Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Online Script Contests?

BlueCatAustin Film FestivalZoetrope
While revising my screenplay, I've noticed a number of online script contests out there. In order to be considered, I must register and pay a fee. In some cases, the contest winners are promised a number of wonderful things, ranging from a guarantee of representation to a guarantee of exposure to top agencies, producers and directors.
Not to be cynical, but how many of these contests are worth the registration fee? If a screenplay is strong enough, can an unknown writer from Pittsburgh get the attention of the right people and start a path to a career, or are the odds of that closer to winning a PowerBall jackpot?
Here are some of the contests I've found so far:

  • Austin Film Festival - October 21-28. Finalists and semi-finalists offered access to panels of industry pros, coverage available for additional fee. Deadline is June 1.
  • BlueCat - Submissions closed for 2010, semifinalists to be announced 6/15. Lots of prizes, including script analysis of every eligible entry.
  • Zoetrope Virtual Studio - possible representation, option and development. Opens 6/1, closes 9/3.
I am tempted to try to get ready for the Austin entry, but I'm not quite there yet with my draft. I know there are many other contests out there - are there any to stay away from? And on the other side, are there any that a writer must enter because they are so fantastic? Help!

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