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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

September 3rd, 2013

  • Screenwriting Tips from Jim Rash and Nat Faxon 
  • Filmmaking Tips from Wong Kar-Wai 
  • Daily Routines of Famous Writers 
  • Lantern Media History Digital Library
  • A Lesson in Storyboarding 
  • Ten Best Movies of the Summer 
  • Interviews with David Lowery, Writer/Director of AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS
  • Secrets to Successful Sundance Submissions 
  • Selected Script: THE DESCENDANTS
  • Upcoming Workshops: Omaha and Online
2014 Call for Entries
We are now open for submissions!

Official Call for Entries 
Next Deadline: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Entry Fee: ($65 Features, $50 Shorts)
All entry fees increase after October 15.

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.
Screenwriting Masterclass: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon 
Oscar-Winning Writers of THE DESCENDANTS  
Jim Rash & Nat Faxon's Script Writing Masterclass
Jim Rash & Nat Faxon's Script Writing Masterclass
This interview from provides some helpful writings tips from the Oscar-winning screenwriting duo of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Find the script that won them the Academy Award further down in today's newsletter.

"Their first screenplay together won them an Oscar (THE DESCENDANTS), while their latest movie together THE WAY WAY BACK is winning plaudits and critical acclaim from all around."
"The Daily Routines of 12 Famous Writers" 
"And How They Can Help You Succeed" 
Scouring the internet for writing-related articles can lead us to familiar sources. However, on occasion we find great material from an unexpected site or blog.

This post comes to us from the blog of James Clear, an entrepreneur, photographer, and weightlifter. James' post includes insight into the writing habits of some of the greats. Follow the link below for the details, and James' own spin on what he found.

After reading, head over to Facebook and tell us about your routine.

"How many people die with their best work still inside them?

We often assume that great things are done by those who were blessed with natural talent, genius, and skill. But how many great things could have been done by people who never fully realized their potential? I think many of us, myself included, are capable of much more than we typically produce - our best work is often still hiding inside of us. How can you pull that potential out of yourself and share it with the world?

Perhaps the best way to develop better daily routines. When you look at the top performers in any field, you see something that goes much deeper than intelligence or skill. They possess an incredible willingness to do the work that needs to be done. They are masters of their daily routines."

Storyboarding: A Master Class   
J. Todd Anderson, Storyboarder to the Coen Brothers 
Master Class Movie Storyboarding with Coen Brothers' Storyboard Artist J. Todd Anderson 
Master Class Movie Storyboarding with Coen Brothers' Storyboard Artist J. Todd Anderson
From FilmmakerIQ (via, here's a clip of storyboard artist J. Todd Anderson explaining the right way to storyboard.


"Storyboards are a practical filmmaking tool that offers more information about the visual layout of the movie. They're also a fascinating art form on their own, resembling rough comic book frames with a unique and secret language to describe action. Black arrows indicate movement, while big white arrows indicate a camera's path. They can take weeks to complete for a feature film, but every structure has a solid foundation, and that's what storyboards provide."

Video Interview: David Lowery 
Writer/Director of AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS 
DP/30 @ Cannes: Ain't Them Bodies Saints, writer/director David Lowery 
DP/30 @ Cannes: AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS, writer/director David Lowery
Mentioned in Indiewire's "Best of Movies of Summer 2013," David Lowery is an indie filmmaker "...poised to step up to the major league," says the Los Angeles Times.

With the buzz surrounding Lowery's latest film, we wanted to share a collection of interviews with the talented filmmaker.

The first, is a DP/30 interview from Cannes, in which Lowery discusses his career path.

In the second interview (via Indiewire), Lowery discusses preparing to make AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS:
David Lowery Talks 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' 
David Lowery Talks

As a bonus, here's audio of a post-screening Q and A session, courtesy of GO INTO THE STORY:

Lastly, here's a sample Lowery's early shorts, courtesy of Film School Rejects:

Selected Script:

Written by Alexander Payne
and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Filmmaking Tips from Wong Kar-Wai
Today's filmmaking tips come from Hong Kong Second Wave director, Wong Kar-Wai. Follow the link below to about his approach to filmmaking, which includes ideas such as "don't film reality" and "finding 'the film' takes time."

Thanks to to for compiling the videos.

"For someone unfamiliar with Hong Kong firsthand, Wong's films provide a resonant, bewitching, perhaps even definitive portrait of the city. In his international breakthrough CHUNKING EXPRESS, the densely populated metropolis's kinetic movement and globalized circuits are accentuated by the film's restless camera and Cranberries-infused soundtrack. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE stages several intimate meetings of traditional and contemporary life in the claustrophobic corners in an exponentially vertical Hong Kong. The dizzying 2046 presents a Hong Kong ever at the concurrent precipice of the past and the future."
New Archive Documents the History of Film, TV, Radio  
We recently stumbled across an article on that is an absolute must for any film buff.

Thanks to a group of film scholars who started the Media History Digital Library in 2011, and to the University of Wisconsin, the printed trades that documented the evolution of the film industry are now available in a searchable, online database.

It's a goldmine of information and includes amazing photos from the early years of Hollywood.


"Film buffs and scholars have a new cache at their fingertips. The Media History Digital Library has made hundreds of thousands of pages of film and broadcasting history available in a searchable digital archive they've called Lantern, an open access, interactive library.

With help from the University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Communication Arts, MHDL made their entire collection of Business Screen, The Hollywood Reporter , Photoplay and Variety-among other magazines-available for text searches for the first time.

Ten Best Films of Summer 2013 
From Indiewire 
As we enter September, we can look back on a summer filled with the usual blockbuster fare, to highlight those films that might have not grabbed as many headlines.

Follow the link below to find an article from Indiewire that highlights a handful of selections that you may have missed.

Did any of your favorites miss the list? Head to Facebook to let us know. 

From Indiewire:

Summer 2013 is over, and so ends another season of loud, dumb, propulsive blockbusters and noisemakers. Lost within the rubble of explosions, posing, next-day blockbuster think pieces and box office discussions, there was also no shortage of options for audiences who didn't want to turn their brains off, who didn't want to feel like a kid again. Not that great films are measured in budgets or studio support, but this was an unusually dismal season for popcorn features, and the lines were drawn pretty clearly between the robots, aliens and superheroes of this season, and the lovers, comics and oddballs of the arthouse."
Secrets to Successful Sundance Submissions 
If you missed the official submission deadlines for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, you still have until the late deadlines of September 16 (for shorts) and September 23 (features and docs) to submit.

Before you do, check out these tips from Sundance programmers Kim Yutani and Lisa Ogdie, courtesy of Film Indenpendent. 


"Submitting to festivals can be a daunting process-especially when you're aiming at the internationally renowned Sundance Film Festival, which received 12,000 submissions last year vying for a select number of coveted slots...Film Independent asked Sundance programmers Kim Yutani and Lisa Ogdie to give us the scoop on how the process works and tips to help filmmakers give their films a fighting chance. Yutani, who first came to Sundance while working on Gregg Araki's THE DOOM GENERATION, and Ogdie, who learned the ropes through seasonal work before transitioning to programming at SFF, sat down with FIND's Paul Cowling to share advise and dispel misconceptions about applying to Sundance.  Here are the top five take-aways.
Connect 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.

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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