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Announcing the Bootleg Universe Short Script & Story Contest

by Ken Miyamoto on August 19, 2016

Have you ever wanted to re-imagine or re-interpret your favorite character or universe from movies, television, or books? Now is your chance to do just that — and see it actually produced well and shared with the world!

ScreenCraft and Buffalo 8 Productions have partnered with Adi Shankar’s Bootleg Universe on a unique short screenplay and story contest, dedicated to finding provocative reinterpretations of iconic stories and characters while celebrating fresh visions and voices. The winning script or story will be produced with Hollywood talent by Adi Shankar and distributed for free worldwide via the Bootleg Universe YouTube channel, which has over 30 million views to date.


The short film production budget for the winning short screenplay or story will be between $20,000 and $100,000 depending on scope and needs of the project as determined by ScreenCraft and Adi Shankar.

The winning writer(s) will also receive personal introductions to top producers, managers, agents and studio executives.

The second place runner-up prize is $1,000 cash and a lifetime license to Writerduet Pro Screencraft Edition ($189 value). The Top 50 scripts will be offered the software for 50% off.

Both the first and second place scripts will see circulation and personal recommendation to ScreenCraft's network of over 60 Hollywood managers, agents, producers and development executives.

Who is Adi Shankar?

Adi Shankar is a film and television director/producer. His credits include The Grey starring Liam Neeson, Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt, Dredd starring Karl Urban, Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg.

He's also produced some of the best bootleg shorts online, including:

Dirty Laundry/The Punisher Bootleg starring Thomas Jane

 Power/Rangers Unauthorized Bootleg (with over 20 million views online)

Read our exclusive interview with Adi here! 

Who Can Enter and What Characters Can Be Used?

The contest is open to anyone, anywhere, and is dedicated to celebrating new visions and timely reinterpretations of iconic characters and stories. The only criterion to qualify for entry is an interesting re-imagining of a popular character or story.

This competition offers writers the opportunity to be freed from the constraints of mainstream Hollywood’s play-it-safe approach to famous characters and pre-existing intellectual property. It also offers a context and forum to rewrite any character or story and reverse engineer a social message into an "established brand name,” igniting a global conversation.

Imagine being able to see your own interpretation of your favorite movie, television, or literary character — Batman, Superman, John McClane from Die Hard, a Marvel Avenger, characters from G.I. Joe, Barbie, Wonder Woman, characters from Akira, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, characters from Star Wars, etc.  The sky is truly the limit.

The contest is accepting entries now until the early deadline on September 5th and the final deadline on October 1st.  The winner will be announced by November 30th and production will begin in early 2017.

What We Are Looking For

Screenplays and short stories must be a minimum of 3 pages and a maximum of 30 pages.

The scripts should be economical to produce and not rely too much on special effects to convey the story. They also should have a core understanding of the mechanics of the Universe’s sandbox they are playing in.

Ideal scripts should also have a message embedded within the material. The mainstream media seems fascinated by “established brand names” over real substantial issues. This is your chance to reverse engineer a social message into an “established brand name.”

All submitted material must be written by the writer submitting the project, however not all rights to the characters and stories need to be owned by the writer because the winning script or story will not be exploited commercially for profit.

This is a unique opportunity for unestablished screenwriters to be able to play in the sandbox of the big film, television, and publishing franchises and properties.

What sandbox are you going to play in?

Click Below for full details and entry guidelines! 


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