Monday, April 18, 2011


The wait is over. Without further ado...

William Shank 98
Marni Cerise 98
Angela Gunn 96
Rob Lavohn 96
Hubert Ahn 95
Alan Pare 95
Benoit Barrette 95
Michael Hedrick 94
Don Tsuchiyama 94
Elisa Graybill 94

Big congrats to all of you guys! The cutoff was 94. There was some really sharp writing in the entries this year to be sure. To read more about the selection process and my comments on it all, please read the blog post right below this one.

As mentioned there, these top ten were selected by individual Coverage ink judges. The top 3, however, were selected by the averaged scores of the entire Coverage Ink Cyberspace Open team (myself included.) That means that top-scoring Round 2 scenes are not necessarily in the top 3. Some folks' scores increased once we averaged them; others went down. This is the way we've done it for the past 9 years straight, judging the CS Open live at the Screenwriting Expo, and then later online, and we believe it is the best and fairest way to do it (even though I'm sure those of you who do not make the top three might disagree. I feel your pain, my brothers and sisters.)

Are you ready? Then here they come...

Elisa Graybill 95.25
Michael Hedrick 92.5
William Shank 92.25
Way to go, Elisa, Michael and William! Your scenes are the ones that most impressed our panel. They will be filmed as staged readings (directed by Piotr Uzarowicz) and posted online for everyone to vote on, probably in late May. We will then tally the votes and one of you three will be chosen the winner. And unlike Wisconsin, a bunch of votes will not mysteriously appear on someone's laptop after the voting to tip the results!

Once again, my thanks to everyone who participated in the Cyberspace Open this year. Regardless of how you did score-wise, we hope that the experience was fun and maybe even helped you up your craft. Oh, and yes, the Round 2 scores should be posted on the contest website sometime this week (

And now, from the tournament to the contest... Writers on the Storm begins 4/25, whoo-hoo!

Jim C.


andrea said...

William Shank Rocks!! Great scene!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Guys, I have no idea what's going on here and I'm hoping it's only CS's fault and not yours (I was going to send you something for coverage in the near future but I'm slowly getting second thoughts right now).

First, the announcement after Round 1 is delayed (which is funny, given the whole nature of this contest and what's required of the writers), then the second premise is posted only after a delay. Then the winners are announced at your site without there being any hint on the three CS pages that are supposed to be used for official announcements.

Now, the current front-runner in the Top3 is someone who should have been disqualified in Round 1 (the rules clearly say that entries without contact details on a proper cover page are disqualified without a refund, and the feedback of Round 1 clearly states that this was the case here). It's also kinda odd that 9 out of 10 finalists suffered from significant drops in their scores when using averages, while just this one candidate seems to benefit yet again. And to top it off, this same candidate even got a (preliminary) genre prize without having one of the top scores. (It's odd to see that the genre prizes are supposedly the "best" scenes in their genres - without having the best scores in their genres. What's up with that?)

So, I'm inclined to think that CS is messing up again, because obviously you have done your judging but CS still fails to put up any info on their site. Looks like you're trying your best here.
But it's also throwing a bad light on you guys and if you have any say in this contest, you should probably make sure that the rules are stated clearly and followed. It's the first time I've participated and the two challenges were a fun way to spend 2 weekends for just 12 bucks, but this whole mess leaves a bad taste..

This probably sounds like a vent from a sore loser, and admittedly, I'm having a rough month and this whole thing is probably annoying me more than it should. But for what it's worth, I'm neither in the Top10, nor was I amongst the top scorers in Round 1. So, it's not like I feel cheated or something. I'm just a bit frustrated by how many things apparently can go wrong with such a harmless contest.
So, here's to hoping that at least the final stage of the contest will run smoothly. Looking forward to reading the winners - hopefully without having to search the Web for some info! ;-))

Jim Cirile said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for the feedback. These are valid concerns. And it all has to do with the fact it it's way easier and faster for us to post here on CI than it is at CS, but they have assured me that they will post the winners today which is the date they promised to post them. We simply posted them early.

As for Elisa Graybill, there was an issue with her missing the cover page but we had her scene number and e-mail and so she was in. There were others where we had nothing to work with at all. They were out. Ultimately as the judges, we at Coverage Ink have final say, and it comes down to hassle. If it takes us five minutes of searching and we can't come up with anything, tough luck - yer outta there. If we simply look in the database and find the info, then we have the discretion to let it in. We AHVE to be flexible or else a lot of people are going to be pissed. Fully 1/3 of the submissions did NOT properly follow the submission instructions.

As for the finalists suffering significant drops in their scores, while Graybill benefitted, I assure you that's just the way it rolled out. I'm a hard-ass and so is AP and we dropped many of the scores by leaps and bounds. I don't know Ms. Graybill, have never spoken to her. However she is a damn good writer and that's all it's about.

Mind you, the rules also state that if she wins another prize, she is ineligible to receive a genre prize. That does appear to be the case, so she will not receive the genre prize. There's nothing diabolical there.

As for the genre scenes not necessarily having the best scores... sigh... let me explain this. A scene need not get a great score to be a great genre scene. Suppose you write something that's funny as hell but the ending is terrible and it has no subtext? Suppose you write something with creepy, horrific imagery but it's long-winded? Those people would be eligible for genre prizes. They may not be the highest rated, but there is something in there that really works for the genre.

And yes, we are trying our best, and ultimately when CS posts or doesn't post, or whether they're an hour late getting the scene prompt up, does any of that really matter in the long run? Nothing ever goes perfectly in any contest. I;m just waiting for the first order form crashes from Writers on the Storm and the various problems and mistakes we will make along the way there... The point is, is there goodwill behind it, and was it fun and did you get your money's worth? I hope so!

Thanks for sharing your concerns and best of luck!

Jim C.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response & insight, Jim. Much appreciated.
And 1/3 did not follow the instructions? Ouch! I thought this was the easiest step of the whole challenge... :-D

Jim Cirile said...

Seriously, 1/3rd, maybe even more! We have to look into simplifying this next time. So many people have no idea how to use the cover page function in Final Draft, and others simply forget to put their name and/or order number in the file name. Every time out it's a learning experience to be sure.

Jim C.

R. said...

The Cyberspace Open is always an interesting contest to enter. I enjoy it. However, I remember the old days of the CS Open at the Screenwriters Expo where, depending on the section you chose, you'd get an entirely different scene prompt. So, if you felt like you couldn't do the first one justice, you could come back and try again in another section with a different prompt. I think, in future, the Cyberspace Open might try the same thing. At least in the first round, give people a choice from among three prompts. This year's prompt stressed subtext, and while I'm comfortable with it, I also know that good subtext is very hard to write, particularly for novices. Maybe an easy-medium-hard formula can work for the prompts. Then, if there is tie score, give more weight to those who took on the more challenging scenes. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi there -- Are there still plans to post and/or deliver Round 2 scores & feedback for the non-finalists? Thanks!

Admin said...

E-mail us at and we'll pull up your Round 2 score. They will not be posted.

Anonymous said...

On the links for the videos and scripts for the 3 Finalists on the website, the link for Elisa Graybill's script is for the first round script.