Are you a screenwriter or writer/director with a passion for psychological horror? Do you have an idea or a script for a low budget film to match the imagination and terror of the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, The Blair Witch Project, or Paranormal Activity? If so, then HOPSCOTCH HORROR COMPETITION is for you! We’ll pay £1,000 for the best treatment or first draft screenplay, and in addition to this we’ll develop your work with you so it’s ready to seek production finance and actually get made.
What We Want
Treatments (2-10 pages) OR first draft scripts for a low budget psychological horror.
We’ll be looking for captivating and terrifying stories told creatively, with compelling characters we can care about. Characters who have recognisable fears and emotional instabilities. Ideas that have a particular slant which makes them feel new. Terror and tension that gets under your skin rather than attacks your senses with a chainsaw.
Boundary pushing ideas will be well received. Found footage films have been a recent success story in this genre, but they might feel a bit predictable now. Is there a new innovation that can be found to make psychological horror work on a low budget?
Screenplays will not be given preference over well thought out treatments.
What We Don’t Want
Monsters, zombies, slasher, CGI heavy ideas, torture porn, action film/horror hybrids, sci-fi horror, body horror, splatter films, and anything that will be expensive to shoot. Thank you!
Keeping it Low Budget
The key is to make a virtue out of the restrictions a low budget would impose.
The three main areas to think about during writing are:
Locations – keep them to a minimum. Use the local landscape. Think about the claustrophobic tension that might be created using only the one location.
Cast – keep the numbers small. Give your limited characters a great backstory and an inner life we can believe in and empathise with.
Special Effects – limited, achievable CGI if necessary. Keep effects to a minimum or make sure they could be realised in camera. Remember, most of the terror will live in the places we can’t see but can only imagine.
How to Submit
If you’re submitting a first draft script, you don’t necessarily need any previous credits of note. The quality of the idea and the writing will be apparent from the script. But please also submit a Biography, flagging up any previous writing credits, if you have any, as well as links to any work you have had made.
If you’re submitting a treatment, we’ll need to be convinced that you can also write in screenplay form. So please include examples of previous scripted work, as well as a Biography. Links to any work you have had made will also be extremely helpful.
If you’re a Writer/Director auteur, it’s essential that we can view some previous Directing work. Preference will be given to Directors who have made a piece of work – either short or long form - which has received critical acclaim, and/or been screened at A-list film festivals. Please do not apply as a writer/director if you have not made anything yet.
In addition to links to viewing material, we’ll also need to see an example of a previous script if you are submitting a treatment. If you are submitting a first draft script, no further screenplay material is required. A Biography is essential.
11.59pm on Sunday Dec 15th 2013
The Decision Process
We’ll aim to have a shortlist of projects by the end of January 2014. After meeting with the short-listed applicants a winner will be announced.
Producer Carolynne Sinclair Kidd says "I'm looking for great characters, compelling stories, and the kind of terror that gets under your skin. I want these treatments and scripts to send me home from work a wreck. I want to feel the need to jump into my bed from the doorway, thus avoiding the dangerous under the bed area. I want to shiver every time I pass a shadowy corner, and keep the hall light on all night. So please, go to your darkest places!"
1. Treatments and Screenplays must not have been previously optioned, produced, or purchased.
2. Screenplays must be the original work of the applicant(s).
3. The winning applicant must agree to develop and produce their idea with Hopscotch Films.
4. In the event of a winning screenplay submission being written by 2 or more writers, money will be divided equally amongst the writers.
5. Screenplays must be in English.
6. Multiple submissions are accepted but entrants are encouraged to focus on and fine tune their best idea prior to submission.
7. Screenplays must be no longer than 100 pages.
8. Treatments should be between 2 -10 pages long and should give a clear indication of story and character as well as potential storytelling style.
9. Hopscotch Films decisions are final.
10. Entries must arrive in the Hopscotch Horror inbox by 11.59pm on Sun 15 Dec.
11. You must be over 18 to enter.
12. You must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.