negative Response to a producer or a contest

Réponse négative d’un producteur ou d’un concours

To bounce back after a failure/refusal


This week I had not planned to talk about this topic. But reading the various comments on the blog, the emails that I’ve received these past few weeks, I think it is important that I raise this subject :

How to live the refusal of a production or non-selection in a contest of scenarios or structure of funding?

Today, for the apprentice writers, there are not 36 solutions to get out of the shadow : it is necessary to work ! But work without knowing its level is difficult because the goal is to advance and work in the right direction. This is why it is important to propose his work to a production or a contest. After all, if the production wants you to produce, or if you win the contest is that you have talent, that your stories are of interest and you have done well to work hard.

Unfortunately, littleor no production do you made it back on the projects that you send them. Productions, or structures that organize the contest you send a simple mail to inform you that your scenario was not selected…Then how to progress ? And more importantly, how to bounce back after these announcements that you are pushing and come to pile on a tonne of refusal that you have already received and which frustrate you even more. After all, you’ve worked hard and if you have to send your scenario is that you believe !

Let’s be clear and honest, this is not the role of a production or a contest to make a return on your work !


This is for two reasons :

  • The productions do not have the time to analyze and lead authors (pro or not) so that they will improve their story. Otherwise, tomorrow they would be overwhelmed even more e-mails, ideas, synopsis, etc…de everything and anyone. When I decided, two years ago, d’analyse all the projects of the users of the blog who wanted to do so, few in the final have gone through to the end of the process, that is to say, the reworking of the characters, the story etc…
  • The second reason is the justification of apprentice screenwriters. That is to say, once you make a return on a scenario, the apprentice writer is seized with a desire to justify himself. So when I say : “justify,” this is not the exact word. The apprentice writer explains what he wanted to do to pass, what ideas he defends, or why such and such a character said or did this or that ! Except that, if the scenario has not been chosen, this is not because the reader has not understood what the author was trying to do, but it is because the manner in which it did is not relevant, just or good simply. A scenario is a complex alchemy.

Receive a rejection of a production or a contest this is not quite the same thing.

Receive the refusal of a production :


Few productions are working with apprentices to writers or writers amateurs if you prefer. The refusal is therefore “ more normal “. In addition, they are overwhelmed by the amount of scenarios. But mostly the producers work and work of the authors on the projects they wish to ride and they entrust their writing to writers or artists they have themselves chosen.


ATTENTION, I do not say that no producer is dealing with spec scripts (scripts that are original writings by an author). Often, budding writers target the wrong the producer and refused not because of the quality of the script, but simply because the genre or the theme of the story cannot touch.

Then most of the time the apprentices to writers to send their script to of large, very large production companies…and ditto…the bad ones and especially all of these companies are still less attention to the writers that they do not know.


The refusal of these boxes production , therefore, is half a failure. So I know that for many of you, every rejection is a stab extra and that force, the passion, the patience and the determination in take a serious blow.

You look at the time you go to write, to market…and all for what ?! A form letter sent by an assistant of prod, or even an intern, who may not be reading your project. Yes it is annoying ! But this does not mean that you are not going to get there one day.

Participate also in the sessions of pitch and meet producers, channels etc… I’m going to give you very soon addresses so that you can know where to go.

It may be that you still need to get better, that this is not the right time for your story and that you have to work a little more your network !

Anyway, what you wrote is not lost.

Receive the refusal of a contest


Here it is different from a production company. For a competition there is less competition. If a production receives 200 or 300 scenarios every month, a structure that launches a contest of scenarios can receive less. If we take the example of a Woman &Film, they have received 200. What is a good volume but not crazy !

A refusal on their part may be motivated by several criteria :

  • Scenario not good
  • Poorly presented
  • Does not match the criterion
  • Too expensive
  • Too much work to rewrite
  • Less good than the other


A contest is a contest, it is to say that it’s the best one wins ! As in the contest for the administration. You may have worked hard, done everything that he had to, if a person is better than you at this moment and well you lose !

But this defeat is really at the bottom ?! The fact of not being chosen for a contest, where there are 6 prize-winning places, does not mean that your project is bad, sucks, etc…It simply means that another story has been preferred to the your. It is all the same so fucking different !

So yes, you are not Peter Jackson, Audiard, or I don’t know who…but you already knew that right ? In addition, those who have been selected are not Jackson or Audiard ! They have been better at getting across the emotions and their stories… better than you…that’s all. Tomorrow, they may be not selected and you if. It doesn’t want to say that they have become null and void and you are a master in the field ! The writing ofa scenario that is successfully pass the emotion, of the sensible, with a “medium” and codes strict enough.


But what I really wanted to tell you, is that you have managed to write a story from A to Z in record time ! With maybe weaknesses or imperfections but you have done what a lot of apprentices fail to do !

And it is a win huge!!!! Then put this “defeat” into perspective. Yes it is sad, it can be frustrating not to fly with your scenario…there may be good reasons for this or not…but anyway, look at the path that you have traveled.

Is it that there are 2 months, 6 months or 1 year you would have been able to present your script to a producer ? For a competition ? Is it that you have made progress in writing, with your network ?

I can tell you, times when I feel like giving up, I saw too often for my taste. The projects in which I invested are not all recipes, but some good news, the scenarios that I write or for whom I fight,and the films in which I participate I make it vibrate and make me forget these moments of lows, doubts , or frustrations.

Because I put all the rejection in perspective, I take a step back, this is mandatory…otherwise it’s going to eat…your scenarios or your projects will suffer necessarily. Use the energy, or the negative components that you receive and turn them into positives.


That’s it for this article on : Bounce back after a rejection, that is, once again, an article a little different from usual, but I think you can go back to the block !

Let me have your comments at the bottom of the article.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o).

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Has next Sunday.

Tom Weil

Here are other articles to help you create your characters and write your scenarios

Anatomy of the timeline Pixar rules 1 to 5

Rules of writing the screenplay Pixar rules 6 to 7

Rules of writing, anatomy of a screenplay Pixar rules 8 to 11

Rules for writing anatomy of a screenplay pixar 12 and 13

How to find a name for your characters

How to give emotion to your characters

Here’s how to create your main and secondary characters

How to master the identification with the characters

How to create your sheets of characters

Introduction to the adaptation of a book Parts 1 and 2

The importance of the sequences of the daily life in your scenario

The point-of-view narrative

How long is a short film !

10 steps to write a film


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