My screenplay Eurabia is a Semi-Finalist in the Writers On The Storm Screenplay Competition. Out of more than 1300 scripts submitted, Eurabia finished in the the top 50 screenplays out of more than 1300 screenplays submitted. My screenplay Eurabia is set in the near future. In this dystopian story, America has lost the war on terror and Europe is controlled by radical Islam. However, the CIA has a secret plan to change the course of history… While I didn’t win the competition, it was great to get the recognition. Another nice and useful thing about this competition is the “coverage” I received for Eurabia. Coverage basically is notes from a professional script reader on your screenplay, what works, what doesn’t, and what could be improved. I thought the coverage I received was really useful. It included ratings on structure, dialog, originality, premise, execution and even the title of my script. Additionally, it included a couple of narrative sections that, while brief, offered concrete suggestions on how I could improve Eurabia. Here’s what the anonymous reader wrote about Eurabia under Strengths/Weaknesses:
Really a great concept that is well-executed. The first part of the second act lacks tension, but otherwise the script is tight.
Second acts, in films and in life, are really tough. A second act is halfway through a movie when things start to drag or they introduce some wacky twist and you start to wonder about the film. It’s a fair criticism of Eurabia. When I wrote the script, I knew the beginning and I knew the end but the middle parts were a bit hazy. In parts of it, I was definitely feeling my way along, trying to figure out what was going to happen. Second act weakness is a common problem for scripts. I’ve revised Eurabia several times already. I can see the problem in the second act but am not sure how to fix it yet. The detail about “lacking tension” was helpful criticism because it highlighted what needs to be fixed. And here were their Reader Suggestions:
Consider upping the threat that he faces with releasing this ‘weapon’. Because he knows exactly where and when, the tension lessens. Possibly making the release a little less predictable might add some tense moments. May not be right for your script, but something to think about or play with. This is somewhat nit-picking, but this script is so close.
This is a note referring to the end of the script and a choice the main character has. It’s another good suggestion. Eurabia goes along in a very linear manner to a confrontation that’s talked about earlier in the script. Everyone can see it coming. Maybe it would be better to derail the train before it gets to the station. It’s an interesting idea. Overall, I was really pleased with the Writers On The Storm Screenplay Competition. The contest was administered professionally, the coverage was useful and the overall experience was a positive one. I’ve been on the other side of the table, as a judge for the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition, so I know how difficult it can be to plow through massive quantities of scripts of varying quality and still provide serious coverage of a script. With more than 1300 scripts, Writers on the Storm has done herculean work.
Check out the Eurabia Coverage (PDF) from Writers on the Storm.