DC Shorts Screenplay Competition Summary

screenplay reading
A table read at the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition.

The comedy Interview Date won the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition. This was a funny script, with some great lines highlighting the similarities between looking for a job and finding love. It was performed with five other scripts on October 16, part of the ScriptDC screenwriting weekend. The audience at the reading voted for their favorite and selected Interview Date, as a I wrote for the Pink Line Project.

I’m glad that they won. The writers, Grant Lyon and Mike Lemcke, are really nice guys from San Francisco. Grant is a stand-up comic, which was really evident from the script and how they performed it.

I think it was a treat, too, for the local actors who got to participate. They got to perform before a live audience and meet other actors and filmmakers.

Also among our finalists were a couple of local writers, Mary Ratliff and Kelli Herod. Plus, storm-chasing Lori Romero and author Jackie Boor.

I was one of the judges. Over 100 scripts were submitted and we chose six finalists. The audience then got to pick the winner, which I think is pretty democratic. Interview Date, if it gets made, automatically gets into next year’s DC Shorts Film Festival.

One script, Mancrush, wasn’t eligible to win because the writer, Matt Wheeler, couldn’t make it out from LA to the reading. But it was a really well-written script so we read it anyway, with me as the narrator, and Jason McCool and Michael Hammond playing the two leads. They had great chemistry together, in this script about who was the better friend to the ultimate cool guy.

It was weird for me to be “up on stage” though it was really just a conference table in a big room with 100+ people in it. I’ve been a part of DC Shorts for so long and have done just about every conceivable duty – judge, moderator, photographer, volunteer wrangler – so narrating a screenplay was no big deal. Maybe I would’ve been more nervous if it had been my script.

I’m fortunate to have been a part of the whole screenplay competition process – judging, casting call, rehearsals and then the live reading. I’m a writer myself, so I understand the “alone and in front of the computer” side of things. But watching rehearsals, seeing the casting call, working with actors – that’s been an invaluable education in the performing arts.

At the very least I understand that, while acting is mysterious, actors themselves are surprisingly normal 😉

And of course I had my camera with me during the whole weekend. Here are some pics:

Photos from the casting call

Photos from rehearsals

Photos from the live reading

Bonus: lots and lot of photos from Randy Phillips

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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