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

Bluecat Screenplay Competition   

October 15th, 2013

  • Tips from Rod Serling 
  • Rod Serling Interviews  
  • Gordy on the "In the Can" Podcast 
  • 10 of the Best TWILIGHT ZONE Episodes 
  • Famous Movies That You May Not Know Were Based on Books 
  • 50 Best Movie Closing Lines 
  • Deborah Moggach's Un-Rules of Screenwriting 
  • Seven Lessons on Being a Screenwriter from Diablo Cody 
  • Frank Darabont on a Career in Film 
  • Selected Scripts: THE TWILIGHT ZONE
  • New Workshops: Grand Rapids
2014 Call for Entries

Official Call for Entries 
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.
Tips from Rod Serling
Since Gordy travels to upstate New York this week for a workshop in Rochester, we wanted to highlight one of Upstate New York's prized citizens. The region just happens to be the home of one of the greatest minds in science fiction who ever lived, Rod Serling. Serling is perhaps best known for creating THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

Picking up where we left off last week, our Halloween theme continues with some tips and interviews from Serling.

First up, here are some notes from a writing seminar led by Serling in 1962 at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Follow the the link below for his advice to writers. Thanks to for the post.

Rod Serling Interviews 
Video Interview/Serling's Final   
The Twilight Zone - Rod Serling Interview (1959) 
THE TWILIGHT ZONE - Rod Serling Interview (1959)
Here's a Rod Serling interview from 1959 with Mike Wallace. In the interview, Serling discusses his initial foray into television, censorship, and his approach to creating drama. 

And as a bonus, here's Rod Serling final interview, from March 4, 1975.

"Not knowing that he has less than four months to live, Rod weighs in eerily on awards, prejudice, censorship, compulsion, immortality, (not) planning ahead...and crying."

Ten of the Best TWILIGHT ZONE Episodes  
From Flavorwire  
William Shatner in TERROR AT 20,000 FEET
Continuing with our Halloween/Rod Serling theme, here's a list of top episodes from THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Did your favorite make this list?
From Flavorwire:

"This week marks the 54th anniversary of Rod Serling's seminal sci-fi series that transported viewers into an unknown dimension, 'between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.' THE TWILIGHT ZONE boasted dramatic writing, shocking plot twists, and oodles of Kafkaesque terror. We revisited ten of the series' greatest episodes that haven't been lost to a dimension 'as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.'" 


50 Best Movie Closing Lines   
What's your final line before your script reaches "Fade Out?" If you're having trouble finding the perfect line to go out on, then this list could provide some inspiration.

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

"The horror. The horror."

"Nobody's perfect."

These are just a few of the selected lines from TotalFilm's list of the "50 Best Movie Closing Lines." Did your favorite make this list?
Diablo Cody's Seven Lessons of Being a Screenwriter   
Diablo Cody's path to being discovered has inspired countless writers. Going from an unknown to an overnight success is a journey any screenwriter would like to make. Cody recently shared some insight with Vulture regarding what happens after you make it. Follow the link below to read her thoughts on being a big deal for ten seconds, having to say no, and how meetings get better.

From Film School Rejects:

"With her first produced screenplay, 2007's JUNO, Diablo Cody won an Oscar and became something of a rarity in the screenwriter world: a celebrity herself, la Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Kaufman, and Matt and Ben. Juno made her an in-demand writer in Hollywood, and she followed it up with two more films (JENNIFER'S BODY, YOUNG ADULT), a TV show (THE UNITED STATES OF TARA), and much uncredited rewriting work. Her next script is also her directorial debut, PARADISE, the story of a pious young woman (Julianne Hough) who, after suffering through a fiery plane crash, heads to Las Vegas to experience sin (the film is currently on VOD, and in theaters October 18). In six short years, Cody has experienced wild success, backlash, and everything in between, so for our 'How to Make a MoviE' series, we asked her to share the seven things nobody tells you about being a top screenwriter."


Hey, Whaddya Say? 
Gordy on the IN THE CAN Podcast 

Last week, Gordy appeared on's In the Can podcast. In case you missed it, follow the link below to listen to the episode.


From In the Can

"In Hoffman's Q&A with the In the Can Podcast team, he talked about where ideas come from, what makes a workable screenplay and the process of creating LOVE LIZA. Much of that writing process comes from the phase every writer has heard, 'write what you know.'

Hoffman says his view of 'write what you know' is that 'you have to inform your characters and stories with the emotional truths that you have accumulated and realized and have articulated for yourself...Once you're able to articulate your own emotional truth and the rigors of your own experiences as a person living on this planet, you're able to inform all characters with your voice.'"

The Fall Goalpost    
Or: How to Write 90 Pages in 30 Days

Congratulations to everyone who participated in our Fall Goalpost. We would like to thank everyone who tracked their progress on Facebook.


For more on the Fall Goalpost, follow the link below to the BlueCat Blog.


25 Famous Movies That You Might Not Know Were Based On Books
From Buzzfeed
Here's another post from our Facebook page. This list can satisfy those with healthy appetites for films and books. Have you seen the movies? Have you read the books? How did the adaptations measure up?

More Un-Rules of Screenwriting 
From LA Screenwriter 
Deborah Moggach, screenwriter of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Here are some more helpful tips from the LA Screenwriter blog. Following E. B. White's notion that there are "no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion," LA Screenwriter finds "un-rules" from working screenwriters.

From LA Screenwriter

"Our latest list of un-rules comes from the talented
Deborah Moggach. Deborah is an English writer whose career has spanned television, film, and novels. She wrote the screenplay for the exceptional adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and wrote the novel, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL.

With her rules, Deborah noted, 'Rules, of course, are there to be broken. Screenwriting in particular seems enslaved by 'three-act-structure' rules and so on, which I think can put a straight jacket on a writer. Another trope is 'whose story is this?' When Billy Wilder wrote SOME LIKE IT HOT, nobody asked him if this was the Tony Curtis character's story or the Jack Lemmon character's story - and THAT film did ok."


Frank Darabont on a Career in Film 
From Filmschoolcomments 
Frank Darabont on a career in Film
Frank Darabont on a career in Film
Here are a few words of advice from Frank Darabont on making a career in film. Enjoy. 
Selected Script:

All episodes below written by Rod Serling
(Thanks to Cinephilia and Beyond for the links)




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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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