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Script Pipeline

The Martian – Screenplay

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Story is conflict. It should seem obvious, but in order to have a compelling story, the characters need to face conflict and overcome obstacles with stakes high enough that the audience roots for the characters to succeed. The Martian takes these basic fundamentals and ratchets everything up to an 11. Based on the novel by Andy Weir and adapted by Drew Goddard, The Martian follows astronaut and botanist Mark Watney’s fight for survival after he is accidentally stranded on Mars. The premise is simple (and high-concept!) enough—it’s Castaway on a distant planet. From there, everything that can go wrong does. He’s running out of food and has to find a way to grow potatoes on Mars, he has to fix pretty much every piece of equipment including the base he’s living in, he has to find a way to contact Earth with outdated and outmoded technology… it’s the ultimate fight for survival. Weir…

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June 2019 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

Lionsgate, Point Grey Pictures, and 3Pas Studios have picked up Jeff Bushell’s comedy/fantasy spec Bad Dog. The story follows Satan’s favorite dog after he is mistakenly booted from Hell and adopted by an unsuspecting family. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are set to produce. Jill Soloway will write and direct the Red Sonja movie for Millennium Films. Their film will be based on the character created by Robert E. Howard and comic writer Roy Thomas. Over at Screen Gems, Bert V. Royal is set to write and direct a spinoff for Easy A. Royal wrote the original screenplay. Finally, Quentin Tarantino and Jerrod Carmichael are teaming up to write the sequel/crossover Django/Zorro. The movie will be based on the comic book by Quentin Tarantino, Matt Wagner and Esteve Polls. Other script sales include: – Zack Andrews and Bobby Roe have been tapped to rewrite Dan Kay’s A Wicked Tale for…

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Searching for High-Concept Scripts – Submit by September 15th

By | Slider

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/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/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 Out, Us), 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. Unlike Script Pipeline’s main Screenwriting and TV writing competitions, entries for First Look are judged equally on writing ability and commercial potential. The originality of the concept and a strong understanding of genre and marketplace trends will take precedence, as well as overall writing ability. Submit a Script 

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2019 TV Writing Contest Results

By | TV Writing Contest Finalists

Winners announced at July 27th event in Los Angeles Finalists Blood of the Vine by Daniel Kavanagh D1 by Brooke Buffington & Maddy Curley Glacier Point by Alan Baxter Laurel Canyon by Joshua Estes Redflags by Nathan Patton Signature by Jess McKillop The Chelsea Hotel by Warner Wood The School by Adam Rocke Uncanny Valley by Joshua Salzberg Welcome to You by Courtney Burness Semifinalists Best & Brightest by Adam Lederer & Burke Scurfield Blood of the Vine by Daniel Kavanagh BoJack Horseman – “Crowchella” by Adam Pasen D1 by Brooke Buffington & Maddy Curley Galápagos by Lukas Hassel Glacier Point by Alan Baxter Hell Bent by Andrew Martin Robinson Laurel Canyon by Joshua Estes Liberty Falls by Robert Attenweiler Miserere by Fabrizio Muscia Mom’s Club by Jennifer Williams On Cannery Row by P.J. Palmer & Eric Enno Tamm Powerless by Jess Harris-DiStefano Redflags by Nathan Patton Signature by Jess…

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2019 Screenwriting Contest Results

By | Screenwriting Contest Finalists

Winners announced at July 27th event in Los Angeles Finalists America Online by Ariel Sobel Animal by Milena Korolczuk Darryn the Bold and the Sword of Boldness by Justin Best Molly by Justin Kwon Somewhere Lies the Truth by Elizabeth Musgrave Song of Myself by Warner Wood The Bitterroot Chronicles by Debbie Castanha The Heeler by Darcy Bahensky The Motherfuckin’ Ruckus by Joseph Tower & Alexander Gradet Visitation by Helen Gaughran Semifinalists America Online by Ariel Sobel Animal by Milena Korolczuk Big Red by Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce Blood Knot by Jess McKillop Darryn the Bold and the Sword of Boldness by Justin Best Deepfake by Alex Payne Disc by Nicola Quilter Figment by Kelly Luu & Kevin Luu Intergalactic by David L. Williams It’s a Christmas Miracle, Charlie Brown by Tom Radovich Leviathan by Gabriel Feinberg Love Don’t Go by Barry Galperin Molly by Justin Kwon Sick by…

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Netflix and CBS Series Staffs Script Pipeline Contest Finalist

By | Slider, Success Stories

Howard Jordan Jr., runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with the comedy Family Be Like, was staffed on the CBS series Superior Donuts in 2017. His first solo-written episode, “Sofia’s Choice,” aired in February 2018. The show starred Judd Hirsch, Jermaine Fowler, Katy Sagal, and Maz Jobrani. Superior Donuts was his first writing opportunity on a network series. He later joined the staff of Netflix’s Family Reunion, starring Tia Mowry (Sister, Sister) and the CBS sitcom The Unicorn in 2019. “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,” Howard said. “Script Pipeline was the turning point.” Read Howard’s latest Script Pipeline interview here.

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May 2019 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

For this month in script sales, we start off with Voicemails for Isabelle. The romantic comedy spec, written by Leah McKendrick, was picked up by Escape Artists and Sony and follows a woman dating in Los Angeles. Sharon Maguire is in talks to direct, and Hailee Steinfeld will star. Next we have the suspense/horror spec Don’t Go in the Water, which was written by Peter Gaffney and found a home with Universal Pictures, 21 Laps Entertainment, and Lit Entertainment Group. The story follows an alcoholic in an isolated cabin who contends with a massive tentacled creature in the nearby lake and fights to survive. Other script sales: – Miss Universe found a home with, appropriately, Universal Pictures. Abe Forsythe’s script is described as Miss Congeniality meets Men in Black. Forsythe will direct, Lupita Nyong’o is set to produce and star. – Jane Campion is adapting Thomas Savage’s novel The Power…

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Big Little Lies – Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Melodrama is perhaps the most derided genre there is. Often, critics use the word as a euphemism for entertainment with poorly written, on-the-nose dialogue and exaggerated emotions and performances. But when done right, melodrama draws audiences in and establishes an irresistible tone while exploring narratives with rich themes. Written by David E. Kelley from Liane Moriarty’s novella, Big Little Lies certainly has large emotions. At certain times, it feels like scenes exist solely for the murderers’ row of actresses (which includes—deep breath—Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley) to chew every piece of scenery in sight. However, every emotion is grounded and true to character. The show’s central characters—later dubbed the “Monterey Five” in season two—each has her own issues and conflicts to work through, including rape, spousal abuse, and bullying. Big Little Lies deals with these themes sensitively and insightfully, elevating what could have been…

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Child’s Play, Written by Script Pipeline Contest Winner, Released in 2019

By | Slider

Winner of the 2011 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with his screenplay Henchman, Tyler Burton Smith’s career has soared in recent years, most recently with the Child’s Play reboot starring Aubrey Plaza and Mark Hamill. Previously, Tyler worked with Gil Kenan (Poltergeist) on an adaptation of the popular video game Five Nights at Freddy’s and co-wrote Kung Fury 2 with David Sandberg, the original creator of the Kung Fury short. The film wraps production in 2019 and stars Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eiza Gonzalez.

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Script Pipeline Contest Winner “The Standoff at Sparrow Creek” Released 2019

By | Slider, Success Stories

Henry Dunham’s The Standoff at Sparrow Creek released in January 2019, featuring the ensemble cast of James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Chris Mulkey (Whiplash), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk produced. Dunham makes his feature directorial debut. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It made its West Coast premiere at Beyond Fest in Hollywood in October 2018. “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, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek) Formerly titled 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,…

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Los Angeles Times Interviews Script Pipeline’s CEO Chad Clough

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…

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Feature Film “Between,” Developed by Script Pipeline, Premieres at Sundance

By | Slider, Success Stories

Writer Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to director David Ocanas by Script Pipeline CEO Chad Clough. In March 2004, the film was greenlit for production and principal photography started in late May in Tijuana, Mexico. The lower-budget feature starred Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable, Without a Trace), Danny Pino, and Jose Yenque (Traffic). It made its Sundance premiere in 2004 and later aired exclusively on Lifetime. According to David Ocanas, “After struggling for months trying to find the right writer for a film project I wished to produce and direct, one call to Chad Clough of Script Pipeline made all the difference. Script Pipeline brought us a writer who has given our story new and exciting elements, and thereby giving us a greater opportunity in making a successful film.” From the LA Times: “San Francisco-based writer Rob Nelms is another lucky one. His psychological thriller Between made its debut at Sundance this year. ‘I sent a comedy…

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April 2019 Script Sales

By | 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: –…

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The Favourite – Screenplay

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

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…

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