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The competition that started it all… the Launch Pad Feature Competition is back for its 5th year. Since the launch of our very first writing competition, the Launch Pad has helped 254 writers get signed, 81 projects get set up, seen 48 writers hired as staff-writers, and sparked 4 studio bidding wars.
From the start, the competition has leveraged our deep relationships with Hollywood’s top agents, managers, producers, and executives and consistently assembled a “who’s who” panel of 25 judges for each and every competition. This year is no exception, with judges participating from Paradigm, APA, Energy Entertainment, Circle of Confusion, Di Novi Pictures, Bellevue, and many more.
At the Launch Pad, we go above and beyond to advocate for all of our finalists, from the Top 75 all the way to our winners. We work tirelessly to get your work into the hands of the biggest agencies, management companies, and production companies around to showcase you and your writing.
But that’s just where it begins. Our industry leading partnerships with companies like Michael De Luca Productions, Scott Free Productions, Vertigo Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment, Lee Stobby Entertainment, ESA, and Energy Entertainment, to name a few, give writers even more opportunities to take their writing careers to the next level.
The Launch Pad is excited to announce our Guaranteed Option Prize partnership with producer Adrian Askarieh and his Prime Universe Films. Prime Universe is the production company behind the popular video game-based Hitman film franchise. They are currently in development on the feature film adaptation of Just Cause based on the best-selling Sqaure-Enix video game series, which has Aquaman star Jason Momoa set as the lead and San Andreas director Brad Peyton directing.
Prime Universe also recently signed a first-look deal for film and TV with production/distribution company Constantin Films (Resident Evil film franchise, The Fantastic Four film franchise, The Mortal Instruments franchise).
Hot off their new deal, Prime Universe is eager to discover and develop strong cinematic stories with unique characters that cater to the ever-expanding global marketplace. By partnering with the Launch Pad, they are not only onboard to serve as one of our judges for this year’s competition, but have also committed to option at least one project which has selected the Guaranteed Option add-on, with an eye toward discovering their next global hit.
At the Launch Pad we’re all about helping writers further their professional writing career and for a lot of you that means landing great representation. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our exclusive partnership with Echo Lake Entertainment, the powerhouse boutique management and production company that represents emerging actors, writers and directors across Film, Television and Digital. As a production company they’ve produced and/or financed more than 30 films and have received a number of awards including 8 Academy Award Nominations and one Academy Award win.
Their clients have written projects for every major studio and production company including Universal, Warner Bros., MGM, The Weinstein Company, FilmNation, Sony Pictures Classics, amongst others. In television their clients have worked on hit shows including The Handmaid’s Tale, American Gods, Daredevil, Timeless, The Blacklist, UnReal, Queen of the South, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Star, American Horror Story and many more. This is an incredible opportunity to earn representation from a top company that can do it all!
For our guaranteed signing prize, Echo Lake Entertainment will select at least one writer for representation who has selected the Guaranteed Signing Prize.
We are incredibly excited to announce our 2017 Feature Competition Mentors, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge covering a wide array of the industry. From hitting the town with a new spec, to landing representation, to creating and writing for a cable network, to the ins and outs of seeing your film produced, each of our mentors tackle the industry from all different angles to make you a more versatile writer.
Our first mentor, Anthony Cipriano, began his career in features and shifted his focus to television. He developed the acclaimed television series Bates Motel for A&E, based on Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Psycho, which went on to run for five seasons starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. He currently has pilots in development at NBC with Jennifer Lopez producing and Starz with producer 50 Cent. Cipriano is now transitioning back into features, where he has multiple projects in development, including one he is eyeing as his directorial debut.
We’re proud to say that David Hoffman, our second mentor, got his start through our very own Launch Pad Competitions. Soon after his drama pilot Running Money won the 2015 Launch Pad Pilots Competition, he set it up with Romark Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment. After his first place finish in the competition, Hoffman was quickly signed by Paradigm and Artillery Creative. Last year, he hit the town with his hot feature spec The Great Debate about the Nixon/Kennedy presidential debates, which won the Enderby Entertainment Award at the Austin Film Festival and earned him a place on the 2015 Hit List and 2015 Young & Hungry List. All this buzz helped earn him a spot writing for the NBC series Timeless.
Last, but certainly not least, we are pleased to welcome Jason Hellerman to our mentor team this year. Hellman’s script Shovel Buddies appeared on the 2013 Hit List and 2013 Black List, and shortly after sold to Awesomeness TV. The film was released in 2016, starring Bella Thorne, and premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Hellerman also brings to the table years of industry experience having worked as a development executive for Cota Films and producer Michael Costigan.
Bringing years of combined experience our mentors are the perfect guides to help you take those crucial next steps. Our mentor program will focus on getting your script ready, tips and strategies on pitching and choosing your next project, and insight on how to navigate your newly minted Hollywood career.
We’re pleased to be re-teaming with Roadmap Writers to offer all of our competition entrants a free seminar with the Roadmap Writers Program. Run by former development exec for Bold Films (Nightcrawler, Drive) Joey Tuccio, the exclusively curated seminar - geared toward writers of all experience levels - will give writers insight from working producers, executives, agents, and managers to help you build a better pitch, learn how to be good in a room, and how to be sure you’re putting your best work into the world.
Continuing with the same educational ideas behind the origination of the mentorship program, and continually looking to identify new ways to give our writers even more of a leg up when entering the Launch Pad Competition, we’re thrilled to announce the return of our Feedback Notes Program. Rather than receiving a few vague disconnected sentences or paragraphs from other coverage services or competitions out there, we’ve struck a deal with our professional readers (reading for places such as 20th Century Fox, Sony, Paramount, Universal, UTA & more) to provide 1-2 pages of in-depth notes on your competition entry. With an emphasis on initial thoughts, opinions and analysis, get an inside look at what is usually a behind the curtain process, and get our readers' perspectives on the story, characters, marketability, and ideas for where the story could go. Was it a page-turner? Did we want to see more of a character? Was the dialogue believable? Get the actionable notes and insight you deserve.
The Launch Pad Competition is focused on identifying, discovering and helping launch the careers of our writers. Whether you make the quarter-finalists or win it all in any of our competitions, we work with you to help polish your work, prepare for meetings, craft you pitch, identify your follow up projects, and prepare yourself for anything that comes your way on the journey to becoming a professional writer.
(As a reminder, if you select any add-ons at time of entry, regardless of where you place in the competition, you will still be in the running for those add-on features.)
Our exclusive option partner for this year’s competition is Prime Universe Films.
Our guaranteed signing partner for this year’s competition is Echo Lake Entertainment.
We are excited to announce our mentors for this year’s competition are Anthony Cipriano, David Hoffman, and Jason Hellerman.
Di Novi Pictures
Circle of Confusion
Lee Stobby Entertainment
Good Fear Film + Management
Zero Gravity Management
Kailey Marsh Media
Weed Road Pictures
3 Arts Entertainment