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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

October 1st, 2013

  • BlueCat Alum Aaron Gruzikowski's WGA Interview
  • Nicholl Fellowships Finalists Announced  
  • Fall Goalpost Week #3
  • Facebook Free Entry Contest
  • Rare Films on YouTube 
  • Five Must-See Episodes of "Inside the Actors Studio"  
  • Video Interview with Alfonso Cuarón, Co-Writer/Director of GRAVITY
  • Matthew Weiner on Eliminating Doubt 
  • Early Short Films by Famous Hollywood Directors 
  • The Tracking Board's "Young and Hungry" List  
  • Selected Script: CHILDREN OF MEN
  • New Workshops: Kansas City and Rochester
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.
Interview with BlueCat Alum Aaron Guzikowski, Writer of PRISONERS   
#2 at the Box Office
Aaron Guzikowski
Aaron Guzikowski's PRISONERS is staying strong at the box office, coming in at number two this week. An interview with Guzikowski was recently featured on the website of the Writers Guild of America. Follow the link below to read the interview, in which Guzikowski discusses the script and how it transformed his career.

Guzikowski was a finalist in 2005 with his script PANACEA, about a boy that finds a tiny statue that apparently awakens his comatose father. His mother then sets out to heal the world, one person at a time, until she slowly realizes each and every cure has a disturbing cost.


"Four years after The Black List pronounced PRISONERS one of Hollywood's best unproduced scripts, Aaron Guzikowski's terrifying tale of a father's desperate search for his missing daughter finally sees the light of day."

2013 Nicholl Fellowships Finalists Announced   

The finalists for this year's Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting have been announced. Finalists were selected from more than 7,000 entries. Fellowships will be presented on November 7.

"Nine individual screenwriters and one writing team have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition.  Their scripts will now be read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, which may award as many as five of the prestigious $35,000 fellowships." 
10 Supposedly Rare Films Available on YouTube  
From Flavorwire  
Despite repertory theatres, Netflix, and DVDs/Blu-rays, there are times when some films just aren't readily available. Sometimes the films turn up in unlikely places, such as YouTube. Thanks to Flavorwire, you can have your pick from ten rare finds, including works from the likes of Orson Welles.

From Flavorwire:

"Last week, fans of River Phoenix learned that DARK BLOOD, the unfinished film he was working on at the time of his tragic death, was available in its final form on YouTube. Here's hoping they watched it quickly - the film has been pulled, ostensibly due to 'a copyright claim by Harold Jalving' (the film's credited sound designer and re-recording mixer), though the Phoenix family reportedly wasn't wild about the film's release, either. Whatever the reason, this isn't the first time a seemingly rare, officially unavailable movie was disseminated via the world's most ubiquitous video streaming service. After the jump, you'll find several movies unavailable via legal channels, yet somehow streaming (for now, anyway) on YouTube."


The Young and Hungry List: The Top 100 Writers on the Verge  
From The Tracking Board 

The Tracking Board
is a website devoted to keeping tabs on the spec sales, offers and attachments, and other info about scripts making their way around Hollywood. 

Each year The Tracking Board puts together of a list of top writers making waves, along with recent projects and their representation. We wanted to pass this year's list along as inspiration and information. Take a look, see what's selling, and see who's interested in what kind of script. Enjoy. 

From The Tracking Board:

"Every year a new YOUNG AND HUNGRY LIST is compiled from across the industry, cultivating the top writers currently running with some heat, and landing on the most shortlists across town. The list focuses on the new voices and fresh blood hitting Hollywood and making names for themselves. All writers on these lists were voted on by some of the biggest film and television executives, producers, agents, managers, and directors. Some are much more established than others, but all of them are currently riding the buzz!"


Five "Inside the Actors Studio" Episodes Every Filmmaker Should Watch  
From Indiewire    
Inside The Actors Studio with Martin Scorsese 
Inside The Actors Studio with Martin Scorsese
James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg. These are just a few of the Hollywood figures that have sat down with James Lipton "Inside the Actors Studio." Indiewire recently  collected these Hollywood heavyweights' appearances and put them together in a blog post. Follow the link below for hours of insight. 
From Indiewire:

"Simply known as the "seminar" for the students of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, 'Inside The Actors Studio,' hosted by James Lipton, has been an education for artists since it first premiered eighteen years ago. But despite the program's title, Lipton has over the years also made room for directors to come onto his program. Below are five insightful filmmaker interviews with some of the today's best living directors that every filmmaker should watch."


Hey, Whaddya Say? 
The Fall Goalpost, Week #3  
Or: How to Write 90 Pages in 30 Days

We're entering the third week of our Fall Goalpost. If you've been keeping up, you should have nearly 50 pages of new material written. Let us know how you're doing, and track fellow BlueCat writers' progress on Facebook.


Many of us hear tales of screenwriters who lock themselves in a room and blast out a screenplay in a matter of days.


These stories make it easy for us to believe we are capable of the same feat. Kudos to the few with this ability, but for most of us, the reality of our lives prevent this method of creation from happening.


To be an aspiring writer means that there is always an obligation somewhere else - work, school, family, etc. - and most of our energy and attention is diverted away from actually writing our screenplay.


Author Ray Bradbury shares the most common tip given by professionals to aspiring writers: "You must write every single day of your life." With all of life's responsibilities, attaining this level of discipline is difficult. But it is certainly within reach for everyone.

That is why BlueCat Screenwriting is starting its Fall Goalpost. Write 90 pages in 30 days. No, you don't have to buy something or do anything unreasonable. There is no secret, really-you've probably figured it out after reading the title. All you need is thirty minutes a day and the writing tool(s) of your choice.

For directions on participating in the Fall Goalpost, follow the link below the BlueCat Blog.

Facebook Free Entry Contest
Connect with BlueCat 
We're offering you a chance to enter your short or feature screenplay for free!

All you have to do is "like" our Facebook page, where we share screenwriting tidbits and treasures from all corners of the internet.

There is absolutely nothing to lose, so what are you waiting for? Your chance at a free entry awaits!


WGA Survey: Writers Heading to TV
From the Los Angeles Times
Here's an interesting read from the Los Angeles Times. We're guessing it's no surprise to learn, but a recent survey of Writers Guild members showed that, "Members view television as a more writer-driven medium than feature film, and a growing slate of compelling, creatively satisfying shows is being produced for the small screen."

So what's the takeaway? Maybe we all need to write that TV spec we've been toying with.

From LAT:

"Screenwriters who once viewed television as inferior to the big screen increasingly are giving the small screen more props. That's one of the key takeaways from a survey by the Writers Guild of America, East, which polled about 20% of its 4,000 members who write for film, television and new media." 

Video Interview with Alfonso Cuarón 
D/P 30  
DP/30: Gravity, co-writer/director Alfonso Cuar??n 
DP/30: GRAVITY, co-writer/director Alfonso Cuarón
Here's another great interview courtesy of DP/30. This time around, Alfonso Cuarón sits down to discuss his latest film.

From DP/30:

"Alfonso Cuarón is a master filmmaker, from the rough hewn Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN to HARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, and now, with something completely original, GRAVITY. He talks to David Poland about the conception of the film, the production, and the new technology that is so great that audiences won't notice any seams in the magic."  
Matthew Weiner on Eliminating Doubt 
From Co.Create  
Last week we shared an article from Co.Create about Joss Whedon's approach to getting things done. This week we've got another post from Co.Create, with Matthew Weiner, the showrunner behind MAD MEN, providing some insight into his writing process and how he is able to eliminate doubt.  

From Co.Create: 
"Matthew Weiner discusses his process for writing MAD MEN and the particular form of collaborating that allows him to get through a large volume of material--even if it sometimes feels like cheating."

12 Early Short Films by Famous Hollywood Directors   
From Mental Floss 
David Lynch - Six men getting sick 
David Lynch - Six men getting sick
Short films are a great way to jump start your career. They can act as a calling card and garner attention. Thanks to Mental Floss, we've got a dozen examples to look at as evidence. Enjoy!   

From Mental Floss:

"If last weekend's number one movie, MAMA - in which two adopted children are beset by a malevolent creature they call MAMA - sounds familiar, it may be because you first encountered the film in its original three-minute short form when it was released in 2008. (
Watch the original short version of Mama below.) On the strength of the three-minute version, Guillermo del Toro (of PAN'S LABYRINTH fame) tapped director Andres Muschietti to expand the short into a full-length film of the same name. But Muschietti is hardly the first director to cut his teeth on self-produced shorts before moving up to a big directing gig. Here, 12 early short films by famous Hollywood directors. (Warning: Some videos may contain strong language.)."
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BlueCat Screenwriting Workshops
Preston Sturgess
BlueCat Screenplay Workshops are an 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.

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for LOVE LIZA, Gordy Hoffman has taught screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, as well as led workshops all over North America, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He has served as a panelist for the IFP Script to Screen Conference in NYC, Women in Film's Script DC Conference in Washington, DC, and the George Eastman House Film Festival, as well as a judge for the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowships in Minnesota. Gordy Hoffman founded the BlueCat Screenplay Competition in 1998 and remains its judge.




Participants read all screenplays in advance of the workshop. During the workshop, Gordy provides direct and in-depth feedback on each screenplay, with everyone encouraged to contribute his or her own thoughts and concerns.


Each writer will leave with a great sense of what they can do specifically to improve their screenplay, as well as a better awareness of where they might properly develop as a professional screenwriter as a whole. Writers benefit from the direct focus placed on their screenplays by the workshop, along with the analysis of the other scripts.


Screenplays can be first drafts or rewrites, incomplete or partial, with first time writers and veterans all welcome. Scripts are due 10-14 days prior to the date of the workshop.


Note: Screenplays submitted to the workshop are not eligible to be entered into the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.



Regular Registration Option

Do you want to participate, but do not have a script to submit at this time? Regular registration for the workshop allows you to attend without submitting written material, read the scripts in advance and still participate in the discussion.


Kansas City - October 3rd - REGISTER
Rochester - October 15th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles
- October 26th - REGISTER
Austin - October 30th - REGISTER 
Austin - November 3rd - REGISTER 
Los Angeles - November 24th - REGISTER


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