Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Optioned! Announcing The Dan Heffner Scriptwriting Competition

Editor's Note: "John" asked whether it would be OK to submit a script that had sci-fi characters written as an action/adventure film. The answer: Sure, as long as it's an action adventure film.

But the question reminded me of one more "rule" -- well, guideline -- to keep in mind:

Serendipity Productions is really serious about optioning a script. And it makes smaller-budget films, stories based more in character and plot than special effects and massive sets. So you'd have a better chance of winning this one with a script that wouldn't require a tens-of-millions-of-dollars production budget. Just a thought.


Editor's Note #2: OK, so we've gotten another question worth noting here: Can you submit more than one script? Yes, you can submit more than one, but no more than three.



You've written the script. Now it’s time to get it optioned.

The all-new, Park-School-only (that's you!) Dan Heffner Scriptwriting Competition is designed to help.

Sponsored by Dan Heffner, one of the Park School's most accomplished and generous alumni (if you have somehow missed meeting Dan during his multiple visits to campus for the past few years you can find a summary of his accomplishments at IMDb)., the competition will identify the best feature-film script from among the entries, and Dan's production company, Serendipity Productions, will option it.

The runner-up will receive detailed notes and an opportunity to discuss his or her script with Heffner and his production team.

Here are the rules:

A. Screenplays must be written in English.

B. Content must be original. Adaptations of books, plays, or other source material are not acceptable.
C. Content must be narrative. This award is not for documentary or experimental film.

D. Acceptable genres include action, adventure, comedy, or drama. No horror or sci-fi scripts, please.

E. Scripts must be submitted in standard screenplay format. They should be single sided, printed on plain white paper, in Courier 12 point font with proper margins. All pages except page 1 must be numbered in the upper right hand corner.

F. Scripts must have a standard cover page listing the title, name of author(s), mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Judging will be anonymous. Therefore, do not include a name on any of the script pages—only the title page.

G. Entries must also include a story synopsis, attached to the script on a separate sheet of paper, along with the author(s) name and contact information.

H. Scripts should be registered with the Writer’s Guild of America Script Registry. http://www.wga.org

I.The winning script will be optioned by Serendipity Productions under the terms of its standard option agreement (available for your review in the Dean's Office) for the period of one year, at a fee to the author of $1,000; option rights may be extended for an additional 12 months for an additional fee to the author of $1,000. If the option has not been exercised by the end of the option period, all rights return to the author.

J. Scripts must be submitted to April Johanns, ajohanns@ithaca.edu, before midnight, August 1, 2009. No exceptions. Scripts and story synopses can be submitted as email attachments, or sent by postal mail to April c/o the Park School, Ithaca College, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca NY 14850. Postmark MUST be on or before August 1, 2009.

K. Winners will be announced in early September 2009.

L. This competition is open exclusively to current students in the Park School of Communications. Students graduating in May or August of 2009 may participate.

Questions? Let me know and I'll get the answers for you.

2 Comments:

Blogger John said...

What if we've written a script that is in the style of a movie like Underworld. Where it has characters or creatures that are normally found in horror/sci-fi buts its written more as an action movie? Is that still acceptable to enter?

2:33 AM  
Blogger dyingtobethin said...

If one happens to be a Scriptwriting minor in Park (but a non-major) could one still submit a script? Or is it exclusively for majors?

4:27 PM  

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