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

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…

From Script To Short To Feature: Whiplash

By Ruth Witteried | March 2, 2015

My husband and I loved it. His mother hated it. A provocative, at times terrifying piece of filmmaking, you don’t have to like it to recognize the quality of Damien Chazelle‘s Oscar winning film, Whiplash:  BLACK… We hear a HIT. A drumstick against a drum head. Crisp, sharp. Then a second hit. Then a third…

The Living Room

FiLMLaB At The Midpoint

By Ruth Witteried | February 16, 2015

We are halfway through the FiLMLaB short script contest. There’s still plenty of time to submit your seven page script for a chance at the Grand Prize: the filming and production of your story by a professional film crew. In three act structure, the second act is always the longest, and arguably the most tedious…

Don’t Short Your Chances With Film Shorts

By Ruth Witteried | February 9, 2015

By Danny Manus
If you’re using a short film as your calling card, you need to make sure it’s dialing the right number.
Unless you live in Denmark, where making short films can actually be a sustainable career, film shorts are basically made for three reasons; as practice; as inspiration or proof of concept for a larger feature project; or as a sample to show off your talents.