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FAQ FAQ

Writers FAQ - Material

What is an appropriate original writing sample?

The writing sample should exhibit the writer's distinct and cultural perspective, storytelling sense, and wide audience appeal.

 

Although Universal Pictures and Focus Features have released films based on true stories, real people and/or pre-existing intellectual Property, for the purposes of applying to this Program, submissions must be wholly original and not based on any pre-existing content. 

 

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What genres do you accept?

Material can be adult comedy, drama, action, family, or grounded sci-fi/horror.

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Is material based on my life, someone’s life or a project in which I own the rights eligible?

No.  All material submitted must be wholly original and fictional. Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on real people or underlying materials are not eligible.

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Can I submit material that has already been produced or has been optioned? 

No.

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Can I submit animation material?

No. However, live-action and animation hybrid material (e.g. Space Jam or Who Framed Roger Rabbit) is eligible provided that the material is predominantly live action with only minimal animation. 

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Is co-written material eligible?

No.  You must be the sole author of any original material submitted with his/her application.

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Who owns the rights to the material submitted?

Applicants retain ownership of all original material submitted.  However, if selected for the Program, UFEG shall have an “Exclusive First Look” of the submitted material, whereby UFEG shall have the exclusive option to purchase such material from the selected writer in accordance with the policies and terms outlined in the Universal Writers Program Contract. 

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If selected into the Program, will I need to disclose material written prior to my acceptance?

Yes.  Any material written or co-written by the applicant prior to the term of the Program and owned or controlled by the applicant must be disclosed in writing, and UFEG shall have an “Exclusive First Look” right as to such material.  Writers selected to participate in the Program will be required to obtain a signed release form from all co-writers of any pre-existing, co-written material as a condition of their employment.

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May I submit material that I previously submitted during the last application period?  

Yes.  However, new material will better reflect a writer’s progress.

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Must my original script and treatment be registered with the WGA?

Yes.  Materials must be registered with the WGA prior to submission.  Materials registered with any other organizations or affiliations will not be accepted (e.g., The Library of Congress Copyright or Writers Guild of Canada). Visit www.wga.org for more information on registering material. Registration may take more than 24 hours to process.

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What is the acceptable format for submitted material?

All materials (submission release, resume, screenplay, treatment, letter(s) of recommendation) must be submitted in PDF format through the application website with filenames titled as follows: [Piece of Material] – First Name Last Name (e.g.  Screenplay – John Doe; Resume - Jane Doe, etc.).  The personal essay should be submitted through the text entry box on the application website.

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Who reviews submissions?

A combination of UFEG executives, producers and professional evaluators.

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Will I receive feedback on my submission? 

No.  Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.

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