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News and Updates: August

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Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Screenplay Optioned

Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition winner Prom Queen, written by Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald, has been optioned by Classy Films, a production company headed by Jeremy Garelick (The Wedding RingerThe Break-Up).

After winning the 2010 contest, the teen comedy made the rounds to a number of companies in Script Pipeline’s industry network. Though the script remained un-optioned, Script Pipeline and Director of Development Matt Misetich continued to stay in touch with Debbie and Tyson, eventually finding a home for Prom Queen in July 2016.

“No one has done more for Prom Queen and our writing career than Script Pipeline,” said Debbie and Tyson. “Matt has worked tirelessly to connect us and the script to industry professionals, ultimately resulting in the option.”

The screenplay was a Script Pipeline judges’ favorite in 2010—and one Misetich held in high regard for years.

“I’ve been a huge fan of this script for so long, and hearing pass after pass was just as frustrating for me as it was for the writers,” Matt said. “Debbie and Tyson probably don’t realize how many rejections we had at the pitch stage: ‘good idea, not for us,’ ‘need something more straightforward for the genre’. . . every courteous pass you could think of. It’s not a cookie-cutter teen comedy, so it needed a really sharp producer with a little vision to champion it properly. When I got the email asking for a very specific type of script, I knew I only had one that fit the bill.”

Prom Queen joins Tripper Clancy’s Henry the Second and David Jagernauth’s Second Born as the other 2010 Script Pipeline winning screenplays on the path to production. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment (The Spectacular NowStranger Things) and 3311 (Table 19) on board to produce Henry, while Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) is attached to direct Second Born.

“To us, success stories like this continue to justify our unique long-term facilitation process,” said Script Pipeline CEO Chad Clough. “We wish it hadn’t taken five years, of course, but sometimes you need to wait for the right match. Can’t wait to see where things go from here.”

The 2017 Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing seasons are now open for entries. Grand Prize winners receive $40,000 plus personalized industry circulation. Earlier this month, 2016 Screenwriting finalist Andrew Martin Robinson (Cut Its Head Off) signed with manager/producer Peter Katz, and TV Writing runner-up Laura Bensick (The Mother) was picked up by UTA. 

Great Idea Contests - Register by October 1st

Early deadline is October 1st for the 11th Great Movie Idea and 9th Great TV Show Idea competitions.

Former winners have had their work developed and optioned by major production companies, studio-level producers, managers, and agencies. All winners receive one-on-one assistance from Script Pipeline execs to get their pitch (or a completed screenplay/pilot) ready for circulation.

As with all Script Pipeline competitions, writers may register at any time and submit the material later (at no extra fee).

"I've been amazed at the quality and depth of the development my idea has received since winning the Great TV idea contest. I know my concept in a richer, deeper way than I did before thanks to Script Pipeline."
- Bryce McLellan, TV Show Idea Winner (Jack Curious)

"My idea led to a messy first draft with loads of promise.  But now, by way of a systematic scene-by-scene approach, Script Pipeline is helping me tweak that draft toward its fullest potential."
- Jason Vaughn, Movie Idea Winner (Interlopers)

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August 2016 Script Sales

To kick things off, Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition-winning script Prom Queen, written by Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald, has been optioned by Jeremy Garelick's production company Classy Films. FilmNation Entertainment and Temple Hill Productions will team to produce Dan Fogelman’s spec romance screenplay Life Itself, described as a multigenerational love story that follows characters in various locations over a few decades. Fogelman will also direct. Eva Longoria and her company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment will produce writer/director Lauren Iungerich’s comedy My Daughter’s Quinceañera, which follows a single father as he plans his daughter’s dream party. Finally, Lakeshore Entertainment is set to produce The Wedding Year, a spec script written by Donald Diego. The romantic comedy follows a female millennial who has to go to fifteen weddings in the same year.

Read More Script Sales

Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein – Screenplays

Mel Brooks is often regarded as one of the masters of comedy, but his greatest cinematic achievements are his three collaborations with Gene Wilder, who recently passed in August. In 1974, Brooks and Wilder made two classic films that remain hilarious and have shaped modern comedy: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

Parody is a difficult subgenre to perfect, but Wilder and Brooks’ one-two punch of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein serves as the quintessence of the genre. Although both borrowed heavily from other sources (and spoofed them lovingly), both films work well even without the jokes. Blazing Saddles’ Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) is instantly relatable and sympathetic: He’s a black sheriff forced to protect a racist town. Similarly, Young Frankenstein’s “Froderick Fronkensteen” (Gene Wilder) tries to distance himself from his grandfather’s notoriety but nevertheless becomes another Frankenstein.

Despite the constant jokes, both scripts focus on the main characters, and neither film would be as memorable or—dare I say—as moving without the relationships between Bart and the Waco Kid (Wilder) or Freddie and The Monster (Peter Boyle). The "worst" comedies focus on jokes only, but Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein have endured for decades because the audience cares about the characters, characters who have specific goals (for Bart, it’s to keep the town safe; for Freddie, it’s to succeed where his grandfather failed), many obstacles (both scripts pit the main characters against their new towns, among other conflicts), and a healthy sense of humor (these are comedies after all).

Read the Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein Scripts

"Dedication always precedes success.@pipelinefox