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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

June 11th, 2013

  • Top 5 Structurally Innovative Films
  • From Struggling Actor to Hot Screenwriter
  • Richard Linklater on Making Independent Movies 
  • Ethan Hawke AMA on Reddit
  • Selected Script: PSYCHO 
  • From Struggling Actor to Hot Screenwriter
  • Interview with FRUITVALE Screenwriter Ryan Coogler
  • Origins of the Modern Screenplay Format
  • LightHouse Writer's Workshop
  • Willamette Writers Conference
  • Upcoming Workshops: Philadelphia, New York, and online 
2014 Call for Entries
We are now open for submissions!

Official Call for Feature Screenplays
June 15th
Opening Day Entry Fee $55
Enter on or before Opening Day and receive two written analyses on your screenplay by July 1st.
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.
Top Five Structurally Innovative Films
From the BlueCat Blog 
There is nothing wrong with straight-forward, strictly linear storytelling, of course; it is the most-often used technique because it works. But there is some benefit in having other techniques at your disposal. As long as you're using these techniques to increase impact rather than simply as gimmicks they might help bring your story to its full potential.

Here are five movies that played with storytelling structure and did so in a way that made the resultant movies better than they might otherwise have been 
Richard Linklater on Making Independent Movies 
The Hollywood Reporter  
From December 2012, here's Richard Linklater sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter for an interview. Follow the link below to watch Linklater discuss his career, and the challenges of making an independent film.

From YouTube:

"Richard Linklater on his movie career and a connection to each movie he directs. He reveals how he relates to Billy Bob Thornton's character Morris Buttermaker as well as Dewey Finn played by Jack Black in SCHOOL OF ROCK." 
Ethan Hawke Reddit AMA 
Two-Time Oscar Nominee 
Ethan Hawke took part in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit. He tackled a range of questions covering his entire career. Along the way he shared some great advice for screenwriters.

Here's Hawke's introduction:

"I'm Ethan Hawke. I started acting at fourteen; DEAD POETS SOCIETY, BEFORE SUNRISE, REALITY BITES, GATTACA, TRAINING DAY, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD and SINISTER to name a few. I've also acted in a ton of plays, written a couple books, and directed a couple movies. Right now I have 2 movies coming out; BEFORE MIDNIGHT and THE PURGE. What do you want to know?"
Interview with Filmmaker Ryan Coogler
Writer/Director of FRUITVALE 
FRUITVALE STATION (formerly titled FRUITVALE) picked up awards at Sundance and Cannes. The writer and director of the film, Ryan Coogler, was recently interviewed by the
San Francisco Bay View.

In the interview, Coogler discusses the film and life after its success, among other topics.

The good news continued last week for Coogler, as he was awarded a Vanguard award by the Sundance Institute. When he accepted the award, Coogler remarked:

"Cinema is a format of telling a story that is so immersive that it works like no other medium. And through that storytelling process human beings are able to connect with people that they otherwise would never have come in contact with in their entire lives. That's why supporting filmmakers who may have different perspectives is so important.
Click here for the interview.  
Emmy's 2013: Let' Talk Writing
From the Los Angeles Times 
Thanks to the folks at for this informative video on the history of the modern screenplay format.

The video is featured as part of their Filmmaker IQ course "The Essentials of Screenplay Formatting."

From Filmmaker IQ:

"Screenwriting isn't easy. Great story telling requires craft and insight - but it all starts with getting the proper formatting. Trace the roots of how the screenplay evolved from the earliest moving pictures, through the golden age of Hollywood and into the post-studio era."

Click here for the video.  
From Struggling Actor to Hot Screenwriter   
How do you transition from a supporting actor on the TV show BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER to A-list screenwriter? recently shared the story of Jason Hall, the writer behind the Steven Spielberg-directed AMERICAN SNIPER.

As Mike Fleming, Jr. of says:

"Every writer's trajectory is different, but there's a common thread: there is no such thing as an overnight success screenwriter. It's years of struggle to find a voice, and then maybe a lucky break."

Follow the link below to read about Jason Hall's path to  success.

"Screenwriting Careers: The Biggest Tragedy of All"
By Corey Mandell 

Corey Mandell, a screenwriting instructor at UCLA, penned a recent article about how a writer's mindset could be the difference between his/her success or failure.

Mandell writes:

"...those who believe they were born with all the talent they're ever going to have approach life with a 'fixed-mind set.' Those who believe their abilities can expand over time have a 'growth-mind set.'"

Follow the link below learn more about "fixed-mind set" and "growth mind-set."

Selected Script:  



written by Joseph Stefano

Click here to read the script.
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 topics included flashbacks, Kubrick's boxes, and producing your short script.

Follow the conversation on Twitter and look for writing tips, videos, and screenwriting articles. 

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
Hey, Whaddya Say?

"Write every day. Not every other day. Not tomorrow. Not after the party. But before. The more you write, the more comes out of you. If you don't give inspiration an opportunity, it will never arrive."
--Ethan Hawke
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
Advertise With BlueCat
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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
New York - June 27th - REGISTER 
New York - June 29th - REGISTER  
Toronto - July 6th - REGISTER
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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