Success stories from Pipeline Media Group's writer and filmmaker contest winners. . . .
– PIPELINE MEDIA GROUP SUCCESS STORIES –
Screenwriting Contest Winner Produced, Releases 2019
Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk served as producers.
The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.
The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Lit Entertainment Group (formerly Madhouse) and UTA.
"Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything."
- Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek)
The script was a unanimous pick amongst Script Pipeline staff for top honors. Both CEO Chad Clough and Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich pegged the screenplay as a fresh, relevant spin on the genre, and an "unquestionably strong calling card" for the up-and-coming Dunham.
Top critics praised the directorial debut, including:
"This debut shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers." - The Hollywood Reporter
"A pitch perfect example of low budget craft." - Birth. Movies. Death.
"Deafens through sensationalized silence. . . . You’re not supposed to feel safe or comfortable, precisely as Henry Dunham plans." - Slash Film
And Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.
Script Pipeline Contest Winner Spec Sells to Universal for $3 Million
After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently made Evan one of the most in-demand writers in the industry. The film grossed $400 million worldwide.
"Immediately after the competition, Script Pipeline introduced me to a manager, and the connection helped launch my screenwriting career."
- Evan Daugherty (Rose Red, Divergent)
Shortly after the Script Pipeline screenwriting contest, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite an adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of SWATH.
Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment (Twilight). The film released March 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet.
After selling a pilot pitch, it was later announced Evan would be one of the writers and executive producers on an adaptation of the DC comic franchise Midnight, Mass. for NBC and Five Ghosts for Syfy. He was one of the writers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Michael Bay reboot starring Megan Fox. Evan was tapped to write the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios, and wrote an initial draft for Warner Bros./MGM's Tomb Raider reboot.
Disney's Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, will serve as a companion piece to the Snow White story. Vinson Films co-producing. The film is in development.
Tripper Clancy Sells Multiple Specs to Studios, Including the Action-Comedy Stuber
Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner following a top-four finish in the contest. A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material.
"The impact Script Pipeline had on my writing career is extraordinary. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount."
- Tripper Clancy (Stuber, High Five)
In September 2013, he sold the comedy The Ambassadors, and Tripper's buddy-comedy pitch Winter Break was picked up as the last spec sale of the year. In early 2014, he was hired to write the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount and, in 2016, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro.
Tripper's biggest script sale to date: Fox picked up his spec Stuber for the mid-six figures. The action-comedy is based on an idea developed by Tripper and his manager. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049) co-stars alongside Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), and Betty Gilpin (Glow). The film releases May 2019.
In addition, his contest-winning script Henry the Second is being shepherded by Shawn Levy's 21 Laps (Stranger Things) and 3311 Productions. Tripper is also adapting the acclaimed novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, and is one of the writers on Amazon's High Five.
Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Script
The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta.
Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development. It was the first Script Pipeline winner to be produced.
– Other Notable PMG Success Stories –
- Octagon Entertainment signed Screenwriting Competition winners Joshua Johnson and Jamie Napoli (Getaway). Script Pipeline execs introduced Octagon manager Jeff Diamond to the writing team, who have another feature in development.
- Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic in 2018. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script's top 10 placement in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.
- Sara Monge signed with Josh Dove at IPG Management in August 2018, after receiving circulation by Pipeline execs. Her pilot SOS placed in the top 10 of the 2017 TV Writing season.
- Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything's Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen's third produced film after meeting execs at the Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment. Off the Menu released in 2018 and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
- Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (winners of the First Look Project), was selected for the 2018 Sundance Festival--and soon after picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut and released in August 2018.
- Kevin Jones, winner of the Great TV Show Idea Competition and a three-time Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist, signed with management after extensive development with Script Pipeline's senior execs, who helped turn his contest-winning pitch into a pilot script. The project was shopped to major networks, which secured numerous meetings for Kevin.
- Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm. He wrote for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts until 2018 and continues a career in TV writing.
- Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.
- Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and "Recommend" writer Greg Wayne's dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle's Eye producing.
- TV Writing Competition Runner-up Laura Bensick (The Mother) signed with UTA less than a few weeks after placing in the contest. The series is being considered by top studios and production companies.
- The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline's industry network.
- First Look Project contest winner Besa is in development with Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) directing. Written by Michael Miceli, the crime/thriller won the Adaptation category of the inaugural First Look season and was later optioned.
- Script Pipeline partner Bohemia Group Originals (BGO) optioned two Screenwriting and TV Writing Competition finalists: Bradley Stryker's action/thriller The Dragon Run and Diana Wright's comedy pilot Franchise. The following month, they optioned Nadeem Siddiqui's romcom Slut, also a Screenwriting finalist.
- Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directed his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY). Martini's company, Mona Vista Productions, will be donating 30% of the film's profits to charity.
- Nir Paniry's Princesses to be produced by Grey Matter Productions and Pascal Pictures. Joachim Røenning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing. Nir placed second in the Script Pipeline contest with his action screenplay The Coyote.
- TV Writing Competition finalist Dani Messerschmidt (Hello, I Live Here) signed with John Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions. Dani was introduced to reps from Bellevue at a Script Pipeline writer/industry event months prior. She's developing material for both film and TV.
- Six years after winning the Screenwriting Competition, Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald optioned their screenplay Prom Queen to Classy Films as a result of Script Pipeline's long-term facilitation.
- Android, written by Script Pipeline "Recommend" Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path). Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) also set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
- Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) signed with WME and Grandview. He has multiple projects in development with major production companies, including Spooked, with Dan Lin producing, a reboot of Child's Play, and the horror Five Nights at Freddy's.
- Screenwriting finalist Andrew Martin Robinson (Cut Its Head Off) signed with Peter Katz of Story Driven less than a week after his horror screenplay was circulated to Script Pipeline's industry network.
- Greg Martin and Eric Beu signed with Good Fear Film + Management (formerly Benderspink) in 2015. The writing duo were named the winners of the TV Writing Competition with their original pilot Beachwood.
- Screenwriting Finalist Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). The project is in development.
- Precious Cargo, a finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, released in April 2016. The film starred Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
- Script Pipeline "Recommend" Micah Barnett sold Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC a few years after finding management through a Script Pipeline industry contact.
- The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film, starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O'Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: "A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful."
- Brian Watanabe's "Recommend" script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko, Bad Words) at Darko Entertainment.
- Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline's Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
- Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin' by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. It was the competition's first major success story, and the first Script Pipeline writer to sell a spec for over six-figures.
Over the course of 20 years, many other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Pipeline Media Group's exhaustive process of industry facilitation for screenplays, pilots, films, books, and other creative material.