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 Open Call for Screenplays! 
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Post Open Call for Screenplays!

I know that there are several folks in here who have developed screenplays in the last few years. I just read in an article today that Jordan Peele's production company is having an open call for screenplays.

Now, there is a HUGE thing to be aware of, which is that they don't ensure the confidentiality of your script, and so if someone sees it and then wanders off and makes something suspiciously like yours, you wouldn't have legal recourse.

But I'd encourage you guys to check it out and decide if you want to submit something.


Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:02 am
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Thanks for the tip! (MKS clued me in to it too.)

I plan to see if they accept treatments.

Any writers on the forum, it's always a good idea to either register your script with the WGA (good) or copyright it (better), regardless. Story theft isn't a severe issue in the industry, but it's good to be sure, and you get a real serious-looking official certificate.

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Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:11 am
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My screenwriting partner and I are debating sending our sci-fi script called "Dream City" to them but we're still wrapping up an edit and it's still in first draft form. Also, this may be presumptuous, but there's a "tell us about yourself" section of the submission that brings up background and identity so I'm wondering if being a straight, white guy may put a bit of a disadvantage on this, given the general interests and goals that Peele has expressed in finding diverse voices.

Still may do it and roll the dice on having the idea stolen.


Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:21 am
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I suck but might give it a try anyway. It's been a long time since I tried selling any of my stuff.

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Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:32 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
My screenwriting partner and I are debating sending our sci-fi script called "Dream City" to them but we're still wrapping up an edit and it's still in first draft form. Also, this may be presumptuous, but there's a "tell us about yourself" section of the submission that brings up background and identity so I'm wondering if being a straight, white guy may put a bit of a disadvantage on this, given the general interests and goals that Peele has expressed in finding diverse voices.

Still may do it and roll the dice on having the idea stolen.


Your films have consistently used diverse actors/actresses and locations. Frankly, if someone had just shown me your work, I would have been surprised to find out you weren't a non-white writer/director and possibly even a woman simply because you are able to put women in the forefront of your stories in a non-exploitative way. Because most people when they start out just put versions of themselves and their best friends on screen or include only caricature-like versions of women and people of color, even if later they create work with more diverse characters.

If your sci-fi script features diverse characters, I'd go for it.


Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:34 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Your films have consistently used diverse actors/actresses and locations. Frankly, if someone had just shown me your work, I would have been surprised to find out you weren't a non-white writer/director and possibly even a woman simply because you are able to put women in the forefront of your stories in a non-exploitative way. Because most people when they start out just put versions of themselves and their best friends on screen or include only caricature-like versions of women and people of color, even if later they create work with more diverse characters.

If your sci-fi script features diverse characters, I'd go for it.


Thanks! I've tried very hard to break from the "surrogate me" approach to storytelling back when I was doing the Undead by setting myself up as a character and killing me off within one episode while everyone else lives on. I've not felt the urge to return to such an approach either. Dream City is set in what probably used to be South Afeica but is now a property of Bakumo, a technology company that programs people to love their "dream job." The lead character is a black man that has been programmed to work in the mines and begins to malfunction. The cast is primarily black, Asian and Hispanic with a couple of white characters. It's also supposed to have a smattering of different languages spoken and everyone has been programmed to understand each other, so they respond in turn. Originally started off as an action vehicle for someone like Scott Adkins to star in as the lead villain but we ended up taking it far more seriously than perhaps we should have.

I hope to have a finished draft that's worth showing people by the end of Christmas break. We're leaning towards submitting it should they still be accepting. I don't think it's quite ready yet.

If you or anyone wants to read it when I'm done, I'll shoot it out. I understand if not, as feature length scripts are a bit of a commitment.


Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:43 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Thanks! I've tried very hard to break from the "surrogate me" approach to storytelling back when I was doing the Undead by setting myself up as a character and killing me off within one episode while everyone else lives on. I've not felt the urge to return to such an approach either. Dream City is set in what probably used to be South Afeica but is now a property of Bakumo, a technology company that programs people to love their "dream job." The lead character is a black man that has been programmed to work in the mines and begins to malfunction. The cast is primarily black, Asian and Hispanic with a couple of white characters. It's also supposed to have a smattering of different languages spoken and everyone has been programmed to understand each other, so they respond in turn. Originally started off as an action vehicle for someone like Scott Adkins to star in as the lead villain but we ended up taking it far more seriously than perhaps we should have.

I hope to have a finished draft that's worth showing people by the end of Christmas break. We're leaning towards submitting it should they still be accepting. I don't think it's quite ready yet.

If you or anyone wants to read it when I'm done, I'll shoot it out. I understand if not, as feature length scripts are a bit of a commitment.


I'd be happy to read it--I'm a pretty fast reader.

It sounds like your story leaves a lot of room for diversity in front of and behind the camera, so why not? (I mean, aside from the risks discussed earlier).


Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:31 am
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I got a couple of feature length screenplays, so why not?

I'll take a page from DaMU's advice and get it copyrighted/registered with the WGA.


Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:55 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
I got a couple of feature length screenplays, so why not?

I'll take a page from DaMU's advice and get it copyrighted/registered with the WGA.


Yes, go for it!


Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:50 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I'd be happy to read it--I'm a pretty fast reader.

It sounds like your story leaves a lot of room for diversity in front of and behind the camera, so why not? (I mean, aside from the risks discussed earlier).


Excellent! In the meantime, would you care to take a gander at my giant monster short film called "GODKILLER?" It's 15 pages and still a first draft. I'm taking notes on things that aren't working before I do another.


Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:28 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Excellent! In the meantime, would you care to take a gander at my giant monster short film called "GODKILLER?" It's 15 pages and still a first draft. I'm taking notes on things that aren't working before I do another.


Sure--send it over!


Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:33 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Sure--send it over!


Sent! And if anyone else wants to check it out, let me know.


Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:40 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Sent! And if anyone else wants to check it out, let me know.


Got it--thanks!


Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:41 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Sent! And if anyone else wants to check it out, let me know.
Shoot!

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Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:43 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Excellent! In the meantime, would you care to take a gander at my giant monster short film called "GODKILLER?" It's 15 pages and still a first draft. I'm taking notes on things that aren't working before I do another.


I would be careful about sharing my best stuff to a cattle call looking to herd script ideas.


Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:20 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

I would be careful about sharing my best stuff to a cattle call looking to herd script ideas.


Luckily, my premises are usually steeped in genre cliche and I just try to subvert them along the way. It's hard to steal a post-modern idea because they're usually derivative by trade. But thanks for the warning. So far, the usual outcome of all my endeavors is being ignored or rejected so being thieved may actually feel like a step up in validation because at least I'll have done something well enough to get robbed.

I'll choose to believe the less cynical purpose behind their fine print in that it's to protect them from getting sued when their next film about a mutant that falls in love with a mermaid had a coincedental resemblance to a script that got sent in about a mutant mermaid falling in love with a man.

I just need to get my foot in the door and risking a script I co-wrote over the summer doesn't seem too bad.


Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:41 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Luckily, my premises are usually steeped in genre cliche and I just try to subvert them along the way. It's hard to steal a post-modern idea because they're usually derivative by trade. But thanks for the warning. So far, the usual outcome of all my endeavors is being ignored or rejected so being thieved may actually feel like a step up in validation because at least I'll have done something well enough to get robbed.

I'll choose to believe the less cynical purpose behind their fine print in that it's to protect them from getting sued when their next film about a mutant that falls in love with a mermaid had a coincedental resemblance to a script that got sent in about a mutant mermaid falling in love with a man.

I just need to get my foot in the door and risking a script I co-wrote over the summer doesn't seem too bad.


I like how Shyamalan is brutally honest about his successes and failures in his Drexler commencement address. I also like how he bet on himself despite these failures and found success. I also think of Lucas who was canny enough to negotiate the right to the toys for Star Wars and Stallone who insisted on not letting someone else to Rocky. The trick seems to be to know how much to give away, but not to give away the store--the reed that doesn't bend in the wind breaks, but successful people also seem determined to bet on themselves in high winds.



Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:38 pm
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