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Thread: TV Script writing contest

  1. #1
    Stegodon
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    Default TV Script writing contest

    The New York Times is saying that Fox is having some sort of contest for scripts for new comedies.

    Rules are here.

    Anyone know more about it?

    (A Rush Limbagh-like character deals with the merry hijinks of his vegetarian wife and daughter?)
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  2. #2
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Paul in Qatar
    (A Rush Limbaugh-like character deals with the merry hijinks of his vegetarian wife and daughter?)
    For the sake of clarity, that's your own wacky idea, not something required by Fox, right?

    Scripts must be submitted between June 1 and June 15. Hmm. Regardless of outcome, trying this would be good experience.

    They require .pdf documents. I think I've used a website before to convert Word to .pdf.

  3. #3
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    My own wacky idea. I might be willing to give it a go if I could come up with a completely original premise.

    That and I have no idea at all at the format is.
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  4. #4
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Paul in Qatar
    My own wacky idea. I might be willing to give it a go if I could come up with a completely original premise.

    That and I have no idea at all at the format is.
    The linked page provides a link to a sample script template (.pdf). That should help for document formatting.

    The official rules include this:
    Quote Originally posted by Official Rules
    Entries should not include any language or other content that is indecent, inappropriate, morally objectionable or otherwise unfit for dissemination or broadcast, as determined by the NYTVF in its discretion. The NYTVF hereby reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any such entries
    Whatever that means.

    ETA: I'm definitely doing this. Thanks, Paul!

  5. #5
    Elephant
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Quote Originally posted by Paul in Qatar
    (A Rush Limbaugh-like character deals with the merry hijinks of his vegetarian wife and daughter?)
    For the sake of clarity, that's your own wacky idea, not something required by Fox, right?

    Scripts must be submitted between June 1 and June 15. Hmm. Regardless of outcome, trying this would be good experience.

    They require .pdf documents. I think I've used a website before to convert Word to .pdf.
    So, your main roadblock to success in this endeavor would have been converting your word doc to pdf?

  6. #6
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Lucifer
    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Quote Originally posted by Paul in Qatar
    (A Rush Limbaugh-like character deals with the merry hijinks of his vegetarian wife and daughter?)
    For the sake of clarity, that's your own wacky idea, not something required by Fox, right?

    Scripts must be submitted between June 1 and June 15. Hmm. Regardless of outcome, trying this would be good experience.

    They require .pdf documents. I think I've used a website before to convert Word to .pdf.
    So, your main roadblock to success in this endeavor would have been converting your word doc to pdf?
    Yes; once I crack that technical problem, the $25 grand is in the bag. Hey, wave as I drive by in my new convertible, losers!

  7. #7
    Elephant
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Quote Originally posted by Lucifer
    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    For the sake of clarity, that's your own wacky idea, not something required by Fox, right?

    Scripts must be submitted between June 1 and June 15. Hmm. Regardless of outcome, trying this would be good experience.

    They require .pdf documents. I think I've used a website before to convert Word to .pdf.
    So, your main roadblock to success in this endeavor would have been converting your word doc to pdf?
    Yes; once I crack that technical problem, the $25 grand is in the bag. Hey, wave as I drive by in my new convertible, losers!
    Office 2007 MS Word has 'Save As...' .PDF included as a native feature. You can buy it for $100 on-line at microsoft dot com (small investment for that sort of payoff).

  8. #8
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Lucifer
    Office 2007 MS Word has 'Save As...' .PDF included as a native feature. You can buy it for $100 on-line at microsoft dot com (small investment for that sort of payoff).
    Thanks, but I'll keep my Word 2003; I've heard too many bad things about Office 2007.

  9. #9
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Well there is no reason for the rest of us to even enter.
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  10. #10
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Paul in Qatar
    Well there is no reason for the rest of us to even enter.
    I'm not actually a very good writer, but I think it's good to enter a competition with some sort of confidence, even if it's not based on reality.

  11. #11
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Well, this is annoying.

    I thought some of the wording in the Eligibility section of the rules was ambiguous. Specifically, the part where it says "scripts must be copyrighted or registered." I didn't know whether that meant you had to pay to register it, or whether it referred to the automatic copyright that's created as soon as you put the piece into words on paper or in a file. (Under the Berne Convention.)

    So I wrote to NYTVF, and got a reply: they require you to register or copyright your script through either the Writers Guild of America or the U.S. Copyright Office. That's about thirty or thirty-five bucks. So, even though there's no entry fee, it'll cost money to do this.

  12. #12
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    My girlfriend wants me to continue; says she'll pay the registration fee if necessary. So, back at it. Anybody else trying for it?

  13. #13
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Quote Originally posted by Lucifer
    Office 2007 MS Word has 'Save As...' .PDF included as a native feature. You can buy it for $100 on-line at microsoft dot com (small investment for that sort of payoff).
    Thanks, but I'll keep my Word 2003; I've heard too many bad things about Office 2007.
    Such as? I have it and I think it's pretty slick.

  14. #14
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Rigamarole
    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Quote Originally posted by Lucifer
    Office 2007 MS Word has 'Save As...' .PDF included as a native feature. You can buy it for $100 on-line at microsoft dot com (small investment for that sort of payoff).
    Thanks, but I'll keep my Word 2003; I've heard too many bad things about Office 2007.
    Such as? I have it and I think it's pretty slick.
    Well, what bothers me most is the new file extension, .docx. It looks weird, and it means that you can't open the file with an earlier version of Word (unless you download a compatibility pack). I'd have to Save As .doc for any files I want to send to people, in order to make sure they can use them. I don't like having to have different versions of my files. Also, I can use the formatting and tools in Word 2003 quickly and easily; I've heard they're arranged differently in the 2007, for no particular reason.

    If Word 2007 were exactly like 2003, except for the added feature of being able to Save As .pdf, that'd be great.

    Anyway, my problems now aren't technical, but creative. I've got eight basic premises; this weekend I'll commit to one and get to work on it.

  15. #15
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    I took another look at the official rules, and noticed that the period during which they'll accept entries is June 1 - June 15 -- or from June 1 until they receive 1,500 entries -- whichever comes first. So I'll shoot for June 1.

    One paragraph in the rules is troubling to me:
    Quote Originally posted by Official Rules
    7. RELEASE OF CLAIMS: Each entrant acknowledges that the NYTVF, PGP, TNM, and FOX and each of their parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries, and each of their employees, officers, directors, licensees, assigns and sponsors (collectively the “Designated Entities”) engage and have engaged in the developing, writing, acquiring, producing, publishing, disseminating and broadcasting of literary, artistic, and other material, including stories, ideas, themes, plots, titles, screenplays, teleplays, treatments, formats, and concepts (collectively, the “Materials”). By submitting an entry in the Contest, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that any Materials that the Designated Entities may hereinafter use or exploit may have originated with the Designated Entities themselves or may have been acquired from the Designated Entities’ employees or other parties, and that such Materials may duplicate, parallel or resemble the script submitted in the Contest by the entrant. By submitting an entry, each entrant acknowledges that he or she understands and agrees that the Designated Entities’ use of Materials containing features, ideas, material and/or elements similar to or identical with those contained in their entry shall not entitle the entrant to any compensation whatsoever. As an inducement to NYTVF to accept the entrant’s entry into the Contest, each entrant hereby waives any claim or right of action against any of the Designated Entities or their successors in connection with the Designated Entities’ use of any Materials (or any portions thereof) whether or not such Materials contain any features, ideas, material and/or elements similar or identical to those contained in an entrant’s entry. Finally, each entrant acknowledges that, with respect to any claim by entrant relating to or arising out of a Designated Entities actual or alleged exploitation or use of any entry or other material submitted in connection with the Contest, the damage, if any, thereby caused to the applicable entrant will not be irreparable or otherwise sufficient to entitle such entrant to seek injunctive or other equitable relief or in any way enjoin the production, distribution, exhibition or other exploitation of the entry or any other production based on or allegedly based on the entry, and the entrant’s rights and remedies in any such event shall be strictly limited to the right to recover damages, if any, in an action at law.
    That seems to be saying that Fox could develop one of the submitted scripts into a show, and give the entrant neither credit nor compensation, and the entrant would have no legal recourse. That seems hard to believe.

  16. #16
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    I'm bumping this, just because I'm tired of seeing that there have been zero entries in this forum since Sunday.

    I'm still working on my first draft. Apparently this stuff is hard. I'm being paid back for all the times I've made fun of a stupid tv show.

  17. #17
    aka ivan the not-quite-as-terrible ivan astikov's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Quote Originally posted by Official Rules
    Entries should not include any language or other content that is indecent, inappropriate, morally objectionable or otherwise unfit for dissemination or broadcast, as determined by the NYTVF in its discretion. The NYTVF hereby reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any such entries
    What fun will that be? Talk about stifling talent?
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

  18. #18
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    [quote=ivan astikov]
    Quote Originally posted by "Official Rules":272igha3
    Entries should not include any language or other content that is indecent, inappropriate, morally objectionable or otherwise unfit for dissemination or broadcast, as determined by the NYTVF in its discretion. The NYTVF hereby reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any such entries
    What fun will that be? Talk about stifling talent?[/quote:272igha3]
    Fuck if I know exactly what that rule means. Fox TV has had some fairly raunchy stuff on before; I guess it's just a matter of not using certain words. (Hmm, why does that sound familiar?)

  19. #19
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    [quote=Baldwin]
    Quote Originally posted by ivan astikov
    Quote Originally posted by "Official Rules":39c8n9uv
    Entries should not include any language or other content that is indecent, inappropriate, morally objectionable or otherwise unfit for dissemination or broadcast, as determined by the NYTVF in its discretion. The NYTVF hereby reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any such entries
    What fun will that be? Talk about stifling talent?
    Fuck if I know exactly what that rule means. Fox TV has had some fairly raunchy stuff on before; I guess it's just a matter of not using certain words. (Hmm, why does that sound familiar?)[/quote:39c8n9uv]

    Heh. Family Guy and The Simpsons are cash cows for them so they get to do (almost) whatever they want. Others, not so much. It's still Fox, after all.

  20. #20
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Behind schedule; still working on the first draft. I've got six days to finish the first draft, get feedback, do the final draft, convert it to a .pdf, register the work with the WGA, and upload it to Fox. (The upload period is officially June 1 - June 15, but it'll end early if they get 1,500 entries, so I'm going by June 1 as a deadline.)

    Is anybody else doing this?

  21. #21
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    First draft done. Now I've got two days to finish it up, register with WGA, convert to a .pdf and upload.

    I assume nobody else is doing this?

  22. #22
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Not me; good luck! Please keep us informed.
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  23. #23
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Script done; registered with WGA (which cost $20). Tomorrow at noon they start accepting entries; I'll upload it.

  24. #24
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Okay; I've uploaded the script. Now I'm taking a break from writing for the rest of the week; then I'll get back to work on my unfinished screenplay.

    It's been a good experience. Given my track record, I'm proud of myself just for finishing something.

    By the way, I used Primopdf to convert my Word document into a .pdf; seems to work just fine, and it's free at http://www.primopdf.com.

    ETA: Paul in Qatar -- thanks for starting the thread!

  25. #25
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Note: On the information page for uploading the file, I noticed that you had to specify "Live Action" or "Animated". One of the list of ideas I originally considered was an animated show (Bad Gerry), but I didn't know whether that was allowed in the competition. Too bad.

  26. #26
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    So now that is all done, please tell us about it.

    I could not come up with good characters so I never even picked up the pen on this.
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  27. #27
    Member Raymond Onion's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    I always register with the WG/e because it's $10 instead of $20 (but I haven't done this in awhile; maybe it's gone up)

    Oh, and hey, good luck to those who entered. I tried; couldn't fit my 51-page script into 35 pages.

  28. #28
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Anything you write (in most countries) is automatically copyrighted as soon as you write it down, under the Berne Convention, so I've never paid to register a work before. But it was a requirement of the competition; I guess they wanted to limit the pool of entrants.

    I ended up with a 32-page script. Don't know if it's any good, but my girlfriend laughed, so it served that purpose, at least. There was some good dialogue, but I'm not sure the central premise came through strongly enough, or even made sense, but what comedy there is comes from the interaction of the characters. Too bad it'll never be more than a pilot; once I got into the characters, I started thinking of comedic developments and additional characters for succeeding episodes.

    On reflection, if I'd known the contest included animated scripts, I might have gone with something badger-related.

  29. #29
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: TV Script writing contest

    Ah, well. Didn't even make the final 25.

    ETA: Still, it was a valuable experience.

  30. #30
    Stegodon
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    Default

    Is there a link to the lucky winners (or losers)?
    Just assume that everything I say is sarcastic.

  31. #31
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default

    The winner won't be announced until September 26. Here's a list of the final 25.

    ETA: I keep thinking of how I could have made my script better with another week's work. Ah, well. If they have the competition again next year, I'll give it another shot.
    Last edited by Baldwin; 16 Sep 2009 at 10:45 AM.

  32. #32
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default

    Looks like the winner was Adam Morgan with Liberal Arts.

    Watching Jenna Elfman's new show the other night, I thought, Gee, maybe my script wasn't so bad.

  33. #33
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default

    And, entered again in the 2010 contest. This time, with a script about a cartoon badger.

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