The winner of the 2019 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with Visitation, Helen Gaughran expertly crafted a tonally perfect genre mix of character-driven drama and grounded horror. Though still relatively new to screenwriting, she’s made a bold leap into establishing herself amongst the next wave of film industry talent. You’re heard this plenty of times by now from us, but let’s say it once more for the road: Visitation is perhaps one of the best feature screenplays we’ve reviewed in over a decade. For too many reasons to list here. You pulled some pieces from history to construct the script, right? What was your original intent with the idea, and how did it change, if at all, from initial concept to final draft? Given your connection to Ireland, was the story itself, or its themes, personal? First, Matt, I want to thank for relentlessly puffing up my self-regard. It’s taken a beating…
Script Pipeline discovers and develops writers for film and television, connecting them to producers, agents, and managers. Since 1999, several produced films and over $7 million in screenplay and TV pilot spec sales are credited to Script Pipeline’s unique, intensive process of long-term writer-to-industry facilitation. Contest finalists and “Recommend” writers work with Script Pipeline executives year-round, getting broader exposure in addition to continuous, one-on-one development assistance.
Success stories include:
Tripper Clancy, winner of the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest, sold the comedy The Ambassadors to 20th Century Fox and the pitch Winter Break, before writing Stranded for Sony and Hacker Camp for Hasbro. In development: High Five with Amazon, and an adaptation of the bestselling novel The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. His action-comedy Stuber sold to Fox for the mid-six figures and released in July 2019. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) star.
Contest winner The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, written by Henry Dunham, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Henry made his directorial debut with the crime-thriller starring James Badge Dale (Iron Man). Standoff released January, 2019. Lit Entertainment Group and UTA signed Henry a few weeks after he was announced as the winner of the competition.
Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition winner Evan Daugherty selling Snow White and the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million and later taking the lead on studio films Divergent, Ninja Turtles, and the upcoming Rose Red from Disney. Evan was previously attached to write the limited series Esmeralda for ABC Studios, GI Joe 3 for Paramount, an adaptation of Myst for Hulu, and the Tomb Raider reboot. His contest-winning script Killing Season was produced and starred Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro and John Travolta.
Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Jen Goldson saw her romantic comedy Off the Menu produced and released in 2018, starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids). Jen was introduced to director Jay Silverman at a Script Pipeline event–the screenplay went into production in less than a year. She has two other features in production, including her contest-placing dramedy Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Andy Tennant (Hitch) set to direct.
Micah Barnett, whose work was developed through Script Pipeline’s Workshop, sold The Rabbit to Warner Bros. for six-figures and a TV pilot, Ricochet, to NBC. Screenwriter Brian Watanabe had his Script Pipeline “Recommend” action-comedy Operation: Endgame, also initially developed by Script Pipeline, produced by Script Pipeline’s Chad Clough and Sean McKittrick (Get Out). The film starred Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott (Parks and Rec), Maggie Q, Ellen Barkin, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast.
From 2017-2018, Howard Jordan Jr., runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with the comedy Family Be Like, was staffed on the CBS series Superior Donuts. He later joined the writing staff on Netflix’s Family Reunion and another CBS sitcom, The Unicorn, in 2019.
Outside of its own writer successes, Script Pipeline’s first produced film, The Living Wake, starring Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O’Connell (Dr. Ken), received high praise when it made its festival debut in 2010.
A number of original feature and TV projects are in various stages of development, and over 150 writers have found representation, had their scripts optioned and produced, and seen their careers launched as a result of facilitation. With a constantly expanding industry network, Script Pipeline searches for new material on a daily basis–and reviewed over 15,000 screenplays, pilots, and original pitches in 2018.
*Industry requests to review material from Script Pipeline writers can be made here.