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Success Stories

Over the course of 25 years, many Script Pipeline writers have optioned their work, been hired on writing assignments, produced their films, and garnered representation through our extensive process of industry facilitation for top screenplays and pilots.

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 small selection of success stories and achievements from our writers, primarily those where Script Pipeline played an integral role.

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.”

Winning Screenplay Visitation Produced

Helen Gaughran’s Visitation, winner of the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition and First Look Project, went into production in 2023, with Nicolas Pesce directing. The cast includes Olivia Cooke (House of the DragonSound of Metal), Isla Johnston (The Queen’s Gambit), Stephen Rea (Interview with the Vampire), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey).

Entertainment One, Blinder Films, and Rumble Films producing.

After winning the 2019 Screenwriting season and getting wide circulation to industry execs, Helen signed with UTA. A unanimous choice for both the Screenwriting Competition and genre-specific First Look Project, Script Pipeline execs called Visitation “a haunting depiction of this time and place,” “a refreshing, grounded twist on the genre,” and “one of the most impactful scripts we’ve ever read from a new, rising screenwriter.”

The horror is Helen’s first produced film.

Script Pipeline Contest Selections #1 on The Black List Two Years in a Row

A total of seven Script Pipeline writers have made recent Black Lists.

In 2021: Screenwriting Winner Cauliflower by Daniel Jackson, which secured the #1 spot, First Look Project winner The End by Brian T. Arnold, and It Was You by First Look Project finalist Will Yu.

In 2022: Screenwriting Finalist Pure by Catherine Schetina, which also made the #1 spot, First Look Project winner Court 17 by Elad Ziv, bringing up the #2 spot, Total Landscaping by Screenwriting Finalist Woody Bess, and Fog of War by Screenwriting Winner Peter Haig.

Daniel’s intense, unique thriller wowed Script Pipeline judges and it was a unanimous choice as our 2021 Screenwriting Contest winner. Soon after the announcement in August, Pipeline sent the script to select managers and production companies, including Bellevue, where Dan ended up signing with John Zaozirny and Zack Zucker. Same for Brian, who was introduced to Bellevue in March 2021 and optioned his script to Sister (Chernobyl).

After extensive development in early 2022, Elad signed with (surprise) Bellevue and had his script optioned by producer Andy Horowitz (American Hustle, Suicide Squad) and Big Swell.

2021-2022 was the first time Script Pipeline had two contest picks land at #1 in back-to-back years.

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.

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 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, a reimagining of the cult hit Anaconda, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan. In 2023, he was tapped to write The Ultimate Weapon for Allen Media.

His 2008 winning script Shrapnel was also 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.

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.

Other Notable Success Stories

  • Manager John Zaozirny (Bellevue Productions) signed First Look Project winner Elad Ziv following introductions by Script Pipeline. Elad won the sci-fi category of the 2021 FLP contest with his “intense, genre-bending” script Loser, which Script Pipeline execs helped develop prior to industry circulation.
  • Zac Kish signed with manager Maddy Weese (Bellevue) after developing his screenplay Hurt with Pipeline, completing a multi-medium journey for the project … Originally on our radar after winning the 2017 First Look Project, Zac placed in the 2022 Film Pipeline Competition with the short script version of Hurt. Pipeline Artists later published the short story adaptation in March 2023. Another screenplay, Pig Heart, earned a Script Pipeline Recommend in 2019.
  • First Look Project winner Morgan Smith signed with Jake Wagner of Alibi Management just a few days after introductions by Pipeline. His script won the 2021 FLP season in the Horror category.
  • The team at Bellevue Productions—John Zaozirny, Zack Zucker, and Maddy Weese—signed Brandon Tyson, a Screenwriting competition Quarterfinalist, in 2024. Multiple execs reviewed Brandon’s drama feature, offered feedback over the course of a year, and his final version hit the mark, with Pipeline execs calling it “emotionally intense in the most beautiful way” and “something humanizing that should land well in the current market.”
  • 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.
  • Lesley Fera, runner-up in the 2022 TV Writing Competition with her pilot Inconceivable, signed with manager Jeff Portnoy in summer 2023.
  • 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 IAG. In 2023, we was hired to pen a reboot of the 1980s cult classic Electric Dreams. Brian was one of the few writers in Pipeline history to win two categories for the FLP (Drama and Thriller) in the same season.
  • Managers John Zaozirny and Zack Zucker (Bellevue) signed 2021 Screenwriting Winner Daniel Jackson, following widespread Script Pipeline industry circulation. Dan later was signed by agents at UTA. His feature Cauliflower was a unanimous staff choice for winner, with Pipeline execs calling it “an emotionally intense and thematically brilliant gem of a screenplay …”
  • 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. In 2021, his first written episode of TV aired (Legacies).
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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’s half-hour comedy Flatbush Misdemeanors, which he co-created and co-wrote with Kevin Iso, premiered in 2021 on Showtime. The project began as a series of “zero-budget” episodes starring Dan and Kevin, shot in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood. It was renewed for a second season coming in 2022.
  • 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 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.
  • Writ Large signed Summer Plair after Summer’s pilot Thank God For Girls placed in the top 10 of the 2020 TV Writing season.
  • First Look Project Finalist Quincy Ledbetter had his 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).
  • Jen Goldson had two scripts produced after meeting execs at a Script Pipeline writer/industry event: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 was Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. Their second feature, Run, premiered in 2020 on Hulu, starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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 DogsThe 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. He would later sell Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC.
  • 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 Script Pipeline founder Chad Clough, 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.
  • The first major success for Script Pipeline: Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin‘ by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. in 2003. They were the first Script Pipeline writers to sell a spec for over six-figures.