God knows, Uncle Phil (yes, I'm speaking about myself in the third person) endeavors to stimulate interesting topics and continually looks for compelling articles to post. The kind of material that might stimulate good discussions. Today, I was trying to locate an article about how to turn your screenplay into a novel. But alas, I couldn't find what I was looking for. Besides, why would anyone want to turn their screenplay into a novel? I say, try to be good at one thing, instead of shitty at two things.
I found this article called Can You Really Be a Professional Screenwriter? Perception vs Reality and I'm posting the link below. To spark your interest, here is a quote from that article:
"For example, this year, I’ve had the same TV drama pilot make the Top 10 PAGE Awards finalist as well as the second round at Sundance Episodic Lab, but that same script did not make the second round of Austin Film Festival. Why is that? I’ll never know. It’s hard to tell how each contest chooses their readers, especially the ones in the early rounds when there are thousands and thousands of scripts to muddle through. AFF (at least I know this to be true of this year) sent out queries to all of last year’s 2nd rounders, asking if they wanted to be readers for this year’s first round. That means you’re allegedly being judged by other writers who most likely have zero qualifications to be a contest judge, other than having had their own script succeed in a previous contest. I’m not picking on AFF. I love their event and respect their efforts. It’s simply the reality of what happens in contests far too often because of the high volume of scripts needing to be read. The people who run the contests really do want to help writers. The solution becomes to either lower their expectations of finding a large number of qualified readers or raise the contest entry fee in order to pay the readers what they deserve. There’s no easy answer."
Okay, here's my opinion about this writer's quote. Who gives a rat's ass? Did this writer get a film deal off her top ten Page finalist spot? I don't see anything that says she did. I know another writer who has three finalist scripts at AFF this year and nobody's signed him for a management deal yet. However, instead of resting on his laurel leaves, that ambitious writer is traveling here from another country to meet with folks in LA to see if he can drum up some business.
People, you will never achieve success by overthinking why people didn't like your script. Placing well in contests may give you a tiny bit of ante to play in the game. But it won't get you a damn thing of value if you don't try to connect with people who can further your writing career. And, in fairness to the author of the article I'm posting here, she does advise her readers to find a champion who likes their writing. But kids, you're going to have to break a lot of eggs to make that omelette. So my advice, is use your spec scripts as calling cards to score a writing gig from a producer looking to make a film. I've done some ballsy things to make that very thing happen. But none of what I did included whining over why my script didn't get picked at AFF, Page or any other contest. I've had four place at the AFF contest and it hasn't helped me one damn bit.