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

FiLMLaB Turns Five

By Ruth Witteried | December 7, 2015

Being five is going to be so awesome! We should have a party. With cake. I suggest Tuesday, January 5th. Our regular hangout, The Old Church, is closed for remodeling, so we’ve booked the Copeland Commons room at TaborSpace instead. We’ll still open the doors at 6:30 and get things going at 7:00, which means I will…

2015 FiLMLaB Winner – The Return of Bug Eyed Bill

By Ruth Witteried | October 4, 2015

2015 Winning Script – “The Robbery” (renamed “The Return of Bug-Eyed Bill”) by J. Mark Scarbrough

Bug Eyed Bill Heads To The Portland Film Festival

By Ruth Witteried | August 31, 2015

Just over three weeks ago, THE RETURN OF BUG EYED BILL (our 2015 FiLMLaB winner) debuted at the 46th Annual Willamette Writers Conference to a packed house and an enthusiastic, inquisitive audience eager to see the winning short script and what we and director Mike Parisien had done with it. But if you missed it in…

Bug Eyed Bill Premiers At The WWC

By Ruth Witteried | July 27, 2015

As Willamette Writers heads into the last two weeks of organizing their annual conference, finalizing details for workshops, classes, pitches and celebrations; FiLMLaB, likewise, is putting the final editorial and post-production touches on winner Mark Scarbrough’s short film, The Robbery. Yes, it is a film now, his short script transformed by director Michael Parisien of…

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.…

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…