Write of Passage Frequently Asked Questions

Begun in 2009, the Write of Passage Screenwriting Competition is a one-week, mentored competition, which instructs writers as they compete. Industry pros (called Development Executives or DE's) critique writers and judge the 1st round of competition. The goal is to develop redemptive, inspirational stories that honor God. All submissions are 12-pages and are written in 168 hours, based on the theme and a foundational scripture.

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Basic Questions

Q: Will 168 randomly assign WP foundational scriptures or does the writer choose the verse?
A: 168 supplies the verse based on the same theme that will be used for the next 168 Film Project. Thus, these screenplays fit with the theme and can be produced for the 168 Film Festival. All writers receive the same verse at the same time.

Q: What kind of story is the contest looking for? What production budget range?
A: Redemptive stories are ideal, even if it's just a hint of redemption. If you choose to write a tragedy, then make sure there a real consequences for actions. Winking at or poking fun at taboos and bad behavior is not a good idea for this contest. While you are free to imagine any storyline with a wide variety of locations or cast of thousands, your script is more likely to reach the screen if it is easily producible by teams under the constraints of 168 filmmaking: low budget, a small cast, commonly available locations and easily achievable special effects. All things being equal, lower budget films may be preferred.  A budget range of $2,500 - $15,000 is typical and usually tends toward the lower end

Q: Can I write as a team?
A: You can write by yourself or with a group of no more than three. IF YOU WRITE AS A TEAM: The person who registers the team is the "Author of Record," and is responsible for all legalities. If prize money is awarded it will go to the Author of Record.

Q: How do I interface with my Development Executive/Mentor (DE) if I live in another region?
A: Your DE may be thousands of miles away and thus, he/she will use email. If not local, writer & DE are encouraged to meet face-to-face online via video conference.

Q: How many screenplays may I enter?
A: As many as you like, but you must pay one entry fee per script, and pre-existing scripts are not allowed. It's most practical to enter only one.

Q: What's in it for writers?
A: The winning writer gets a cash prize, VIP treatment & phone meetings with Hollywood elites. Writers may get nominations and awards, which can help in marketing your talent. If a film is produced from any script, the writer will get a writing credit and input on rewrites for the film. 

Q: What's in it for DEs?
A: Being a DE is excellent practice for those working towards a career in story development.  You are the point person for a new creative community invigorated by your leadership.  You learn to motivate and encourage a creative team to achieve excellence.  Your sense of story develops in amazing ways. You are introduced as part of the creative team. You get a Development Executive credit if the movie gets made. IF YOUR WRITER WINS, You get a cash prize too!

Q: Do Write of Passage Spotlight Films compete with "168" Signature Speed Film and other non-speed entries?
A: Write of Passage films compete against each other for the Best Write of Passage Film title and with all other films for "Best of the Fest"/ best film overall. They compete equally with other entries for acting and technical merit awards.

Q: Can writers just submit scripts to the 168 Office?
A: No, you must work through your DE.

Q: What if I don't like the DE who is assigned to me?
A: Writers will not be reassigned unless there is an extreme situation. It is important to learn to be flexible and be able to work with all sorts of people.

Q: Do I have to make all the changes my DE suggests?
A: No, they are just there to help and suggest. You are in control of your script, but remember DE’s judge the first round. You will learn that sometimes a client or executive will ask for changes that are detrimental. Choose your battles wisely.

Q: How important is it to integrate the verse into the script? 
A: This is called SCRIPTURAL INTEGRATION (SI) and it is Very Important. In fact it's so important that if you don’t do this, you will not be a finalist.

Q: What is SCRIPTURAL INTEGRATION (SI) and how will it be judged?
A: SI is is how skillfully, artistically, and ingeniously the producer uses the verse as a foundation to the story. It is not simply jamming the verse into the story or reading it at some point. SI will be judged thusly: take the verse on face value, asking yourself “Are all of the verse’s story points addressed?” Writers get extra credit for representation of the verse’s context in the story.  DE’s should watch for subtleties and symbolism (i.e. one character represents Jesus or Israel, etc.) especially if they can’t see the SI at first. The best films will communicate the spirit and the letter of the verse in a wondrous way. No films will advance without good SI.

Q: Can I submit a script I've already written?
A: No, this is a speed screenwriting competition. Everyone writes with the same restrictions.

Q: Why should I grant a license to students? Won't they just make an amateur film and make me look bad?
A: At 168 we want students to succeed. Students may choose to license a WP script for a student film. Since the biggest problem is STORY, this license starts them off with a great foundation, so they can concentrate on learning filmmaking. That's where you come in. Writers grant a non-exclusive license of your script to students for use in producing a film. You will receive credit on the film (if desired). Students shall consult with writers and will change the name of the short film to an acceptable title if the writer so desires. The film shall be credited as “A Write of Passage Student Film.”

Q: After the winner is announced, can writers continue revising their scripts and enter the film in the 168 Film Festival?    A: Yes, that is perfectly fine, but the finished script should not exceed 12 pages because the finished film cannot be longer than 11 minutes (all told, including credits).

Q: What do writers say about Write of Passage?

  • "I did like that Write of Passage did not leave me hanging all alone writing a script."
  • "(My mentor was) extremely insightful, invaluable, honest and supportive."
  • "Perhaps, in my eagerness to 'step out of the boat,' I acted in haste by singing up for a challenge for which I was ill prepared.  I was a nervous novice who had just pushed every envelope, unleashed every fear and stepped so far out of the box that I was a basket case." 
  • "(Write of Passage) served as an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to tear down strongholds and set this captive free!  Lies were exposed, truths were beheld and Grace was given.  It was an amazing week!!"
  • "This has been an absolutely spectacular learning experience for me that challenged me, my creativity and my spirit to the fullest. I also really liked working with a Development Executive. Very helpful and insightful. I gained tons from that alone."

More: "How to license a Write of Passage script"...

Screenwriting Software Recommendations

Writers are responsible for delivering a script in an industry-standard (one minute per page) format. A number of free and low cost resources are available for screenwriters getting started.

  • SlimplyScripts has a good description of the Industry Standard format.
    With this information you can configure Microsoft Word or other word processors to write in the industry standard format (requires creating "styles").
  • Microsoft Word Template Setup Guide shows you how to set up a template in Word based on the above. (Do this BEFORE writing week!)

Screenwriting Programs include include:

Writers are solely responsible to produce PDF versions of their scripts in industry standard format. Some programs are more intuitive than others. Please experiment and determine which method best fits your workflow before writing week starts.

168 Film is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the performance of any of the above options. Writer is solely responsible for delivering a correctly formatted script on time. Mention of these commercial titles in no way implies any type of endorsement of a company or product by 168 Film.