Introduce Yourself : Ask me a question about contest screenwriting! by Alan Pannell

Alan Pannell

Ask me a question about contest screenwriting!

Hey everyone. I've been on here awhile, but have never formally introduced myself. I don't connect nearly enough on here, but do have quite a few colleagues from Hollywood Gatekeepers and ScreenwritingU.

I’m a screenwriter and veteran contest script reader (and very occasional movie extra—recently including I Can Only Imagine).

Formerly, I’ve done many movie-related jobs, including film projectionist, film booking, video store manager, and movie critic. Once upon a time, I was an Instructor and Head of Reference at the University of Colorado-Boulder Law School where I specialized in teaching law with film and created the blog Law in the Reel World.

A few years, I finally went to film school, which was an early dream before choosing law school. (Yes, I’ve always been a lifelong learner.) After getting my master’s degree in Film & Popular Culture with a focus on film & TV screenwriting, I was certified as a Screenreader by Hollywood Gatekeepers.

Besides doing part-time script coverage for a company in L.A., I do script coaching through my own rewrite studio and script coverage business.

Side projects include finishing a short film script for next year’s contests. Reading for contests has really upped my screenwriting game, so am reworking some features as well.

Recent movie faves include the new Dune, which I've watched 4 times (!). I do still have a soft spot for the Lynch version (I saw it at a midnight preview screening back in the day, so how could I not?). Mostly, I’m behind on my moviegoing this year, but Minari is next on my list.

Current favorite shows include Yellowstone, 1883, Homecoming, Yellowjackets, Dexter: New Blood, Katla, and Cobra Kai.

Feel free to message with any questions about contest screenwriting. I have a lot of thoughts on the topic and some helpful suggestions to share.

Great to meet all the new folks! Best of luck with everything in the new year.

A few of my favorite coming-of-age movies...

Richard Encarnacion, Mba, Ph.D.

Alan, good background. It's always important to learn, and get out your own box sort of speak, and get acquainted with a new group of people. Right now, I can see their definitely more competition for writing, and projects to be produced. Although the box office in the last year has been down, the new spider-man film, just grossed $601 MIl in the first week at the box office. So their always an opportunity, for truly amazing projects, I think for me these last two years.

Really going and seeing talent outside of my normal circle made me realize two important things;

1. Talent in the world is unreal

2. Everyone has a story.

the major milestone, which I thought about as I'm getting older now. I started to realize, that the projects which I thought were high quality, were really ok projects. So I learned that in the project and launch their really three key things that make an impact.

1. Audience - Who is watching or reading this

2. Why would they pay $50 bucks to watch a movie? Not just the ticket price also the food, gas, and time price.

3. Who are they going to see the film with?

But most importantly what I've also seen is that their only a few people who can control the destiny of your project.

1. Yourself- Today their no gatekeepers with (Youtube, Vimeo, websites, social media, etc).

2. The industry gatekeeper- Who doesn't know you.

Frank Baruch

Welcome to the platform, Alan! Or should I say, good to have you on the platform, considering your body of work. Wow, talk about a diverse background. Richard, very insightful post!

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