Fairy tales are fair play!

 

First ‘Mirror, Mirror’ then the more anticipated film ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (set for a US release on June 1, 2012).  All these retelling of old fairy tales makes us think, hey, why am I trying so hard to think of a unique idea, when I can just re-use one?

It’s a fair point, there are so many old stories available on public domain these days, if the major studios are going for them, then why don’t the struggling writers do same?  Well, to help you decide whether you want to aim for the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’, or the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ oscar, here are the pros and cons for both:

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY PROS:

*The basic storyline and plot is already mapped out for you

*Characters are familiar, therefore dialogue should be easier to recreate

*Production companies and Studios love scripts that already have a large fan base!

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY CONS:

*There are already a lot of remakes out there and in the pipeline, so finding a new take on things could be tricky.

*While searching for your new angle, you may want to stay true to the original story and characters, as to not deter die-hard fans of the original.

*Some contests don’t allow adaptations and some industry representatives may judge an adaptation as not being as worthy a work as an original.

NB.  Research any copyright issues you may with the story or tale before you begin writing to avoid disappointment, or worse, a lawsuit.

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY PROS:

*You can really let loose in terms of creativity and imagination.  There are no restrictions when you’re telling your own story, no rules, no limits, anything goes.

*No one can deem you for misrepresentation, or being unfaithful to a tale or character.  You don’t have to spend time researching definitions for legal jargon in copyright infringements.

*Nothing beats the feeling of a finished screenplay that’s derived from your own inspiration.  Visualizing the final product of your own dreams is nothing short of wonderful.

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY CONS:

*Finding that perfect idea or high concept can be time consuming.

*You have no reference to story or character so it’s necessary to build the background of both from scratch = more time and energy.

*Although your story may be an original, some characters or aspects of the plot may feel familiar to another film, tv show or story, so people may judge you for being cliche` or copying ideas when that may not even be the case.

 

Now, while you chew over that list, deciding which road you’re gonna take, why not take a peek at the ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ trailer…

 

http://reelauthors.com/

Reel Authors offers a genre-based screenplay/teleplay writing contest where scripts are assigned to readers who enjoy that particular genre.  Contests run every 6 months.

 

http://scifiscreenplaycontest.com/

The Pulsar Sci-Fi Screenplay Contest is an international screenplay contest dedicated exclusively to Sci-Fi.  We also accept Sci-Fi original pilot and existing show teleplays.  Contests run every 6 months.

 

Writing What You Love <3

 

If there’s a tip I can offer any writer, as corny as it may sound… It’s ALWAYS best to write what you LOVE!

If you have a passion for something, if you enjoy something, it always shines through, whether through your eyes while you speak, your smile while you think, or through your words, it’s the x-factor for scripts and it’s a joy when readers come across it.

Writing about something that interests you, or something you feel strongly about also makes the whole process a lot easier and smoother.  You find yourself on a roll, writing page after page with ease, rather than having to force yourself to type out each sentence.  You become more productive.  It’s the feeling one gets when they actually enjoy their job that it no longer feels like work.  Writing shouldn’t have to be a chore, it should be a form of expression, an outlet for your creativity.

If you find yourself not enjoying your craft as much.  Take a break, or brainstorm for new ideas.  Never let your inspiration run dry.  Inspiration should always be your fuel, your fire.  If you find yourself lacking, watch some of your favorite films or TV shows.  -Behind the scenes footage is always a way to become inspired, seeing the film or show being created and seeing how your script would fit into that process, can drive you to the finish line so one day you can see your work of art come together on screen.

 

http://reelauthors.com/

Reel Authors offers a genre-based screenplay/teleplay writing contest where scripts are assigned to readers who enjoy that particular genre.  Contests run every 6 months.

 

http://scifiscreenplaycontest.com/

The Pulsar Sci-Fi Screenplay Contest is an international screenplay contest dedicated exclusively to Sci-Fi.  We also accept Sci-Fi original pilot and existing show teleplays.  Contests run every 6 months.

Deadline approaching!

 

With under two weeks left of our Cycle One deadline, we imagine you writers are getting frantic out there, finalizing your scripts and tweaking details!

Just remember to take a step back in amongst all the madness.  Walk away from the computer for a few hours and you may come back with a fresh idea or insight on how to make it that little bit better.

Don’t forget that Reel Authors offers biannual contests.  That means each cycle runs for 6 months, with no breaks in between.  As soon as Cycle One closes, submission for Cycle Two opens, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss the first deadline.

Most importantly, keep writing!  Just because you’ve finished one script, doesn’t mean you are now a pro and can sit back and relax.  Aim to have TEN amazing feature length scripts under your belt and try to write in a variety of genres, you never know, the genre you least expected to be good at, may be the one that wins you a prize, agent or option deal!

If your script is ready for submission, follow the links below:

http://reelauthors.com/Enter-Contest.php (For screenplays and teleplays of all genres)

 

http://scifiscreenplaycontest.com/Enter-Contest.php (For sci-fi screenplays and teleplays)

 

The Hunger Games

 

Who wouldn’t be excited about this movie?  Part ‘Sucker Punch’, part ‘Fight Club’, with a sacrifice as big as ‘Brokedown Palace’… It’s bound to be good!

Starring Jennifer LawrenceJosh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.

Summary:

“Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television.  The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors.  When 16-year-old Katniss’ young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.”

Watch The Hunger Games Trailer here.

Final Drafts…

As the scripts roll in as Cycle One’s deadline approaches, there are a few things that writers should consider before hitting the ‘SUBMIT’ button for our screenplay and teleplay contests.

1.  SPELLING AND GRAMMAR

It may sound simple, but even the best writers somehow overlook the smallest errors.  You know the feeling, when you’ve read your script twenty times in a row, you’re so square eyed that ‘Home’ and ‘Hone’ look identical.  -Don’t forget though, your reader is reading your script for the first time and will likely any small typo, however small.

2.  FORMAT

If your submitting your first script, make sure you’re familiar with the industry format.  Read books, ask your tutor, or just Google, but there’s nothing more frustrating than reading a script where it’s hard to tell apart the dialogue from the action.  If in doubt, check out the pointers on our resources page: http://reelauthors.com/Resources.php

3.  HONEST OPINION

Yes, you’re gonna be biased about your own script.  You’re gonna think parts are funny where others don’t.  You’re gonna think it’s the most exciting script since Jurassic Park… and you’re probably gonna disagree when someone tells you… YOU’RE WRONG!  Best advice, get someone else to read it and let them give you their honest opinion.  Try get someone that knows you as little as possible, because lets face it, your friends, your spouse and your parents are gonna be biased too!

4.  BOREDOM BUSTER

No one wants to read a boring page, so make sure you ONLY include the most interesting scenes and dialogue possible.  While it is important to keep things realistic, it’s more important to make things INTERESTING!  So if need be, let your reader suspend some disbelief in trade for an exciting read.  If you think you can get away without saying something, or showing something, then CUT IT!  We want to be glued to your script, make every line, every word count!  REMEMBER:  If you don’t need it, lose it!

5.  SUBMIT IN TIME

Don’t wait till the last minute, beat the rush and get in as soon as you’re ready.  One, you’ll get your feedback faster and Two, you’ll be sure your entry makes it before the deadline without any possible technical malfunctions.

The links are below…  We look forward to reading your work!

http://reelauthors.com/Enter-Contest.php (for screenplays and teleplays of ALL genres)

http://scifiscreenplaycontest.com/ (for screenplays and teleplays with partial or whole sci-fi elements)