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First Look Project - 7 Categories for Screenplays and Pilots

Early Deadline: June 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/AdventureComedyDramaHorror/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.

All entrants may schedule a no-cost 15-minute call with our Creative Executive, who can answer any general questions on the industry or the Script Pipeline process.

Submit to the First Look Project

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Script Pipeline Interview - Kevin Jones

A 3-time Screenwriting Competition finalist  and eventual competition winner (the 2013 Great TV Show Idea Contest) with his pitch for the adventure/fantasy Horizon, Kevin Jones has been more involved with Script Pipeline than any other writer to date. His work is best labeled as “grounded with a twist of supernatural,” but it was his phenomenal crime/drama screenplay Southbound that first gained traction with Script Pipeline execs in 2009. While continuing to pursue film and TV, Kevin has also branched off into writing fiction.

You’ve been in the Script Pipeline fold for. . . many, many years now. We’ve kind of seen the evolution–and the creative and career struggles–firsthand. Lots of close calls, and while we’re glad we helped play a part in some of those, we’re also just as dejected that the big hits haven’t yet panned out. But you’ve kept writing. Non-stop. What gives you the motivation?

The main motivators for me, to be a bit sappy about it, are all the people rooting for me, who’ve become invested in this little adventure of mine over the years. At this point, were I to stop, it would be like cancelling a TV series just as things are picking up. Okay, so maybe that’s a slightly inflated example. But Script Pipeline, my wife, friends and family and writing colleagues, they’ve all been with me since day one. They’re often all more optimistic than I am, which has kept me afloat on more than one occasion. I want to pay it back, and stories are my currency.

Which leads me to my second motivator. Storytelling is the only thing in the world I’m pretty good at, followed by video games and sometimes cooking, so not a ton to fall back on. But in all seriousness, there’s very little that I find as fulfilling, that gives me that sense of purpose, like “yeah, this is what I’m here to do,” than writing. And hearing people read–and actually enjoyed–my stories? Nothing like it.

In your Script Pipeline winning pitch Horizon, which we thoroughly enjoyed helping you develop into a pilot, you and writing partner Erik Howell created an outstanding canvas for a long-running series. It’s turned some heads in the past few years, and we’ve unabashedly labeled it “the best overall TV pilot we’ve ever read” (well, as of this interview). Without getting into the details of the concept, tell us how you formulated the story from its early stages, how it took shape, and why you chose to draw from mythology.

It actually came into being rather unexpectedly, while I was struggling to find a Big Story to tell. I tend to write small, very character-driven genre stories, and have always been encouraged to think bigger, more high concept, all that. The very first form Horizon took was a single sentence on a legal pad, as the pitch for a feature film. I tried to develop that feature back in 2010, which was met with stern disapproval given the cost of it (Me: “So it’s set on a ship–” Them: “Nope.”). I even tried writing the feature version, out of spite, but it was just so overwhelming, it could go so many places and had too much potential to be constrained to two hours. It wasn’t until the Great Idea Contest that I really started thinking of it as a series, which of course was the perfect vehicle for something of this scope. I’d never done anything TV before, so it was all new to me. I came up with that three page pitch in a very short period of time (I winged it) and it just. . . worked. Conceptually, at least. It’s evolved a lot since then, but that’s when I–and Script Pipeline–knew something was there.

I drew a lot from my childhood when developing the show, which probably sounds really weird if you know what the show is about. But I was a Lego fanatic as a kid. Only child, big yard. I staged epic stories full of wildly disparate characters and aesthetics (different Lego sets) who were all somehow occupying this time and space at once, and that became a cornerstone in the building of this show’s world. Erik and I developed a Why Not? philosophy, to keep us from limiting ourselves and falling into ruts. Rather than approach exciting what-ifs with “too far-fetched,” or “it breaks things,” we say, “why not try it and see what happens?” Given the nature of the show, it would be a disservice to not shoot for the stars at every opportunity. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and often we uncover absolute gems. In my original outline, the main cast came face-to-face with a fantastical new enemy at the close of season one. It’s a This Changes Everything twist. During a phone call, Script Pipeline suggested we meet these characters at the end of the pilot. Which definitely broke things. But. . . why not? So we did it. And that change made the show.

I half-joke when I say I drew from myth as a way to make it easier to market. I had the pitch developed before noticing the obvious parallels, and I just thought it was such a cool way to retell and reimagine this timeless odyssey, so I went all in. I’d never done anything like that, and it was really fun and challenging, swimming through this classic tale and finding interesting ways to translate it into this new world and journey we were building. And maybe, just maybe, it would make the project that much more approachable and exciting for studios and audiences alike.

Read the Full Interview

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April 2019 Script Sales 

With most of the WGA having fired their agents, things slowed down a little in terms of script sales. Red Wagon Pictures and Sony Pictures have scooped Thomas O’Donnell’s spec I Heart Murder, a female-driven horror crime/thriller. Meanwhile, Lionsgate and Temple Hill Productions have picked up Matt Lieberman’s comedy spec Meet the MacHines. The story follows two robots who try to find a family for their recently deceased creator’s son as they to blend in modern suburbia. Good Fear, BRON Studios, and Kituufu Films have picked up Sabrina. The script, written by Kristen Buckley, tells the true story of Sabrina Greenlee, single mother to four children (including NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins) who was attacked and left for dead but nevertheless persevered. Sam Bailey will direct. John Wikstrom’s 2018 Black List thriller AMA (Ask Me Anything) found a home with Assemble Media. Zelda Williams will direct.

Other script sales:

- Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have a new script! The Oscar-nominated writers’ Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar found a home with Lionsgate and Gloria Sanchez Productions. Wiig and Mumolo will star, Josh Greenbaum will direct.
- Greg Russo will adapt the video game Saints Row for Warner Bros. F. Gary Gray is attached to direct.
- Universal has hired Nic Pizzolatto to rewrite Ghost Army, based on Rick Beyer & Elizabeth Sayles’ book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery. Ben Affleck will produce and direct.
- Gary Dauberman will script an adaptation of Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot for New Line Cinema. James Wan will produce.
- And over at Legendary Pictures, Alex Ross Perry will write/direct an adaptation of Stephen King’s “Rest Stop.”
- Akela Cooper will script the sequel to The Nun for New Line.
Killing Eveand Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is polishing the script for the 25th Bond movie.
- Amy Jump will script the sequel to last year’s Tomb Raider reboot for MGM and Warner Bros.
- John August is set to write and direct Summer Loving, Paramount’s prequel to Grease.

Read More Script Sales

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The Favourite - Screenplay

Perhaps the biggest surprise at this year’s Oscars was Olivia Colman taking the Best Actress trophy. In the lead up, most pundits assumed the competition was between Lady Gaga and perennial nominee Glenn Close, but Colman managed to swoop in and nab the prize. It was an unexpected moment, but one that was incredibly well-deserved.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite takes historical figure Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and uses her life to craft a compelling story of loss, romance, and the pursuit of power. Davis and McNamara place Anne at the center of a love triangle as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), and Sarah’s estranged cousin Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) compete to curry Anne’s favor. Sarah is the Queen’s current “favourite”—she’s Anne’s righthand woman and also lover, and Abigail envies her for it. What pursues is a darkly comic costume drama, with Sarah and Abigail doing whatever it takes to gain power.

The movie’s greatest triumph is Anne’s character. At times, the Queen behaves like a petulant child, but she’s still a sympathetic figure. She suffers from gout and must constantly endure the pain that goes with it; she had seventeen pregnancies yet no children (the oldest lived 20 months, but most of her other pregnancies ended in either stillbirths or miscarriages) and keeps seventeen pet rabbits in their memory; and everyone uses her for their own selfish means. Colman’s pitch-perfect performance, Lanthimos’ precise direction, and Davis and McNamara’s sharp writing capture so much pain and longing. However, they never abandon the film’s tone, and the tone never cheapens Anne’s story.

The film’s historicity is debatable, and they surely took liberties here and there (rabbits weren’t a common pet in the early 1700s), but the movie nevertheless is a compelling portrait of a queen and the loneliness of being a monarch. It’s a great movie that sadly didn’t win more Oscars, but The Favourite will be remembered for years to come.

Read The Favourite Script

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Producing and Financing Short Scripts

Winner Receives:
$5,000 | industry exposure | financing consideration

The 2nd Annual Film Pipeline Short Script Competition provides an opportunity for writers and directors to get their material produced. Long-recognized by the industry as an avenue to scout unique, diverse voices, short-form content has become a vital calling card in attracting representation or seeing a proof-of-concept adapted into a feature. Film Pipeline eases the immense challenge of making a short by collaborating with selected entrants from development to production. Open to any genre, experimental or narrative, the contest supports imaginative storytellers in carrying their vision to screen.

Winner and runner-up awarded:

• $5,000 to winner; $1,000 split between runners-up

• Script development and notes from Film Pipeline's executive team

• Industry exposure to specific partners for production support

• Additional reviews of other film and TV scripts, with circulation consideration

• Potential financing of the short, separate from the winner and runner-up prizes

• Invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

Submit a Short Script

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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

2019 Screenwriting Competition - FINAL DEADLINE: May 31st

2019 TV Writing Competition - FINAL DEADLINE: May 31st

2019 First Look Project (screenplays and pilots) - June 1st

2019 Great Movie Idea Contest - Early Deadline: June 15th

2019 Great TV Show Idea Contest - Early Deadline: June 15th


Other Pipeline Competitions:

 

Book Pipeline - Fiction, Non-fiction

Film Pipeline - Short Films and Scripts

Script Pipeline is a division of Pipeline Media Group, LLC