Deadline: June 15th, 2020

Winners Receive:
$2,000 | script development | industry circulation

The Great Movie and TV Show Idea contests are searching for original feature film and television series concepts. Ideally, unique stories a global, diverse audience can connect with. Any genre, studio-level or indie, is accepted. Completed scripts are not reviewed, nor are entrants required to have a screenplay or pilot, as we help develop the selected pitches.

Each of the two divisions, Movie and TV, select one Grand Prize Winner and one Runner-up.

For the winner, Script Pipeline provides additional, long-term assistance to refine the pitch, or help the writer draft a polished screenplay or pilot. Our execs review the project and offer feedback at all stages of development. When the work is ready for circulation, we send the material to specific producers who would be a good match, including partners at Zero Gravity Management (Ozark), Good Fear Film + Management (Mulan), and others looking for relevant, high-concept, marketable films and series.

All writers retain the rights to their pitch, and development assistance for the winner is entirely optional.

The company’s intensive process, consisting of long-term writer development and widespread circulation of material, gives Script Pipeline writers access to some of the top industry execs worldwide. $7 million in screenplays and pilots have been sold by competition finalists and "Recommend" writers, with several scripts produced since 1999. As of this year, several films and series from Script Pipeline writers are in active development or production, with many due for release in 2020.

Deadline Dates
Regular: June 15th, 2020 - $35
Late: June 22nd, 2020 - $40

Enter the 2020 season by filling out the form on this page. Writers may register at any time. 

Entries also accepted via:

    

"Script Pipeline helped me develop my pilot, found me representation, and played a key role in getting a very ambitious TV project to some of the top producers, showrunners, and even networks. Their continual support and guidance has been invaluable--they are second to none."
- Kevin Jones, Idea Contest Winner

Grand Prize Winners (2, one in each division) - Announced July 31st, 2020

  • $2,000 (Movie and TV winners receive $1,000 each)
  • Extensive development sessions with Script Pipeline to get your concept ready for circulation
  • Assistance in completing a screenplay or pilot (optional)
  • Long-term exposure to producers and other companies for potential development
  • Review and development of additional pitches and material

Runners-up (2, one in each division) - Announced July 31st, 2020

  • Development with Script Pipeline executives to fine-tune your pitch
  • Industry circulation consideration for the pitch or a previously existing script
  • Review and development of additional pitches and material

"Script Pipeline helped me develop my pilot, found me representation, and played a key role in getting a very ambitious TV project to some of the top producers, showrunners, and even networks. Their continual support and guidance has been invaluable--they are second to none."
- Kevin Jones, Idea Contest Winner

Script Pipeline's criteria is based primarily on the overall originality marketability of the concept, preferably hitting a "Goldilocks zone" between commercial/mainstream and something wholly new and artistic.

Although we're extremely strict on judging, we're open to all types of narrative or scripted pitches (no reality or game show ideas).

In the past, selected ideas have ranged from lower-budget indies, to big-budget studio films, animation, true stories, and high-concept genre material. Anything unique and universally appealing is fair game.

Industry contacts reviewing winner include:

In addition to Script Pipeline's network of over 200 agents, managers, indie producers, directors, and production companies.

"My idea led to a messy first draft with loads of promise. But now, by way of a systematic scene-by-scene approach, Script Pipeline helped me tweak that draft toward its fullest potential. Their unwavering support over the years has been wonderful for my writing and access to the industry."
- Jason Vaughn, Great Movie Idea Winner


Written or video submissions accepted.

For written pitches:

  • Must submit a full story synopsis in addition to a logline. This can range from a page in length to a full treatment--entirely up to you on how to best present your idea. We do not judge on format, we judge on the idea itself. Supplemental materials (illustrations, etc.) are allowed. The best format is usually comprised of a logline, a page-long summary, and any other comments on the originality of the premise.
  • Do not send full-length screenplays--summaries ONLY. Pitches may be emailed direct or uploaded.
  • Remove your name and contact information from the documents prior to submitting.
  • Longer submissions are judged on the same criteria as short ones, so whatever length you think is best.

For video pitches:

  • Submit a link to the video after registration through email. We prefer a private link on YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video hosting site, or your personal website. *include the password, if private
  • Videos can be any length, but shorter is typically better.

General rules:

  • Concept must be for a feature-length film or scripted TV series.
  • Script Pipeline will not share your idea with anyone unless you’re chosen as a winner or runner-up and give us explicit permission to do so.
  • Previous Script Pipeline writers and former Great Idea contest entrants are welcome to submit, but material must not have been previously entered.
  • Should go without saying, but the concept needs to be ORIGINAL and not based on an existing franchise or property, unless it's in the public domain. If the idea is in the public domain, it should have some sort of defining factor that takes a distinctive approach and clearly demonstrate how you plan to adapt.

View complete rules and guidelines here

"I've been amazed at the quality and depth of development my idea has received since winning the Idea Contest. I know my concept in a richer, deeper way than I did before thanks to Script Pipeline."
- Bryce McClellan, Idea Contest Winner

WHAT ARE THE DEADLINE DATES AND ENTRY FEES?

Regular: June 15th, 2020 - $35
Late: June 22nd, 2020 - $40

IS MY IDEA PROTECTED? WILL I RETAIN THE RIGHTS TO THE IDEA?

All rights remain with the writer, regardless of the contest results. No one outside of Script Pipeline's team of judges will review your entry without the writer's permission. For the winner, we do not send out their winning idea or script until we have their consent and mutually deem the project "circulation ready."

DO I GET FEEDBACK ON MY ENTRY?

For in-depth feedback, entrants may receive an exclusive discounted rate on Treatment / Pitch Notes that cover everything from plot and concept to marketability and character. A sample can be found here. These additional notes are optional and kept separate from the judging process--meaning you'll have a different reader during judging.

CAN INTERNATIONAL WRITERS ENTER?

Yes. As with all Pipeline competitions, anyone worldwide can enter.

CAN I COMPETE IN BOTH COMPETITIONS IF MY PITCH COULD BE FOR FILM OR TV?

Yes, but we require two separate registrations and entry fees if you'd like your pitch considered for both contests. We would recommend, however, sending a single pitch for one or the other, film or TV.

HOW SHOULD I FORMAT MY ENTRY?

A full synopsis is required, detailing the story beginning, middle, and end. Can be brief, anywhere from 1-3 pages is typical. We'll also review video pitches through a private link or as an attached file. Whatever format you prefer that best exemplifies your idea.

Also remove your name and contact information from the materials prior to submitting.

WILL I BE DISQUALIFIED FOR A FORMATTING REASON?

No. If for some reason we can't open the file, or link, or there's an issue with the entry itself, we'll contact you, and you'll be able to re-send.

CAN I INCLUDE MY NAME ON THE TITLE OR COVER PAGE?

For entrants whose pitch documents have a cover page, please exclude your name and email. Should only be title of the project.

IF I WIN, DO I NEED THE COMPLETED SCREENPLAY OR PILOT?

Not at all. If you do, great, but it won't affect the outcome of the contest. We're just looking for original, unique concepts. Our development team will assist in refining the pitch and helping you get started on the script itself. While that might indicate the competition is open only to screenwriters, it's not: we'll help you develop a first draft of a screenplay or pilot, if the winning entrant decides to write the script.

Email our contest coordinator with any other questions.

Tripper Clancy Sells Specs to Fox, Joins Netflix Series

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2009 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 the Kevin Hart series Die Hart, both for Quibi, and joined the staff of the Netflix series I am Not Okay With This, starring Sophia Lillis (It).

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. In 2019, Bensick’s autobiographical play Life in Paradox, premiered in Los Angeles.

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, as well as writing and producing roles with NBC's Midnight, Mass. and the series Five Ghosts, 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 becomes 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 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition before being picked up by Cinestate. 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 January 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 competition winner to get produced.

2020 Movie and TV Show Idea Contest

June 15th, 2020 - Deadline

$35.00

Contest *

Title

Writer(s) *

Submission Method *

You can upload your material below, or email it to entry@scriptpipeline.com after you’ve completed your order.

Upload Material

Synopsis required covering the full story. Typically 1-3 pages, but may be as long as needed.

(max file size 64 MB)

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Terms and Conditions *

Please confirm that you have read the Great Movie Idea Contest terms and conditions.