Our Script to Screen Competition

Man with film camera

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


Philip A. Anderson: Director

Alyssa Roehrenbeck: Producer 

Amy Souza: Production Coordinator

Eric Macey: Director of Photography  

Efrem Peter: Camera Operator  

Sean Conley: First Assistant Camera

Jasmine Karcey: First Assistant Camera 

Christopher Alley: Gaffer

Ryan Fitz: Key Grip  

Travis Buffington: Grip and Electric Swing

Rory Leonard: Grip

Heidi DuBose: Sound Mixer

Jade Harris: Production Designer/Costumer Designer

Kameron Gates: Makeup Artist 

Jon Dragt: Script Supervisor  

Ashley Blincow: Production Assistant  

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…

From the FiLMLaB Blog

2015 FiLMLaB Finalists!

By Ruth Witteried | May 14, 2015

Oh, boy are we excited! After six weeks and three rounds of judging, we have our 2015 FiLMLaB Finalists! A very competitive set of eight scripts went through our Celebrity Judging panel where they were evaluated based on six questions for a possible 30 points (or 90 cumulative): On which page were you ‘hooked’ by…

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…