Making Movies is Hard-Screenplay Competitions and Written Analysis

In this episode of Making Movies is Hard, Gordy Hoffman, Founder and Judge of BlueCat, discusses how a screenplay competition works and how it can launch careers.

Gordy says BlueCat has grown into its status as a premier screenplay competition because we give written analysis to every submission at no additional charge. This practice started because when Gordy first started applying to screenplay competitions he was always unsure if the screenplay had been read.

Gordy tracks the evolution of BlueCat’s grading process and discusses how using multiple readers for each script is inefficient to all parties involved. Transparency about the grading process is another defining feature of BlueCat. Gordy talks at length about the hiring process of readers. He personally approves each one. Writers can also see quality examples of written analysis that they can expect to receive with their submission.

Gordy unequivocally says that people enter screenplay competitions to advance their careers. Many of BlueCat’s Winners and Finalists have had industry success. Beyond career advancement, there is a lot that screenplay competitions have to offer. First, they give writers deadlines, much like professional writers have. Second, the notes writers receive on their submission are invaluable for improving their craft and revising their screenplay. Third and finally, the results of the competition and the written analysis can provide emotional validation of your creative and career decisions.

Besides screenplay competitions, in the podcast Gordy talks about how he juggles teaching screenwriting at USC or UCLA, and being employed as a professional writer. He discovered that he has become a stronger writer through teaching because he is constantly engaging with other writers. Other topics include Gordy’s career trajectory as a writer and director from shooting home films in his backyard, to Love Liza, and Dog Bowl, and how making a short film landed him a new feature-writing opportunity.

Click here to listen to the entire podcast from Making Movies is Hard. The podcast is also available via iTunes. Special thanks to hosts Alrik Bursell and Timothy Plain for having Gordy on the Making Movies is Hard podcast.