send shockwaves into the theatre like current "Batman, with Heath Ledger" or the latest "Wanted"

I havn't decided whether to apply again. But I would need an honest answer before I apply to your contest again.

You contest is well organized but for heaven sake Jim, take more risks and take chances. Challenge yourself.



Thanks,
MS

Julie Gray said...

Dear MS - I think you might be misinformed that this is solely Jim's competition. It is not. If you have a legitimate complaint or comment, you can just as well direct it at me. You might be feeling disappointed that you didn't place and I understand that. Channel that energy into continuing to write. Best of luck to you.

Edward Martin III said...

Congrats to the winners and top finalists. Way to go!

For everyone else who entered, please keep writing, please keep progressing, please keep creating.

For EVERYONE -- winners, placers, and all entrants -- maybe you thought this script was the best script you've ever written. It probably WAS.

Think about how good the NEXT one will be...

Cheers,

Edward

Jim Mercurio said...

Hey MS,
Picking a winner of a screenplay contest is not a static process. The eventual winner sort of reveals itself...I (we) don't go in to the process with a set idea of what the winning script will look like. We pay attention to what is in front of us. This year, Hilary's script spoke to all of the judges pretty unanimously and said, “I am the Grand Prize winner.” And, pun, intended, it’s hard not to hear her voice.

In my last contest, as grand prize winners, I picked a gut-wrenching drama wherein 50 people were left to die alone in a house, a magical realist piece, a 100 million dollar homoerotic period piece biopic, a Pixar-like animation film and a quirky indie buddy comedy between an Asian exchange student and his crazy friend.

The last 8 movies I watched were Frozen River, Death Race, Serpico, Mean Streets, Freaky Friday. The Longshots, Two for the Road and, on YouTube, Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight. I thought Dark Knight was one of the best movies of the year and I thought Expired was most like what my next film as a director will be. My taste in films—laid back and “in your face”/highbrow and lowbrow/studio and indie—is pretty wide.

I want to read more scripts like you describe. I hope you and the writers out there who have those scripts bring ‘em on next year.

Jim

Wenonah said...

This is for the anonymous post above about the lack of "risky scripts" I would just like to list several elements of my script "Sleeping with the Lutefisk" that may or may not qualify it as something different in your eyes.

My protagonist is a gay hockey playing female in a small upper midwest town.

Her family are ruthless organized criminals ... and cow farmers.

More than one person is killed by things such as flying tiara's, sinking ice-house and cow sperm (yes, death by cow sperm)

I believe I have the first two girl on two girl car and snow plow chase scene I've ever seen.

So, while it may not be a commercially viable blockbuster I'd like to believe that it was my story and voice that got me this far in the competition.

I'm currently in NYC at the IFP's Independent Film week where I've been involved in nearly 20 one-on-one pitch sessions in the last three days with producers, directors and agents/managers. Every single person has requested my script!

I will continue to write the stories that intrigue and inspire me regardless of commercial viability or quirk-factor, and if they are well written and tell a good story that's all that matters.

-wenonah

Julie Gray said...

Yes, Wenonah's script is WAY off the beaten path. Which is why it's so cool. But it's also executed well which was something that in the early stages of judging made the difference for those who advanced and did not. Good luck at the IFP, Wenonah! Knock 'em dead and tell' em the Script Department sentcha! Well, we didn't *really* send ya but you know.... :)

E.C. Henry said...

A heartfelt congradulations to:

Christopher Wasmer and Danny Musengo
Wenonah Wilms
Jennifer Thomas
Dov Engelberg
Adam Hong
Diane Stredicke
Calvin Field and Brian Bagby
Hilary Graham

Glad to hear you all are getting some recognition for your hard work. I hope you all get read by people in postion who can take your work and make a movie out of it, 'cuz that's the brass ring. BUT just to get some NAME RECOGNION is a good thing. I wish you all the success in the world. Congradulations.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA