Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Industry's Klatzker Joins Get Repped Now! Panel

We are pleased to announce that Industry Entertainment literary manager Micah Klatzker has come aboard Coverage Ink's Get Repped Now! manager panel. He has agreed to read all of the 'considers' we receive between 10/12/15 and 11/15/15. He joins managers Jake Wagner from Benderspink, Jeff Belkin from Zero Gravity and Chris Mills from Magnet Management.

A rising star literary manager with two client Black List scripts in 2014, Klatzker says he's fairly open to just about anything. "I like action, thrillers, sci-fi, and comedy as much as anyone, but I’ve been signing a lot of drama and dark comedy of late."

Coverage Ink's Get Repped Now runs from October 12 to November 15th 2015. All scripts submitted to CI for script coverage during that period which receive a 'consider' or better for script will be read by our manager panel for consideration. For more info and complete rules and info, or to submit your script, please visit www.coverageink.com.


Friday, September 04, 2015

Meet "The Insider" - The Man Who Could Launch Your Career

Interview with TrackingB.com's Founder

by Jim Cirile


There are two main reasons Coverage Ink has been referring writers to TrackingB.com for almost a decade now. Number one: TrackingB is a real, honest-to-goodness tracking board used by the industry. It contains a wealth of info useful to savvy writers keen to become students of the biz -- key to breaking in. 

And secondly, their contests kick serious gluteus. TrackingB's annual TV and feature contests are Hollywood's best-kept secret. While offering no monetary prizes or "stuff," their track record for discovering new writers is one which no other contest can touch -- not even the Nicholl.

So we sallied forth to meet TrackingB founder "The Insider" (hint: likely not his real name) at his secret underground HQ deep beneath Beverly Hills, to find out all about him (well, not really) but more importantly, about TrackingB.com and why you should know about it. We also snapped this first-ever photo of The Insider below!

The Insider
Jim Cirile (JC): Nice to finally meet you, The Insider. Tell us a little about your background.

The Insider (TI): Just call me "The." (winks) I'm the founder and active leader of TrackingB. I started out in the industry as a writer, and evolved into a writer/producer with projects now set up/being produced at various studios/networks around town such as CBS, Lionsgate, WWE Films, etc. I've always preferred to let the site, its industry reputation and success stories take center stage... and thankfully TrackingB has become much bigger than me!

JC: What was the genesis of TrackingB?

TI: We are the original. The site was founded 10 years ago as a way of centralizing the private tracking boards floating around the business into a central hub of information. It may seem hard to believe now, but at that time, tracking was largely an underground practice, relegated to the industry's inner circles.  And I know when I started this dream, I always felt out of that loop.  We brought tracking boards together in one place online and out into the open, so that anyone could be privy to the valuable information shared on them.  

And the site quickly evolved, largely by word of mouth, into being the tracking board for the industry. You name the studio, agency or production company, and we’ve got someone from there on our board daily (often many times!) WME, CAA, Paradigm, UTA, Sony, Paramount, Universal, Fox, Bruckheimer Films, Participant, Imagine, Principato-Young, Kaplan/Perrone, Energy Entertainment, Benderspink and the list goes on and on.  And yes, we even have studio heads as members. Members appreciate that TrackingB focuses on being a positive and productive place to do real business, that we break important industry news first, and that we discover such great material from new writers through our contests. 

Another TrackingB success story.
JC: How did you get into the contest game? And how did you stumble onto the stunning revelation that writers don't really care about prizes -- they really just want access?

TI: Once we had the industry's attention on a daily basis on-site, we conceived the idea of connecting new writers to them through contests. Coming from a writing background, I had a strong sense of what I would ideally want out of a contest, and made the decision to help writers with access, exposure, and support that would actually help move their careers forward. Everything else seemed secondary to me.  We would do more, and push more than any other contest had before to get people repped, sold, and/or produced.  

And it's been a wild, amazing ride with some of the biggest contest success stories ever coming out of our contests.  Mickey Fisher's EXTANT now in Season 2 on CBS with Steven Spielberg producing and Halle Berry starring, from a script that we discovered and championed.  And someone like John Swetnam (EVIDENCE, INTO THE STORM, STEP-UP: ALL IN), we actually awarded him twice before he broke into the industry (first as an honorable mention one year, and a finalist the next.) And the list of successes launched from TrackingB goes on -- Ashleigh Powell, Gabe Snyder, Cameron Alexander, Peter Hoare and many more.

JC: Yeah, you've had a pretty insane track record in getting the contest winners attention over the years.  Why isn't TrackingB the best-known contest in the world right now?

TI: We've been very focused on helping our contest top choices find and grow their careers, and haven't put a lot of time into advertising, social media, etc. And that focus has been great for our contest finalists/honorable mentions/winners.  We've mostly relied on steady word of mouth growth, but have a few initiatives planned to start spreading the good word further though.  So it's a great time to enter before the competition heats up even more.

TrackingB covers the spec and assignment markets in detail.
JC: You have a killer industry panel -- how do you get them to participate? Are they all friends of yours?

TI: One key is that these are not folks we just hit up twice a year for our contests.  We have built strong long-term relationships with them and many others in the industry through our interaction with them on our site. So it's a great situation for writers to be read by industry people who place inherent trust in our referrals, and of course, in a competitive situation where everyone knows others in the industry will also be clamoring to read. We're fortunate that the industry pays so much attention to our contests.  

JC:  I always tell our clients to use TrackingB for research, to determine if the idea they're thinking of writing is already floating around out there. What other advantages do writer/subscribers have?

TI: We appreciate that. We're just one part of the industry information puzzle, and the more pieces a writer has, the better.  There are also some great opportunities to learn about potential jobs, assignments, etc, and a multitude of other ways to utilize the information we provide to further yourself in this industry.

JC: Thanks so much for your time, The. Any tips you can give to writers entering the feature contest, apart from write a great script?


TI: We've awarded a vast array of scripts and genres over the years, and the common thread is that we fell in love with the story/characters/writing in some profound way. There's no formula. We just want to find great stories and scripts that we would be excited and proud to support and show to anyone.  It tends to be the kind of script that you can't put down -- the kind you rush to tell someone else about after reading.  

I could give all of the usual advice -- Write every page like it's your last -- blood on the page preferred (not literally). Be original. Move us. Make us want to turn the page. Make us care and feel something.  Be smart. Do something we've never seen before. Do something we have with a new twist. Tell a story you would want to hear/read/see. Dazzle us with your craft. Make your dialogue sing. I could go on and on, but what it all really boils down to is the magical power of great storytelling. When you find that magic, we'll be here, hoping to be taken in and transported by it. So get to work.              

The TrackingB feature contest late deadline is September 6, 2015. After that, the super late deadline kicks in (with a price jump,) so enter now!


Jim Cirile is a Los Angeles-based writer/producer and the founder of Coverage Ink, a leading screenplay analysis/development service. Coverage Ink has no financial association with TrackingB.com.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The New Speck Market -- and 13 Genres NOT to Write

by Jim Cirile

Fellow scribes,

The Aug 31 2015 Scoggins Report just streeted, and to no one's surprise, things pretty much suck out there. 

So far, 2015 is the worst year for spec sales in the past seven years -- a full 30% lower than average.

Now that's pretty ghastly, but when I say to no one's surprise, what I mean is: as writers, we all need to be aware that the old model just doesn't work as well as it used to. If you think you're going to write a killer spec and sell it for a milllllion dollars, thus launching your career and allowing you to sing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah all the way to the bank, well, mate, may I suggest jolly good luck with that, and dammit, I said extra foam on that mocha frappucino, chop-chop.

Gazing through the Coverage Ink spyglass, with its startlingly non-rose-colored optics, we can see what's going on, what this all really means and how it lays out for us all. And in so doing, I compiled a list of 13 genres you should probably avoid writing -- unless throwing away a year of your life on a quixotic quest seems like a smashing way to spend your time. 

But first, let's break down the WHYS.

LESS FLICKS. I'm talking about studio films specifically. There are still plenty of indie and DIY features being made, but the actual number of movies produced by the handful of remaining majors is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago. What did Paramount release this year, like TWO movies? Plus we all know what types of movies they're making: things based on source material. If the concept is already out there in the zeitgeist in some way, be it as a song, TV show, graphic novel, successful web series (10 million views or above), work of literature, whatever -- it immediately has more weight than an original spec script. For studios, the built-in audience that comes with a known property is reassuring when they're considering reaching for their checkbooks. 

In short: they're just not buying or optioning nearly as many original feature-length scripts nowadays. 

The new mindset among agents and managers is: they'll send out a piece of material, of course always hoping for a sale, but knowing full well that it's really just a writing sample. They're hoping to introduce the writer to the town, get a "bottled water tour" (meet n' greet meetings with creative execs,) and then, if the writer and the execs hit it off, maybe get the writer a job either developing one of the producers' ideas, or rewriting an existing project on the prodco's shelf.

This in and of itself is not terrible -- it just means we need to revise our expectations from "selling my script" to "getting in the door." Once in, it's up to your charisma, not what's on the page.

A prestige TV offering coming from Amazon.
MORE TUBE. Our entertainment options have changed dramatically. Sure, we still go to the movies -- try to find parking at any theater on a Saturday night and you'll clearly see people are still going out. But perhaps because a night out at the movies for two now costs in the $50 vicinity when you add in snacks and whatnot, going to the cinema has become more of an event experience. We go see movies in the theater that are big-budget extravaganzas (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission Impossible 5) or date-night picks (50 Shades, Trainwreck). That strands many genres which do not rise to the status of "event" movies in that "thanks, but no thanks" land, at least as far as the studios are concerned (see list below.) 

What's left? Comedy, Thriller, Action, "Elevated" Horror, Sci-fi and... um... yeah, that's pretty much it. 

Also driving this phenomenon is that fact that TV has never been better. Why roll the dice on a pricey movie in the theaters when there's always something decent on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube? So while the hunger for original feature scripts drops like a dirigible mistakenly filled with concrete, the TV renaissance and increase in new TV networks means more openings for writers than ever before. Take five minutes to peruse the list of execs and what they're looking for on Virtual PitchFest. Three years ago, there were only a handful specifying they were looking for pilots. Now, virtually all will read them. This is a massive sea change. 

Or as Mitch Solomon from Magnet Management replied, when I asked what he tells his feature writers when they ask him if they should consider writing TV: "Do you like money?" 

BATTLE PLAN. Fortunately, none of this means we writers necessarily have to do anything differently. You can still write feature specs; just don't have unrealistic expectations. It will still act as a writing sample, and the best part is: the wall between TV and features has eroded to the point where agents and managers frequently submit feature specs to TV producers and TV pilots to feature producers as well. Good writing is good writing, and the snobbery of days gone by is history. So your feature could well get you a pitch meeting for that new Netflix show, for example. 

Do be aware however, that agents and managers are STILL looking for those feature scripts that MIGHT sell. Just because they know they likely won't sell doesn't mean they're going to take a flyer on your epic, non-branded (no known historical characters) period adventure. You will likely not even get a read unless your concept seems like a studio movie. 

Here are 13 things you should NOT be writing if you actually want people to read your feature script...

Uhhhh... no.


(if trying to interest a Hollywood agent or manager)

1) Anything topical. With the 24-hour "news" cycle incessantly bludgeoning us with stupidity and corporate/Pentagon propaganda, current events become stale very quickly. That topic that's all the rage now will be, in six months, a "nothing-burger" (to paraphrase Kevin O'Leary.) Plus, as far as the studios are concerned, movies are escapism. 

2) Terrorist-anything. See above. Unless it is a really unusual form of terrorist. Eskimos or Canadians or Venusians? Sure! But Muslims/Middle East/ etc.? Pass.

3) Traditional romantic comedies. Stale and formulaic. But find a way to change it up or make it fresh (e.g., "Trainwreck") and you may have something.

4) Fantasy movies. BUDGET! Sure, these are huge box office, but they're ALL branded. Unless you have the rights to "Dragonriders of Pern," you are dead in the water. No studio is going to bet the proverbial farm on original material.

5) War or Period/Costume Epics. BUDGET! Sure, these get made, but not by the likes of us. I wish I had a dollar for every great WWII script I've read over the last decade. Sure, if someone powerful like Angelina Jolie attaches, it's a whole different story, but try interesting an agent...  Consider restaging the conflict to a space station or another galaxy or inside a human body or something. Seriously.

6) Westerns. The genre is put-a-fork-in-it done theatrically and has migrated to TV.

7) Anything starring a cop or lawyer. Both are the purview of TV. Cop movies still get made of course, but there needs to be something really unique about it. A grizzled alcoholic cop, family falling apart, desperate to track down an elusive murderer? Ho-hum (unless there's true-life source material.) Legal anything: unless adapted from John Grisham, it's probably for TV.

8) Serial killer stories. Played out and also the purview of TV now. 

Who expected this movie to be any good? We certainly didn't.
9) Non-supernatural horror. Monsters and demonic forces are fine, but a crazed killer or slasher flick isn't going to get in the door at most places (unless it can be done for a dime, in which case there are specific companies who do that type of thing.) Also includes psychological horror, although really visual Jacob's Ladder-type stuff certainly has a shot.

10) Stories without Americans, in a country other than the US: America is a ridiculously xenophobic society. It's fine to stage your story in Zimbabwe... provided your hero is American. But US studios will likely not be interested in a movie focused on another culture, with actors who are not Americans -- unless (you guessed it!) there is source material, such as literature or a well-known play (e.g., "Les Miserables".) The exception to this is British, provided it's not about working class types or anything too Britishy-British.

11) Spy/CIA stories. Spy stories are so played out they were already spoofing them in the '60s (Kingsman:The Secret Service was based on a graphic novel.) And the CIA is such an overused element in screenplays as to elicit groans at the mere sight of the acronym. Invent your own agency or do some research -- there are a hundred other lesser-known alphabet soup agencies. 

12) Dramas. Again, TV has sucked a lot of the air out of this once erstwhile genre; and while they do sneak through quite a bit, they're seldom rewarded at the box office, even with a Sundance pedigree or critical notice. That means it's tough to interest an agent, manager or CE in reading them, unless there's a noteworthy attachment, or if you've DIY'ed it and won a passel of awards from film festivals. And finally:

13) Superhero movies. This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but if you've been paying attention you'll realize that while superhero movies continue to dominate, they all have one thing in common: NONE of them came from specs. (Except Hancock. But that's a whole nother story.) So unless your last name happens to be Lee or Ditko or Kirby, or you somehow got DC to part with the feature adaptation rights to Matter Eater Lad (that's a real thing, believe it or not), then don't waste one minute of your precious time writing a huge-budget superflick no one will even read. 

There you have it. It's a not-especially brave new world, but forewarned is forearmed. Consider carefully how to ford the raging rapids separating you from Hollywood's fortifications. Beware the minefield(s) and proceed with knowledge of the way things are, versus the way we want things to be. There are still ways in -- we just have to be smarter about our time and material. Go get 'em.

And hell, if you are writing Matter Eater Lad, then I want in!


Jim Cirile is a Los Angeles-based writer/producer and the founder of leading screenplay analysis/development service Coverage Ink, used by writers, prodcos and management companies to develop and hone their material. Coverage Ink Films is currently producing MALEVOLENT, the world's first US-made animated horror feature, starring Morena Baccarin (Deadpool.)  www.coverageink.com.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

BRINGING THE GOODNESS: Interview with Stephanie Palmer

"Good in a Room" -- as screenwriters, we've all heard this expression, which simply means "be engaging when you meet people." Seems intuitive, right? Just be cool and tell a story well.  

Yeah, that's not as easy as it seems for many of us.

Enter Stephanie Palmer. A former MGM studio executive, Palmer founded Good in a Room ten years ago and since then has given workshops for the likes of Google, Merrill Lynch, WME, Disney and Warner Bros. The company may be an answered prayer for many of us. After all, writing a good script is only half the battle. 

We caught up with Stephanie to find out a little about her and how she works her magic.

Jim Cirile: So, Stephanie, fill us in -- what exactly is Good in a Room, and how does it work?

Stephanie Palmer: “Good in a Room” is a term that agents and producers use to describe writers who present their ideas well in meetings. The purpose of Good in a Room is to help screenwriters to get meetings, pitch effectively, find agents, and sell their work.

My philosophy is that there is more to being a successful screenwriter than writing well. You also need a strategy for your career, a networking strategy to meet the right people, and a meeting strategy to perform well in any situation where you are presenting your ideas.

To help writers to create commercially viable material - and to be able to get that material in the right hands - I offer a Screenwriter Starter Kit for newcomers to the screenwriting world who sign up to my email list, and an in-depth course How To Be A Professional Writer for the more serious writers.

JC: How did you come to work for MGM?

SP: My first job was an intern on Titanic. Then, I was an assistant at Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The woman I replaced at Jerry Bruckheimer Films told me about the opportunity to work at MGM. I started as an assistant, then was the Story Editor, and then the Director of Creative Affairs.

 JC: What's your best memory of your tenure at MGM? Worst?

SP: There were lots of terrific moments from my time at MGM. I loved getting to work with some incredible writers and directors — people who were real heroes to me. I loved working with the team of script readers. I got to travel the world attending film festivals; I met basically everyone I wanted to meet in Hollywood and I got to supervise projects from the inception of the idea until the films were released.

The worst moment… well, there’s a lot of competition for that award. As an assistant I put up with a lot of harassment and verbal abuse. One time I had a stapler thrown at me (I ducked).

For the last year that I was at MGM (when the company was for sale), it was very hard to get films made because the status of the company was so tenuous. There was also one morning when I came into work early and the giant MGM lion logo on the wall in the lobby had fallen off the wall and was lying on the floor. That was a bad omen. :)

JC: What was the genesis of your book?

www.goodinaroom.comSP: I was interviewed on NPR and an agent contacted me and asked me to write a book proposal. I wrote the proposal, went to NYC, and pitched it. My first meeting completely tanked because I got nervous sitting on the other side of the desk. The irony was not lost on me that I was pitching a book called Good in a Room… and I was not.

But then I went back to the hotel, followed my own advice, got my act together, and eventually sold the book to Random House.

JC: You're delightfully candid on your website. I love the anecdotes about the house you grew up in not having TV and your theater experience. So how did you come to Hollywood and the film biz? And why did you escape to lovely Santa Fe?

SP: My college advisor was a theater, TV, and film director. While I was sure I was going to move to NYC to direct theater after graduation, my advisor strongly suggested I at least try working in Hollywood before I dismissed it out of hand.

I interned on Titanic and I loved it. I loved the pace, that there were so many creative people working together really hard - it was really exciting. I lived in LA and was immersed in the heart of the film business for 12 years.

However, I was growing tired of the traffic and commuting. I was getting married and we visited Santa Fe for a weekend and fell in love with it. We found a house that first weekend, signed up, and put our place in LA on the market. Initially, it was really just for a break, but I came to love Santa Fe. I visit LA whenever I am needed and will be moderating the American Film Market Pitch Conference on November 7th.

JC: Do you think anyone can be good in a room? Are there some hardcases who are hopeless?

SP: While there are some people who are naturally charming, extroverted, funny, and really can “wow” in the room, the goal of being “good in a room” is to express your ideas clearly and succinctly. That is something I think almost anyone can do.

Yes, there are hard cases, people who have social phobias and anxieties, but for most people, it’s understandable to be nervous pitching ideas (that you love and have worked so hard on) to strangers in high-stakes meetings. The key is to learn how to practice so that the nerves decrease enough to be able to use that nervous energy in a constructive way. 


JC: At what point do you recommend writers come to you, or can best avail themselves of your services? For example, if the writing isn't there yet, is there any point in learning how to better present?

SP: What makes someone right for Good in a Room is if they are serious about selling projects and becoming full-time writers.

A common misconception is that there’s the “writing phase” where you write the script, and then the “selling phase” where you pitch and sell the script. This isn’t completely true (as you know).

The truth is that pitching is an essential part of the creative process. Professionals pitch ideas and work out the kinks long before they go to script. However, for a pitch to generate constructive feedback, it needs to be pitched to the right people in the right situations. This makes a writer’s network and meeting strategy important because of how it helps a writer to focus on the right ideas and hone them, structurally speaking, before doing the heavy lifting of writing a draft.

The fact is that the choices one makes as a writer - genre, structure, even sequences and scenes - must be tightly integrated into your overall strategy for your career. The people you meet along the way and how you handle yourself in those interactions are factors just as important to your success as your natural writing talent and dedication to the craft.

JC: How do you feel about the state of features at the moment, and the rise of television?

SP: I think there are terrific films being made (though primarily outside the studio system). The rise of television has encouraged many clients and friends who were exclusively writing film projects to shift to TV. TV offers so much more creative control and opportunities. It’s understandable that many advanced feature writers are developing material for TV.

JC: Thanks so much, Stephanie. Any advice or words of wisdom you'd like to pass along to writers?

SP: My thought here is that it’s important for writers to have hope. The way I give writers hope is by telling them the truth about how to actually achieve their dreams - I don’t make it sound easy and simple and fun, because it’s rarely all three of those things at once. What I do is share my experience with how things work in Hollywood and reveal the strategies to get results.

Anyone who would like more information can start by checking out my free guide, 20 Screenwriting Terms You Must Know and taking a look at the Most Popular Posts on GoodinaRoom.com.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Update from Brandon Barker

In late 2014, we launched our very first Get Repped Now! It was a new kind of promotion -- unlike a contest, there are no winners, no prizes, and you don't compete against other writers. The concept was simple: send in your script for coverage, and if it scores a 'consider' (or higher for script -- roughly 5% of submissions -- we'd pass along your script to our panel of managers, who guaranteed to read it. If you didn't score a consider, then you got 10-15 pages of detailed notes from our team telling you how to make your script better.

Right out of the gate, scribe Brandon Barker hit a grand slam. His script "Nottingham and Hood," -- in a nutshell, "Midnight Run" in Sherwood Forest -- was selected as one of five considers, and it promptly caught the eye of several of the managers. But it was Benderspink's Jake Wagner who moved like an arrow launched from Robin's own bow, signing Barker and sending the script out PDQ. Within three weeks of us getting Wagner the script, he'd sold the script to Disney (although we couldn't announce it until about a month later.) 

Brandon Barker, deep within Sherwood (his backyard)
Barker e-mailed us today to give us a quick update on how he's doing:

Robin Hood (aka Nottingham and Hood - we don't have an actual title yet) may have a director soon. Fingers crossed. Hope it keeps moving up the ladder. The Disney higher-ups and producers at Picture Company have been awesome. No horror stories! Learning a lot. These scripts are definitely a team effort. I'm working with Alex and Andrew (Picture Company) on a new pitch. And working on another with Broken Road Prod. Jake has been great with his sage advice and setting up meetings. And a great side effect -- the spec sale has allowed me to work part-time at the current day job. Wa-hoo!

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, and it proves that every once in a while, perhaps as rare as a humanely raised fast food meal with nutritional content, it really is about hard work and writing a good script, not just who you know. We're getting ready to sending the latest batch of Get Repped Now! scripts to our panel of top motion picture and TV lit managers right now -- ten damn good writers who deserve a shot. Will one of 'em be the next Brandon Barker? Stay tuned.

GET REPPED NOW RETURNS FALL 2015... Dates to be announced.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PAGE Awards Quarterfinalists Announced

Validation! It's a wonderful thing, ain't it? Thus we were stoked to see so many Coverage Ink clients on the recently announced list of The 2015 PAGE Quarterfinalists.  

Our client Paul Moxham won the action category a few years back -- let's hope one of these guys does the same! Congrats to everyone on this list -- we expect greatness moving forward. No pressure.


Darryl Anka
Tamara Shure
George Gier
Rod Thompson & Tim Westland
Helyn Dunn
Dan Longe
Holli Herle-Castillo
Julio Castillo
Joey Ernand (also a Get Repped Now! Top ten) 
Joe Borriello
Curt Burdick
Scott Burdick
George Covic
Jared Cohn
Alan Sproles & Lizanne Southgate
Lee Tidball
James Papa
Carlo Bordone
Lauren Hoekstra
Terry Kaufman

Go get 'em, kids!

Sunday, May 31, 2015



Hey ho, folks, 

We are STILL digging our way out of the massive outpouring of submissions we received for Get Repped Now! The final scripts submitted by our May 10 final deadline will receive their coverage by mid-June. Yep, we are that far behind. We apologize to everyone for the delays. 

The awesome news, however, is that we have found TEN CONSIDERS (so far.) These impressive screenplays will be submitted to our manager panel as soon as everyone sends along their polishes, likely end of June or early July. We're really excited about this batch of scripts, a really diverse assemblage of awesome material. Hats off to our ten considers to date:

BLUE DEATH by Pamela Kay
FANGED by Joey Ernand
OF HORN AND IVORY by Jason Gruich
PULL NO PUNCHES by Derek Craigie and P.J. Palmer
REEL AMERIKA by Keith Bearden and Joel Haskard
RIFT JUMPERS by Joey Ernand
SECRET AGENT MOM by Beth Szyperski
SKY THIEVES by Joey Ernand
THE BOOK OF REVENGE by David Keith Miller

And to everyone who submitted and is not on this list, let me say that overall, the quality of screenplays submitted this time out was a really high caliber. We had plenty of scripts that were Consider with Reservations and some right on the cusp of Consider. But look, even if you got a pass/pass, all is not doom and gloom. The coverage you received should be an important tool in the improving the script and in so doing your writing chops as well. Writing is work. It often takes many drafts, way more than we'd like, to get it right. The important thing is the effort. As painful as it is, getting in there and ripping it all apart is like writer cardio. We need to do this stuff to build, to get strong, to become champions.And we need to do it a lot. 


And then dominate.

We'll keep you guys posted as things develop. Congrats again to our lucky 10!

--Jim C.


Interview with CI's Jim Cirile on Maximum Z

Thanks, Paul Zeidman, for allowing me to mouth off in this interview. Paul's blog Maximum Z has a regular feature where he interviews story analysts:  "Ask a Straight-Talkin' Script Consultant". He was silly enough to inquire of me, so I left the filters off and let fly. A Nicholl top 15% writer himself, Paul provides an amazing service with his blog. Check it out.