At FiLMLaB, the experiment is you!

Tuesday night. You're in your pajamas, streaming the latest season of MASTER OF NONE. Or GILMORE GIRLS. Or--no judgement--POWER RANGERS: TURBO. About four episodes in, the "Keep Watching" box pops up. If it has been one of those weeks, click the button.

But if you've ever wondered what it is like being on the end of a television show, then this might be your year.

FiLMLaB, Willamette Writers Script to Screen Contest, is heading into its sixth year, and this year we're making some changes.


At FiLMLaB the winner is awarded the ultimate prize: getting their script made into a professional-quality film. But this year, inspired by our desire to see more winners involved in the final product (and by our own Netflix binges), we decided to take the contest to the next level.

This year, FiLMLaB is going to make a pilot for an episodic web series.

Don't know a thing about writing for TV? Don't have an idea for a show? We will help with that. The program will include a "Writing for Television 101" bootcamp, then we'll open for submissions and will select a winner and a writers room.

The winner will get the opportunity to workshop their own webisode concept into a pilot. The runner ups will work together with the winner in a "writer's room" led by a real-life, industry show runner to polish and focus the concept. Together, they will write the final pilot that will be shot by FiLMLaB.

Meet Showrunner F.J. Pratt

F.J. Pratt has been a television comedy writer for twenty-five years, starting on the writing staff for network shows including “Frasier,” which won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy; “Ellen,” the “coming out” season; and ABC’s “Less Than Perfect.” For three years, he was the Executive Producer/Showrunner of “Sullivan & Son” on TBS. F.J. has developed shows for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, Dreamworks, Imagine Entertainment, and Disney. For the past five years, F.J. has been an adjunct professor at the John Wells Division of Writing for the Screen & Television at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and now F.J. has agreed to lend his talents to become FiLMLaB’s first “showrunner.”

Win and F.J. will coach you to a final product.

Announcing Kickoff Workshop of with Randall Jahnson.

The Kickoff Workshop of will be online and FREE. Spots are limited, so sign up now.


So, go ahead. Watch that next "Shadow Rangers" episode. But if you're ready to bring your own TV vision to life, click here to get involved.

Complete rules and guidelines for FiLMLaB are coming soon. Join us on our Facebook page to stay up-to-date.

From the FiLMLaB Blog

Inspiration Premiers This Week!

By Ruth Witteried | July 29, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Welcome to your final Monday before the 2013 Willamette Writers Conference! Not only are we looking forward to the FiLMLaB Premier of INSPIRATION, our winning Script-to-Screen short script written by Barbara Thomas and produced by Willamette Writers; we are looking forward to the infectious excitement and enthusiasm inherent in the gathering of…

We Made a Hat!

By Ruth Witteried | July 22, 2013

When I got the call back in May that my script had won the FiLMLaB competition, I was ecstatic. FiLMLaB offers what I consider the most rewarding prize possible; the opportunity to put one’s work in front of an audience. The film that will be shown next month in Portland though, isn’t the film I…

New This Year At The Conference

By Ruth Witteried | July 15, 2013

by Ruth Witteried With no new FiLMLaB updates to report I’m going to take this opportunity to write about what’s new at  the upcoming Willamette Writers Conference, August 1-4 at the Airport Sheraton Hotel. First off, notice I refer to four days of conference, not the traditional three. That is because things are happening on…


By Randall Jahnson | July 8, 2013

by Randall Jahnson I felt like I was back in L.A. It was a hot Friday afternoon and here I was stuck on a freeway, inching along at 15 miles per with every other moron who was Living the Dream.  The sun blazed down on my aging SUV with its inefficient air conditioner blasting away. …

Meet the Talent

By Ruth Witteried | July 1, 2013

by Ruth Witteried It was with great excitement I received my Call Sheet from Ampersand Productions Assistant Director, Anthony Forsyth last week, sent to all cast and crew involved in the FiLMLaB shoot . As an Executive Producer, I would undoubtedly be one of the least useful people on the set, but I was going to try my…

In Case of Flood: Climb Platform(s)

By Ruth Witteried | June 24, 2013

by Ruth Witteried   I met with Luke Ryan in February of this year at his Disruption Entertainment office on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. A stalwart supporter of Willamette Writers since his days as an MGM executive, Luke has been a consistent presence at our conference teaching classes, guiding nervous writers through the…

Revelation, Story, and Plot in a Script for a Film Short

By Ruth Witteried | June 17, 2013

by Bill Johnson I teach that a story creates movement and the movement transports an audience. This dynamic holds whether the story is a novel, screenplay, play, short story, or short script. The language used to talk about stories often conveys movement: story arc, hero’s journey, plot points. Stories that fail to establish they are moving…

Hollywood Drive & Talk or: Seth Jaret Gets Real

By Ruth Witteried | June 10, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Some days it’s hard to know which way is forward. In this changing landscape of film and publishing, there is no single road to success. Instead, there are several; usually slow and tedious like the I-5 bridge at rush hour. If you’re lucky enough to survive the slog with your dreams intact and…

A Lesson In Production

By Ruth Witteried | June 3, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Last week, Conference Chair and executive producer Stefan Feuerherdt and I “took a meeting” with director Chris Alley and his assistant director, Anthony Forsyth. We met at Palio’s over coffee and pie to discuss pre-production and story elements. Our winning writer, Barbara Thomas, many states away, was unable to join us as…

Pre-Production Begins on “Inspiration”

By Ruth Witteried | May 20, 2013

 By Ruth Witteried FiLMLaB has begun pre-production on Barbara Thomas’s winning short, INSPIRATION. Director Christopher Alley is working out the final script details with the writer and executive producers; scouting locations for the shoot, casting the roles and lining up a professional crew. To give you a sense of scope, let’s take a look at…