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Contest closed. Winners are announced!
Click on the "Winners" tab above.

FADE IN:

Dark. Twisted. Scary. Creepy. Suspenseful. Psychological mindf***. Bring it.

We want it.

Stage 32 is already shaking up the industry, so we’ll keep going with this explosive announcement: Stage 32, the Stage 32 Happy Writers, and Literary Manager Kailey Marsh, Founder of The Blood List, have partnered to look for the darkest, scary, creepy, suspenseful, mind-boggling, most twisted scripts from undiscovered writers from all over the world in the first ever Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest.

Every year on Halloween, The Blood List is released by Kailey Marsh, highlighting the top 13 screenwriters of unproduced dark genre scripts, which is shared with over 100 managers, agents and production companies in Hollywood. The Blood List is also featured on such sites as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, and The Wrap instantly placing the writers of these scripts in the spotlight.

This year, we are searching for NEW blood. We are looking for the top 3 unrepresented horror/suspense/thriller writers that come from Stage 32. That means you. Kailey will be releasing our top 3 winners on The Blood List under a designated section: NEW BLOOD. If you make the top 3 of The Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest, you and your material will be exposed to the same list of industry executives.

Holy s*** is right.

But wait, there’s more. Sure, everyone wants cool prizes, and we have ‘em (check out the Prizes tab above), but we know the most important reason you enter a contest is for exposure and opportunity. You want to speak with the decision makers, the people who have the potential to move the needle on your career. Our Grand Prize Winner and 2 other finalists will be presented with that experience.

What Kind of Scripts Can I Enter?

Stage 32 / The Blood List are looking for scripts in all areas of horror, thriller, and suspense. If your script fits in with any of these examples below, it’s a fit for this contest! **Please note this contest is for full-length screenplays only.  No short scripts or teleplays will be accepted.

  • Psychological Suspense: Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, The Game, The Usual Suspects, American Psycho
  • Crime Thrillers: Fargo, Prisoners, The Town, The Counselor, No Country For Old Men, Blood Simple, L.A. Confidential
  • Contained Thrillers: Buried, Phone Booth, Open Water, Hard Candy, Panic Room
  • Destruction Thrillers: Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Independence Day
  • Revenge Thrillers: Taken, Oldboy, Kill Bill, Death Wish
  • Sci-Fi Thrillers: Alien, Inception, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Minority Report
  • Spy Thrillers: The Bourne Identity, Ronin, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies
  • Horror: Saw, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist
  • Ironic Horror: Scream, The House in the Woods
  • Found Footage Horror: Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism

Judges

Oh, about those judges, you ask? Yeah, we don’t mess around with that, either. We’ve brought in some of the top executives specializing in the suspense, thriller, and horror genres. Take a look at the Judges tab above to see which executives we are working with.


 

Deadlines

Early Bird Entry

Monday, Jun 30 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $46.00

Midpoint Entry

Thursday, Jul 31 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $56.00

Final Entry

Tuesday, Sep 2 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $66.00

Entrant Rules

Void where prohibited by law.

Adults only can enter.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

The Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest is not a game of chance.  All material is read and reviewed by industry professionals.

All quarterfinalists, semi-finalists, finalists and winners are subjectively determined by our judges.

Entrant must not have received compensation totaling over $25,000 USD for television or motion picture writing, options or sales.

There is no limit to the number of screenplays an Entrant can enter. The same screenplay cannot be submitted multiple times under different names. If so, you will be disqualified.

Entrant must not be an immediate family member or friend of any of the judges or their respective companies.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

Screenplay Rules

Screenplays should be written in English and in standard industry format.

Screenplay must be the original work of the Entrant and may not be based whole or in part on any fictional or non-fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced for which the Entrant does not have rights.

The rights to the Entrant’s screenplay should not have been previously optioned or sold.

Entrant’s screenplay must not have been produced or have won any contests.

After a screenplay is entered, no new drafts or corrected pages can be made by the Entrant. No exceptions.

Entrants must submit screenplays and payment online.

Kailey Marsh

Kailey Marsh - Manager / Producer - Creator of The Blood List,

After graduating from The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles, Kailey Marsh started working with Steven Jay Schneider during PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Afterwards she started working at management & production company Circle of Confusion where she realized she was meant to be a manager.

Kailey is a literary manager & producer with her own company, Kailey Marsh Management & Productions. She represents screenwriters, and directors in the feature, television and new media space. Kailey created The Blood List in 2009, which is the annual list hilighting the top 13 best unproduced dark genre screenplays of the year. She, and her clients have projects set up across town, in different stages of development, and production.

Richard Potter

Richard Potter - Executive Vice President, Relativity

Richard Potter serves as Executive Vice President of Production and Development, reporting to Relativity President Tucker Tooley and President of Production Robbie Brenner.

With more than 20 years’ experience as an executive and a writer, Richard is a valuable asset to Relativity’s team. Most recently, Potter was a screenwriter with several projects set up at studios including Diary of a Car Salesman, The Most Haunted House in England, The Boys from Brazil and The Haunting of Eastern Airlines. Before that, Richard was part of the team that started Dimension films at Miramax in the ‘90s.  As a Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Miramax he was the head of the story department of the Dimension Films division. It was there that he oversaw projects like Scream, Scream 2, The Faculty, Nightwatch, Halloween H20 and many others. He began his career as a Production Coordinator at Breckenridge Entertainment and as a Development Assistant at Universal Pictures in New York.

Potter has a BA in English and Literature from SUNY Binghamton and has continued his education at New York University and Columbia University.

Dave Neustadter

Dave Neustadter - Vice President of Production, New Line Cinema

Dave graduated from Indiana University in 2001 .He began as an intern at both Lighthouse Productions (working for producer Michael Phillips) and at New Line Cinema in their development department.

In January of 2004, he was hired at New Line as an on call temp and since then has worked there as Assistant to the Sr. EVP of Production, Creative Executive, Director of Development, and is currently a VP of Production.

Dave has worked as an executive producer on Going the Distance, Distance, Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Final Destination 5, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Conjuring, We’re the Millers, and the upcoming Into the Storm.

Nick Phillips

Nick Phillips - Partner, Revolver Picture Co.

Nick has been in the film business for over 15 years, in particular the world of genre films.  His career started in New York in 1996, when he began a nine year stint under Bob & Harvey Weinstein, working for Bob's Dimension Films label.  While there, he was involved in such franchises as Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, Mimic, and The Crow.  He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of Project Greenlight, which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film Feast  through production and launching a new franchise in the process.

In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City.  He helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 under Peter Schlessel.  While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 Days of Night and Vacancy, among others.  He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he oversaw a diverse slate of films including Straw Dogs, The Roommate, This Christmas and Country Strong.

In 2012, Nick formed Revolver Picture Company with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (Hostel, The Exorcism of Emily Rose).  Their first movie Haunt is set to premiere on VOD February 7th and theatrically March 7th via IFC Midnight. The psychological thriller Beneath is their second production, it was also picked up by IFC Midnight and will be released later this year.  

Last October, Beneath was the opening night film of Screamfest LA, the largest genre festival in the country.  It won six awards at the fest, including Best Picture and Best Director.  The film then closed the Telluride Horror Show later that month.  In November, it took home the Best Horror Film prize at La Samain du Cinema Fantastique in Nice, France.  In 2014, it will play at festivals in Durango, Colorado and Durham, North Carolina as well in festivals in Spain, France, and Brazil.

Trevor Macy

Trevor Macy - Founder and Producer, Intrepid Pictures

Trevor Macy (Producer) is the founder of Intrepid Pictures, which to develops, produces, and/or finances commercial movies budgeted under $40 million intended for wide distribution. Intrepid has produced and/or financed 13 films to date with multiple studios and international distributors, including The Strangers, directed by Bryan Bertino and starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman; Safe House, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, based on an original idea conceived by Intrepid. Macy is currently completing Oculus, written and directed by Mike Flanagan, an elevated horror sold at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, to be released in the U.S. by Relativity Media on April 11, 2014, and internationally by Sierra/Affinity.  Macy also developed, packaged, and produced Flanagan’s follow-up project, Somnia, starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Jacob Tremblay, which completed principal photography in December 2013 and is currently in post-production.

Prior to Intrepid, Macy was an independent producer as well as chief operating officer at Propaganda Films, responsible for overseeing all creative development, packaging, deal making and production of feature films, as well as recruitment and retention of Propaganda’s roster of directing talent. In addition, Macy was responsible for the creative and financial oversight of Propaganda’s commercial and music video production endeavors—in excess of $400 million in physical production for over 300 clients, including Coca-Cola, XM Radio, Macy Gray and *NSYNC.

Prior to Propaganda Films, Macy served as vice president of the Sundance Group, the parent entity for all Robert Redford-controlled commercial enterprises. In addition to being steeped in the Sundance Film Festival and the world of independent film, Macy was responsible for strategic planning of, raising capital for, launching and overseeing businesses including the Sundance Channel, Sundance Cinemas and Sundance Catalog.

Previously, as director of deal analysis and development finance at Turner Pictures, Macy was responsible for the negotiation of talent contracts, co-financing arrangements for films, output deals, off-balance-sheet film financing and acquisitions, as well as planning and analysis for development, production and distribution of both theatrical and television films. Prior to joining Turner Pictures Group, Macy was senior business planner for The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, where he was responsible for evaluating and managing production, distribution, development, acquisition and co-financing deals for film projects, strategic planning for filmed entertainment, growing The Walt Disney Studios distribution platform and management of on-lot talent deals.

Macy received a BA with honors in political science and quantitative economics at Stanford University. He resides in Santa Monica, California with his wife Paige and daughter Lucia.

Adam Stone

Adam Stone - President of Production, Vertigo Entertainment

As President of Production, Adam Stone oversees all aspects of the Vertigo film and television slate; project acquisition, development, packaging, production and post-production.  A native of Pasadena, California, Adam joined Vertigo in September of 2013 after spending seven years at Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment Group, where he most recently worked as a senior executive for both Mandalay Pictures as well as their independent financing arm, Mandalay Vision. Adam was the executive in charge of HORNS, a dark, Romantic fantasy based on Joe Hill’s New York Times Bestseller of the same title, which features Daniel Radcliffe and was acquired by Dimension in one of the largest sales at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. He also oversaw development and production on THE VOICES, a psychological thriller starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, and Anna Kendrick and was directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Marjane Satrapi.

Vertigo Entertainment has a first look production deal with Warner Brothers and is currently in production on thriller RUN ALL NIGHT and animated event film THE LEGO MOVIE for the studio.  Also in production or awaiting release the company has POLTERGEIST for MGM, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 for Dreamworks Animation, OLDBOY for Good Universe, and a sequel to THE WOMAN IN BLACK for Exclusive Media.

Adam brings a diverse creative and strategic business development background to Vertigo having held prior posts in literary and talent management with management/production company Industry Entertainment and before that with 3 Arts Entertainment.  He has a passion for developing story and assembling premier film and television packages.

Prior to working in the entertainment business Adam was an executive with the international advertising firm Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide and specialized in global brand positioning, campaign strategy and sports marketing.  He graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in English Literature and a Concentration in Creative Writing.

Ben Shields Catlin

Ben Shields Catlin - Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, IM Global

Ben Shields Catlin began his career at the talent agency ICM (International Creative Management). For the first year of his tenure, he worked with ICM’s Co-President of Motion Pictures, John Burnham, identifying potential clients as well as intellectual properties. Later, Shields joined the independent film and packaging group working for department head, Hal Sadoff, for 2 years. Here he helped representing and selling such independent movies as The Women, Penelope and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Shields left ICM in 2006 to join the newly created Overture Films where he worked unde the Chief Operating Officer, Danny Rosett, for a year before being promoted to Manager of Produciton and Acquisitions. There he was the development executive on projects such as Freaks of the Heartland (David Gordon Green directing), Freshly Popped (Todd Black/Escape Artists producing), Trespass (Joel Schumacher directing) and me. He was also an integral piece of the acquisitions team for movies Law Abiding Citizen (starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler), The Visitor (directed by Tom McCarthy) and Sunshine Cleaning (starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt), all of which Overture bought and distributed theatrically.

In July 2010, Overture Films was bought by Relativity Media. After a brief stint as an independent producer, Shields began consulting for Relativity in an acquisitions capacity. Shields joined as the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at IM Global in October 2011.

Adrienne Biddle

Adrienne Biddle - Partner/Producer, Unbroken Pictures

After receiving a Masters degree from the Peter Stark Producing Program at The University of Southern California, Adrienne began her career at Jersey Films, where she worked on several projects including Man On The Moon, Caveman’s Valentine, Garden State, How High and Erin Brokovitch.

In November of 2002, she left Jersey Films to become Vice President of Production and Acquisitions at Summit Entertainment. Summit’s production arm generated five movies during her tenure: Dot The I, Wrong Turn, Lies And Alibis (which she co-produced), and Step Up. In November of 2005, she left Summit to become Rogue Pictures’ Senior Vice President of Production. This genre division of Universal Pictures released several movies during her tenure: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, Balls Of Fury, Hot Fuzz, The Strangers, Doomsday, Last House On The Left and she was the executive in charge of The Hitcher, The Unborn and Fighting. Rogue was sold to Relativity Media in December 2008.

In September of 2009, she partnered with writer/director Bryan Bertino to form Unbroken Pictures. They have several projects in active development, including Grim Night for Universal Pictures, February written and to be directed by Oz Perkins, Mr. Allen written and to be directed by John Hulme, Stephanie written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski and to be directed by Jonathan van Tulleken, Sanctuary written by Ryne Pearson and to be directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Stuck written by Neal Marshall Stevens and to be directed by Steven c. Miller and a television series Bertino is developing with writer Henry Gayden. They are also currently in post-production on Mockingbird, written and directed by Bertino, for Universal Pictures, and gearing up to start prep on Bertino’s next feature There Are Monsters.

Ainsley Davies

Ainsley Davies - Chris Morgan Productions, Vice President

Ainsley Davies is Vice President at Chris Morgan Productions, which has been based at Universal Studios for the past three years.  She is currently working on Conan with Arnold Schwarzenegger, adapting the elevated thriller Birdbox from a recently published novel and is also in the process of adapting Wolf's Hour. Chris Morgan Productions also has a television production deal at 20th where they are currently working on the series Gang Related, which airs on Fox. 

Beth Bruckner

Beth Bruckner - Director of Development, Millennium Films

Originally from Los Gatos, California, Beth moved down to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, where she earned her degree in Psychology.  After graduating, Beth worked on numerous film sets in physical production, performing tasks as a production assistant, assistant locations manager and even as a stand in and background performer.  Beth hung up her walkie talkie and went to work as an assistant business representative at Actors’ Equity Association, one of the longest running unions that ensures fair rules and practices for actors and stage managers working in theater.  She then transitioned into film by working at ICM, International Creative Management.  After a year at the agency, Beth went on to work for a foreign sales company, Omega Entertainment, and braved the madness of film sales over various film markets.  From there, she was lucky enough to secure a position at Peter Block’s film production company, A Bigger Boat.  At A Bigger Boat and its umbrella company, GreeneStreet Films, Beth worked in development for 3 years, most notably on House at the End of the Street directed by Mark Tonderai and on projects such as John Carpenter’s The Ward and Adam Green’s Frozen.  Currently, Beth is serving as the Director of Development at Millennium Films where, under the tutelage of President of Millennium Films, Mark Gill, she has had the immense privilege of developing and packaging high profile projects such as Olympus Has Fallen, Expendables 2, Expendables 3, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Homefront, Lovelace and The Iceman.  During her tenure, Millennium Films has produced and financed 19 films and has over 30 projects in various stages of development.  Next on the development slate is the first female version of The Expendables tentatively titled The Expenda-Belles as well as a high octane action thriller from director Ariel Vromen entitled Criminal.  Beth is also currently co-producing a reimagining of the George Romero cult classic Day of the Deadwith Mark Tonderai directing and writing alongside writing partner Lars Jacobson.  Millennium Films is one of the largest and longest running independent film companies and currently finances and produces up to 10 films a year.

Carly Norris

Carly Norris - Vice President of Development, The Allegiance Theater

Carly Norris started her career at Vertigo Entertainment where she worked on a number of genre films, including The Strangers, The Uninvited and Quarantine.  After a brief stint as an independent producer, she came aboard Daniel Dubiecki's (Up in the Air, Juno) team as Vice President of Development, bringing her elevated genre taste to a company known for its character driven dramedies.  Her goal has been to bolster the slate with quality horror/thriller material, and has since set up Ira Levin's Veronica's Room at TWC, Family Vacation by Eric Reese at Par Insurge, and a TV show at the CW.

Adi Shankar

Adi Shankar - CEO, 1984 Defense Contractors

At just the age of 29, Adi Shankar has made a brand for himself by producing a string of critically acclaimed, R-rated, violent action and crime feature films.  

Shankar’s filmography includes Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler; the critically-acclaimed commercial hit The Grey starring Liam Neeson, which opened #1 at the US box office, was featured on the New York Times “Top Ten Movies of 2012” list, which made Shankar the youngest producer ever to have a number one independent film at the box office; the critically-acclaimed cult phenomenon ‘Judge Dredd’ reboot, Dredd; the lauded gangster drama Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt which was in competition at the 2012 Cannes film festival, and the acclaimed action-drama Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg.

Shankar's upcoming releases include both the crime drama A Walk Among the Tombstones starring Liam Neeson and written and directed by Academy Award Nominee Scott Frank and the fantastical genre bending comedic thriller The Voices starring Ryan Reynolds, directed by Academy Award Nominee Marjane Satrapi.

Shankar has also built an underground following through producing a series of groundbreaking viral “bootleg” online short films including Punisher: #DirtyLaundry starring Thomas Jane and Ron Pearlman, which Collider.com featured as one of its "Top 5 Surprises of 2012," Venom: #TruthInJournalism starring Ryan Kwanten.

Shankar is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Bailey Conway

Bailey Conway - Vice President, Development & Production, Automatik

Bailey Conwayhas been with Automatik since it’s inception in 2010. Since then, the company has produced 20+ films, including INSIDIOUS, INSIDIOUS:CHAPTER 2, SINISTER, DARK SKIES, SAFE, A HAUNTED HOUSE, and most recently, THE SIGNAL, which premiered at Sundance 2014 and will be released by Focus Features.  Conway sources material and filmmakers for the company’s slate and also serves as the on set producer for Automatik’s films

Winner Announcements

October 1st: quarter-finalists announced on Stage 32

October 8th: semi-finalists announced on Stage 32

October 15th: Top 13 finalists announced on Stage 32

Halloween: Winners will be announced on Stage 32 and The Blood List

Grand Prize Winner

  • Listed on the Stage 32 / The Blood List: NEW BLOOD section of The Blood List
  • Plane ticket to Los Angeles
  • Meeting With Richard Potter, Executive Vice President of Relativity Media
  • Cocktail hour with various executive contest judges
  • Final Draft 9

1st Runner Up

  • Listed on the Stage 32 / The Blood List: NEW BLOOD section of The Blood List
  • Two Skype meetings with the industry executive of their choice (*see executive judges)
  • 3 Stage 32 Happy Writers Online Pitch Sessions
  • Final Draft 9

2nd Runner Up

  • Listed on the Stage 32 / The Blood List: NEW BLOOD section of The Blood List
  • One Skype meeting with the industry executive of their choice (*see executive judges)
  • 3 Stage 32 Happy Writers Online Pitch Sessions
  • Final Draft 9

 

*Executive judges available for Skype meeting:

Richard Potter, Executive Vice President, Production and Development, Relativity

Nick Phillips, Partner, Revolver Picture Co.

Adrienne Biddle, Partner/Producer, Unbroken Pictures

Beth Bruckner, Director Of Development, Millennium Films

A heartfelt congratulations goes out to all our finalists.  These writers/scripts are chosen as the top 6 scripts featured on the NEW BLOOD section of The Blood List, and are also featured on:

Deadline Hollywood
The Hollywood Reporter
The Wrap


And, the winners are…
 
1.The Wreckage by Glenn Forbes: After they crash their car and trailer, a young couple struggles to locate their missing son while fending off an aggressive pack of otherworldly creatures.
 
2. The Devil's Soldiers: Story by Frank Ponce & John Patton Ford - Written by Chad Law & Frank Ponce: During an apocalypse of vicious mutants in a Southern gothic quarantine, a battered veteran attempts to rescue his son. 
 
3. The Ostrich Farm by Tyler Tice: Rot was the hottest drug on the street. Everybody was doing it and everybody was getting it from Raymond Roper. Then the side effects became much worse than anyone could have ever imagined. 
 
4. Darken Ship by Dee Chilton: When she is trapped aboard a damaged warship, a ‘by the book’ Naval Officer becomes the target of a vindictive crewman’s ‘get even’ game that leaves her fighting against him for her sanity and her life.
 
5. Xodus by A.Z. Ocoza: A marine biologist, trapped in her laboratory aboard a research vessel at sea, has hours to find a cure for the blood-drinking parasites that have taken over her crew before the ship runs aground and unleashes the deadly contagion upon her hometown of New Orleans.

6. Immaculate Deception by Bryan Holm: A distrustful sheriff must confront his dark past and loss of faith to join forces with a hard-nosed priest and defeat a vengeful, demonic entity preying upon his town.

Congratulations!