Thursday, April 15, 2010

May is Amateur Month!

One thing I never forget is that this site is for you guys. I created it to help you and I will continue to use it to help you whenever you can. That’s why I held the free logline contest. And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing today. May is going to be Amateur Month. And the idea is to give a few of you a chance to get your scripts reviewed on the site. Now I know that this is going to suck for those who visit the site more as spectators than screenwriters, but I don’t care. I’ve wanted to do this for awhile.

The month will be divided into three sections. The first week is going to be Amateur Week. Anybody can send me a script to be reviewed. Anyone. The week will start off with Roger and I reviewing two completely random scripts from the sampling. We’re going to close our eyes, reach in, and review whatever we pluck out. These will definitely be the most interesting days of the month, as I’m expecting to review scripts in major need of realignment. I don't want to jinx anybody, but a double "What the Hell did I just read" is not out of the question.

The rest of the week, I'll pick three scripts based on loglines. So, at the very least, the concepts should be good.

Now let me warn you here. Neither Roger or I will be cruel in our reviews, but we will be HONEST. This goes for all of the reviews throughout the month. If you’ve only written a couple of screenplays, I’m warning you right now, there’s a very good chance your script will receive a low rating. If you’re not prepared for that criticism, don’t send your script in. So why am I doing this? Why subject someone to such a harsh critique? A couple of reasons. We’re doing this to learn. We feature PROFESSIONAL scripts on the site all the time, and a lot of times those scripts get bashed to pieces and called “amateur.” Which makes me laugh. Because if you think those scripts are amateur, you haven’t read any amateur scripts. We are going to review and post REAL amateur scripts, and you’re going see just how difficult crafting a story really is. But more importantly, it will give you the writer of these scripts, a chance to see where your screenplay is, where it needs to be improved, and how.

Now does that mean I’m not hoping to be proven wrong? Of course not. I am praying that somehow you, the guy or girl sitting on your couch right now reading these words, the one who has more talent in your middle toe than Aaron Sorkin has in his whole body, gets your script to me, I give it a genius rating, it sells for a million bucks, and it’s the happiest day in Scriptshadow history. So if you're out there, please send your script in and make sure I pick it somehow. :)

WEEK 2 is going to be the return of Repped Week. If you remember, last year, I featured a week of writers who had representation from agencies and/or managers, but who hadn’t yet made the big spec sale. The idea was for you to see what it took to get an agent, which is obviously not as difficult as getting your script sold. So Repped Week is back baby. Send your scripts in (details below), and just like Amateur Week, only send your scripts in if it’s okay for me to post them.

But the big reason I’m doing this is for WEEK 3 and some of WEEK 4. Over the past couple of years, I’ve read a lot of amateur scripts, some through my notes service, some through contests, and some through referrals, and I’ve found a handful of unpurchased scripts that are really good. None of the scripts are perfect, but all of them are “worth the reads” or higher, and there are a couple I just know will be made into movies. If you’re a producer, a director, a financier, an agent, or a manager, you will want to be paying attention on that 3rd week of May. Because these scripts are going to be up for grabs.

Interested? Okay, here are the instructions. Follow them EXACTLY!


e-mail address:
Instructions: First off, write your logline INTO THE SUBJECT LINE. If it doesn’t fit, write as much as you can. The full logline will also be posted in the body of the message. Attach a PDF of your script with the e-mail. Here is a sample of how the body of the e-mail should look:

Name: Joe Screenwriter
Title: Blanket Man
Genre: Horror
Logline: When the people of Sleepville begin losing their blankets one by one, they realize that a horrifying entity known as “Blanket Man” has been stealing them, in hopes of making everyone really chilly at night.

e-mail address:
Instructions: In order to qualify for Repped week, you must have an agent or a manager, and not yet have sold a screenplay. In regards to your e-mail, please write your logline INTO THE SUBJECT LINE. If it doesn’t fit, write as much as you can. The full logline will also be posted in the body of the message. Attach a PDF of your script with the e-mail. This is exactly how the body of the e-mail should look:

Name: Jane Screenwriter
Agency/Management: IDK
Agent/Manager: Temper Sent
Title: Tickle Dome
Genre: Drama/Sci-Fi
Logline: 700 years in the future, man has only one weakness: tickling. In a remote town off the Atlanta Wastelands, the best ticklers in the world battle each other til they’re really tired and can’t laugh anymore. It is known…as The Tickle Dome.

You can start submitting right now! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!