Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On pwning Cyberspace Open, Round One

For those of you not conversant with the variegated, slightly geeky world of screenwriting competitions, The Cyberspace Open (retro name? or just slightly antiquated?) is a scene-writing derby put on by Creative Screenwriting magazine. It has a few features that appeal to my short-attention-span personality: strict time limits, a five page or less requirement, and it's something like fourteen dollars to enter.

In round one they give you a weekend to write up a scene. The best one hundred from those move on to round two, where they give you twenty-four hours to write a scene. The three survivors of that round... I forget exactly what happens next, but it's likely you have to write another scene in even less time. Whether this thing sounds like fun or some weird high-school homework nightmare is in the eye of the beholder.

The Round One standings were posted. Not only am I advancing to Round Two, but I received the best score of all 100+ Round One winners, 98 out of 100. Here, check it out: name on top and everything.

John Harden and I both entered the current competition, and the one the fall before. We're writing partners, so I think we both subconsciously use this contest as a friendly way of competing against each other. Okay, not so subconscious: The typical email exchanges were on the level of "Just submitted my entry: gonna pwn you, bee-otch!" All in good fun, I assure you.

When we entered last Fall's contest, John advanced out of round one and I didn't. This season, I advanced and he didn't. Just more spooky symmetry from the guys with the exact same birthday.

This is great fun-- but the problem is when the CS Open posts the Round 2 instructions I'm going to be in Los Angeles, fresh from a round of studio pitch sessions (more on this elsewhere). So this little win is, if you ask me a very good omen, and definitely something we can bring up with the CEs we're meeting with. But still: no fun Saturday cruising around LA in an air-conditioned rental car. I'll be at Dan's place in the Valley, grinding out a scene on deadline. But then again, it sounds like great, non-distracting place to write, and Dan is one of the finest writers I know, so hopefully some of that karma will rub off. Or even better, I just might pose as one of those screenwriting phonies and hole up at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf with a laptop.


  1. I can tell you the best CBTLs nearby when you get here. They're all good, of course. Except the one in the mall.

  2. Congrats man!

    Nice to find the person who scored fist place!

    I grabbed a 95 and, I guess, tied for 4th with like 15 other people.

    Good luck on Saturday, sounds like a busy day for you!