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In This Issue
Austin Film Festival This Week!
Screenwriting Conference Recap & Lessons Learned
First 10 Pages Webinar
Nicholls & Page Winners & Contest Deadlines
Important News, Articles, Links
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The No Bull October Newsletter 

     with Danny Manus 


First, I want to welcome the over 300 new Newsletter Subscribers this month! I hope you all enjoy your first newsletter and there is some great stuff still to come in future newsletters!

October usually means two things for writers - Halloween/Horror Movies and Austin Film Festival. And in my next newsletter, I will bring you some great Horror Movie Writing tips.

But this October also saw two HUGE spec sales - Million Dollar Sales! - both in the same week. I'm not sure the last time TWO project sold for 7 figures in the same week, but it's been at least 5 years.

This will be one of the topics I'll be discussing on my "Spec Script" Panel at Austin Film Festival on Thursday that I will be moderating with A-List Screenwriters John Swetnam, Justin Marks and Matt Cook!

As you are reading this, I am on a plane on my way to Austin where I will be a Pitch Judge for the Competition, will be giving the Pitch Prep Panel before the competition starts, and will be a Moderator for 2 great panels with major screenwriters and execs.

My second Panel on Friday morning is "Taking a Meeting & The Development Process," where I will be talking with execs from Larger Than Life (Hunger Games), Disney Animation, and AMC (Walking Dead, Breaking Bad) about how to get meetings, how to make them pay off, and what to expect once they do.

I am hugely excited and (to be honest) a little bit nervous. I'm still in prep and research mode. But in addition to my panels, there are tons of  major movie screenings,  amazing A-List panels and scene readings from A-List stars like Susan Sarandon and Will Ferrell, great music and parties with the likes of Shane Black, and seminars from today's biggest writers, directors and producers. And you can still be a part of it!!
The major film screenings you can check out here -
The A-List panels and speakers you can check out here -
So, don't miss it! Come party with me and the likes of Vince Gilligan, John August, Shane Black, Jonathan Demme, Brian Helgeland, Callie Kouri, Blacklist's Franklin Leonard, Zak Penn, Roberto Orci, Scott Neustadter, Terri Rossio, Paul Thomas Anderson and more!

For all of you who cant be there, however, I will be live tweeting all weekend @Dannymanus. I will also report back with the best stories, experiences, lessons, tips and info not only in the next newsletter, but also in my ScriptMag Column and in the ScriptTips E-Zine. 
                   CONFERENCE RECAP                          
Last month featured 3 Screenwriting Conferences here in LA: Story Expo, InkTip Summit and Screenwriter's World.  And I was at all of em! 3 Days each, 12 hours a day, dozens of private pitch consultations, and lots of books sold. All 3 conferences were great experiences in different ways for both me and all the writers in attendance.

The lesson that can be taken from all of these conferences is really about two things - preparation and capitalizing. I saw so many writers who came to these pitch events without a logline, without a finished script, without a one-sheet.  Having a dream and an idea is NOT being prepared! Luckily, many of them took my class and went home and GOT prepared before pitches started. And the next day, I had DOZENS of writers coming up to me saying "Thank God you told me to do a one-sheet! All the producers asked me for one and they all loved what I came up with."

I also learned the importance of capitalizing on experiences and opportunities. At Story Expo, I went to see Chad and Carey Hayes speak. They are the A-List writers of The Conjuring, my favorite horror movie of the year which has also made $250M at the box office.  I just went to sit in the audience and hear their panel, but because my friend was the moderator, I saw the opportunity to maximize the experience and I ended up having a 90 minute private conversation with the Hayes Bros afterwards and they've since sent me a couple clients and I'm helping them find some more speaking opportunities. And FYI, they could not be nicer!

At Screenwriters World, I was on a "rewrite" panel with writer/director Pen Desham, who I've always wanted to meet and afterwards, we had a nice chat and he gave me a copy of his book Riding the Alligator (which I highly recommend). When pros at the level of Pen Desham and Paul Chitlik tell you they are "stealing" one of your character exercises...that's a good day!

All of my classes and panels went great and were very well-attended. The pitchfest itself was well attended by writers, though some of the bigger companies sadly were no-shows. But I've heard that from the companies that were there, there were numerous script requests.

While at SW, I recorded a bit for Pilar's Podcast, got book proposal tips from my friend and colleague Kathie Fong-Yoneda, and I had two clients pay for notes before the conference was even over. It's all about capitalizing on opportunities as much as possible.

Every conference I attend leads to another opportunity, and it's the same for writers - if you do it right. There were two lovely young women (just a bit younger than myself) who took the opportunity to network with all the speakers/staff who went out afterwards and now they've got a rolodex of people to call. Never underestimate the power of buying someone a drink.

Screenwriters World was the last major LA event of the year, but don't worry - there will be many more in 2014 and now is the time to start preparing.


The Writers Store Webinar -
NOVEMBER 6th 1pm-230pm PST!
Attend from Anywhere!


PLUS - if you Register, you can submit the first 5 pages of your script (or first scene, whichever is greater) for written/emailed critique by ME! You may only submit ONE script.




Success in Hollywood is often about making great first impressions - and it's the same with your script. Since some executives and agents will only read the first 10 pages of your script, it's imperative you grab the reader immediately, engage them in the world of your story, and make them want to keep reading.



  • How to make a great first impression, on page one, and open your script with a bang
  • The 14 elements your first 10 pages must have
  • The 10 most effective ways to open your script
  • How some of Hollywood's hottest scripts start and why they work
  • What your opening image needs to convey
  • What "creating a world" truly involves
  • How to immediately set up the genre, tone, mood, conflict, setting, and emotion of the story
  • How to make your characters feel dynamic from the first page and effective ways to introduce them
  • How to get your voice across on page one
  • How these 14 elements will help you build to your inciting incident and what the inciting incident must accomplish
  • The power of a great title and the pitfalls of bad titles


For more information and to Register for the SALE PRICE, please click here - 




This was a major week for Screenwriting Contests. The winners of both the Nicholl's Fellowship and Page Awards were announced!


While none of the 4 No BullScript clients who were Nicholl semi-finalists or the 7 that were Page Award semi-finalists won this year, I have high hopes for next year!



There were 4 Individual Nicholl Winners plus 1 writing team. For the full announcement and a list of the winners and details on the Awards Ceremony on November 7th, please click here -


I will be at the Ceremony, hope to see you there!   


The 10th Annual Page Awards Winners were also announced. For the first time in quite a while, the Grand Prize Winner was a TV PILOT!  Congrats to Brooke Eikmeier and her project, LEAVENWORTH.   


Is this a sign that much like in Hollywood, the best writing is in TV? Who knows.  But I thought it was worth noting.  


For the full list of Page Award WINNERS in all categories, you can click here - 


I also want to congratulate the winner of the Horror/Thriller Category, EVEN by Patrick Mahon. This is  the category I have been judging for 4 years and it's always interesting to see which project wins out. 


I'll be honest - this is the first year where only ONE of my top picks landed in the top 3. I guess all good streaks come to an end. But that's the beauty of contests - different readers, different judges, different days, different's anyone's game.  


Between Page and Nicholl, there were 13,000 submissions. And between them, only 15 1st Place Winners. Is your script and writing good enough to be the top 15 out of 13,000? 


In other CONTEST news, the TRACKINGB Screenplay Contest Final Deadline is OCTOBER 27! This is a great contest that gives you what every writer wants - REAL access! No Coverage, no Cash. Just Access to a great panel of industry experts. 



Three finalists will be promoted on to their community of entertainment industry insiders AND will also be read by each member of the esteemed judging panel who will pick an overall winner. Five honorable mentions will also be selected to receive exposure on trackingb. To enter, please go to -- 




The 100 Young & Hungry Writers List from Tracking-Board 


The Horror Genre & Shifting Trends 


Top 10 Companies Capitalizing on Horror 


Tarantino, Sorkin & Dialogue as Purpose 


The God of SNL 


Studios vs. Indies & Financing 


Scoggins Spec Report on Spec Scout - 


The Top R-Rated Franchises 


About Danny Manus: 

Danny Manus is an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting, and was ranked in the Top 15 "Cream of the Crop" Script Consultants by Creative Screenwriting Magazine, headshot 2010. He is also the author of the E-Book "No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective." Danny was the Director of Development for Clifford Werber Productions (Cinderella Story, Sydney White) and is attached to produce several projects independently. He was previously a Development Consultant for Eclectic Pictures and the DOD at Sandstorm Films, which had a first look deal at Screen Gems. He is a columnist for Business of Show Institute and ScriptMag and teaches seminars to writers across the country. 

Danny Manus
No BullScript Consulting
This issue's final thought -
Topanga got married. Punky Brewster is pregnant. Jessie Spano is on Dancing with the Stars. Samantha Micelli is hosting Project Runway All-Stars. Jesus, when did I get this old? As I celebrate my Birthday today, I realize just how precious life is....and how precious 80s TV was.