Writers on Screenwriting
05.29.13 | Matt Dy With the final deadline for screenplays and teleplays approaching this Saturday, June 1st, I can already feel the anxiety many of you are currently experiencing if you are planning on submitting. It is a huge step for a writer at any level to share his/her work with others. Rest assured your script is in good hands and we want to make …
05.29.13 | Matt Dy
With the final deadline for screenplays and teleplays approaching this Saturday, June 1st, I can already feel the anxiety many of you are currently experiencing if you are planning on submitting. It is a huge step for a writer at any level to share his/her work with others. Rest assured your script is in good hands and we want to make the submission process as easy as possible for you. Lately, we’ve been receiving several calls and e-mails regarding the same questions. I’ve made a short list of frequently (and sometimes frantically) asked questions that may help make your submission process much easier (and less stressful for us!).
Q: I entered my information in the online entry form and uploaded my script, but I wasn’t redirected to pay through PayPal. What should I do?
A: After you fill out the online entry form and upload your script, you should be redirected to PayPal to pay with a credit card or PayPal account. If this doesn’t happen, you likely have pop-ups disabled in your browser. You will need to resubmit your information and script in the online entry form but make sure to enable pop-ups. If you continue to have problems, try another web browser (Firefox or Explorer) or try submitting from a different computer. Double-check that your file is in a .pdf format and under 5MB. If you still cannot submit, contact the Screenplay Competition Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 512-478-4795.
Q: Did you receive my submission?
A: As long as you paid through PayPal and have an e-mail receipt, then we have received your online entry form, script PDF, and payment. A separate e-mail confirmation from AFF is sent out within 5 business days (might be a little longer after the final deadline). If you submitted through the mail, you will only receive confirmation if you included a SASE which we will send back to you.
Q: When is the final deadline date?
A: Postmarked or submitted online by Saturday, June 1st 11:59PM PST ($50 for screenplay entries and $30 for teleplay entries).
Read through the entire FAQ page if you have questions. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at email@example.com or call our office at 512-478-4795.
Q: Do I retain my rights when I submit?
A: When you submit your script to AFF, you retain all the rights that you have secured prior to submitting. You are not bound to any exclusivity agreement with AFF if your script advances or wins. You should always copyright any script you’ve written prior to submitting it anywhere.
Q: Do you accept international submissions?
A: Yes we do! Each year we receive many submissions internationally including ones from Canada, Japan, and Ireland. Submissions, of course, must be written in the English language.
Q: Do you accept scripts for animated features and television shows?
A: Yes we do! Any teleplays for animated shows should be for primetime (i.e. The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc.)
For a full list of our Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our FAQ page here.
If you’re submitting this year, you are taking a brave step in growing as a writer. You only have a few days left to submit your script for the 2013 competition. Are you ready?
Herschel Weingrod at the 2011 Austin Film Festival & Conference Photo credit: Jack Plunkett We know how valuable it can be to hear another writer, especially a successful one, discuss their craft. It can inspire renewed commitment to one’s work, give ideas for different ways to approach a story and remind us that we are not alone with our frustrations – and joys – in …
Herschel Weingrod at the 2011 Austin Film Festival & Conference
Photo credit: Jack Plunkett
We know how valuable it can be to hear another writer, especially a successful one, discuss their craft. It can inspire renewed commitment to one’s work, give ideas for different ways to approach a story and remind us that we are not alone with our frustrations – and joys – in the writing process.
We’ve asked some friends of Austin Film Festival to share some of their thoughts on aspects of the writing process with us. Below, our good friend Herschel Weingrod shares some advice on preparing to tell your story.
Ray Bradbury once said, “Find out what your hero wants, then follow him.” He didn’t say lead him, he said follow him. If you’ve created your protagonists well enough, they’ll take you where your story needs to go and, in doing so, you’ll discover your theme rather than start with one and then hammer us over the head with it – the theme needs to be invoked rather than imposed. The trick is to get rid of all the facile cliches that are the first things you go for, the easy solutions to scenes and plot and character. Good writing can only begin after a lot of heavy lifting – a mountain of false starts and stops and what used to be crumpled paper. And then, if you’re lucky, and talented, in return for your labor and humiliation you might wake up in the morning and know more about the scene you’re about to write than when you went to sleep the night before…and, if you’re really lucky, your characters will start to take you where they would go and do what they would do…and you’ll experience the writer’s equivalent of what athletes call being “in the zone”.
- Herschel Weingrod, screenwriter Trading Places, Brewster’s Millions, producer Falling Down