Do I have to write a script for your featured talent?
No! If you have the world's greatest short script that you've been sitting on for years or that has won other competitions, but has never been produced, enter it! There are thousands of amazing actors here in LA and we will find a fantastic cast for your short even if none of our featured actors fit into any of the roles for your short.
Why is there not a featured actor who is person of color or someone who represents the LGBT community? My script has characters that are too old or too young to include your star... what's up with that? Should I enter if my script since you're obviously choosing to ignore my community?
Absolutely you should enter and we are not ignoring you! We're starting out small and will feature a star or two or three each time we have the competition. If there is not an actor who fits the specs of your characters within our star(s), again... do not worry. We will find great talent for your winning script. Know that sometimes it will be flipped... our star WILL be a person of color, a member of the LGBT community, or even someone who doesn't fit the age range of any of the characters in your fantastic script (too old or too young). So there's always going to be someone who isn't happy with the talent that we've offered up... and that's OK. Offering up our stars to inspire your writing is exactly that... an offer. You are not required to use them or even be inspired by them. If you write an amazing script that rises to the top, we will be armed with the ammunition that will allow us to go get you the best cast that we can!
How does this work? How are you able to pay the actors and crew?
This is the easy part of the whole equation. There are certain administrative costs with running the competition, but the budget for the winning short that we shoot will be taken from the entry fees. For example, if we get $7,500 in entry fees and have $1,500 worth of administrative costs to run the contest, we have $6,000 left over to produce the short. We will be producing the shorts under a SAG-AFTRA short film contract.
I don't live in the United States, can I still enter your competition?
Yes! But you will need to write your script in English. Great stories are great stories no matter the origin.
Are there limitations to what I can write?
This is the hard part... yes, there are limits. Think of your short screenplay as being something you'd be able to produce with our star and your friends in your own hometown. You wouldn't write in car crashes if you couldn't afford to crash cars (we can't). You wouldn't write in locations that are impossible to get without spending thousands of dollars (we can't do that either). You wouldn't write a green screen epic that requires CGI dragons or gunfights or laser-cats for a short you're shooting unless you're really good at doing those things yourself. We might be very interested in doing some laser-cats, but still, you get what we're saying.
Beyond the common sense limitations listed above that are money savers, here are a few others to consider.
1) Keep the script under 12 pages. This is an actual rule.
2) Try not to have a huge cast. We're not going to tell you the number of characters to have in your short screenplay, but if you have a 10-page short with 12 speaking roles and/or 12 extras, it's going to make our job of making our budget work way more difficult; perhaps impossible.
3) Try to limit the number of locations. More than 3 or 4 locations for a 12-page script can turn what should be a one-day shoot into a 2 or 3-day shoot with company moves... and one that we potentially can't afford to produce.
4) Ask questions! Feel free to fill out the form in our contact section and ask if your idea is something that might be doable. There are work-arounds for several things in production that make the seemingly impossible possible, so don't be afraid the ask.
Will my kick-ass script set in space that requires a $75K budget be ignored even if it's the best script that's submitted?
Ignored? Absolutely not. Produced? Absolutely not... at least not by us. We'll put it in our "Inner Circle" and offer it up for other producers to consider. But again, we will not be able to afford to shoot your epic space opera although we would kill to be able to do so because it's so badass. This sucks for you and sucks for us, too. We want to produce the best script. We also want to field a team to play in the NBA and that's not going to happen, either. We all have our limits. We may get to a point someday where we have $75K to produce the winning short and could consider your space opera, but for the first few editions of our competition... please work with us on our limitations. If you write that space opera and we can match you up with someone who can produce your impossible-to-ignore space opera, we will happily do so.