A thousand Twit-Pitches have been narrowed down to one winner.  Was your favorite chosen??

Months back, I decided to try an experiment (at the worst possible time, mind you – I was creating a new site and writing a book).  The experiment was to allow people to tweet me the loglines for their screenplays.  The catch was that they only had one tweet to do it in.  So they had to boil down an already boiled down logline to even LESS words.

I took the Top 75 of those loglines and I read the first 10 pages of each, tweeting live reviews on Twitter.  It was a pretty cool experiment.  I wanted writers to be able to get into the head of a reader AS HE WAS READING their script.  You could see exactly what they were thinking as they were thinking it.  And I didn’t hold back.  If something was dumb, I’d say it was dumb.

The top 20 of those first 10 pages moved on to the final round, where I read the entire script and reviewed each of them here on Scriptshadow.  So how did the experiment end?  What did I learn from all this?  Well, I’m not sure I learned anything definitively.  But I will say this.  The winner and runners-up of Twit-Pitch stood out for two different reasons.  The first because it took chances, pushed the envelope, and didn’t go where you expected it to.  The second and third because they had smart contained concepts and were well written.  None of these scripts were home runs.  They all had their problems.  But I do think there’s a good lesson here.  You CAN stand out by pushing the envelope or just with good old fashioned solid writing on a strong idea.

And with that, let’s get to the winners.  Here they are…

***FIRST PLACE***

Proving Ground by James Topham – (Original Twit-Pitch Logline) 9 strangers wake in a deserted Mexican town besieged by killing machines: they must discover why they’ve been brought there to survive.

**RUNNER-UP**

Fatties by Matthew Ballen – (Original Twit-Pitch Logline) When a lonely masochistic chubby chaser is abducted by two fat lesbian serial killers, it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

*THIRD PLACE*

Guest by Matthew Cruz – (Original Twit-Pitch Logline) After checking into a hotel to escape her abusive husband, a woman realizes guests in the next room are holding a young girl hostage.

  • TGivens

    Congratulations to the winners! Great job!

    • carsonreeves1

      indeed! :)

  • Poe_Serling

    A big congrats to the Twit-Pitch winner: Proving Ground.

    It looks like the Awards Season is now officially under way. Just around the corner are the New York Film Critics Awards, National Board of Review, and so on.

    Once again, Carson did most of the heavy lifting by whittling down the avalanche of tweets into a Top 100 and then taking the time to read and review the Top 20 picks.

    My top 5 from the contest:

    5) TUNDRA – Great setting and a Lovecraftian monster worthy of its own tale.

    4) RE-ENACTMENT – A really compelling premise. Also, a fine example of Urbanoia.

    3) GUEST – A solid contained thriller. Bang. Bang… with a double-barreled blast of suspense.

    2) PROVING GROUND – Mechanized mayhem. Plus, the writer tossed in a few lofty ideas to ponder.

    1) FATTIES – Almost too wacky to review… no rating scale would do it justice. As I said before, the writer is the lovechild of David Lynch and John Waters.

    Overall, I thought the Twit-Pitch contest was an interesting and worthwhile experience. Why?

    It gives you a peek at the kind and quality of material that Carson/prodcos/etc. are inundated with on a daily basis.

    And finally, two burning questions for Carson:

    Did you wear a tux for the award ceremonies? And did your ‘lady friend’ act as a presenter in her R2D2 dress? :-)

    • FD

      Enjoyed your comment about this being the kind and quality of material that clogs the works.
      In all I didn’t find the quality of the TPitches very high, although I didn’t read all of them. Proving Ground had a bunch of plot holes and a lot of shooting from machines that were the bad guys, and Fatties – well Fatties: what can you say about that sick piece of work, except that it is unfilmable under R18?
      Nonetheless, to win a competition is to win a competition and I congratulate those who did well and hope Academy Awards are in their futures.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

      Thanks, Poe! Those are two of my heroes, for sure.

      • carsonreeves1

        Congrats, Matt. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

          Thanks, Carson!!!

    • carsonreeves1

      Lol. We have not purchased the R2d2 dress yet. We will be snatching one up soon though. They only make them in Australia for some strange reason.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Already I’m hearing the scuttlebut.
    That James Topham is Matt Damon’s brother and that he worked on a school newspaper back in Chicago where someone we know was an editor.

    • carsonreeves1

      I swear I didn’t know!

      • http://twitter.com/writerjoel Joel Thomas

        I think proving ground was on the blacklist “best of” list briefly, but now isn’t on the site at all. What’s the latest with that script? And any interest in reviewing Mcarthy, Carson?

        • carsonreeves1

          It’s not really my thing so I’m scared I wouldn’t like it no matter how good it is but it’s funny. Justin is a really cool dude and has been following Scriptshadow forever. I did a quick search on him and found out that over a year ago he sent me a logline submission for….wait for it….”McCarthy!”

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisLTH Chris

    ScriptShadow Proving Ground by Carson Reeves – (Original Logline) – 900 strangers wake to a frontier website besieged by killer analysis: they must discover why they’re here and how to survive.

  • yeebarr

    Some good choices – congrats to the winners!

    Fatties was the real surprise for me; a sick twisted black comedy that I couldn’t take my eyes off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.morris.524 Daniel Morris

    Good showing for Fatties. Congrats and well deserved.

  • ripleyy

    Congrats! Great to see Fatties second-place. Even after all this time, it’s still memorable to me.

  • Jamie Irvine

    Congrats to everyone. Pleased to see Guest among the medals. That was my personal favourite.

  • Citizen M

    Congrats to the winners.

    BTW is Rafasreds still posting? I’ll have to change my nym to Rafasblues (soccer in-joke).

    • carsonreeves1

      Rafareds only posts when she sees the opportunity to be angry about something. So maybe she’s been a lot happier lately? :)

  • http://twitter.com/LisaAldin Lisa Aldin

    Congratulations to the winners!! Carson – Would you want to do another Twit-Pitch?

    • carsonreeves1

      I’d consider it. But I’d want to refine the process somehow so that the overall quality was higher. Forcing people to send in the entire script immediately would be one way (instead of having this two month buffer that allows them to write the script from scratch if their logline is picked).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1462007233 Avishai Weinberger

    Congrats to the winners. And, echoing Lisa Aldin, do you want to do another Twit-Pitch? Now that the rules are set and people know what to expect from you and you know what to expect from them, it might be a good idea to do it again.

  • fragglewriter

    Congratulations for Carson offering this Twit-Pitch contest. I think it was a great idea and I look forward to submitting my script.

    I would also like to congratulate everyone who entered the contest even though you did not place.

    Een though I read most of the Twit-Pitch scripts and do have an opinion about the choosing of the winners, I think that the most important lesson that I learned from the entire experience is that scripts are subjective and that the writers who received critiques from the blog was on content and not the writer, and to keep us posted if your scripts should every sell.

    • carsonreeves1

      C’mon Fraggle. You gotta give us your top 3.

      • fragglewriter

        I don’t have a top 3, but I will give you my top 2.

        1) Fatties
        2) Douche Patrol

        Also, I thought Cut, Copy, Paste and Crimson Road had a great concept, but they played too nice and didn’t work for me. The same thing with Guest, great concept, but unbelievable character traits and their decision were just awful.

        • carsonreeves1

          Aha. A “Douche Patrol” fan. :)

          • fragglewriter

            For next year’s Twit Pitch contest, can you choose scripts that have more guts. I understand that the writer doesn’t want to turn-off hollywood readers, but I would prefer to read a script with a little more bite to it. Playing it too safe is good, but can be so predictable, unlike Fatties.

          • William A. Lawrence

            Thanks for the love for Douche Patrol (even if it was a joke). But seriously — best part of this contest was the live tweeting review. C-Dwag — you’ve gotten a lot of flack, but the live tweeting was raw and excellent and not something a lot of us writers ever get. Rock on!

        • http://twitter.com/TonyFilangeri Anthony Filangeri

          Been working hard on my rewrite of Crimson Road! Maybe I can get it reviewed again next year :)
          Congrats to the winners. Happy to see a horror script place in the top 3!

          • fragglewriter

            Have you thought about submitting to The Black List or Nicholl Fellowship?

          • http://twitter.com/TonyFilangeri Anthony Filangeri

            Honestly I’m not quite sure how the Black List works? Well I do, but don’t know how to go about submitting to it. Does that make me a noob? I’ll look into it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

    Thank you so much, Carson! And super huge congrats to James and Matthew!!! I loved being a part of this, and the feedback from the community – good and bad – is invaluable as I polish FATTIES and send it out into the world. Big props to my friend, ScriptShadow junkie Adam Hall – for telling me about five times to enter and believing in the script. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! – Matthew

    • http://twitter.com/matthew_cruz Matthew Cruz

      Congratulations to you as well, Matthew! ‘Fatties’ was outrageous fun — and it’s one I will not soon forget (and for that reason, my favorite from the contest!).

      • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

        Thanks, Matthew! I’ve been writing and slacking off on reading but I can’t wait to read Guest! It sounds so awesome – and ready to be shot!

    • http://twitter.com/ErrantFilms Errant Films

      congrats Matthew. I loved the script. best of luck getting it made!

    • http://www.facebook.com/austin.shinn Austin Shinn

      Your script has stayed with me in the precise way one hopes it does. You’ve got a sale coming.

  • Rodney92

    I’m surprised Guest didn’t win it. It feels like a fresh idea and it’s something I would want to see. I can’t wait to send in my script idea next time.

  • http://actfourscreenplays.com/ StoryMapsDan

    Congrats to the winners and thanks to Carson for putting so much into this contest,

    It’s been quite interesting to see so much emphasis on the logline lately, especially in this past year. I’m also a big advocate of a strong logline — how can you not be when it’s the first impression any manager/agent/exec will have of your script? But, at the same time, I’m seeing how responses to a logline are sooo SUBJECTIVE.

    I see this all the time in my classes when I submit my students’ loglines to industry people. We’ll get three different reactions from three different readers. It’s tough to know how to collate the feedback. You don’t want to ignore the notes, especially when there’s consensus, but you can’t jump through every hoop.

    The big takeaways, IMHO, are thus:

    1) You can’t please everyone.
    2) You still need a GREAT SCRIPT. If you don’t follow up that logline with strong writing, it doesn’t matter how high your high concept may be.
    3) Go with your gut.
    4) Don’t give up. Keep submitting.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those of us in the U.S., and happy writing to everyone else. :-)

    • carsonreeves1

      Happy Thanksgiving, Dan. :)

  • denisniel

    That was an awesome experiment.
    So much so, I would suggest one per year, although I can only imagine all the trouble and time it takes to do something like that (no wonder the results were announced almost eight months later).
    Maybe next thing could be a “Twit-Title” contest, for best titles (and consequent ten first pages); or even a twit-pitch contest in which everyone needs to develop a logline based on a given title (and maybe the winners get to write ten pages of it)?…
    I don’t know, it all sounds really cool standing (sitting) at this other end of the contest…

  • karlosd

    If I were Carson, I’d option Guest and produce it, using the popularity of my blog to raise funds on Kickstarter. Best way to learn producing is to produce something :-)

    • JWF

      that is a damn good idea that he should really listen to!

      • carsonreeves1

        From what I understand, since the contest, Matthew has found some producers to work with on the project already. Matthew? Are you out there? Can you clarify?

        • http://twitter.com/matthew_cruz Matthew Cruz

          I can clarify! I do have some producers I’ve been working with, though we’re finishing up script issues and will be taking it out next week. Can’t say I’d hate to have Carson Reeves on board, though! :)

          Also, third place! Awesome! That does my little writer heart proud.

  • Xarkoprime

    I thought Fatties was going to take it :(
    I really hope that script gets made some day.

    Congrats to the winners though, all did a great job! :)
    I may enter the next contest =

    • carsonreeves1

      It’s good to see a Fatties fan! There are some people who believe the script is unbearable. Which I think is kind of a good thing. You want people to have strong reactions to your script either way.

      • klmn

        Fatties was my favorite as well. It’s good to see someone expressing himself – whatever his self may be – instead of writing to a formula.

      • Xarkoprime

        Totally agree with you Carson. Unfortunately, I don’t see many people attaching themselves to such an “unbearable” screenplay that could potentially ruin their reputation. I think this has to take an indie route with a director that simply doesn’t care what people think.

        After I read it, I couldn’t help but send it to a friend. Like I figured he had the same reaction to it as I did. It’s one of those movies I can see myself watching with 3-4 of my friends and laughing like I did with TEETH. I can see it having a cult following. Matt did an awesome job.

        • carsonreeves1

          Lol, I don’t think it would ruin anyone’s reputation. But it’s definitely going to strongly offend some people.

          • Xarkoprime

            Hmm, you’re probably right. Maybe I was a bit too cynical with my choice of words. It probably wouldn’t “ruin” a reputation, but I still think it is going to be hard to find someone with the guts to direct, considering you’d have to find someone who is willing to take the same risks Matt did. I really hope he does find someone though :)

          • carsonreeves1

            I’m right with you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

            Anyone want to start a company called Bad Reputation Films, LLC? Has to hold all its meetings over Twitter though…

  • JWF

    congratulations to all three and glad to see my personal favourite make it! – Guest

  • Mb

    My favorite part of the whole Twit Pitch experiment was the live tweeting of the first 10 pages. I thought that was educational and enjoyed the “being there” experience of what went on in the reader’s mind. The only thing that could have made that better would be to have the same pages in front of me to read along. Maybe next time?

    • carsonreeves1

      Yeah, that’s something I’d definitely do next time for sure.

  • rl1800

    I think Guest had the simplest, yet strongest concept of the three. And a strong concept can take you far. Wasn’t crazy about the execution, but I’m not surprised to hear that producers have already shown interest in the script.

  • CKirich

    Congrats to the winners. This was a great ideal and experiment Carson. Bravo!

  • Yuri Laszlo

    Kudos to the winners and everyone involved. Except the guys who got to the first-10 stage and decided to phone it in because they couldn’t be arsed to develop a real story. Bad writers. No cookie for you!

  • JT Topham

    Hi everyone – and thanks for the good wishes! Especial thanks to Carson for running twit-pitch, it was fantastic fun to do, and incredibly useful getting everybody’s feedback post-review! Big congratulations too, to the two Matthews, thought they had a couple of really fantastic scripts… Oh, and Happy Holidays to all of you over in the US!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ballenitis Matthew Ballen

      Congrats, JT! Can’t wait to read Proving Ground this week!!!

  • MrTibbsLive

    Big Time congratulations to Proving Ground on winning Twit-Pitch. I think there was 700-800 loglines submitted and you took the top spot, that’s impressive. I still think Guest has plenty of production potential.

    But Fatties getting the runner-up spot is a surprise. This script may never make it to the big screen, but anyone who’s read the screenplay will never forget it. Definitely one of the most memorable scripts I’ve ever read.

  • Premiger

    That tweet bird is cute. :)

  • http://twitter.com/nicksansone Nick Sansone

    Sorry to go off-topic here (congratulations to the Twit-Pitch winners!) but I just wanted to say that I’m very thankful that this community is here. As I’ve said before, stumbling upon this website that fateful day two years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me as a writer. I’ve been to quite a few “film & writing camps” around the Chicago area since I was nine, and I learned more about story here than I did in English class or any of those camps. Thanks so much Carson, and everybody else who’s helped me these past two years.

    P.S. Just wanted to tell Carson that Thanksgiving is already a lot warmer here in the Midwest just knowing he’s back visiting. :)

    • carsonreeves1

      Thanks Nick! That means a lot. :)

      • http://twitter.com/nicksansone Nick Sansone

        You’re welcome. And hey, at least it’s not fingernail-biting cold here in Chicago, right? ;)

        • carsonreeves1

          Yeah, I was kinda shocked by that.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Just so everyone knows —
    I no longer sleep over in small Mexican towns; I always insist on checking out the rooms next door when I travel; and I no longer look at fat women the same.

    Congratulations to the Twit-Pitch winners.
    And next time… be careful what you write.

  • DiogoSF

    The culmination of a great initiative. I’m pretty sure you’ve started something here, one can already smell the spin-offs. Congratulations to all the participants, especially the three winners.

  • James Inez

    Congrats to all the winners!

  • disqus_baTx999vo7

    Congrats to all the winners!

  • New_E

    Congrats to the writers! What happens next? Do they get representation? Will you produce the films?

  • nicohajj

    Congrats to both Matthew(s), GREAT GREAT JOB with two different voices and two different styles.
    I was hooked by “GUEST” such a great piece of work.”FATTIES” was so much fun and really creative. Reminded me of the Cohen Brothers when they were really good.

    I haven’t read “Proving ground” yet, but sounds like an interesting concept.
    Keep the good work guys and congrats again!

  • http://twitter.com/nicksansone Nick Sansone

    Test

  • http://twitter.com/ErrantFilms Errant Films

    Great! really cool scripts! Congratulations to the winners!!!
    And a very big thank you to Carson and team. I leaned a whole lot from the experience and hope to come back with more soon.
    :)
    N