The Empire Screenplay Contest introduced numerous innovations over it's five year history,
- Categorization by Production Budget: scripts that were expected to be relatively
expensive to produce were judged separately from those expected to be relatively inexpensive
to produce--giving producer-judges a choice, and a sense of what type of project they would be
reviewing, in addition to encouraging screenwriters to consider the importance of production
- Staged Reading of High Value Winner: offered to help the writer enhance his script, but
also as a way of promoting his project, this service ended after two years--agreed by the Third
Annual winner in this category--due to lack of interest on the part of industry.
- Early and Late Deadlines: simply penalizing late submissions with a higher entry fee
seemed unfair--and to undermine the whole deadline concept. Offering a discount for early
submissions seemed a fairer and more balanced approach.
A program of wholesale redirection of the Contest--designed to make it more effective in helping
screenwriters advance their careers, and producers identify exceptional projects and writers--
seemed to move the process in the right direction, but these innovations also contributed to a
severe declines in submissions.
- Internet Emphasis: offering free, round-the-clock access to necessary information for
entrants, and Contest administrators the ability to respond to communicate and administer the
process effectively and efficiently.
- Proposal System: a revised approach that greatly benefitted
writers, and helped identify the more determined and qualified among them--as well as the best
- Companion Workshops: offered potential entrants improved chances of advancing in the
- Guidance at the Website: the contents of a comprehensive
screenwriting course, supported by years experience reviewing Contest scripts, offered free
assistance to screenwriters seeking to advance in the Contest, and in their careers.
- Resubmission: allowing entrants to resubmit revised versions of projects at each phase
of the judging process, sometimes with input from contest administrators.
- Direct Submission to Judges: giving writers an opportunity to ensure they put their
best foot forward, and to enhance their comfort with marketing to Hollywood.
- Professional Critique and Line-by-Line Review: provided at certain phases in the
judging/marketing process in an effort to enhance the marketability of projects.
- Guided Marketing to Hollywood: beyond publicity to trades, individualized queries sent
to select Hollywood producers--for which no fee or compensation of any sort is requested.