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Monday, October 20 2014

Screenwriting Opportunity: Hollywood Comes Near

Adapted from a MASS MoCA press release:

Whether you're an aspiring screenwriter or a fan of movies, the Williamstown Film Festival's Project Screenplay invites you to take part in a live-action game show about the art of the pitch, hosted by screenwriter Andrew Osborne. The audience will decide who gets the green light when aspiring screen scribes pitch their concepts and act out scenes while industry professionals offer tips and advice for bringing a script from page to projector on Wednesday, November 5th, at 7PM.

An energetic mix of live competition, entertainment, and edification, Project Screenplay is Project Runway with a focus on film. With the help of the Williamstown Film Festival, the studio system will come to MASS MoCA to teach the audience about a script's journey to the big screen.

The presentation will be divided into three rounds, during which the audience will decide the fate of 16 scripts presented by their writers. Screenwriters can sign up to be part of Project Screenplay at In round one, writers will be given two minutes to pitch their film ideas. In round two, eight semi-finalists will have the first page of their scripts acted out. In round three, three finalists will have the first 10 pages of their scripts acted out, leading up to the moment when a winner and a runner-up are chosen.

Throughout the competition, Andrew Osborne will act as the contestants' "mentor," offering advice to improve scenes and pitches. Film novices and cinema geeks alike will leave with an up-close understanding of the importance of hooking an audience within the first 10 pages of a spec script.

For nearly two decades, Mr. Osborne has been on all sides of the film development process as a professional script-reader for production companies and talent agencies, and as a screenwriter for Warner Bros., MTV, Orion, and indie features that have played at the Sundance, Berlin, and Tribeca Film Festivals. He won an Emmy as a staff writer for the Discovery Channel quiz show Cash Cab and has taught script-writing at Tufts University Experimental College, Quincy College, UCLA Extension, Boston Casting, The Burt Wood School of Performing Arts, The Cambridge Center for Adult Education, and Brookline Adult Education.

Project Screenplay will take place in Club B-10 at MASS MoCA and is sponsored by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The presentation will last approximately two hours (possible strong language). Tickets are $12 in advance, $18 day of, with preferred seating available for $22. Members receive a 10% discount.

The MASS MoCA box office is located on Marshall Street in North Adams and is open 11AM to 5PM Wednesdays through Mondays. Tickets can be charged by calling (413) 662-2111 during box office hours or purchased online at

MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today's most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

About Williamstown Film Festival
The Williamstown Film Festival was founded in 1998 to fill a cultural gap in a part of Massachusetts known for its world-class museums, theater, music, and dance. Because film seemed to be the missing link in an artistically rich region, some two dozen local residents and graduates of Williams College felt strongly that a film festival could bridge the gap. The goal was tripartite: (a) to honor America's film past in the shape of classics, (b) celebrate the present day through panels, seminars, and q-and-a's between audiences and the actors, writers, directors, and producers of indie film, and (c) explore the new technologies which are carrying the art of film into the 21st century.