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What's New, BlueCat?                                          
The Official Newsletter of the

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

January 4th, 2012

Where It All Begins

2012 is here - in a few short months, we'll know the winners of last year's competition, and in five months
we'll begin accepting scripts for the 2012/2013 BlueCat Screenplay Competition! The cycle continues, over and over.

As we start the inevitable march towards the next competition, we here at the newsletter decided we'd like to try and dedicate print space to a different element of the screenplay each week in hopes of getting everybody thinking about the essential building blocks of a screenplay so that, in turn, everybody has a better product to submit. For those of you just getting into the writing game, it'll be an educational experience - for those of you who've been doing it for years, it can't hurt to take another look.

In the interest of new beginnings, this week we'll be tackling the all important inciting incident - the plot element that sets your screenplay in motion. Read on and brush up; the deadline will be here sooner than you think!

-The Bluecat Team 


BlueCat Screenplay Workshops are a one-day, intensive opportunity to certifiably improve your script in a small group environment, led by award winning screenwriter and BlueCat founder Gordy Hoffman.

Gordy Hoffman
Your script will be read in advance both by Gordy as well as the other workshop participants; everyone receives in-depth analysis and feedback on their script from a number of different perspectives.

"Gordy's affable good nature makes everyone feel comfortable at the table, creating a family for the afternoon. He uses his extensive knowledge of story and his passion for the craft to help those screenwriters find ways to improve their work. At the end of the day, one comes away feeling inspired, energized and full of ideas for the next rewrite. I highly recommend his workshop for aspiring and seasoned writers."
-Professor Nelson Chipman, Chair, Point Park University School of Cinema

The Full Script Workshop gave me an insightful, interactive opportunity to find the strengths and weaknesses in my screenplay before I jumped into the next, undoubtedly better draft. Gordy's conversational approach manages to be holistic and scene-specific at the same time, with commentary that comes from the head, heart and gut. I'd jump at the chance to do it again.
-Alvaro Rodriguez, writer of Machete (2010)

A superb workshop! Hoffman really understands story and character, plus he's an excellent teacher. His ability to work with writers about their ideas, finding the flaws and gems, is impressive. Everyone came away armed with heaps of useful knowledge that will improve their script by leaps and bounds. Absolutely worth the money.
-William M. Akers, author of Your Screenplay Sucks!


Los Angeles
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers) 
Saturday, March 10th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Hollywood Production Center 
1149 N. Gower St.  
Los Angeles, CA 90038 
Full Registration $175 
Audit $45

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers) 
Sunday, May 6th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Space on White 
81 White Street 
New York, NY 10013 
Full Registration $245 
Audit $60

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 Writers) 
Saturday, March 31st, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
1914 Magazine St.  
New Orleans, LA  70130 
Full Registration $225 
Audit $45

"When an inciting incident occurs it must be a dynamic, fully developed event, not something static or vague. This, for example, is not an inciting incident: A college dropout lives off-campus near New York University. She wakes one morning and says: "I'm bored with my life. I think I'll move to Los Angeles." She packs her VW and motors west, but her change of address changes nothing of value in her life. She's merely exporting her apathy from New York to California."

Robert McKee, Story

"You've only got about ten pages to grab the attention of your reader or audience; that's why so many films open with an attention grabbing sequence like the opening of Jaws, The Shawshank Redemption, The Hours, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the pizza delivery run in Spider-Man 2, or the dream sequence that opens Rushmore. Once you establish this scene or sequence, usually called the inciting incident, you can set up the rest of your story."

Syd Field, Screenplay 

Food For Plot: The Unknown Screenwriter On Inciting Incidents
Let's Start At The Very Beginning

For a more thorough tutorial on how to write an inciting incident, here's a post from The Unknown Screenwriter on how to start your story off right.  
Gordy Video: A Writer's Voice

This week, BlueCat Screenplay Competition founder Gordy Hoffman talks to us about a writer's voice - the distinctive style of his or her writing and how it comes through both on the page and on the screen.

Selected Script: Little Miss Sunshine
Starting A Journey
Little Miss Sunshine is a great script for any number of reasons, but we selected it today because of its inciting incident - the moment at which the plot truly gets underway. Take a look at the first fifteen or so pages; multiple characters listen to and disregard the answering machine message that lays out the adventure they'll soon be embarking upon, but only when little Olive listens to it does the plot take off. It's an interesting way of teasing the audience with what the movie is going to be about before the characters themselves know it.    
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