Late Deadline: October 1st, 2019

Winners Receive:
$17,500 split amongst 7 winners
Studio-level exposure | Development assistance | Extensive industry circulation

The 8th Annual First Look Project fulfills the requests of studios, production companies, agencies, and top managers by finding unique, high-concept material across two main categories:

  • Screenplay - divisions for Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, and Sci-fi/Fantasy
  • TV Pilot - divisions for Hour and Half-hour original pilots, any genre

One winner in each division receives a share of $17,500, industry circulation, and long-term development assistance from Script Pipeline’s executive team.

Supported by QC Entertainment (Get OutUs), Good Fear Film + Management (Mulan), Panay Films (Masterminds), Lakeshore Entertainment (Age of Adaline), Zero Gravity Management (Ozark), Silent R Management (reps Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins), Lit Entertainment Group (Prisoners), and other Script Pipeline partners, the competition introduces the best scripts to major companies.

Unlike Script Pipeline's main Screenwriting and TV writing competitions, entries for First Look are judged equally on writing ability and commercial potential. The originality of the concept and a strong understanding of genre and marketplace trends will take precedence, as well as overall writing ability.

The company’s intensive process, consisting of long-term writer development and widespread circulation of material, gives Script Pipeline writers access to some of the top industry execs worldwide. $7 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by competition finalists and "Recommend" writers, with several scripts produced since 1999. As of summer 2019, over 10 films and series from Script Pipeline writers are in active development or production, with some due for release later this year.

All entrants may request a no-cost call with our Creative Executive, who can answer general questions on the industry or the Script Pipeline process.

Deadline Dates
Late: October 1st - $65

Enter the 2019 season by filling out the form on the right-hand side of this page.

Submissions also accepted via. . . .


- FEATURED SUCCESS STORIES -

Tripper Clancy Sells Stuber and Multiple Specs to Studios

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2009 before selling several specs.

A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material. Later, he was hired to write the animated feature Shedd for Paramount, the Amazon film High Five, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro, and an adaptation of The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. He also sold additional specs The Ambassadors and Winter Break.

"The impact Script Pipeline had on my writing career is extraordinary. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount."
- Tripper Clancy (Stuber)

His first studio feature, Stuber (2019) sold in the mid-six figures. The action-comedy stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino, and Betty Gilpin (Glow).

One of the Biggest Spec Sales in History from Script Pipeline Winner

SWATHposter2016After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3.25 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently turned Evan into one of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood. The film has grossed $450 million worldwide.

"Immediately after the competition, Script Pipeline introduced me to a manager, and the connection helped launch my screenwriting career."
- Evan Daugherty (Divergent)

Shortly following the contest win, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite the adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of Snow White.

Amongst selling a pilot pitch, as well as writing and producing roles with NBC's Midnight, Mass. and the series Five Ghosts, Evan wrote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, produced by Michael Bay. Other studio projects: the adaptation of YA novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment, starring Shailene Woodley and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet, the Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, which is in development with Vinson Films and Disney.

Script Pipeline Winner becomes Acclaimed Indie Hit

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk served as producers.

The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition before being picked up by Cinestate. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Lit Entertainment and UTA.

"Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything."
- Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek)

Top critics praised Henry's directorial debut:

"Shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers." - The Hollywood Reporter

"A pitch perfect example of low-budget craft." - Birth. Movies. Death.

"Deafens through sensationalized silence. . . . You’re not supposed to feel safe or comfortable, precisely as Henry Dunham plans." - Slash Film

And Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.

Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Screenplay

The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel by Evan Daugherty was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development.

It was the first Script Pipeline competition winner to get produced.

- View more in the Success Stories section -


           Disney       

  • TV Writing Competition Runner-up Laura Bensick (The Mother) sold the series Everyday Insanity to Fox in 2019. Sterling K. Brown and Ken Olin (This is Us) producing. Laura signed with UTA shortly after placing in the 2016 Script Pipeline season.
  • The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline's industry network.
  • 2019 TV Writing Competition Runner-up Jess McKillop (Signature) signed with Grandview after Script Pipeline industry circulation and introductions to the powerhouse management company.
  • Screenwriting winner Peter Malone Elliott (Junior) signed with manager Zach Book. Peter's biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. He wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.
  • Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (Screenwriting Competition finalists and winners of the First Look Project), premiered at Sundance and was quickly picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. Their next feature, Run, produced by Lionsgate, premieres in 2020.
  • Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.

"When I relocated from NYC to LA to pursue sitcom writing, everyone I met in the industry said it wasn’t about entering competitions, it was about entering the right competition. Script Pipeline was a turning point."
- Howard Jordan Jr., Writer (Superior Donuts)

  • Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) is set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything's Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen's third produced film after meeting execs at the Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment.
  • Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm. He wrote for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts until 2018, moving on afterward in 2019 to Netflix's Family Reunion and CBS' The Unicorn.
  • First Look Project contest winner Kristi Hall is developing a feature script with Kersey Management. Script Pipeline execs worked with Kristi for over a year on a high-concept action-comedy screenplay before sending it to manager Andrew Kersey.
  • Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directed his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY).
  • After extensive development through Script Pipeline's Workshop, Eddie Mensore produced his gripping drama Mine 9, released in 2019. The film won top honors for Best Film at Cinequest and The Arizona International Film Festival.

"Being the runner-up in 2019 was a huge break for me. Within hours of Script Pipeline announcing the results, I was getting read-requests from management companies. Within a week, one of those companies reached out and asked to meet with me. Two weeks after that, I had a manager. . . . I think the only mistake a writer can make with Script Pipeline is not submitting each year. If you don’t get the result you were hoping for, then just keep working and resubmit the next year. It is 100 percent worth it.”
- Jess McKillop, TV Writing Contest Runner-up (Signature)

  • Kevin Jones, winner of the Great TV Show Idea Competition and a three-time Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist, signed with management after extensive development with Script Pipeline's senior execs, who helped turn his contest-winning pitch into a pilot script. The project was shopped to major networks, which secured numerous meetings for Kevin.
  • Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script's top 10 placement in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.
  • Octagon Entertainment signed Screenwriting Competition winners Joshua Johnson and Jamie Napoli (Getaway). Script Pipeline execs introduced Octagon manager Jeff Diamond to the writing team, who have another feature in development.
  • Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and "Recommend" writer Greg Wayne's dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle's Eye producing.

"We knew right off the bat that Jeff Diamond (Octagon Entertainment) was going to be an ideal match for us. We’re looking forward to developing our partnership and would never have met them were it not for Script Pipeline."
- Jamie Napoli & Joshua Paul Johnson, Screenwriting Contest Winners (Getaway)

  • Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) wrote the reboot for Child's Play released in 2019 and has multiple film and TV projects in development.
  • First Look Project contest winner Besa on track for production—Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) directing. Written by Michael Miceli, the crime/thriller won the Adaptation category for the inaugural First Look season and was later optioned by Cecil Chambers of Triumphant Pictures.
  • Dragon Run, written by Bradley Stryker, was optioned by Pop Art Film Factory and producer Daniel Zirilli. The script placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition.
  • Nir Paniry's Princesses to be produced by Grey Matter Productions and Pascal Pictures. Joachim Røenning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing. Nir placed second in the Script Pipeline contest with his action screenplay The Coyote.
  • TV Writing Competition finalist Dani Messerschmidt (Hello, I Live Here) signed with John Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions. Dani was introduced to reps from Bellevue at a Script Pipeline writer/industry event months prior. She's developing material for both film and TV.

"In the few days after the competition announcement, we had a slew of terrific meetings. . . . Script Pipeline was a gift from the gods: it allowed us, two unknowns from Australia, to come to LA, meet people in the industry, and begin relationships."
- Penelope Chai and Matteo Bernardini, Screenwriting Contest Winner (Cinderella Must Die)

  • Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). Craig placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition and is a Script Pipeline "Recommend" on other features.
  • Sara Monge signed with Josh Dove at IPG Management after Script Pipeline circulation. Her pilot SOS placed in the top 10 of the TV Writing Competition.
  • Six years after winning the Screenwriting Competition, Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald optioned their screenplay Prom Queen to Classy Films as a result of Script Pipeline's long-term facilitation.
  • Screenwriting finalist Andrew Martin Robinson (Cut Its Head Off) signed with Peter Katz of Story Driven less than a week after his horror screenplay was circulated to Script Pipeline's industry network.

"Being a finalist got me a meeting, an offer for representation, and has immediately given me exposure to high-profile managers/producers that I could never reach directly on my own. I'm still blown away where my script has been requested. Knowing they actually go the extra mile and tailor their pitches to people's tastes makes all the difference--you realize they care about and respect the writers."
- Gary King, Screenwriting Contest Finalist (Encounters)

  • Charles Stulck signed with manager Andrew Kersey, after introductions by Script Pipeline. Charles placed in the top 10 with his horror/comedy Cult-de-Sac.
  • Android, written by Script Pipeline "Recommend" Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path). Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) also set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
  • Precious Cargo, a finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, was produced. The film stars Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
  • Script Pipeline "Recommend" Micah Barnett sold Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC a few years after finding management with a Script Pipeline industry contact.

"No one has done more for our screenplay and our writing career than Script Pipeline. They've worked tirelessly in connecting us to industry professionals over the course of six years, ultimately resulting in our script getting optioned."
- Debbie Chesebro & Tyson FitzGerald, Screenwriting Contest Winners (Prom Queen)

  • The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film, starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O'Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: "A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful."
  • Brian Watanabe's "Recommend" script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Get out, Us) at Darko Entertainment.
  • Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline's Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
  • The first major success for Script Pipeline: Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin' by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. They were the first Script Pipeline writers to sell a spec for over six-figures.

Over the course of 20 years, many other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Script Pipeline's exhaustive process of industry facilitation for top screenplays and pilots.

View more Script Pipeline success stories

The First Look Project is focused primarily on connecting the winners with specific production and management companies, in addition to monetary prizes across all categories. One winner and one runner-up are selected for each category, announced in December 2019.

Screenplay

Winners (5)

  • $12,500 awarded. $2,500 to the winner of each genre category (Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, Sci-fi/Fantasy).
  • Presentation to the company sponsoring the winner’s category.

Runners-up (5)

The Screenplay winner and runners-up receive:

  • Long-term facilitation to Script Pipeline's industry network of producers, agents, and managers seeking features.
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs on both the screenplay and pitch
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

TV Pilot

Winners (2)

  • $5,000 awarded total. $2,500 to the winner of each category (Hour and Half-Hour).
  • Presentation to the company sponsoring the winner’s category.

Runners-up (2)

The TV Pilot winner and runners-up receive:

  • Long-term facilitation to Script Pipeline's industry network of producers, agents, and managers seeking original pilots.
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs on the pilot and series pitch or bible
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

Please review the following prior to submitting:

  • For Screenplay and TV, the script must not be under a representation, option, or purchase agreement at the time of entry.
  • The same script cannot compete in multiple categories.
  • Writers who have sold, optioned, or produced scripts in the past are eligible; however, the material submitted must not have been produced as a feature or TV series at any time in the past.
  • Judging criteria equally emphasizes both writing ability and marketability, unlike our main Screenwriting and TV Writing competitions, which are centered on writing ability. Preference may be given to material intended for a broader, mainstream audience. In other words "studio-level."
  • There are no restrictions on amateur or professional status. The First Look Project is open to writers of all levels.
  • The material must be wholly original. For adaptations, the story must be in the public domain, or you have retained the adaptation rights to a particular work.

Email our contest coordinator with any other questions on guidelines or judging criteria.

View complete rules and guidelines here

What are the deadline dates?

Late: October 1st - $65

Coverfly and FilmFreeway will also have extended deadlines up to October 30th.

What should go on the title page?

The title of the script, without name, contact info, or email. You can include the genre and logline, however. Logline is preferred, but not required.

How is the First Look Project different from Script Pipeline's Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions?

Main difference would be the judging criteria. Our annual Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions are critiqued almost exclusively on their writing ability for film and television.

The First Look Project, however, focuses equally on both writing ability and marketability. A unique concept in line with current trends and industry preferences—something relevant that twists the genre or hits on relatable themes—will most likely fare well.

Writing ability is still critical, but the script needn't be "circulation-ready" if it leans on a commercial premise. All winners and finalists will go through an in-house development process with Script Pipeline execs prior to circulation, if necessary. We want promising writers with big, fresh ideas. Those who we can work with now and in the future.

So I should submit a "commercial" script?

For the genre categories (Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, and Sci-fi/Fantasy) and TV, the entry should be considered "studio-level." Something commercial, high-concept, character-driven. . . a script that will draw A-level producers and talent. Regardless of budget.

Can I submit a new draft of my script after entering?

Yes, and there is no additional fee if you email the new draft to us by the regular deadline: September 15th, 2019.

Do I retain the rights, even if I win?

All rights remain with the author. By entering, you’re not surrendering any rights to your script submission.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

For all contest entrants, we offer an exclusive discounted rate on our General Notes. A sample can be found here. Additional notes are entirely optional and are kept separate from the judging process.

*Notes are sent between 2-3 weeks from the date of registration, depending on volume. If you need notes back ASAP, please let us know prior to, or immediately after, registering. We'll do our best to accommodate.

Do you accept multiple authors?

Yes. Just list each writer's name when registering your script.

Can I send in an idea instead of a completed script or film?

You may send supplement materials such as a synopsis, treatment, or any other type of written or video pitch to any category, but these would be in ADDITION to a completed screenplay or pilot.

For pitches, writers may submit to our Movie or TV Show Idea competitions.

Do you accept animation scripts?

Yes. In recent years, numerous animation scripts have placed in and won the First Look Project. You may submit any genre of animation as well, as long as it fits into a category.

Email us with any questions not answered here.

2019 First Look Project

October 1st, 2019 - Late Deadline

$65.00

Category *

Title *

Writer(s) *

Logline (optional)

Submission Method *

Upload your script below, or email it to entry@scriptpipeline.com after you finish your order.

Upload Material

(max file size 64 MB)

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Add Follow-up Call

Entrants may schedule a *no-cost* 15-minute call with our Senior Coordinator, who can answer any general questions on the industry or the Script Pipeline process.

Terms and Conditions *

Please confirm that you have read the First Look Project terms and conditions.