Friday, February 03, 2012
Red Planet Prize 2012: Round 2!
PHEW-WEE! We had around 1,800 entries this year. Amazing! I genuinely think this has been the highest standard yet. So many well-written scripts, and a lot of talent out there. Of course, that just made it harder for us to choose the scripts that went through to the second round! It was agonising, I don't mind telling you.
We had a very long list of 'maybes' that had to be whittled down to a manageable number for the 2nd round (around 10-15% of the total entries). When it came to the crunch, I think it was a combination of a strong or original idea matched with sharp and/or compelling writing that saw you through, not to mention a few that you just fancied taking a punt on in terms of raw talent!
As ever, making decisions like this can be very subjective, and no doubt very frustrating for those who didn't make it. Fret not! A rejection here is not a personal judgement on you or your talent; just a hardline decision on the scripts and ideas that we wanted to read more about. It was so, so, so hard. If I could have ushered 50 more scripts through, I would have.
I've seen some reaction on Twitter and blogs to being rejected. Most are remaining positive, which is the best way, but some are taking it very hard. Regardless of the opportunity that the competition provides, you should feel motivated to finish your script (if you haven't already), and to keep writing.
To succeed in this business, and to even get a breakthrough, takes a lot of hard grind and a bit of luck. It's not going to happen overnight (not usually anyway), so don't let a competition refusal, or any presumed 'industry opinion', sway you in your efforts. If you want to write, keep writing. Keep trying, keep sending stuff out, and see what happens.
I read recently about screenwriting that 'rejection is the norm, success is the aberration', but we should try to embrace and celebrate that, to inspire and push us, rather than let the rejection drag us down. Some rejections may take more time to recover from than others but ultimately you got to get back on that horse, and write on out to the sunset.
Red Planet 2nd rounders now have most of February to polish and finish their scripts, and then we really tear our hair out as we try to choose a final shortlist. I'LL KEEP YOU POSTED ON EVERYTHING as and when it happens. For now, back to writing.