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Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest - Robert Mark Kamen

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Download the finalist’s entries from the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest - Robert Mark Kamen now!

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UPDATE 11/5/12

"The Disciple Program" tops 2012 Bloodlist

Just in time for Halloween, Tyler Marceca's thriller "The Disciple Program" has been voted to the top of the 2012 Blood List. "(The)Disciple Program" sparked a bidding war back in May, when Universal beat out Warner Bros. for the project. Mark Wahlberg is attached to star and produce with Steve Levinson; Morten Tyldum ("Headhunters") is attached to direct.  - Variety October 31, 2012

UPDATE 6/1/2012:

"The Disciple Program" sells to Universal Studios with Mark Wahlberg attached to star and produce

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest gives you the unique opportunity to turn this idea into a solid spec screenplay that could be your ticket to Hollywood success, just like this round's winner, Tyler Marceca with The Disciple Program.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest is an international competition that facilitates relationships between new writers and Industry leaders looking to help aspirants embark on writing careers, and Tyler's winning script garnered Industry recognition and attracted the attention of Agents, Managers, Executives and Bloggers.

"I sat down to read The Disciple Program with the intention of giving Tyler notes. By the time I reached page 10, I had forgotten about the notes. By the time I reached page 50, I was wondering if it could sell. By the time I reached page 100, I was wondering how much it would sell for," states Carson Reeves (Scriptshadow). Carson continues by saying, "The Disciple Program was the best non-professional script I had ever read, period."

Carson's buzz and press around his anticipated posted review of The Disciple Program on his blog caused a frenzy in the Industry as people clamored to be the first to get their hands on the script. The result? Tyler signed with William Morris Endeavor before he even flew to Los Angeles for his lunch with Robert Mark Kamen and meeting with Benderspink

After a whirlwind courtship with the biggest and brightest stars in Hollywood, Tyler became an overnight success when Mark Wahlberg was attached to star and produce and Morten Tyldum to direct. Shortly after, a bidding war began, with Universal Studios winning out in a mid six-figures deal. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter "the real story here is Marceca. An unsigned writer from Brooklyn, he wrote [fifteen] pages as part of a screenwriting contest run by The Writers Store." 

Tyler has been enjoying the spotlight, but took a moment to talk to us about his experience with the contest:

"No other contest offers what the Industry Insider Contest does -- a chance to develop your script alongside an industry professional. Some contests are about cash and prizes. The Industry Insider Contest is about advancing your career and developing material that can be successful in the marketplace. It's about opening up doors. Not only was my Story Specialist, Mario Moreno a consummate professional but an invaluable source of critical feedback. He brought tremendous energy and insight to each of our weekly sessions. You would think he was earning a ten-percent manager's cut. Mario (expletive) rocks."

UPDATE 2/25/2012:

The third round of the Industry Insider Screenwriting Competition took place in the fall of 2011, bringing in almost 1,000 entries that were eventually narrowed down to 10 Finalists. We are happy to be able to share with you the First 15 Pages of the Finalists' scripts based on Robert Mark Kamen's logline:

"After waking to find his wife dead in their backyard, a man conducts his own investigation, and uncovers the hidden life of a woman he thought he knew."

UPDATE 9/15/2011:

Kudos go out to the talented finalists, who each received a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter, the professional screenwriting software for film, TV, and plays, along with a congratulatory letter from Robert Mark Kamen.

The finalists entered into a 12-week mentorship program with The Writers Store’s Story Specialists, which comes complete with personalized coaching and detailed Development Notes on their completed screenplays.

Top 10 Finalists:

  • “The Disciple Program” by Tyler Marceca - Brooklyn, NY - WINNER
  • “The Alien Underground” by Kari Ciardi - Bothell, WA 
  • “The Brave” by Tommy Cleary - Tampa, FL 
  • “Carrier” by Jess Phillips & Eric Day - Sherman Oaks, CA 
  • “The Dark Side of Eden” by Alexander Gillies - Williamsburg, VA 
  • “Enclosure” by Nick Cotton - Los Angeles, CA 
  • "The Magnesian Protocol" by Dan O'Donahue - Torrance, CA
  • “Nano” by Donovan Davis - Burbank, CA
  • “Not That Easy” by Hal Land - Newark, DE (Unavailable)
  • “Salmon Falls” by John Torma - South Wayne, WI

Want to complete your own screenplay in just 12 weeks or less? Sign up for sessions with The Writers Store’s Story Specialists now!


Think you can turn this logline from Robert Mark Kamen, A-List Screenwriter of The Karate Kid, Taken and The Fifth Element into a killer script?

After waking to find his wife dead in their backyard, a man conducts his own investigation, and uncovers the hidden life of a woman he thought he knew.

Break out your scriptwriting software and get to work, because the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest gives you the unique opportunity to turn this idea into a solid spec screenplay that could be your ticket to Hollywood success.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest is an international screenwriting competition that facilitates relationships between new writers and Industry leaders looking to help aspirants embark on writing careers.

Working from this A-list logline, you’re challenged to create up to the first 15 pages of an original script based on the given concept. Make it your own - drama, action, sci-fi... anywhere your imagination takes you.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest goes much further than your average competition, by providing the top 10 finalists with mentors to guide them through the entire script creation process, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay to be judged by a panel of Hollywood power players.

Here’s how it works:

  • Entrants write up to the first 15 pages of a script based on the logline above, provided by Robert Mark Kamen
  • The top 10 finalists are chosen from the submissions, and receive a personalized letter of congratulations from Robert Mark Kamen
  • Each of the 10 finalists receives a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter to professionally format their work as they enter into a 12-week Story Specialists mentoring program, consisting of feedback for every 10 pages submitted, with the goal of completing a spec screenplay based on the given logline
  • After the mentoring, the finalists submit their rough drafts to our professional script readers for comprehensive Development Notes, and then have two weeks to work with their mentor and notes to complete the final draft of their screenplay for judging.
  • Robert Mark Kamen and production company Benderspink judge the completed screenplays and choose a winner

The lucky winner of this scriptwriting contest receives a classic Industry experience, including transportation to Los Angeles and:

Chateau Marmont

Lush Accommodations at the Chateau Marmont

The chic Chateau, conveniently nestled right off the Sunset Strip, will serve as the home base for the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest winner. Thinking of the many opportunities to network and hobnob with the Hollywood elite that frequent this hotspot is mind-boggling!

The Ivy

One-on-One with Robert Mark Kamen at The Ivy

First on the agenda? Lunch with screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen at Robertson Blvd.’s uber-popular bistro, known for its steady stream of celebs and location near power-agency ICM. The winner will take in some serious knowledge and know-how from Kamen, while filling up on the Ivy’s famous nouvelle American cuisine.


Meeting with Benderspink

The Hollywood treatment continues through a conference with Benderspink, a diversified management/production company with credits including The Hangover, American Pie, and The Ring. Aspiring screenwriters dream of this kind of opportunity to meet with such an influential group, a fantasy that will come true for the lucky winner!

Energy Entertainment

Movie Magic Screenwriter - Professional Formatting Software

Format your script and outline it, too, with the newly redesigned Movie Magic Screenwriter 6! This award-winning screenwriting software formats movies, television, novels, stage plays and even comic book scripts, making it the only program for all types of creative writing.

The Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest can give you the tools and the resources you need to complete a saleable screenplay. But besides the experience and the mentoring you could receive, placing in this competition shows that you can take another’s idea and turn it into a winning script - a trait that’s truly valued in Hollywood, and serves as a priceless addition to your screenwriting resume.

Looking for the regulations and answers to specific questions? Check out the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest’s Rules and FAQs.

Robert Mark Kamen

Robert Mark Kamen is a screenwriter with twenty-one films to his credit. A native of the Bronx, he attended New York City public schools, and graduated from NYU with a degree in literature, later earning his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

After spending a year in Afghanistan in 1971, Robert wrote a novel based on his experience. At the urging of a director friend, he turned the novel into a screenplay, bought by Warner Brothers in 1979. His second screenplay, TAPS, was released in 1980. This fall sees Robert’s twentieth feature, COLOMBIANA, released and his twenty-first film, TAKEN 2, begin production.

For the past sixteen years, he has been a frequent collaborator with director/producer Luc Besson. In addition to being a full-time screenwriter, Robert grows grapes and makes wine on the vineyard he built thirty-one years ago in Sonoma, California.

Contest Closed

Want to know what the judges are looking for in the First 15 Pages? Click the orange button above to download the winning entries from this round’s finalists.

If you are an Industry Professional and have interest in reading any of the completed scripts, please contact Sadie Dean at The Writers Store.

Due to the subject matter, please be advised that some of the material in the pages available for download may be inappropriate for children.

Contest Details:

  • Contest Begins: June 1, 2011
  • Early Deadline: June 30, 2011
  • Early Fee: $40
  • Standard Deadline: July 31, 2011
  • Standard Fee: $50
  • Contest Deadline: July 31, 2011
  • Extended Deadline: August 31, 2011
  • Finalists Announced: September 2011
  • Mentor Program Begins: October 2011
  • Mentor Program Completes: December 2011
  • Winner Announced: January 2012
  • Lunch with Robert Mark Kamen: March 2012
  • Meetings: March 2012

Contest Testimonials:

“No other screenplay contest offers what the Industry Insider Contest does — a chance to develop your script alongside an industry professional. Some contests are about cash and prizes. The Industry Insider Contest is about advancing your career and developing material that can be successful in the marketplace. It’s about opening up doors.

- Tyler Marceca, The Disciple Program – Contest Winner (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“There’s a really wonderful sense – from the beginning of the contest on — of how invested everyone at The Writers Store is in helping the finalists write a great script. From Mario’s, my Story Specialist’s, weekly call to the amazingly detailed Development Notes after the rough draft, to the terrific, encouraging updates and emails throughout, there’s a great sense of motivation and professionalism that’s very inspiring. I can’t say enough about this screenwriting contest. If I could, I would be a perpetual finalist!”

- Joshua Rebell, Old Boys Club – Contest Winner (Allan Loeb Round)

“I have a B.A. in Screenwriting, but I am an even better writer for having been a finalist in the Industry Insider Competition. This is boot camp for screenwriters — and it only takes fifteen pages to open the door to an invaluable experience. You’d be crazy to pass this up.”

- Kelsey Rude, Imaginary Bachelor (Allan Loeb Round)

“The whole experience was just fun — and instilled in me a work ethic and a drive to write which has persisted even after the contest’s end. Because of the Industry Insider Contest, I’m a better writer and I have a complete screenplay that I never would have written otherwise. It’s way too awesome an experience for any writer to pass up.”

- Zan Gillies, The Dark Side of Eden (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“Just like a character in a screenplay, I started the contest hoping the reward would appear at the end of my journey and then realized that the reward was the journey itself. This is a contest you have to enter if you want to become a better writer.”

- Dan O’Donahue, The Magnesian Protocol (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“If you are going to enter a screenwriting contest, then pick this one. In my opinion, this prize package is one of the very best in the industry.”

- Kari Ciardi, Alien Underground (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“I wish everyone had the opportunity that I did and wish all of the future contestants the best of luck. Remember, being in the ‘top ten’ IS winning because the rest is up to you.”

- John Torma, Salmon Falls (Robert Mark Kamen Round)

“I had an amazing experience during the Industry Insider Contest. My story specialist, Anthony, was wonderful and the experience working with him was invaluable. I’m walking away from this competition with a well written screenplay and insights that I will carry with me throughout my screenwriting career. I recommend this competition to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and really take their screenwriting to the next level.”

- Tiffany Diamond, Imaginary Bachelor (Allan Loeb Round)

“Working to deadlines, re-writing and re-working after notes and comments is the life of a professional screenwriter, and this competition has given me an invaluable chance to experience that first hand. And most importantly I’ve come out the other end with a screenplay I’m really proud of.”

- Adam Cece, The Last Viking Stag (Allan Loeb Round)

“All in all, no matter what the outcome of the contest, you walk away with pages of valuable notes and a completed spec script. The perfect reward.”

- Stephen Judge, The Man-Up (Allan Loeb Round)

“Writing a feature is such a big investment of time and energy, it’s not always clear whether or not it’s worth it. However, writing the first 15 pages of a screenplay is such a relatively small investment, you almost can’t afford not to. Then, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen as a finalist, you definitely can’t afford not to write the whole feature length script.”

- Alex Berger, Onu (Simon Kinberg Round)

“Of all the screenplay competitions in which I have been fortunate to be a finalist, this contest has been the most rewarding to my growth as a screenwriter.”

- Kenneth Lemm, Drum (Simon Kinberg Round)

“Thanks to all of you for a fantastic experience. I learned a lot about writing. More than I could have just reading the books or going to writing groups. The screenplay contest and my work with Anthony have been an integral part of my development as a writer.”

- Araby Patch, Spy Dad (Simon Kinberg Round)