7th Annual Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest

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Anthony and I have done well in several screenwriting contests, but Stage 32 was the first to set us up with actual production companies and managers. That can’t be overstated.
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Contest Info

BREAKING NEWS!: Oscar-Winner Jordan Peele's Production Company, Monkeypaw Productions Joins the Roster of Industry Judges! 

 

The most respected genre screenwriting competition of the year is back!

Do you write horror, thriller, or suspense? Around the world, these are still some of the most sought after scripts in the market! Now, Stage 32 is bringing you the biggest names in genre film production and distribution to judge your horror and thriller scripts!

Never before has a genre screenwriting contest brought together judges from the six leading horror production companies in the business! These companies have produced the most critically and commercially successful horror and thriller projects in recent history.

Now - exclusively through Stage 32 - you have the opportunity for executives from these prolific companies to read your script and meet with you privately in Hollywood!

 

The Grand Prize winner will be flown to Hollywood to meet with:

Blumhouse Productions (GET OUT, HAPPY DEATH DAY)

Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions (GET OUT, US, CANDY MAN)

Fully Formed Entertainment (A QUIET PLACE, THE PURGE) 

Sam Raimi Productions (CRAWL, THE GRUDGE)

Eli Roth's The Arts District (CABIN FEVER, THE LAST EXORCISM)

Universal Pictures (THE INVISIBLE MAN, HALLOWEEN KILLS)

Alibi Management (Client credits include CHILD'S PLAY, BAGHEAD)



In addition to meeting industry-leading judges, the winner will receive one-on-one mentoring from Darren Lynn Bousman, the writer-director-producer of the SAW franchise, including the latest installment SPIRAL starring Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock!


This is the first time ever these powerhouse companies, executives, and filmmakers have been assembled together for one screenwriting contest!

 


 

The 7th Annual Search for New Blood Contest!

 

We have brought in another all star panel of industry judges including:

  • Blumhouse Productions (HAPPY DEATH DAY, GET OUT) - Ryan Turek, Vice President of Development
  • Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions (GET OUT, US, CANDY MAN) - Jonathan Harris, Development Executive & Brittany Klesic, Development Executive
  • Fully Formed Entertainment (A QUIET PLACE, THE PURGE) - Lindsay Schwartz, Director of Development
  • Sam Raimi Productions (THE GRUDGE, DRAG ME TO HELL) - Felipe Machado, Creative Executive,
  • Eli Roth's The Arts District (CABIN FEVER, HOSTEL) - Michael Besman, Head of Development
  • Universal Pictures (THE INVISIBLE MAN, HALLOWEEN KILLS) - Ken Korba Jr., Distribution Executive
  • Alibi Management (Client Credits include CHILD's PLAY, BAGHEAD) - Jake Wagner, Manager

 

We’re looking for the next The Invisible Man, Halloween, Us, Brightburn, Midsommar, Crawl, Escape Room, The Dead Don't Die, The Lighthouse, A Quiet Place, The Purge, Truth or Dare, Get Out, Hereditary, or whatever horror or thriller concept your twisted mind can dream up.

Never before have the biggest horror producers in the business been assembled to judge a screenwriting contest! We're giving one deserving screenwriter the opportunity of a lifetime. Our Grand Prize Winner will be flown out to Hollywood for one-on-one private meetings with each of our judges, who come from the most prolific horror production companies in the business!

Plus ALL our finalists will have their material exposed to a full list of industry executives.

 

Stage 32 Gets Results!

2018's Grand Prize Winner - Christina Pamies - was signed by Jake Wagner off of her winning script, A Good Deed! She has just been hired to write the Horror Thriller BAGHEAD for StudioCanal!

Over the last 6 years, Stage 32’s screenwriting contests have gained a reputation as one of the “most worthwhile screenwriting contests to change your career.” No other contest provides their winners and finalists with the same level of direct access to industry leading professionals who can take your career to the next level! Over the last 8 years, Stage 32 has become an incubator for finding talent and material across the globe.

Recent success stories to come out of Stage 32 include:

  • 10-31, a horror film that will be produced by renowned director Eli Roth, Roger Birnbaum and Orion Pictures, written by Stage 32 member Laurie Ashbourne is greenlit and starts shooting later this year.
  • Chick Fight starring Malin Ackerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne written by Stage 32 member Joe Downey is in post-production and awaiting release!
  • What Lies Ahead, written by Stage 32 member William Viglione, directed by Stage 32 member Rob Gardner, and packaged by Stage 32 script services executive Tiffany Boyle of Ramo Law was released in theaters in 2019.
  • Vagic, a romantic comedy written by Stage 32 member Julie Ann Cross, received a $7,500 option and is being produced by legendary producer Amy Baer of Gidden Media Group.
  • My Clone’s an A-Hole, a comedy written by Julie Ann Wight was offered a $5,000 option by National Lampoon.
  • I'm Not Jack, a script written by Stage 32 member Jack Cusick, received a $7,500 option and is being developed by legendary producer Amy Baer of Gidden Media Group.
  • Stage 32 member Diana Wright signed with The Cartel after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Stage 32 member Jonathan Jordan signed with Verve Talent and Literary Agency after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Stage 32 member Aaron Benjamin signed with Housefire Management.
  • Stage 32 member Aaron Bierman signed with Verve Talent and Literary Agency after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Stage 32 member Chris Torres signed with manager Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Stage 32 member Greg Mania was signed by manager Laina Cohn of Cohn/Torgan Management after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!

This contest has produced some of the most sought after material from our finalists and winners. Requests for our finalists scripts have increased year over year and our winners have met face to face with a who’s who of working industry executives and gatekeepers!

 

Unprecedented access. Better exposure. More reads.

Real success!

 

What Types Of Scripts Can I Enter?

Stage 32 is looking for scripts in all areas of horror, thriller, and suspense. We welcome all feature screenplays in the horror / thriller genre. All micro-budget, low budget, mid level budget, and blockbuster screenplays welcome. 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: Split, Shutter Island, Green Room, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, The Game, The Usual Suspects, American Psycho
  • Crime Thrillers: John Wick, The Snowman, Wind River, Fargo, Prisoners, The Counselor, No Country For Old Men, Blood Simple
  • Contained Thrillers: 47 Meters Down, The Shallows, Buried, Phone Booth, Open Water, Hard Candy, Panic Room
  • Destruction Thrillers: Geostorm, The Wave, San Andreas, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Independence Day
  • Revenge Thrillers: Blue Ruin, The Handmaiden, 13 Assassins, Kill Bill, Taken, Oldboy, Death Wish
  • Sci-Fi Thrillers: Children of Men, Gravity, Interstellar, Alien, Inception, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Minority Report
  • Spy Thrillers: Atomic Blonde, November Man, Safe House, The Bourne Identity, Ronin, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, True Lies
  • Horror: The Babadook, The Witch, It Follows, Saw, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, Annabelle: Creation
  • Ironic Horror: Get out, Scream, The House in the Woods, Scary Movie, Zombieland
  • Found Footage Horror: Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism, Alien Abduction

 

FEEDBACK OPTION

For an additional fee of only $49 (50% savings!) you can receive full coverage from our industry readers on your screenplay or teleplay. Just check "coverage" upon checkout. Coverage will be sent out after the winners are announced.

"I found Stage 32’s contest coverage far better than some other services I have used in the past, where I felt almost assaulted. Please thank him or her for a well-done job. It was my first try with Stage 32 but it will not be my last." - Bob C.

"Stage 32 contest coverage is even better than some of the industry coverage I received. Thank you for these invaluable notes!" - E. Robinson

"The insight from my coverage from the Stage 32 contest helped me improve my script's dimension exponentially. I had looked at the script so much that I can't believe I missed a major plot point. Thank you!!" - S. Persons

 

Contest Prizes

Grand Prize Winner

The Grand Prize Winner will be flown to Hollywood and sent on private one-on-one meetings with the contest judges from Blumhouse Productions, Fully Formed Entertainment, Sam Raimi Productions, The Arts District, Universal Pictures, Alibi Management.

In addition, Stage 32's executive team will send your screenplay title, logline, writer bio & script synopsis to over 500 development executives, producers, managers & agents who work with Stage 32. If an executive requests the script or a meeting, we will facilitate the delivery.

 

All Finalists

All Finalists will have their screenplay title, logline & writer bio sent to over 500 development executives, producers, managers & agents who work with Stage 32. If an executive requests the script or a meeting, we will facilitate!

Past look books have resulted in meetings with Good Fear Management, WME, Verve, Circle of Confusion, 3 Arts Entertainment, Management 360 and more!

 

Our Track Record

Our Track Record

Our past contest finalists have either been signed, optioned or had their projects put into development!

  • Eric Jeske - currently in the middle of negotiating an option for his winning project with a major international producer!
  • Christina Pamies - signed with Jake Wagner of Alibi Entertainment. Hired for writing assignment by StudioCanal.
  • Christine Torres - signed with manager and producer Brooklyn Weave of Energy Entertainment.
  • Greg Mania - signed with manager Laina Cohn of Cohn/Torgan Management.
  • Jonathan Jordan - signed with Verve Talent & Literary Agency and manager Byron Austen Ashley.
  • Duane Piedmont - signed with Kaplan-Stahler Agency and Heroes And Villains Entertainment.
  • Brittni Brown and Jenna Palermo - signed with Infinity Management International.
  • Benji Smith - signed with Meridian Artists.
  • Trish MacEnulty - attached producer Gavin Dorman to her script.
  • Scott Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini - signed with Gotham Group and APA.
  • Frank Ponce - signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment.
  • Glenn Forbes - signed with Infinity Management International and optioned by Glider Films.
  • Richard Hobley - signed with Paradigm and Goldcrest Films International.

 

Hear from 2018's winner, Christina Pamies on her incredible experience winning Stage 32's Search for New Blood contest:

 

6th Annual Search for New Blood Winner Kimberly Britt:

"I’ve never experienced this type of support from any other person or screenwriting contest out there. I can’t imagine having a better cheerleader in my corner."

 

 

Contest Judges

Darren Lynn Bousman (Industry Mentor)

Darren Lynn Bousman (Industry Mentor) - Director, Producer, Writer (SAW Franchise, Spiral, The Devil's Carnival, Mother's Day),

Darren Lynn Bousman is the film director, producer, and screenwriter, best known for his work on the SAW franchise and the horror musical REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA. He was the co-writer and director of SAW II and the director of SAW III, SAW IV and SAW IX.

He directed an episode of the horror anthology show "Fear Itself", entitled "NEW YEARS DAY". He has also been attached to direct the remake of David Cronenberg's SCANNERS. In 2019, it was announced Bousman would return to the SAW franchise directing SPIRAL, the ninth installment in the series which is set to be released on May 21, 2021.

 

 

Ryan Turek (Judge)

Ryan Turek (Judge) - VP of Development, Blumhouse Productions (Get Out, Unfriended: Dark Web, Happy Death Day)

Ryan Turek got his start in the industry in 2000 as a journalist focusing solely on the world of horror films and entertainment. He began at an affiliate of CHUD.com - called Creature-Corner.com - before co-founding DreadCentral.com and, later, ShockTillYouDrop.com where he served as the managing editor for several years.

He has also contributed to Rue Morgue Magazine, Fangoria Magazine and Creative Screenwriting and consulted on various horror film productions. In addition to hosting various events on the convention and film festival circuit for a number of studios, Turek took some time to helm a feature-length documentary on the Scream franchise (currently featured on the Scream Blu-ray box set).

Following his departure from ShockTillYouDrop.com, he took a position as the VP of development for Blumhouse Productions (Get Out, Unfriended: Dark Web, Happy Death Day).

Lindsay Schwartz (Judge)

Lindsay Schwartz (Judge) - Director of Development, Fully Formed Entetainment

Lindsay Schwartz is the Director of Development at Fully Formed Entertainment, the new venture from Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, who co-founded Platinum Dunes with Michael Bay in 2001. Both Fuller and Form are the producers behind the hit film A QUIET PLACE and sequel, as well as THE PURGE franchise, OUIJA, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. Fully Formed Entertainment's latest project, THE FOLLOWER is set up at Paramount Pictures. 

While at Platinum Dunes, they produced both film and television. Notable series include Black Sails on Starz, The Last Ship on TNT, and currently, Jack Ryan, Amazon’s most-watched show. On the feature side, they are responsible for some of the biggest genre films of the last decade, including The Purge franchise, the Ouija movies, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.

In August of 2019, Lindsay joined Form and Fuller when they left Platinum Dunes to create FullyFormed Entertainment and signed a three-year deal with Paramount Pictures. They are eagerly anticipating the release of A Quiet Place 2, and are developing numerous features and series with studios such as Paramount, Sony, MGM, Universal, and Amazon, amongst others. Before FullyFormed and Platinum Dunes, Lindsay worked at Paramount Pictures and Happy Madison Productions.

 

Felipe Machado (Judge)

Felipe Machado (Judge) - Creative Executive, Raimi Productions

Felipe Machado is the Creative Executive at Raimi Productions, a development and production company focusing on a wide range of projects, from horror, to romance, and everything in between. Under the leadership of writer, producer and director, Sam Raimi, Raimi Productions specializes in unique stories by writers and filmmakers who stray from the expected and forge their own paths. Raimi Productions’s latest release was 2019’s smash hit CRAWL for Paramount. Prior credits include THE GRUDGE, DON'T BREATHE, POLTERGEIST (2015), DRAG ME TO HELL, and EVIL DEAD.

Before Raimi Productions, Felipe worked in development at Ridley Scott's company, Scott Free Productions and has a background in screenwriting.

Jonathan Harris (Judge)

Jonathan Harris (Judge) - Development Executive, Jordan Peele's Monkey Paw Productions

Jonathan Harris is Development Executive at Monkeypaw Productions. He sits at the frontline of all incoming projects and development, and assists in shaping and managing projects as they move into the production pipeline. Previously, he worked in the TV department at CAA and in development for Kenya Barris's production company.

Founded by Jordan Peele, Monkeypaw Productions cultivates artistic, thought-provoking projects across film, television and digital platforms. The company is committed to groundbreaking storytelling, visionary world-building and the unpacking of contemporary social issues.

Monkeypaw Productions champions highly specific perspectives and artistic collaborations with unique and traditionally underrepresented voices. The work challenges the conventional architecture of genre storytelling from horror to science fiction to social satire, while balancing avant garde visual language with undeniably contagious fun.

Brittany Klesic (Judge)

Brittany Klesic (Judge) - Development Executive, Monkeypaw Productions

Brittany Klesic is Development Executive and horror connoisseur at Monkeypaw. She ran point on Candyman and The Twilight Zone for CBS All-Access. Prior to joining the company, Brittany worked at Blumhouse Productions and as professional script reader at various companies.

Founded by Jordan Peele, Monkeypaw Productions cultivates artistic, thought-provoking projects across film, television and digital platforms. The company is committed to groundbreaking storytelling, visionary world-building and the unpacking of contemporary social issues.

Monkeypaw Productions champions highly specific perspectives and artistic collaborations with unique and traditionally underrepresented voices. The work challenges the conventional architecture of genre storytelling from horror to science fiction to social satire, while balancing avant garde visual language with undeniably contagious fun.

Michael Besman (Judge)

Michael Besman (Judge) - Head of Development, Eli Roth's The Arts District

Michael Besman is the Head of Development at The Arts District a production company formed by Eli Roth and Roger Birnbaum. Eli Roth is the director and producer behind films including CABIN FEVER, HOSTEL, GRINDHOUSE, THE LAST EXORCISM, DEATH WISH and HAUNT.  Birnbaum is the Co-Chairman of Spyglass Entertainment and the producer behind GLASS, UNBREAKABLE, and DEATH WISH, among others.

Michael was previously the Vice President of Production at TriStar Pictures, and Vice President at Gruber-Peters Productions. As part of his current duties, Michael runs motion picture and TV development for The Arts District which has a deal at Spyglass.

Ken Korba (Judge)

Ken Korba (Judge) - Executive, Distribution, Universal Pictures

Ken Korba Jr. is an Executive in Distribution at Universal Pictures. Previously, Ken worked at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Principato Young Entertainment (Artists First), Paradigm, Open Road Films , Global Road, Entertainment, Crypt TV, and Focus Features.
 
Universal Pictures is responsible for some of the industry's most recent critical and commercial horror successes, including THE INVISIBLE MAN, GET OUT, HALLOWEEN KILLS (2020), THE HUNT and LILITH. 
 
Ken's background is in talent representation, development, production, theatrical sales, and film campaigns. Ken specializes in working with screenwriters to improve their story's structure and their character's literary regression.
Jake Wagner (Judge)

Jake Wagner (Judge) - Manager/Producer, Alibi Management

Jake Wagner is one of the top selling spec script managers of the last decade, having sold the largest spec script in history, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN. He is the owner of Alibi Management, and formerly was with Good Fear Film + Management and Benderspink. Jake’s clients have written some of the most popular recent horror films including POLAROID, CRAWL, .

Jake began studying screenwriting and film while a student at the University of Michigan. Jake began his career as a manager at Energy Entertainment, before moving to BenderSpink, and later Good Fear.

Jake enjoys working with writers, who have fresh, original stories to tell. Writers who are not afraid to put in the hard work that it takes to mold an idea into a screenplay that can sell and get produced.

Contest Rules

ENTRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Void where prohibited by law.

This Stage 32 Contest is an international contest. Must be 18 years or older to submit.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

This Stage 32 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.

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.

Entrants must submit screenplays and payment online.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

No waivers are available for this contest.


SCREENPLAY TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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

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

Entrant’s screenplay must not have been produced.

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

Screenplay must be submitted as a PDF document. Submissions with and without title pages are accepted.

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. Neither Stage 32 nor its judges investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.

Winner Announcements

Oct 09
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Oct 23
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Nov 06
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Nov 20
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Friday, Jun 5 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $49.50

Super Early Bird Deadline

Early Bird Deadline

Thursday, Jun 25 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.50

Early Bird Deadline

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Jul 15 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

Regular Deadline

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Aug 5 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $79.50

Final Deadline

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