Black Science Fiction Script Movie Project 2012

As we move into our 4th year of operation we continue to be blessed and thankful for our continued success. In keeping with our 10 year plan we will be producing a science fiction movie based from the winner of the 2012 Black Science Fiction Society Movie Script Contest. The winning script will be made into a feature length independent film.

We will utilize presales and crowd funding and whatever legal means at our disposal to raise the needed capital to shoot the film and bring it to market. We partner with you and split profits and ownership with you 50/50.

Submissions will be taken from May 2, 2012 to June 2, 2012
Email your entry to

Preferred Categories:

Science Fiction,

Speculative Fiction




Sword & Soul

Winning Films Will Be Submitted to:

  • Hollywood Black Films Festival
  • International Black Film Festival
  • Atlanta Black Film Festival 
  • The American Black Film Festival

Submission Guidelines

1. Contact information (name, email address, etc.) preferred, but not required, on the cover page.

2. Title pages for completed scripts should include title and page count

3. Pages must be numbered.

4. PDF, txt or Microsoft Word (.doc) preferred.

5. All entries must be in English.

6. Script should be a feature-length screenplay. All Sci-Fi genres, styles, and lengths are fine. If it's a multi-part series, please send only the first part.

7. No limit on entries. Each entry is $25

8. All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form and release, along be notarized by a license notary republic.

9. Include a copy of your driver’s license. If we cannot confirm identity, your entry will be disqualified.

10. Please complete the appropriate entry form for EACH ENTRY.

11. Authorship on both entry forms must be the same or your entries will be disqualified.

12. You may submit your entries anytime up until the final contest deadline.


Please remember that all submissions are final and revisions after submission cannot be accepted. We accept submissions in .PDF, Word, Final Draft, and Movie Magic formats. We are only accepting online submissions at this time.


Will being in BSFS Member help me win the contest?
Yes, can only enter if you are a member of

I have a high budget screenplay that really should be a movie. Can I submit that?
All entries will be considered by our panelist of judging professionals; however, works that are highly dependent upon elements that cannot be accommodated by the given budget are unlikely to be selected as the grand prize winner. But don’t lose heart! The core of any movie is STORY. If you strip away all the effects, what’s left? If you still have compelling characters on an interesting journey, it may be worth taking some time to adapt it to function in a lower budget environment.

Who will be making my movie?

J Sheffield, Multimedia Specialist and Videographer, in association with Gerald Haynes, Producer of “Hysteria", Thomas Melton, director Videography with Nashville State Tech, and Reegus Fleonry director and producer of Generational Curses” and Video veteran Kwesi Jackson will be producing the movie.

If I win, what credit, ownership and compensation rights will I have in regard to my screenplay and the produced movie?

The Grand Prize Winner will receive “Written By” credit on the finished film, and a 50% share of the producer’s net of the film’s profits. 50% of the producer’s net is defined as 50% of the compensation received from distribution entities by, and, or any other production entity or LLC receiving disbursements on behalf of the film. Still have questions? Contact us at

Evaluation Criteria
Screenplay Submissions will be judged by professionals in the industry using the following criteria:

Premise: Is the premise of the script interesting? Is it unique? Do judges believe the premise is something that will appeal to a wide audience?

Storyline: Does the story deliver on the premise? Is it compelling? Engaging? Did the judges find themselves interested and entertained throughout the entire script?

Plot: Is the plot easy to follow? Is every scene necessary? Is every scene interesting and unique?

Characters: Are the characters relatable? Unique? Interesting? Were they characters that the judges were able to care about?

Dialogue: Is the dialogue compelling? Does each character have a unique voice?

Budget: The budget for the final film is approximately $5,000 to 10,000. If judges do not believe your screenplay can be produced within that budget, your entry will be unlikely to be selected for the Grand Prize.

Scripts are evaluated on all the criteria above, when applicable, plus:
Commercial appeal, make-ability, and potential, potential, potential!

See tips below on how to write an independent screenplay.

Tips for Success:

Black Science Fiction Society! is dedicated to turning the winning screenplay or into a quality produced feature film within the constraints of the given budget. Locations, characters, and special effects can make or break a film’s budget. Think of movies like “Paranormal Activity,” “Clerks,” and “Blair Witch.” These movies are about realistic characters who live in the modern world, making costumes, props, and sets easy to come by. Key concepts to keep in mind when designing or adapting your low budget screenplay are:

Location Considerations:

1. Keep the number of locations to a minimum. If, for example, you have a scene where your main character is going grocery shopping, and later you have a scene where your main character bumps into an old friend on the street, consider setting that second scene in the grocery store instead. That way, you only need one set, not two. If you have a conversation that takes place as two characters walk through the lobby of an office building and then into an office, instead consider having the entire conversation take place in either the lobby or the office.

2. Interiors are cheaper to film in than exteriors because the environment is more controllable. You don’t have to block off entire streets or plan around weather.

3. Consider using general sets that are easily found in everyday life: a house, an office, a street, a park.

4. Avoid writing set locations that will require special construction, such as a spaceship or an underground lair.

5. Avoid specific locations that will require expensive permits to film at, such as the Empire State Building or the La Brea Tar Pits.

6. Avoid extravagant locations such as cruise ships and mansions.

Character Considerations:

1. Fewer is better. Does this mean your entire movie should be a monologue delivered by a single character? Of course not. Movies have to have characters. But try to keep the numbers down. Remember, each character you write requires paying for casting, wardrobe, and makeup – not to mention paying the actor. The fewer there are, the more money that saves for the rest of the film.

2. If you have characters with only one or two lines, consider whether those lines could be given to already established characters.

3. Avoid crowd scenes. Remember, each person in that crowd needs to get paid. If your characters are going to a party, consider writing an intimate gathering of friends rather than a huge celebration filled with hundreds of strangers.

4. Avoid writing about extremely wealthy people. If your characters wear Armani suits, drive BMW convertibles, and live in 10,000 square foot high rise apartments, all of those things have to be procured in order to film your movie.

5. Avoid children. Child labor laws make working with them more expensive than working with adults.

6. Special Effects, Stunt and Makeup Considerations:

7. In general, keep them to a minumum. Think back to hits like “Paranormal Activity” and “Attack On The Block.” Neither required any major or expensive special effects.

8. Think of it this way – if you’re writing about something you may find in the real world on an everyday basis, they’re probably fairly cheap to procure. But the further you stray from this, the more expensive things become.

9. Also keep in mind that everything you write into your script has to be paid for. If your character is going grocery shopping, every item they buy is a prop that needs to actually be purchased. Thus, consider having your characters buy a single carton of milk rather than stocking up on a week’s worth of supplies.

10. If you have a gun fight, every single bullet is a special effect that has to be paid for. Thus, consider hand guns instead of machine guns.

11. Avoid complicated fight scenes. A bad-ass sword fight requires extremely expensive stunt coordination.

12. Avoid scenes that take place in traffic. Remember, every single one of those cars has to be paid for.

13. Avoid period pieces.

14. Avoid animals. As lovable as they are, working with them is expensive.

REMEMBER, these are all just recommendations to help keep the cost of your movie down. If your script is great, you won’t lose the contest because you had one too many locations, or a scene with a dog in it. The winning entry will undergo a final development process under the supervision of the producer(s) and/or director of the production to make any additional changes needed to fit within the budget. However, if the judges don’t think your script can be produced or adapted to be produced for approximately $5,000 to 10,000, then you will not win this contest.

Official Rules
Read full competition agreement.

The following are some general rules:

The Script is completely original with me. I am the present and exclusive and sole owner of all right, title, and interest in and to the Script; and I have the exclusive, sole, and unconditional power and right to submit the Script to you subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement and the rules of your screenwriting competition. (If the Script is adapted from another medium, I am enclosing documentation verifying my right to make such an adaptation). I have not sold or optioned any film screenplay to any entity or individual

1. Black Science Fiction Society accepts feature length screenplays from any live-action genre (sorry, we cannot consider animated works at this time). All entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed entry form and an appropriate entry fee.

2. Entries to the Black Science Fiction Society contest can be submitted as either completed scripts (“screenplays”) or “ideas” in the form of a treatment, a synopsis, or one-to three sentence story idea (known in the film industry as a ‘logline’).

3. Each entry fee will entitle the contestant to TWO entries in the form of ONE completed screenplay and ONE idea entry. The screenplay and idea submissions may be the same story, or two different stories. Contestants may elect to submit a second idea entry in lieu of a completed screenplay. Contestants may not submit two separate screenplays without submitting an additional fee.

4. You may enter more than one screenplay, but you must submit a separate entry/release form and entry fee with each submission. Each additional registration fee paid for script submission entitles the contestant to an accompanying idea submission.

5. All submissions are required to follow the submission guidelines in order to be considered. Entries that fail to follow competition rules and guidelines will be disqualified. There will be no refunds for entries that do not comply with competition rules and guidelines.

6. All submissions are final and no substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages for entries will be accepted under any circumstances. Updated drafts may be submitted as separate entries and are subject to all of the same submission requirements and fees as any other entry.

7. Co-authorship is acceptable, but each author must sign the release on the entry form. Entries submitted with incomplete releases cannot be considered. Both entries submitted under a particular Order ID/registration fee must be attributed to the same single author or set of co-authors, no exceptions.

8. Screenplays should not have been produced nor optioned. Screenplays that are currently optioned or have negotiations pending and/or are sold before the Black Science Fiction Society Contest ends are not eligible for competition.

9. Screenplays must be the original work of the author. No adaptations of other written work will be accepted unless the writer can demonstrate ownership of the rights to the original material. If based on another person’s life story, a statement attesting to the rights obtained must be attached. There must be no dispute about the ownership of submitted screenplays or the writer’s right to submit a screenplay.

10. It is the responsibility of the screenwriter(s) to ensure that their work is protected. It is highly recommended that you copyright your screenplay with the Library of Congress or register with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

11. Black Science Fiction Society reserves the right to extend the final deadline for submissions, though an extended deadline is not guaranteed. All entries must be submitted by the final deadline to be accepted, no exceptions. Failure to meet the deadline will not result in a refund of the registration fee.

12. Finalists and winners will be determined by professionals in the film industry. All entries will have an equal chance to win, based on quality, “makeability” and commercial and critical potential in the eyes of the judges. Judges’ decisions are final and unfortunately we are unable provide individual feedback. Finalists and winners will be notified by email and the results will be posted on our website within 6 weeks of the final submission deadline.

13. By accepting the grand prize, you grant the producers of Black Science Fiction Society full rights to produce a feature film from your screenplay or a screenplay based on your idea.

14. I am at least eighteen (18) years of age.

Participation in the Black Science Fiction Society Contest implies understanding and acceptance of all terms included in the entry form.

Mail $25 Entry Fee To:

Jarvis Sheffield

121 Oak Valley Circle

Smyrna, TN  37167


PayPal your entry to:



Views: 687

Replies to This Discussion

Sounds great. What exactly do you need? A synopsis? Logline? Treatment? Outline? Beat sheet? Finished script? Beginning idea? Or one of any of the above?

Wow, that was fast. We are looking for finished scripts only.

Thanks for asking Greg.

Noted. Thanks!


Greg Payton said:

Noted. Thanks!

HA! Yes! Thanks. Don't know if I'll have anything in time to submit for this. But I do have resources available for whatever is needed, should more be needed for this campaign. 

Good deal brother. We appreciate it.

Well, I think I'll give it a try! It can only help me be better at writing!

I would love to enter in something like this but will not have the time to have a completed script. Is it possible to take into consideration a local film festival that is in my home time of Miami every year? Here is the link :

It's the American Black Film Festival in Miami that they have every year. If it is possible it may give me a chance to meet some of you guys and gals that have shown the abundance of talent on this site that needs to be shared with the world.

My bad, you guys already have it (ABFF) on the list.

Steve Hyppolite said:

I would love to enter in something like this but will not have the time to have a completed script. Is it possible to take into consideration a local film festival that is in my home time of Miami every year? Here is the link :

It's the American Black Film Festival in Miami that they have every year. If it is possible it may give me a chance to meet some of you guys and gals that have shown the abundance of talent on this site that needs to be shared with the world.

Greg, Keep doing your thing man you are an inspiration.

Liz, feel free to enter. Thanks for your being so active and posting.

Milton, thank you for stressing the urgency of planning early on, that has stuff with me from the beginning. 

Steve, thanks for your willingness to share info that could help us along. 

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen? I am in Toronto and I have something that would be perfect for this

Any script contest you enter has an entry fee. Most are upwards of $50 or more. 

We are moving into new territory and I plan for this to be a success. This is unlike producing a book, there is allot of equipment, software, and manpower required to pull this type of thing off.


For Example:

Seventh Dimension Group Screenplay Competition (Entry Fee: 50.00)

WinFemme Film & Screenplay Festival (Entry Fee: $50.00 U.S.)

Shriekfest Horror/SciFi Screenplay Contest (Entry Fee: $25-$55)


Hollywood Gateway Screenwriting Competition (Entry Fee: $50.00)

ACCLAIM FILM & TV SCRIPT CONTEST, (Entry Fee: Film: $45-$60

Master Filmmakers Screenplay Competition (Entry Fee: $45 to $55)

To my knowledge non of these make a movie for you. If you don't see the value in raising funds I don't know what to tell you. I don't believe in putting eggs all in one basket. 


It takes dough to make bread my friend. 










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