Visual Media

Visual Media for writers is one of Willamette Writers’ most exciting programs

Visual Media can help you in marketing your work in an increasingly visual world.

It encompasses all of the film, television arts, as well as all of the potential that the web holds. That includes useful information about webisodes, book trailers, and social media advice on how to use visual information in your posts and updates.

We’ll be developing our visual media program more throughout the coming months. For now, we offer a screenwriting contest for the short screenplay writer in our FiLMLaB Script-to-Screen Competition, which provides the opportunity to have your short script produced. We also provide the Kay Snow Writing Contest feature length screenplay award, and Cynthia Whitcomb’s Screenwriting workshop twice a year.

FiLMLaB: An Experiment in Screenwriting

Initially a replacement for Actors Lab at the Willamette Writers Conference, FiLMLaB grew out of a desire to expand screenwriting curriculum and promote the growing film industry in Portland, Oregon.

The FiLMLaB Competition‘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. It is in the process of collaboration, the exchange of multiple artistic visions for the same story that the screenwriter has the greatest opportunity for creative and professional growth.

We recognize that not every screenwriter wishes to become a filmmaker, but all want their scripts produced. A produced script not only legitimizes the writer with an IMDb credit, it serves as a calling card and can create further opportunities for recognition via film festivals. For example, Haley Isleib’s 2012 winning script, Alis Volat Propriis, was the first film out of the FiLMLaBoratory and took home the prize for Best Comedic Short at the 2013 Oregon Independent Film Festival and was a featured film at the Portland Film Festival and Mt. Hood Film Festival. Willamette Writers used the proceeds from the FiLMLaB Competition to sponsor and produce the film, utilizing local talents Christopher Alley, Randall Jahnson and Katie Michels to direct and star.

Christopher Alley and his team at Ampersand Productions returned in 2013 to direct and co-produce Barbara Thomas’s winning script, Inspiration Coffee, Table, Book. Starring Brynn Baron and Greg Alexander, it is a silent film with a whole new set of challenges.

Martin Vavra at Galaxy Sailor Productions directed the 2014 winning script, Unwelcome Guests by Jon Dragt.

While FiLMLaB is still evolving, it has been met with enthusiasm from writers around the world, eager to participate in our unique experiment.

Because at FiLMLaB, the experiment is you.

  11 comments for “Visual Media

  1. Sean Topping
    June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I am interested in submitting the short film I completed this Spring to the Film Competition – are submissions open?


    • WW_Film
      June 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Hi, Sean.
      So sorry to have taken so long to get back to you, but we didn’t do a short film contest this year, choosing to focus on the FiLMLaB Short Screenplay contest instead. Best of luck! – Ruth

  2. Amy
    January 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Can we submit the same script to the FILMLaB and the Kay Snow writing contest?


    • Amy
      January 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Never mind! I see that there is no longer a screenwriting category in the Kay Snow Awards. 🙂

      • January 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

        Hi Amy,

        Yep! We got rid of the Kay Snow Screenwriting category because the Script to Screen Competition was doing so well (and is such a great opportunity!)

        Best of luck with your script and thank you for the question!


  3. January 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I’m working on my script but am curious if the 7 pages includes a page for the character list or a title page. I’m used to having these elements in a script, but not if that means I’ll have to sacrifice a page or two of valuable dialogue, etc.

    Thanks for this neat opportunity!

    • January 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Hobie!

      No, the seven pages doesn’t include the title page or a character list.

      Thanks for your question and for being so thorough with your script! We’re looking forward to reading it!


  4. January 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm


    I have two kind of nit picky questions:

    1-The guidelines say that the story should unfold in one “principal” location. Does that mean an allowance would be made for say one scene outdoors, away from the house, or should I assume the entire story must be shot only at the house?

    2-By “four featured characters” do you mean, literally only four characters or only four characters that have speaking roles? For instance, if a delivery guy is walking away from the house at the opening of a scene, but doesn’t say anything, would he count?


    • January 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Lemia,

      I’ll have to check with our production team to make sure, but I believe going someplace else (in other words, getting in a car and moving equipment, relocating the cast and crew, etc.) isn’t recommended. It’s simply too expensive. If it’s possible to film the scene outside at the house itself (there’s a patio, garden, and driveway, for example), then that would work. Does that answer your question?

      And yes! It’s absolutely possible to have non-speaking roles that don’t include your four featured characters.

      I hope that helps, and thank you! Let me know if you have any other questions!


  5. Amy
    January 9, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Can we submit more than one short to the 2015 FilmLAB competition?

    Thanks, Amy

    • Ruth Witteried
      January 10, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Thanks for asking, Amy.

      You can submit as many as you like as long as they are registered separately. Good luck and happy writing!

Comments are closed.