M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, October 28, 2002  

The second Project Greenlight contest has entered Round Two. By a process of peer review, Eleventy-thirteen squillion screenplay entries have been narrowed down to the Top 250, along with 25 alternates. Those 275 lucky contestants have been notified via e-mail, and the titles of their screenplays are listed on the Project Greenlight website for all to see. 275 are still in the running, and their dreams of having their vision transferred to film, projected on three movie screens nationwide, and summarily dismissed by condescending movie critics are still alive. All of those talented writers deserve our praise and congratulations.

Am I one of them?

To be completely honest, I wish to God I knew.

There are a few supporting facts on both sides of the issue. On the positive side:

1) The title of my screenplay is listed among the ones still in play.
2) I really want to be in the top 250.

Actually, that’s about it.

On the negative side:

1) I didn’t get an e-mail notification that I had advanced to the next round.
2) When I sign in on the site, I get a message that says my screenplay is no longer in the running.
3) I have access to the reviews of my screenplay on the site. I’m not sure that’s supposed to happen until you’re out.
4) Some of the reviews I got were a little harsh. I know it’s tacky to be all “those philistines don’t grasp my vision” when there’s a chance I advanced anyway, so I won’t. I will say that I shudder to think about the reviews that other people got if that’s the case.

So there are two possible explanations:

1) I have a Top 250 screenplay, but some glitch in the PGL system prevented me from getting proper notification. Perhaps you’re thinking that LivePlanet could never make a mistake of such magnitude. I direct your attention to Push, Nevada.
2) Someone else has a Top 250 screenplay that has the same title as mine. I’d consider this pretty unlikely if my screenplay were called something like Painting Jerzy Scynscycsnsyk’s Duodenum a Dusty, Muted Fuschia, but I didn’t have the foresight to come up with a title that unique. And even if I had, I would have gotten tired of typing the name “Jerzy Scynscycsnsyk” in a big hurry. Hell, I’m already tired of typing it. But since my screenplay’s title is fairly succinct and not necessarily specific, it’s possible that someone else’s has the same one.

Right now there’s no way to tell which scenario is the correct one, since the screenplays are listed only by title; no author information is available. The idea is that we’re supposed to review the entries without knowing who wrote them. Putting your name or contestant handle on an entry is grounds for disqualification (and I’m not giving the name of my screenplay here for the same reason). The message boards are down, so I can’t ask any other contestants what they think is going on. I sent an e-mail to the judges, but I haven’t heard back from them yet. They’ve probably been too busy getting ready to give away the Push, Nevada money tonight.

Occam’s Razor suggests that someone else is still in the running with a screenplay that shares the same title as mine. But just to be sure, I’m going to proceed as if I’m still a contestant until somebody specifically tells me otherwise. If that results in my getting escorted off a film set a few months from now, then so be it. It’s worth it just to have heard my own gasp of shock when my title showed up. 275 people are still in the running, and the rest have gone home empty-handed. I’m kind of enjoying being number 276, even if it’s just in my head.

I’m still going to try to win the Push, Nevada prize, though. Just in case. I have to lighten Affleck’s wallet one way or another.

* * *

Girl Detective is back from Italy, and she seems to have overcome whatever technical issues prevented Trash from updating more than once in her absence. Go welcome her home.

posted by M. Giant 3:27 PM 0 comments


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