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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

August 6th, 2013

  • Rewriting Your Screenplay: The Road to Your Audience 
  • BlueCat Alumni News
  • 20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision
  • Four Writers on Rewrite Hell
  • Ken Burns on Storytelling
  • Writers: You Might Be Doing It Wrong If...
  • The Notebooks of Famous Writers, Authors, and Visionaries
  • Ten Exciting Young Female Directors
  • Filmmaking Tips from Mark Duplass
  • Selected Script: JURASSIC PARK
  • Upcoming Workshops: Los Angeles and New Orleans
2014 Call for Entries
We are now open for submissions!

Official Call for Entries
Next Deadline: Thursday, September 1, 2013
Entry Fee: ($60 Features, $40 Shorts)

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 submissions will be eligible for a Resubmission entry if received by the October 15th deadline.

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 James 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 DESCENDANTS, 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.
Rewriting Your Screenplay: The Road to Your Audience 
From the BlueCat Blog   
Any screenplay submitted early and having received our early script analysis can be resubmitted by November 15th, 2013, for a reduced fee of $40. Resubmission entries will receive one script analysis.

If you're interested in resubmitting, be sure to take the opportunity to polish your script before sending it in again. Follow the link below for some helpful hints from Gordy on rewriting your screenplay.

Gordy writes:

"The promise of the rewrite is very sweet. I have collected evidence that the more authentic the labor put into rewriting your screenplay, the greater the reward, and the reward is high, for whatever lovely, wonderful moments you might have discovered in the frightening process of plowing through the first draft, those moments, those seeds, are only seeds, and they only fulfill their destiny as giant, involving scenes in the movie that screens before people."
20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision   
Continuing with the rewriting theme, here's a collection of thoughts from 20 great writers on the revision process. Follow the link below for a variety of approaches to this vital step in the writing process.  
From Flavorwire

"...who knows more about the art of revision than great writers? Sure, they mostly know about rewriting their own work, and they may not always have applied the principles to their daily habits, but that doesn't mean we can't try. After the jump, 20 famous writers share their thoughts on revision, the consensus being: it's pretty important."

Ken Burns on Storytelling       
The script is flipped when Ken Burns becomes the focus of this short by filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason.

Watch the video above, and follow the link below for more info on the short doc in which Burns discusses his ideas in regard to storytelling, and "his lifelong mission to wake the dead."

From Nofilmschool:

"Ken Burns is in a league of his own when it comes to filmmaking. His documentaries are widely known and his visual techniques have been adopted by countless productions, so much so that panning and zooming into a still image has been dubbed the 'Ken Burns Effect.' For once, however, the lens is turned the other way, and filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason have produced a short documentary called KEN BURNS: ON STORY. In the film embedded below, Burns talks about good storytelling and the ways in which we manipulate audiences."

A Peek Inside the Notebooks of Famous Authors, Artists and Visionaries
Follow the link below to Flavorwire to get a glimpse "...of a few of the notebooks, journals and diaries of some of our favorite creative minds - authors, artists, actors, musicians, scientists - so as to better get to know their inner selves."

Take a look at the pages, and head over to Facebook or Twitter to let us know which one looks the most like your own.
Selected Script:  

Jurassic Park   
Written by David Koepp   
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?

BlueCat Finalist Advances in Nicholl Fellowships
2013 Finalist Bryce Wolfgang Joiner
We're pleased to announced that 2013 BlueCat Finalist, Bryce Wolfgang Joiner is headed to the Quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowships. Bryce's screenplay, GIANTS OF THE VALLEY was one of the 372 entries (out of 7,251) to advance past the first round. Congratulations, Bryce!

Read our interview with Bryce here
BlueCat Finalist's Doc Gets Theatrical Release
2012 Finalist Zeke Farrow 
2012 Finalist Zeke Farrow (UNTITLED SARAH PALIN SEX DOLL PROJECT) dropped us a line this week to let us know that the documentary he wrote/co-produced will get a theatrical release.

To learn more about Zeke's film, BEST KEPT SECRET, visit the film's website.

Read our interview with Zeke here
Four Star Screenwriters Talk About Rewrite Hell
From Vulture     
Screenwriter David Koepp
This article is about the other kind of rewrite in Hollywood. Oftentimes a studio will bring in a new writer (or several) to make a pass on a project in development. The article includes comments from David Koepp (JURASSIC PARK, SPIDER-MAN), Brian Koppelman (ROUNDERS, OCEAN'S THIRTEEN), Jeff Nathanson (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE TERMINAL), and Andy Walker (SE7EN, SLEEPY HOLLOW).

From Gavin Polone of Vulture:

"...unlike the other artists who work on films - and in most other art forms - it is common and even pro forma to replace a screenwriter on a studio project. While book editors probably have given notes to e.e. cummings and Norman Mailer, I doubt anyone ever rewrote them."

Writers: You Might Be Doing It Wrong If...

Do you think of yourself as an "aspiring" writer?


Do you "talk, tweet, think or write about writing more than you actually write?"


Do you let writer's block win?


If you answered yes, then according to Check Wendig, you might be doing it wrong. Follow the link below a list of clues that, as a writer, you might be doing it wrong.



"Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. This is his blog. He talks a lot about writing. And food. And the madness of toddlers. He uses lots of naughty language. NSFW. Probably NSFL. Be advised."
Heroines of Cinema: The 10 Most Exciting Young Female Directors in the World Today 
From Indiewire  

Here's another great list from Indiewire. We've recently discussed the issue of gender inequality in filmmaking, so it's refreshing to read about some promising female directors that are creating a buzz.

From Indiewire:

"...plenty of young female voices have succeeded in breaking through these absurd walls of prejudice, and not with any hint of compromise. Here is a list of ten female directors aged 40 or younger, whose achievements make for refreshing reading, both for content of their work and the way they have established their careers. It is a subjective list, and no disservice to any of the women not included, especially those who simply happen to exceed my arbitrary age limit. My focus on youth need signify no more than an inspiring look to the future, and the many decades of filmmaking we can expect from each of the following."

Five Tips from Mark Duplass
Back in June, filmmaker Mark Duplass took to Twitter to share five tips on finding your voice and kick-starting your career. was kind enough to save those tweets.

"There is no exact formula to 'make it' when you want to be a filmmaker, it all depends on... how old you are, how much money you have, who you know, who you are, what you want from life, what you have to say etc. etc. etc.

Even though we all know it, it doesn't prevent any of us from wondering at one point or another if there is a formula (nobody has tweeted about), or at least must-do/should-avoid tips. So everybody asks around and looks over to other filmmakers to try understand if their way could be the right way."

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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.

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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