Winning Scripts Sent to 100+ Production Companies – Interview with Shore Scripts Screenwriting Contest Founder David Beazley

SHORE SCRIPTS
SCREENWRITING COMPETITION
(answered via David Beazley of Shore Scripts)

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Film Courage:  When, why, and how did Shore Scripts begin?

Shore Scripts:  Shore Scripts was founded in early 2012. I started the contest before bringing on two colleagues who also worked in the film industry as script consultants. We are all writers and knew the difficulties of getting our work in front of the right people. All these industry folk are looking for great scripts, but are reluctant to read anything in less it came from an agent. 99% of the time agents won’t sign writers until they have some sort of credit behind them. Setting up a contest to discover new exciting talent was a way of breaking this Catch 22. We felt that Producers, Production Companies and Agents would get on board to read the recommended scripts that we sent through to them; therefore helping undiscovered talent break through in this notoriously difficult industry.

Film Courage:  What is the decision making process for feature and short screenplays like?  How many various categories and sub-categories is an individual script put through?

Shore Scripts:   We read submitted scripts during and after the contest. There are four of us in-house and three of our main readers who read all the scripts entered. Any of the scripts that stand out we put to one side to discuss as a group when we next meet. These discussions lead us to narrowing down the scripts to our Quarter, Semi Finalists and Top 5 in both Feature & Short categories. These five winning feature and short scripts are then sent out to our judges. They read them all and tell us the order of their most to least favorite. Collating our judges feedback determines the order of our winners.

Film Courage:   What are some commonly asked questions and answers regarding submission, location costs, etc.?

Shore Scripts:   People email about our competition dates quite a lot. They can all be seen on our FAQ page. We’ll probably get these on the homepage shortly too so it’s easier to find.

Length of script. If it is under or over our ideal page count of between 80-120pages, it’s worth emailing us to see if we will still accept it.

Does Shore Scripts have any rights over my work? No. We never will. If a industry person if interested in someone’s script then we put them directly in touch with the writer so that they can work it out. Our goal is to connect writers to producers, prod comps, etc. We never get involved in any negotiations.

Film Courage:   Can you tell us about the script analysis services you offer?  When should a writer utilize these services?

Shore Scripts:   We offer two types of analysis. Standard (5pages) and Development (10pages). If a writer has finished a draft of their script and are looking for detailed feedback, then it’s worth getting in touch. We look at the Premise, Structure, Character, Dialogue, Pace, Marketability and conclude our thoughts on each script entered for analysis. As a writer you get so close to your work that it can become hard to pick up on what does and doesn’t work. We’ve found that script analysis really helps a writer look at their work in a new light.

Film Courage:   If a script is optioned during the competition, is it still eligible to compete?

Shore Scripts:   If your script becomes optioned or even sells then unfortunately it is no longer allowed in the contest.

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Film Courage:   What are some of the prizes for winners of Shore Scripts?

Shore Scripts:   So much stuff! We have 5 cash prizes. The highest being £2000 ($3025 approx) to our feature winner. A free Celtx Premium subscription. Their script sent to all 100+ Production Companies. A Free Place on the London Film Academy Screenwriting Foundation Course. Free IMDB Pro Membership. Free Pass to 2016’s Pitchfest. Many many more!

You can see them all here – Feature Prizes and Short Prizes.

Film Courage:   What is the least amount of drafts a screenplay should go through before submission to a contest?

Shore Scripts:
   There’s no set number of drafts it needs to go through. A writer will know deep down when it’s time to send their work out into the world!

Film Courage:   Advice for writers on how much they should write per day?

Shore Scripts:   Personally I feel you just need to write whenever you can. Early morning, late at night. Whenever’s best for you.

Many sites and people say you need to write everyday. I don’t believe this to be true. A sportsman doesn’t train everyday.

They need to rest at times so that they are able to perform. A writer needs to write whenever they are able to, but I feel it’s beneficial to take a bit of time off every now and then to recharge the batteries.

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Film Courage: Advice for writers on staying dedicated to their stories and their discipline?

Shore Scripts:   You need to fall in love with the story you’re telling in order to stay with it during the writing process. Screenplays can take months, years even to write, and definitely years to get made, so you need to be passionate about the story you’re  telling in order to stick with it. In terms of writing, there’s no good time to write. If you wait for the perfect moment: the house is quiet, there’s nothing on TV, etc., then you’ll never write. You just need to do it whenever you’re able.

Film Courage:   Should a writer always know the ending of their script from Page 1?

Shore Scripts:
   I don’t think you need to. Many would disagree. It’s always what works best for each individual writer.

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Film Courage:   Most common genre submitted to Shore Scripts for feature-length and short scripts?

Shore Scripts:

Feature – Drama
Short – Comedy

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Film Courage:   Who are the 2015 panel of judges for Shore Scripts?

Shore Scripts:   We have the Oscar winning actor, Jeremy Irons.
Tony Grisoni – writer of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland
Phyllida Lloyd – director of Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady
Jeffrey Caine – writer of GoldenEye, The Constant Gardener
Stephen Woolley – producer of Interview With The Vampire, The Crying Game

We have 21 Oscar and BAFTA Winning Judges on board. They can be seen here.

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Film Courage:   Who are the production companies participating in Shore Scripts?

Shore Scripts:   There’s over 100 Production Companies, Agents and Managers attached to read the best scripts that we send through to them. These don’t need to be winning scripts. If we feel a script is suited to a certain companies slate, then we’ll send it through with the writers prior consent.  Our Companies

Film Courage:   What does Shore Scripts aim to accomplish?

Shore Scripts:   Our goal is to help discover new screenwriting talent from around the world. Help folks make careers for themselves in this tough old industry.

Film Courage:   Success stories from former Shore Scripts alumni?

Shore Scripts:   We’ve had quite a few success stories. Our Alumni

Film Courage:   Worthy ideas for improving one’s chances when submitting scripts to Shore Scripts or any other competition?

Shore Scripts:   Ensure that your script is properly formatted. It’s the first thing a reader notices and leaves a lasting impression. You need to get past the reader in a screenplay contest or if your script with any production company. Make it as easy as possible for him/her to read your work. Lots of white space on the page, correct formatting, etc. Scripts should be sent as PDF documents. We accept other file extensions, but PDF is industry standard.

Film Courage:   What is next creatively for Shore Scripts in the coming months/years?

Shore Scripts:   At the moment we’re busy reading scripts and making contact with new production companies that we can hopefully add to next years roster. We are also looking into the possibility of accepting TV Scripts for 2016’s contest.

ABOUT SHORE SCRIPTS:

Our mission is to discover new exciting screenwriting talent from around the world. We put the best scripts into the hands of the producers, production companies and agents that have the means to get them made. Shore Scripts has amassed a roster of the most respected industry Judges of any screenwriting competition in the world. They include both Oscar and BAFTA winners, and the Heads of Production at Working Title Films and Ridley Scott’s, Scott Free Films. All of our 21 Judges will read the winning scripts.

We have over 100 Production Companies and agents attached to read the best scripts that we send through to them each year. These do not have to be winning scripts. If we feel a screenplay is strong enough, and a good fit with a production companies slate, then we will send it through with the writers prior consent. Our writers’ Alumni.

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