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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

October 8th, 2013

  • BlueCat Blog: MASTERS OF HORROR with Bruce Campbell
  • Raising Kane Essay by Pauline Kael
  • Fall Goalpost Week #4
  • 50 Essential Horror Films
  • 20 Directors to Watch
  • Quentin Tarantino's Top Ten Films of 2013...So Far
  • Where Are the Female Horror Filmmakers?
  • Interview with Screenwriter Leigh Whannel (SAW, INSIDIOUS)
  • Filmmaking Tips from James Wan
  • Selected Script: INSIDIOUS
  • New Workshops: Grand Rapids
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:
  • Aaron Guzikowski's PRISONERS, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Melissa Leo, was released in September 2013 and opened at #1 at the box office. The film has made nearly $50 million to date.  The Sundance Channel recently bought Aaron's TV pilot, THE DESCENDANTS, making it their second scripted show after RECTIFY. 


  • 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.

  • 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.
Bruce Campbell Hosts MASTERS OF HORROR   
Doc on Horror Masters' Landmark Work
MASTERS OF HORROR A Documentary Hosted By Bruce Campbell 
MASTERS OF HORROR A Documentary Hosted By Bruce Campbell
October is here, so it's that time of year to celebrate your favorite horror films and scary movies.

What better way to kick off October than a documentary about some of the greatest filmmakers to work in the horror genre, hosted by none other than Bruce Campbell? Head over to the BlueCat blog for the link.

From FilmmakerIQ:

"MASTERS OF HORROR is a 90-minute documentary featuring exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with horror masters and directors John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Dario Argento and Tobe Hooper among many others, as well as Hollywood's makeup and special effects gurus Rick Baker and Tom Savini."

Raising Kane 
Essay by Pauline Kael    
Here's an example of the sort of tidbit you can find when you check in and read our Facebook page. This incredible essay on CITIZEN KANE, from film critic Pauline Kael, originally appeared in The New Yorker in 1971. 

As we said on Facebook, this illuminating essay will definitely change the way you watch movies.

From the essay:
"CITIZEN KANE is perhaps the one American talking picture that seems as fresh now as the day it opened. It may seem even fresher. A great deal in the movie that was conventional and almost banal in 1941 is so far in the past as to have been forgotten and become new.
50 Essential Horror Films  
From Flavorwire  
F.W. Murnau's NOSFERATU (1922)

Continuing with our horror theme, here's a list essential films from Flavorwire. If you plan on watching any scary movies this month, follow the link below for some suggestions.

Did the list leave off any of your favorites? Be sure to let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

From Flavorwire:

"As Halloween draws near, you'll undoubtedly see dozens of lists analyzing the scariest, goriest, and even the funniest of horror films. Nostalgia surrounding the spooky holiday conjures a breathless excitement to seek and share the movies that toy with our deep-seated fears. If you're new to the horror genre, we don't want you to feel left out of the fun. We've created a list of 50 essential films that will educate and entertain you all month long."


Interview with Screenwriter Leigh Whannell   
Screenwriter Leigh Whannell recently took part in an interview with Studio System News on the heels of the release of INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2. Whannell is half of the creative team behind the hit horror films SAW and  INSIDIOUS.

In the interview, Whannell talks sequels, his influences, and being afraid of the dark. 


From Studio System News:

"...we spoke to Whannell about [INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2], the secret to writing horror, his desire to direct, and the fact that 'you have to be a wimp to write horror."


Filmmaking Tips from James Wan  
From Film School Rejects 
Today's tips come from James Wan, who broke out way back in 2004 with SAW. Wan experienced a series of highs and lows after his breakout success, and learned a lot along the way. Follow the link below to read his tips on filmmaking, with a few tips geared toward the horror genre.

From Film School Rejects:

"James Wan is one of the most adaptive directorial personalities in modern genre filmmaking, but his career didn't always seem like it would turn out this way. Wan's SAW was an indie mega-hit, spawning the most extensive horror franchise of the 21st century thus far. But Wan quickly distanced himself from the films, attempting to establish himself as a genre auteur of diverse skill sets...But with INSIDIOUS and THE CONJURING (this summer's sleeper hit and one of the few pieces of Hollywood entertainment that actually entertained in the past few months), Wan found himself the modern master of the supernatural haunted house thriller, a horror sensibility miles away from the "torture porn" craze Wan's franchise inception became associated with."


The Fall Goalpost, Week #4   
Or: How to Write 90 Pages in 30 Days

We've just passed our two-thirds mark of our Fall Goalpost. If you've been keeping up, you should have more than 60 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. 

20 Directors to Watch
From the The New York Times
Yorgos Lanthimos' DOGTOOTH
Since we have the whole month to explore scary movies and horror masters, we've got plenty of space left for our usual stuff.

For instance, here's an article from Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott, both film critics from The New York Times. The article features their discussion of 20 emerging directors, and includes short videos from Dee Rees, Andrew Bujalski, Corneliu Porumboiu, Alison Klayman, Sebastian Silva, Barry Jenkins and Terence Nance.

From NYT:

"This is a list of 20 filmmakers to watch. Other than their relative youth - one turned 40 a few months ago, and several more will join him soon - they share little besides passion and promise. But bringing them together, and shining a light on their accomplishments and their potential, seems especially urgent as another new season of serious moviegoing gets under way. Here's why: We are living in a time of cinematic bounty. In multiplexes and beyond, movie lovers have a greater, more dizzying variety of choices - and of screens, large and small - than at any time in history."

Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 Films of 2013...So Far
From The QT Archives 
There's still more than two months left in 2013, but Quentin Tarantino didn't waste any time in putting out a list of his top ten films of the year (so far). Follow the link below to see if any of your favorites made it.

Head to Facebook and let us know if you agree with his list.

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives:

"As an exclusive gift during the government shutdown, we're happy to present you with Quentin Tarantino's official list of his top 10 films of 2013 - so far. Bear in mind that the cinematic year isn't really over yet and the list is in alphabetic order."  
Where Are the Female Horror Filmmakers? 
From Badass Digest   
We've discussed the under-representation of women in Hollywood in past newsletters, so this recent post on Badass Digest caught our eye. It seems that the under-representation spreads across genres, including horror.

The author, Meredith Borders, is a managing editor of Badass Digest and posed the question "Where are the female horror filmmakers?" after receiving only seven entries from women (of 78) in a contest to find a 26th director
for ABCs OF DEATH 2.

Follow the link below for the original article. 
 From Badass Digest:
"I am a feminist and I love horror movies. These two truths about me are often at war with one another, in that I frequently have to make a decision when it comes to the films I watch. Sometimes I choose to silence the feminist within in order to enjoy a brilliantly bloody slasher that's dripping with male gaze and doesn't present a single woman I can relate to among a cast of babes. Sometimes I have to abandon a film that's by all accounts terrifying and gory because I can tell five minutes in that it's going to make me feel bad about myself simply by watching it.
The best horror films don't present this dilemma." 
Selected Script:

Hey, Whaddya Say? 
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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.


Rochester - October 15th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles
- October 26th - REGISTER
Austin - October 30th - REGISTER
Austin - November 3rd - REGISTER
Grand Rapids - November 11th - REGISTER 
Los Angeles - November 24th - REGISTER


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