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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

BlueCat Screenplay Competition

After submitting and forgetting about this competition I entered a while ago I got a surprise e-mail in my mailbox over the weekend. No, I didn't win but that's not why I entered. I got feedback on my screenplay Where Are You Seventeen? This was kind of a stepping stone to me getting back into the rewriting of this screenplay. I knew the screenplay had good elements in it that I wanted to keep intact but the structure needed to be rock solid, which it wasn't. Having a new set of eyes would have been useful. This is where BlueCat came in.

The BlueCat Screenplay Competition is run by Heather Schor and Gordy Hoffman, brother of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Their approach is a honest and respectful of the writer and the process. The readers are hand picked from the L.A. pool. Unlike coverage where the material is stripped down to it's most commercially viable components for a studio, the feedback is providing a service to make you recognize what is exceptional and unique about your screenplay and what could use a little attention. The feedback is broken into two sections, basically, what does work and what needs work. I can say the points they made about mine were definitely valid. It ends with a rating scale from 1-6:

STORY- 5
CHARACTERIZATION- 5
DIALOGUE- 4
CLARITY- 4
ORIGINALITY- 4
PRESENTATION- 4

So if you're thinking about dusting off an old screenplay or submitting the one you are working on now check this competition out for the same reasons I did. It's a good place to start to get a professional opinion of your work. This alone is worth the $25 submission fee. Who knows? You might be a contender.

3 Comments:

Blogger Make the logo bigger said...

I had to return the favor and comment on your coverage experience. I was pleased with the overall job that Joel did on mine. It rated out this way:
PREMISE- FAIR
STORYLINE- FAIR > POOR
CHARACTER- GOOD > FAIR
DIALOGUE- GOOD > FAIR

Needless to say, there were no check marks in the excellent category! But, I did find that the coverage cemented the suspicions I had about problem areas, at least what I suspected were the problem areas, plus a few others.

I have to check out that competition though. Maybe they're scanning screenplays to get Philip a good role.

;-p

12:47 AM  
Blogger William said...

I think it's good if you aren't in any rush to get feedback on your screenplay. I've never paid anybody for coverage so I'm not sure about the good, the bad and the weak. I know Creative Screenwriting did a cover story a while back on the players in this area. It's Volume 10, Number 2.

Good to get an idea now so you can redirect when rewriting.

Good Luck Bill.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen only raves about Bluecat, but my experience was less than satisfactory-- they sent me the wrong coverage! And since then, have failed to acknowledge my request to straight the mess out. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that ol' Gordy is syphoning the same readers that Nichol uses... in other words, most struggling writers enter the same few most popular contests-- if a reader read a particular play for Nichol, then no need to re-read it for BlueCat, right? Is it just a strange coincidence that the finalist/winners correlate so closely? In such a subjective arena like spec scripts, that would seem unlikely... especially seeing BlueCat is supposed to lean toward more of the independent flavor-- whereas Nichol is more about industry norms. What gives Gordy?

10:28 PM  

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