Thursday, June 26, 2014

NSI Script to Screen Competition - PART 1 of ???

Well another year of the National Screen Institute "Script to Screen" competition has come and gone, and for the second year in a row I managed to make it in before the 200 allotted entry spots were full.

It's a CRAZY competition. Here's a rundown of how it works.

The competition opened June 9, and runs until August 8, or until the first 200 spots fill up.

To enter, you must send in the following:

1. The logline for your movie pitch - One or two lines that sum up what your movie is about

2. 1 page outlining the story - Just tell the broad strokes of the movie... INCLUDING the ending.

3. A 12-15 page treatment - Basically, you must break down the movie, scene by scene.

4. A 3-5 page sample script - Just write out a scene, so they can see whether or not you know what you're doing.

5. Resume!

Though I recieve e-mails form NSI, somehow I missed the competition announcement, and only found out about the start date 2 days before.

I had no idea what I would do for the pitch, but then my wife, Arlyn, reminded me of a ball hockey movie I had mentioned to her a few years ago. So that locked it. I would start writing that pitch.

The idea for this flick came to me in the aftermath of the Vancouver City Riot in 2011, when the Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanly Cup finals. The riot was ridiculous... A bunch of people came downtown that night, not to watch hockey or cheer on their team, but with the intent to destroy the city.

But it wasn't the first time it happened:

This was back in 1994, when I was in grade 12.

Now at the time of the 2011 riots, I was already trying to think of a modern day ball hockey movie I was calling "The Sac"... it was essentially a rip-off of "The Sandlot" but in a cul-de-sac.

It was going to be a very Canadian flick that I could try pitching around to Canadian film companies. I didn't quite know where I wanted to go with it story-wise, or what would set it apart from all other sports underdog flicks, but I knew I wanted it to be family friendly... and a movie that would have a sense of nostalgia for any kid that grew up in Canada playing ball hockey (or street hockey... if that what you called it).

I got to thinking how when we were kids, when it came around to playoff time, and hockey fever hit the city, we would spend a lot of time after school playing ball hockey and discussing the games.

It hit me that a story that took place back in 1994, during that crazy playoff run might be a lot of fun.

I pitched it to friends, and they liked it... but then I sort of forgot about it. It was always in the back of my mind, but I never sat down and got working on it.

Until now.

I met with my writing partner, Kev, and our friend John, and threw down some ideas. When I left Boston Pizza that night (the place Kev and I hammer out ALL our ideas), I had the entire movie in my head. Now I just had to get it down on paper before the deadline. The competition had just opened and there were 50 submission for the 200 spots taken on the first day.


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