Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cowrite screenwriting contest

There's a new collaborative screenwriting contest called Cowrite. A movie premise has been posted on the Cowrite website and writers now have the opportunity to contribute to the developing story. The script will be written in ten page increments by aspiring writers throughout the world.

Every other week, the best ten-page script submission will be added to the developing story until the script is finished and ready to be sold. There will be eleven winners over the six month contest. For their ten-page contribution, each winning entrant will receive money and prizes totaling $3000, a pitch meeting with Benderspink and a chance to win the grand prize of a paid rewrite of the script. Winners will also share in any potential script sale proceeds.

Another exciting aspect of the Cowrite website is the "Pro's Take" section where professional screenwriters and industry professionals will offer comments and suggestions on the developing story as well as insight into how to get started in Hollywood. This mentoring program will serve as an invaluable tool for aspiring screenwriters and help guide the story along. Guest mentors will include screenwriters Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Jesse Wigutow (Irreparable Harm) and Josh Schaer (TV's Jericho).

This is believed to be the first screenwriting competition where the end goal is to try to sell a collaborative screenplay. Cowrite has partnered with The Los Angeles Film Festival and software companies Final Draft and Jungle Software, all of which will supply prizes to each of the eleven winners. For more information, go to www.cowritescript.com

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5 comments:

glassblowerscat said...

Amanda, are you participating in the Cowrite contest? I've been doing it since round one, six weeks ago.

It's a great exercise in making stuff up on the fly to fit a story that's been dictated to you. But it's also quite maddening ... impossible to tell what the judges are looking for (good story structure and believable characters have already been crossed off the list).

What are your thoughts about it, if any?

Amanda said...

glassblowerscat -
No, I just found out about it. Truth be told I've got enough to do with working and the blog and my own writing. :)

glassblowerscat said...

I have more than enough to do as well ... and the contest is a huge timesuck. I'd probably have ditched it, with all its frustrations, except for the fact that I prepaid all my eleven entries (partly because it was cheaper, and partly to keep myself from quitting).

Jim Adler said...

so, in making my weekly trip to watch the train wreck that is the co-write contest, I notice that this blog pops up second when I google search co-write screenplay. I've read amanda's blog before, she's as on the ball as anybody I've read blogging about this stuff, but I was disappointed to hear her pimping this whore.

Writing, whether it's tv or film, is about voice. There are many other important factors of course, but it is your voice that creates your identity as a writer.

It's why you get the assignment or why the network buys your pitch. It distinguishes you from the thousands of other writers out there who could be doing the same job as you but aren't because your voice sets you apart.

This contest not only ignores that idea, it demeans the very concept. It says that writers are interchangeable and that a single vision is detrimental to the construction of the whole.

I predicted the wheels would come off around week four or five and at least from reading the script so far, I think I'm right. This script is headed nowhere good, doesn't make much sense, and if I were covering it, I'd start skimming to get to the end.

If you think you can game this contest to get a read at Benderspink or a couple thousand bucks to pay rent - good for you - but do not mistake this as a measure of your writing skill or a valuable challenge to grow as a writer. Hold yourself in much higher esteem than that.

jim

disclaimer: I know no one at Benderspink or anyone involved in the contest. heard about it on a message board before it started and called it shite from the get go. I'm just a humble staff writer on a network show with a couple feature credits of movies you've never heard of to boot.

Amanda said...

Hey Jim -
I actually agree with you completely, which is another reason why I'm not doing it. However, I'm always open to discussion about new ways of writing and storytelling, and I thought some of my readers might be interested. But in terms of how a collaborating in this way can help one's writing career...I don't see it.