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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

May 28th, 2013

  • Ten Lessons on Filmmaking from James Franco 
  • Five Short Films That Helped Launch Careers 
  • Video Interview with Derek Cianfrance, writer/director of THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
  • Derek Cianfrance Breaks Down Scenes for 
  • "My Life as a Screenwriter You've Never Heard Of"  
  • Handwritten Screenplay Pages: Tarantino, Kasdan, & More 
  • LightHouse Writer's Workshop
  • Willamette Writers Conference 
  • Upcoming Workshops: Philadelphia, New York, and online 
2014 Call for Entries 
We are now open for submissions! 

Shorts submitted by SATURDAY, JUNE 1st will receive their feedback by June 15th!

This year, BlueCat establishes one of the largest cash prizes in the world for a Short Screenplay, with a Grand prize of $10,000, along with an increase in our Feature prize to $15,000.


Students will be eligible to submit their short screenplay at a discounted rate of $29 for the duration of the competition.


Each Short Screenplay submission will receive one written analysis, while each Feature Screenplay entry will receive two.

All Feature Screenplay submissions received by June 15th will receive their feedback by July 1st.  



Best Feature Screenplay

 $15,000 Grand Prize
Four Finalists

$2,500 Prize   


Best Short Screenplay

$10,000 Grand Prize

Three Finalists

$1,500 Prize


The Cordelia Award

Best Feature Screenplay from the UK

$1,500 Prize


The Joplin Award

Best Feature Screenplay from outside the USA, Canada or the UK

$1,500 Prize


Movie Title Contest: 

Three Winners $250 each


Recent achievements by BlueCat Alumni include:
  • Young Il Kim's script, RODHAM, a 2012 Blacklist Script, recently attached director Jason Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW). Young recently won the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant from Sundance, where he will write a biopic on Stephen Hawking.

  • Elijah Wood produced Ana Lily Amipour's A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, set for release in late 2013.

  • Aaron Guzikowski's PRISONERS, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Melissa Leo, will be released September 2013.  The Sundance Channel recently bought Aaron's TV pilot, THE DESCENDENTS, making it their second scripted show after RECTIFY.

  • Ashleigh Powell sold her script, SOMACELL, to Warner Brothers, with David Goyer attached to produce.

  • SOMACELL, along with RODHAM, were two 2012 Blacklist Scripts written by BlueCat Alumni.
Ten Lessons on Filmmaking from James Franco
Filmmaker Magazine 
James Franco has been in the business for almost 20 years. Known as an actor, he's recently taken on duties on the other side of the camera.


"There's a trend in actor-turned-director helmed films at Cannes this year, an impeccable direction of the people on screen. You can tell there's a sense of trust and cohesive goal to create something great. One of the clearest examples of this is James Franco's new feature film, AS I LAYING DYING, based on the great American classic by William Faulkner, the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her wish to be buried in the town of Jefferson."

Click the link below for the article.

Five Short Films That Helped Launch Careers 
BlueCat Blog 
Ryan David Jahn takes a look at five short films that helped launch the careers of prominent filmmakers.

Ryan writes, "...shorts can work as a calling card; many a career has gotten started with a short film shot on a shoestring."

Follow the link below for the list, complete with the actual shorts.
Handwritten Pages
A Glimpse of the Pros' Process recently featured a collection of hand-written script pages from some of the top screenwriters around. Inspired by recently-published pages of Lawrence Kasdan's THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, they scoured the internet for more examples.

Head to the FlavorWire to enjoy.

Workshop With Gordy at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Enjoy Gordy's workshops? Lighthouse Writers Workshop is a week long or weekend intensive writing workshop for advanced fiction, poetry, screenplay or non-fiction writers. Register and find out the details here
See Gordy at the Williamette Writers Conference
Portland, OR - August 
Enjoy Gordy's workshops? The Williamette Writers Conference will be held August 2-4th at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel. "Willamette Writers' goal is to provide and encourage a creative environment and support system for current and aspiring writers." Register and find out the details here
Hey, Whaddya Say?

"You can't write poetry on a computer."
--Quentin Tarantino, two-time Academy Award winner
"My Life as a Screenwriter You've Never Heard Of"
Hollywood Reporter Guest Column by Justin Marks  
This article comes from a recent edition of THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Justin Marks has been paid to write nearly two dozen scripts, including both original ideas and adaptations. We've all heard about the huge paychecks and awards garnered by some of the big guns, but what about the workaday screenwriter?

From THR: "Justin Marks has written over 20 movie screenplays and seen his TV pilots greenlit - but as he explains, the life of a Hollywood scribe is far more lows than highs if your name isn't Aaron Sorkin."

Click here for the article.  
Video Interview with Filmmaker Derek Cianfrance
Writer/Director of THE PLACE
Presented for your enjoyment, from the blog Go Into the Story, here's a half-hour interview with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance, best known for BLUE VALENTINE and THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES.

In the interview, Cianfrance talks about the origins of the story, his filmmaking process, and his collaborations with actor Ryan Gosling. 
Selected Script:  



written by Derek Cianfrance and Ben Coccio and Darius Marder

Click here for the script.
More Derek Cianfrance 
"Breaking Down the Movie"  
Head over to for the inaugural edition of Steve Weintraub's new "Breaking Down the Movie." The first edition features Derek Cianfrance talking about his latest feature, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES.

Weintraub writes:

"After a bit of brainstorming, I decided to do an interview series that allows a director to talk about what they do in greater detail: directing.  Instead of focusing on the basic questions (why they cast a certain actor in a role or how tough it was to land financing) this new interview series - which I'm calling "Breaking Down the Movie" - will showcase a director speaking at length about specific footage from their movie and explaining how and why they made key decisions on set." 


Connect With BlueCat!
Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, for your opportunity to win a FREE ENTRY.

Recent Facebook contests included the best character bio written in 140 characters or less, and the best action line from your original screenplays. 
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BlueCat Workshops
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.
Your script will be read in advance both by Gordy as well as the other workshop participants; everyone receives in-depth feedback on their script from a number of different perspectives.
Philadelphia - June 26th - REGISTER
Online Script Workshop - June 27th -REGISTER
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Portland - August 1st - REGISTER    
San Francisco - August 10th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles - August 17th - REGISTER
New Orleans - August 24th - REGISTER 
Omaha - September 5th - REGISTER
Online Workshop - September 26th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles - October 26th - REGISTER
Austin - October 30th - REGISTER
Austin - November 3rd - REGISTER
Los Angeles - November 23rd - REGISTER


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