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

WW FiLMLaB – Competition Now Open

By Ruth Witteried | November 1, 2014

Get your script made into a movie! FiLMLaB’s primary purpose is to provide the winning screenwriter with real world experience in the business of writing for film, including the unique opportunity to rewrite and collaborate with industry professionals as their short script is transformed into a short film. Check out this year’s short screenwriting Competition.

Happy Halloween From FiLMLaB!

By Ruth Witteried | October 31, 2014

Are your jack o’lanterns carved? Is your costume complete and ready to wear? Have you reassembled your lawn displays of tombstones, witches, skeletons and monsters that last week’s windstorm battered about? Then you are ready for National Novel Writing Month! Halloween is the last night to pretend you’re not a writer before the official start…

How to Build a Better FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | October 20, 2014

As we begin planning for a fourth season of FiLMLaB in 2015, it is important to reassess what our purpose is; why we ever thought this was a good idea and how we can do better. When I first signed on as Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference in 2011, I spoke to Conference…

Welcome – Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015

By Jenny Schrader | October 13, 2014

Willamette Writers FiLMLaB 2015 will be beginning its fourth annual Script-to-Screen Competition soon. In preparation, we had a brainstorming session yesterday that included myself, Ruth Witteried (last year’s FiLMLaB chair), Stefan Feuerherdt (last year’s conference chair), Martin Vavra and Alyssa Roehrenbeck (Director and Assistant Director of this year’s film, Unwelcome Guests), and the always amusing and insightful…

A FiLMLaB Summer of Rainbows and Unicorns: Gage, and More…

By Alyssa Roehrenbeck | October 6, 2014

It was a biz-ay summer! (Yes, that is the way talk, so shove it if ya’ll don’t like it – did I mention I’m from Ohio?) The summer was filled with chance little rainbows and unicorns, and as a Producer – that makes my job just a bit more magical. I am thrilled that a…

The Grand Experiment: Experience from the FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | August 25, 2014

  There are very few jobs in the world where, when you walk into a room, anyone can say they do without some sort of validation. If you walk into a party, and someone asks if you are a doctor or a police officer or a car mechanic, these titles will instigate follow up questions…

FiLMLaB Celebrates Portland Film Festival

By Ruth Witteried | August 18, 2014

Welcome writers, screenwriters and film lovers of all stripes to the final week before the Portland Film Festival kickoff. There is still plenty of time to review the seven day schedule of films, classes and music, and tailor an experience that uniquely fits where you are as a writer/filmmaker right now. Start every day with…

2014 FiLMLaB: Special Thanks

By Ruth Witteried | August 11, 2014

Are you recovered from the Willamette Writers Conference? Recovered is not the right word, at least not for attendees. Attendees usually finish the three day conference, tired, but elated, full of creative energy and invigorating possibility. If you are a conference organizer or volunteer, recovered is exactly the right word. This year was a particular…

The ‘Guests’ of FiLMLaB’s “Unwelcome Guests”

By Ruth Witteried | July 28, 2014

This is it. The final few days before the FiLMLaB premier of 2014’s winning short, Unwelcome Guests, at the Willamette Writers Conference. If you weren’t aware, the conference has moved this year, from our long time post at the Airport Sheraton, to the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel. WW President, Jenny Schrader gave me the grand…

The Benefits of Being A Ghost: A Writer On Set At FiLMLaB

By Jon Dragt | July 21, 2014

Being the screenwriter on set is fun as long as you know what you’re in for. If this was a Mozart symphony production, the screenwriter would be the composer and the director would be the conductor. It’s up to the conductor to translate Mozart’s scribbles on paper into music for the ears, music created by…

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 workshops and get all the value without even attending!

By Willamette Writers | July 11, 2018

Attend 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:

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:! About 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…