Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Too funny...

So...I've entered Return to Darian's Point into a number of screenplay competitions. I like the script and think it's ready to go into production. The last pass I did through it was trimming back a bit more description and removing directions to actors. That's it. No dialogue reworked or scenes rearranged.

It's a simple story: A suicidal young man who's just lost everything returns to Ireland to sign away the last piece of property he owns -- a small island off the Cliffs of Moher where his younger brother died, 16 years earlier -- then kill himself. Only he winds up caught in his family's ancient curse, and he is forced to face not only the demons of his past, but a creature of absolute evil that needs his death to set it free.

The script's already been a finalist in last year's Shriekfest and was a semi-finalist in Writers on the Storm, so I know it's good. And it's unusual. More gothic in horror than slasher-gasher crap.

Well...the first notification I get is from Script Pipeline; RDP didn't even make the first cut. Okay, that's that. No big deal...but not an auspicious start to this round of competition pushing.

Then I get notification from The Indie Gathering that Return to Darian's Point won Best Horror Script. Cool. Very happy about that. In fact, I'm planning to attend. I have enough points for a couple nights at a La Quinta near there, and points enough to rent a car from Enterprise so my little old Honda doesn't have to push it in the August heat.

Only what happens next? A possible packing job in LA pops up...which might entail me flying there in the middle of the festival. It's like the fates are toying with me to see just how much fun they can have.

But what's really funny about this to me is how one competition says my scripts not as good as hundreds and hundreds of others while another competition says it's the best in its genre. Hardly a consistent pattern as regards judging the quality of screenwriting. But I will say, what I've found is I do poorly in competitions that have "coverage services" or follow the current books about writing for film, and better in competitions where they judge a script on its own merits and not against a checklist.

That helps, immeasurably, to make me proud of my work.


MAC said...

CONGRATULATIONS! The screenplay sounds intriguing. I love the horror genre... but not the slaher crap either. I'm hooked on paranormal and supernatural stories.

JamTheCat said...

Thanks, Mac. If you think you'll have time to read it, I'll be happy to send it to you...