Competitions and traction

March 9, 2021
Bob Eckhard

Firstly, sorry for the absence of posts over the last few months. Hopefully you are reading this now otherwise its back to the drawing board to sort the SSL issue. If you are reading it, I want to talk about screenwriting competitions in regard to the mindset of some who believe that winning a festival will also result in their film being made. Sadly, this is seldom the case – cash prize, yes! Millions of pounds producing a newbie writers project? – er, no! Or very least, unlikely. So, what are we to make of competition wins?

Well, firstly, competitions can be a useful measure of how we have (or have not) developed as a writer. From not listing in a competition one year to making the semi-finals the next..yada…yada.

Another way to gain traction is by submitting with the intention of getting it placed in an industry competitions – the laurels (above) are for my 15 min supernatural short script ‘Sadie’ that I entered in a Film Freeway competition just recently. Will I make it into a film now? You bet because if the judges thought it worthy of reaching the finals, then it must be worth making.

And lastly (though there are probably more reasons than I could think of here)  a lot of competitions will for the entry price or an additional fee on top, give you feedback which will be useful in the rewrite process – especially if you choose to produce it yourself. Of course – sometimes, rather than using your money in a competition – for the same price you may be able to get a reader to give you a detailed report which will help enormously.

To finish, let me add one last thing –  as many find when starting out, it is not enough to be ‘just’ a writer – in short, we need to be our own producers and cheerleader team wherever possible. Also our own financiers (money permitting) to make that short film or feature, play, audio piece, project, etc  After all, why should a producer take a chance and invest in you or me or our projects if we are not prepared to take risks ourselves? (Just saying!)

Til next time – create that epic!

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