Friend of Fresh Voices, Eli Richbourg Passes Away at 42

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Eli Richbourg Head shotEli Richbourg died suddenly as the result of a brain aneurysm in Paris, France on March 20th, 2013 at 42 years old.  Eli was a longtime collaborator of director Joel Schumacher, working in various capacities on such films as Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, A Time to Kill, 8MM, Flawless, Tigerland, Bad Company, Phone Booth, Veronica Guerin, Phantom of the Opera, The Number 23, Blood Creek and most recently Trespass.  

Based in Paris, Eli had recently been named Head of Development for French gaming company Ubisoft, where he was developing films based on the video games Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell. He was also involved in several independent projects that he had written, including his screenplay of the Andy Dougan book Dynamo: Defending The Honour Of Kiev, set for production by Pathé Pictures, and  starring Gerard Butler. His original screenplay,The Shot, was also being produced by Pathé with Michaël Fassbender attached. According to the New York Times, his writing fees for Dynamo and The Shot established Eli among the highest compensated screenwriters in France.  

Eli was a good friend of Fresh Voices, generously offering his time to discuss his love, passion and approach to the art of screenwriting. He genuinly hoped to inspire others and prove that success is acheivable with hard work, tenacity and determination. Read the interview Eli did exclusively for Fresh Voices here.

Eli is survived by his wife, Gaelle, and 22-month old son, Paul. A fund has been set up to help support Paul's education.  Email for instructions on giving.

Mpower Pitcures Lands 2012 Competition Winner Megalopolis

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Moutaz JadSince winning the Science Fiction Category of the 2012 Fresh Voices Screenpaly Competition, Moutaz Jad has been busy. His winning screenplay, Megalopolis, was read by established Hollywood production company MPower Pitcures, best known for the Golden Globe Nominated Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler. The company liked the script so much, they requested a meeting with Moutaz.

Living in Saudia Arabia, it could have been easy for Moutaz to make Mpower Picturesexcuses and delay a meeeting,  but within a week he was on a plane to meet the producers in Los Angeles, and returned home a week later with an agreement in hand. We are pleased to say, he is now negotiating his first Hollywood deal to attach MPower Pictures as producers and has taken a giant leap towards launching his career as a professional screenwriter. Read more here.

Fresh Voices Winning Script In Production - Watch the Trailer Here

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Already Gone Poster 1Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X:Men movies) and Harry Shum Jr. (Glee) star in Already Gone by Bill Balas.

As a direct result of placing in the action category of the 2010 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, producers Peter Katz and Don Le optioned the script for up and coming filmmaker Ross Ching to direct. Joel Mendoza of Fresh Voices and Attraction Entertainment is Executive Producer.

Precious Vengeance Takes 2012 Fresh Voices Top Screenplay Honors

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Stephen Hunt HeadshotLOS ANGELES- Stephen M. Hunt took home the Grand Prize at the 2012 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition for his compelling World War II drama, Precious Vengeance.

Hunt, an accomplished British playwright now living in France, was chosen as the grand prize winner from over 1,000 screenplay entries by competition chairman Joel Mendoza.

“Precious Vengeance is one of those rare scripts that conjure up such deep emotion, it is impossible not to be moved” said Mendoza. “It’s a story that lives with you and haunts you long after the end.”

Fresh Voices in the Press - Wired Magazine

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Originally Published:

April 24th by Curtis Silver

Hollywood is a wild and crazy place, and the politics of getting a feature film produced are complex to say the least. Rather than shopping a completed script to possibly interested parties, director Ross Ching and writer Bill Balas took a shortcut: They simply made a three-minute version of their action movie.

Their violent short is called Already Gone, and you can watch it exclusively above (language NSFW). The filmmakers might just be on to something big with this approach, which takes the “teaser first, movie later” concept a step further: This is a very streamlined way to get their story in front of audiences before the full feature has been completed. Think of it as a pilot for the feature film yet to be bought.

Fresh Voices in the Press - Films as Startups: How Indie Producers Build Buzz

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Originally Published:

May 2nd by Christine Erickson

The film industry is not what it used to be. Gone are the days when writers shopped a script around Hollywood, hoping to catch the eye of major production studios.

Instead, that model has been turned upside down. Films are aiming to captivate an audience first, without the assistance of studios. Technology and social media have made it feasible.

Writer Bill Balas entered his feature-length script into a contest for Fresh Voices, a social network for screenwriters, which captured the attention of producers Peter Katz and Don Le.

Rather than following the traditional path of production, the team used Balas’s script to create Already Gone, a short film about a crook who only robs from other criminals. The three-minute video is directed by Ross Ching, and stars Shawn Ashmore of X-men fame and Harry Shum Jr. from Glee.