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

Diary of a Slamdance Festival Juror

By Ruth Witteried | February 5, 2015

by Josh Leake Portland Film Festival’s Josh Leake shares his experience as a 2015 Slamdance Juror. Originally posted via Indiewire, it is shared here with the permission of the author. To learn more about Josh, see his bio at the bottom of the page. Founded by a group of friends in 1995, Slamdance is one…

Author, Producer Bill Johnson on Short Scripts

By Ruth Witteried | February 2, 2015

(This blog is being reposted courtesy of the author. Originally titled, Revelation, Story, and Plot in a Script for a Film Short, it appeared in a June 2013 FiLMLaB column. It is worth reviewing, along with Bill’s short video discussing short scripts, common errors inexperienced screenwriters make, and the benefits for writers in going through a…

InkTip Signs On As FiLMLaB Sponsor

By Ruth Witteried | January 26, 2015

If you’re an aspiring screenwriter you may have heard of Ink Tip, the online resource where writers can connect their script with industry professionals. If you haven’t, then stay with me, because Willamette Writers is very happy to announce that InkTip has signed on as a sponsor for the 2015 FiLMLaB Contest! InkTip offers writers…

Randall Jahnson Talks Short Scripts

By Ruth Witteried | January 19, 2015

For those of you who couldn’t join us for the workshop, Randall has provided a few notes for you to think about as you work on your short script. Distill your story down to the essentials – the salient moment/scene Make sure your story has conflict Grab your audience’s attention ASAP – that usually means…

Call For Entries: 2015 FiLMLaB Is Open!

By Ruth Witteried | January 12, 2015

The 2015 FiLMLaB Contest kicked off Tuesday night at Portland’s Historic Old Church, when the final contest parameters were announced. In addition to limits on page count (7, not including title page) and characters (4 speaking roles with allowances for extras), three new limitations are in place this season. The thematic prompt from the first…

Governor’s Film Award Recap

By Ruth Witteried | January 9, 2015

(This article is shared by the author, our good friend Josh Leake at Portland Film Festival. For more about Josh, see his bio at the end of his article) The Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television, more commonly known as Oregon Film, hosted its annual film awards on Tuesday, January 6th. Hosted in a…

Introducing Ruth Witteried

By Jenny Schrader | January 4, 2015

Bonus? This video helps you to learn what an amazing person Ruth Witteried is. She’s incredibly enthusiastic about screenwriting and FiLMLaB. She updates the FiLMLaB website every week with new, valuable information, while still finding top-notch judges, directors, and crew for the project. She’s been involved and active from the beginning in order to make sure that the…

Packing Up The Old Year-Hello New Year

By Ruth Witteried | December 29, 2014

I love this time of year; the week between Christmas and New Years. It’s so perfectly situated for reflection as we take down the tree, stow the candles and box up the ornaments–we are literally packing up the old year to prepare for the new. A fresh new year to receive dreams, ambitions, potential and…

Happy Holidays From WW FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | December 22, 2014

Willamette Writers is a diverse community of writers. Screenwriters, poets, novelists, playwrights, memoirists  . . . all genres, all writers are welcome. We have different levels of accomplishment, expertise and success, but we all share one thing in common: the celebration of the written word. During these final days of Chanukah and Christmas, our hope…

The Ten Days of (FiLMLaB) Christmas

By Ruth Witteried | December 15, 2014

Trying to stay focused and on task during the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas (five if you include New Year’s) can be a real challenge. If you established writing goals on January 1, you are rapidly running out of time to complete them and the knowledge that time is slipping away while you are…