Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's on...

I got the news, today -- I'll be in Los Angeles, starting on August 18th. I've got my ticket to fly in on the 16th, and I'll be staying by LAX. Gonna be there 3 weeks on someone else's dime. Woohoo!

Makes up for Page Awards flipping me off on both Return to Darian's Point and 5 Dates. Both are damn good scripts and hit all the points needed for a story, but I didn't even make the first cut. I think it has to do with their "feedback service." If you go through that and write the scripts the way they want you to, and it turns out half-assed decent, you make the Quarterfinals. Otherwise, you have to be amazingly good to get into that group. Blood Angel made it on its own, a few years back...which is meaning more and more to me, now.

I still have half a dozen others to hear from, two of which are just now ending their final extended last chance to enter deadlines that might be extended, again. It'll be interesting to see what happens with them. I like the idea of script competitions, and if RDP, 5D or A65 get anywhere in another one (to join with my Indie Gathering win, which won't be official until August 17th when the awards are handed out) I'll start crowing loud about it to agents and managers.

But reality is, they are very hit and miss. I used to enter the Nicholl every year, thinking my latest best script would win me a fellowship. Obviously, that didn't happen. I finally went to their library and read some of the winning scripts and had a massive WTF moment. Trite dialogue. Surface storylines. Cliched characters. Barely following screenplay format. Someone (I don't remember who, maybe in my writing workshop) told me they have a certain agenda that shifts from year to year, depending on who's coordinating the competition. If you happen to hit it right, you get it.

Same for Sundance Screenplay Workshops. I applied there several times, then learned all but 2 of the slots were quietly handed out to writers or directors already known to the coordinators, so thousands of people are vying for 2 openings while thinking they're trying out for 5 times more. Granted, the odds aren't all that much better, so you're still trying for something next to impossible...but the whole facade of them being for developing new writers and pretending they're doing so much more than they are irritates me. That said, I'm also one of those blind fools who think, "This time it will be different," and who is proof, positive, that such thoughts are a form of insanity.

Color my ass crazy.

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