FiLMLaBtv

Our Script to Screen Competition

FiLMLaB started in 2012 during the Willamette Writers Conference. The lab grew out of a desire to expand upon and promote the growing film industry in Portland, Oregon.

The Script to Screen Competition is the main focus of FiLMLaB. Writers submit a script, which is judged by industry professionals in Portland for the first round, then sent to our judges in LA for the final round. The winning script is then produced by Willamette Writers, and is premiered at the Willamette Writers Conference the first week of August.

Our 2018 Competition

Our 2018 Competition brought a new twist -- FiLMLaBtv! Writers submitted their web series scripts to earn a spot in the Writer's Room with Showrunner FJ Pratt (Ellen, Frasier, Sullivan & Son). The winning script launched into production in 2019.

Alexandra Keister, a Portland screenwriter, won with her script "Stripes." Her story was produced by Alyssa Roerhenbeck, and directed by Phil A. Anderson. It premieres at the Willamette Writers Conference in August.

The 2019 FiLMLaBtv Team

FJ Pratt
Executive Producer FJ Pratt
Alexandra Keister photo
Writer Alexandra Keister
Alyssa Roehrenbeck
Producer Alyssa Roerhenbeck
Competition Coordinator Jon Dragt
Contest Coordinator Jon Dragt
Production Coordinator Amy Souza
Production Coordinator Amy Souza
Screenwriter Randall Jahnson
Consultant Randall Jahnson

The 2019 FiLMLaBtv Cast

Glenn McCumber: "Jacques"
Jessi Walters: "Genevieve"
Raquel Mansell: Marcelle

The 2019 FiLMLaBtv Crew

From the FiLMLaB Blog

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…

What Matters Most in a Short Script

By Ruth Witteried | May 13, 2013

Find out what matters most in a short script with Erik Bork I recently judged five short scripts for the Willamette Writers Conference’s FiLMLaB contest. It took me back to my own challenges in writing a compelling short script years ago in film school.  And I was reminded of the specific elements that some say tend…

FiLMLaB: And the Winner Is……

By Ruth Witteried | May 6, 2013

By Ruth Witteried It is a beautiful May Monday, following a stunning weekend where many of us salmon bellied Portlanders stepped away from our writing to get outside and soak up some free vitamin D. Whether you found yourself fishing on the Columbia, biking along the Willamette or tending your garden . . . .…

Belated FiLMLaB Opportunities

By Ruth Witteried | April 29, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Sometimes opportunity comes knocking exactly when you expect it; other times it just shows up, unexpectedly late, waiting for you to open the door. Such is the case with FiLMLaB. Last week we received an email from a Northwest production company that features short film in many of its projects. They had…

Script-to-Screen Has Another Finalist

By Stefan Feuerherdt | April 22, 2013

OK, so, here’s the thing: during our initial judging this past month, we had an email with some script submissions that did the electronic equivalent of falling behind a file cabinet and getting lost. We moved on while we were trying to sort it out, but then finally found the scripts this past week. We…

Off to the Judges!

By Ruth Witteried | April 15, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Last week four short scripts were forwarded to our celebrity judges for evaluation in the final round of FiLMLaB’s Script-to-Screen competition. In two short weeks we will have a winner and pre-production will begin. What will that look like? Pre-production is everything that has to take place before the cameras begin rolling:…

FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen Announces Finalists

By Stefan Feuerherdt | April 8, 2013

by Stefan Feuerhardt Four scripts have advanced to the final round of this year’s Script-to-Screen Competition. Congratulations and good luck to these finalists (in no particular order):   “Crow and Squirrel,” by Matt Merenda. Drama: A group of strangers in a coffee shop rediscovers an ancient power when the lights go out.     “Stand…

From the FiLMLaB Blog

By Kate Ristau | March 9, 2019

FiLMLaBtv 2019 Writer’s Room The 2019 winning script is “Stripes,” written by Alexandra Keister. Keister, an executive assistant and screenwriter, has written two feature-length screenplays, both romantic comedies, and a handful of short screenplays that range from dark sci-fi to the classically uplifting my-dog-is-dead story. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2012 with a BA…

Member News: Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays

By Kate Ristau | October 10, 2018

Mary Andonian & David Poulshock launch ISA Third Thursdays Members Mary and David are launching the local chapter of the International Screenwriters Association(ISA). It’s a monthly mixer for screenwriters on Third Thursdays, where you can mingle with fellow screenwriters, meet film and television industry professionals, and win door prizes — including a free Willamette Writer’s…

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes

By Willamette Writers | July 11, 2018

Experts Weigh In: 10 Crucial Screenwriting Mistakes Lee Jessup, a member of our screenwriting faculty at the upcoming Willamette Writer’s Conference and the author of Breaking In: Tales from the Screenwriting Trenches and Getting It Write: An Insider’s Guide To A Screenwriting Career shares how to avoid ten screenwriting mistakes. You can find this post and others…

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending!

By Willamette Writers | July 11, 2018

Attend FiLMLaB.tv workshops and get all the value without even attending! Well, not really. Eventually you’ll have to “attend.” But thanks to space-age technology, Willamette Writers is presenting two valuable workshops online that you will be able to access 24/7 AND multiple times right up until the conference. That means that even if you’re not…

Randall Jahnson Screenwriting workshop

Randall Jahnson and FiLMLaB Screenwriting Workshop

By Willamette Writers | February 6, 2018

Screenwriting Workshop Willamette Writers and FiLMLaB invite you to join us for an online screenwriting workshop with Randall Jahnson. Details Date: Saturday, April 21st Time: 12-2PM Cost: Free Open to the public This is an online workshop Click here to register. About Randall Jahnson Randall Jahnson has written more than 20 feature-length screenplays. Not all…

FiLMLaB Adds Showrunner for its Web Series Project: FiLMLaB.tv

By Willamette Writers | November 18, 2017

Willamette Writers and FiLMLaB are thrilled to announce that veteran network television writer and producer F.J. Pratt has agreed to helm this year’s program, an Episodic Storytelling LaB: FiLMLaB.tv! About FiLMLaB.tv 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,”…

FiLMLaB Screening at McMinnville Short Film Festival on Saturday, October 21st

By Willamette Writers | October 15, 2017

The FilmLab staff has had a great summer, planning for our 2017-2018 contest (details to come!) and performing various ritualized rain dances in a battle against the heat. Now that the weather has cooled down (you’re welcome!), prime moving watching season is upon us. We wanted to let you know our latest film, INTERCEPT, written…

Join FiLMLaB At Canby Film Fest!

By Ruth Witteried | October 10, 2016

Do you ever wonder what our FiLMLaB alums have been up to, the writers, directors and actors? Well, one of them, 2014 winning writer Jon Dragt, has been busy in Canby, Oregon, volunteering on the board of directors for the Canby Public Library Foundation. A Willamette Writers member, Jon is helping to organize programs for…

FiLMLaB Heads To The Portland Film Festival

By Ruth Witteried | August 29, 2016

In case you missed it, FiLMLaB debuted its 2016 short film, INTERCEPT, at the Willamette Writers Conference earlier this month. We were pleased to have good turn out and an enthusiastic Q & A with the audience. But if you couldn’t make it to the debut, fear not, because this week FiLMLaB heads to the…

FiLMLaB 2016 At The WWC!

By Ruth Witteried | August 1, 2016

It’s nearly that time of year; half-way through summer when the seeds you sowed last spring are starting to bear fruit. Tomatoes are blushing, cucumbers are ready for pickling and green beans are weighing down the trellis. Or maybe you were sowing a different kind of seed? The kind that needs a fertile mind in…