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

Quiet on the Set!

By Jenny Schrader | July 14, 2014

I was on the set yesterday of FiLMLaB’s “Unwelcome Guests” by Jon Dragt. It was my first FiLMLaB film set—actually, my first film set ever, and it was amazing. Fantastic. Fun! Quite honestly? I loved it. Granted, I wasn’t hauling any equipment, dealing with the drastic changes in sunlight, the rain, stressing over prop malfunctions…

Serendipity and Synchronicity at FiLMLaB 2014

By Jon Dragt | June 23, 2014

How has the FiLMLaB 2014 experience been so far? The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of serendipity and synchronicity. One of the first things I was told at the first production meeting was that now that I’d won the contest, we can pretty much do whatever we want to make as good a…

FiLMLaB Gets FiLMLaB-ier

By Ruth Witteried | June 16, 2014

It was with great sadness that I stepped down from the FiLMLaB leadership last September. I preferred to stay, but every time I penciled it out on paper, I just couldn’t see how I would manage a home remodel, attend to ailing parents and give FiLMLaB the attention it needs and deserves. It is with…

Welcome 2014 Judges!

By Ruth Witteried | March 31, 2014

Our Hollywood Judges for the 2014 FiLMLaB Competition: TAI DUNCAN PRESIDENT OF PRODUCTION ZERO GRAVITY MANAGEMENT BIO: As President of Production, Tai oversees all aspects of development, production and distribution of Zero Gravity produced projects in both the independent and studio worlds for film and all television. While Senior Vice President of Development and Production…

Script to Screen 2014 Winner Announced!

By Ruth Witteried | March 31, 2014

Congratulations to our top five finalists in Willamette Writers’ 2014 FiMLaB competition! As a recap, our finalists are: BEK by Elisa Graybill MIDNIGHT KISS by Xavier Chavez SIX MONTHS OF WONDER WOMAN by Susan Fleming TIME PIECE by Michael Meyers UNWELCOME GUESTS by Jon Dragt Our Hollywood judges read and evaluated each script and chose…

Top Five Finalists for 2014 FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | March 24, 2014

While we wait to find out who our Grand Prize Winner will be for the 2014 Willamette Writers FiLMLaB competition, you might be interested in learning more about our top five finalists:   Xavier Chavez is a screenwriter that has been active in a local screenwriters’ group and volunteering with the Willamette Writers’ Conference. He is experimenting…


By Ruth Witteried | March 23, 2014

Luke Ryan, a perennial favorite at the Willamette Writers Conference is now CEO. Check it out:   Fortunately for us, Luke loves Willamette Writers and will once again be joining us this August at the Doubletree Hotel. Is your project right for The Alchemists? Find out at the conference!

FilmLab Finalists Chosen

By Ruth Witteried | March 17, 2014

Congratulations to all who submitted their short scripts into the 2014 Willamette Writers FiLMLaB Competition! Our first round judges had their work cut out for them! But in the end, they were able to narrow it down to these top five finalists (in alphabetical order): BEK by Elisa Graybill MIDNIGHT KISS by Xavier Chavez SIX MONTHS OF WONDER WOMAN…

Film Track Crew Pulls into Portland’s Lloyd Center Station

By Jenny Schrader | March 15, 2014

Welcome to all who are here to explore their options in film, whether you want to take film classes from some of the best talent Hollywood has to offer, or are gearing up to pitch to LA executives who can turn your script into a movie. We have it all at the 2014 Willamette Writers…

FiLMLaB Update

By Ruth Witteried | March 15, 2014

Monday we’ll make our announcement with the names of the TOP FIVE FINALISTS. Our LA judges will read and rank these top five scripts. Film Chair Mary Andonian will personally contact winners to let them know when they will hear from Film Production Coordinator Jackie Blain (who will provide production notes) and Ampersand Productions. (Director Christopher…

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…