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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

July 16th, 2013

  • Naming Your Baby: How to Find a Great Title to Your Screenplay  
  • Writing Wrong: Ten Movies Titles with Bad Grammar 
  • 15 Wildly Misleading Movie Titles 
  • 50 Greatest Movie Title-Drops 
  • Selected Script: BOARDWALK EMPIRE
  • Film Writers Flock to the Small Screen 
  • Steve Buscemi's Golden Rules of Filmmaking 
  • How Screenwriters Can Survive the Changing Movie Landscape 
  • Willamette Writers Conference
  • Upcoming Workshops: Philadelphia, New York, and online
2014 Call for Entries
We are now open for submissions!

Official Call for Entries
Next Deadline: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Entry Fee: ($60 Features, $40 Shorts)
All screenplays submitted by
August 1 will receive written analysis by September 1.
Movie Title Contest
All screenplays entered by August 1st, 2013 will be automatically entered in our Movie Title Contest. Three winners will be determined by the votes of current 2014 BlueCat entrants and awarded $250 each.
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.

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




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.
Naming Your Baby: How to Find a Great Title to Your Screenplay     
Gordy Hoffman
Here's an original BlueCat article to help you as we approach the August 1 submission deadline. All entries submitted by August 1 are automatically entered in our Movie Title Contest.

So, here's an article from Gordy on finding the right name for your script.

A preview:

"How exactly does one work on the title of their screenplay? I recently came up with such a wonderful idea for a movie, one of those miraculous moments, like finding money on the sidewalk. I told somebody, and they said, 'Great. What's the title?' Suddenly, and rather horrifyingly, my beauty of an idea is crippled. Instant orphaned bastard! You wanna strangle the person. You feel insulted. What's the title!? Why would you even ask that, like, right after I told you this incredible gem?"
15 Wildly Misleading Titles
From Empire Online  
Here's a useful list from Empire Online. For the sake of your audience, avoid the mistake that these films made: giving your script a misleading title.

From Empire:

"There are uninspiring film titles (NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER), weird film titles (THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES) and the film titles that deliver what they promise (FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF). But some films go by monikers that are as unenlightening as they are unenticing - and even when the film itself is great, surely there's room for improvement. Here are the very worst."

Film Writers Flock to the Small Screen 
From Studio System News    

Some say we're in the "Golden Age of Television." Many screenwriters agree, as they're finding more creative freedom and financial success in the world of television.

So, just how many writers are crossing over? Follow the link below for an article from Studio System News' series titled "The Fate of the Screenwriter."

From Studio System News:

"Over the past decade, we've witnessed a gradual shift in the screenwriting world, wherein feature writers no longer look at television as a second-tier medium. Just as viewers have tired of the sequel-prequel-reboot-repeat pattern of theatrical fare and turned to TV for compelling characters and stories, so have the screenwriters."

How Screenwriters Can Survive the Changing Movie Landscape 

Here's an interesting guest blog post from Abra Deering Norton of TheWrap. Norton discusses the latest earnings report from the WGA and how writers can ensure their survival in the face of the report's "dismal" numbers.

Norton writes:

"If you're a young (or old) new screenwriter trying to break into the business, don't pin all your hopes on one script; try everything."
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
Writing Wrong: Movie Titles with Bad Grammar     
Staying on the subject of titles, here's a list recently compiled by of film titles with grammatical errors. While they may not have stopped the films from becoming successes, we're sure it wouldn't have hurt to at least make sure the titles were grammatically correct. 
"For all the considerable resources that go into marketing Hollywood movies, it would seem that scant attention is paid to checking the grammar and punctuation of film titles. Case in point, the new STAR TREK, whose title omits a punctuation mark that not-so-subtly changes the meaning of the words. TIME copy chief Danial Adkison and copy editor Douglas Watson offer their professional judgment on some other suspect movie titles."

50 Greatest Movie Title-Drops    
This title-related list illustrates the art of working the title of film into a film's dialogue. compiled 50 of the greatest "title drops." Did they miss your favorite? Be sure to let us know on Facebook, or share your snubs on Twitter
Steve Buscemi's Golden Rules of Filmmaking 
From MovieMaker  

Steve Buscemi is a seriously hard-working individual. After years of showing up on screen in your favorite films as a character actor, Buscemi was given the lead in HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

But the man can do more than act. He's been behind the camera for both film and television. Back in 2006, Buscemi shared his "comically enlightening" Golden Rules with MovieMaker Magazine.

From MovieMaker Magazine:

"Steve Buscemi has acted in well over 100 films, including RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION, FARGO, THE WEDDING SINGER, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, and BIG FISH. As for directing credits, he helmed the independent features TREES LOUNGE, ANIMAL FACTORY, and INTERVIEW, as well as several episodes of THE SOPRANOS, NURSE JACKIE, and 30 ROCK."

Selected Script:  

Written by Terence Winter    
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 include sharing ideas with others and uncomfortable notes received as feedback.

Follow the conversation on Twitter and look for writing tips, videos, and screenwriting articles. 
Hey, Whaddya Say?

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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.

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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