These are people who can truly open doors for undiscovered writers.
Judging is anonymous. When you enter the contest your script will be assigned a number, and the Judges will identify your entry by title and number only. Most importantly, through each round of competition, the Judges will be assigned scripts in genres based on their individual interests and expertise, so your screenplay will always be evaluated by people who understand and appreciate the type of material you’ve written.
In the Preliminary Rounds of competition, entries will be evaluated by professional script readers and story analysts, all of whom have at least three years’ experience working in the film and television industry. Scripts that receive a score of 60 or higher from the first Judge will be sent to a second Judge. The combined scores of these two Judges will determine which scripts will advance to the Quarter-Final Round.
Scripts that advance to the Quarter-Final Round (the top 10% of all entries) will be evaluated by professional screenwriters and screenwriting consultants. The Judges’ combined scores will determine which scripts advance to the Semi-Final Round.
Scripts that advance to the Semi-Final Round (the top 25 scripts in each category) will be evaluated by Hollywood literary agents, managers, and development executives. The Judges’ combined scores will determine which scripts advance to the Final Round.
Scripts that advance to the Final Round (the top 10 scripts in each category) will be evaluated by a group of Hollywood producers and production executives. The combined scores of all the Judges throughout the competition will determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Prize Winners in each category, as well as this year’s Grand Prize Winner.
Scripts will be evaluated on a ten-point scale. The Judges will assign scores of 1 to 10 for each of these elements:
The idea behind the story. What the movie is about. The “hook.”
Standard spec screenplay or teleplay format (12 pt. Courier font, correct margins, etc.), as well as spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage.
The framework of the script. Effective use of three-act (most common), odyssey, linear, or non-linear story progression.
The actions, events, conflicts, and turning points that propel the story forward. How the story unfolds (points for originality/unpredictability).
The timing of the action, unfolding of plot elements, and character development.
Personalities that are distinctive, compelling, multi-layered, and unpredictable. A protagonist and antagonist with clear and active goals.
Voices that are natural, succinct, and unique to each character. Use of language that effectively reveals character and moves the story forward.
The underlying message of the story as revealed through plot, dialogue, and visual elements.
Overall quality of the writing. Tone that is appropriate to the material and narrative that is distinct, cinematic, and effectively conveys the mood or “feel” of the movie.
Audience appeal and box-office potential.
If you’d like a better understanding of the evaluation process, several of our Judges explain each of these elements in detail and discuss their scoring process in our groundbreaking eBook “The Insiders’ Guide to Screenwriting.”
We will post the list of scripts advancing to the next round of competition on the following dates:
QUARTER-FINALISTS: July 15
SEMI-FINALISTS: August 15
FINALISTS: September 15
WINNERS: October 15
Prize packages will be sent to the winning screenwriters within six weeks of the final announcement.
Would you like to find out what the Judges think of your script?
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