Well, August was a bit of a blur of Courier pt12 and opening sequences but - we made it! - and the second round shortlist of this year's Red Planet Prize is in the bag. We think everyone's been notified about their submission but if you haven't heard anything yet, let me know.
Between now and December, a final shortlist will be chosen from the 2nd round scripts. This final shortlist will then be considered by Polly Hill (BBC), Ben Stoll (C4), Tony Jordan (Red Planet) and Jane Featherstone (Kudos). We ask that you do not call or email about your entry's progress or to talk about your submission. The winner will be notified in December. In addition to the grand prize winner, Red Planet and Kudos will also mentor selected writers from the second round shortlist.
The standard of entries gets better and better every year (honestly), so second round selection was particularly difficult, brutal and subjective. Plenty of close calls, near misses and hard line decisions, meaning we had to say 'no' to a lot of good stuff. Very sorry to those who didn't get shortlisted but at least you have a brand new script to send out and show off. I think the competition's a great motivator, if anything else, and I'm absolutely thrilled at how it's established itself into the UK screenwriting calendar, especially with Kudos now involved. I'll give a rundown of this year's entries when the dust has settled a little bit.
Until then, maybe catch you at the London Screenwriters Festival in October (tickets still available, use discount code dannystack for £37 off ticket price). Also, episode 3 of me and Tim's UK Scriptwriters podcast will be coming soon. If you haven't checked it out already, you'll find all the details here.
I hope it's okay to ask this... will you be telling people whether or not they made the shortlist, or does everyone stay on the hook till the winner is announced?
I have a bit of experience with contests in the UK and US and I have to say RPP is far and away THE best contest I have come across for UK and Irish writers. An unrivaled selection of prizes... and it's FREE! Hats off to all involved.
Didn't make the shortlist, but THANKS for your hard work - and good luck to those who made it to round 2!
Liz: not sure if people are contacted whether they're shortlisted or not. Will check and see.
One other thing: should I have received confirmation that my email with my full script had arrived safely? Because I didn't and now I'm fretting (and I really hope this doesn't cross the 'no emails' line, so just tell me to shut up if it does!)
I think it would be more likely to get an email saying WE DIDN'T receive your script ('where is it?' etc) so if you haven't received an email, then all is well!
Thanks, Danny (and what I should have said before: thanks for all your hard work on this)!
But... any news on the question about shortlisting?
Next announcement is the winner in December, with runners-up invited to the mentor sessions...
How many made it through to the second round, Danny?
I can't say, sorry!
Like many, I didn't make it. But after I'd mopped up tears and thrown cold water on my red and puffy eyes, I realised....'holy Wogan. I've actually finished something'. I set myself a strict deadline. And I met it. It was motivational, and I wrote about it here:
Something that looks girthy, and makes a satisying 'flap' sound when beaten across a glass table.
More importantly, the basis of something to polish and add to an embryonic repertoire.
I've written material for business to deadlines before, but this was altogether a different sort of satisfaction. A warm spread, this time not induced by a tea cup at a distinctly dodgy angle.
I was wondering does Red planet announce how many finalists there are? And how many entrants there were?
This year we received over 1,500 entries. Not sure on exact number of finalists but looking at how the previous years have gone, it's usually somewhere between 10%-20% that go through to 2nd round, and less than half of those for the winner & runners-up workshops.
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