by Peter Clines
SCRIPT PIPELINE SCREENWRITING COMPETITION
Now heading into its third year, the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition sprung out of a recurring complaint Chadwick Clough was hearing in his online community. “Our writer clients continued to express their frustration with smaller screenplay competitions and we set out to do it right,” says Clough, who also writes CS’s “Production Co. Spotlight” column. Clough’s experience with script consulting and production companies, along with his management position at Script Pipeline, convinced him he could also be a contest director.
“Before launching the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition, I entered dozens of ‘screenwriting contests’ as a test of the entire process,” he explains. “We approached A-level production companies and agencies to not only consider the finalists but become involved in the judging process of the competition. Each of the last three years, Script Pipeline has had over twenty A-level companies reviewing submissions. Few other contest provide this much exposure to this many writers.”
Recognized as a cutting-edge competition, Script Pipeline allows for online submissions and guarantees that each script will receive at least two reads from a judging panel of agents, development directors, and managers. All finalists become part of the extensive Script Pipeline online community and get a free, five-year membership to their Writers Database (a massive collection of contact information, production company listings, and general industry facts). A Writers Workshop is also available to help develop scripts even further.
Script Pipeline winners have been doing as well as the contest itself. One of 2003’s winning scripts, Slammin’, by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner, was purchased less than six months later by Warner Bros. for six figures. Over the past two years, another half-dozen finalist scripts have been optioned. “If you look at our winners over the past three years, the material has been diverse, eclectic, and, in our eyes, fresh and original. We are not simply looking for the big commercial movie script that we can peddle to the studios,” says Clough. “In a nutshell, good writing is good writing.”