Stage 32 / The Blood List presents: The Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest

Contest Info

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


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


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.


Contest Prizes

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

Our Track Record

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.



Contest Judges

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 Into the Storm.

Exec 123 -

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 was the production company behind the thriller Run All Night and animated event film The Lego Movie for the studio. They've also released 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.

The duo has produced five movies together: He's Out There, written by Mike Scannell and directed by Dennis Iliadis, starring Yvonne Strahovski for Screen Gems; The Blackcoat's Daughter, written and directed by Osgood Perkins, starring Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka acquired by A24; Stephanie, written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, directed by Akiva Goldsman, starring Frank Grillo and Ana Torv for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures; The Monster, written and directed by Bertino, starring Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine for A24; and Mockingbird, written and directed by Bertino, for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures. Unbroken is represented by Jason Burns at UTA.

She is also a proud member of the Producers Guild of America, and serves on the board of Cinestory, a non-profit dedicated to nurturing new screenwriting talent through its fellowship and annual retreat. The program is aimed at writers with a high level of trade craft who are ready to enter the industry, and encourages participation from writers across the globe.

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 O’Brien

Beth Bruckner O’Brien - Director of Development, Millennium Films

Beth is interested in action and thriller feature scripts of any budget range!

Millennium Films is one of the largest and longest running independent film companies and currently finances and produces up to 10 films a year.

Beth started her film career working at ICM, International Creative Management. After a year at the agency, Beth went on to work for a foreign sales company, Omega Entertainment. From there, she secured a position at Peter Block’s film production company, A Bigger Boat. At A Bigger Boat, 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, The Expendables franchise, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Homefront, Lovelace and Iceman.

During her tenure, Millennium Films has produced and financed 19 films and has over 30 projects in various stages of development. Millennium is currently developing the first female version of The Expendables tentatively titled The Expenda-Belles; and recently released the action thriller Criminal.

Company credits include:

Beth Bruckner

Tips on pitching to Beth:

  • Make sure it's clear what makes your story stand out.
  • No excuse for typos in written pitches.
  • When doing movie comps, do NOT use movies that share the same concept as yours. Only compare movies that share the same tone.
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 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

* Announcement dates subject to change.
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