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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 stars3 stars3 stars (3.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (3.1/5.0)
Report Cards: 26    
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

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early Bird March 13, 2017 $40
Standard June 26, 2017 $50 30
Extended July 14, 2017 $65 48

Dates reflect deadlines for electronic submission of scripts. All entries must be electronically submitted by their respective deadlines.

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 stars3 stars3 stars (3.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (3.1/5.0)
Report Cards: 26    
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 stars3 stars3 stars (3.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (3.1/5.0)
Report Cards: 26    
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 stars3 stars3 stars (3.2/5.0)
Professionalism: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.5/5.0)
Signficance: 3 stars3 stars3 stars (3.1/5.0)
Report Cards: 26    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

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