Ed Video is running a screenwriting challenge this weekend. They run this as a fairly friendly challenge. The idea is to generate new content that people can then go out and film.

I’ve taken part in the past (2011 & 2013) and really enjoyed it. As I’m finding my feet in writing again I thought it would be a good idea to just dive in. I’ve got a lot of projects on my plate, but the limited time frame makes it a good diversion

The best benefit to this competition is that everyone gets together at the end and the scripts are read by a small panel of actors. I like seeing how people approach my material from a first blush, but I’m more interested in how an audience receives it. That’s a massive benefit that I can’t reproduce very well elsewhere. Workshopping a script approaches this, but it’s a much different process.

The other thing I really like about these types of competitions is that the stakes are low. I tend to let myself run free with them exactly for this reason. While the intention is to create scripts for production, I go the other way. I create projects that I would have significant difficulty putting together. I also push hard against challenging myself with broader themes and tighter restrictions that I normally would.

As a side note: it’s interesting that I wait for a scenario to push myself in that manner, but there you have it.

In previous competitions they’ve provided criteria to write against. This year they left it wide open. It wasn’t even restricted to brand new content. The goal was to finish content with the only restriction being it must be completed by midnight on Sunday and under ten pages.

As I write this, I’ve got a first draft of my competition script ready. It is just shy of eight pages and I’m calling it Thorium Blue. There’s still a lot of work to do to get it out the door.