Monthly Archive: December 2017

5 Reasons to Submit Your Script to The Poe Contest

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love with your screenplay. So don’t keep it hidden in a binder on your shelf. Be proud. Share it with the world, and the world will reward you when you submit to The Poe Contest.

Why should you submit to Poe rather than other contests? Five reasons:

Number Five

Our judges. Each script is read in total by our panel of Poe scholars, not some second year dental school student who took a composition class in L.A. public schools. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but some contests (especially the big ones) pay their judges pittance per 120-page script. Is that fair to you?

Number Four

Our scripts are judged based upon Poe’s Principles of Composition, not Save The Cat formulas or typical Hollywood weak story-telling. If you have a script that’s original, with rising tension and emotional connection, we will reward you.

Number Three

Check out our submission prices. We don’t soak you.

Number Two

Our winners have a history of getting produced. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Last year’s feature winner, “The Odds” by Bob Giordano is in post-production, and our shorts winner, “I’ll Have Another” by Bill Brock is enjoying top film awards at several film festivals this year. Hint: our script development partner, Poe Films, is in talks for two of our top-placing scripts.

Number One

It’s POE! Win it and your career will languish Nevermore.

Campus Profile: Virginia State University

Third in a series of articles from our visits to colleges and universities that are invited to participate in the 2018 College Film Awards.

Virginia State University in Petersburg is thousands of miles from Hollywood. But what a setting for filmmaking!

Set on a bluff above the Appomattox River, this beautiful campus is dotted with historic brick buildings from centuries past. A quick walk down Hayden Street, however, transports us to the 21st century with new classrooms, residence halls and athletic facilities.

We are interested in student filmmaking. So how does VSU stack up? We met with Emmy Award-winning director Jesse Vaughan at nearby Vincenzo’s Restaurant and asked him. Jesse produces in-house films for the university, including a short about Edgar Allan Poe’s early years in Petersburg. He worked with creative VSU students in his production.

Although talent abounds on campus, the school does not offer a film studies major. Currently, VSU has a screenwriting class and mass communications courses more centered to broadcast television. VSU is heading in the right direction by moving its media studies department to the new Academic Commons Building, where presumably the department can enhance its film production facilities.

In the meantime, we hope VSU’s ambitious young filmmakers will move forward and produce their creative stories, and then submit their films to be shown at the 2018 College Film Awards next November. Go Trojans!

Campus Profile: University of Richmond

(Second in a series of articles profiling colleges and universities that are invited to participate in the 2018 College Film Awards)

Steve With Dr. Peter Lurie, film studies professor.

Here’s a good sign that the University of Richmond’s film production program is on the rise: As we visited the school yesterday to tour its facilities, a student movie crew passed us with a tripod camera and equipment bags in tow.

University of Richmond students are producing films even during finals. Gotta love them.

A relatively small private school tucked in a wooded ravine inside city limits, Richmond attracts creative students from the Northeast and around the country. It has the vibe of a New England Ivy — tradition, beautiful surroundings, inspiring architecture, and some of the brightest visionary students with a cool worldview. What a formula for awesome film production!

The university offers a small film studies major, headed by our friend and Poe expert, Dr. Peter Lurie. As is the current trend among colleges, Richmond is transitioning from a largely film studies curriculum to a broader offering that includes film production. This takes time and money, of course, but we sensed a true commitment by the university to promote the creative side of its film students. And what film major doesn’t want to make a movie?

So in the coming years, look for extensive film production improvements in equipment and facilities, as well as staff and faculty redirection to screenwriting, music production, and technical education in filmmaking. All of this is exciting and likely will make Richmond more competitive in attracting the best and brightest film students.

Dr. Lurie gave us a tour of the Ukrop’s Theater in the Robbins Business School. Two hundred twenty-five plush seats, full film projection facilities and, importantly for our future College Film events, a beautiful reception area that could serve as a networking place and as a catered dinner location. Hmmm. Let’s think about that one.

The University of Richmond’s Jeanette Lam placed as an Official Selection filmmaker in our 2017 College Film Awards event this year. We look forward to more Spiders submitting in 2018. Go U of R!