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Friday, August 01, 2008

Script Reading at The BFSC

I know many of you have been interested in the new British Feature Screenplay Competition, the sibling of the well established British Short Screenplay Competition (BSSC). What's unique about the Feature Competition is that it guarantees the winning feature will get made, which is pretty impressive by anyone's standards.

But the sticking point with some of you who've emailed me then is the entry fee: the early deadline fee is £65, with the late entry fee a whopping £85. That's a lot by anyone's standards - for some of you, the best part of a week's pay. For Americans in particular, it's even more with the exchange rate the way it is at present.

One common concern I've heard from is that they'll pay this large entry fee, only to have just ten pages of their baby read. This intrigued me, so I wrote to Kaos Films who run the competition via their website and I can tell you that competition co-ordinator Olivia Trollope has been in touch with her assurance that every script should be read ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Yes, you got that... NOT just the first ten pages -every single page of your script. Her email follows below.

Finally then, only you can decide whether the chance of a production deal is worth the entry fee - but that's the same in all contests as far as I'm concerned. Good luck if you give it a go!

Dear Lucy,

Thank you for your interest in the British Feature Screenplay Competition and your inquiry.

We pay a lot of money to our readers to read the whole script and we will be extremely unhappy if we find that it is not happening.

I hope that allays your concerns and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Thank you for your support.

Kind regards,

Olivia
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Thanks Olivia!

Interested in the contest? More information here.

6 comments:

SK said...

Oh, so if the Rise entry is ready early it can go there as well. Two for the price of one!

Paul M said...

Sometimes I wish I could duplicate myself. Then I could write multiple scripts. This sounds like something to aim for next year, for me anyway. Definitely. I don't see why they can't just send the entrants, the reader's analysis, then you know for sure it's been read to the finish.

Glenn Upsall said...

Thanks for all the info on the BFSC. What a good idea to chase up the organisers and asking them how much of the script is being assessed - I wouldn't've thought of doing that...DUH!!!

I discovered this competition last week, and was REALLY keen to enter.....until I saw the entry fee!! I did think £65 was a bit steep.

But...then again....

The 'prize' to have your script MADE into an actual, living and breathing FEATURE FILM!!! Wow!!! It just seemed too good an opportunity to miss.... besides...I'm a gambling man!!

I'm off now to make my PROTAGONIST less PASSIVE!! - You see, I did take 'your notes' on board!!!!!

Cheers!!!

Lucy said...

Good point SK. Paul - why can't you rewrite one of the two scripts I've already read for BFSC? Nothing ventured...

Glenn - welcome!

English Dave said...

''What's unique about the Feature Competition is that it guarantees the winning feature will get made, which is pretty impressive by anyone's standards.''

The only guarantee in this business is that nothing is guaranteed. Unless they are a NGO with pots of cash or Simon Cowell.

Treat any 'guarantees' with a pinch of salt.

Nuff said.

SK said...

It occurs to me though: what does it matter how much of the script is read? What matters is winning. If your first ten pages aren't good enough to convince whoever reads it that there is promise, then it's hardly likely that the rest will too -- I mean, did you suddenly become a competent writer at the top of page twelve (and if you did, why didn't you go back and rewrite pages one to eleven)?

It would be useful to know that your writing was so bad that it was obvious form the first ten pages, which is why I would have been interested in whether I made it through to the second round of the Sharps competition (I presume having not heard means I was rejected out of hand), but I don't particularly care whether someone was forced to read the rest of my rubbish if the first ten pages weren't good enough to deserve it.

I mean, if I want the whole thing read, all I have to do is make the first ten pages grab the reader and make them want to read the rest of it. If I can't do that one simple thing why do I deserve to have the rest read?