John Rhodes, Co-Founder, ScreenCraft.org. Jury member of NEM Zagreb 2019 TV Writing Contest.
Why did you decide to join NEM Zagreb’s TV Writing Contest as a member of the preselection’s independent jury?
I love to support talent-discovery programs. As part of our mission at ScreenCraft, we believe that Hollywood deserves a more efficient and meritocratic talent-discovery process for emerging screenwriters. Our programs are designed to attract and help diverse emerging writers from around the world. It was an honor to support NEM Zagreb’s TV Writing Contest which has a similar mission.
What did you think about the submitted scenarios – did any idea stand out from the others?
Many of the TV scripts and pitches were excellent. It was interesting to read stories from so many Croatian writers who were tapping into their country’s culture and history for stories.
What would be your general advice for all NEM Zagreb’s TV Writing Contest applicants?
Keep writing. Many writers work hard for 10 years and have several spec screenplays before they are offered paid screenwriting opportunities. Excellence comes with consistent practice. Also, read great screenplays and study the films and television episodes that you love.
Is there a recipe for writing a successful TV project?
Yes, of course. The great secret recipe too writing a successful TV project is: really love what you’re writing about. If you’re interested in your story, your passion will lead you through the hard work of writing and re-writing. In terms of characters and story, the two best pieces of advice I can give is: make sure your structure serves your story and make sure your protagonist is active with strong goals.