Call For Entries: 2015 FiLMLaB Is Open!

The 2015 FiLMLaB Contest kicked off Tuesday night at Portland’s Historic Old Church, when the final contest parameters were announced. In addition to limits on page count (7, not including title page) and characters (4 speaking roles with allowances for extras), three new limitations are in place this season. The thematic prompt from the first two years is gone (which tied into the Willamette Writers Conference theme), as is the 2014 season limitation on location. Instead, we are introducing a character prompt; a line of dialogue and a prop, all of which must be integrated into your short script.

  1. Who is Bug Eyed Bill? Or, perhaps, what is Bug Eyed Bill? SqueezeToyWhen you answer this question you will have met the requirements for the FiLMLaB character prompt. Bug Eyed Bill, whoever, whatever s/he is, must be a component in your story. The character does not have to be central to your plot but must be a part of it in someway; and if it is central to your story then Bug Eyed Bill will be counted as one of your four allowable characters. Also, we must see, at least one, who or what Bug Eyed Bill is. Is it a person, a pet, a doll or a lucky pet rock? We have no idea, but we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
  2. “I understand the urge.” This bit of dialogue is borrowed from our 2014 WWC keynote speaker, Diana Gabaldon‘s latest Outlander book. Who will say it, and in what context? Integrate this into the story rather than tacking it on, and you may just win FiLMLaB.
  3. IMG_4286A lock. Any lock. This prop must be utilized for your script to be complete. Is it a combination lock, a padlock, a deadbolt? Perhaps it a lock on a suitcase, vehicle or diary. What does your lock symbolize, hide, or imply and how does that fill out your story? Use this prop to make your story complete–don’t just leave it in the background.

These are the three points to triangulate your 2015 FiLMLaB script: Character, Dialogue and Prop. The greater the limitations, the greater creativity is required.

FiLMLaB really is an experiment, and as 2012 winner Haley Isleib says, “The experiment is you.”

All scripts must be submitted online by midnight on March 29th.

Ruth Witteried

As Visual Media Director, Ruth Witteried works with all programs based in the visual arts, including screenwriting and film production. As Executive Director of the FiLMLaB competition and project, she produced the 2012 FiLMLaB short, Alis Volat Propriis, winner of the 2013 OIFF Best Comedic Short; 2013′s Coffee.Table.Book.; 2014's Unwelcome Guests, and in 2015, The Return of Bug Eyed Bill. She acted as Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference from 2011-2013 and occasionally teaches screenwriting at Clark College. She currently is Executive Director of Willamette Writers' FiLMLaB. You can follow her on Twitter @sityourassdown1 or Facebook at FiLMLaB. Contact her. (