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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

April 24th, 2012    









Of course you do.  


So on Thursday, April 26th at 7:30, come on down to The Complex at 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles for a table reading of



The BlueCat finalist screenplay by



It's an evening of saucy satire - don't miss it! 


For more information, check out the event on Facebook! 


Zeke Farrow - AKA Zekeness - is the author of the BlueCat finalist screenplay Untitled Sarah Palin Sex Doll Project, the screenplay so controversial that the title alone made one reader request that we quit sending him newsletters.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you're lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, and you missed the big banner above, Zekeness will be doing a table read of his script this Thursday, April 26th, at 7:30 PM at The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Whether you're planning on going or not, you should at least read our interview with Zekeness. It's right below these words. Just scroll down and you'll see it.

When did you start writing screenplays? 

Can we get one quick thing out of the way before we get started? Zekeness™, @Zekeness, #Zekeness, /Zekeness.  Okay, I can relax now.   I started writing screenplays in 1999.  

Why did you start writing screenplays?

Picture it, New York City.  Summer.  Y2K was fast approaching.  Drastic times.  I had been acting in some amazing downtown theater with a radical group of awesome people who are still a big part of my creative life today.  I was a bit of a spaz and more than a bit directionless.  I ran into a friend of mine from college on the subway.  He was going to NYU Film School and asked me to write his thesis film with him.  It was a real movie moment.  My life could have gone in two different directions separated by the heavy-handed metaphor of sliding subway doors.   Just think, I could have ended up like Gwyneth Paltrow.  Luckily I found screenwriting.  I mean, can you imagine the pressure of coming up with content for      
How many screenplays have you finished?

I just looked on my active hard drive, the old orange LaCie in my closet, my defunct laptop which miraculously booted, Dropbox, and iCloud, and counted 20 features and a dozen or so teleplays and shorts.  A few of these projects I had totally erased from my memory -- swings and misses.  Some of the older concepts are like totally dated.  Others I may revisit one day with fresh eyes.

How do you find time to write?

Well, after my morning Bootcamp™ class, what else am I gonna do with my day?  I read this essay once by some really smart guy who talked about how you can be a Consumer or you can be a Creator.  The more you consume, the harder it is to create.  The more you create, the less you need to consume.  A lightbulb went off in my head.  The less media I consume, the more I will create.  The more I create, the less I need to consume.  I limit my movie watching because it's important to keep movies special to me.  I like an engaged viewing experience, not a mindless one.  I try to not "zone out" to media.  I could be engaged and writing instead...

What aspects of the writing process do you struggle with the most? 

Plot.  And it's silly because plot is the easiest thing to steal and change when you write genre movies, which I often do.  I think it feels stifling to me if I know too much plot before I start.  I usually know the beginning, the middle, the end, and a bunch of fun stuff that could happen along the way.  Some of my best set-ups and payoffs come to me during the act of writing.  It keeps the project alive and thrilling.

Why do you feel like you do well as a screenwriter? 

(I love how your questions have subtly built-in compliments.  I appreciate them and hope they keep me from sounding smarmy.)

I do well because I've put the time in and worked hard to learn how to write.  If you were born with the ability to write perfectly structured, entertaining, original, compelling scripts, then you were touched by angels.  I meet a lot of people who confound their knack for writing quippy Facebook status updates with a preternatural skill for writing screenplays.  It takes just as much practice to be a writer as it does to be a painter, violinist, or ballet dancer.     
The practice of writing is like the practice of yoga.  The thought of doing it is romantic.  The motivating to do it is excruciating.  The doing it is challenging, but stimulating.  The having done it is ecstasy.  If you want to get better, you have to practice, and like with yoga it becomes bearable.  I hate yoga and love writing.  You pick your battles.

How does screenwriting make you happy?

The cafe where I write is filled with writers and bound by strict rules.  We sit, silently working, for hours on end.  Answering an iPhone call will elicit the wrathful eyebrow of a dozen scribes.  For me, the best moments are when I fall into a writing trance.  The story sort of leaps onto the screen as quickly as it comes into my head.  And suddenly a character reveals something unexpected or says something amazing.  There was one line that a character in one of my scripts said once that was so funny I jumped up, threw an air basketball, and yelled "Two points!"  I'm not kidding.  I ran around the cafe for a round of low-fives from all the other writers.  Is that totally embarrassing?  If it makes any difference, I eventually cut the line from the script.  

What do you think is the biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood?

The biggest problem with storytelling in Hollywood is not enough Zac Efron, though I'm not sure my thoughts on the matter mean much to anyone.  I mean, who do you think I think I am?   But since you asked...

Implicit in your question is an agreed upon deficit in Hollywood storytelling that I can't get onboard with.  This is what I know:

It's really, really, really hard to tell a great story.  I see a lot of bad movies, both independent and Hollywood.  I see a few outstanding movies, both independent and Hollywood.  At the end of the day everyone wants to tell great stories. Movies require teams of people, working on multiple story incarnations (script, direction, acting, editing) leaving plenty of opportunity for everything to go terribly wrong..

Some Hollywood films suffer from the compromise necessary to make something that costs 100 million dollars happen.  The result is usually a story with no subtext.  Then again, indie films often suffer from an under-developed script because there are limited resources on the front end of most indie projects.  The unfortunate result is the feeling of subtext where there is none.  If a film has no subtext, I don't care who made it, there is nothing that will keep me awake.  
If I'm going to pay 15 bucks to get lulled into a hypnotic state, it had better be the most vivid and experiential event possible.  So would it hurt people to give me a little subtext? 

What are your greatest fears about screenwriting?

My greatest fear is always that I won't be able to figure a story out.  It's like a constant suspense that keeps me going.  I have to find out how it's gonna end.  Am I gonna do it?  Or am I gonna fail?

What is your highest screenwriting goal for yourself?

I want to win an Emmy for my Oscar acceptance speech.  

What do you do to achieve that goal?

Keep fooling myself.  Luckily, I am most happy when I'm alone, typing away at my coffee shop.  And I figure, as long as I keep practicing, I'll keep getting better.  The rest is circumstantial.  Who knows, someone like REALLY important could be reading this interview like RIGHT NOW. Be on the look out.  Hopefully you'll get to see more of my movies on the big screen really, really soon.

Oh, and don't forget to tweet this link and follow me...  Who knows where we'll end up... 

Lots of really important people read this newsletter, Zekeness - because nobody is more important to us than our readers. (D'aww.) Congratulations again, and good luck at your reading on Thursday, at 7:30 PM at 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard!   

Short Screenplay Marquee
Grand prize: $2000

Two Finalists: $500 each

   Have you got a great idea for a screenplay that just doesn't happen to be feature length? Maybe you've already written a short screenplay - between five and forty pages long - but you're not sure what to do with it. Maybe you're looking to get some perspective on your short before you try to produce it, and maybe pick up a little extra cash for the budget while you're at it.

If so, then submit your screenplay to BlueCat Short Screenplay Competition! Think of it as a smaller version of the annual Feature BlueCat Screenplay Competition - shorter scripts and a shorter timeframe, but just as equally lucrative and beneficial to your development as a writer.

Entry fee is $20, or $35 if you want feedback by a BlueCat reader.   
Enter by April 15th and receive analysis by May 1st 
All analysis will be sent by June 15th. 
All eligible screenplays - original works between five and forty pages long - must be submitted before May 15th, 2012 at 12:00 AM PST. 



Why? Well, because...


will start accepting submissions on

JUNE 15TH, 2012! 

New year, new scripts, same $20,000 in prizes!



Heads up! There's two spots left for our May 12th South Florida workshop - register now! 
Please check the list below for complete information on all upcoming workshops.  

 About Our Workshops

We write screenplays for people. The relationship between the story on the screen in the theatre and the people sitting in the seats makes or breaks the artistic and commercial success of the movie.

What does a screenplay do to authentically engage an audience? What compels a reader to keep turning the pages? Why do specific elements elicit stronger emotional reactions to our stories? How does a writer write this into their screenplay? Where does this come from within the writer?


An award-winning screenwriter, Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998, having since presided over the evaluation and adjudication of over 10,000 screenplays. This unique combination of writer and reader of screenplays has allowed Gordy to develop and evolve a keen eye and feel for how a screenplay works successfully, and the intuitive, personal ways to address the problems of a screenplay through a writer's approach.


Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 Writers)

Participants read seven screenplays in advance of the workshop. Screenplays can be first drafts or rewrites, with first time writers and veterans all welcome. During the workshop, Gordy provides direct and in-depth feedback on each screenplay, with everyone encouraged to contribute his or her own thoughts and concerns. Gordy provides brief written notes to each writer after the workshop. Audit option available.


The First Ten Pages Workshop (Limit 12 writers)

Each writer submits the first ten pages of their screenplay to the group before the workshop day. On the workshop day, we read the ten pages out loud, providing each writer the valuable experience of hearing their script, followed by a discussion of the pages by the workshop. Audit option available.


What if I don't have a script ready, but I'd like to attend?

Do you want to participate, but do not have a script to submit at this time? You can audit the workshop, which allows you to attend without submitting written material, read the scripts in advance and still participate in the discussion.

Note: A workshop may sell out in regards to full registrations, but the audit option is always available.


New York City
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)  
Saturday, May 5th, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM 
123 4th Ave, 2nd FL 
New York, NY 10003 
Audit $60
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers) 
Sunday, May 6th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Space on White 
81 White Street 
New York, NY 10013 
Audit $60  

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers---2 spots left)
Saturday, May 12th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Hilton Garden Inn 
180 SW 18th Avenue 
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33004 
Full Registration $225 
Audit $45

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, May 19th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Inn By The Sea 
The Sand Dollar Room 
7830 Fay Avenue 
La Jolla, CA 92037 
Full Registration $225 
Audit $45
Register Now
Washington, D.C.   
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers) 
Saturday, June 2nd, 9:00AM-6:00PM  
Dupont Circle Business Incubator 
1638 R Street Northwest #120a 
Washington, DC 20009
Full Registration $225  
Audit $45 
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, June 16th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
The Donatello Hotel 
501 Post St.    
San Francisco, CA 94102 
Full Registration $225 (ONLY THREE SPOTS LEFT) 
Audit $45
Los Angeles 
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)  
Saturday, June 23rd, 9:00AM-6:00PM  
Hollywood Production Center  
1149 N. Gower St.   
Los Angeles, CA 90038  
Full Registration $175 
Audit $45  
Register Now

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, June 30th, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM 
The Walnut Theatre 
825 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19107 
Full Registration $225 
Audit $45 
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers---5 spots left!)
Saturday, August 25th, 9:00 AM-6:00PM 
Metro Screen 
Paddington Town Hall 
249 Oxford St.  
Paddington NSW 2021 
Full Registration $395 USD 
Audit $75 USD 

First Ten Pages Workshop (Limit 12 writers)
Sunday, August 26th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Metro Screen 
Paddington Town Hall 
249 Oxford St.  
Paddington NSW 2021 
Full Registration $150 USD
Audit $75 USD
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, September 29th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Creative Studios of Atlanta
500 Bishop Street Northwest 
Atlanta, GA 30318
Full Registration $225
Audit $45

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