Does Shore Scripts have a preferred screenplay genre, or are all genres represented equally in the festival?
We treat all genres equally. Whether they be Horror, Comedy or art-house Dramas. We like the diversity. You never know where the next great script is going to come from and that’s the exciting thing about it all.
Most filmmakers and industry professionals are familiar with film festivals, but a screenwriting festival may be foreign to them. Can you elaborate on how your festival operates?
We are more of a contest than a festival. Our primary goal is to get the best scripts into the hands of the Judges, Production Companies and Agents associated with Shore Scripts. It’s all about opening up doors for talented writers, getting good scripts made and helping to start careers in this tough industry.
Is there an importance to catch a reviewers attention in the initial pages of a submitter’s screenplay?
Yes. It’s always the case that the first ten pages need to grip the reader. The first ten pages are the toughest, yet most important. Industry folk are busy and want any excuse to stop reading and move onto the next script on their pile. Don’t give it to them. You need to draw the reader in, engross them in your story so they keep turning the page.
Do you receive an equal amount of feature length and short length submissions? Does Shore Scripts have a preference?
We receive more features than shorts. However, we are increasingly seeing more shorts entered each year. We have no preference. Our focus is in finding great stories and talented writers.
What sets a good script apart from a great script?
This is a tough one. Sometimes it’s hard to define. You just know a certain scripts great when you read it. One aspect is how the story flows. There’s no waste, a clean page, as you get taken on this roller coaster ride. It feels like minutes to read when really it’s an hour +. When the time flies by, and you haven’t once looked away, then you know you’re onto a winner.
What is one tip you can give to the screenwriters out there?
There’s so much advice out there. Sometimes it can be suffocating. You look at these screenwriting books, articles online, Q&A’s, tapes, courses, etc. It can be overwhelming. The truth is there isn’t one set way to write or make it as a screenwriter. Some people say you need to write everyday. If that doesn’t work for you then that’s fine. Write mornings, evenings – all day on a Saturday… You have to do what works for you and learn from your mistakes. A key bit of advice would be to plan as much as possible before writing your script. Know what your story is, who your characters are and where you’re going to take the story before writing. Also, try not to be too disheartened. There’s a lot of rejection in this industry. The ones who succeed are the ones who persist.