was successfully added to your cart.
All Posts By

Script Pipeline

Screenwriting & TV Writing Competitions Deadline: May 1st, 2018

By | Slider

 Submit a Screenplay | Submit a Pilot

The annual Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing competitions continue a long tradition of connecting writers with top producers, agencies, and managers across both studio and independent markets.

Through a unique, long-term circulation process, Script Pipeline contest alumni have found representation, optioned their work, and had their scripts produced over the past 16 years as a direct result of Script Pipeline facilitation. The result thus far is $6 million in screenplays and pilots sold by competition finalists and “Recommend” writers since 2003.

“Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything.”
– Henry Dunham (writer/director)

Finalists are given exposure to Script Pipeline industry partners and the following:

  • $50,000 to winners
  • Development assistance with Script Pipeline execs
  • Personal introductions to managers, producers, agents, and others searching for new TV material, tailored to each individual project
  • Additional material review for potential circulation
  • Long-term circulation for all finalists (and select semifinalists)
  • Exclusive invitations to private writer/industry events hosted by Script Pipeline

“When I relocated from NYC to LA to pursue sitcom writing, everyone I met in the industry said it wasn’t about entering competitions, it was about entering the right competition. Script Pipeline was a turning point.”
– Howard Jordan Jr., TV Writing Contest Runner-up (Superior Donuts)

“With their rapidly expanding network of industry connections, Script Pipeline has continued to champion my script long after the competition, giving me invaluable access to industry circulation and promoting my career in ways that would otherwise be out of my reach.”
– Ashley Locher, Screenwriting Contest Runner-up (End of Life)

Submit a Screenplay | Submit a Pilot


Filming in 2018: Script Pipeline Contest Winner “Incident”

By | Slider, Success Stories

Henry Dunham’s The Incident at Sparrow Creek Lumber began production in March 2018 with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk producing. Dunham is making his feature directorial debut.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Henry was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Madhouse Entertainment.

“Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything.”
– Henry Dunham (writer/director, Militia)

The script was a unanimous pick amongst Script Pipeline staff for top honors. Both CEO Chad Clough and Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich pegged the screenplay as a fresh, relevant spin on the genre, and an “unquestionably strong calling card” for the up-and-coming Dunham.

“Couldn’t be happier for Henry,” said Misetich. “One of the most astute young writers I’ve met. He has such an incredible head start now. . . . Looking forward to seeing his career evolve in the years to come.”

Read Henry’s Script Pipeline interview

Submit to a Script Pipeline competition

Submit for notes and potential industry exposure

13th Great Movie Idea Contest Results

By | Great Movie Idea Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner

Mommy Is Missing by Matt MacDonald

Born with a fiery passion for storytelling and high-SPF sunblock, writer/director Matt MacDonald grew up in the sweltering desert heat of Phoenix, Arizona. Scourged by the sun’s villainous UV rays, Matt opted at an early age to embrace air conditioning — devouring books, video games, and large quantities of sugared cereal.

An accomplished voice-over actor and nationally published author, Matt received his MFA in Film & Television Production from the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts. His work has screened at more than 40 film festivals worldwide (including the Palm Springs International ShortFest and San Diego Comic-Con), been highlighted multiple times as a Vimeo Staff Pick, and featured by the likes of Mashable, Kotaku, io9, Bloody Disgusting, Rolling Stone, and HBO’s Project Greenlight. Matt’s dad frequently tells him to “keep up the good work.”

As a writer, director, and editor, Matt has worked with brands such as Microsoft, Playboy, McDonald’s, Nike, Activision/Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Taco Bell, among many others. He was most recently selected as a writing fellow to the 2017 Shudder Labs, an independent horror development retreat produced by AMC, as well as directed the viral sensation “Not Normal,” a 12-minute animated short film created entirely with the video game Grand Theft Auto V and nominated for a 2018 MPSE Golden Reel Award. Collectively, Matt’s work has amassed close to 16 million online views.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spin class, theoretical science, and pie. His favorite Beatles song is “Hey Jude” and you’ll frequently find him in one of the many Greater Los Angeles Area Yogurtlands.


Seen by Cate Smierciak & Nick Clifford

11th Great TV Show Idea Contest Results

By | Great TV Show Idea Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner

Pro Losers by Dan Perlman

Dan Perlman is a stand-up comedian and writer from New York City. Dan performs stand-up every night at some of the top clubs andalternative rooms in the city, recently headlining Caroline’s on Broadway. Dan created and wrote an animated series, That’s My Bus!, which received a pilot order from FOX after winning 1st place at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. Dan has appeared on TruTV, MTV2, and as a cast member on MTV’s Vidiots. As a writer-filmmaker, he has had four projects featured in the New York Television Festival, most recently the award-winning comedy series, Flatbush Misdemeanors, in which he co-stars and co-writes/directs. On radio, Dan was a writer for SiriusXM’s Bennington and Comedy Contributor for Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Radio. Dan wrote for the 2017 WGA Awards, hosted by Lewis Black, and the 2018 WGA Awards, hosted by Amber Ruffin. As a stand-up, Dan’s festival credits include New York Comedy Festival, SF Sketchfest, Boston Comedy Festival, New Orleans Hell Yes Fest, and Finger Lakes Comedy Competition (2015, 1st place).


Cora Strayer, Private Detective by Kevin Leahy & Paul Reda

January 2018 Script Sales

By | Script Sales


January kicked off 2018 with a slow start. Mental Pictures has picked up Joseph and John Magary’s Charlotte XVI, a romantic drama that follows the love lives of a 16-year-old girl and her mother. Myna Joseph will direct, and Maya Hawke will star. Derek Kolstad’s action/thriller script Nobody found a home at STX Entertainment. Bob Odenkirk is set to star and produce. Amazon picked up Task Force Two, an action pitch from Jennifer Yee McDevitt. The story will follow an elite search-and-rescue team in California. Genesius Pictures has entered pre-production with Mrs Lowery and Son, written by and based on the play by Martyn Hesford. Adrian Noble will direct. Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave will star. Universal picked up My Own Worst Enemy, an action/comedy script by Chad St. John. Kevin Hart to star/produce.

Other script sales:

– Jon Felson has been tapped to adapt environmentalist Julia Butterfly Hill’s memoir The Legacy of Luna for Gulfstream Pictures.

– Jac Schaeffer is set to script the Black Widow movie for Marvel.

– Stephen Daldry to direct Jack Thorne’s untitled script about Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini, who qualified for the 2016 Olympics under the first Team Refugee. The film has been set up at Working Title Films.

– Peter Chiarelli to write a script based a treatment from Jessica Chastain and Kelly Carmichael for Universal. The untitled comedy follows two women battling the elements as they try to get home for the holidays. Chastain and Octavia Spencer to star.

– Disney has tapped Stephany Folsom to write Toy Story 4.

– Emily V. Gordon will adapt Cynthia D’Apri’s The Nest for Amazon.

Mudbound – Screenplay

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Directed by Dee Rees and written by Rees and Virgil Williams from Hillary Jordan’s novel, Mudbound tracks the relationships between the white McAllan family, who recently bought a farm in Mississippi, and the Jackson family, who live and work on the land, before and after World War II. Although some of the elements may feel familiar—racism in the pre-Civil Rights-era South is well-trodden territory in both literature and film—Mudbound mixes race relations with PTSD, alcoholism, abject poverty, the horrors of war, masculinity, depression, and a Southern Gothic style, giving the film an epic feel that explores the full breadth of human emotion. As much as it is a movie about bigotry and discrimination, it’s also a film about the universality of pain, depression, and suffering—and how that pain can trickle down and turn back into bigotry and discrimination. Even though the majority of the characters face poverty, the script makes it clear that a racial hierarchy pervaded 1940’s rural Mississippi, both through subtle moments like Henry McAllan’s treatment of his land’s tenants to the explicit epithets Henry’s father frequently spouts, and this hierarchy simmers throughout the film until it finally boils over in a climax brutal and distressing in its realism.

Rees and Williams’ Academy Award–nominated script turns frequently to voice over, allowing the audience to get inside the heads of each of the six main characters. Though voice over often becomes a liability in lesser hands, the narration (coupled with Rees’ cerebral direction and cinematographer Rachel Morrison’s Oscar-nominated cinematography) gives the film a poetic feel in which the characters’ shared experiences and diverging perspectives fold on each other to paint a complex, unflinching, and epic portrait of the era, recalling older human dramas like John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley and The Grapes of Wrath. “Show, don’t tell” is an enduring saying that will likely never go away, but the elegiac elegance of Mudbound’s voice over justifies itself, college writing course axioms be damned.

Although the screenplay, the direction, and the visuals provide an excellent draw, the actors give the story pathos, and Jason Mitchell and Garrett Hedlund do their best to carry it as two veterans who befriend each other, but Mary J. Blige steals the show. Blige gives a standout performance that’s both emotive and understated—and she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role. (She also scored a Best Song nom for the closing credits song.)

Mudbound is a rarity in modern film—an epic character study about racism that not only does justice to each of its characters but also looks to the past to tell a story relevant to our present. For that alone, it’s necessary viewing—and it’s on Netflix, so if you’re a subscriber, you’ve got no excuse.

Read the Mudbound Screenplay

Los Angeles Times Interviews Script Pipeline’s CEO Chad Clough – 2018

By | Press, Slider

In the January 19th, 2018 edition of the LA Times, Chad Clough, Script Pipeline Executive and CEO of Pipeline Media Group, was quoted on the state of the spec market: “Right now, the industry wants original voices. . . . There’s still a need for an excellent script.”

Writer Chris Erskine, gleaning interviews from Clough, screenwriter Nicholas Kazan (Reversal of Fortune), and producer Elizabeth Cantillon, commented on the decline of the spec script and how a resurgence may be forthcoming:

“Clough, of Script Pipeline, says the spec market could be—like old vinyl or vintage guitars—a thing of the past and the future. He cites an increasing voracious marketplace, as evidenced by Netflix’s pledge to produce 80 new original movies in 2018. So could the corpse soon rise from the dead, for a surprise Hollywood ending, even a fresh life?”

Read the full LA Times article

Submit to a Script Pipeline Writing Competition

December 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

Closing out 2017, Hollywood slowed down in December on account of the holiday season. Warner Bros. and Safehouse Pictures picked up Leo Sardarian’s sci-fi/action spec The Expansion Project. The script follows a rookie female marine who ends up stranded on a planet. San Andreas‘s Brad Peyton is attached to direct. Guillermo del Toro’s Del Toro Productions is teaming with Fox Searchlight and Phantom Four Films to produce the supernatural horror/thriller Antlers. Written by Nick Antosca and Henry Chaisson, the spec follows a young teacher who discovers a deadly supernatural secret connected to the father of one of her students. Hostiles director Scott Cooper is currently in talks. Rickey Castleberry and Zimran Jacob’s college comedy Swag has found a home with Estevan/Sheen Productions. Kevin Pollack to direct.

Other script sales:

– Rashida Jones to adapt the graphic novel Goldie Vance for Twentieth Century Fox. Jones will also direct.

– Mairghread Scott to write the animated feature Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors for Marvel Entertainment.

– Guillermo del Toro will write and direct an adaptation of the noir thriller Nightmare Alley for Fox Searchlight.

– Greg Pierce to adapt Hannah Kent’s novel Burial Rights. Jennifer Lawrence is attached to produce/star, and Call Me By Your Name‘s Luca Guadagnino will direct.

– Joel David Moore to write/direct an adaption of Huh Jung’s Hide and Seek for CJ Entertainment.

– Mark L. Smith has been tapped to script a new Star Trek movie, based on an idea from Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino will possibly direct.

SMILF – Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

For the better part of a decade, the half-hour dramedy has been a staple of premium cable. Led by shows like Sex and the City and Weeds, many of these series combine biting humor, sympathetic yet edgy female leads, and serious themes. Often, this combination can be a delicate balancing act, and even the best dramedies can occasionally fall too far on the comedy–drama continuum and cause tonal whiplash. It takes truly talented writers, directors, and actors to keep this balance intact.

That’s part of the reason why SMILF is so impressive. Created by and starring Frankie Shaw (who also directed the pilot), SMILF follows Shaw’s Bridgett Bird, a 20-something single mother in Boston. The title stands for “Single Mother I’d Like to…” (you can probably complete the rest), but don’t let that stop you—the title betrays what is ultimately a realistic portrayal of single motherhood with a tone that, although comedic, feels true to life. Throughout the series, Bridgette tries to navigate life as she balances work and her audition schedule, attempts to have a normal sex life, worries that her sex life will never be normal again, struggles to pay the bills, and acts like she’s fine with her ex and his new girlfriend all while raising a toddler mostly as a single mother. Bridgette is an easy character to sympathize with, and every plot point is in service of her wants and herself as a person.

Although much changed between Shaw’s original draft and the final product, the framework for the series can be clearly seen in the script, and if anything, the changes helped refine Bridgette, her goals, and her relationships with those around her. Each of the series’ actors brings it—Shaw fully and perfectly embodies Bridgette, and the supporting cast (which includes Miguel Gomez, Samara Weaving, Rosie O’Donnell, and Connie Britton) also deliver.

Ultimately, SMILF is an exquisitely funny show that doubles as an honest, unapologetic look at a character we hardly see.

Read the SMILF Pilot

Dave Bautista Starring in Script Pipeline Contest Winner – 2018

By | Slider, Success Stories

The action-comedy Stuber, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner Tripper Clancy, attached Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) in December 2017. Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) and John Francis Daley (Bones) producing. 20th Century Fox picked up the script, based on a pitch developed by Tripper and manager Jake Wagner (Good Fear), in April 2016.

Tripper was one of the Grand Prize Winners of the 2010 competition. Soon after, Script Pipeline execs linked him with Jake, initiating a long working relationship that has led to projects set up at Sony, Fox, Hasbro, Paramount, and Mandalay, where he’s adapting the acclaimed novel The Art of Fielding.

Submit to a Script Pipeline competition

Submit for notes and potential industry exposure