As I've mentioned on NFS before, I think screenwriting contests should be evaluated on what they offer entrants to launch and further their careers. Many won't really help a new screenwriter launch or further a career, so when a new competition is announced, I'm always a bit skeptical. Nevertheless, the new Equal Writes competition presented by We Make Movies and Duly Noted has me intrigued as they are looking for smart, rebellious, diverse genre films that can be produced for $250K or less, and they want seven finalists to pitch their movies in seven minutes in front of three producers and a live audience for the chance to get their movies made. Want to know if this contest is for you? Check out the details below.
Before you jump off this page and submit your script, you need to know a few things about the new Equal Writes competition. Specifically, this is what you will need to submit:
- Your feature-length script of 80-100 pages in a specific genre (Thriller, Action, Sci-fi or Horror). Ideally, they want 90-page scripts, and definitely 100 pages or less. PDF format only.
- Moreover, your genre script should challenge pre-conceived notions of race, religion and/or gender. Scripts that Equal Writes highlights for similar tone include Attack the Block, Traffic, Slumdog Millionaire, Django Unchained, City of God and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
- One-page breakdown or top-sheet budget showing how your film can be produced for $250K or less. PDF, doc or txt files only.
- $25 submission fee. You can also purchase script coverage for an additional $50.
- Finalists must either live in Los Angeles or be to travel to Los Angeles at their own expense for the live pitch finals on June 30, 2013.
- Submission deadline is April 1, 2013 (no fooling).
So, if you don't have a micro-budget thriller, action, sci-fi or horror script, this competition is not for you. Also, you need to come up with a budget breakdown for your project before you submit, so you may have some work to do between now and the April 1 deadline. Finally, if you don't already live in Los Angeles, you need to determine whether you are willing and able to make the trip on your own dime if you make it to the finals.
What does the winner get? At a minimum, one winner will receive a $2,500 option on the script for 12 months plus the services of a casting director and help with legal and business start-up needs. If the project is good enough, hopefully one of the judging producers will help it get made for a budget of $250K or less, but that is not guaranteed.
Intrigued? Check out the Equal Writes competition website for all of specific details on how you can submit your screenplay for consideration by the April 1 deadline.
What do you think about the new Equal Writes competition? Do you think this competition will help launch a film career? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.