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The Vegas/poker Themed Screenplay “Vegas Knights” Wins Its 3Rd Honor.


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#1 Vegas Knights

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:23 PM

Hi, this is Gerry Burlage (aka "Vegas Knights"), the author of the Vegas/gambling/poker themed screenplay "Vegas Knights" that is currently for sale. Some of you who have been following the saga of this script might be interested to know that the script has won its 3rd honor. Ten days ago it became a quarterfinalist in the huge Scriptapalooza Screenwriting contest. While it is not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award, I’ll take being a quarterfinalist in a contest with 3,798 entries and am honored to have received it. Yes, that is not a misprint, the contest had 3,798 entries. That shows you just how many screenplays are out there and how competitive the field is.

I believe this is a newsworthy story in the poker and gaming world considering some other poker themed movies have not done that well. (On the other hand the poker themed movie "Rounders" made 70 million in profit thanks to excellent DVD sales http://www.slashfilm...ing-rounders-2/ , so the potential is definitely there). I believe the reason the other movies didn't do that great has absolutely nothing to do with poker and everything to do with their plot, characterization, casting, style, etc. In other words they were simply not good movies irregardless of the fact they included poker. My script is "very different" from these other films and I'll try to talk about that later.. The script “Vegas Knights”, where poker is an important element, has received the following honors:

1) Nevada Film Festival Screenwriting Competition - a 1st place award.

2) Las Vegas Film Festival - the script received an “Honorable Mention” competing against all genres (action-adventure, Sci-Fi, comedies, etc.). Their office reported the contest had several hundred entries.

3) Scriptapalooza 2013 Screenplay Competition- "Quarterfinalist". This contest is much bigger and more well known than the other contests mentioned, and is not associated with Nevada. Here is a link that describes the contest.

http://www.thestorys...-contests-2013/

What makes this contest unique is that it is judged only by people who work in the film industry, such as producers, agents, and managers. The contest lists the judges on their website.

Do these 3 honors mean the script will be made into a movie? Well, I guess we’ll see, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I wish I had more time to market it. I do have a job outside the film industry and I don’t live in California which is a disadvantage. Not living in LA, and not having having sold a screenplay before, makes getting an agent difficult (even with 3 screenplay competition awards/honors). It’s a Catch 22, it’s difficult to get an agent unless you’ve sold a script and it’s hard to sell a script unless you have an agent. But you don’t need an agent to sell a script. I do have a lawyer though who has experience in entertainment. The 3x's honored script is for sale for $55,000 (but will go lower if given a percentage of the profits). Also will option. If there are any wealthy people reading this, I know an experienced director (who lives in Vegas) who might be able to get the ball rolling if the money was there.

I had a thread about the script before but the first 3 ½ pages of that thread was absolute garbage because of a big time troll that came into the thread. That is the main reason I started a new thread– to save any new readers from having to plow through 3 1/2 pages of confusing garbage. On page 4 of that thread however the thread finally gets into some serious talk about the script and screenwriting. So if you haven’t read that thread before, you might save your mind a lot of garbage and start at post 72 (if you are serious about film). Here is that thread:

http://www.fullconta...ic=146396&st=60 (To bypass trollish posts scroll down to post 72 and beyond. Also, at post 76 there is a discussion as to why my script is very different from some recent gaming movies.

If anything after post 72 interests you then bring it into this thread to discuss.

Anyway, it’s no secret that many people in the gaming community (which is now worldwide) are dying for a good feature film where modern poker is an important element. I tried to write one, and I guess we’ll see what happens. But the fact is that there is now a poker themed script out there that has won 3 honors at 3 different screenwriting contests.. Now I guess it’s going to have to take that one person (or persons)— producer, director, studio executive, name actor, name poker player/players, wealthy investor/investors, agent, etc.— who can make it happen. If anyone wants to contact me, you can do so by registering on this website and sending me a private message, or sending me a message on the facebook page "Ger Burlage".

If you would like to see the first few pages of the copyrighted script, they can be seen at this link: http://www.fullconta...howtopic=147299

#2 Vegas Knights

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:13 PM

There are a few people out there who have the script. Let me say to them that the script I entered at the Scriptapalooza contest is better than the one you have. I've added 2 new scenes that I think make the script more emotional and did some other polishing. I also deleted the scene at the Siegfried and Roy animal park to move the story along. Although I prefer the script to stay basically the same, once someone buys it it's their baby and they can change it anyway they like, and they'll also get partial writing credits if they do change it.

#3 KingJames

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:31 PM

Congrats!
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#4 Vegas Knights

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:10 PM

View PostKingJames, on 21 August 2013 - 06:31 PM, said:

Congrats!
Thanks...

If the script is ever made into a movie there will be an opportunity for a lot of poker pros to make cameos since there are several WSOP scenes. If the WSOP doesn't want to get involved then some other major tournament could be written in.

#5 David_Sklansky

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:49 PM

Out of curiosity, what's your asking price for this script?

Keep in mind, I am not just looking to make this film. I want to put my own name on it and cut you out completely as soon as your check clears. There would be no royalties and certainly no more awards for you.
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#6 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:05 AM

View PostDavid_Sklansky, on 22 August 2013 - 04:49 PM, said:

Out of curiosity, what's your asking price for this script?...

With no percentage $55,000, but will go considerably lower with a % of profits. (see post 26 for info about optioning). By the way, if there are any super wealthy gambling or poker enthusiasts out there I know an experienced Hollywood producer who might be able to get the ball rolling if the money was there. Anyone who put up a lot of money would probably be able to play one of the poker players at the feature table (if they wanted to) and could possibly have their friends be players also... If anyone would like to reach me, register on this site and private message me. Or message me on the facebook page "Ger Burlage".

___________

Regarding your username, you might be interested to know that David Sklansky's name is mentioned in one scene and a book of his has a close-up on it in another scene, and the protagonist even says the title of the book out loud. There are also other poker authors and books mentioned in the script. Of course whoever buys it can decide what books are mentioned.

Also, in the script, Mike Matusow has 45 words of dialogue. I don't know him personally and haven't spoken to him but if the film is made and he doesn't want to do It, I'm sure there are other pros who would. But these are all decisions the owner of the script would make.

I would like to point out that the script has other things going on besides poker. The true heart of the script is the personal lives of the characters away from the tables. The characters is what will attract middle America. But the script does take a deep look at poker and gambling and I think it does so in a way that will intrigue even non-gamblers. The film also tries to show the excitement and energy of Vegas. This Vegas energy element was almost non-existent in the movies "Deal" and "Lucky You" in my opinion.

#7 BigDMcGee

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:00 AM

Deal didnt gross 75K in the box office. Good luck with that.
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#8 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:03 AM

View PostBigDMcGee, on 23 August 2013 - 08:00 AM, said:

Deal didnt gross 75K in the box office. Good luck with that.

Deal was just one poker themed movie. Rounders was another and it made $70 million in profit thanks to outstanding DVD sales http://www.slashfilm...ing-rounders-2/

And the script of "Deal" didn't win 3 honors like "Vegas Knights". Deal also had a very limited release, playing in only 50 theaters. In contrast, a major Hollywood film can play in 3,400 theaters. Although I liked Burt Reynolds in his prime 35 years ago, one well known critic (Leonard Maltin) said Reynolds (in Deal) "sleepwalked through his role". Maltin also said in his "Movie Guide" book that Deal is a "Dull, derivative rehash of every gambling movie cliche in the book..."

In "Vegas Knights" the main 3 characters are not professional gamblers (like they were in Deal and Lucky You) which is why I think Middle America will be able to identify with them more. The audience has to care about or be intrigued by the main characters. Were you intrigued by Burt Reynolds in Deal? Did you care about the bland poker pro Huck in "Lucky You"?

The Vegas/gambling film "21" grossed 184 million (with DVD) worldwide. Do you think the film's success was because of the game of blackjack or do you think its success was because of the movie's plot, style, and characters?

#9 Cha! Cha!

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

I can't wait until Vegas Knights becomes a huge blockbuster and google searches for it lead back to this place.

#10 BigDMcGee

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:47 AM

Did I watch Burt Reynolds in Deal? Did I watch Huck in Lucky You? You would have to pay me money to watch those movies. I have seen exactly one Poker movie I thought was great, California Split. The Cincinnati Kid has it's charms. That's about it. Most Poker "pros" are degenerates, and if you want to make a movie worth a shit about them, you have to portray them as such. Show the costs that poker takes on their personal lives, the flawed personalities drawn to it poker, the addictions that ruin most pros, the people broken their addiction to the game itself, and the type of sociopath most have to be successful at it over the long term. Based on your romanticization of old school pros in the forums ( and that you call the movie Vegas Knights) Im guessing you went the other route. Not that I've actually read your "award winning" script, mind you, that's another activity you'd have to pay me to do.



I think the success of 21 is largely in it's a true story, adapted from a best selling book that had a premade audience. Perhaps you think that your forum pimping will create a similar pre-made market? Good luck with that.
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#11 David_Sklansky

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:52 AM

View PostBigDMcGee, on 23 August 2013 - 10:47 AM, said:

Did I watch Burt Reynolds in Deal? Did I watch Huck in Lucky You? You would have to pay me money to watch those movies. I have seen exactly one Poker movie I thought was great, California Split. The Cincinnati Kid has it's charms. That's about it. Most Poker "pros" are degenerates, and if you want to make a movie worth a shit about them, you have to portray them as such. Show the costs that poker takes on their personal lives, the flawed personalities drawn to it poker, the addictions that ruin most pros, the people broken their addiction to the game itself, and the type of sociopath most have to be successful at it over the long term. Based on your romanticization of old school pros in the forums ( and that you call the movie Vegas Knights) Im guessing you went the other route. Not that I've actually read your "award winning" script, mind you, that's another activity you'd have to pay me to do.



I think the success of 21 is largely in it's a true story, adapted from a best selling book that had a premade audience. Perhaps you think that your forum pimping will create a similar pre-made market? Good luck with that.

That was such a brutal headshot.
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#12 David_Sklansky

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:56 AM

View PostVegas Knights, on 23 August 2013 - 02:05 AM, said:

With no percentage, $75,000; with a percentage I would go lower.

You might be interested to know that David Sklansky's name is mentioned in one scene and a book of his has a close-up on it in another scene, and the protagonist even says the title of the book out loud. There are other poker authors and books mentioned in the script also. Of course whoever buys it can decide what books are mentioned.

Also, in the script, Mike Matusow, has 45 words of dialogue. I don't know him personally and haven't spoken to him but if the film is made and he doesn't want to do It, I'm sure there are other pros who would. But these are all decisions the owner of the script would make.

I would like to emphasize that the script has other things going on besides poker but poker is an important element. The true heart of the script however is the personal lives of the characters. But the script does take a deep look at gambling and poker. It also tries to show the excitement and energy of Vegas. This Vegas energy element was almost entirely missing in the movies "Deal" and "Lucky You" in my opinion.

Honest highest offer? $5K, cash, up front, in your hand as soon as you sign the papers. Cards on the table here, I don't have experience making movies on this scale and am mostly only considering it because I want my name on your script because I think it would be funny.

I do have more poker world connections than McGee is accounting for though, so I do think there is possibly enough upside to pay for how funny I think that would be, and I do like the idea of using it for product placement. But for $75K, I could get a Super Bowl ad.

$5,000.
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#13 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:28 AM

View PostDavid_Sklansky, on 23 August 2013 - 10:56 AM, said:

Honest highest offer? $5K, cash, up front, in your hand as soon as you sign the papers.
No thanks.

#14 David_Sklansky

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

I am a creative person myself, so I get how you feel, with all the hours you put into it. But the reality is that you are staring at the best offer you've ever gotten and probably the last one too. It's not a fair world, but this is $5K in your pocket right now, and you get to see your baby brought to life.
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#15 David_Sklansky

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

$7,000
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#16 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:01 PM

View PostBigDMcGee, on 23 August 2013 - 10:47 AM, said:

Did I watch Burt Reynolds in Deal? Did I watch Huck in Lucky You? You would have to pay me money to watch those movies. I have seen exactly one Poker movie I thought was great, California Split. The Cincinnati Kid has it's charms. That's about it. Most Poker "pros" are degenerates, and if you want to make a movie worth a shit about them, you have to portray them as such. Show the costs that poker takes on their personal lives, the flawed personalities drawn to it poker, the addictions that ruin most pros, the people broken their addiction to the game itself, and the type of sociopath most have to be successful at it over the long term. Based on your romanticization of old school pros in the forums ( and that you call the movie Vegas Knights) Im guessing you went the other route. Not that I've actually read your "award winning" script, mind you, that's another activity you'd have to pay me to do....

Actually my script (in order to be realistic) does show a little of the dark side of poker and gambling, which from memory was non-existent in "Lucky You". It also has a small segment on gambling addiction. But I believe the positive in the script (see post 22) outweighs the negative . And I think some of the seediness shown might intrigue audiences the way the Tonya Harding incident intrigued the public and made figure skating grow in popularity.

But when you think about it, there is some seediness in almost all arenas of life from politics to college athletics recruiting to religious denominations. But as I said before, the main characters are generally good guys that the audience will like and pull for.
______

added: By the way, professional poker player Johnny Chan is married with 6 children and owns 6 houses, so he is not one of those degenerates you opined about.

http://www.masterspo...ress/index.html

#17 Cha! Cha!

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:04 PM

View PostVegas Knights, on 23 August 2013 - 12:01 PM, said:

I think some of the seediness shown might intrigue audiences the way the Tonya Harding incident intrigued the public and made figure skating grow.

lol

#18 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

View PostVegas Knights, on 23 August 2013 - 12:01 PM, said:

I think some of the seediness shown might intrigue audiences the way the Tonya Harding incident intrigued the public and made figure skating grow.

View PostCha! Cha!, on 23 August 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

lol
You might be too young to remember as the Tonya Harding incident was 20 years ago but I can remember a time when figure skating might have been on Wide World of Sports once every 6 months. After the Tonya Harding incident, figure skating absolutely exploded and was everywhere on TV every week for years. I actually went over to where she trained at an indoor rink at a mall during the incident and it was unbelievable. There were film crews from all over the world at the mall and totally surrounded the ice rink while she was training. Figure skating has declined somewhat in the last few years, maybe it needs another knee whacking type incident and maybe poker needs a different kind of movie to get people talking about it.

#19 BigDMcGee

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

View PostCha! Cha!, on 23 August 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

lol

yea, I'm convinced he's a troll now.
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#20 Vegas Knights

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:51 PM

View PostBigDMcGee, on 23 August 2013 - 02:45 PM, said:

yea, I'm convinced he's a troll now.
I noticed you didn't explain yourself.




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