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.

FILMLABtv Episodic web series

Introducing: FiLMLaBtv

This year, FiLMLaB is making 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 you with our web series bootcamp.

Submissions are open

When you're ready, we invite you to submit your web series pilot for our script to screen competition. The web series script should be 7 pages maximum, in standard screenplay format, with 1-4 speaking characters. The pilot should have a beginning, middle, and end, and be aimed at a general audience.

After an initial round of judging in Portland, Oregon, 10 finalists will be chosen by our industry professionals in LA. From those ten finalists, a winning web series script will be chosen.
But does not end there.
Those ten finalists will have the unique opportunity to join in a Writer’s Room, led by showrunner FJ Pratt. Pratt has been a writer for numerous series, including Ellen and Frasier, and was the show-runner for Sullivan and Son.
Pratt will guide our ten finalists through a post-table read with trained professionals and a polish of the pilot. Upon completion, and time permitting, the writer's room will collectively write episode #2 and map out the entire first season. Our finalists will then have the opportunity to participate as we take the web series into production.
With the help of a director, producer, and the writing team, the pilot of the web series will be shot in Portland, Oregon. In the end, the winner of the competition will have a produced film to their name, and everyone in the Writer’s Room will walk away with an IMDB credit, and an experience they will never forget. 


With the help of a director, producer, and the writing team, the pilot of the web series will be shot in Portland, Oregon. In the end, the winner of the competition will have a produced film to their name, and everyone in the Writer’s Room will walk away with an IMDB credit, and an experience they will never forget.

General Guidelines

Judging: Scripts will be judged on their creativity and writing, as well as their ability to be successfully produced for FiLMLaBtv, as provided by the Production Guidelines below.

Submissions: All submissions should be written in English, typed in 12-pt Courier, or similar font, and in industry-standard screenplay format. Maximum of 7 pages (as normally formatted on standard 8.5x11 paper). Scripts should be converted to and exported as PDF files. Submissions over 7 pages will be rejected without refund.

Story: Scripts will be judged as self-contained stories, with a beginning, middle and end, but they should also hold the promise of the season to come. All genres accepted. The ideal script will reflect FiLMLaB’s “experimental” nature, and the web series medium. Scripts should be aimed at a general audience. No pornography or graphic violence. FiLMLaB and the Contest judges may disqualify a script from consideration if the subject matter or content of the script is, at the judges’ sole discretion, not suitable for screening at the FiLMLaBtv event at the Willamette Writers Conference.

Production Guidelines

Location: Script must take place predominantly in one, normally available indoor location accessible from within the Portland metro area. Consider that specific, public locations (libraries, schools, etc.) may need to be reproduced or substituted, depending on the availability and cost of required permits. Beware that additional or exotic locations are not disqualifying, but may be negatively considered by FiLMLaBtv and the Contest Judges.

Cast: Maximum of 4 main characters. Additional minor characters or “extras” are acceptable, but beware that scenes requiring a “crowd” may be un-producible.

Effects: Hey, Spielberg, we don’t have access to George Lucas’ studio, so consider that any special effects or makeup designs will be done with cardboard and Maybelline, if at all. Extensive wardrobe requirements may also be a detriment.

Travel: Finalists and winners are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

Eligibility: Members and immediate family of the Willamette Writers Board, Committees, Staff, Program Chairs, Chapter Chairs, and FiLMLaBtv judges and personnel are not eligible to participate. Previous FiLMLaB Grand Prize winners are not eligible to participate.

Legal Information

By entering the FiLMLaBtv Competition, entrants affirm that the submitted script is their own work, and that the entrants have not previously sold, assigned or licensed any rights to the script. Entrants understand their submitted work will be distributed and viewed my multiple judges and FiLMLaBtv production personnel. Scripts will not be returned. Entrants agree to hold Willamette Writers Inc. (a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization), the Willamette Writers Conference, and FiLMLaBtv production team harmless with respect to any claims (including, but not limited to, claims related to intellectual property, defamation, or any other tortuous acts) arising from the acts of any individuals not acting within the scope of their duties to Willamette Writers and its programming.

Legal Information for the Winning Script

Editorial Control: The Entrant agrees that, if entrant’s script is produced into a film or series, the resulting film or series may vary in form or content from the submitted script, owing to artistic choices by the director or to production needs and limitations. Entrant understands and agrees that Willamette Writers, through its production team, will have final artistic and editorial control over the resulting film or web series.

Ownership: In exchange for the expense and effort expended by Willamette Writers, Inc. and the production team in producing the film or web series based on the Entrant’s script, Entrant agrees to fully assign and transfer Entrant’s ownership and copyright interest in the winning script to Willamette Writers, who shall be the owner of the completed film or web series. Entrant understands Willamette Writers may exhibit and promote this Film or web series on an ongoing basis, at film festivals, Willamette Writers events, and the Film may be available for viewing online.

Submit to FiLMLaBtv

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 submit.

From the FiLMLaB Blog

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…

De Parrie-Turner Takes Over Programming Reigns at Portland Film Festival

By Ruth Witteried | April 16, 2015

(reprinted with permission from our friends over at Portland Film Festival) With the departure of former Director of Programming, Don Andrews, to shoot and develop his TV series pilot, “The Winnebago Man” in New Mexico, long-time festival volunteer and “Encore IndieFilm Showcase” Director and Founder, Jason de Parrie-Turner is stepping up to fill the vacancy. De…

FiLMLaB Announces Quarterfinalists

By Ruth Witteried | April 13, 2015

What an interesting season it’s been for FiLMLaB. We mixed things up this year by adding required prompts to the contest for dialogue (“I understand the urge.”), props (a lock of some sort), and perhaps the most interesting, a character prompt for “Bug Eyed Bill.”  It was a real challenge for the writers who took…

2015 FiLMLaB Contest Closed

By Ruth Witteried | March 30, 2015

The deadline for the 2015 FiLMLaB Contest has passed as of midnight last night, and the lab doors are CLOSED. Thank you to every one who submitted a short script. We are honored to read your words and get a glimpse into the magic of your imagination. The month of April will be dedicated to…

FiLMLaB Writing Contest Enters Its Final Week

By Ruth Witteried | March 23, 2015

We have arrived at the final week of the FiLMLaB writing contest. You can still work all week and through the weekend on your seven page short script, but it must be submitted by 11:59 this Sunday night. Plenty of time, really. If you’ve already submitted–congratulations; you are a rock star. You took a risk…

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Or How A Northwest Trio Hooked The Weinsteins

By Ruth Witteried | March 19, 2015

“Nobody knows anything…” William Goldman’s famous quote about Hollywood, may very well apply to the publishing industry as well; especially during this time of digital expansion and the resulting democratization of creative expression. The tools of production and marketing are available to everyone now, not just studios and publishing houses. What the long term net…

Bug Eyed Bill? Blame It On Eric Witchey

By Ruth Witteried | March 16, 2015

If you follow FiLMLab at all, you know that we haven’t been around terribly long–a mere four years, including this one. But this year’s contest is by far the most challenging. In the first two years, we asked that you utilize the annual Willamette Writers Conference theme in your short script (“Fresh Brewed” and “New…

FiLMLaB:The Problem Of “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”

By Jon Dragt | March 9, 2015

I recently met a screenwriter with loads of talent and drive. He’s young and just starting. He wants to get a short film made but he simply doesn’t have the resources. He doesn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on making his film and he doesn’t know people willing to help him get his film…