Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Final Draft/Big Break

Contact

2300 W. Empire Avenue
5th floor
Burbank, CA 91504
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web:
Click here
Email:
bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Kala Guess

Report Card

Overall: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.3/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Report Cards: 39    
Have you entered?
Submit a Report card

Objective

Big Break is an annual, international feature and television screenwriting contest designed to launch the careers of aspiring writers. Big Break rewards screenwriters with over $80,000 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Los Angeles for a series of A-list executive meetings. Winners and finalists alike have had their screenplays optioned and produced and have secured high-profile representation as well as lucrative writing deals.

Since its inception in 1999, Big Break has awarded screenwriters with over $600,000 in cash and prizes and invaluable industry exposure. A panel of notable industry professionals conducts the final judging.

Our objective is to discover talented screenwriters and help them find success in today’s filmmaking market. Show More

Deadline/Entry Fees

Expired. Previous Deadline: 07/30/2020

Rules

Visit website for contest rules and conditions.

Awards

2 Grand Prize Award Winners
  • One Feature Grand Prize and one TV Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the 11 Feature Genre and TV Format award winners
  • These two Grand Prize Award Winners are flown to Hollywood for meetings and networking with executives, producers, agents and managers
Each Grand Prize Award winner receives
  • An Apple iPad
  • A trip to Hollywood – roundtrip airfare to Los Angeles plus hotel accommodations
  • $10,000 cash
  • Breakfast with screenwriter/producer Pen Densham (Riding the Alligator, Moll Flanders, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, producer of Backdraft)
  • Cocktails with Big Break Grand Prize Alumni
  • 60-90 Minute Career/Meeting Prep Session from screenwriting career coach Lee Jessup
  • Copy of Save The Cat! Story Structure Software
  • Admission to one Robert McKee Story Seminar in 2020 in London, New York or Los Angeles
  • Extended Screenplay Coverage
  • Query Letter or One-Sheet analysis and a personalized, signed copy of The Screenwriter’s Bible by Dave Trottier Script consultation with a Script Pipeline’s Director of Development for potential industry circulation
  • The Final Draft Mobile™ App for iPad
  • Additional Prizes for TV Grand Prize Winner
  • Script Consultation from Jen Grisanti Consultancy including written/verbal notes and meeting to review the notes and your logline
  • One-hour career consultation with Carole Kirschner of Park on the Lot to create a step by step, personalized game plan for leveraging the contest win
11 Feature & TV Awards
  • 11 Feature and TV Winners, including the Grand Prize Winners, share over $100,000 in cash and prizes!
  • 8 Feature Winners in each of the following genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy/Rom-Com, Diversity, Drama, Family/Animated, Period/Historical/War, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Thriller/Horror
  • Three TV Winners in the following formats: Half-Hour Pilot, Hour-Long Pilot, and Diversity Pilot
Each Feature and TV Award winner receives
  • $1,000 Cash
  • Final Draft 11
  • The New York Film Academy Fellowship
  • Luncheon with Big Break judges and other industry professionals
  • Writer brand assessment from Lee Jessup
  • 60-minute webinar with screenwriting career coach Lee Jessup on how to capitalize on your Big Break win
  • Three months free hosting of your script on The Black List with two free evaluations from The Black List readers InkTip Script Listing: A listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you
  • InkTip Magazine: Publish your logline in InkTip’s magazine sent to 4000+ producers and reps Truby’s Blockbuster Genres: How The Top 11 Genres Really
  • Work Audio Course
  • Free entry to any Script Pipeline Season – Feature or TV StoryO from Jungle Software
  • One-year International Screenwriters Association CONNECT membership
  • Free Big Break Contest entry for 2020
  • Script coverage from Big Break readers
  • Copy of Save The Cat! Strikes Back by screenwriter Blake Snyder
  • TV Format Winners also receive
  • Level 1 10-Week TV Spec & Pilot Teleseminar from Jen Grisanti Consultancy

Final Draft/Big Break

Contact

2300 W. Empire Avenue
5th floor
Burbank, CA 91504
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web:
Click here
Email:
bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Kala Guess

Report Card

Overall: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.3/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Report Cards: 39    
Have you entered?
Submit a Report card

Contest Comments

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First-time user? Register now to receive FREE email contest updates, news, results, deadline reminders and more. Rest assured, information submitted here is held in strict confidence. MovieBytes never sells or in any way distributes email names or addresses. We promise!

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

2300 W. Empire Avenue
5th floor
Burbank, CA 91504
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web:
Click here
Email:
bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Kala Guess

Report Card

Overall: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.3/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Report Cards: 39    
Have you entered?
Submit a Report card

Contest News

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Kevin Lee Miller

An interview with screenwriter Kevin Lee Miller regarding the Final Draft/Big Break Writing Competition.

Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: ''Trigger Mom'' is a Crime/Comedy about an honest Chicago cop who battles to protect three mob witnesses from competing hit men only to discover the most ruthless assassin of them all is ... his own loving mother.

Like many scripts, it's autobiographical. I always had the feeling my mom was hiding something.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I entered 16 contests, placed in over half and won three. With hundreds to choose from, picking the right contests for this script was a real challenge. I was attracted to Final Draft by their reputation, judges, industry connections, prizes and clear commitment to promoting new writers.

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: My experience with Final Draft was outstanding. They held the awards ceremony at the beautiful Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. It was an amazing, red-carpet event teeming with writers, producers, manager and agents.

The highlight was Robert Towne's induction into the Final Draft Hall of Fame. I got to meet him and shake the hand that wrote the words, ''"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."'' (At least I think he's right-handed.) If you want to see some pictures, check out my facebook page.

We received our prize money right there at the awards event and, the following day, contest director Liz Alani shepherded us through a series of meetings with top industry players. If you're looking for a way to open doors in Hollywood, Final Draft's Big Break is a must-enter.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: Outlining is essential for me. I start with a logline, then beat out the story, looking for the spine and the theme. Nothing helps me more than knowing what the hell I'm writing about. Once I've got a structure and characters in place, my page work is driven by a checklist of elements aimed at making the script a page-turner.

And, I always remember a tip from a screenwriter friend who emphasizes the importance of constantly challenging the protagonist. He says if you do it right, your main character should want to hunt you down and beat the crap out of you for making his life so miserable.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: I've always used Final Draft. There's nothing I've ever needed that Final Draft couldn't do. I'm also a big fan of Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat" software. For me, there isn't an easier way to outline, keep story notes, color code scenes, track set-ups and pay-offs and even sketch out the first-draft script pages.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: Ask my wife and she'll tell you... I'm always writing. My fingers might not be on a keyboard, but my brain is always engaged with the story I'm currently struggling to tell. That can be dangerous when I'm driving.

I used to carry around a pad and make a note every time an idea about the story occurred to me. I don't bother anymore because, truth be told, I can always remember the good ideas and the others are probably best forgotten.

Q: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: A hot shower. For some reason it always clears my head and gets me back on track. In fact, my rule is, ''"Never send out a draft without showering first.''" The shower is where I have those, ''"Ah ha!"'' moments that fix plot holes or explain character motivations.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: My very first job was as an actor. I was 18-months old. I didn't have a lot of lines in that role, but I think my other experiences as an actor have helped me feel comfortable writing dialogue. I never write a line I wouldn't want to deliver myself.

I also spent quite a few years editing TV shows and documentaries. I think that's the source of my rhythm and timing.

Most of my training as a screenwriter comes from books, seminars and screenwriting courses. I owe a lot to Hal Croasmun and the techniques he teaches at ScreenwritingU.com. For theme, I rely on Stanley Williams' ''"The Moral Premise"'' and Dara Marks' "''Inside Story''." She's also got great ideas about structure. For the nuts and bolts of technique, Karl Iglesias offers wonderful insights in his ''"Writing for Emotional Impact."'' John Truby's analysis of genre elements is unparalleled and Jeffrey Schechter's Four Questions and Hero Archetypes are invaluable.

And, of course, I'd be lost without Blake Snyder's ''"Save the Cat"'' trilogy.

We miss you, Blake.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I'm an L.A. native living five miles from the hospital where I was born. My folks ran an acting school here for 40 years, so I've been blessed to be around the industry my whole life. I'm not sure how much it's helped my screenwriting, but it's fun to live in a city where you can run into Cate Blanchett, Timothy Dalton or Kirsten Dunst at the supermarket.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I'm in the middle of a Horror spec. And, I'm developing a television pilot because I think some of the best writing today is being done for the small screen. I'm also chewing through another book on screenwriting, reading as many scripts as I can manage, doing coverage and meeting with other writers to see what they're up to. I'm always looking for ways to feed the beast. If I'm lucky, I'll learn something new about the craft of screenwriting every day for the rest of my career.

Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

2300 W. Empire Avenue
5th floor
Burbank, CA 91504
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web:
Click here
Email:
bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Kala Guess

Report Card

Overall: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.3/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.4/5.0)
Report Cards: 39    
Have you entered?
Submit a Report card

Submit Report Card

You must login to read or submit report cards.

First-time user? Register now to receive FREE email contest updates, news, results, deadline reminders and more. Rest assured, information submitted here is held in strict confidence. MovieBytes never sells or in any way distributes email names or addresses. We promise!