In 2013, The Tracking Board conceived of a new kind of screenwriting competition. We wanted to raise the standard of the typical literary contest, endeavoring to forge a unique opportunity for writers to reveal themselves to the world. Unlike other competitions, we don’t offer a finite lump of cash or a copy of a soon-to-be-outdated software. We deal only in the most lucrative prize of all: careers. Since its conception, well over half of those writers recognized by the Launch Pad have found a home with reps, and dozens have taken their projects into development with major studios and production companies. You’ll find LP scripts at Warner Bros, Fox, Scott Free, and all across Hollywood, evidence of the quality of submissions we receive, and the accuracy of our judgment.
But it’s hardly any surprise, when you consider whose judgment we’re relying on. Our panel of judges is the best in the biz, constituting agents, managers and producers who are responsible for an impressive portion of the hottest literary content on the market today. The success of our writers isn’t dictated by the whims of interns and craigslist readers: it’s decided by the men and women who engineer the tastes of Hollywood.
This year presents our most diverse array of finalists yet. Drama and comedy were on an unusually even keel this year, with some of the most unique premises also being some of the funniest. Actioners, thrillers and sci-fi all made substantial contributions, but couldn’t dwarf the presence of more niche fantasy, romance, horror, and even western genres. This year’s winners will take you from the palaces of Ancient Greece, to the drug-infested slums of Atlanta, to the furthest reaches of space, and all the way back to the dawn of life itself.
The scripts aren’t the only source of diversity: the writers themselves are as colorful and widespread as the projects they produce. We received submissions from all over the world, including the UK, Australia, Russia, Israel and Indonesia, from men and women of all ages and all backgrounds, with only one thing in common: a unifying drive to launch their careers.
Without further ado, we present the Top 25 Scripts of the 2014 Launch Pad Features Competition.
2014 SEMIFINALISTS (in alphabetical order by title):
106 – Sebastian Davis & Mark Ganek
In the dead of Iowa’s winter, a scrappy, 106lb. high school wrestler, Whit Lockman, grapples with the apparent suicide of his only friend, the team’s star heavyweight. But when Whit discovers clues pointing to foul play in the death, he begins a winding investigation into the town’s rotten core.
ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE– Jon Bachmann & Katherine Griffin
After a father’s desperate attempt to keep his son from dating his mistress goes horribly wrong, he wades deeper into criminal territory to cover his tracks, as his life spirals out of control and his wife searches for revenge.
BLUFF, THE – Darius Turbak
When a well-intentioned police informant discovers the cops he snitches to are dirtier than he is, he must race against time to save his family and put the real criminals behind bars.
COOTIES – Frank Longo
When a meteor brings an outbreak of space bugs who infect their victims and make them behave like overgrown two-year olds, an unlikely group of kids must find a way to thwart them, save their parents, and stop the potential downfall of civilization.
FORTY THIEVES – Scott Hamilton & Peter Hamilton
When a group of forty mercenaries hijack a DEA shipment of drugs on the US/Mexico border, only a disgraced ex-special forces marine turned bounty hunter is prepared to bring them to justice.
H.O.V. (High Occupancy Vehicle) – Jacob Isser
On the verge of winning a high-stakes rideshare competition, three childhood friends pick up an extra passenger who turns out to be a fugitive on the run, turning their routine commute into the carpool from hell.
INTRO TO CREATION – Adam Goldstein
A comedic retelling of the Book of Genesis from the perspective that God is a 15 year old misfit with no faith in himself and our world is his half-assed Introduction to Creation class project.
KISS, THE – Susan Feehan
15 years after a candid photo immortalized a moment of passion, the ex-lovers are reluctantly reunited for an ad campaign that requires them to revisit the past at the risk of their futures.
NIGHT WITCHES, THE – Steven Prowse
With wood and canvas biplanes, no radio, no lights, and no parachutes, a Soviet squadron of all-female pilots became the Germans’ most feared opponents during WWII, one bomb at a time.
PILLS – Andrew Bluestone
After years of monotony caring for her Parkinson’s-afflicted husband, a woman must decide whether or not to hold true to her wedding vows when she meets a man who has embraced a new life.
SHIVERS, THE – Mike Van Waes
A young man discovers he’s half demon and that he inadvertently possesses anyone he’s attracted to. When his first love/accidental possession returns from the psych ward, he hopes to make amends, unaware that she’s come back for revenge.
SINGULARITY, THE – Tony Pitman
A disillusioned detective discovers that an android is responsible for a series of brutal murders and soon finds himself in a race against time to save the entire human race from the robot’s sinister plans.
SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME – Jeanne Bowerman
The lives of a lawyer-turned-gubernatorial candidate, a wrongly-imprisoned black farmer, and the first African-American Deputy U.S. Marshall are intertwined as they fight discrimination in the newly Emancipated South.
STALKING MONICA BELLUCCI – Brendan Gore
A 20-something loser infatuated with Monica Bellucci recruits his fantasy’s doppelganger to help him finally meet the Italian movie star of his dreams.
STRICKEN, THE – Robert Pilkington
When an unpopular young sheriff discovers an abandoned train stalled, robbed, and teeming with leprous undead, he must pursue the charismatic bandit who carries both the stolen loot… and a deadly germ.
TREES OF PEACE – Alanna Brown
Two Tutsi women, a Hutu woman, and a white American volunteer develop an unbreakable bond while hiding in an underground storage closet during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
UNDER THE BORRACHERO TREE – Scott Waldvogel & Matt DeMartini
Waking up with nothing but the clothes on his back, a man must track down the people who stole from his family and uncover their connection to Devil’s Breath, a real drug that robs its victims of their memory and free will.
Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 25, and thank you to everyone who submitted.
Our top 10 finalists will be announced in mid-November!
All semi-finalists have been contacted by the TB staff. If you have not received an email from us, please contact us ASAP.