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

The Cast Of 2015 FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | June 29, 2015

The cast of 2015 FiLMLaB assembled on Sunday, June 28, to breath life into Mark Scarbrough’s winning script, The Robbery. After months of work planning, promoting and executing the Willamette Writers annual FiLMLaB Contest, I got to sit on my ass and watch other people work as they combined their many talents to bring Mark’s…

FiLMLaB Announces 2015 Director

By Ruth Witteried | June 22, 2015

Every year as the FiLMLaB Contest wraps up in May we have to pivot quickly and get busy with preproduction; or more accurately, find a director and production team to do it for us. As a nonprofit, Willamette Writers is not in the business of making films, but we can, through FiLMLaB, help aspiring screenwriters…

How to Lose FiLMLaB and Win BlueCat: An Interview with Susan Fleming

By Ruth Witteried | June 5, 2015

As the 2014 Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference, I was also in charge of overseeing the FiLMLaB competition. Round after round of judging took place until five scripts elevated to the coveted “finalists” stage. Those five finalist scripts were sent to Hollywood for our celebrity judge’s review. Susan Fleming’s SIX MONTHS OF WONDER…

FiLMLaB Has A Winner!

By Ruth Witteried | May 25, 2015

After seven weeks, four rounds of judging and one rewrite, our 2015 experiment in writing has come to a conclusion: FiLMLaB has a winner! It was not an easy task for the Producers Circle who met last week to consider and debate the pros and cons of each finalist’s script. One script, however, to rose…

Navigating the Notes

By Randall Jahnson | May 21, 2015

Getting notes on your screenplay is never fun. Thirty years of writing scripts for studios, producers, and directors has taught me that. The reason is simple: They only address what’s wrong with your work. Rarely do they applaud what you’ve done right. In fact, they can be so devoid of praise that by the time…

Welcome To The Producers Circle

By Ruth Witteried | May 18, 2015

If you caught our blog last Thursday, then you know we gave our five finalists one last task: to rewrite their short script. With notes they received from the Celebrity Judges, and with FiLMLaB mentor Randall Jahnson to guide them, they were given five days to improve their scripts, with a deadline of midnight tonight.…

2015 FiLMLaB Finalists!

By Ruth Witteried | May 14, 2015

Oh, boy are we excited! After six weeks and three rounds of judging, we have our 2015 FiLMLaB Finalists! A very competitive set of eight scripts went through our Celebrity Judging panel where they were evaluated based on six questions for a possible 30 points (or 90 cumulative): On which page were you ‘hooked’ by…

Final Draft Signs On As Official FiLMLaB Sponsor!

By Ruth Witteried | May 11, 2015

Willamette Writers is excited to announce that screenwriting software giant, Final Draft, has signed on as an official sponsor for the 2015 FiLMLaB Contest!  As such, all eight of our semifinalists have each won a gift certificate for a free downloadable version of Final Draft 9, valued at $250! “For over twenty years now, Final…

FiLMLaB Reveals 2015 Celebrity Judges

By Ruth Witteried | May 4, 2015

Every year, FiLMLaB solicits film professionals to assist us in determining the Grand Prize winner of our short script writing contest. It changes from year to year, but usually we try to coordinate with the Willamette Writers Conference and pull from their list of Film Consultants: producers, managers, agents and creative executives brought up from…

FiLMLaB 2015 Semifinalists Announced!

By Ruth Witteried | April 27, 2015

Bug Eyed Bill has tested a lot of writers in the 2015 FiLMLaB Contest. Integrating that character prompt into a seven page script has made the already difficult task of short form writing even more difficult. In the following eight scripts we see him as a blind art critic, a short order alien cook, a…