September 26, 2012 | 10:00 AM
It's been quite an exciting few weeks. The response to the submission phase of the Four Stories competition was amazing. On behalf of Roman, the judging panel, Intel, and W Hotels Worldwide, we at The Ultrabook™ Experience want to thank everyone who submitted screenplays!
The competition inspired a truly breathtaking range of scripts from spy thrillers to unlikely romances and much more, with W Hotel settings and the Intel-inspired Ultrabook at the heart of each.
The judges panel had an extremely hard time whittling down the hundreds of scripts received from 11 different countries, but decisions had to be made.
So, without further ado, we present the four winners (yes, four!), indicated by the W Hotels location where their short film will be produced, and the top 12 finalists overall!
Congratulations, winners and finalists! Stay tuned for more, including video from the shoots and, in November, the premiere of the films themselves!
W Doha and Residences: "Modern/Love" by Amy Jacobowitz
A couple separated by a continent convene at W Doha to meet for the first time. We follow them through the excitement and anxiety of this first face-to-face encounter. Amy works at a branding agency in Los Angeles. The 23-year-old graduated from UCLA in 2011 and originally hails from Culver City, California.
W Resort & Spa Maldives: "The Mirror Between Us" by Kahlil Joseph
The fragile psyche of a young woman begins to heal when she visits W Retreat & Spa Maldives. The scars of living through a Los Angeles earthquake remain, but she finds hope anew. Kahlil has worked with the artists Doug Aitken, Melodie Mcdaniel, and Terrence Malick. The writer, born in Seattle, Washington, has made short films and videos for the past eight years and hopes to one day make features.
"¡El Tonto!" by Ben Sayeg
Navigating the vibrant streets of Mexico City can be tricky. Just ask the nerdy protagonist of Ben Sayeg's script. Even getting coffee can be tricky. Ben lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a writer and filmmaker. The 33-year-old just started preproduction on his first feature.
W Washington DC: "Eugene" by Adam Blampied
At the advice of a therapist, a couple takes a quick getaway to W Washington D.C. When an Ultrabook™ is mysteriously delivered at their door, a metaphysical awakening ensues. Adam is a student at the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts and writes comedy for the sketch comedy troupe, The Beta Males.
And here are the screenplays that deserve an honorable mention. Thanks again to everyone who submitted to Four Stories. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes videos, premiere coverage, and the original films.
"Skipped" by Andrew Ryan
A forlorn jump-rope coach decides to quit his constantly annoying job. At 27-years old, Andrew is already an accomplished filmmaker with his own production company called Boulevard Film and numerous awards under his belt. He lives in Syndey, Australia and studied film and theater at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.
"David Schwimmer Checks Out" by Simon Fowler
A hotel full of celebrity impersonators investigates the mysterious death of a David Schwimmer look-alike. It's a knee-slapping and head-turning whodunit. Simon Fowler is a 26-year-old advertising copy writer originally from Auckland, New Zealand and now living in Sydney, Australia. This script was co-written with Simon's writing partner Jono Paull, who is a 29-year-old copy writer from Sydney. The two have been writing as a team for a number of years and have won short film competitions in the past.
"Forgetting Keystrokes" by Bryce Marrero
A Q & A at a film screening gets controversial when an attendee accuses the director of plagiarism. Bryce works as an account representative at Modern Videofilm in Burbank, California. He graduated from Cal State University in 2011 and spends almost all of his free time writing and directing films.
"Portable Love" by Marilyn Bandiero
Marty couldn't quite make it to his getaway vacation in Barcelona, so his wife, Mary, brings along an Ultrabook that is constantly video chatting with Marty back at home. Can the couple reconnect while being so far from one another? Marilyn is a writer and producer born in Havana, Cuba, raised in New York City, and residing in Los Angeles. She manages properties for a living, but she's also a full-time writer.
"Face Value" by Mike Gallagher
This experimental drama contrasts beauty and truth. Like the ancient Greek tale of Narcissus, who was so enthralled by his own reflection that he died after staring at it for years, "Face Value" is something of a morality play, following the lives of four unnamed models. Mike is a 49-year old writer from San Rafael, California. He writes TV commercials and essays. One of his essays is featured in The McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals.
"A Maximum Occupancy of Two" by Stephen Lewis
When the inviting advances of a young woman confound a young man, he turns to the internet—and his jumpy imagination—to figure out what to do next. "Don't over think it" is sage advice, indeed. Stephen is a playwright by trade. He's won awards from the Kennedy Center and Sundance Theater Labs for his comedies, and he teaches at the Writopia Lab in Los Angeles, California.
"End of Times" by Alexis Walter Blaess
A physics professor finds that his lifework—disproving time travel—might be wrong, as a futuristic visitor takes him through a hair-raising adventure at W Washington DC, the site of a high-stakes scientific Convention. Alexis is an accomplished fantasy and science fiction screenwriter, having studied in Mexico with the likes of Guillermo Del Toro and others. He's written eleven sci-fi screenplays and one young adult novel. The 46-year old lives in Oakland, California.
"Atomic Dominic" by Robert Douglas
Renowned "feline artist" Errol Grammich visits a W Hotels destination to give a lecture about his lifework painting cats. An unexpected business proposition and the unruly antics of his two companions derail his visit. Robert is a 19-year-old student at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.