Gordy Hoffman @vigiledelfuoco
- Integrity & Judging Screenplay Contests @zacsanford
Read the transcript below or on the Storify site
Gordy Hoffman @vigiledelfuoco of @BlueCatPictures #Scriptchat Transcript - October 18, 2015
Hello all, looking forward to chatting with you about the big frauds know as screenplay contests lol
It sounds like a good way to throw your best material on a bonfire.
2 minutes! RT : 10 min to 5pm PST w of - Integrity & Judging Screenplay Contests
We're here sitting quietly in the back of the room ...
Hey Everyone! Long time no tweet:)
It’s O’CLOCK w of - Integrity & Judging Screenplay Contests moderating
It's o'clock. Please welcome @vigiledeluoco of .
Hello everybody thanks for having me back!
Could you give us a little background on yourself to start the chat?
And everyone, feel free to shoot your questions to ... Hopefully I typed that right. :)
Join & for ! Starts now on twitter! The topic is competitions.
I have two weeks to complete a term paper. Then I'm FREE!
I founded BlueCat in 1998, I won the Waldo Salt at Sundance in 2002, I've taught at USC & UCLA, 2015 short premiere at Sundance
Currently on assignment with Oscar nom director.
What do you think is the biggest mistake writers make when entering a contest?
soooooo pumped to be on with GH.
Q: What are your top 3 reasons for passing on a script?
My short is playing in Rio, Denver, Honolulu, Ireland and San Francisco in the next month/
and how many entries this year?
Not emotional. RT : What do you think is the biggest mistake writers make when entering a contest?
Over 6000 RT : and how many entries this year?
Not emotional, no clarity, untruthful RT : Q: What are your top 3 reasons for passing on a script?
Feel free to answer with multiple tweets if needed.
Why do you feel comedy, horror and thrillers don't do too well in most contest?
Actually that's not true, at least for BlueCat. We have horror, thrillers and comedies place.
Q: If a writer's coverage has more "fair" categories vs. passes, how do you recommend they proceed?
Not sure I understand the question, Sanaa :)
Curious about increased visibility for winners. Would you say most go on to see success post win?
It's the least represented genre in the submissions and lesser of them? I don't know.
Our winner Kimi Howl Lee was signed by Industry right after win. So she's happy.
awesome. Love hearing those success stories.
It took awhile but BlueCat has track record and the industry requests all winners.
Also to give yourself more characters, you can remove your twitter handle and others that not responding too.
We do interviews/table readings. At this point, if you're winner or finalist, industry will read.
do resubmits go to the top or the bottom?
Curious as to the number of entrants this year outside US, UK?
I'm trying to figure out how to phrase my question.
Don't have those numbers nearby
Basically, that criteria make a script a better fit for the contest route rather than being shopped?
They are judged as new submission!
It's the same! If you make your reader have an emotional experience, you win. Feels win.
speaking of genres, which have been the most successful in your competition and why?
Seriously. Write a great script. Genre second guessing with contests is not necessary.
I hate the term "The feels." I see it as a buzzword and represents cheap, emotional manipulation.
If your question is skipped, please feel free to resubmit it as sometimes the chat goes too fast. But give our guest a minute.
Rather then instilling a genuine emotional response through storytelling.
My apologies, I'll rephrase. How do you get a reader emotionally connect to content they know nothing about?
It's what the kids call emotions, that's all. Sorry to confuse
Identification with your characters.
Do you see a preference for plot-driven or character-driven scripts?
It's a term I've come to detest because it's used to gush over some really manipulative tripe in some circles.
Many rewrites. Many. Original voices. Made me feel. Laugh, cry.
Everything is driven by character.
any plans to expand to tv pilots?
Thanks! :) Some people don't see to think so, but I certainly agree with you.
Like I didn't know anything about but that was a masterpiece because I was crushed for him.
I guess if there's no internal journey for character, that's plot driven? God who cares haha.
Someday my friend I have to find a way to judge them with our standards.
"I guess if there's no internal journey for character..." Agreed, for sure!
.'s BlueCat is another good one
What should writers be wary of when entering any contests out there?
Screenwriting seminar in LA in overtime. Will have to get the transcript.
Do they read your entire script? Do they have a track record with industry? Who hires the readers?
Do you know who hires the readers? What are their qualifications? How do you know they read your entire script?
Those are great things for writers to worry about, but how would they find out this info?
This scriptchat is about transparency! Let's discuss how we make you feel like your submission is being judged fairly!
No contest is going to admit that they don't read the whole script.
Ask the competitions in a public forum like twitter or facebook I guess ?
Understandable. I'm working with an ancient way of life never explored in film, with a AFAM female lead.
is there anything preventing one tired reader on a bad day scuttling your score?
I've never asked since I don't enter contest, but if I ran one, would I admit that scripts went unread? Nope.
Good thing you don't hahahha
The coverage received passed on the dialog & tone. I just didn't understand how they could judge that not knowing the culture.
Anywho, I appreciate the notes. Back to the drawing board!
It's your responsibility to make that work, Sanaa! You have to make it clear, and you can!
No. RT : is there anything preventing one tired reader on a bad day scuttling your score?
For me, feedback for both my submissions were constructive. After all, we can't always expect to be told what to do! :)
Hence why winning a contest is partially luck of the reader mixed with raw talents.
Don't you get tired? Everyone does. Everyone's human. But everyone tries to rock it when they're making a film.
No, because nearly all of time we are judging well.
the reader's notes I've obtained via are definitely worth the price of submission
": The coverage received passed on the dialog & tone. I just didn't understand how they.... " just change readers :)
No, change your screenplay. Are you going to move your movie to new theatr when they don't laugh?
I would think readers do the best they can. Everyone is looking for next big hit.
def, but I think people have a fear that they'll get the one guy who doesn't "get it" or hates VO or whatev
Of course! We have a professional staff.
:) I think this is one of those projects I should produce. I have others that are easier to digest.
If you're a victim of bad readers, then what do you have to work on? Take responsibility for what you wrote.
hopefully that reader will recognize their bias and do something about it
Besides the feedback a writer can receive, what else puts your contest above some of the others?
no doubt! just asking the question that ppl ask me when they ask about contests
Generally people have more control over the fate of their work simply by working harder than the readers of screenplay contests
: I think this is one of those projects I should produ I've made changes. Thoigh I Didnt agree with everything.
I get it! No bad questions! RT : no doubt! just asking the question that ppl ask me.
i don't think i have been. you wanted questions about how people can feel they're being judged fairly so i asked
I love you guys, thanks for all your questions. We writers have more power than we know. I hate digging deeper into my heart. X
1/2 Maybe it's just me, but I don't think, "maybe the reader isn't great." As writers we need to learn how to...
Q: When is a script contest ready? How do you vet it as a writer?
2/2 ...use whatever feedback we get for our good and move forward.
We have to take responsibility for our own work more. There are no gatekeepers! We hold the keys. It's on us.
: Writing is a scary place. We all have the same questions, whether we pose them or not. :)
Only 15 minutes left... Get those questions in to regarding screenplay Contests.
If it's the reader's fault, what do we have to work on? If it's our fault, then we can write.
I am so late... sorry that I missed most of Gordy's chat (but we were on a panel together in Portland a month ago).
Hi Bill! RT : I am so late... sorry that I missed most of Gordy's chat (but we were on a panel together in Portland).
In grad school, instructors told me they couldn't see it. It's our job to put it on page then on screen.
Please ask me more questions, don't be scared, I'm as scared as you are when talking about writing, then I'm not. :)
Besides the feedback a writer can receive, what else puts your contest above some of the others?
One thing I do to see if a screenplay is ready is to read my 5 favorite scripts and then mine. Is one not like the others?
Always enter Sundance, Austin, Nicholl, and any regional contest. Any state contest.
tracking b, fresh voices, screencraft.
Yes! RT : tracking b, fresh voices, screencraft.
What are some other contests that helped you move forward as a writer?
Last 8 minutes... pick the brain of 's founder
I love that Nicholl finally started giving feedback!
If contests read your scripts, hell, tell the entrants what they think. Why not!
Biggest piece of advice that you'd give writers that are wanting to enter a screenwriting contest?
. Me too. It was not as good as BlueCat Screenplay. I loved my reader there.
Thank you Linda, Nicholl will get stronger, it took us years to get our shit together lol
How does one in the industry become a reader for your contest?
Don't. Take the notes you keep ignoring, write another draft and save the entry fee for pizza. XX
. Agree. But, you are all appreciated. : )
Apply at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for all the great insight!
Next week guest - them for daily giveaways! moderating
I forgot...after you resibmit, do you get notes again?
Don't. Save $ for pizza RT : Biggest piece of advice you'd give writers wanting to enter a screenwriting contest?
Yep. RT : I forgot...after you resibmit, do you get notes again?
oops a spelling mistake. Good I'm not writing a screenplay. :)
BlueCat 2016 Final Deadline is November 15th!!!
As someone who has read thousands of scripts, if you have me hooked, I don't notice typos/grammar errors.
Please challenge all competitions to be transparent about their judging.
I could give a public list of contests to avoid based on their judging, but don't want to be sued. :)
I want to thank for being here tonight. Give 'em a follow and keep rewriting those scripts!
I love writers and I love teaching and I thank Zac and Scriptchat for having me on. I will always answer any questions. I hope
Thanks for being here. Truly appreciate it and your love for helping writers.
I helped tonight! Please work hard to share your most personal stories with us, they become blockbusters!
Anyone in LA interested in seeing Gordy's this Fri in North Hollywood? We may have a few free tix for writers!
Writing is always more important than entering contests! Keep up your relationship with yourself and your instrument. X
You're welcome, Anthony1 RT : Thanks gordy!
You're welcome, Sarah! RT : Thanks for being here and fielding our questions