And the Winner Is…
No, this isn’t the Oscars, but something much more important: the announcement of the winners of the first Save the Cat! Competition of 2009! Our judges have reviewed the 1600+ entries (whew!) and the envelopes are in my hand. But before I reveal their contents, let me say with sincerity: You won just by entering. Not only do we have the most brilliant wordsmiths on the planet in evidence as our readership, we also have some true geni.
For those of you who went off the map and sacrificed your entry to display amazing creativity (such as RJ Unspammed’s brilliant Quarantino rap, 1400.), kissing up to yours truly with some zany hilarity (CraZRick’s 207. Blade re-do and Avixal’s 1550. Catman were my faves), or who just put their punning skills to work for fun, your effort is its own reward! Every time my iPhone pinged with a new entry I started giggling like Pavlov’s Better Humored Dog. And when you had ones like Caroline Kozaka’s PMS superhero Puffy The Vampire Slayer waiting — how could I not? I always wanted 1600 witty friends — and now I have them!
But we must choose. The criteria for picking a winner among our six judge panel was simple: 1. You had to follow the rules (listening to instructions is the first step of any writing assignment). Asked to swap out one letter from a well-known movie title and write the logline this substitution suggested eliminated many. 2. Your logline had to have pith — single, short sentences with an ironic twist worked best. This is the ultimate elevator pitch! A “wax on/wax off ” exercise to improve our logline skills. Yet I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention those entries that tickled us for other reasons.
Some of the movie loglines could be movies in themselves, including Amy G’s 93. Three Zen and A Baby, Rob M’s 191. It’s a Wonderful Wife, Jeff S’s 338. Ferrris Bueller’s Lay Off, Alex Tucker’s 1382.The Tank Job ( I actually think this is a James Garner movie, or am I just having flashbacks?), and Jim Endecott’s very funny afterthought in 308. Having Private Ryan. I also like the idea of an environmental action sequel to his star’s first film in Hunter’s 437. Gore In Sixty Seconds.
There were lots of close calls, too, puns that were brilliant yet just missed the cut, such as Tony Gangemi’s 23. All About Ewe, Scott W’s 157 Top Gut, Bkos’s 176. Bling Blade, David Ball’s 298. Soy Story, Michelle’s 90. Da Cinci Code, Ian Blanche’s 821. The Truth About Cars and Dogs (Ha!), and Al Rodriguez’s 841. Se6en.
Highest batting average (those most likely to make us laugh) is shared by Makya Macbee and Mike K., who had the consisitently funniest entries; if these guys aren’t working as table writers somewhere, they should be. Makya’s 780. Rosemary’s Babe, 785. Honey, I Shrunk The Kims, and 1569. He’s Just Not That Into Lou and Mike K.’s 827. Titonic, and my guilty pleasure favorite 837. Ghostbutters, are all just about as funny, and short (are we seeing a pattern here?) as it gets.
And dedicated to those whose entries mysteriously vanished due to a spam filter, let this be a tribute to die-hard efforts by such as Aaron Silverman and Glen Miller, whose puns refused to stick. It has no number because it disappeared, but in honor of the MIA this is our make-good: Jeffery Hugh Wilson’s The Wizard Of Of — “Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her with her stuttering.”
But now the winners, those that kept coming back like any catchy pitch as best by our judges. We decided to note all below as the 10 Honorable Mentions and throw them into a hat from which to draw our three top winners (this will also stop the torch-wielding mob from tarring and feathering moi — always a good move!) The Honorable Mentions and ultimate lucky winners include:
Eric 1368. Into the Mild – Disillusioned with his life and his materialistic parents, a young man runs away to live in the city park down the street.
Bradford Richardson 97. Batmun – A laid-back Rastafarian crime fighter by night. A peace, love and understanding Reggae superstar by day.
Paul Teolis 74. Lawrence of Awabia – A sweeping epic about the real life adventures of British Major E.J. Fudd and his journey throught the desert of Awabia to fight the Turks and unite the Awab empire.
Killertv 31. Lie Hard — When terrorists seize the building and take everyone hostage, an out-of-town cop evades capture and must save his ex-wife with his fast talking skills, which ironically led to the divorce in the first place.
David Schults 80. The Pursuit of Happiness — A lonely, miserable, cat-loving proofreader sets out to show the world that the Will Smith box-office smash had a misspelled title, only to discover that she completely missed the point of the movie.
Mike K. 833. The Sixth Tense — A deceased English teacher haunts his former students with new grammar parts.
Muffin MacGuffin 109. Annie Hill — A neurotic New Yorker has an ill-fated romance with the daughter of a British comedian.
And the awards for the best — by luck of the draw — are:
Third Prize and winner of a complete set of Save the Cat! books and software: Nicholas Horwood 768. Dial N For Murder — A dyslexic telephone engineer suspects his wife is plotting to bill him.
Second Prize and winner of a spot in an upcoming LA Beats Weekend: Makya McBee 814. Thank You For Smoting — High-paid lobbyist to God convinces DC to recognize the political importance of the religious right.
First prize and winner of a script read and one-hour consultation: Bill Weinberger’s 1389. Dr. So — Only James Bond can stop a mad scientist who plans to take over the world by infecting teenagers with exasperating indifference.
Our heartiest and grateful congratulations to you all!
Hey look at that, the best entries ended up winning! The Academy should take note of this development :)
Congratulations to all, and thanks for another round of hilarity, Blake!
Imagine the broadcast if the Academy considered 1600 candidates.
- Jeff Paterson
Great job everyone and thanks again for the laughs!
- Nicholas Horwood
Thanks so much, Blake! I’ve dreamt of this moment since I was a child! I’d like to pay tribute to all the 1600 people nominated alongside me – Jeff, Chris, Hunter, Alex, Eric, Phil, Emma, Steve, Paul, Joey, Lou, Bob, Brad, Angelina, Carol, Fran, Roscoe, Luigi, Maggy…(MUSIC PLAYS OVER)
- Melody Lopez
I want all Save the Cat Writer’s to know…that two of the mentioned individuals…including one in the top ten…are all from the Austin Cat’s Group! Whoop there it is…I’m so proud to the be the lead of a group filled with such talent!!!!!! Congrats Al and Dave!
- Paul Teolis
good fun blake!
- David Dittlinger
The winners are well deserving, but I’ve got to give a shout out to “SIGHT CLUB”. Underground competitive staring competition! Now that’s just plain funny. I’ll just wait for the Razzy’s and see if I placed on that side of things.
- Melody Lopez
If I could edit my comment, I’d go back and add that Rob M… mentioned above… is also one of our Austin Cat Members… I’ve read one of his screenplays and he has serious talent! Congrats Rob! Sorry I missed you in my earlier shout out!
Congratulations to the winners and the other honorable mentions!
…and it IS an honor just to be nominated! :)
- Makya McBee
This was my first contest on the site and I can’t wait until the next, love the Cat books and, now, love the Cat website. It was an honor to have tied for highest batting average. I now know that, when it comes to the highly marketable skill of changing one letter in movie titles, I’ve got THE RIGHT STUFF. And, because the judges sorted through all of the entries with such diligence, Blake clearly has THE RIGHT STAFF (oh, crap, I can’t stop).
I know my top ten spot was a little random as there were so many inspired entries. It’s really cool to know that there are so many others out there just as slightly odd as I am.
- Dusty Rhodes
Sorry I did not write more briefly, I somehow missed that requirement, but it was my first contest, so I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the laughs and puns !
Congrats to all the winners !!
- Bradford Richardson
Thank You! BATMUN made the TOP TEN, Whoo Hoo! I’d personally like to thank Blake, the judges, and especially the letter “U.”
- Michelle Shyman
This contest was a riot! Thanks for sponsoring it, Blake. I’m re-reading all the entries once again. You all are such creative peeps.
- Jim Endecott
Congratulations to the winners and the honorable mentions. I feel special just being mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.
Thank you Mr. Blake for giving us all the opportunity.
- Al Rodriguez
I just want to say that Mickey Rourke was robbed. RAM JAM! RAM JAM! Oops, wrong show… Thanks for the semi-honorable mention for SE6EN! And shout-outs to Austin Cat leader Melody and mad props to the other top cats! And thanks to Blake, Jose and the rest of the STC crew for keeping bad puns alive! Paws! I mean, peace!
- Don Willis
The Wristler – – when an up and coming writer tries to wow everyone with a cool logline he gets harpooned by the critics and carpal tunnel on the same weekend.
- Steph in ATL
I laughed and laughed–thanks, Blake!
- Matt Burns
Grats to all the winners!
- Bill Weinberger
I think I’m going to faint. Has anyone fainted when they’ve read this blog?
I’d like to thank the academy… Blake Snyder and the other judges… and all of the other submitters who kept me laughing and absolutely convinced I had little chance of winning. Thank you!
- David Schultz
Was the misspelling of my last name in keeping with the contest’s theme? Just kidding. Thanks for the recognition, and more importantly, thanks for coming up with such a fun contest. What a great way to get the creative juices flowing!
- Ralph Dobbins
The contest was a blast. Congratulations to all who entered and all who were recognized. May this experience propel each of us to greater heights of screenwriting success. Keep writing!
- Trevor Mayes
David Dittlinger — thanks for the shout out for SIGHT CLUB! I laughed out loud at your “HO’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU” — brilliant!
- David Dittlinger
Thanks Trevor, but I can’t even take credit for that one. My wife and her sister came up with it. I will be honest; I actually skipped the Cat’s chapters on loglines. After failing miserably in this contest I wish I’d have done my due diligence. I wrote a couple of Screen Plays, more or less by accident, before I knew there was such a thing as a log line. Now I’m realizing there are things like B stories etc. This may not be the right spot for this question, but is a log line more to get your foot in the door or is it really important even if you have people that will read the script?
- Sarah Beach
Your contests are such fun inspiration, Blake! Congrats to the winners.
Hooray for us all!
- RJ Unspammed
Blake likes us! Blake really likes us!
- Trevor Mayes
Hey David, loglines are the “coin of the realm” in Hollywood, as Blake would say. Not only are they necessary for screenplay pitch sessions, but they allow you to home in on what your screenplay is really all about. And having that clarity at the outset of writing your script will save you a bunch of rewrites. I’d definitely go back and read those chapters. All the best!
- Orlanda Szabo
Kudos to all, and double that for the runners up and the top 3 pun masters. Thanks Blake for giving us such a fun challenge to sharpen our sit wit. Be great!
Great work everyone. I don’t know the last time I laughed so hard reading some of your entries. CONGRATS AGAIN!
- Claire Partin
Hilarious! I hope you have this again next year! I want to submit my own entry; Pave the Cat. The last book on cat killing you will ever need.
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It was an honor just to be nominated. (Wow, you DO have to be a good actor to pull off that line!) Still, there’s next time. :-)