Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Strictly Sundance--No Finalists Here


This email from Sundance says: "Congratulations! Your submission [name of screenplay] has been chosen by our selection committee for the next round of the review process. Please send your completed script to the Sundance Institute Office, etc."

The small print at the bottom says: "There is not an official name/designation to this part of the application process. We see it strictly as the next step. We do not give it the title of Second or Final round, Finalist, or Semi-Finalist."

I guess they don't want you to jump the gun and go patting yourself on the back or prematurely calling yourself something impressive. As you may have guessed, my script wasn't chosen. (I did receive a very nice rejection, but it's too detailed to post, since now I understand that I have to protect myself from getting blacklisted from the movie industry, as well as the literary world.)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did the Sundance screenplay lab rejections come already? I haven't gotten mine yet... (I certainly haven't gotten an acceptance, either.)

Anonymous said...

eh, it wouldn't be hard to figure out who you are if they really wanted to. most editors keep copies of the rejection letters they send out on their computer, and even though you black out your name, novel name, and dates, it's still very easy to run a harddrive search for documents with specific phrases they might have used while rejecting you. all they have to do is run a search, find the matching letter, and voila.

Writer, Rejected said...

First Anonymous: Sorry to scare you. This is an old Sundance rejection from a long time ago and has no bearing on this year's lab decisions.

Second Anonymous: Thanks for telling everyone *exactly* how it can be done. If I go down, you're going with me. (Just kidding.) I really don't think anyone cares that much. Besides, I think most of the phrases they use in my letters are ones they use pretty regularly for a lot of writers.

Anonymous said...

You write MOVIES??? You been holding out on us.

Edward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward said...

Interesting blog, but I'd be far more interested in reading some of your successes than your failures. You say you're published and award-winning. Well then, by God, let's have a read. Is your work on Amazon.com?

http://edward-gordon.blogspt.com

Anonymous said...

This Sundance thing makes guessing your ID easier...you wrote an enviro short story - your pic was there + mention of the screenplay you've sold + your 4? Websites. Am I warm?

Writer, Rejected said...

Oooooh, you guys! I almost fell for your tricks and gave myself away. Sorry, but I'm adopting a "no comment" policy on the topic. Thanks for reading the blog, though. Hope you'll come back.

Anonymous said...

Templates exist because it's not time efficient to find a unique way of saying, "This work is not up to par, and we don't think people will buy it" for every single decline letter. Unless writers prefer that kind of honesty. Of course, it would still be a template.

Anonymous said...

you scared me.. i thought this was from this years... :|

Mike Mohan said...

Mike Mohan here-- I wrote that very email. I'm really happy to chat with anyone on this site if they have specific questions about Sundance, or our processes. I'm serious-- by all means just call me at 310-360-1981 or email me at mike_mohan@sundance.org. There are some days where we're really busy in the office, but I try to get back to everyone even if it's not the same day they called.

There are several really good reasons why we don't give an official term like "finalist" to applicants who are selected to submit their entire script... the first of which is that we don't want to be seen as some sort of contest. Our applicants are applying to attend a screenwriting workshop, not win an award or some prize. But there are other reasons as well, and I'm more than happy to chat with anyone about it-- and also hear what you have to say. Maybe there are ways we can do this differently, and I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Cheers,
Mike