Creating An Unforgettable Screenplay, Part 5: Dialog
by Christine Autrand Mitchell
There are two parts to a script when you boil away the meat from the bone: there’s action – the visual description of the scene - and then there’s dialog.
However, there are films that are entirely, or nearly, devoid of dialog – The Triplets of Belleville comes to mind in the latter category and I’ve seen many an award winning shorts without dialog as well. A film without action, however, would be seen as an incomplete script, for it will not give the filmmaker any guidance as to artistic vision from the screenwriter (some directors might actually appreciate this). Besides, an all-dialog film may feel more like an infomercial rather than an artistic expression (which I consider film to be).
Returning from my philosophical detour, let’s talk about dialog. So often a screenplay with a good concept, good hooks and solid overall story arc will fall flat on its face because the dialog… well, it sucks. Without good dialog, your script won’t make the grade (i.e.: no one will want to read it, buy it, or watch it). There’s limited space in a script, so make sure your words are absolutely necessary.
I’ve boiled the most common issues into eight major categories. Raise your hands if you’ve heard this applied to your writing or have read these in others’ writing. I’ll then go over them in detail and walk you through a myriad of ways to improve your dialog – and thereby, your entire script!
- Unrealistic – the dialog does not sound like real people talking (a basic and pervasive problem)
- Breaking character – as it implies, it’s dialog that is inconsistent with the character, sort of like he is occasionally possessed by a demon except it’s not a horror story
- Exposition – also known as “you know, Joe”
- Length – the dialog is too long or too short
- Style – especially in genres, it’s important to write dialog that fits what the audience expects
- Shortcuts – using them as a replacement for bad plot
- Subtext – missing it
- Underestimation – of your audience
First of all…
My first two simplest solutions to getting at better dialog is to do two things:
Get readers – and I mean impartial readers who will give you honest critiques about the good and bad aspects of your script, preferably not a relative unless they can be brutally honest, and never someone whose opinion you don’t respect. Remember that honest is better than patronizing; honesty my hurt a bit but will improve your script if you listen and are guided by it
Arrange a table read - Hearing your dialog aloud, even as a cold read, will quickly highlight most problems.
This can be something arranged in your home and you can also invite others to listen and give their feedback. Don’t forget to get the actors’ feedback as well.
How do you go about arranging a table read? If you know some actors, ask them – they love to be the first ones to create a character no one else has ever played. If you don’t, contact a local theater group or casting director for smaller markets; they can be great resources. If you can do neither, get some friends together, assign parts and invest in some fabulous alcohol and snacks. Remember to share your expectations of honest feedback from the start.
A table read will easily highlight (in a shocking way) this. For example, you’ll hear if someone’s name is used too often, because we usually don’t speak like this:
I’m so glad you came over, Jane. You know, Jane,
I was so mad, last night. God, Jane, I don’t know
what to do.
It will also point out flat or wooden dialog – if it’s bad, the best actor can’t dress it up. Also, it will uncover if your dialog goes nowhere in a scene, where it doesn’t further the story or plot in any way. Inversely, it will point out if you’ve begun something that doesn’t get wrapped up.
As a reminder, here the dialog just doesn’t sound like that character should be saying those words. This is most often because your character is not fully developed. What they’re saying doesn’t fit the character’s goals, the track of their metamorphosis, their archetype, their present emotional state or the scene itself. It attributes confusion, not only to your character, but to your reader and audience.
First, you need to clearly know where your character begins his journey and where it will end. Secondly, if you’ve left areas of your script you’re not certain about, whether plot or a dialog, or anything, meaning you’re not 100% sure of your story, this may also occur.
One way I can keep my characters consistent and true to themselves is to cast them – either with a real life person or an actor portraying that character, or, create a sketch or portrait. That way you will always know what they look like (she has blue eyes and not green), their physical quirks (he strokes his beard when he’s worried), and their speaking style (slight French accent with a lisp) and patterns (speaks only in incomplete sentences).
This is often marked by one character saying, “You know, Joe…” and then proceeds to explain some sort of event or plot twist. This is a screenplay, people, so the best way to get information across is to show it. Using dialog to pass on an important bit of information to the story should be used only if there’s no other way, sneak it in as an “oh, by the way” morsel, or use it in dialog in a clever and non-obvious way. Good luck – this ain’t easy!
Once you’ve had others read your script and have heard it, you will discover when someone is sharing too little or too much information – maybe too soon or too late; speaking too briefly which may seem curt; or when one character hogs the dialog (and not on purpose).
You may notice something called monologueing: when one character spews words while the other character listens… maybe. There’s a great scene in The Incredibles where Syndrome gets distracted by being allowed to monologue, and mentions it. And that’s what it does to the audience, it distracts them as the character becomes a talking head and we tune out, just like during a boring lecture. Another example is the perpetrator telling the victim the plan before the victim escapes.
Something a reader or listener will quickly pick up on is a character speaking in the wrong style. A period piece shouldn’t have current slang, a sci-fi story shouldn’t sound like Shakespeare wrote it (or maybe it could…), a rom-com has shorter blocks of dialog than a drama. In other words, you can’t break the rules we all expect, but you can innovate as long as you remain within the box. Then again, I’d love for you to prove me wrong.
You may have run into an issue of being unable to solve a problem in your writing and took a shortcut (that’s a bad word!).
If you introduce a new character so that a vital piece of information is passed onto the audience, don’t make it obvious and bring the character back a few times in useful and interesting ways.
Using expletives to replace ineloquence or a bad plot is not a good idea. Expletives are cultural and situation appropriate, but going overboard with them won’t be appreciated by a general audience. Be creative and find a way to say it well - you’re a writer.
Don’t rely on star power to deliver weak lines. Since you know that Brad Pitt or Helen Mirren (you can insert your own stars here) will be delivering your lines someday, you think that a not-so-solid scene will be overlooked because they will come out of mouths that can do so little wrong. This is a huge mistake. You must always do your best and deliver the best dialog you can. You may have predicted your casting incorrectly. Again, feedback will point out these areas. The script won’t easily get to your stars if it’s not well written – we all know the exceptions.
Subtext is the underlying meaning of your scene. It is grossly overlooked. What makes a good script good, is subtext. It’s not just “what you see is what you get” and the audience never has to fire off more than one neuron; subtext helps you underpin your main conflict, enforce character traits, highlight secondary or even deeper plot points, inject humor when it’s desperately needed, and the list is endless. For example, Lily may be talking about the growth rate of her friend’s tree but she’s actually discussing their stunted friendship.
Unless you’re going for the simple, one story arc, have a conversation-while-you-watch-the-movie-without-losing-any-information script, don’t underestimate your audience. They’re smart and, if it’s a good story that is told well, most audience members want to be challenged just a little, at least. Me? I like to be challenged a lot and not be able to figure out the plot-twist and ending from the preview. If you raise the bar for your audience, they will greatly appreciate it and be fulfilled by being surprised!
Some of these issues can dovetail with others, making the problem a bit more difficult to analyze and thereby solve, but it’s not impossible. I don’t think there’s anything a good rewrite (especially with good feedback or a good editor) can’t fix – no, really, I believe that.
Christine Autrand Mitchell was raised across four countries and splits her time between writing and filmmaking. She writes screenplays, fiction, non-fiction and plays, and is an editor and script analyst. She has credits as a Producer, Director and Casting Director, and heads Entandem Productions.
Thank You Note to a Reader
by Michelle Bornstein
Dear Reader who just tore the 17th draft of my script to shreds,
Thank you for sucking the life out of me. If good screenwriting is akin to slitting your wrists and spilling your blood on the page then you, kind sir, have just squeezed all that blood out, let it fully dry, and crucified me. Did you enjoy it, hmmm? Much like you enjoyed that little candy bar you neglected to count the weight watchers points for? Amateur move, my friend. Amateur.
Do you think it’s easy to write, hmm? Do you think that witty dialogue you just read wrote itself? Do you know how many forensic scientists must be interviewed in order for one to come up with an original and funny way to kill off a character? Here’s a hint: death by spanking has been done before. So we researched the science, we read all the Darwin awards, studied “Dr. G., medicine woman” for months, and finally, finally, finally came up with a funny and original way to die, and you just snickered! Do you know how hard it is to make someone like you laugh? Yet you just laughed for the first time since Bill Clinton almost got impeached.
Perhaps it’s been so long since you’ve laughed you mistook it for gas. Perhaps you are so jaded you simply toss about words like “amateur” and “hack” for sport. Perhaps you’ve read so many scripts that the words all blur together and you can’t tell what’s what anymore. Perhaps you think this is justification for the “constructive notes” you provided, all of which come together to provide the all-too-clear subtext of the situation: “You suck. You can’t write. You’ll never make it in this business. You’ve just been exposed.”
Then again, perhaps you wouldn’t know a good script if it hit you in the face. Perhaps our friends are better judges of talent than you, hmm? What say you?
Listen, just because you couldn’t hack it in the screenwriting biz doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for the rest of us. Yes, we know you placed in all those competitions way back. Yes, legend has it you wrote one screenplay a month for a whole year. Yes, we know you’ve taught several classes on the subject. Maybe even written a book or two, one of which we may or may not have read cover-to-cover seven and half times. And so what if your website is filled with testimonials citing you as some “expert”? When’s the last time you actually had a movie produced, huh? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
So you enjoy your time in the ivory tower there, flipping through Craigslist ads responding to those $10 an hour scriptreader job openings, self-medicating with junk food, and taking out your frustrations of a failed life on other aspiring writers who have more talent in their little finger than you’ve ever had. You ENJOY THAT, Mister!
Oh, wait: You liked it?
I see. Did I mention “narrow-minded nitwit” is a compliment of the highest regard where I come from? Yes, well, carry on, then.
Check out Michelle’s website at: www.bornsteinwriter.com
by David Santo
Join me now as we travel to a bachelor party in a Detroit home that has run off the rails and there are naked people everywhere. I find the sight a bit disturbing; not because of the nudity but to get completely naked you have to take your guns off and there’s loaded weapons lying all over the place. But I know this scene will end up in my current script so I stay put and secretly jot down notes. Later, I transcribe these events (with the obligatory exaggeration) into Final Draft and I’m certain this is the missing penultimate piece of the puzzle for my current low-brow raunch-com.
Flash-forward a few months and my screenplay is complete. My endless rewrites are finally finished. But I’ve been screenwriting for a long time and experience has taught me a few things; I may feel like a great writer but I know my script is a hot mess. I just can’t see it. So I’m faced with sending my intellectually deformed and embarrassingly crude screenplay (or as I like to think of it - pure genius) off to a consultant to get covered.
Now for those of you who don’t know what coverage is - it’s a brief industry report that summarizes your script and you get one of three grades: pass, consider, recommend. It’s done for the benefit of important people with money who don’t have time to read. The report is brutal and you always fail. But as a screenwriter you pay for this information because you want to know how your script is going to be received: good, bad, where the logic gaps are, etc. This way you can fix it prior to submission for the best possible chance of success.
Now the person who reads your script - a professional script reader - will wax poetically about how they long to read a great screenplay if they could just find one. This is a lie.
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH
A professional reader is convinced the creative cupboards are bare and all the scripts they receive are garbage. It helps them feel superior to the subject matter and the writer so the reward - however meager - is they get to hand down their “tough love” wisdom and guidance. In other words - they get to feel smart. There’s also a huge dis-incentive to give a script high marks. Most movies don’t make money. If you were the reader that recommended a script that just died in development or lost money at the box office you might get fired. It’s easier and safer to fail every script and protect your job.
And readers are a handful when it comes to their personalities, too. Here’s an excerpt from the website of a professional reader who is proud to advertise…
“I’m that guy you need to get past at the agencies and production companies; the first one in the office to read the script. I am the Gatekeeper. But you can call me Zuul, or just ‘The Bitter Script Reader.’ Please NO requests to read your material. All such queries will be ignored and deleted unread. I do NOT have a notes service so please don’t send me an email asking about rates. And in case it wasn’t clear the first time - DO NOT ASK ME TO READ YOUR SCRIPT!”
Now in all fairness readers do get a ton of scripts that are complete crap. Then they get paid worse than crap to put that filth into their dome. Then they must spit out their best interpretation of the miserable dreck they just read and create a cohesive report. And to top it all off they get treated like they’re a nickel whore and everybody they meet has a quarter to spend. So I don’t envy them or their task.
And at this point a few of you might be shaking your head in disagreement at my bleak assessment because you’ve either given positive coverage as a reader or you’ve received positive notes as a writer. Let’s say you’re a writer and you got the all mighty “recommend”. I can explain this discrepancy in five simple words. You write better than me.
But the vast majority of screenplays and screenwriters receive a “pass” and some pretty nasty comments to go with it. So you must find a reader independent of the studio system that can, and will, say something nice if they feel like it, with no other consequence to their actions. And you want to spend the least amount of money possible to get this information because failure is guaranteed.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL
And I quote from their home page…
“Broken Light Entertainment is a screenplay and production consulting service offered by Steve Emmerson. At its heart, it is a service to provide filmmakers and other media professionals with creative guidance in the execution of their stories.”
I recently chitchatted with Steve via email…
Your services are the cheapest I’ve ever seen. How can you read scripts for such a low low price?
You could ask the same of a business who offers discounts through Groupon. We’ve done very well accumulating a healthy volume of business from repeat customers. Writers who appreciate the quality of our service submit new drafts of work they’ve had me read before as well as new work. Our overhead is not as high as other script services, so we can afford to charge less. Most services charge high fees based on the resumes of people featured on their website, and then farm the work out to outside readers, paying those readers about what we’re charging. All of our reading is done internally so what we’re doing is cutting out the middleman. Also, we charge on an a la carte basis. A writer can purchase only analytical notes on their screenplay or only a breakdown of their characters detailing ways they could be stronger. To round things out, we even offer to craft budgets and profit projection for your screenplay that helps when pitching it to a producer.
How do you think your low cost coverage compares to higher cost services?
I would say that my services are superior for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you know exactly who is reading your script. If a producer with a few credits is running a script consultation service, you can bet that your script will be farmed out to a freelance reader, intern, USC film student, or whatever, who will write the analysis for a small fraction of whatever you paid as a fee. And lots of other services only provide lists of production companies for which they have read, without actually providing their names of their readers or their specific backgrounds. With Broken Light, what you see is literally what you get. I do all of the reading, and if I bring in another reader or readers, those individuals’ names and qualifications will be on the website for customers to evaluate.
Broken Light Entertainment operates with the philosophy that any screenplay can be turned into a successful story on screen if sufficiently polished and taken to a high enough level. On this basis, I provide constructive analysis of your script, focused on how I would execute certain elements if it were my name on the title page.
How did you get started as a script reader?
Anyone trying to build a career in script development in Los Angeles ends up reading hundreds if not thousands of scripts for various producers and agents who don’t have the time or inclination to do the reading themselves. In my case, I’ve done this and also read for foreign film distributors in countries such as Germany and Japan. I would evaluate screenplays of projects in various stages of development in terms of how successful these projects would be based on each country’s cultural sensibilities. It becomes an issue when you get into territories like the Middle East where they have censorship boards. Having read scripts for services that charge hundreds of dollars, it seemed like someone should be providing writers with analysis at a price they could afford.
What’s the first thing that tips you off a script is going to be good?
Lots of readers have their own “hook” for what starts a script. For me, it’s a combination of many factors. Is the very first image engaging when visualized? Is there an excess of dialogue that is either overly expository, tries too hard to be clever, or is just unnecessary? Do the descriptions contain more of the writer’s attitude than the actual story?
The thing to remember is that a screenplay is a description of what an audience is seeing and hearing. When a writer gets too far away from that, the story gets lost. A screenplay is a tool to be used and interpreted by a director, actors, a cinematographer, and various other technical professionals to create a visual narrative. So professionalism itself is key.
What’s the first thing that tips you off a script is going to be bad?
I once read a script that was written as an epic poem, two-hundred-and-fifty pages long. Another script opened with a character monologue that ran one-and-a-half pages without any description of the scene or what was going. And another one used began with a letter from the writer to potential producers about all the money this script could make.
Extraneous elements that have little to nothing to do with the story tell the reader and the audience that you have no value for their time. When you’re dealing with a reader who skims—not reads, skims—a dozen or more scripts a day, you have to stick to what is critical.
Do you believe the first 10 pages are the most important?
Absolutely. Those are the pages that establish your main characters and their overall circumstances, even if you don’t get to the first major turning point of the story until page 25 or 30. You want to hook the audience in the theater. From the perspective of the readers, it’s the chance to introduce your quality and style of writing, and determines the amount of concentration they will give to the rest of your script.
Does a writer need to live in Hollywood to succeed?
No. Writers outside of Los Angeles break in every year. And it’s important to realize that the entertainment industry is becoming more and more decentralized all the time. This is the age of email, instant messaging, and Skype. There are social networking sites devoted specifically to the entertainment industry. You can pitch to a producer or agent from across a table at Starbucks or across a few time zones. If your idea is strong and you push it enough, you will inevitably meet the right people face-to-face. Writers who are also lawyers, accountants, and teachers are selling their script or find independent producers more local to them. Writers can shoot their ideas with a camera from Best Buy on a shoestring budget and submit it to a festival where it could win a few awards and get them noticed. With a lot of drive and a little luck, a writer can succeed no matter where they are from.
Your website is clean and easy to navigate. Did you make that yourself?
I conceived the layout of the sight and the overall page design, the order of the pages, and details like that. A friend of mine designed the light-bulb logo. A web designer named Katherine King refined the aesthetics and provided the automated email form in the Contact section. Katherine operates a media design company called Hidden Design (http://www.hiddendesign.com) and I highly recommend her services.
What are 3 things you wish writers would do before they send in their scripts? And you can’t say “use spell check”.
1. Outline your script before and after each draft is written, going scene-by-scene, determining what each scene accomplishes, if and how it could be tighter, and whether it is necessary.
2. Watch or read the scripts of 3-5 of the movies that inspired your concept or are at least similar in theme. Then, ask yourself what makes these movies work, what are their shortcomings, and determine if your script has any of the same elements working for and against it.
3. Take the time to really play the script as a movie in your head. Use your imagination as the forty-foot high screen where you want your story to eventually be projected. And scrutinize it for faults the same way as you do when you’re watching a movie at the cineplex.
LOUIE, I THINK THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
As the curtain closes a few final words from Steve Emmerson…
Read lots and lots of scripts of multiple genres, both of produced movies and spec scripts to hone your understanding of what works and what does not.
Outlining and planning your story before you actually write the script is every bit as important as the writing itself. You wouldn’t drive from New York to Los Angeles without mapping your route, and crafting a screenplay is every bit as perilous a journey.
Organize all of your drafts, outlines, and various notes to make them easy to find as you’re writing each draft. Use features like the Scriptnotes feature in Final Draft that lets you put little digital Post-Its at various points in your script.
Catch up with David Santo || www.ScreenwriterDave.com
Debunking Screenwriting Myths, Part 6: The Query Letter
by Geno Scala
Over the past few months, I’ve had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to assist several name directors and producers in searching for screenplays of specific genre or topic. With my vast network of screenwriters at my disposal, I though it incumbent on me to reach out and help fellow writers, new and experienced alike, to help them reach their professional goal of attaining a sale or option deal.
When the word went out about a particular script search, the resulting storm of emails with accompanying scripts, bios, resumes and links was indeed satisfying. It was nice to know that so many of my contacts actually READ my emails or posts, but more importantly, that I was perhaps making a difference in their lives.
Then, I began to read the emails…the bios…and the resumes and links. Ugh!
So here is a brief list of some things one SHOULDN’T do when responding to a script request:
You shouldn’t IGNORE the specifics of the scripts that are being requested. If the genre requested is science fiction, you shouldn’t submit a story about a baby whale and the handicapped child trying to raise it, unless, of course, the whale can fly and the child is from Jupiter.
If the request is for screenplays with a Japanese-American theme, don’t submit a screenplay about a Chinese family, then add “It’s close”! Makes you sound like an idiot, at best, and racist, at worst.
You shouldn’t “cut and paste” your pre-written query letter into an email, and address the recipient as “Dear (blank)”. When you cut and paste, sometimes the fonts are different, and it appears very unprofessional.
You shouldn’t BOMBARD the recipient with every screenplay you’ve ever written, or hope to write or thought about writing. I cannot tell you how many writers submitted one query letter with more than five different loglines and synopses. No one is going to read it. Trust me.
You shouldn’t IGNORE spelling or grammatical errors- not in the query (not anywhere, if possible). I have actually seen writers misspell their own titles.
You shouldn’t make DEMANDS of the person requesting the script, such as “DO NOT FORWARD TO ANYONE WITHOUT MY EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT!” Who would want to work with YOU?
You shouldn’t accompany your query letter with a request to “help raise funds for sick children” or to “stop socialism in America”, or to “support your local LGBT office”, even if it directly relates to the theme of your screenplay.
You shouldn’t take the query letter as an opportunity to apply for a job as a script reader, a production assistant, a grip or an actor
You shouldn’t forget your title. Trust me- seen it done many times.
You shouldn’t forget your contact information. See #9
Writing a query letter is an art in and of itself, and there are definite “do’s and don’ts” when writing one.
If you are responding to a request for a certain type of script, first thing you should do is ONLY respond if your script fits in what they are looking for. If it does, makes sure this fact is highlighted in the first sentence: “I am responding to your request for Japanese/American-themed scripts, and I’d like submit my comedy/drama “Life at The Tea House”, a Japanese/American story of love, redemption and ninja zombies.”
You need to highlight your “hook” right away (this is why it’s called a “hook”). This “hook” is the reason why your story is different from every other story of the same genre and theme.
Write a brief synopsis of your story, to include and beginning, middle and an end. Three short paragraphs, less than a page total.
Then end the query with a brief bio. Do not include useless information as to where you went to school or every contest you’ve ever entered. Two lines that tell the reader a little about you, your writing, and a mention or two about prestigious awards, if any. Quarter-finalist in the Bombay Theatre Writing Contest doesn’t qualify for space in the prime real estate of the query letter.
Make sure everything is spellchecked and grammatically correct, and do not forget your contact information. You have but one shot at making a good impression, so don’t blow it.
Geno Scala has been writing for over twenty years, and was one of the Executive Directors for the 1999-2000 Academy Awards presentation. He is an optioned screenwriter with nine screenplays to his credit, and is an alumnus of ScreenwritingU. He maintains a business in Hollywood, and resides in beautiful Huntsville, Alabama with his rocket-scientist wife, a daughter in grad school, another daughter in college in CA, and two teen-aged sons.
June/July Contest Finalist
#3linesorless || #june #july || #finalists || #loglines
The top seven prize-winning loglines are listed in order. The rest are listed randomly.
Logline: Can a Broadway diva find a cure for the hot flashes that are ruining her life? Sure, but first she has to convince the hormonally-crazed women of Dr. Zelnik-Chan’s menopause support group to crash the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and save a sexy Mauritian botanist — without getting herself killed.
Screenplay title: Hot Flash
Winner, Best Comedy category, 2011 Just Effing Entertain Me screenplay competition
Written by: Su Hoyle and Nina Wishengrad
WGA Registration Number: 1226078
Genre: Contained Thriller
Logline: A billionaire rare book merchant uses the premature reading of his will to seal the heirs into an airtight room, and only by solving a thousand year old mystery can they escape.
Screenplay title: Settling The Books
Quarter-finalist/Chicago Screenwriters Network
Winner/Contest Of Contest Winners for the feature Jenna’s Gone
Written by: Russ Meyer
WGA Registration Number: I233686
Logline: A nerdophobic writer infiltrates the world of pocket protectors, bad haircuts, and ill-fitting polyester clothing to rescue the woman he loves, find inner peace, and defeat an alphanerd with delusions of grandeur.
Screenplay title: Nerds Among Us
Author of a dozen books, including:
-Fun With Phone Solicitors (Warner Books)
-When Good People Write Bad Sentences (St. Martin’s)
-101 Things NOT to Do Before You Die (Thomas Dunne)
Written by: Robert W. Harris
WGA Registration Number: 935539
Logline: Russian mercenaries take over an Iowa farm with plans to use a crop duster to spray weaponized smallpox on an air show in Des Moines. Only a small town sheriff and an ex-Mossad agent out for revenge stand in their way.
Screenplay title: HeartLand
Winner/Amazon Studios (for the feature Devil’s Pass).
Seven scripts optioned
Three-time Nicholl Fellowship semifinalist.
Written by: Michael Coady
WGA Registration Number: 1195988
Logline: A serial killer from an alternate universe searches for his specialized prey to boost his business while satisfying his burning passion to find the perfect woman. It will depend on his latest victim’s ability to recognize the impossible in order to save herself.
Screenplay title: Deadly Dimensions
Finalist/Shriekfest Screenwriting Contest
Top 20% out of 3,000/L.A. Expo Competition
Top 25% out of 5200 (still live)/Page Contest
Written by: Sandra Mytys
WGA Registration Number: 1566696
Logline: Investigating an attack that left her teen sister in a coma, Laura Evans explores a dilapidated old house in the woods haunted by the vengeful spirit of a Gypsy witch and her clowder of mangy, demonic cats.
Screenplay title: The House That Evil Built
Finalist/Amazon Studios (The House That Evil Built)
Winner/Amazon Studios (for the feature Devil’s Pass)
Three-time Nicholl Fellowship semifinalist.
Written by: Michael Coady
WGA Registration Number: 1592027
Genre: Family Drama/Biography
Logline: The true story of a noted, terminally ill Boston journalist who embarks on an extraordinary journey that alters her fate, and ultimately, leaves an indelible mark on humanity.
Screenplay title: Pippa’s Song
Winner /Creative World Awards
Written by: Diana Mitchell
WGA Registration Number: 1569486
Logline: A rogue war correspondent follows his conscience and dodges military censors to score the great scoop of World War II. Based on a true story.
Screenplay title: Operation Jackplane
Written by: Joe Livernois
WGA Registration Number: 1542195
Logline: After humanity hits bottom, government and media conspirators stage the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in an attempt to herd billions of people into a death trap.
Screenplay title: Peak Jesus:Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Their God(s)
Written by: Jason Calabro
WGA Registration Number: 1588120
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Logline: A prized medical student tries to reanimate a cadaver who he’s fallen in love with.
Screenplay title: Anatomy Fellow
Written by: Robert E Hoxie
WGA Registration Number: 1589676
Logline: A timid high school student in Phoenix recruits a brave female classmate to help him save his mother from a hit man in Los Angeles.
Screenplay title: The XY Factor
Written by: Glenn Derrick
WGA Registration Number: 1590047
Logline:Based on true events, this is the story of the psychic CIA spy Lieutenant Mary Quinn who can locate remote targets, interrogate people from miles away, but has a hard time balancing work and family, especially when the Pentagon decides to get rid of her.
Screenplay title: The Zone
Written by: Mathieu Saliva
WGA Registration Number: 1585644
Logline: Married six times with a stint as a hooker Kitty goes to law school at 41. By 45 she has become the go-to defense attorney for La Familia drug cartel in Atlanta learning more than she ever bargained for about the intricate workings of drug trafficking. Based on real life practicing attorney
Screenplay title: Nassau Street
Written by: Cathy Alterman and Neli Soto
WGA Registration Number: 1420036
Logline: A haunted ex-pilot and his nihilistic cousin must contend with a crime boss and each other as they try to free their family from a life of suffering.
Screenplay title: Purgatory
Written by: Jason Ardolino
WGA Registration Number: 1541150
Logline: An ancient alliance between aliens, ninja, and demons crumbles leaving the only ninja left in the bloodline to go on an intergalactic killing spree bring all those responsible before the mighty demon council to be judged and tried for their betrayal.
Screenplay title: Demon Ninja
Written by: Max Teasdale
WGA Registration Number: 1440567