Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Pollyanna look at rejection...

    So on a whim, I entered my screenplay on the beginning of archeology and tourism at Mesa Verde in the late 1800's into the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Contest., considered one of the few competition for new writers that Hollywood takes slightly seriously. 5 Fellows are chosen from over 6,000 applicants, given $30,000 dollars and a year to write another script, which Hollywood insiders pay attention to, something a lot of writing contest can't claim.
Well, I didn't win.
But I'm actually kind of excited....
6,300 scripts were submitted this year- each was read one time, if it received a favorable read- it went on to a second read.
Mine, went on for a second read- so the playing field went from 6,300 to 2,900, which tells me.... I can actually write a script, not talking about a brilliant script, but I know the structure of screenplay writing, can create a story with a beginning, middle and end, have enough of a grasp of grammar that some underpaid reader in Hollywood didn't cringe and toss the script onto the reject pile like in 15 seconds!
The scripts are read a second time, so the playing field went from 2,900 to 900- and guess what I got another favorable read! Which means my standing in 6,300 scripts was 15%- ( gosh, I feel like this would make a great word problem in Math class!) 15% tells me- hey- I can write a decent story- that is somewhat interesting and is exciting enough to hold a reader's attention that is basically locked in a very small room like the girl in Rumplestilkin, with a very large pile of scripts and she can't have lunch till she reads them all, I'll take that!
Well, these 900 scripts were read again and this time instead of getting a pass or fail, they were scored, and well, no go, my script did not hit the 20% off the 900 scripts need to go to the next stage, which is the top 180 out of 6,300 scripts.
The 180 scripts will be cut to 30 scripts and then to 5 Fellows.
Sure, I had ideas of grandeur, that standing in the long line of "want to be" script writes, a slick back dark haired Hollywood type executive with a big bodyguard, all dressed in black of course with the dark sunglasses would mosey right towards me, unclip the velvet rope barricade, inform me I could go into the V.I.P. section of glory and well, go all around the monopoly board and collect my $30,000 dollars.
But I kind of knew that wasn't going to happen.
What I really hoped for, and think was confirmed- was that the two lowly readers that read my 120 pages of words and ideas pulled from somewhere in the back of my head, did not laugh themselves silly with my delusions of being a writer and head to their favorite coffee shop and continue to have a good laugh with all their other reader type friends over my expanse.
It might be "Pollyanna-ish" - But I am happy I'm in the pack, not at the front of it, but at least I am in the pack.

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