Script Pipeline - Home
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Reviewing Material for Film/TV Adaptation 

DEADLINE:
Thursday, November 15th 

Book Pipeline seeks material for film or television adaptation. Open to writers worldwide, the contest accepts ANY genre of fiction or non-fiction, including short stories, plays, and graphic novels. Works can be published or unpublished. 

One Grand Prize Winner receives $10,000 and immediate industry circulation to Lakeshore Entertainment (Million Dollar BabyAmerican Pastoral), QC Entertainment (producer of Academy Award Nominee Get Out), Good Fear Film + Management (Polaroid), Silent R Management (reps Academy Award winning director Barry Jenkins), and other leading production companies, managers, and agencies best-suited for developing the selected projects. 

Continuing to build upon the success of the Script Pipeline writing competitions, which have discovered hundreds of new writers over the past 20 years, Book Pipeline aims to deliver compelling stories to the industry--with the specific intent of getting them on the fast-track to film and TV production. 

Acceptable entries: 

• Novels

• Non-fiction

• Plays

• Graphic Novels and comics

• Book proposals or pitches

• Short stories 

Industry reviewing: 

The following are Book Pipeline partners receiving first look at the winner and finalists. 

QC Entertainment (Academy Award nominated producers of Get Out

Good Fear Film + Management (RingsPolaroid

Zero Gravity Management (OzarkBeasts of No Nation

Lakeshore Entertainment (Age of AdalineMillion Dollar BabyUnderworld

Energy Entertainment (ExtantI Am Legend

Silent R Management / Jewerl Ross (reps Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight

Madhouse Entertainment (The ArkPrisoners

Finalists and semifinalists also receive personalized circulation to Script Pipeline’s industry network of 150+ producers and agencies, with long-term, ongoing assistance for the winner and finalists. 

Learn More and Register

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Film Pipeline Interview - Marina Michelson

Marina Michelson’s short film Biophilia, co-financed by Pipeline Media Group (Script Pipeline), won Best Screenplay at the 2018 Brooklyn Film Festival and was screened at several other fests nationwide. A 4-tool talent–writer, director, producer, and actress—Marina’s first short, Eureka!, premiered in 2012. 

Both Biophilia and your first short film Eureka! feel very much like short stories come to life. Almost treading in Flannery O’Connor territory. A short film is basically a short story, so that sounds obvious, but not every short is equitable to the pacing and vibe of literature. Something about your interplay between the characters, the setting. And again, the themes organically intertwined, meant to present instead of preach. What (or who) influenced your style of filmmaking and storytelling?

Wow, what a compliment! I love Flannery O’Connor. I first read her short stories in middle school along with some of William Faulkner’s and was uniquely drawn to their style: slow and grotesque, violent yet darkly beautiful. I later learned that I must have a thing for the Southern Gothic because I also adore films like Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, and David Gordon Green’s Mud, which totally fit the bill.

But yes, short stories are an excellent entree into exploring narrative perspective. You get to step into a world rendered so richly in so little time. I love the way short stories can zero in on the everyday moments of life. It’s those little seemingly mundane moments that have the power to alter the course of a life, however slightly. Sure, a short story is not going to give you the advanced plotting of an international thriller, but it’s a valuable little space to play with character and theme and explore elements of our human experience.

I grew up reading J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories and Raymond Carver, and of course watching Robert Altman’s Short Cuts. Right now I’m reading Carmen Machado’s collection of short stories about the female body, which I think is being adapted into a television show.

As to influences, it’s hard to say. Ultimately, my current body of work is a tiny speck of what I hope it will one day be, so it’s hard to narrow down a short list of influences, but I’ll say that I grew up on a steady diet of European cinema thanks to my enthusiastically film-loving parents, mixed with big Hollywood studio pictures that I consumed voraciously with my friends at the mall throughout the 90s and early 2000s. I learned to love the implicit quality inherent in European films, wherein many narrative elements are implied but not directly stated, putting faith in the audience’s intelligence and keen sense of perception. And yet, I really wanted to tell stories rooted in the American experience because that was the film language I saw resonating with my peers. I think you can really see the confluence of that media diet reflected in my style of storytelling.

To name check a few filmmakers, I deeply admire the films of Sofia Coppola, David Gordon Green, Kelly Reichardt, Terence Malick, and Andrea Arnold, to name a few. And I would be foolish to not call out Amy Heckerling, because Clueless was a formative film for me, and while you maybe can’t draw a line from Clueless to Biophilia, Amy Heckerling was the first female writer/director who’s name I knew and stitched into my memory like she was a god.

With Biophilia, there’s such a clear sense of tone—and with it (at least in one viewer’s eyes) a lot of subtleties that spotlight the broader themes. For instance: “there’s a dead ewe outside,” and the homonym’s implications in the context of the character. Will assume nothing is done by accident, but. . . how much conscious planning goes into “writing in” the underlying message, or the shot selection, or picking the locations, all to exemplify the commentary? How much of it do you leave up to the audience to interpret on their own?

I don’t think I intentionally sat down to write the “ewe”/”you” confusion moment. It’s something that bubbled up while I was sitting in front of the screen one day, and it resonated so much that it made it all the way into the final cut. I read this thing about writing recently that I adore from Alexander Chee—he says, “The first draft is scaffolding, torn down to discover what grew underneath it.” I think of writing like tending to a garden: you plant seeds in a plot of dirt and nurture them with consistent presence, then lo and behold, something grows.

I remember on the first day of 9th grade, my English teacher gave the class our end-of-year essay prompt, but instructed us not to begin working on it, which gravely annoyed me. She insisted that by lofting out a theme to us months in advance, it would have time to swim around and marinate in our subconscious. In the months that followed, I found myself thinking about the essay prompt at random, sometimes even in my sleep. By year’s end, I realized she was right, and I had a very rich experience of the prompt to expand upon in my essay.

I think that in the process of filmmaking, regardless of what stage you’re in, writing or scouting or shot list-ing, the daily decisions you make are influenced by multiple levels of conscious and unconscious thinking. Throughout the making of this film, I was thinking obsessively about this exhausted woman who feels powerless and impotent in this work she’s carved out for herself on a ranch, and about why she comes to identify so much with this dead sheep. It was a happy accident when I realized that her circumstances could lend themselves to her confusing the homonym of “ewe” for “you,” but it was an accident planted by the many hours of unconscious labor turning this story, over and over again, in my head.

As to what the audience make of the themes, I ultimately leave it all up to their interpretation. I don’t mean to enforce any kind of dictum on what I’m trying to say and I love hearing nothing more that what a viewer thinks happens next. That’s the most exciting conversation for me to have with someone who’s watched this film, to hear how they put the pieces together. Which morsels tasted good and resonated with them.

Read the Full Interview

Free 10 min career advice calls and 20 percent off all WGA mentor services

Dave Kline (CO-EP on SNATCH) and co-founder of Script Pipeline, along with his colleague Chris Sey at WritersForWriters will be accepting writers for script and book consultations. A completed script is not required. We can customize the consults to fit where you’re at with your project- i.e. logline, treatment, script, financing etc…

All consultations during the month-long period will be discounted at 20% off. To schedule a session, please enter promo code WIMSP at http://www.writers-for-writers.com/consultations/

And we will be continuing to offer the free 10 min call where you connect with Dave or Chris to discuss what the consultations will entail or if you simply have questions about your writing. To sign up for a 10 min call please contact info@writers-for-writers.com.

The Final Deadline for our Diversity, Female, and Indie Fellowships is December 15th —To submit for a fellowship- click http://www.writers-for-writers.com/fellowships/. All fellowships are also 20% off with the code WIMSP.

The mission statement of WritersForWriters has always been for our WGA consultants and mentors to pay it forward to aspiring writers hoping to soon become WGA writers themselves. 

We look forward to reading!

Best,

Dave, Chris, Fior, and the team at Writers-For-Writers

Learn more about Writers-For-Writers

Follow Writers for Writers on Twitter (@writforwriters) and Facebook for updates and news about the industry’s push towards diversity.

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October 2018 Script Sales

Universal Pictures, along with Michael De Luca Productions, Immersive Pictures, and Crazyrose, has optioned Anthony McCarten’s untitled spec based on John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s relationship. Ono is set to produce, and Jean-Marc Vallée (WildBig Little Lies) will produce and direct. Warner Bros., Safehouse Pictures, and LBD Productions have picked up Brad Desch’s rom-com spec Wink. Inspired by producer Tory Tunnell’s own experiences, the story is a Cyrano de Bergerac–like tale of what happens when someone takes over their mother’s social media profiles. Jared Cowie’s spec You Are Leaving The American Sector has found a home with Parallel Films. The Cold War spy thriller follows a young CIA officer in West Berlin who uncovers a plot that could send the world into nuclear war. Finally, Voltage Pictures has acquired Tenfold by Allan Ungar. The action spec follows a man who avenges his estranged, soon-to-be-wed daughter’s death. Ungar will also direct.

Other script sales:

– Lena Dunham is set to adapt Melissa Fleming’s nonfiction book A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival for producers Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.

– James D’Arcy to write/direct the comedy Made in Italy. Liam Neeson and son Micheál Richardson to star.

– Dev Patel to direct and star in Monkey Man for Thunder Road Pictures with a script he wrote with John Collee and Paul Angunawela.

– Yamara Taylor to script Co-Parenting based on an idea from Chris Rock and Kevin Hart. Rock is set to direct, and Hart to star.

– Marquita Robinson is set to adapt Amy Heckerling’s Clueless for Paramount.

– Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct Black Panther 2 for Marvel and Disney.

Read More Script Sales

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Annihilation - Screenplay

There’s always that one movie you meant to watch in theaters but just never got around to seeing. I knew I had to see Annihilation after watching the trailer, with its beautiful visuals, unique synthesized score, and amazing cast. But for whatever reason, I didn’t make it in time, and honestly, missing it was a huge mistake.

Written and directed by Alex Garland (whom we’ve talked about previously) and based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, the movie starts with a simple premise: There’s a mysterious and expanding sci-fi anomaly called The Shimmer in the southern United States, and every team the government has sent in has disappeared, except for one man, who mysteriously shows up a year after his trip inside. His wife Lena (Natalie Portman), a cellular biologist and military veteran, volunteers to go into The Shimmer with a team led by psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh). From there, the team ventures into a world where evolution has run amok—with cross-species (such as an alligator-shark hybrid) that should never exist somehow thriving—and the film adopts a tone reminiscent almost of a fever dream, disorienting the audience and the characters. The team discovers that The Shimmer is acting as a prism with everything, particularly the DNA of the flora and fauna (and also the fungi!), reflecting and refracting back upon itself into mutations, both beautiful and disturbing. And soon, the characters realize they’re mutating too.

Perhaps the film’s greatest success is that it takes its simple horror/sci-fi premise and builds everything from it, most notably the setting. Every weird creature and plant serves as a constant reminder that the main characters are changing and there’s nothing they can do about it—simply existing in this world is as effective at generating scares and tension as any monster on screen. And about those monsters: In perhaps one of the scariest/freakiest movie scenes in recent memory, a bear-like creature screams with a human voice as it stalks the characters. It’s a high-concept idea that’s perfectly executed as an action/horror set piece. (Garland even refined the scene from script to screen to maximize its tension, a great example of how scripts always, umm, evolve throughout the writing and filming processes.) Scenes like this are how you get the most out of a premise, and it fully exploits the rules of its sci-fi world. That could be said about all of Annihilation’s set pieces—the plot mechanics are unpredictable for the most part, but every moment feels inevitable. It’s good writing, but more importantly, it’s strong world building that’s consistent with its internal logic. And unlike lesser entries in the sci-fi/horror sub-genre, the audience learns more with each set piece, and each has a specific narrative function beyond “let’s try to scare the audience.”

A few scenes may operate like a B-level creature feature, but what differentiates and elevates Annihilation is that it carries actual depth beneath the characters and plot. At its core, Annihilation is about self-destruction and mutation. Most of the characters have self-destructive tendencies in some way (why else go on a suicide mission?), and one of them even has cancer, a direct parallel to the weird biological cancer affecting life inside The Shimmer.

Annihilation effectively combines the body horror of The Fly, the tension of The Thing, and the smarts of Ex Machina. You may have missed this in theaters, but you should read the script and check out the movie. It’s destined to become a cult hit.

Read the Annihilation Screenplay

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The Biggest Grand Prize for Film and TV Writing

The 2019 Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing seasons continue the search for up-and-coming talent to connect with the industry's leading producers, agencies, and managers.

Finalists receive immediate circulation to Script Pipeline partners, in addition to the following:

$50,000 to winners$5,000 to runners-up

- Introductions to managers, producers, agents, directors, and others searching for screenplays

- Long-term script circulation to industry and continual guidance connecting with companies

- Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs

Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure

Exclusive invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

An intensive facilitation process, which consists of long-term writer development and circulation of material, helps Script Pipeline selections gain elite representation and crucial introductions to Hollywood. $6 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by competition finalists and "Recommend" writers, with several scripts produced since 1999. 

 

Register for Screenwriting

 

Register for TV Writing

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Film Pipeline Announcing Finalists November 15th

The top 10 short films and top 5 short scripts will be posted to the Film Pipeline site on November 15th. From there, a single grand prize winner will be chosen by December 1st.

Pipeline Media Group execs work with the writers and directors on a case-by-case basis--whether it's further developing their work, circulating their films to industry, or reviewing other script material to potentially co-finance or co-produce. 

Next season opens January 1st.

Exclusive Film Pipeline Interviews

 

Film Pipeline "Essential Viewing" Movie Reviews

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Script Pipeline Workshop Notes - Screenplays and Pilots

Established in 2000, the Script Pipeline Workshop is one of the longest-running notes services in the industry, offering feedback on screenplays, pilots, and pitches for film and television. Hundreds of writers each year, from beginners to professionals, benefit from the expertise of a small, seasoned group of development execs, many of whom are active writers and producers themselves.

Any genre or format accepted. We review everything from partially completed scripts to production-ready final drafts. Writers may also request a critique on supplemental materials (such as a TV show bible, synopsis, or logline), as well as follow up with their reader with additional questions on the feedback.

Together with the suite of Script Pipeline competitions, the Workshop is another outlet to funnel upper-echelon projects to an array of industry contacts and shepherd scripts into production.

*contest entrants receive a discounted rate on General Reviews; add-on notes available during registration for any competition

Development Notes | General Review

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines & Dates

2018 Great Movie Idea Contest - Deadline: December 15th

2018 Great TV Show Idea Contest - Deadline: December 15th

2018 Screenwriting Competition - Pre-register by December 31st

2018 TV Writing Competition - Pre-register by December 31st

2018 First Look Project (screenplays and pilots) - Next Season Opens January 1st


Other Pipeline Competitions:

Book Pipeline - Fiction, Non-fiction, Plays
Deadline: November 15th

Film Pipeline - Short Films and Scripts

 

Script Pipeline is a division of Pipeline Media Group, LLC