Posted by: steveonfilm | May 23, 2010

Cyberspace Open Round 2: Entry Submitted

Well, it is what it is. And I’ll have to leave it at that.

This was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. 24 hours to put together a scene which could easily serve as the end of Act One, or the end of Act Three. And you’ve only got 3-5 pages to do it, with nothing else to build it up.

I brainstormed a lot of ideas, but kept coming back to one in particular. And after a few hours, I decided that was the one I should go with.

It centers around a campaign manager Carter (protagonist) and a politician Marcus (confidant). Marcus has gone back on a promise he made to Carter, and Carter confronts him on it.

I put together eight drafts or so. Each time reading it out loud and trying to make things tighter and tighter.

Like in round one, I organized the story in somewhat of a three act structure: Set up (1/2 a page), confrontation (3 pages), resolution (1/2 a page). My target was 4 pages in total, and I ended up right at 4 pages. One more line would have pushed me to five.

Sure, I could have used a fifth page, but everything I added to the conversation seemed to take away from the meat of what I was trying to show. By staying under 4 I had to make sure every line counts, and I think I did.

It’s been a fun ride, and I never expected to get this far. Would I like to make the finals? I’d be lying if I said no. I think everyone does. Is it realistic, probably not. The odds and talent I’m against just aren’t in my favor. But I created on deadline, and have a new found respect for on set writers. This type of stress is a tough thing to deal with on a regular basis.

For those interested, here’s my entry: Played

Until next time, keep writing!


  1. Steve,

    Great job on your Round 2 entry! Way better than mine!

    I like the way the whole mine thing was personal to Carter with his brother’s death. That ratchets up the conflict.

    And of course, I love the whole, “you’re on candid camera” surprise ending.

    Good stuff, Steve. Yours make mine look like an after-school special. Oh, well, I had a ton of fun in this competition, and I’m sure I’m walking out of this experience a much better writer.

    Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks AJ. That’s some really really nice words. I appreciate it.

      Did you link your script on your blog?

      I tried to comment earlier, but for whatever reason Blogspot doesn’t seem to like my OpenID.

  2. Nice entry. From one 95 pointer to another, good luck in round 2. I am anxiously awaiting the scores today. Since they are not yet posted, I’ve been searching the blogosphere for other contestants. I enjoyed your scene.

    • Thanks man. I’m glad you liked it. More than anything, I just like to know people aren’t bored when they read my stuff. Good luck to you too.

  3. Hey, great scene, from a 94 pointer who made the second round, too.

    I didn’t watch your video. I’m trying to be good here and keep writing this spec for the WB contest (and others). But just from one quick read, I really enjoyed the way the betrayal in your scene had so much character revelation connected to it. Way to be.

    I think those prompts are amazing. I mean, really they should give us a bunch of them so we could line them up in a row and write a whole script. It’s so instructive when you have to focus on a scene instead of an overall structure–makes you realize yeah, the point is good scenes.

    Good luck. I feel like the chances of winning are pretty low, but it has to be three of us, so who knows.

    I am just surprised they haven’t posted yet. I thought they’d have it up by the 28th.

    • Yeah, I’ll be spending the next 6 months getting some things together for contests, agencies, and other things.

      Thanks for the kind words on my entry.

      I’m suprised they haven’t announced the winners yet either.

  4. Great entry. Much better than when I first read it. It flows so well now, and fires on all pistons. Hits you in the teeth. I now know your results, but it was good to finally sit down and read it. And the camera thing? I think you wrote it well this way. It plays for more sympathy for Carter, IMHO.

    • Thanks man. I appreciate it. I couldn’t have done it without you, literally.

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