Competition Time

A friend of mine works at the Adelaide Film Festival and linked me to a competition they are running for screenplay writers. I decided to enter.

This was helpful because it set a hard deadline for completion of the screenplay. A hard deadline I did not make, ☹️. The deadline was Wednesday the 3rd of May and at the time of finding out about the completion was about 2 weeks away. I still had two-acts to write, and was really getting bogged down with the Act II—spoiler alert, I still am. The reason I talk about this is because the day before it was due, I actually read the submission details and low and behold I only needed to submit the first 15-pages along with a synopsis and longline. And believe it or not I have (over) 15-pages of screenplay.

Alas I needed to write a one-page synopsis, I have never written a synopsis in my entire life and naturally I left myself with 5-hours to write it. Furthermore, I needed to write a logline, this was a word that was new to me. Basically it is a one sentence overview of the screenplay—the premise. Screen Australia has a really nice guide to help you write a synopsis and various other overviews of your screenplay. I had to a one-page synopsis, at first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fill up an entire page, but as these things go I had about 3-pages I needed to little down to one. I won’t go into detail about actually writing it all, it’s not very exciting at all, but I did find the process useful and it got rid of some of my writers block.

Oh yeah, I also need to come up with a title for the screenplay to submit it. I have been trying to come up with a title for sometime now, but have been putting it off as much as I could. I still don’t really have a title, but I went with SUPERHUMAN (it’s my Fringe show, gasp): subject to change.


A down-on-his-luck and wanna-be superhero is confronted with his antithesis in the form of a girl who he must convince of his worth and validate his place in the world.

Synopsis by


“SUPERHUMAN” is a drama told over three thirty-minute acts that run in real-time. Set in an alternate present day Australia where superheroes are common place, the story of two characters with mundane and unremarkable superpowers are told simultaneously one in chronological order and the other in reverse chronological order.

Marcel Mercury is a man who has fought his way through life burdened with power to be able to always turn the shower on to the perfect temperature of 44.6º no matter the shower. Working as a cleaner at The Department of Superheroes and Emergency Services he is subservient, hateful and jealous of the traditional superheroes known as ‘The Calvary’ who keep law and order. Marcel’s antithesis is Bryn Bridgette a perky manic-pixie-dream-girl-esque university student who travels through life like a warm knife goes through butter. She has never waited in traffic her entire life — the lights turn green in her presence — unaware this is a superpower she like most people idolise The Calvary. They both suddenly find themselves in the middle of an emergency situation. Rather than wait like Bryn for The Calvary Marcel takes the opportunity to right a lifetime of wrongs as tries to save the day but — as his life has taught him — falls short (literally) of being the hero.

Act II opens with an older Bryn being shepherded by her friend Kate to attend a meeting of Superheroes Anonymous, an anti-superhero support group founded by Marcel for those with mundane and unremarkable powers. Bryn begrudgingly joins the meeting where she meets Marcel for the first time. The two quickly realise they are diametrically opposed in almost every way. The meeting serves as the boxing ring as they yield their words as weapons and trade blows of perfectly crafted sentences that would put the Harvard debate team to shame. The melee of word vomit ends with Marcel storming out of the room unable to control himself.

The final act begins with Marcel as a child being bullied by a group of boys who would go on to become The Calvary. This childhood trauma is what causes Marcel to hate superheroes and start Superheroes Anonymous. At the same time we see a graduate Bryn who is thrust into an emergency situation that begs uniquely of her powers. This is the emergency from Act I, where Marcel failed to save the day, because it was Bryn that moment was made for. 

Am I super impressed with my synopsis? No. Am I super impressed with my logline? Not really. But I had a deadline and I wrote (day and night) like I’m running out of time (because I was) and submitted it. Now before I could even submit I had to become a member of the Australian Writers’ Guild who run the competition in partnership with the Adelaide Film Festival. I should probably give the name of the completion it is the INSITE Award billed as,

Established to unearth unproduced feature film screenwriting talent, the Award is presented to the writer of a screenplay which has not yet secured a producer or funding. INSITE’s proven formula will see the 2017 winner meeting industry directors and producers with a view to moving the project forward and onto the screen.

The winner of INSITE will receive:

  • A three-day pass to the Adelaide Film Festival, as well as flights (interstate) and accommodation to attend the Festival.
  • A minimum of three meetings with producers to discuss their script.
  • Eligibility for entry onto AWG’s Pathways Program.

I already live in Adelaide, so I don’t get the flights ☹️.

I joined the AWG (I am member 17422 #baller) as a student which meant my joining fee was waived and my annual fee is reduced to $85. Upon entering the completion I had to pay an entry fee of $50 also, it was quite the costly endeavour. Nevertheless I am now entered I should probably finish the rest of the screenplay just incase they like it and I need to submit the the full thing.

In preparation for entering I also went through the first 15-pages and made some notes and adjustments. I sat myself down at my favourite coffeeshop (Cafe Bang Bang) and entered a new state of hipster as I edited my screenplay inside a coffee shop. I had my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil out ready to make notes, which as a side note: was quite enjoyable.

being a hipster As you can see I can’t even spell properly.

Small shoutout to PDFExpert which I used to write all over my pdf. Also, please admire my penmanship.

pdf expert screenshot

If you would like to you can read my 15-pages here and download my synopsis here. There are some other competitions I may enter, and I will keep you updated if I do.