You don’t have to be an Film or English major to submit a film idea to M-agination Films. We accept scripts from any students enrolled at the University of Michigan, whether you’re LSA or Ross, graduate or undergraduate, north campus or south campus. So here are a few tips and tricks for getting your project chosen:

Follow the Guidelines:

  • Submissions can be in the format of a proposal/treatment, outline or script.
  • We accept all sorts of proposals (narrative, experimental, music videos, documentary, animation [if you have the resources], etc.)
  • No more than 15 pages (in script format). Usually projects are between 4-7 pages (think page per minute)
  • You can submit as many scripts/proposals as you like.
  • Keep in mind to write within our resources (practicality- i.e. we can’t build a roller coaster or travel to Antarctica for the weekend)
  • Any details about how to shoot the project are always helpful (i.e. You have access/ideas for locations/props etc. – We will help you with all of this of course! It’s just good to know if you have additional resources)
  • We highly recommend you use script writing software, check out this FREE script software: https://www.celtx.com/pricing.html

Meet the Deadline
Every semester we have a script call deadline for projects that will be considered for that semester. Make sure you’re aware of when it is so you can ensure your script is read. Any scripts submitted after the deadline are not guaranteed consideration.

Give Us the Whole Story
It may seem like common sense, but completed stories are much stronger than uncompleted stories. Keep in mind that the closer you are to a finished product, the easier we can assess whether it’s a project we want to take on-  and that doesn’t mean just the ending! If you’re doing a documentary, tell us all the specific aspects you want to cover and how. If you’re doing something fictional, iron out all the plot details and characters and try to write the whole script out. If you’re doing something experimental, take us thoroughly through all your visuals and ideas. We want to see your vision!

Show Off Your Skills
We understand that because the deadline is early in the semester, it may be hard to find time to compile the perfect script. Let’s repeat that: we understand! However, while log lines and short treatments can be interesting, they don’t always give us an idea of your script writing ability or how much production is involved, making it harder for us to back your project. If you can’t get the whole script hammered out before hand, try to submit at least the first scene or two, then an outline or detailed treatment of the remaining scenes and a date you will have it finished to ensure us that you could have it finished for auditions the following week. Detailed treatments for shorter films are also appropriate if you can still ensure us the final script could be finished for auditions.

Submit the Right Thing
Here’s a cheat sheet of what you should submit for your project type. Feel free to submit additional materials along with them like storyboards, music, note of specific resources (ie. “My basement is great for my horror movie.” “I have access to a naval ship.”), or anything else you have that relates to your project. Additional materials are neither required nor guarantee your project will be picked over others. Please submit project materials in a PDF, MP3, 0r JPEG form.

Fictional Sound Short: Screenplay, 1-15 pages in length (think 1 page=1 minute) OR first few scenes of submitted screenplay with remainder in a detailed treatment/outline and a rough date you will have it done by OR detailed treatment explaining story.
Music Video w/ Dialogue: Screenplay or detailed treatment. Song sample via MP3 or link.
Music Video w/o Dialogue: Detailed treatment explaining story and/or images of your vision. Song Sample via MP3 or link.
Fictional Silent Short: Detailed treatment explaining story and/or images of your vision.
Documentary: Detailed treatment including specific ideas, aspects you want to explore. Dream big, but keep in mind films should be 15 minutes or under.
Experimental Short/Screendance: Detailed treatment going through images/ideas in sequence. Music if applicable.
Animation: Detailed treatment, rough sketches/storyboards (if you would like us to find you an animator, please let us know!)

For formatting tips see our Resources Page.

Resubmit
Didn’t get picked last semester? Last year? Don’t fret! We get tons of a good scripts and proposals every semester and have to say no to many we love. So dust off your PDFs, update them with a few edits and send it back over to us for the new semester.


Email your submissions to m-aginfo@umich.edu by January 16 @ Midnight for the Winter 2016 deadline.