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Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

Final Draft
26707 W. Agoura Road, Suite 205
Calabasas, CA 91302
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Eva Gross

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: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 29    
Have you entered?
Please 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.

Deadline/Entry Fees

Expired. Previous Deadline: 07/14/2017

WinningScripts Pro $5 Off Coupon

Rules

Visit website for contest rules and conditions.

Awards

11 Feature and TV Winners share over $80,000 in cash and prizes! The Big Break grand-prize feature winner will take home $15,000 in cash plus win a trip to Los Angeles and 3-night hotel stay (unless winner resides in or around Los Angeles). The TV grand-prize winner will win $2,500 plus the trip to Los Angeles. Both winners are taken to industry meetings, dinner with working screenwriters, lunch with Big Break industry judges, and more! Please see website for details.

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

Final Draft
26707 W. Agoura Road, Suite 205
Calabasas, CA 91302
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Eva Gross

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: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 29    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest Comments

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Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

Final Draft
26707 W. Agoura Road, Suite 205
Calabasas, CA 91302
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Eva Gross

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: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 29    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

Final Draft Names 2016 Big Break Contest Winners

The Grand Prize winners of the 2016 Final Draft Big Break Contest were revealed at the 12th Annual Final Draft Awards on February 23rd, 2017.

Updated: 02/27/2017

“Making it” Means Making Magic

I don't know why you got into the business of writing, of grasping at words to explain the images in your brain, and editing within an inch of your life. For most, it's a kind of call, a transcendent purpose. Otherwise, who would chose to subject themselves to continual criticism, knowing their project will always need more work and never feel up to par? Not to mention the constant struggle to "make it" without anyone really defining what "making it" means, beyond an agent and a job on a show. (And once you get that, there's a whole bevy of problems beyond the wall.)

Updated: 04/21/2016
HollywoodIQ:

Tips on Contest Entry: Big Break TV Winner Eric Buchman Shares Lessons from the World of Script Coordinators

Meet Eric Buchman. By day, he's the script coordinator for the hit NBC show Blindspot, starring Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton. By night however, Buckman is the writer of his own show called 45 Wall and dreams of one day hiring his own script coordinator.

Updated: 03/01/2016

Final Draft Names Top 3 Big Break Finalists

The Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition has named their Top 3 Scripts in all categories.

Updated: 12/08/2015

Final Draft Names Big Break Semifinalists

Semifinalists have been named for the 2015 Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition.

Updated: 10/30/2015

Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest

Contact

Final Draft
26707 W. Agoura Road, Suite 205
Calabasas, CA 91302
818-995-8995 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: bigbreak@finaldraft.com

Contact: Eva Gross

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: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (2.8/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 29    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Wyatt Wakeman

An interview with screenwriter Wyatt Wakeman regarding the Big Break Writing Competition.

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

A: I entered two scripts in Final Draft's Big Break International Screenplay Competition this year.

The first is called MINUS MEN, a sci-fi action-adventure about terrorists traveling back in time after Barack Obama is elected president in order to assassinate president Abraham Lincoln — all in an attempt to ensure slavery endures to this day.

The second is called BORDERLAND. It's about a crack FBI agent sent to investigate a drug trafficking murder along the U.S./Mexico border, and what happens when the town he suspects of foul play discovers a very compromising secret about him that jeopardizes the investigation, his career, and ultimately, his life.

I am the only writer in the contest's ten-year history to place two scripts in the Final Top Ten.

BORDERLAND ultimately went on to win the Grand Prize.

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 Final Draft's Big Break International Screenwriting Competition because it takes rewarding and promoting the writer very, very seriously. It is also a name that the industry respects, so I figured there had to be a certain amount of weight behind their promotions.

But it was not the only contest I entered this year. I entered both of these scripts into twenty-two screenwriting contests in 2009.

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: The whole team at Final Draft, Inc. is to be commended for putting on, in my opinion, the best screenwriting competition in Hollywood. Having won in about four other contests with MINUS MEN and BORDERLAND, I have a decent knowledge of what the average competition does for its winners. Final Draft met all their deadlines, and thus far I have been receiving my awards in a timely manner. I received my check at the awards ceremony (a gorgeous red carpet affair at the Paley Center For Media, in Beverly Hills), had industry pros lining up to meet me and read my scripts, and have since signed with a new manager.

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

A: It took me about six weeks to write each script. I did not write an outline for MINUS MEN, while for BORDERLAND I used the sequence method -- breaking the movie down into eight, fifteen-minute sequences -- while retaining an overall three-act structure. In order to accomplish this, I had to outline the sequences so that they had a clear beginning, middle, and end. It was the easiest, and most economical, outlining I've ever done; and I highly recommend this approach to anyone who's written scripts using the traditional three-act structure, but want to try something different.

I wrote several drafts of MINUS MEN, although after the first draft, most were tweaks and polishes on the overall theme.

On BORDERLAND, I did a first draft; then a serious, thirty-page slash-and-cut edit; then several polishes.

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 used Final Draft, of course! I have been using their software for the last ten years, at least. Before that I used Scriptware. I think I wrote my fifth script on Word for Windows, when I was in-between screenwriting software. That is not an experience I recommend, although it helped me to understand intimately the exact details and measurements that go into churning out industry-standard screenplays.

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

A: Alas, I do not write every day. I never have. I don't think one has to, if — when away from the typewriter or computer — he is still writing in his head. Which is what I tend to do. I suspect I'm not alone in this. Some might call it obsessive; but if you are not constantly thinking about writing the world around you, whether while walking to the store or driving to work, then you have a better shut-off mechanism than I do.

When I do write, there is no set amount of time I allot myself. I simply write when I need to — which is a lot — when creating a new world. Also, time goes by very, very fast when you are writing. So I will look up and three hours will have passed.

But I also have no problem answering the phone or taking a break, if I need to. I find this helps me to collect myself and remain excited to get back to the page. It's an interesting approach, and perhaps there are better ones, but it has worked for me, and that's really what it's all about: Finding your personal groove, believing that it's okay& that it will get you where you want to go.

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

A: I rarely have a problem coming up with new ideas. And if you do some form of outlining before hand, you have even less of an excuse for writer's block. It may sound clichéd, but if you are truly enjoying the world you're creating and you understand how integral conflict is to any storytelling, then the story unfolds almost effortlessly. But I also try to leave a large degree of wiggle room in my execution, because these characters& they will speak to you and go off and do things and see things and say things you absolutely never knew they were going to do, see, or say. It's a little eerie. But when these moments occur, I remember why I'm a writer.

You have to trust that you're in the right place, at the right time — and then create the opposite for your characters!

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

A: I wrote my first short stories in the fourth grade. Then I started acting as a freshman in high school. But I didn't start writing seriously until about age seventeen, and then it was still just short stories. I went to the University of Southern California (USC) for Creative Writing — where I won the Edward W. Moses Short Story Competition — and eventually got my degree.

A year after graduation, I was writing my first script. I've since written thirteen of them, ranging from drama to comedy, thrillers, actions, and sci-fi. The only thing I haven't attempted is a romantic comedy, which is interesting, because I actually like watching them more than I should admit.

I have never attempted a television script, although I plan to, especially now that the feature spec market is changing. I also like the idea of remaining involved with my stories, which television affords you.

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

A: I moved to Los Angeles in 1992. I've been settled in West Hollywood since 1995.

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

A: I am about to begin my next spec script, a thriller in the vein of a hopped-up, multi-cast SEVEN. I also have a small, independent script I'm planning to direct.

Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009