Well, here they are, the Top 25! I’m wondering if I shouldn’t start a whole new thread titled, “Readers agree you may as well have not entered Carson’s contest if you didn’t have a thriller, a comedy, or a sci-fi script,” because I know those comments are coming. I don’t really know what to say except that I never discounted any script that wasn’t in one of those genres. These scripts are simply the ones that spoke to me. It should be noted however, that comedy and thrillers accounted for about 65% of the entries (with comedies around 50%), so the genres I picked weren’t ridiculously off from the entry percentages. I hope you’ll all keep in mind that the contest didn’t cost anyone anything and was as much a learning experience for me as it was for you. So please try to keep the comments celebratory, as I want this to be about commending the people who got through, not forming conspiracy theories about the people who didn’t.
As for those of you who didn’t make the Top 25? Keep your chin up. Just because I didn't fall in love with your script doesn't mean somebody else won't. God knows people disagree with my reviews all the time. Also, choosing whether an entire script was good based off the first 10 pages wasn’t easy, especially when it was a slower story. As a result, it was harder to judge those types of scripts. I actually narrowed the field down to 38, and then had to make some tough choices from there. So you may have been one of the unfortunate late cuts. I can honestly say that outside of, maybe, four scripts, the level of writing here was really good. Nobody embarrassed themselves, and I think that speaks a lot to the kind of people who visit the site. Good writers understand that they need to read other scripts to get better. Bad writers tend to think they know it all. So I’m not surprised that the people who entered the contest knew what they were doing.
Now for a bit of a surprise. Anticipating that some entrants wouldn’t make the deadline for the 10-page round, I came up with a list of about 30 alternates to fill the unused slots. After thinking it over, however, I decided to expand that list to 75 loglines I thought had potential. I would then give 3 of those scripts slots in the final round (so instead of it being a Top 25, it’s actually now a Top 28). Although some might cry foul, I think it was the right thing to do because there were a lot of loglines that had potential but weren’t convincing enough to make the Top 100. I wanted to give some of those a chance. The top 3 from that list are noted as the “Second Tier” winners at the bottom. I want to thank Kristy at MSP and Colin J. Louro (Colin's blog) for helping me whittle those scripts down, as I didn’t have enough time to do it myself.
I’d like to wrap it up with a few things. If you see yourself on the list, you have until Monday January 11th, at 11:59pm Pacific Time to send me a PDF of your entire script (this is one more week than was originally planned). If you are one of the alternates listed below, you will be notified on January 12th if you’ve made the final round dependent on someone dropping out). You will then have until Monday, January 18th at 11:59pm Pacific Time to send me your script. So I’d advise the alternates – particularly the high alternates – to start work on your scripts now, as I anticipate at least a couple of people not making the deadline. Finally, if you are one of the finalists here and would like your e-mail listed so that managers/agents/producers can contact you, please e-mail me at Carsonreeves3@gmail.com. Congratulations to everyone who made it. I look forward to reading your scripts! :)
The Rules of Cusack by Josh Penn Boris (Toluca Lake, CA) - John Cusack helps a young man find love using advice from his films. However, problems arise when Cusack falls for the same girl and his perceptions of movie life and real life begin to blur.
Silent Night by James Luckard (Los Angeles) - With a brutal serial killer stalking Nazi Germany at Christmas, the Berlin detective on the case gets reluctantly partnered with a Jewish criminal psychologist released from Auschwitz to profile the killer.
E-mail: jamesluckard at yahoo dot com
Humans! By Josh Eanes (South Carolina) - In a world populated by sentient zombies, an outbreak of humans threatens the lives of two ordinary zombie youths, as does an increasingly chaotic military response.
Couples by Edward Ruggiero (Connecticut) - The friendships and marriages of three couples are tested after they share a group sex experience while vacationing together.
The Man With One Arm by Stephen Fingleton (London) - A struggling filmmaker gets funding for his long-cherished spaghetti western, but is forced to make it in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Short Term Forecast by Brad Sorensen (Ottawa) - After discovering a fax machine that can send and receive messages one day into the future, an impossibly inaccurate weather man struggles for career advancement while trying to maintain the space/time continuum.
Fast Money by Angelle Haney Gullett (Los Angeles) - A young girl with a gift for numbers struggles to stay in private school and pull her family out of poverty by taking her first job – as the accountant for her neighborhood drug dealer.
Two Compatible by Zach Hillesland & Kieran Piller - Two genetically related test-tube babies – with two radically different sets of parents – meet in college and start dating, unaware that they are brother and sister.
Get Motivated by Stephen Hoover - When a company motivational camping trip turns into a life and death struggle, a put-upon underling takes action and leads an uprising against his oppressive boss. THE OFFICE meets LORD OF THE FLIES.
Lazarus The Renegade by Bryn Owen (Glasgow) - A man awakens after five years in a coma to discover the Earth has been conquered by an oppressive alien race.
Oh Never, Spectre Leaf! By C. Ryan Kirkpatrick and Chad Musick (South Carolina) - After a freak plane crash, an awkward teenage boy must enlist the help of a sexually frustrated dwarf, a smokin' hot cyborg, and an idiot in a bunny suit to defeat the Nocturnal Wench Everlasting and restore sunlight to the bizarre land of Spectre Leaf.
Hypoxia by Daniel Silk - A woman under Witness Protection awakens on a 747 to discover the pilots and passengers unconscious, the plane depressurized and masked men hunting her. With oxygen and fuel rapidly depleting, she must grapple with surrendering herself to save the 242 people on board.
Is that your wife in that celebrity sex tape? By Kevin Via - An insecure husband discovers a celebrity sex tape starring his soccer mom-wife and a rock star.
Thorne by Michael Sposito - A lonely, tormented physicist hijacks the world's most advanced particle collider traveling back in time to save the mother he lost in the 9/11 attacks, but attempts to warn her alert the hijackers to his presence and threaten the lives of millions unborn.
Louisiana Blood by Mike Donald (Oxfordshire, UK) - When five victims of JACK THE RIPPER turn up in a swamp more than a century after their deaths, thousands of miles from the crime scene, an English Detective and a Louisiana Sheriff form an unlikely duo to unravel the ultimate conspiracy and reveal the Rippers true identity.
The Alien Diaries by Glenn J. Devlin (Arizona) - While appraising old and rare books at a restored colonial plantation, a book collector stumbles across a series of diaries that chronicle an alien visitation in 1781.
Killer Parties by Ben Bolea and Joe Hardesty (Los Angeles) - In the frozen Alaskan tundra, where the sun rarely rises, four best friends struggle against the most terrifying experience of their young lives...graduation.
Tasteless by Adam Conway - A world renowned taste tester/food critic loses his sense of taste and struggles to discover who he is once his one defining characteristic is gone.
Volatile by William C. Martell (Los Angeles) - Eddy lost everything: his job, his house, his wife. Spends his final unemployment check drinking, wakes up with fresh stitches. Stolen kidney? Implanted bomb. Anonymous caller gives him six one hour tasks:
Steal a car, steal a suit, steal a gun... assassinate executives from the company that fired him!
Destination Yesterday by Dexter E. Williams (North Carolina) - A Sacramento businessman discovers - through information provided by a mysterious woman - that his recurring nightmares of a tragic plane crash could be repressed memories of a previous life.
Bible Con by Ashley F. Miller - Comic Con for Christians -- goes straight to hell when Jesus and Mary Magdalene fall in love, the keynote speaker turns out to be an atheist, and the event is besieged by DaVinci Code fans.
Synapse by Matthew Sinclair-Foreman - During a brain operation, a man has an out of body experience in which he witnesses a murder in the hospital. Debilitated by neurological post-op side effects, he must catch the killer before his investigation turns him into the next victim.
Antarctic by Neil Dave (Los Angeles) - When an international team of scientists explore a cavern hidden deep beneath an Antarctic lake they discover an organism that predates biological life.
For Your Eyes Only by Mukilan Thangamani – On the eve of a career-defining product launch, a self-centred, misanthropic, food researcher finds her social and professional life turned upside down after the accidental leak of a salacious home video.
Dark Sci-Fi Thriller
Elysium by Fredrik Agetoft & Magnus Westerberg
The world's first in-orbit spa is on it’s maiden voyage, loaded with celebrities expecting the pampering of a lifetime, when all communications are lost and everyone on board has to work together to stay alive in the desert of space and reveal the dark mystery behind what has happened.
1) (Action/Thriller) Ground Work by Patrick C. Taylor (Virginia) - His flight from LA to NYC canceled in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, an Arab-American hitman must travel across the country to complete a job, facing the most hostile environment possible for an Arab with a gun and a guilty conscience.
2) (Sci-Fi/Drama/Comedy) A Constant Variable by Chris Rodgers (Utah) - A quantum physics professor finds himself on the outside of his own life, looking in, when he time travels twenty-four hours into the future and gets stuck there.
3) (Comedy) High School Hero by Chris Fennimore - When a former high school football star on the brink of middle age can't catch a break in life; he sneaks back into high school by claiming to have Rapid Aging Disorder in the misguided hope of reliving his glory days on and off the gridiron.
4) (Drama/Suspense) Chasing Hope by Miriam Adams-Washington - After finding a captivating old photo of the grandmother she never knew, an urban teen journeys to the Deep South for answers and stumbles upon family secrets of forbidden love, lies and a fifty year old unsolved murder mystery.
5) (Suspense Thriller) Just Like Jesse James by Tim McGregor - Hearing of a folktale about outlaw treasure buried on the family farm, four cousins take up the hunt but the closer they get to the gold, the more each struggles to trust the others.
6) (Drama) Aftermath by Jared Waine - After a giant monster attack on Miami, three disparate people- a retired sailor, a burnt-out virologist, and a torn rescue worker- deal with love and loss amongst the ruins.
7) (Contained Thriller) Brake by Tim Mannion (Connecticut) - Trapped inside the trunk of a moving car, a newly-hired secret service agent must figure out if his kidnapping is part of a training exercise or an impending terrorist attack.
SECOND TIER WINNERS
Frank Vs. God by Stewart Schill - When his home is destroyed by a tornado, and the Insurance Company informs him that the claim falls under the ‘Act of God’ exclusion in his policy, David Frank decides to sue God himself for damages, beginning a hilarious and soulful odyssey to a surprising final judgment.
Roanoke Jamestown: American Patriot by Donnie and Clint Clark (Ohio) - The untold story of one of America’s founding fathers, Roanoke Jamestown, and how he got deleted from history.
Make Me A Match by Andrew Bumstead - When a hopeless female mortal proves to be impervious to Cupid's arrows, Cupid takes on a mortal disguise in order to convince her to fall in love – the problem is, Cupid doesn’t know a thing about real love.