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December 31st Deadline - Screenplays and TV Pilots Accepted

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

"I have been blown away by the amount of work Script Pipeline has put into getting my script out there. The best part: they're interested in you as a writer. From reading and circulating additional material to developing new concepts with you, the Script Pipeline team are wonderful partners-in-crime, and I count myself lucky to have them by my side."
- Peter Malone Elliott, Screenwriting Contest Winner (Junior)

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. $7 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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LATE DEADLINE: December 22nd - Pitch a Film or TV Series Idea

The 15th Great Movie Idea and 13th Great TV Show Idea contests are searching for original feature film and television series concepts. Ideally, unique stories a global, diverse audience can connect with.

Accepted entries include loglines, synopses, and video pitches. Completed screenplays are not reviewed, nor are entrants required to have a screenplay. You only need one spectacular idea. Any genre, studio-level or indie.

For the winner, Script Pipeline provides additional, long-term assistance to refine the pitch, or help the writer draft a polished screenplay. Our execs review the project and offer feedback at all stages of development. When the work is ready for circulation, we send the material to specific producers who would be a good match--a network of over 200 companies.

Submit a Movie Pitch | Submit a TV Show Pitch

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First Look Project Announces Winners

The 2018 Script Pipeline First Look Project category winners have now been announced. A total of $15,000 was awarded to top scripts, the FLP's biggest award season since launching in 2012. 

Full list:

7th Annual 2018 First Look Project Results

- SCREENPLAY -

Action/Adventure

Waitress #2 by Nathan Patton - Winner
Edison’s Ghosts by Kevin Bachar - Finalist

Comedy

Big Red by Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce - Winner
Henchman by Woody Bess - Finalist

Drama

Molly by Justin Kwon - Winner
Martha by CM Landrus - Finalist

Horror/Thriller

Method by Louis Paxton & Laurie Nunn - Winner
Scout by Sam Goodwin - Finalist

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Audrey 2.0 by Imogen Grace - Winner
Alieu the Dreamer by Quincy Ledbetter - Finalist
Encounters by Gary King - Finalist

- TELEPLAY -

Half-Hour

NPCs by Andrew Golder - Winner
Sleepers by Jeffrey Sutton - Finalist

Hour

Viral by Kevin Bachar - Winner
End of Life by Sean Collins-Smith - Finalist
Ten Thousand Islands by Peter Short & Sue Batterton - Finalist
John & Meryl by Jimmy Prosser - Finalist

Next season opens December 26th for early entry.

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Script Pipeline Interview - Justin D. James

Winner of the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with his drama Powerhouse, Justin D. James has stacked a bevy of lifelong experiences and used them as motivational fuel to move forward as a film and TV writer. His pilot, submitted to one of the most competitive seasons in Script Pipeline history, rose to the top thanks to a prodigious and intimate sense of character development and overall storytelling. After Justin’s win in 2018, he signed with management, landed major writing assignments, and has seen his young career begin to rise.

Powerhouse is built around a fairly standard premise that you ran with and made deeply compelling (and quite fun to read). Always curious how a writer gets so motivated to pursue an idea. Why this concept?

I’ve always been fascinated with stories that pull back the curtain on careers that appear mundane from the outside but are rife with entertainment on the inside. Real estate in central Florida hits that out of the park. The sunshine state is bursting with shady characters, and realtors have an all-access pass into a weirdo wonderland, unlike anything you can imagine. My mom was held at gunpoint on her first day as a realtor. By the end of her first week, she stumbled upon a body buried in a backyard. I quickly learned that no one talks about the ugly side of real estate. If the husbands and families of these realtors really knew how dangerous the job was, they’d never let them leave the house.

I became obsessed with tracking down these terrifying tales. I interviewed upwards of 50 realtors, all while documenting my mom’s crazy shenanigans. Situations that are so bizarre and frightening that they could only happen in Florida. People have tried to write shows around real estate in the past, but none have made it to air. That’s because they aren’t telling the best version of the story. No one wants to see a scripted version of House Hunters. There’s a unique subculture of Florida realtors that have experienced things other realtors in this country couldn’t imagine. I’ve heard from multiple producers that Powerhouse feels too outlandish to be real, and I always chuckle because I have 15 years of journals filled with true stories far more surreal and seedy than anything that’s currently on the page.

My mom has survived the craziest level of shit a writer can imagine and yet, still, was home every night for dinner. I owe it to her to tell these stories, and I’ll keep pounding the pavement until I get the opportunity.

After your win, you’ve been so gracious and grounded–the marks of someone who understands how many hills a writer needs to climb. You shared with us some of your own backstory, and it’s deeply inspiring. Loaded request, but: tell us about that road and why in the world you didn’t hang up writing and move on to something else?

(I’m not sure how to tell this story without telling the whole thing. . . .)

Doing something else, anything else, was always the easier option. As someone who grew up with dyslexia and dysgraphia, writing–while a passion–has always been incredibly challenging. You learn from an early age that what looks perfect to you most likely has a million tiny errors. And that doubt becomes a theme in your life. You stop trusting what you see and wait for others to tell you how it really is. This is a hill I climb every time I open my laptop. And it’s a hill I will continue to climb every day because it’s the only way I know how to feed the creative fire that’s been in me since I was a kid.

The same creative fire that gave me the guts to leave school and move to LA when I was 19. I didn’t know a single person. I had no money, no connections, and no plan. I lived out of my car for the first few weeks until I was able to talk my way into a PA position working the Oscars. That led to a string of production gigs that helped me keep the lights on while I wrote specs and stalked every rep in town. Begging reps to notice me was a full-time job. I emailed and called upwards of ten reps a day, every day, for 10 years. I had various shades of rejection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it took a toll, but not enough to ever make me quit. A few months living in LA, I spotted an up-and-coming actor at an LA Fitness in the valley. I went out on a limb and pitched him a feature. We were the same age, so I made up a movie that I’d wanna be in if I was him and afterward he asked to read the script. That night, I went home and wrote it. I didn’t sleep. The next day I gave it to him. A few days later, his manager called, and for six months things looked good. Too good. Unfortunately, the project never got off the ground. It was my first Hollywood heartbreak.

Over the next seven years, there were a lot of instances similar to that one. Situations that were absolute dream scenarios that got all the way to the top before crashing and going nowhere. It became a pattern. My friends started calling me the “almost kid.” That’s when I decided to turn to TV. I needed something new, and honestly, something that didn’t take so long to write. I figured that would make the heartbreak hurt a little less if the project didn’t work out. . . .

Read the Full Interview

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November 2018 Script Sales

Let’s start things off with a slew of projects picked up by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot: an untitled time travel story written by Ben Shiffrin; The Steps, Blair Butler’s twist on the possession genre; an untitled female-driven horror allegory by An Emmy for Megan’s Megan Amram; Courtney Hoffman’s The Seven Sisters of Scott County, which is about moonshining; a sci-fi romance Only the Lonely written by Dylan Meyer and Peter Glanz; and the “Clerks for a new generation” Everything Must Go, written by Lisa McQuillan and Logic, who is also set to star. (Whew!)

Other, non–J.J. Abrams script sales include:

- Legendary Pictures and The Gotham Group picked up Juel Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier’s near-future ByAll, which follows the aftermath of a post-LAPD Los Angeles.

- BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, Rideback, and New Line Cinemas are teaming up for the supernatural horror Dear David. Written by Mike Van Waes, the movie is based on the viral online story by Adam Ellis.

- Ridley Scott is set to go back to ancient Rome with a sequel to his Academy Award–winning movie Gladiator. Peter Craig has scripting duties this time.

- Warner Bros. and Paramount are teaming up to bring H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine to the screen again. Andy Muschietti is set to direct and will co-write with Barbara Muschietti. The sibling duo were also behind Mama and the recent It adaptation.

- Alcon Entertainment is moving forward with an animated Garfield adaptation. Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove are set to write, and Mark Dindal will direct. Bill Murray’s involvement is unclear and, based on that one scene in Zombieland, unlikely.

- Paul King and Jon Croker will adapt Glyn Maxwell’s novel-length poem Time’s Fool: A Tale In Verse for Fox Searchlight.

- Sony, Pascal Pictures, and Marvel are moving forward with an all-female animated spinoff from the recent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Bek Smith will write.

- Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld will write the Candymanreboot for MGM and Universal. Nia DaCosta to direct.

Read More Script Sales

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Sorry to Bother You - Screenplay

It’s difficult to summarize Sorry to Bother You. Written and directed by rapper Boots Riley (his debut film as both writer and director), the film is easily the most original of 2018, and it’s got things to say.

The story follows Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), who really needs a job. The only place that’s hiring (and will also hire anyone) is a local telemarketing firm. At first, everyone Cash calls almost immediately hangs up on him, which is not so great since Cash works on commission. Eventually, he takes the advice of his coworker Langston (Danny Glover) and begins to use a “white voice,” which sounds exactly like David Cross. (Cross’s voice was dubbed over to hilarious results.) Soon, he becomes the firm’s number one telemarketer, and his life begins improving. That is, until the fratty CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) takes an interest in Cash. From there, things quickly devolve.

Sorry to Bother You has been described as a spiritual cousin to Get Out in that it’s a genre movie that offers a commentary on race, among other things. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. Riley’s film adopts a much zanier, madcap tone and the cinematic language of music videos (think Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry, the latter of whom gets name-checked in one of the year’s most memorable sequences), and he combines absurdist, surreal humor with a searing invective of capitalism. (The lead character’s name is literally “Cash Is Green,” but the decided lack of subtlety actually works in the movie’s favor.) The film deals with the pernicious ways capitalism bolsters racism and serves as modern-day slavery, and everything in the film relates back to that theme, including a third-act twist that somehow manages to be utterly unexpected and jarring while also inevitable and totally fitting. The twist, and how Riley incorporates it into the final act, offers one of the sharpest rebukes of capitalism in recent memory—and the fact that the movie manages to remain darkly (and/or uncomfortably) hilarious through that plot development is a testament to Riley’s skills as a filmmaker.

(A note on that twist: If you’re one of those people who like to read the script before watching a movie, just don’t with this one. I know I shouldn’t encourage you to not read, especially since the script is such a great read, but this is a twist you want to know nothing about and see for the first time yourself. When you get halfway through the script, just stop reading and go watch it.)

Other films seem to be edging Sorry to Bother You out of the end-of-year, best-of conversations, which is a shame. This is one of those movies that stick with you for a while, and it will surely be talked about for years to come.

Read the Sorry to Bother You Screenplay

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2019 Season Now Open - Requesting Short Scripts and Films

The 2nd Annual Film Pipeline Competitions seek remarkable writers and directors with diverse, engaging work--the type defined by forward-thinking perspectives and unconventional yet universally appealing stories.

For produced shorts, Film Pipeline's platform is significantly different from the typical festival: selected entrants are given introductions to managers and agents for potential representation and extended promotion of their short or series pilot.

For unproduced scripts, Film Pipeline creates an opportunity to get your material made and collaborates with selected entrants from development to production.

Submit a Script | Submit a Film

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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 - Late Deadline: December 22nd

2018 Great TV Show Idea Contest - Late Deadline: December 22nd

2019 Screenwriting Competition - Pre-register by December 31st

2019 TV Writing Competition - Pre-register by December 31st

2019 First Look Project (screenplays and pilots) - Next Season Opens December 26th


Other Pipeline Competitions:

Book Pipeline - Fiction, Non-fiction

Film Pipeline - Short Films and Scripts

Script Pipeline is a division of Pipeline Media Group, LLC