Here at The Tracking Board, it’s our mission to support and encourage up-and-coming writers who are looking for avenues to showcase their unique voices. We are constantly searching for ways to celebrate and acknowledge the talented and passionate screenwriters who are working their way to the top.
To that end, we’re pleased to present the latest ISA Spotlight – Hollywood.
Table Read My Screenplay is a screenwriting contest sponsored by the International Screenwriters’ Association, The Tracking Board, and Hart Chart. The draw of this contest is that the winning screenplay(s) will be workshopped by an established director and table-read by professional actors. The contest is featured in cities such as Park City, London, and Austin, but it reaches writers all over the world.
Grand Prize Winner
Elaine Loh – STRINGER
Synopsis: Elorie Lin is today‘s new woman: powerful, complex, and yet, still vulnerable at times. She thrives in the male-dominated field of TV news stringing. Stringers prowl the cities at night, racing to accident and crime scenes hoping to capture the most exciting and tragic moments of people’s lives, in an effort to sell the coverage to local and national news affiliates. For stringers, every second counts – speed limits, safety, and even sometimes the law be damned. That professional lifestyle carries over to Elorie’s personal life as well. She’s often angry and makes questionable sexual choices, but she has strong, if complicated, ties to her family and friends. In the pilot, we strap in with her and get a front row seat into the adrenaline filled world of stringers. The incidents we crane our necks to catch glimpses of are Elorie’s corner office. Not only must Elorie learn to deal with her sister’s disapproval of involving their mother in her nightly exploits, but she must also combat competition from other stringers as she tries to make a living – and stay alive – in this dangerous underworld of journalism.
Bio: Elaine Loh is a writer/director who has had films screen at Academy-qualifying festivals, along with placing in competitions including NBCUniversal/YOMYOMF’s Interpretations contest and New Filmmakers LA (winning the Audience Vote and the Grand Prize, a $60k value). Elaine has had scripts place in Final Draft Big Break (Top Ten), PAGE Awards, Austin Film Festival, Blue Cat, Scriptapalooza, and ISA’s Fast Track (Top 50) and ISA’s Table Read My Screenplay (Grand Prize winner). On a personal note, Elaine was born in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan until the age of 12, and then moved to Massachusetts. She does not speak any Chinese, has been told that she holds chopsticks incorrectly, and loves Wendy’s junior bacon cheeseburgers. Oh, to be an Asian American conundrum!
What’s next for Elaine: Elaine is currently directing an indie episodic series, “DOXXED”, about a woman who must deal with the ramifications of going viral after making a (shall we say, slightly racist?) joke on social media. Featuring Jerrika Hinton, Josh Kelly, Clyde Kusatsu, Eve Gordon, Tim Chiou, and Patrick Fabian. She also has a short film about the aftermath of a school shooting that will make its festival premiere next month.
Hollywood Writer Award
Annika Pampel – ODIUM
Synopsis: Three years have passed since Mara’s son, Charlie, died by suicide. Now Mara and her husband, Jake, attempt to salvage their broken marriage at their once loved Christmas vacation home, a glass house near Sequoia National Park. The house is not only full of memories and guilt but also with visions of Charlie, who appears to Mara like a conscience and whom she connects with more than her own husband. In two timelines, we unravel the complicated relationships Mara has with Jake and Charlie, as she tries to understand what really happened those short three years ago when a neighbor girl disappeared without a trace. Mara, a criminal psychiatrist, specializing in teen psychopathy, believes Charlie had something to do with it. A new pregnancy gives Jake hope that they may have a chance at a fresh start. However, the possibility of Charlie’s psychopathy being a hereditary condition passed down from herself, is a big burden on Mara, as she doesn’t want a repeat of Charlie, who was on a fast track to being a future Bundy or Kemper.
Bio: After her B.F.A. in Theater Directing, Annika received a Fulbright scholarship and a Masters in Film Directing at SCAD. She has been in ‘Mob City’, ‘The Originals’, ‘Hindsight’, ‘NCIS New Orleans’, ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Counterpart’. Her short ‘Crossing Fences’ won the audience awards at the ‘Short to the Point’ and the ‘Sonoma International Film Festival’, as well as the best drama at ‘AMFF’.
What’s next for Annika: Odium is currently slated to go into production between November 2018- and March 2019. Annika and her team are meeting with different distribution companies and actors to push the project in the right direction. The read really helped Annika iron a few things out. Annika said “Working on a script for a while, you have such a microscopic view of the story, coming through every detail, that you lose the big picture perspective. Wining this contest and hearing the draft out loud showed a few possible moments where some clarification is needed, even two moments where we can play some more with the mystery of the piece.”
Short/Web Series Grand Prize Winner
Greg Fortier – APARTMENT STORY
Synopsis: Gale’s beloved dog Geoffrey is on his last legs, but she can’t let him go. Meanwhile David, Gale’s ex-roommates ex-boyfriend, has long overstayed his welcome in her apartment. It’s time for everybody to move on. While David pleads with Gale to put Geoffrey out of his misery, Gale demands that David vacate the apartment by the time she returns from work. She spends her day looking for new roommates on Craigslist while David spends his preparing poor Geoffrey for the afterlife. Gale is horrified by the candidates she finds on Craigslist, and David manages to throw his one pair of clothes down the garbage chute. When she returns home to find David, the half-nude vagabond lying on her floor with her dog in his arms, she realizes that he is the roommate she needs right now.
Bio: Greg Fortier was born in New York City, attended high school in Brooklyn and undergrad in Washington, DC where he majored in psychology. Creative writing evolved from a hobby to a profession after he wrote his first pilot, Today’s Special, which was crowdsourced on Kickstarter, produced in NYC, debuted at the NYTV Festival and was awarded “Best Pilot” at Hoboken International. Since then, Greg has written four feature films and one pilot for hire, worked as a script doctor, performed as a stand-up and filled in the gaps as a bike messenger and English tutor. He currently lives in Harlem with his wife and is working on a new feature film.
What’s next for Greg: Greg is currently writing a feature script for hire, the true story of a girl born into wealthy Bombay who fled an arranged marriage in search of a life of her own in the USA. Apartment Story is likely going into production, after the ISA’s Director of Development, Felicity Wren, recommended the script to a production company in LA.