FILMS IN PREPRODUCTION
Misc words of satisfaction from recent contest winners etc:
OUR CONTEST CONTINUES
Recent comments from current contest winners (we had two winners (ie a tie last month):
**"Craig Kellem's a razor sharp editor and tremendous "teaching" script coach. We just announced and put my script "Fish Gutting for Newlyweds" out there four days ago, and I've already had 16 top producers and agents ask to read it. And because of Craig, I'm completely confident that what I'm sending them is awesome and up to industry standards." Amy Bailey
**“Judy and Craig have put their seal of approval on what I am proud to call “My Screenplay.” Winning their contest has helped me to secure an agent in record time and he is currently shopping the script in LA.” Fran Goodman
A MONTH EARLIER
**"Working with Craig Kellem has been an absolute pleasure. Just talking with him for five minutes gives a feeling of security because it's clear that Craig knows damn well what he's talking about and has the brass balls experience to back it up. He knows the industry standards, he gives very polite and very necessary advice in order to further his client down the path. I've recently won his contest and it has already opened up doors and contacts and relationship building that (although I knew it would come somehow) I only dreamed about. Craig Kellem is the liaison to success as a screenwriter." Zach Bliss
CAN-CAN ON THE COUNTERTOP
“Come on out! You're ready.” Picture Craig Kellem opening a
door and yelling at me, in the closet, about my
screenplay HAPPY, NORMAL.
If it wasn’t for Craig, I’d still be scribbling in the
dark with the mops and boots. Unseen, unread. Until
recently, only a handful of people knew I was a
writer--a writer giving voice to
characters from the seedy neighborhoods of her
subconscious, a writer still at it in the face
of long-term nonsuccess. Those who knew of
my obsession I made promise not to talk about it.
Why add to my woe by getting a reputation as a
When I got Craig’s e-mail saying I’d won the contest,
I felt like a roach must feel, when you find one
on a countertop and shine a light on it. Exposed.
And what would the roach do? Dance
the can-can with all six little legs, until a fatal
dose of Raid shuts down her show? No, she'd run
away. Obscurity is safe.
Notoriety is scary. My writing was private and
now, it’s out there. Queries about HAPPY, NORMAL have gone
out to hundreds of complete strangers. Egads.
So far, so good. No one's called me up at 2 a.m.
saying “Your screenplay is about to be shot." But I’m
dancing in the spotlight, savoring the notion that I’m on the
brink of a satisfying career.
Forty-two producers have requested HAPPY, NORMAL,
and only one sounds like a creep. I’m still getting requests
over two months after my win. My readers go from indies making their
first feature up to a guy in LA whose last picture had a budget of
fifty million dollars. Plus, I’ve found an agent.
To get to this point, I’ve had to sweat. I finished HAPPY,
NORMAL a few months ago and sent it out to Craig. He called it “raw
If you want people to read it, you've got to make
it readable,” he said. He pointed out places in the script
where readers would find it hard to follow the
twists and turns of the plot, and passages where
the emotional state of my characters
was not coming across, and scenes that went on
too long or should be cut entirely.
Craig is not easy to please.
That’s good, because when he likes your stuff, his recommendation
gets you read. The ScriptBlaster e-query to producers, part of the
prize, brought in nine readers the first day. Others responded to
Craig’s e-mails to a select list of producers and agents willing
to consider new writers. Others contacted me after
seeing coverage of HAPPY, NORMAL on the HSC web
site, or the listing on InkTip.com,
both part of the contest win package.
HSC script coverage is a useful selling tool. I
send it with scripts. Readers (typically, entry-level
assistants) get stacks of stuff, and may not get
around to reading a script until
weeks after they receive it. Once they pick it
up, the coverage reminds them what the story’s about. If and
when the assistant passes the script on to the
producer or agent, the coverage helps them explain
and promote the project to that person.
Overall, the HSC experience is about branching
out. You go from writing alone to writing with
Craig. He asks tough questions that lead to tough
rewrites. “Why use this word?” “Why
does that happen?” He considers every line, and you can talk
to him, argue with him. What he does is script development, the art
of incorporating other people’s ideas into your own--because
that’s how movies get made (unless you’re an auteur).
Filmmaking is a group thing. He also tells you
where the script needs to go, to make it marketable.
Craig tells me the process I’ve gone through is a rehearsal
for what I will face if and when I get a meeting
with producers--a chance to pitch HAPPY, NORMAL
to a room full of people who ask tough
questions. I can see myself there.
Will it be a party? Or a bug-crushing disappointment?
We shall see.
My script, Sunny Kincaid, just won Hollywoodscript.com and I can't believe the
way Craig Kellem is going to bat for me. He is amazing. First he worked
countless hours with me until I had a script worthy of winning and now he's
knocking himself out helping me market it. I cannot recommend Craig Kellem and
Hollywoodscript.com too highly. This contest is a must.
Craig Kellem is a barometer that tells you how an audience is likely to react to
your script. What could be more valuable than an expert opinion of an agent's or
producer's reaction to your work? Craig Kellem is a an acknowledged success in
the industry. He knows how it works. He thinks like a writer. He cares about
writers. He won't let you settle for less than your best. His patience is
remarkable. He sees what you don't. Every time I am on the phone with Craig
there is an ''Oh My Golly'' moment when something he points out to me becomes so
obvious. Craig is there for you whenever and however you need him. Whatever your
writing problem, he will work with you as long as it takes to solve it. And
you'll have fun doing it. Working with Craig is an adventure. No matter how
talented you are you need a script consultant. Craig Kellem is simply the best.
Remember my first email to you? - "This
is a huge cry for help all the way
from South Africa ..."
Being an Afrikaans speaking writer, busy taking
on a very first project in English, I wasn't
quite sure then whether Hollywoodscript.com.
my specific needs. Or would be "inviting" towards
somebody living so remotely far away from "the
big industry pro's." It was scary.
However, the moment when your first email reply
hit my Inbox, I felt embraced and inspired.
Since that day you have certainly opened a new
vision on my story, my writing, my way of thinking
about scripts. Reading and studying your invaluable
notes and comments, written with such amazing insight,
I found it hard to believe that
there was actually (at last!) somebody out there
who knew the potential of my screenplay indeed
better than I did myself. You've been an incredible
mentor! Many, many thanks
for your patience, Judy, your dedication, your
distinctive voice has led me through the revisions
in such a kind and caring way.
And thanks to you and Craig for tweaking my synopsis
and making it shine! I couldn’t have done
it without you. I am deeply grateful.
Hollywoodscript.com has made me fly. You've made
me hear the stars up there cheering. And let it
be known loud and clear that I am the proudest
contest winner you've ever had.
Baie, baie dankie!
With warm blessings from Saldanha
HAD WONDERED HOW THIS PREVIOUS CONTEST WINNER WAS DOING
Craig, I'm elated to share with you that after rewriting
my script based on your notes,
my script, "One Hand Clapping", was optioned by Humble Journey
script caught their attention based on the announcement
re your monthly
Over the last year I have had the pleasure of working
with Humble Journey's
Executive VP of Development on the script. I cannot
overstate how beneficial
and rewarding this experience has been. It is reminiscent
of the tutelage and
support you gave the script during our sessions.
Anyone who wants to learn this craft of ours needs
to take advantage of your
services. Anyone who has learned the craft needs to
have their script's final
polish honed by your insight and industry savvy advice.
OUR LAST CONTEST WINNER, MICHAEL AMATO (AFTER MIDNIGHT) HAS BROKEN OUR RECORD FOR REQUESTS FROM HOLLYWOOD TO READ HIS WORTHY SCRIPT. TO DATE HES HAD AN AMAZING 34!! SEE BELOW FOR HIS GENEROUS TESTIMONIAL.
Winning the HollywoodScript.com Screenwriting Award is the best thing that ever happened to my writing career! Within 2 days of the announcement of my award in your excellent newsletter (that goes to agents, managers and producers), I received over two dozen requests for my script. And once the Scriptblaster part of the award was cashed in, I received another dozen requests. Although it has only been a few short weeks, I am already talking to two different production houses about a possible script sale!
HollywoodScript.com can't write my script for me, but it can put it in front of hundreds of quality agents, producers and managers. And HollywoodScript.com's promotion and coverage of my script gave me the credibility to make them sit up and take notice.
JUST IN FROM MICHAEL-
BTW, In addition to the other leads, you can add that I got another 14 leads from the INKTIP announcement of my award through your contest! I am now speaking to a major company (voted one of the 5 best management companies for new writers in 2003 by Script Magazine) and two other companies who have read the script and are interested. My win at HollywoodScript has netted me almost FIFTY leads so far!
As announced via a recent memo, our MONTHLY CONTEST (free to clients) has truly been on fire. Ravin Gandhi reports that the 20 requests that he received to read his script has grown to 24. Previous winner, Kathleen Istudor is swimming in similar requests. And we just received an email from our current winner. Have a look.
Dear Craig and Judy,
Just a quick note to say hello and let you know the results (so far) of NECESSARY MADNESS being posted on your website. Between your emails to industry folks and the Scriptblaster emails, my inbox is now a veritable feast of responses...everything from terse "send the script" quasi-autoreplies to beautiful letters of interest. Some from folks whom I can't track on IMDB, some whose credentials lists made my jaw hit the floor...quite the range. I'm being very picky about who I respond to, especially since I plan to co-produce the script myself, but it's such a help to have all these smatterings of interest surrounding me (never mind the daunting release forms these development departments send!)
Thanks also for the help with the synopsis...I'm sure we're all tired of staring at it by now, but your dedication to helping the yammering novelist summarize her script in 3 pages or less is greatly appreciated.
Will keep you posted!
To whom it may concern-
"Within 6 days of winning the Hollywoodscript.com contest, I received 20 requests to read my screenplay--more than I would have ever imagined. And, I didn't know who many of the people were that were sending messages to me--until I looked up their names on IMDB and realized that these were some very, very successful producers!
It really is great knowing that people who can really make something happen are reading my work. I highly recommend entering this contest, because it really can open some big doors.
I would also say that working with Craig has been a very educational, insightful, and above all necessary experience!"
(Note--he actually ended up with 30 requests, our record!!)
Ive been writing scripts for ten years and utilizing your consulting firm has been the best career move Ive made. The skills and education I received through your services have giving me a professional edge.
Previously I had learned from countless classes, seminars, and screenwriting books that only served to give me techniques. Your critique enhanced all my previous learning, elevating it into a cohesive, practical knowledge. I understand the art of screenwriting and no longer write a script, but write a movie.
Additionally, HollywoodScript.com has given me tools needed to break through to the inner circle of Hollywood professionals.
Your website states: We will direct the winner to a big time HOLLYWOOD AGENCY, PRODUCER or MANAGER who has promised to read and scrutinize winning coverage.
Im a skeptical person at best, and when I read the above from your site, I didnt really give it much credence. I was thrilled when my script won your contest, but I staggered my marketing awards to SEE how real your claim was. And the results have been exceptional.
HollywoodScript.coms independent list alone have put me in contact with big agents. Some of these agents have high six-figure deals with new writers, and one who contacted me has a series of seven-figures deals in spec script sales under his belt.
Producers: Through your contest I have landed a writing assignment with a solid producer, and have received requests for my script by e-mail, fax, mail and phone. During one busy morning after your announcement went out, I took the phone from my eight-year-old daughter and was surprised to find a well-respected Hollywood producer on the other end of the line.
I have been privileged to work with both you and Judy, and was surprised at the wealth and distinctive information I learned from each of you. Together, your styles and strengths gave my writing a balance and broader vision that could only be achieved by your different perspectives.
Youve made a believer out of me, and a client for life.
Through winning the February hollywoodscript.com contest (MICHAEL CALLAHAN'S PENANCE), I've received 13 requests for the script - so far, including requests from a couple of the biggest names in Hollywood. My screenplay is presently under consideration for reprepresentation by one of the largest agencies in Los Angeles, where I was just notified that the script received good coverage through their in-house readers and is moving on to the next in their series of steps prior to committing to representation. As you can imagine, the word "pleased" is far too insufficient to describe how I feel about my decision to utilize the services of Craig and Judy Kellem.
When Craig and Judy express their deep affection for writers, they are being real. I've felt that from the moment I first contacted Craig in December of this past year.
Secondly, they are consummate professionals. If a writer is sincerely looking to improve his or her skills, Craig and Judy are two people who can help. (For writers who are looking for sycophantic approval of poor writing, I assure you that Craig and Judy are not for you.) These two wonderful people are honest, but without any hint of condescension. I've come to trust their instincts and insights, not only regarding the first consultation, but also the revision process.
This is a five-star service, if there ever was one.
Thomas J. Fleming
OUR MONTHLY CONTEST CONTINUES TO COOK
HERES WHAT OUR LAST WINNER S.L. GART HAS TO SAY:
'Hollywoodscript.com helped me take a good script and make it a great script. Just three days after sending the coverage to their various contacts, I have received eighteen requests to read the script (and growing). Craig's process is incredibly organized, honest, and insightful. He knows what the pros are looking for in terms of flow, tone, and quality. He's truly a gifted editor and consultant. Thanks again!
NEED AN AGENT? WANNA GET OPTIONED? A RECENT WINNER, STEVE ALLRICH HAS BOTH NOW!
In his own words-
OK, there's good news and there's better news.
The good news is that if you hang in there, and write your ass off, it IS possible to get an agent, and to have your script read by legitimate producers.
The better news is that Craig Kellem at Hollywoodscript.com can help you get there. Craig gives tirelessly of his time, energy, enthusiasm and considerable know-how, with the solitary goal of getting your script ready to be read by Hollywood.
Craig has worked with me in such a fashion on two scripts. My first script won his contest; was a Nicholl semi-finalist; a Chesterfield finalist; landed me an agent and got me read. My second script just won his contest again, and got me 19 REQUESTS from producers who want to read it.
And as of yesterday, the news got even better: I received a very enthusiastic e-mail from a producer who wants to take an option on this latest script! He's produced a couple of terrific independent films, and has worked on several other high-profile projects. Needless to say, I'm psyched!
There's no question in my mind that without Craig's expertise, my scripts wouldn't be getting the attention they're getting. Craig likes writers (go figure) and enjoys working with them. Best of all, he knows what it takes to get your script in fighting shape, and he'll go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get it there.
Craig - Just a note to let you know how things are going. Thanks to Hollywoodscript.com I've received 20 requests to see the project AND 5 agents have contacted me, PLUS, 4 distributors have contacted us about the film. I can't thank you enough. Be sure that you will be getting my next project for review.
All the best.
THAT'S 29 INDUSTRY HONCOS WHO WILL READ DANS SCRIPT FOLKS!
ADDITIONAL NEWS ON TWO MINUTE HEIST
A RECENT CONTEST WINNING SCRIPT, TWO MINUTE HEIST, HAS JUST COMPLETED PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY (were happy to be associated with this fine script and filmmaking group)
We are in Post Production. Our Editor Scott Brock of Cappas Productions (Marty baby--oops I mean Mr. Scorcese's company) is freelance editor and we have seen half the movie in rough cut.
Last night we had the Wrap Party and showed blooper reel and "IL Corazon Caliente" Telemondo soap opera take off. We were on the floor laughing so hard. we have been swamped with music CD's and have one album that is terrific. Two agents for distribution and one distributor have contacted us for a "look" at it. (winning your contest helped in this regard). We have generated through contacts 3 introductions to major distributors that we will persue when we have the final cut.
Additional good news:
**A recent winner STEVE ALLRICH has been signed by a top Hollywood agent (JUST DAY'S AFTER WINNING THE CONTEST). This rep was the first professional we approached. The agent's bonkers over this script and it's now being read all over town!
** Another winner New York's Lorraine Duffy Merkl was also signed by an agent and, as we were preparing this, called to say that her contest winning screenplay DOUBLE OR NOTHING has been optioned.
PLEASE REMEMBER, since there are only two of us here, your chance of seriously contending is increased since we only have a small pool of material from which to choose.
FYI, ours is the only monthly contest that we know of, and unlike most contests that have hundreds or even thousands of competitors, this one only involves the clients that the two of us deal with over a short period of time. In other words, it's a small field with quick results.
Its nice to know that when you hit a homerun, either the first time around or via a REVISION, that theres a tangible next step waiting in the wings.
Though Judy and I rarely issue anything beyond the newsletter, something's happening with our contest that we wanted you to know about.
As most of you are aware, we offer a free MONTHLY contest (for consultation clients) which has become extremely fruitful for winning writers. It's the only monthly contest that we know of, and unlike most contests out there that have hundreds or even thousands of competitors, ours only involves the clients that the two of us deal with over a short period of time. In other words, it's a small field with quick results.
As the contest has grown, and agents and buyers have come to realize that we only send out very high quality material, by way of VERY TARGETED (free) coverage, their responsiveness has steadily increased.
We wanted to share all this exceptional news and remind all writers out there again, that despite all the inequities of Hollywood; the name games and injustices of who-knows-who, worthy material from the outside can still get into the game.
Many thanks to all of you who have participated in our contest. Above all it is always our deepest hope that regardless of winning or not, our services will, in time, prove instrumental in getting all of you the attention you work so hard to achieve. But its nice to know that when you hit a home run, either the first time around or via a revision, that theres a tangible next step waiting in the wings.
IN THE LONG RUN
You reviewed a script of mine YEARS ago called Fashionably Dead. I was just on
the cusp of figuring out screenwriting and this was an early draft that was a
complete disaster, but was starting to become my voice/vibe. You were the first
one to see talent in the mess and tell me I was a screenwriter. That meant so
much to me at that time because I was so frustrated at the crap on the page that
was not an accurate reflection of the visions in my head.
I rewrote that while also writing two others. Within several months, the rewrite
of Fashionably Dead and another script I wrote got me an agent and manager and
then just a few months after that, the third script won the Nicholl Fellowship.
Thank you for encouraging a struggling writer. (and could you burn that old draft
of Fashionably Dead-- it was hideous :)
(Response from Craig-it's gratifying to be able to see and appreciate the gold
and encourage deserving writers when so much of the biz can be so unfairly all
BIG STUFF FROM PRESTIGIOUS NICHOLL-
I wanted to say thanks for the help and valuable input you gave my script, "The
Forgiving of Emma Rose". You critiqued the script twice. Emma Rose has advanced
to the Semifinal round of Nicholl Fellowships competition. A large reason for
this is because of the important feedback you gave me which took the script to
the next level.
Now I'm not honing my pencil yet to write my Oscar speech (I would prefer a fat
check actually). But I just wanted to say thanks. If it advances further, I'll
let you know.
BIG CONGRATS TO A FINE WRITER FROM THE NETHERLANDS MICHIEL NIJK for his impressive
showing as a semi Finalist in the 4th Annual Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest.
“The fruits of our work--Again many many thanx for you input, quidance
and support!” Michiel
A FLATTERING MONTH!
Stephanie O'Leary here. Before too much more time slips away, I wanted to thank
you for the kind and encouraging note that accompanied the return of my hard
copy script BULLSEYE ON BROADWAY, as well as the copious amount of time you spent
with me on the phone analyzing each page. I never expected to receive that kind
of personal attention for my consult dollar - talk about "bang for your
I've been looking at BOB through new eyes since we spoke, and feel more empowered
in tackling the rewrite with your Outlining and Character Arc tools. Indeed,
I've discovered that Cajun is too passive and my "Hero's Journey" is
often overshadowed by Bull's -- an imbalance that could render my Protagonists
evolution inconsequential. Hence, I'm working on making Cajun more pro-active
and clarifying dialogue with more Stage Direction (among
other things ...)
But I wanted to tell you that one of the most eye-opening things I learned from
you is that submitting your script for a consult (or a Script Notes meeting)
is like Defending Your Thesis. If you don't have a consistent Through Line, and
if you don't have a system of Checks and Balances with Set Ups and Pay Offs that
you can readily reference, your aren't ready to Pitch and your script Needs Work.
A sobering realization, but necessary, and I deeply appreciate gaining this insight.
My Stained Glass guy in England is waiting for a call, so I've got to run. Keep
THANX MUCHO STEPHANIE
Winners' coverage (click here.)
(Click here) for info about the contest.
[Back to Main Page]
Copyright 2003 - 2007