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Script Pipeline

Script Pipeline Finalist “Sgt. Will Gardner” Produced

By Slider

A top 20 finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition, Sgt. Will Gardner released in February 2019. Written/directed by and starring Max Martini (The Unit) the film centers on an American veteran coping with homelessness, PTSD, and the long journey toward emotional recovery, highlighting the very real concerns of vets. A percentage of the film’s profits were donated to three veterans charities: Higher Ground, Warriors Heart, and the Special Operations Charity Network. Watch Sgt. Will Gardner on Amazon

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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fix pretty much every piece of equipment including the base he’s living in, he has to find a way to contact Earth with outdated and outmoded technology… it’s the ultimate fight for survival.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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2019 TV Writing Contest Results

By TV Writing Contest Finalists

Winner Redflags by Nathan Patton Nathan Patton didn’t grow up in a rural Arkansas town, population 85 — he grew up on the outskirts of that town. That seclusion led to a lot of time spent inside his imagination, writing and drawing his own comic books, or acting out unmade Indiana Jones sequels in the woods and creeks behind his house. While he’s still inexperienced at adulting, but he did eventually get a job, doing some work in the comics field, and working as a freelance journalist and political cartoonist before eventually deciding to get his MFA in Writing. He’s a former Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where he still lives with his wife, son, and dog — all of whom are way cooler than him (for one thing, they never talk about themselves in the third person). His feature script, Waitress #2, won the 2018…

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2019 Screenwriting Contest Results

By Screenwriting Contest Finalists

Winner Visitation by Helen Gaughran Helen Gaughran grew up in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, Ireland–the tiny hometown of James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw (who have also enjoyed modest writing success). There, she attended a castle-convent where she was taught Latin, discipline and a love of literature by nuns who could easily have played Bridge professionally. She graduated from an Irish university you’ve never heard of and moved to San Francisco, where she worked as a waitress until she won a green card in the lottery. (God bless America!) She proceeded to squander her good fortune by working in a raft of ad agencies, where she picked up a One Show pencil and a Clio (along with the urge to write something more personal and meaningful). Helen has written three other feature screenplays: Pop Psychology, The Patriot Test and The Domina Effect. She also won an all-Ireland medal for math at…

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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

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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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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March 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

Paramount Pictures and Temple Hill Productions won out in a bidding war for Kay Oyegun’s comedy spec Assisted Living. The story follows a thief who hides out from her old crew in a retirement home. Entertainment One and The Picture Co. picked up the sci-fi/thriller Out There. Ian Levy’s spec follows a family fighting to survive after a mysterious event changes the world. David Bruckner is attached to direct. Finally, Zach Baylin’s King Richard, a spec based on Richard Williams’ efforts to bring his daughters Venus and Serena to tennis superstardom, found a home with Star Thrower Entertainment and Overbrook Entertainment. Will Smith is attached to star and produce. Other script sales: – Sony picked up Derek Kolstad and Gerard McMurray’s pitch Booker, described as a John Wick-esque thriller with an African American lead. – Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms are set to adapt Carol Burnett’s memoir Carrie And Me…

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Screenplay

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

It’s always nice when the Oscars get it right. It doesn’t happen every time, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Best Animated Feature win was incredibly well-deserved—it was one of last year’s best movies, animated or live-action. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman and written by Phil Lord and Rothman, and based on Marvel’s Spider-Verse comics, the story follows Miles Morales as he explores his nascent spidey-powers after (spoiler) Peter Parker’s death and helps other Spider-People from elsewhere in the multiverse return to their respective universes. One issue superhero movies can run into is stakes. Unless, for example, Chris Evans wants to retire from the role, you’re not gonna see Captain America die (apologies for the potential Avengers: Endgame spoiler). So it’s necessary for writers and directors to include compelling relationships for the hero to raise the stakes. In Into the Spider-Verse, Miles’ relationships with his father and…

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