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

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…

FiLMLaB Semi-Finalists Announced!

By Ruth Witteried | April 1, 2013

by Ruth Witteried Happy Monday, Happy April and Happy Day to our FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen Semi-Finalists! Willamette Writers are thrilled to announce the advancement of the following writers and their winning scripts to the Semi-Final round of judging: Dinner with Netanyahu, written by, Stacy Jo Coffey Inspiration, written by, Barbara Thomas Java Rush, written by, Jennifer Kaczmarek…

Welcome Judges!

By Ruth Witteried | March 25, 2013

FiLMLaB is honored to announce our finalist judges for the 2013 Script-to-Screen Contest:   Erik Bork is best known for his Emmy and Golden Globe-winning work as a writer-producer on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon.  He has sold pitches, written pilots and screenplays on assignment for Universal Pictures,…

Script-to-Screen Deadline Arrives

By Stefan Feuerherdt | March 18, 2013

I had the chance to hang out at the Willamette Writers House in West Linn Friday Night, where the doors were open, post-office-on-tax-day style.  Snacks and beverages and short films, including last year’s Script-to-Screen winner, “Alis Volat Propriis,” were on hand.   What did I learn?  Well, the vast majority of writers out there have figured…

Hit Send Before Midnight!

By Ruth Witteried | March 14, 2013

by Haley Isleib Hey there! There’s still time to enter this year’s FiLMLaB Script-to-Film contest. Congrats to all who have already entered this year’s FiLMLaB contest. Reach around right now and pat yourself on the back. You rock! To all those who haven’t entered yet–there’s still time! I sent in my script (via email) last year at 11:50pm…