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

BlueCat Screenplay Competition   

July 10th, 2012 



It's the common complaint of moviegoers everywhere - "There aren't any original stories anymore! Everything is either a sequel, a reboot, or an adaptation of something else!
" While the English majors among us may argue that there's never been such a thing as an original story, the point remains: Hollywood is adaptation-crazy. A lot of this boils down to dollars and cents - when you make a movie about a popular book, television show, or - perish the thought - board game, you've got a built in audience in the form of fans of the source material who are practically guaranteed to see the movie, whereas a wholly original script has to win over an audience on the strength of its premise and ticket sales.

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with adaptations, though. Kurt Vonnegut was a huge fan of the film adaptation of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which won the Prix du Jury at Cannes, while author Chuck Palahniuk preferred the ending of the film Fight Club to the one he'd written in the book. Many classic movies were based on books - from Gone with the Wind to The Shining to Die Hard. Yes, Die Hard was based on a book. Look it up.

Adapting a script from a book is no easy task, because the writer has to walk a fine line between honoring the source material and telling a novel-size story in a matter of hours. For those of you looking to take a crack at adapting a book or some other source material, we're dedicating this week's newsletter to the art of the adaptation. So get reading - and for the record, if any of you want to write an action packed screenplay adapted from the BlueCat Newsletter, we'd be happy to sell you the rights for a not-unreasonable sum...

-The BlueCat Team  


PS - Last week's newsletter went out with the same title as the newsletter the week before - that was a kerfuffle on our end, and we apologize for the carelessness.  

BlueCat Alumni Corner: Jerry Mahoney
Where Are They Now?  

Jerry Mahoney won BlueCat's grand prize in 2009 for his comedy script, Gladly McGee And The Damn Retarded F*****, the story of two actors who become friends while playing highly offensive stock characters in 1940s Hollywood. Since his big win, Mahoney wrote a spec script for The Sarah Silverman Program that got him selected for the Writers' Guild of America Writer Access Program, wrote a stageplay, Ditto, as well as a memoir, Where Do Gaybies Come From?, and has signed a book deal with DeFiore and Company, New York. If you're interested in his career or just want to figure out where gaybies actually do come from, follow him on Twitter at @WhyJerryWhy!  
Adapting A Book, Coppola Style
Not All Adaptations Come From Great Source Material 

The Godfather needs no introduction - the film, that is. Mario Puzo's novel upon which the movie is based, however, has not stood the test of time as well. At his blog Act Four Screenplays, professional screenwriter and script analyst David Calvisi uses Coppola's notes from his adaptation of Puzo's novel to demonstrate what parts of the story should and shouldn't make it to the screen. (It's a two part article - be sure to click through and read the whole thing!)    
Selected Script: Clue
The Original Board Game Adaptation

We had a lot of great options for today's selected script - beloved adaptations from Casablanca to To Kill A Mockingbird - but we ultimately opted for 1985 cult hit Clue because it shows that anything, even a common board game, can be adapted into a lively and fun script in the hands of a competent writer. Give it a read to see how screenwriters Jonathan Lynn and John Landis incorporated key elements from the classic game to turn it into a classic film.    
The Clock Is Ticking - Yes, Already

Title Contest Deadline

Scripts submitted by Aug1st, 2012 will receive their written analyses by September 1st, 2012 and will be automatically entered in the Title Contest.

$60 entry fee.   


OCTOBER 15TH      Regular Deadline 
Our Regular Deadline is October 15th with an entry fee of $65.

Final Deadline 

Our Final Deadline is
November 15th with an entry fee of $70.

Free Entry To BlueCat 2013!
Details Below!

The 2013 BlueCat Screenplay Competition is getting closer and closer, and to celebrate we're going to be giving away free submissions to a few lucky contest winners over the next three weeks! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, where we'll be announcing the contests and giving you a shot at entering BlueCat, getting two pieces of feedback on your script, and a shot at a $10,000 prize all for free!      
Gordy Video: Play And Screenplay
More Talking, Fewer Car Chases

Before there was film, there were plays, and despite the wild successes of film as a medium, the stageplay remains a popular and subtlely different form of art than the screenplay. Dialogue rich films like Twelve Angry Men and Glengarry Glen Ross have been adapted from the stage to the screen with great success. BlueCat founder Gordy Hoffman is here to discuss the differences between the mediums so potential adapters know what to look out for.   
Mastering Film: Adapting A Screenplay From Literature
Can You Adapt It?

Whether there's such a thing as an un-adaptable novel or not is a matter of some debate, but director and film scholar Michael Rabiger at has outlined a list of questions you should ask yourself before you sit down to adapt that epic novel for the screen.   
From Stage To Screen
Down The Rabbit Hole

In this interview with The Denver Post, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire discusses the unique challenges and opportunities presented by adapting the script that won him the prize, Rabbit Hole, into a screenplay, which he ultimately felt was better than the original work.  

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative."

HG Wells

BlueCat Interviews    

Miss an interview? Don't sweat it! All of our interviews with 2012's winners - along with some other interviews from BlueCat's past - are available on our website. It's a great opportunity to tap into the psyches of our winners and figure out what makes them tick - and, more importantly, what makes them write good screenplays! 
BlueCat Workshops  

If you're considering registering for our workshops in Australia and New Zealand, it's recommended you jump on it now.

We currently have only three spots open in Melbourne, four spots in Sydney, five slots in Auckland and four in Wellington.

And there's only one spot left in Denver!


Can't make it to a workshop? Try our online workshop!         

    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.


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.



The BlueCat Workshops
Head for
New Zealand and Australia!

Inspired by our recent Joplin Award Winner (Best International Script outside UK, Canada and USA), BlueCat is traveling down under to lead a few workshops and have a staged reading of our Joplin winner in Wellington, NZ.

We hope to see you when we come in August! Have any places we need to visit while we're there? Like us to visit you somewhere? Let us know. We want to meet and talk BlueCat with you.


Full Script Workshop  
Saturday, August 25th, 9:00 AM-6:00PM 
Full Registration $395 USD 
Audit $75 USD 
First Ten Pages Workshop (Limit 12 writers)
Sunday, August 26th, 9:00AM-6:00PM 
Full Registration $150 USD
Audit $75 USD
Register Now

September Online Workshop
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
SCRIPTS DUE: September 6, midnight PST
COMMENTS RELEASED: September 23rd, 6:00 PM PST
Full Registration: $195
Audit: $40  

Register Now

Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, September 15th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Full Registration $225
Audit $45

First Ten Pages Workshop (Limit 10 writers)
Sunday October 21st, 8:00AM-5:00PM
Full Registration $115
TFA Member $85 
Audit $45
TFA Member $30  
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Saturday, September 29th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Full Registration $225
Audit $45
Register Now

New Orleans
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Sunday, September 30th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Full Registration $225
Audit $45
Register Now

Kansas City
Full Script Workshop (Limit 7 writers)
Sunday, November 18th, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Full Registration $195
Audit $45
Register Now    
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