We are excited to announce the winners of the 2018 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch TV Script Competition. Culled from roughly 2,500 submissions, Children of Free by Kaycee Hughes has been named the Drama winner, The King is Dead by Gabriel Cruz has been named the Comedy winner, and The Guardian by Cedrick May has been named the Web Series winner.
Children of Free, told in a docuseries format, follows a documentarian as they uncover a gruesome murder by a mysterious cult on a storied ranch. In addition to the excellent character work and strong voice, judges responded to the innovative storytelling within the familiar parameters of a documentary style.
In The King is Dead, the woefully incompetent, greedy, and, for lack of a better term, stupid children and widow of a recently-deceased sovereign struggle for power and influence. With a straightforward premise, the judges all responded to the strong humor and unique voice of the piece.
In The Guardian, the son of a deceased revered superhero sets out to learn more about his father but quickly finds himself entangled in a dark mystery he could have never imagined. With a fresh take on the superhero genre, the series sustain itself with the deeply personal look at the people behind the cape.
In Chrysalis by Nelson Downend, How to Grieve by Chelsea Gray, and Concrete Jungle by David M. Kushner also received special mention.
In addition to the ScreenCraft team, the judges included: Ari Lubet, Manager at 3 Arts Entertainment, the company behind such shows as Orange is the New Black, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Silicon Valley, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, The Mindy Project and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Jen Grisanti, former studio executive, acclaimed story consultant and writing instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge whose students have sold 40 pilots (5 have gone to series) and who has helped to staff over 75 writers on TV shows; Amanda Verdon, Scripted Television Exec at AMC, the network behind popular shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead and Preacher; and Francesca Orsi, Co-Head of Drama Series at HBO, the network behind award-winning television series such as Game of Thrones, Westworld, Silicon Valley, True Detective, The Wire, The Leftovers and The Sopranos.
Grand prize winners Hughes, Cruz, and May will receive cash prizes, consultations with the ScreenCraft team, and personal introductions via phone to top managers, agents and producers who specialize in drama and comedy TV development and production.
Congratulations to these winning writers and finalists, and thank you to our judges and to everyone who submitted projects; we read a number of remarkable pilots. View the quarterfinalists, semifinalists and finalists here.
If you’d like to receive a notification when this contest re-opens for entries in 2019, you can subscribe for updates via Coverfly here.