Well, the results are in from our Second Save the Cat! Contest of 2009, and to quote Leonard Pinth-Garnell: Awwwwwful! Truly dreaaaaaadful!

And that’s a good thing.

Asked to write the first 250 words of a screenplay guaranteed to be thrown across the room before the end of the page, you did not disappoint.

And yet! The entries that caught our attention, the funniest, most intriguing — albeit chock full o’ camera angles and clunky dialogue — still managed to be strangely… haunting, and demand we read on!

What for instance is the “secret of life” as teased by contest all-star Makya McBee’s entry (#52)? Will the hotel be “Saved by the Bellhop” in Alex. S’ hilarious entry (#69)? And whodunit — and how? — complete with floating chalk outline in the crime scene of the future — in Ian Blanche’s “Fly World” (#161).

Terrrrrible!!  But also terribly good.

Of the 180+ submissions we received , we hoped to give contestants a place not only to show off their skills but to get all those music cues and Dutch Tilts out of  their systems. But the skill with which many of you moved our eyeball around your opening scenes might actually work!

Witness the show tunes alarm clock zoom-ins on a cross-dressing hero in Jeff S.’ entry (#44) and the really interesting inside-the-brain– and outside-the-crime-scene — opening in S. Clark’s “Nucleaus Accumbens” (#116), along with Joseph Lemoine’s equally disturbing start in entry # 144 and Carl Thoren’s “Double-Down and Die” (#135).  Good writage all!

But the real reward to me is to see how talented the writers are who visit this blog, how creative, and enthusiastic to try something new, even if it’s to stand at the plate and “hold the bat backward” that Captain Perry so brilliantly pointed out. I think you all did great (especially Captain P. for being bold enough to give it a try! You’re my hero, sir!) I sincerely hope this exercise didn’t throw off anyone’s game, but enhanced it!

And is there anything more instructive about what NOT to do, than Makya McBee’s #153 titled simply “The Man With No Problems.”

Yes, I’m stalling.

Though there is something truly heinous about each and every entry — and I mean that in a good way — the Honorable Mentions of our contest include almost everything submitted by Stacy Phillips,  Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Nick Contopoulos, Scott W., Steven8, Makya McBee, Tim Tremper, and Christina P. And I hope you’ll each take this as high praise when I say: Horrennndous!

But when forced to choose the really worst of the bunch, that being the best, the purple prose awards go to:

Third place (and the winner of a $50 STC! gift certificate): Cameron O’Hearn’s “Year 3589” cyborg divorce epic (#51).

Second place (earning a complete set of STC! books and software): Sandy Nagy for the oddly inside-out weirdness of “Foreclosureville” (#163).

First place: And coming in last, or first considering, and winning a free spot at our next available workshop is: Glen D. Miller for pretty much all his entries, but in particular, his oddly brilliant, yet damn annoying, text-ese entry titled “Textin’ It In” (#74). I only hope it is not the wave of the future, but the fear in my heart is… Glen might be onto something!

Well done, everyone!

And by that I mean: Arrrrrrrggghhhh!!