Holli Castillo
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  • About Angel Trap

    About Angel Trap

    A screenplay

    April 3, 2010

    Angel Trap won a Silver Screen Award in the Las Vegas film festival, and made the finals in Exposurama, Script showcase and Screenplay Search in addition to Page and Wildsound, and made semi-finals in Shriekfest and quarter finals in several others. 

    The Acclaim first runner-up was the highest award so far--so close but yet so far--and I am currently working on another screenplay called Sheltered, which is a romantic comedy very different than Angel Trap.  I am not finished with Angel Trap, although I think at this point it is not likely I will be able to sell it. It is a huge budget monster, something I didn't consider before I wrote it, but I still want it to be perfect so I could possibly use it to get spec work.  


    September 1, 2009

    Angel Trap made it to the finals of the Page Awards. The winners will be announced October 1, 2009. I have to say I am still surprised it has done so well, particularly given some of the criticism I have received.  Of course, much of that was from earlier drafts, but the current draft is better than what I've entered in any contest, in my opinion anyway. The story is still much the same, and the protagonist and general feel is the same, so maybe that's what the contest are judging. Trust me, I'm not complaining.


    August 18, 2009

    Angel Trap was first runner-up in the Acclaim Summer/Sprint 2009 Screenplay Competition. There were only two runner ups, so it is quite an honor. Of course winning would have been better, but second is pretty close.  Two versions of Angel Trap also made the second round of the 2009 Page International Screenwriting Awards, and the second version has made it through the quarter-finals to the semi-finals, with the list of finals TBA in September, 2009.  Angel Trap has also made it to the quarterfinals of the Writer's of the Storm Screenplay Competition, semi-finals TBA. 

    The Acclaim near-win was the biggest surprise, because I completely did not expect it. I had recently received a somewhat scathing review from a contest called 20/20, where only the first 20 pages are reviewed to determine who proceeds. The reader called my characters losers, as in, "Who cares what happens to this bunch of losers?" His critique was on the sarcastic-trying-to-be-funny-but-not-quite-making-it-side.  To be fair, I have edited the entire screenplay since I sent it to this particular contest and realize it needed some work, but I did not find the way the comments were given to be constructive in the least. 

    I fully admit earlier versions of my screenplay had some problems, and when I received critiques from other contests I was impressed with the way the advice was offered, as if the reader's goal was to help me make the work better, salable.  The 20/20 reviewer seemed to be more interested in being clever and amusing himself while criticizing my screenplay than in offering helpful advice.  (For some reason, I get an image of a chimp in the zoo grabbing itself and laughing at the zoo-goers watching it when I read the review.) I don't expect everyone to fall in love with my work, but I do expect some modicum of profesionalism when I am paying someone to review something for me. But then that's just me.


    June 5, 2009

    Angel Trap did not win the WILDSound Feature Screenplay contest.  I did receive some positive feedback, which you never know how to take. Is it BS to be nice, or did they really like it, it just wasn't good enough?  It was an early draft that I have edited ferociously since entering the contest, so I have to wonder if they were just being nice. Interestingly, the two things they commented on that didn't work were two things that were not integral to the plot and had been removed, but I had honestly not thought were that important when I put them in. Basically, I added a few sentences of dialogue about a character to give him a little backstory and to make him more three-dimensional.  I took it out later, just because of a space issue, too many pages in the screenplay. I found it interesting how they thought it was a set up that wasn't followed through, which was not my intention, especially since it was only a few sentences.  I received similar feedback on the same issue from another company, so I guess I didn't realize how important I unintentionally made that one aspect seem.

    Anyway, I am still editing, still entering contests and hopefully the later drafts will fare better.


    May, 2009

    Angel Trap has made the finalists round in the Spring 2009 WILDSound Feature Screenplay contest.  From 25 finalists, they choose three winners. The winning screenplays will receive a live reading at the WILDSound Screenplay Festival in Toronto in June.


    Holli Castillo