The submission period for The Quest Initiative runs from May 22-June 8. Each day I will provide an update.
Today: Marks the 1st day of submissions for The Quest Initiative. I have already received nearly 100 emails.
Question of the day: Is there an advantage or disadvantage to submitting loglines early in the submission period?
Answer: It makes no difference when you make your submission. Why? Because I do not read any loglines until after the submission period ends.
Tip of the day: When you are working on your loglines, zero in on the hook. That is identify your story’s core element which will grab a reader’s attention. If you need a touchstone, think K-9: Cop gets a new partner. A police dog.
Once you identify your story’s hook, ask yourself: Is this a compelling hook? Is it distinctive? Is it a movie?
If you can’t find the hook, then perhaps you don’t have a strong enough high concept. And since I have my antenna up searching for mainstream commercial stories, I put a premium on high concepts.
So as you generate and develop your ideas, always be asking, “What is the hook?”
Why The Quest Initiative: When I broke into screenwriting by selling the spec script K-9, I was a total outsider to Hollywood with just one contact nominally in the business. I had no formal training as a screenwriter, but a lifelong love for movies and unbridled passion for the craft I had recently discovered.
As a result, I have always been especially sensitive to the plight of writers who are outside the Hollywood system, have limited connections in the business, and have taken a non-traditional route in educating themselves about the craft.
So one reason I came up with the idea for The Quest Initiative, perhaps the most fundamental reason is to provide an alternate way into Hollywood for people who are like I was before I broke into the business.
Therefore if you love movies… if you have a passion for screenwriting… if you have talent as a writer… if you are willing to go through an intensive learning and writing process… if your goal is to be a Hollywood screenwriter… if you have a great commercial story idea…
Why not submit a logline for consideration to The Quest Initiative?
For specifics on how to submit loglines and general background, hit more.
Here are the essential bullet points you need to steer you through the process of submitting your loglines for consideration:
* What is the submission period? 12:01AM [Pacific / U.S.], Wednesday, May 22 – 11:59PM [Pacific / U.S.], Sunday, June 8.
* What is the email address? thequestinitiative at gmail dot com. This is the only email address at which I will accept submissions.
* How many loglines may I submit? A total of three .
* If I am submitting multiple loglines [2 or 3], how should I submit them? In the subject heading write QUEST LOGLINES and send them all in one email.
* What information should I provide with my submission? The following:
– Subject heading: QUEST LOGLINE / QUEST LOGLINES
Then in the body of the email:
– Story title [if you have one]
– Genre [if you know it]
That is it. No biographies. No additional information about the story.
* What type of stories are you looking for? The following:
– Action, Comedy, Thriller [what I am most interested in]
– Drama, Family, Horror [what I am also interested in]
* What type of stories are you not looking for? The following:
– Huge big budget science fiction, fantasy or epic period pieces.
– Obscure independent movies [as much as I love them].
IN OTHER WORDS, I AM MOST INTERESTED IN LOW-TO-MEDIUM BUDGET MAINSTREAM COMMERCIAL MOVIES WITH STRONG MARKETABLE HIGH CONCEPTS.
* If I am a member of the Writers Guild of America or an international equivalent, may I submit a logline? No. I created The Quest Initiative with the goal of opening an alternate doorway into Hollywood for those outside the system.
* Do I have to have an extensive background in screenwriting to apply? No. While it is helpful if you have written at least 2 or 3 scripts, The Quest takes participants through a unique character-based approach to screenwriting that will transform whatever knowledge or practices you have re the craft.
* Is there any cost if I get selected for The Quest Initiative? No. The Quest Initiative is free.
For more background, read on:
What you need to know about “The Quest Initiative”
How many participants: Up to 4.
Who may apply: Any aspiring screenwriter who is not a member of the WGA or equivalent professional writing organization. Writers do not have to live in Los Angeles, and may be located in the United States or internationally based. Writers may be any age, gender, race, etc.
When will the workshop run: July 15-December 29, 2013.
How will I determine who gets accepted: There are three key standards. (1) Story concept: I am looking for strong story concepts that I believe when executed as a script can get set up as projects in Hollywood. In other words, I am almost exclusively interested in commercial high concepts. I will make exceptions if the story elements make me think the project is a marketable one, but the concept has to be extremely strong if it is not high concept. (2) Writing ability: I will ask applicants who make it past the first cut to send me a sample of their writing, as well as a detailed description of their background as a writer and a statement about why they want to be a screenwriter. (3) Personal interview: I will have a one-on-one conversation with applicants who make it past the next cut in order to assemble a group I feel will be compatible with each other.
How do you apply: A simple email with the word “Quest Logline” in the subject line, then a logline of your story in the text. If you have a title, please post that. If the genre of the story is not clear from the logline, you may include the genre.
When may you apply: I will be accepting loglines from May 22 through June 8, 2013. You may send them to me at: thequestinitiative at gmail dot com.
NOTE: THIS IS THE ONLY EMAIL ADDRESS YOU SHOULD USE!!!
If you are selected as one of The Quest participants, you must be willing to do the following three things:
1. You have to commit yourself fully to the workshop. That means active participation in constructive criticism and feedback, all writing exercises and assignments, and most importantly pledge you will finish the first draft of your original screenplay.
2. You have to write a weekly journal entry about your experiences in the workshop. As part of The Quest Initiative, I will be doing something akin to reality programming in that each week, I will post something on GITS about the group’s progress including excerpts from your journals. This is a great way for the GITS community to track how you are doing, something of what you are learning, see the ups and downs of the writing process, and so on.
3. If you write a script I believe has strong marketable potential, I have the right to attach myself as an executive producer. At that point, I will take you on into rewrites and we will officially be in producer-to-writer mode. Once your script is finished, I will take the lead in getting it to managers and agents, and try to get the project set up and you established in Hollywood.
You may only submit a total of three  loglines!
Last year some folks sent me dozens of loglines. As a result, I ended up reviewing over 3500 loglines. An overwhelming majority of them were not – in my opinion – commercially viable.
So if you are serious about wanting to have a chance to participate in The Quest, I encourage you — with extreme prejudice! — to raise your game. Give me your best shot. That means you have to set the bar high for what you submit to me. You need to ask: Is this really a movie? Can this story concept compete with what is currently out in theaters? Is this something I think Scott will respond to?
Here are genres I am most interested in reading: Action, Comedy, Thriller. Second tier: Drama, Family, Horror.
Cross genres like Action-Thriller, Drama-Comedy, Action-Comedy, those are fine, too.
Here are genres that will be tough sells: Fantasy, Science Fiction.
I love Fantasy and Science Fiction, but if you submit an idea that requires massive and complex world-building along with huge CGI requirements, I’m not in a position to do anything with that.
That said, if you have a truly great story idea that is either Fantasy or Science Fiction and it is low-to-mid-budget, that might work. A big idea with a contained environment like Moon, something along those lines.
Will I offer a free class for every entrant like I did last year? No!
I may be crazy, but I am not insane. There were 1500 entrants last year and a majority of them have received a free Core or Craft class through Screenwriting Master Class. It was a nice gesture on my part, but I simply don’t have the resources to make that offer again.
How should I submit my logline(s)?
In the subject heading of your email, just put QUEST LOGLINE or QUEST LOGLINES depending on if you are submitting one or more (NO MORE THAN 3!!!)
In the body of the email Title [if you have it], Genre [if you know it], Logline.
If you don’t have a title, that’s okay.
If you are not sure of the genre, take your best guess from the following: Action, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller.
If you have a cross-genre movie like an Action-Comedy or sub-genre movie like a Romantic Comedy, that’s fine. But if you put down: Action Comedy Mystery Adventure Contained Thriller? That suggests this story has not found itself yet.
If you have multiple loglines (remember: no more than three entries), please put them into one email.
Email your submission to: thequestinitiative at gmail dot com.
I WILL ONLY ACCEPT SUBMISSIONS AT THIS NEW EMAIL ADDRESS. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE NOTE THE ADDRESS AND USE IT TO MAKE MY LIFE EASIER!
Up to 4 writers will have what I believe to be an incredible opportunity, not only to write an original screenplay aided by other writers and myself, but also a chance to learn how to think and write like a professional. Because my goal with writers who go through The Quest is to educate and train them so they have the best shot possible not only at breaking into the business, but succeeding month after month, year after year. That’s one of my guiding principles with The Quest: solid screenwriting theory matched with solid screenwriting practice.
3 days and counting. What are you doing to prepare for The Quest Initiative?
If you have any questions, please post them in comments.
Onward and upward!
I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY LOGLINE SUBMISSIONS BEFORE WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013. PLEASE RESPECT THIS SCHEDULE!
OFFICIAL LOGLINE SUBMISSION PERIOD: MAY 22-JUNE 8, 2013.
EMAIL ADDRESS: thequestinitiative at gmail dot com. USE THIS ADDRESS ONLY TO SUBMIT YOUR LOGLINES FOR THE QUEST INITIATIVE!!!