Surprising Contest Rewards

Having a screenplay making the rounds in the film festival circuit during a pandemic is a unique experience. It’s easy to be distracted and focused solely on the big win. In fact, I’ve neglected to realize the additional prizes and rewards that I might win. Since STEELE BLUE: The Forgotten Crime has placed, been a finalist, and a semi-finalist in various festivals, I’ve started receiving these “unexpected” rewards.

SHOTLISTER is an app I received that works on my laptop and iPad. The iPad version is actually free for a limited time for any filmmaker that wants to snap it up before it’s too late. The software allows a director to determine and schedule what scenes will be shot on a specific day. The app also provides a live mode to keep an eye on how many shots remain within a day’s shoot, which can easily be rescheduled. The depth of information that can be logged for each shot is amazing, although I’d keep the data at a higher level for my use.

The program is highly customizable and can be synched with the Director, AD, Producer, Script Supervisor, etc. The best part is that adjustments only take a few seconds instead of having someone run back to base camp in order to alter the day’s shoot. There is also a pro version that incorporates storyboards and other extras that independent filmmakers don’t typically have the luxury to use.

I’ve also received additional rewards including budget development for my script, a conversation with a distributor, and several consultations in the areas of development packaging, raising venture capital, and international advanced sales. Who knows what other benefits I might receive as my story continues on to the next festival.

The entertainment industry has always moved in waves and this timing is no exception. I’m speaking at a small book club next week that was just opened up from the book club to the entire clubhouse membership. That gives me a week to prepare a different type of talk should the outdoor venue rapidly grow. Either way, it will be a lot of fun.

Many of the judge’s comments led me to believe certain changes are needed to prepare the audience for the true-life portions of the screenplay, which some feel can’t be true (even though we all know life is stranger than fiction). Meeting with the club will give me an opportunity to test new material and get immediate feedback.

Well, I’m off to prepare for the next step on this journey. I’m also feeling a bit nostalgia based on the changes I’m making to the original story. The story seems to keep on improving from its original screenplay form to a book, and back to a screenplay—becoming a more entertaining story with each step. Hopefully everything will be just right the moment the film is given the green light.

© 2020 by CJ Powers

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