Over the course of 20 years, many Script Pipeline writers have optioned their work, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through our exhaustive process of industry facilitation for top screenplays and pilots. Script Pipeline winners and finalists have sold specs to major studios such as Warner Bros, Universal, Legendary, and 20th Century Fox, while several writers have been staffed on Netflix, CBS, ABC, and other network shows. This following is a selection of Pipeline’s most notable success stories and recent news.
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 Multiple Specs to Studios, Joins Netflix Series
Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2010 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 of the Quibi series Die Hart, starring Kevin Hart, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), and John Travolta, which debuted in 2020.
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
After 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, as well an adaptation of the fantasy/drama Havenfall for Glasstown Entertainment and Amazon Studios.
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 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 Reporter, SlashFilm, 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 competition 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.
- Helen Gaughran, winner of the 2019 Screenwriting Competition, signed with UTA after Script Pipeline circulation. Her horror/drama, Visitation, is being packaged.
- First Look Project winner Brian T. Arnold found rep with John Zaozirny and Kate Sharp at Bellevue following Script Pipeline introductions, and shortly thereafter signing with agents Sheryl Petersen, Adam Perry, and Halle Mariner at APA. Brian was one of the few writers in Pipeline history to win two categories for the FLP (Drama and Thriller) in the same season.
- 2020 Screenwriting Finalist Crosby Selander signed with Kaplan/Perrone less than two weeks after Script Pipeline execs sent out his sci-fi/romance Bring Me Back.
- Zero Gravity (Ozark) signed 2020 TV Writing Runner-up Malinna Liang after reviewing her hourlong drama pilot American Gospel. The project is in development.
- Kaplan/Perrone signed 2020 TV Writing Finalist Kelsey Krasnigor, who placed in the top 10 with her animated comedy pilot Gil and Me. In 2021, she wrote her first episode of the animated Netflix series Big Mouth.
- TV Idea contest winner Dan Perlman secured a 10-episode straight-to-series order from Showtime for his half-hour comedy Flatbush Misdemeanors, which he co-created and co-wrote with Kevin Iso. The deal was finalized in October 2020. The project began as a series of “zero-budget” episodes starring Dan and Kevin, shot in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood.
- A decade after receiving a Script Pipeline “recommend” on his feature Southbound, Kevin Jones had the screenplay optioned in August 2020. Pipeline execs finally found a proper home for the crime/drama, making the connection between Kevin and the producer and director now attached to the project. It’s currently in development. Kevin previously won the Script Pipeline TV Show Idea Competition and is a three-time Script Pipeline Screenwriting finalist. Pipeline also helped develop his pilot script Horizon, which landed a showrunner and was pitched to some of the top networks and studios.
- Writ Large signed Summer Plair after Summer’s pilot Thank God For Girls placed in the top 10 of the 2020 TV Writing season.
- Travis Neufeld, who placed in the top 10 of the 2020 TV Writing competition with his scifi pilot The Tinwife, signed with Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue. His other project, a high-concept paranormal series, is in development.
- TV Writing Finalist Josh Estes (Laurel Canyon) signed with Zero Gravity Management in 2020. His pilot placed in the top 10 of the competition, and Pipeline execs later introduced him to the Zero Gravity team. His sports drama Package Deal was optioned in 2020 and is in development with producer Basil Iwanyk (John Wick, Sicario) and ESPN’s Michael Smith. The script was co-written by Chris Karpman and Master Tesfatsion.
- First Look Project Finalist Quincy Ledbetter had his finalist script Alieu, the Dreamer produced and released by Paramount Players. The film debuted in 2020 on BET and stars Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther) and Haley Webb (Teen Wolf).
- William Yu, First Look Project finalist with the original half-hour pilot Good Boy, signed with Zack Zucker at Bellevue.
- Nick Roth, winner of the 2019 First Look Project for TV Half-hour, signed with managers at Zero Gravity soon after Pipeline presented his pilot, Power Suit, to Zero Gravity execs.
- Script Pipeline TV Writing Finalists Ben Deeb and Graham Towers co-wrote an episode of ABC’s Black-ish, which aired in February 2020. It’s the writing duo’s first produced episode of television. They previously placed in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with their comedy pilot America’s Least Wanted.
- First Look Project winner Felicia Ho signed with managers at Kaplan Perrone a few months after her contest win. In 2020, she was brought on staff for the 2nd season of Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. Her pilot Arranged won the TV hourlong category of the FLP.
- Screenwriting winner Peter Malone Elliott (Junior) signed with manager Zach Book. Peter’s biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. He wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.
- 2019 TV Writing Competition Runner-up Jess McKillop (Signature) signed with Grandview after Script Pipeline industry circulation and introductions to the powerhouse management company.
- Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (Screenwriting Competition finalists and winners of the First Look Project), premiered at Sundance and was quickly picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. Their second feature, Run, premiered in 2020 on Hulu, starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen.
- Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.
- The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline’s industry network.
- First Look Project contest winner Kristi Hall is developing a feature script with Kersey Management. Script Pipeline execs worked with Kristi for over a year on a high-concept action-comedy screenplay before sending it to manager Andrew Kersey.
- Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directed his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY).
- After extensive development through Script Pipeline’s Workshop, Eddie Mensore produced his gripping drama Mine 9, released in 2019. The film won top honors for Best Film at Cinequest and The Arizona International Film Festival.
- Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) is set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen’s third produced film after meeting execs at the Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment.
- Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script’s top 10 placement in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.
- Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and Recommend writer Greg Wayne’s dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle’s Eye producing. Speer has also directed I Still See You and Step Up Revolution. This will be Greg’s first produced feature film. He previously won the Script Pipeline First Look Project with his comedy pilot Ad Game and has placed as a finalist and received a Recommend on numerous other screenplays and pilots, working closely with Script Pipeline development execs.
- Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) wrote the reboot for Child’s Play released in 2019 and has multiple film and TV projects in development.
- First Look Project contest winner Besa on track for production–Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) directing. Written by Michael Miceli, the crime/thriller won the Adaptation category for the inaugural First Look season and was later optioned by Cecil Chambers of Triumphant Pictures.
- Dragon Run, written by Bradley Stryker, was optioned by Pop Art Film Factory and producer Daniel Zirilli. The script placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition.
- The Living Wake, Script Pipeline’s first produced film, starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O’Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: “A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful.”
- TV Writing Competition finalist Dani Messerschmidt (Hello, I Live Here) signed with John Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions. Dani was introduced to reps from Bellevue at a Script Pipeline writer/industry event months prior. She’s developing material for both film and TV.
- Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). Craig placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition and is a Script Pipeline “Recommend” on other features.
- Sara Monge signed with Josh Dove at IPG Management after Script Pipeline circulation. Her pilot SOS placed in the top 10 of the TV Writing Competition.
- Six years after winning the Screenwriting Competition, Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald optioned their screenplay Prom Queen to Jeremy Garelick‘s Classy Films as a result of Script Pipeline’s long-term facilitation.
- Screenwriting finalist Andrew Martin Robinson (Cut Its Head Off) signed with Peter Katz of Story Driven less than a week after his horror screenplay was circulated to Script Pipeline’s industry network.
- Charles Stulck signed with manager Andrew Kersey, after introductions by Script Pipeline. Charles placed in the top 10 with his horror/comedy Cult-de-Sac.
- Matthew J. O’Neill’s sports drama series was picked up by NBC in 2016, with LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment producing. This was O’Neill’s first TV script sale. He previously sold Bait and Switch, a Script Pipeline “Recommend,” to Universal in 2011 with Mark Wahlberg attached to produce.
- Android, written by Script Pipeline “Recommend” Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path). Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) also set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
- The sci-fi thriller Second Born, winner of the 2010 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition, attached director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy) in 2014. Written by David Jagernauth, the project is being produced by former Bold Films President David Lancaster (Drive, Whiplash) and his company Rumble Films.
- Precious Cargo, a finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, was produced. The film stars Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
- Script Pipeline “Recommend” Micah Barnett sold Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC a few years after finding management with a Script Pipeline industry contact.
- Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline’s Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
- Chasing Ghosts, written by former Script Pipeline contest winner Josh Chesler, was released in 2015. The film stars Tim Meadows (SNL), Toby Nichols, Robin Lively, and Frances Conroy.
- Brian Watanabe’s “Recommend” script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Get out, Us) at Darko Entertainment.
- Strength and Honour, a huge festival hit worldwide, was developed through Script Pipeline and received a “Recommend” grade in 2007. Writer/director Mark Mahon received tremendous accolades for the Irish drama starring Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, The Hateful Eight) and legendary actor Richard Chamberlain (The Thorn Birds). The film won 22 awards worldwide in 2008, and Mahon and Madsen were interviewed on NBC’s The Today Show as word-of-mouth on the film spread.
- Chris Tucker was attached to play the lead in The Rabbit, written by Script Pipeline “Recommend” writer Micah Barnett. Script Pipeline facilitated introductions between Micah and his manager before Warner Bros. purchased the screenplay for six figures. Micah received high marks on his script The Merc List, which led to him finding representation with a Script Pipeline industry partner.
- With the help of industry partner Kersey Management, Matt Savelloni, a Script Pipeline “Recommend” writer, was placed with the agency Hohman, Maybank, and Lieb, one of the top boutique agencies in Los Angeles.
- Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist Mandie Green was hired on assignment through Larry Levinson Productions to write a TV movie for the Hallmark Channel, an opportunity credited in part to her contest placements for her script The Michaels, which was produced in 2014.
- Equal Opportunity, co-produced by Script Pipeline, premiered at HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and later screened at South by Southwest (SXSW), CineVegas, and dozens more festivals and events nationwide. Produced by Camille Mana, written by Sameer Asad Gardezi, and co-produced by Chad Clough (Script Pipeline), the comedic satire won Best Film in NBC’s First Annual Comedy Shortcuts Festival, First Annual Show Off Your Shorts Film Festival, and Honorable Mention at the World of Comedy Film Festival and CineVegas.
- Script Pipeline Recommend Doug Rappaport agreed to write a five-figure feature project for director/producer David Winkler (Creed). Execs at Script Pipeline connected Doug to Winkler and an agent.
- The first major success for Script Pipeline: Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin‘ by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. They were the first Script Pipeline writers to sell a spec for over six-figures.