Congratulations to 2020 Public Domain + True Story Feature Winner, Rich Orstad, on signing a paid option on his feature, ENDURANCE, with Noble Story Company. Rich won the competition with the same script.
“I only started screenwriting ten years ago, and the only goal was to get the story that I started in High School Creative Writing Class finally out of my head and complete my first screenplay. When I finally did, another one formed, then another. Ten years, fifteen completed projects, and countless rewrites later, my writing goals are crystal clear: create emotionally impactful stories and hopefully share them with others.
My first obstacle was trusting in my stories enough to share them with others and get notes to improve. When I first started writing, I found the outlining and creating process came easily. But the hardest part was rewriting, revising, editing, and sometimes starting over on stories that just didn’t hit emotionally enough. But you can’t rewrite in a vacuum, and I didn’t really start sharing scripts to get notes until after the first few years, and it was that process which really accelerated the qualities of future first drafts, helping me to trust in my writing more. It was a positive / rewarding loop. So, finding a like-minded community of writers who want to help your craft and your stories improve is really important.
ScreenCraft has been so helpful along the way. I started entering competitions only six years ago and the genre-specific nature of ScreenCraft’s competitions were a perfect fit. The feedback I received from readers there were excellent and helped pinpoint issues that could be improved. And after being a finalist in several ScreenCraft Family Competitions, the team at ScreenCraft introduced me to several producers who expressed interest in them. ScreenCraft has been very helpful along this journey.
After winning the ScreenCraft True Story Competition in September, the team from Noble Story Co found me through Coverfly and just optioned ENDURANCE, the true story of Master Sergeant Cedric King. who survived an IED in Afghanistan in July 2012, witnessed the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 while taking his first steps on prosthetics, and then committed his life to bringing hope to wounded veterans by completing the Boston Marathon less than one year later. I’m very excited to partner with Noble Story Co and look forward to helping them get it sold in 2021.
Just. Keep. Writing! And rewriting. I started entering specific competitions six years ago to validate if I was on the right path and to challenge myself to reach higher levels. After being a finalist several years in a row up to this year, I just thought that was as high as I could get. And then I won TWICE in 2020 for two different scripts…AND sold my first option. In 2020, of all times! So, I’d urge everyone to keep at it. Don’t give up. Write on!
Find a writer’s group of like-minded folks where you all want to help one another. I have been part of The Left Door, a private collective of professional writers, for over seven years and it’s elevated everything. Always keep trying to learn and always be open to notes. You don’t have to accept them, but you should be open to them.”