CSCS Judges’ feedback on “By Any Other Name”

The scores for the Top 100 finalists in the Creative Screenwriting Cyberspace Open were posted this morning. Here’s the feedback I received on the scene I had 24 hours to write, “By Any Other Name”:

The Star Chamber lobby poster

Kudos for originality here. A fresh, original take on the scene prompt and a nice use of setting. Well done. The writer did a great job of writing expository dialogue in a way that didn’t FEEL expository, that told us what we needed to know without being too blatant about it. Again, very nice! The only knocks against this scene are that the turn was a little predictable and the Godfather line (can you get me off the hook — for old times sake?) felt derivative where everything else had felt so original, giving the scene a bit of a sour note right at the end. Even so, a very strong scene. Nice job!

As they said on Monty Python, it’s a fair cop. I didn’t think it was necessarily my best work either, but I gave it a good shot considering the time restrictions. The scene received 94 points; here’s the breakdown:

Structure Dialogue Style Originality
22 23 24 25

Congratulations to the contest winners: Ian Murillo, Dries Coomans and Lisa Scott. They’ll have their scenes read by actors and videotaped; the winner will be determined by the number of votes received. I’m definitely interested in seeing these table readings, but I’m much more excited about shooting “Executive Action,” the first scene I submitted to the contest.

Actor auditions are this weekend, but I’m still nailing down a performance space in San Francisco. If you have a quiet room with chairs and a table, please let me know.

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