2021 First Look Project

Late Deadline: October 1st, 2021

$60.00

Winners Receive:
$15,000 split amongst 6 winners
industry circulation | development assistance

The 10th Annual First Look Project fulfills the requests of studios, production companies, and top managers by finding unique, high-concept material across two main categories:

  • Screenplay - divisions for Action/Sci-fi, Comedy, Drama, and Horror/Thriller
  • TV Pilot - divisions for Hour and Half-hour original pilots, any genre

One winner in each division receives a share of $15,000, industry circulation, and long-term development assistance from Script Pipeline’s executive team. A minimum of one runner-up is also chosen for each category.

Supported by Zero Gravity Management (Ozark), Kaplan/PerroneQC Entertainment (Get OutUs),  Bellevue Productions (Infinite), Destro Films (Lizzie), 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, as well as the originality of the concept and a strong understanding of genre and marketplace trends.

Over $8 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by Script Pipeline writers, with numerous scripts produced since 1999. In 2020, Legendary picked up finalist screenplay Bring Me Back by Crosby Selander for seven figures, and in the last few years alone, Script Pipeline winners and finalists have optioned screenplays, sold shows, or were staffed on streaming and network series, including Writers Guild Award-winner Howard Jordan Jr. (Family ReunionThe Unicorn), Tripper Clancy (Die HartStuber), and Laura Bensick (Everyday Insanity). Many others connected with representation, such as the 2021 Screenwriting and TV Writing winners finding reps at Bellevue, Screenwriting winner Helen Gaughran signing with UTA, and several more finalists landing managers at Kaplan/Perrone, Writ Large, and Zero Gravity. View notable success stories.

DEADLINES

Late: October 1st, 2021 - $60
Extended (Coverfly Only): October 30th, 2021 - $65

Entries also accepted via:

   

The First Look Project focuses primarily on connecting the winners with production and management companies. One winner and one runner-up are selected for each category.

Screenplay

Winners (4): December 15th, 2021

  • $10,000 awarded. $2,500 to the winner of each genre category (Action/Sci-Fi, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller)
  • Circulation to select production and management companies for first look

Runners-up (4; one in each category): December 15th, 2021

The Screenplay winners and runners-up receive:

  • Long-term facilitation to Script Pipeline's industry network of producers, agents, and managers seeking features.
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs on both the screenplay and pitch
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

TV Pilot

Winners (2): December 15th, 2021

  • $5,000 awarded total. $2,500 to the winner of each category (Hour and Half-Hour)
  • Circulation to select production and management companies for first look

Runners-up (2; one in each category): December 15th, 2021

The TV Pilot winners and runners-up receive:

  • Long-term facilitation to Script Pipeline's industry network of producers, agents, and managers seeking original pilots.
  • Development assistance from Script Pipeline's senior execs on the pilot and series pitch or bible
  • Additional script reviews and consideration of other material for industry exposure
  • Invitations to writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

RULES + GUIDELINES

Please review the following prior to submitting:

  • For Screenplay and TV, the script must not be under a representation, option, or shopping agreement at the time of entry.
  • The same script cannot compete in multiple categories.
  • Writers who have sold, optioned, or produced scripts in the past are eligible; however, the material submitted must not have been produced as a feature or TV series at any time in the past.
  • Judging criteria equally emphasizes both writing ability and marketability, unlike our main Screenwriting and TV Writing competitions, which are centered on writing ability. Preference may be given to high-concept material intended for a broader audience.
  • The material must be wholly original. For adaptations, the story must be in the public domain, or you have retained the adaptation rights to a particular work.

Email our contest coordinator with any other questions on guidelines or judging criteria.

View complete rules and guidelines here

CATEGORIES + INDUSTRY REVIEWING


Screenplay
Action/Sci-Fi - Kaplan/Perrone
Comedy - Bellevue Productions
Drama - Destro Films
Horror/Thriller - QC Entertainment / Kaplan/Perrone

TV Pilot - Zero Gravity Management
Half-hour
Hourlong

For screenplays, no page length restrictions, as long as it's intended to be a feature film. Mixed genre screenplays are fine, but writers must submit to only one category--would recommend selecting the primary genre of the script.

For TV, all genres accepted, including animation. Half-hour pilots should be between 25-35 pages (longer is fine if it's for animation), and hourlong pilots should fall around 50-70.

WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE DATES?

Late: October 1st, 2021
Extended (Coverfly Only): October 30th, 2021

Writers can submit early to take advantage of the lower entry fee. Script isn't due until October 1st, 2021.

WHAT SHOULD GO ON THE TITLE PAGE?

The title of the script, without name, contact info, or email. You can include the genre and logline, however. Logline is preferred, but not required.

HOW IS FIRST LOOK DIFFERENT FROM SCRIPT PIPELINE'S OTHER CONTEST?

Main difference would be the judging criteria. Our annual Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions are critiqued almost exclusively on their writing ability for film and television.

The First Look Project, however, focuses equally on both writing ability and marketability. A unique concept in line with current trends and industry preferences--something relevant that twists the genre or hits on relatable themes--will most likely fare well.

Writing ability is still critical, but the script needn't be "circulation-ready" if it leans on a commercial premise. All winners and runners-up will go through an in-house development process with Script Pipeline execs prior to circulation, if necessary. We want promising writers with big, fresh ideas. Those who we can work with now and in the future.

CAN I UPDATE MY DRAFT AFTER ENTERING?

Yes, we'll accept updated drafts (no extra fee) up until the late deadline in October.

IF I PLACE AS A RUNNER-UP OR WINNER, DO I RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO MY SCRIPT?

Yes. All rights to the material remain with the writer, regardless of whether they place.

SHOULD I PUT CONTACT INFO ON THE COVER PAGE?

Cover page should include the title, but remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.) from the script. Logline and genre on the title page as well is preferred, but not required.

CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?

Yes, applicants outside the US are welcome to enter ANY Script Pipeline contest.

ARE NOTES INCLUDED?

Written feedback is not included on entries, but entrants may add notes as an optional service during registration. Feedback is kept separate from judging---meaning you'll have a different executive reviewing your contest entry, and the notes have no bearing on the judging process.

CAN I SUBMIT TO OTHER CONTESTS OR COMPANIES AFTER ENTERING?

Yes. There are no restrictions on submitting to other writing competitions, or sending your script elsewhere while entered in the contest.

WILL YOU ACCEPT SHORT SCRIPTS OR PITCHES?

Only full-length feature and TV scripts are accepted. Pitches may be submitted to our Idea Competition. Short scripts may be submitted to Film Pipeline.

Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.

Finalist Sells Spec to Legendary in Seven-Figure Deal

Crosby Selander's Bring Me Back sold to Legendary Entertainment in September 2020 after a bidding war. The deal landed in the seven figures, making it one of the highest spec sales in years---and one of the few specs ever sold for over $1 million from a "new," unproduced writer.

After placing in the top 10 of the 2020 Screenwriting season, Bring Me Back was circulated to several Pipeline industry partners, with Kaplan/Perrone signing Crosby a few weeks later.

Pipeline judges called the script a "wonderfully sprawling genre hybrid. . . expertly drawn by a writer with a profound understanding of the human condition."

Tripper Clancy Sells Specs to Fox, Writing for Netflix and Quibi Series

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2011 before selling several specs.

A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material. Later, he was hired to write the animated feature Shedd for Paramount, Stranded for Sony, the Amazon film High Five, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro, and an adaptation of The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. He sold two specs in that span: The Ambassadors and Winter Break.

Tripper's first produced studio feature, Stuber (2019) sold in the mid-six figures. The action-comedy stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino, and Betty Gilpin (Glow). Following the release of Stuber, he was brought on to write the Varsity Blues reboot and joined the staff of the Netflix series I am Not Okay With This, starring Sophia Lillis (It).

He's the co-creator, writer, and co-producer as well of the Quibi series Die Hart, starring Kevin Hart, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), and John Travolta.

Fox Buys Show from Script Pipeline Contest Runner-up

Runner-up in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition, Laura Bensick sold her show Everyday Insanity to Fox. Ken Olin (This is Us) and Sterling K. Brown producing. The drama series addresses mental illness within three different families who come together to form one supportive group.

Laura placed with the hourlong drama The Mother in the 2016 Script Pipeline season, besting over 2,500 other pilots. Bensick’s autobiographical play Life in Paradox, premiered in Los Angeles in 2019.

Everyday Insanity is Laura’s first TV show sale.

One of the Biggest Spec Sales in History from Script Pipeline Winner

SWATHposter2016After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3.25 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently turned Evan into one of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood. The film has grossed $450 million worldwide.

Shortly following the contest win, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite the adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of Snow White.

Amongst selling a pilot pitch, Evan wrote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, produced by Michael Bay. Other studio projects: the adaptation of YA novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment, starring Shailene Woodley and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet, the Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, which is in development with Vinson Films and Disney.

In 2020, he began development with Sony on a reimagining of the cult hit Anaconda.

Script Pipeline Winner an Acclaimed Indie Hit

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced 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 served as producers.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition before being picked up. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Lit Entertainment and UTA.

Top critics from The Hollywood ReporterSlashFilm, and others praised Henry's directorial debut, and Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in 2019.

Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Screenplay

The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel by Evan Daugherty was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development.

It was the first Script Pipeline winner to get produced.

TV Contest Runner-up Staffed on Netflix, BET, and CBS Shows

Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Verve and Lit Entertainment. He went on to write for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts in 2018, with his first solo-written episode premiering that year, followed by the CBS comedy The Unicorn, starring Walton Goggins (Justified).

Afterward, he wrote on Netflix's Family Reunion, where he won a WGA Award for the episode "Remember Black Elvis?", then joined the staff of the BET show Bigger in 2020.

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2021 First Look Project

October 1st, 2021 - Late Deadline

$60.00

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