Friday, June 5, 2009

A Couple Of Competitions: The Ultimate Filmmaker Competition and The 13th Annual Slamdance Feature Screenplay Competion

You may or may not have noticed that I didn't post anything yesterday. Truth be told, I'm taking on a bit more work these days and my Thursday mornings are now shot. It's little side projects, but it's extra cash. So, I'll take it. Anyhow, what's pertinent to you and what I find funny is the fact that, when I was film school, parents, friends and, well, a lot of people, told me that the skills I was getting wouldn't have much real world merit. Like, if filmmaking doesn't work out, then what? Well, regardless, I got into marketing and advertising, but still write and make short films in my spare time (which is nominal these days) and I'm finding that filmmaking skills are actually quite useful. Why? Well, I deal with numerous businesses of varying sizes and having things like a social networking presence, full with photo's, video's and all that has become standard marketing fare. Plus, everyone wants (needs) to have short films made for their website. I mean, every company should have a dynamic webpage. So, check this out. If you're an indie filmmaker, I hope you know how to make a sharp short film. Also, chances are you're pretty f'ing good with a still camera... you probably spend a lot of time on Myspace, Facebook and reading blogs. You know your way around editing software. You can write. All of a sudden, you've got skills that almost every business needs, even though a lot of business don't know they need them quite yet. Somewhere in that clutter is where I'm finding a few side jobs and, maybe, you can, too. And side jobs are good because they pay you in money. And money is good.

There's a couple of competitions coming up, both are very cool... especially if you're into screenwriting. The first one, The Ultimate Filmmaker Competition, will require some screenwriting skills, but you need to be a filmmaker at heart. The other competition, The Slamdance Feature Screenplay Competition, is straight screenwriting, baby. Both look awesome and we'll take a closer look at each of them...

The Ultimate Filmmaker Competition is a dynamic filmmaking competition offering one visionary filmmaker a six-figure production grant and distribution deal. I've always liked competitions like this, it's like winning the lotto or something. It's sponsored by Canon, Final Cut Pro, NeoFlix, MovieMaker Magazine, Final Draft, and Filmmakers Alliance, which is a good group of sponsors. What's also really cool is that you don't need much to enter. To apply, you only need a one-page synopsis, 250 word "Why I Am a Filmmaker" essay, and a filmmaker resume. Ain't too hard. You can get that together in a few days. Fuck, I think I'm going to do it just for shits and giggles.

Everyone who enters gets a one year membership to Filmmakers Alliance Global, which is launching with this competition. The First Place winner receives, at minimum, a $200,000 USD cash production grant along with an additional $300,000 in resources to turn their proposal into a script and then into a film. The winning filmmaker will also receive a Canon HD camera, production software, and development and production guidance. And it doesn't stop there; the film will be heavily promoted, will premiere at a major film festival, and will be distributed on multiple platforms simultaneously - theatrically, on cable, and on the net - for maximum international exposure. How's that? Go check it out...

Tough act to follow, but for all you screenwriters out there, you should also be considering, one of my favorites, the 13th Annual Slamdance Feature Screenplay Competition, which boasts a great track record of success discovering and supporting emerging screenwriting talent and launching writing careers.

There's piles of success stories out of Slamdance and they're always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to assist emerging artists. This year, Slamdance has teamed with Upload Films to produce the year's prize-winning low budget feature screenplay. The top cash prize is $5000 USD, and finalists receive writer-friendly perks and goodies such as eligibility in the WGA's Independent Writers Caucus, Final Draft software, InkTip membership, Slamdance Film Festival passes, and more. Slamdance's top scripts are often requested by studios, production companies, management companies, and agencies, so finalists often secure representation and sought-after industry exposure.

That's all I've got for this week, folks. Have a great weekend, see you next week!

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