Entrants Testimonials - Finish Line Script Competition
....from our 2017 Grand Prize Winner, R.B. Ripley
"The Finish Line is a rare thing in the crowded world of screenplay competitions - it doesn't just stand by its goals, it wildly over-delivers on them, every step of the way. From the notes during the submission process to the many smart, creative and professional mentors, Finish Line gave my writing career an unexpected and welcomed shot of adrenaline that's created a lot of welcomed momentum.
Having entered and placed in a few other terrific competitions over the years, I have to say that Finish Line is one of the most helpful and useful I've come across. The opportunity to get notes and resubmit multiple times is a great way to not just improve a script, but hone my craft. Notes are succinct and candid, but always focused on helping me achieve my intention with the script. It was like having a great studio or network executive championing me along the way.
When I got the call that I was the 2017 winner, I was shocked because the odds of winning any contest are aways so high. But that surprise was nothing compared to when I learned about the mentors that I would be set up to meet - agents, managers and producers from all over the industry. It was like a rocket launch into a new orbit for me When I did meet the mentors, each of them was so enthusiastic and helpful... all TWENTY EIGHT of them. Some of those meetings led to other meetings, which led to other meetings. I've now spent the better part of three months taking one, two, and sometimes three meetings every week, discussing my winning script, but also building my network and pitching new ideas. It's been fantastic.
Finally, I'd be remiss if in talking about Finish Line, I didn't mention Jenny, the competition's founder. You'd be hard pressed to find someone as thoughtful, hard-working and genuinely supportive of writers here in Hollywood as Jenny. She prepped me for every single meeting, and debriefed afterwards. She advised and helped strategize, working tirelessly to get my script read by people who can help get it onto the screen. "Above and beyond" is the phrase that comes to mind every time we talk, and every email I get from her. In Jenny, I feel like I've found a trusted friend and advisor - and for my .02, that's some tasty frosting on the already delicious cake that is the Finish Line competition.
If you're a writer looking for a uniquely helpful screenplay contest, I couldn't recommend Finish Line enough. With a welcomed notes process, generous prize money, and a huge stable of working, professional mentors, the contest stands out in a crowded market." - R.B. Ripley (Grand Prize Winner)
"I am blown away. I could already see some super smart observations and clever suggestions, plus the reader has a fabulous vocabulary and terrific grasp of the story." - Suzanne Prescott
"The notes, as always, are fantastic and super helpful and reaffirmed some of my own concerns with the story." - Kevin Kraft
"I have received feedback along the way on the script (Dancing with the Nobodies) , but frankly none of it has been as effective and constructive as the feedback I received from my mentor. - Jerry Perez (semi-finalist)
“Every screenwriter ought to enter Finish Line. No matter how polished you believe your script is, there’s always room for improvement. I entered many screenwriting competitions this year, but the most rewarding experience was with Finish Line. The notes I received were the very best, most thorough, and most insightful that I’ve gotten from any coverage service or contest. I truly appreciated the incisiveness of the reader’s comments and how incredibly helpful they were overall. The ability to receive notes, revise your drafts, and improve your script throughout the competition process puts Finish Line at the front of the pack of a very crowded and competitive field. A script contest to be treasured.” - Jace Lacob (semi-finalist)
This competition was a wonderful writing experience. The readers really invested themselves in the story looking far beyond all the structural "writing cliches" of Hollywood textbooks - enabling me to bring a left of center idea to life rather than telling me "No, you can't do that!!" like so many other readers. I was close to giving it all up but now I am more inspired to see what can be achieved on the page. I trust their judgment. - Sasha Siljanovic (semi-finalist)
I have had feedback from contest and highly paid professionals. Nothing was as in depth as the feedback from Finish line. They helped me rewrite my script with valuable insight every round and I watched my script grow into the best version of itself. Really can’t say enough. Well worth the entry fee. - Amanda Samaroo (Semi-finalist)
“The feedback I received on my script from Finish Line was tough but very fair. I rewrote the script a number of times, and it definitely got better. I know this because it was a semi-finalist in the Finish Line Script Competition. And I just learned that it is currently a semi-finalist in the Cinequest Screenplay Competition. I’m working on another script and I fully intend to submit it to the Finish Line—and start the process all over again!” - Kieran Angelini (semi-finalist)
"As a beginning screenwriter, the Finish Line Script Competition provided inspiration and encouragement without foregoing viable, true criticism. They are an organization of well-versed, real live people focused on fostering a relationship to help writers and their scripts achieve their potential rather than being yet another black hole to simply ship scripts off into and wait. They're a well-deserved follow on Twitter, too!" - Jake Quinn (semi-finalist)
"Since entering the Finish Line Screenplay Competition, my writing has improved dramatically. Finish Line provided me with extensive feedback on my script, "Freedom Ain't Free" and pushed me to write, rewrite, and rewrite, helping me to familiarise myself with the form......I certainly owe it to Finish Line for how my screenwriting has strengthened....... Finish Line has put me in contact with a number of industry professionals, including producers, creative executives, directors, and other writers, all of whom have provided me with invaluable advice on how to improve my screenwriting and how to navigate the film and television industry......I have spoken and met with several literary managers and agents, which would undoubtedly have been much more difficult had I not won the competition. In the meantime, I am working on a second screenplay, which many of the mentors and managers I have spoken with are keen to read upon completion......Winning the Finish Line Screenplay Competition has really kick-started my writing career better than I could have hoped for, and for that I am very grateful." - Charlie Jones (Grand Prize Winner)
"Being placed first runner up in Finish Line Script Competition has been a huge validation for my writing and faith in my script "Coaching Class". If the script has come this far, it's only because of your great feedback and notes. I also appreciate your continuous efforts to have the script read by industry pros. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant support in my screenwriting journey." - Adite Banerjie (1st Runner Up)
"Finish Line Script Comp provide some of the most on point and detailed feedback I've ever received. Their readers really know their stuff, and submitting your script to the festival is worth it for the notes alone." - Maz Lahooti (2nd Runner Up)
"This was a great experience! The script consultant I worked with really helped me a great deal. Although I didn't place in this contest, I did make the finalists for another contest that I entered right after this competition. The staff was super nice, and very efficient at returning emails and answering questions. I would highly recommend this to any writer that wants really good notes on their screenplay." - Merry Citoli
"This is a fabulously run contest. You would never know it was the first year. Communication was top notch. They met their dates when they said they would and the notes were beyond helpful." - Colin Costello (semi-finalist)
"Amazing. The notes I received were priceless and helped change my screenplay for the better with a night and day difference. Highly recommend everyone enter this competition!" - Kevin Kraft (semi-finalist)
"When I submitted my script to Finish Line and they paired me with Jenny (my script consultant), whether through serendipity of shared experience or just her deftness in dealing with baby writers, we hit it off, and I transformed and repopulated my story with the things that could serve those I was trying to reach, to allow those who'd get it to actually receive it. Jenny gave me the freedom to feel good to cut a story that used to feel like it would be cutting me, with bullshit-free notes that elevated my concepts but not my ego, which kept me on the bike as I moved. There was no questioning where she stood on my ability, and therefore even less was the question about where I should move. Forward. And my Finish Line (thus far) was not even winning the first competition, but it was receiving a 9/10 on the Blacklist and then securing a wonderful manager in Derrick Eppich of Lee Stobby Entertainment". - Jared Egol (semi-finalist)
"I chose to get feedback and then resubmit. The notes were extensive, constructive and very helpful. They came to me within 2 days. The chance to resubmit is a really great idea- awesome value for money. All my correspondence with the festival was professional and quick. Such a great comp to be a part of. I will definitely enter a new project next year!" - Sally Pitts
"Great response, great concept, they will be a dynamo a few years hence." - Bilal Gicvan (semi-finalist)
"I believe wholeheartedly in the goals of Finish Line Script Competition. To work with writers side-by-side so they may finish with a stellar script. My analyst provided me with pages and pages of copious notes. And because of her/his instruction the script improved with rewrites and went on to win in several other festivals. Because the best part of Finish Line is that they simply don't stop caring about you and your story once the competition is over. Finish Line has heart. It's demonstrated as they continue to follow you and your story's success even after the season has ended. - Kelly Jean Karam
"This is an excellent screenplay competition indeed. The fact that they give notes and then allow you to submit new drafts is excellent. The notes they gave my script helped it out immensely and led to it being a semi-finalist!" - Charles Pieper (semi-finalist)