Applicants must be able to legally work in the United States and be at least twenty-one (21) years of age by March 31, 2019. Entertainment industry experience is not required, but strongly recommended. We encourage those applying to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide applicants towards a strong submission.
Those applying must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:
- APPLICATION must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY* with wide audience appeal that best reflects the writer's distinct voice and cultural perspective. Submitted screenplays must: (1) Follow a three-act structure; (2) be between 90-120 pages in length; and (3) have a clear beginning, middle and end. Any scripts less than 90 pages or exceeding 120 pages will be disqualified. Scripts must be registered with the WGA prior to submission, and the applicant must be the sole owner of all original material submitted. We are not able to accept projects with multiple writers attached.
Because all reads are blind, only provide the name of the screenplay and the WGA registration on the title page.
- ORIGINAL TREATMENT* that is not based on the submitted original screenplay. Submitted treatments that are the basis for the submitted original screenplay will be disqualified. Submitted treatments must adhere to the following formatting guidelines: (1) Title (2) WGA Registration Number (3) Logline (4) Brief key character descriptions (5) Three-act structure (6) Must not exceed five/5 pages (7) 1.5-inch line spacing (8) 1-inch margins all around (9) nothing smaller than an 11 font-size. Treatments that deviate from this format will be disqualified.
Both pieces of submitted material can be in the following genres: action, adult comedy, drama, family, grounded sci-fi/horror. However, if selected for the Program writers may be assigned to write content that tonally matches the slates of UFEG’s various divisions which include Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Dark Universe, and 1440 Productions. Additionally, material that are a hybrid of animation and live-action will be accepted with the caveat that the live-action content is dominant.
**Although Universal Pictures and Focus Features have released films based on true stories and/or Intellectual Properties, for the purposes of applying to this Program, submissions must be wholly original. Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on any existing content are not eligible. (Please refer to the FAQs for more information.)
- RELEASE FORMS must be completed, signed, dated and uploaded in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification.
- RESUME outlining chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any writing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing writing projects, only include projects that were produced. The applicant’s resume will provide us an understanding of his/her work history and insight to their individual life experience.
- PERSONAL ESSAY capturing the writer’s unique personal story in a way that articulates the writer’s perspective on multi-culturalism and inclusion. Stories may be based upon impactful life experiences such as a specific event, or a period of time and/or aspirations. We recommend personal essays be first-person narratives and form of a linear story with a clear beginning, middle and end and including emotional resonance (e.g., funny, dramatic, etc.). Must not exceed 750 words. Essay Topic: Tell a story of a time or situation in which you did not feel included and how you overcame that feeling.
- LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (Optional) from entertainment industry professionals who have read the applicant’s material and can comment on the applicant’s writing ability are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program will disqualify the writer's application.
- Applicant must be eligible to work in the United States. This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.
- Minimum age of 21.
- Writers must be the sole owner of any material submitted, which must be wholly original. Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on underlying materials are not eligible. Material from writing teams will not be accepted.
Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.
Applications will be accepted now through October 31, 2018. Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. PST on October 31, 2018.
Due to the volume of submissions received, those not accepted will not be notified. Please check our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) for updates. Typically, selections are announced in March with the Program commencing in April.