2021 Screenwriting Competition Success for crime thriller ‘Headshot’

As 2020 ended with another win for Red Mist in the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival, 2021 got off to a successful start with the first competition wins for urban crime thriller Headshot in the Paris Play Film Festival and the London International Screenwriting Competition. It was also awarded a Semi-Final placement in the Eurasia International Film Fesival.

Headshot was originated in 2014 and got initial success as a Shore Scripts Quarter-Finalist in 2016 and a Finishline Script Competition Semi-Finalist placement in 2017.

Headshot was Paul Harker’ first, sustained attempt to write a feature script and was used by him as an entry submission to gain entry to the MA in Scriptwriting at Salford University.

Paul explains ‘It’s a story I’ve grappled with over multiple drafts over a number of years, and it really represents my initial learning curve as a screenwriter. It got two good placements in 2016 and 2017, but at that point I didn’t feel like I could take it any further. Once I got onto the MA at Salford, it sat in a lonely folder on my desktop, largely forgotten.’

‘Once I’d completed my MA, I reviewed my portfolio of works, and upon re-reading, realised three years of intense study had expanded my knowledge of structure in particular, and that there was another redraft in it.’

This redraft was completed in the Autumn of 2020 and after the success of Red Mist during the later part of 2020, Paul realised there was the potential to get Headshot up to the same standard. This was realised with the two competition wins.

Red Mist rounds off a successful year in competition

Paul Harker’s low budget, psychological horror screenplay Red Mist rounded off a successful 2020 in competition, winning two international screenwriter competitions and getting placements in six other contests, including a runner up spot, an honourable mention and two more finalist positions.

Originated in the spring of 2018, the script was drafted to a good level with notes from the Finishline Script Competition but then left dormant as Paul finished his MA in Scriptwriting at Salford University.

Picked up again in the summer of 2020, further redrafts and notes saw the script reach a First Draft level as a production ready proposition. The script was entered into a number of competitions via the Film Freeway portal.

The script is currently being read by a number of film productions companies in 2021. Hopeful the misadventures of serial killer and PhD candidate, Zander, will be menacing our screens in the near future.

Red Mist Screenwriting Competition Awards in 2020:
Hollywood Blood Terror Film Festival, Best Original Screenplay, 2020
Winner Grim North Screenplay Festival, Horror Feature 2020
Runner Up The Things in the Basement Fest, Horror Feature 2020
Honourable Mention / Included in the Blood List British Horror Film Festival 2020
Finalist 13Horror.com Film & Screenplay Contest, Horror Feature 2020
Finalist Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival 2020
Semi Finalist Lit Scares International Film Festival 2020
Official Selection New York City Horror Film Festival 2020

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