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Script Pipeline

2017 Screenwriting Contest Results

By | Screenwriting Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner Getaway by Joshua Paul Johnson & Jamie Napoli Joshua Paul Johnson is a writer, director, and sound editor working between Los Angeles and Albuquerque. In 2014 he wrote the screenplay for the short film Tomorrow, which has screened at 27 festivals worldwide. It won the Audience Award for Best Overall Short Film at the 17th FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Women and Minorities in Media Film Festival, as well as the Best Student Film Award at the Desperado LGBT Film Festival. He won the Best Editing Award at the 2014 Women’s Independent Film Festival for his work as co-editor on the documentary Wheels: An American Dream (dir. Sara Joe Wolansky) as well as the award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound at the 2016 First Look Film Festival for the DGA award winning short The Lost City of Tomorrow (dir. Auden Bui.) Recently, he completed a…

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2017 TV Writing Contest Results

By | TV Writing Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner Default by Hannah Dillon Hannah began screenwriting while studying Dramatic Literature at NYU and interning for documentary film production companies in New York City (4th Row Films, The Documentary Group). Her favorite writing teacher told her, “Read the screenplays for the movies you’ve seen a thousand times, and see what you discover.” She immediately read the scripts for Goodfellas, When Harry Met Sally, and Shawshank Redemption, and discovered that compelling screenwriting is the most awesome thing, ever. When Hannah isn’t creating her own material, she’s siphoning great literature, film, TV, and comedy into her soul like her life depends on it (it does). Hannah has a passion for thrillers and dark comedies. In fact, comedy is her other love, second only to writing, and the two often fuel each other. She has studied Improv and Sketch Writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, under Mark Rennie, Rachael Mason, Eric Scott,…

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

World building is an essential element to any pilot. Some shows require more than others (e.g., shows with deeper mythologies like The X-Files or Fringe demand more groundwork in the pilot than a typical sitcom would), but at minimum, the audience needs to have some sense of the show’s setting before they can truly connect to the pilot’s story and agree to spend twenty or more hours with the series. “Offred,” the pilot episode of The Handmaid’s Tale (written by Bruce Miller and Ilene Chaiken and based on Margaret Atwood’s novel), eschews many of the finer details of how this dystopian, authoritarian state of Gilead, a near-future version of New England, came about. We do get some hints—there was an infertility epidemic and many characters speak of the radiated outlands—but instead of overwhelming us with specifics, the pilot opts to paint a compelling picture of life inside this world, particularly…

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Santino Fontana, Dania Ramirez Star in Script Pipeline Finalist Romcom, Released in 2018

By | Slider, Success Stories

Off the Menu, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist Jen Goldson, was released in early 2018. Industry partner Jay Silverman (Girl on the Edge), who directed the romcom, picked up the project in 2015. Silverman and producer Bethany Cerrona were introduced to Goldson by Script Pipeline execs. “Off the Menu came about 100% due to Script Pipeline,” Goldson said. “I was a finalist in the 2015 Screenplay Competition and attended their writer/industry event. There were a lot of producers there, but I remember [Script Pipeline Director of Development] Matt Misetich steering me toward Jay Silverman and Bethany Cerrona, saying they would appreciate my work–and they did! We soon had a meeting where I pitched the script, and boom: Jay offered to option the script right then and there, promising to make it. A year later, Jay, my director, was very true to his word, and we wrapped what I hope is a warm…

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Enlightened – Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Enlightened is the best TV show ever made. Is that hyperbole? Maybe. At the very least, it’s probably the best TV show you haven’t watched. Created by stars Laura Dern (Big Little Lies, Inland Empire) and Mike White (School of Rock, Orange County) and written entirely by White (literally…he wrote every episode), the series follows Dern’s Amy Jellicoe, a self-destructive executive who has a very public breakdown in the pilot’s opening minutes and is subsequently fired. From there, she goes to a treatment center in Hawaii to get a new outlook on life and treat her depression/bipolar disorder, becomes a low-level data cruncher at Abaddon, the same corporation she was fired from, and eventually becomes a whistleblower to all the sins her company has committed. As a protagonist, Amy can be a tad frustrating at times, but as a viewer, you can’t help but root for her. The pilot’s first shot does a ton to earn…

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March 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

  It was a strong month for spec scripts. Things kicked off with Bluegrass Pictures and DreamWorks Studios picking up Bad Cop, Bad Cop, an action buddy comedy written by Fortune Feimster, Brian Jarvis, and Jim Freeman. Feimster is also attached to star. Sony is moving forward with Marian. The action/drama spec follows Maid Marian donning Robin Hood’s mantle after his death, and the film is set to star Margot Robbie. Cristal Pictures and The Donners’ Company will produce Ingrid Eskeland-Adetuyi’s action/comedy spec Twin Blades, which centers on a tech entrepreneur relocated to China and her local female bodyguard. Finally, Ian Shorr’s sci-fi spec Infinite, which follows a schizophrenic who discovers that his hallucinations are memories of his past lives, has found a home with Di Bonaventura Pictures and Paramount. Other script sales: – 20th Century Fox has picked up Drew Goddard’s (The Martian) thriller Bad Times at the El Royale….

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“The Living Wake” Produced by Script Pipeline, Stars Jesse Eisenberg – Now on Amazon

By | Slider

Now available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (previously available on Hulu and other streaming networks). The uniquely iconic dramedy stars Academy Award-Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Batman vs. Superman), Mike O’Connell, comedian Jim Gaffigan, Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline Executive Director Chad Clough produced and raised financing for the indie. From Variety: “Pic defies all categorization. . . . Playing opposite the monumental O’Connell would seem to be an impossible assignment, but Eisenberg is note-perfect as his steady servant and go-to guy. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful.” Submit to a Script Pipeline competition Submit for notes and potential industry exposure

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Three Contest Finalist Scripts Optioned by Bohemia Group Originals

By | Success Stories

In February and March 2017, Bohemia Group Originals optioned three Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing Competition finalist scripts: Bradley Stryker’s action/thriller The Dragon Run, Diana Wright’s comedy pilot Franchise, and Nadeemi Siddiqui’s romcom Slut. All three placed in the 2016 competitions. “We are thrilled to be working with the whole team at Script Pipeline,” said Bohemia CEO Susan Ferris. “They have quickly proven to be an extremely valuable resource for solid material and incredible writers. While these two projects could not be more different from one another, they meet the standard of quality, entertainment value, and unique voice that we at BGO are looking for.” The option agreements come on the heels of Script Pipeline ramping up industry network expansion in 2016. Bohemia was one of several new contacts made by Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich “After speaking with Bohemia, we felt their gameplan toward production matched up very well to the type of…

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5th Annual 2016 First Look Project Results

By | First Look Project Winners

SCREENWRITING Action/Adventure Sweep by Matthew Barr – Winner Matthew was born and raised far away from Hollywood. He grew up reading sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books, and watching each and every movie he could get his hands on. An early love for art and storytelling shaped Matthew’s drive and ambitions for the rest of his life. Majoring in Illustration at Rochester Institute Of Technology, with a minor in Creative Writing, Matthew was convinced that he wanted to create comic books for a living. Soon after acquiring his art teaching certification, however, his love of visual storytelling began to crystallize into its purest form: movies. Matthew embarked on the perilous screenwriting journey and never looked back, incorporating all of his past experiences and skills into his writing. After writing countless pages, placing in numerous contests, undertaking the FAST Screenplay program, and now winning the First Look Project for Action/Adventure, he’s just getting started. Above…

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Moonlight – Screenplay

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

It’s arguable what the most important element of a movie is. The plot hooks the audience, the directing keeps the audience entertained, and the theme gives the audience something to think about once the credits start rolling. However, at the center of each of these elements are the characters. Movies that lack strong characters will often feel hollow—a movie can have the largest, most exciting set pieces, but without strong characters, the audience won’t have anything to truly connect with. Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins and written by Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (based on McCraney’s unpublished play), is perhaps the purest example of a character study. The film is divided into three chapters, and each centers on Chiron, a young black man from a rough neighborhood coming to terms with his sexuality, at different stages his life (childhood, adolescence, and adulthood). In lesser hands, this structure could feel jagged…

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February 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

STX Entertainment has optioned The New Neighbors, a spec written by Leslie Headland and David Schickler. The psychological drama follows a couple who move into an affluent area and uncover dirty secrets within. Headland is also attached to direct. Amblin acquired John Swetnam’s action/thriller spec Ruthless in an auction. The script follows a retired assassin who sets out on one final job after she’s diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Brad Peyton to direct. Black Bear Pictures acquired The Impossible War, a drama spec written by Robert Specland, based on the true story of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin’s search for the polio cure. Sony picked up Teddy Tenenbaum and Minsun Park’s supernatural thriller spec /Reddoor, which follows a journalist as he reviews a new app game that kills its players. Finally, Amazon Studios and RatPac Entertainment are teaming for Melissa London Hilfers’s script Unfit, based on Adam Cohen’s nonfiction book…

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11th Great Movie Idea Contest Results

By | Great Movie Idea Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner Curly Sue Found Dead by Natalia Arias Natalia Celine Arias is a multifaceted artist and designer from Miami, Florida. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Maryland Institute College of Art, where she also strongly focused on Video/Film Arts. With a passion for creative direction and writing, she dedicates herself to music, film, and pop culture while emphasizing strong ties to diversity in the entertainment industry within her work. She lives in Baltimore, MD and works as a Senior Graphic Designer for Jean Hill Studios, a full-service impact media firm specializing in film, design, photography, and social impact events. – www.nataliacarias.com   Runner-Up Guilda by Francine Labrecque

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9th Great TV Show Idea Contest Results

By | Great TV Show Idea Contest Finalists

Grand Prize Winner Snoopy by Alexandra Allred Alexandra Allred won the U.S. Nationals in September 1994, making sports history as she was named to the first women’s bobsled team. She was named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee for her sport and made international news as she was also pregnant at the time. She appeared in Sports Illustrated, a PBS documentary, HBO Sports and USA Today while she fought the long battle to have women’s bobsledding included in the Olympic Games, promptly retired and began playing professional women’s football for a feature with Sports Illustrated. She became an adventure writer while teaching martial arts, kickboxing, boxing, spinning, bootcamp, and pilates at a community college and gym outside Dallas, Texas. Allred returned to school to earn her PhD in Kinesiology with special interest in fitness for the special needs. She is the founder of FUEL workout, a new exercise routine for…

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January 2017 Script Sales

By | Script Sales

It was a slower month to start the year. Twentieth Century Fox and Sunswept Entertainment have picked up Skyward, Joe Ballarini’s drama spec based on two families that build a hot-air balloon to escape over the Berlin Wall. Based on a true story. Another true story spec: Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore’s drama spec Keeper of the Diary found a home with Fox Searchlight and Weimaraner Republic Pictures. The script follows Anne Frank’s father who struggles to find a publisher for his daughter’s diary after World War II. Universal Pictures won out in a bidding war for Rowan Athale’s spec Little America, which takes place after America has become so bankrupt that China begins calling all the shots. Michael Bay to produce, Athale to also direct. Finally, Prime Universe Productions and Marlowe Pictures are teaming for Slayer, an action/fantasy spec written by Joel Dorland. The story follows a fisherman who…

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Pilot

By | Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

The one major upside to having so many outlets for television series is that more networks are willing to take risks on shows that otherwise might not be made. Take for instance The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a self-aware musical comedy about, well, a crazy ex-girlfriend (but the situation’s a lot more nuanced than that). Star, writer, and co-creator Rachel Bloom initially got her start penning Youtube songs, many of which went viral (including her lewd but hilarious Ray Bradbury song), but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has solidified her as one of the few internet stars to find legitimate success offline. Bloom and co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna’s pilot script follows Rebecca Bunch, who seemingly has the perfect life and prefers to see the world as a musical. She’s a lawyer in New York and makes a considerable amount of money, but nevertheless, she’s depressed and still has never gotten over Josh, a boy whom she had…

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