Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Contest Alert - Cowrite

The League recently received an email from Todd Soffian, creator of Cowrite, a new screenplay contest (http://www.cowritescript.com/). We thought the contest sounded pretty cool and unique and wanted to share it with our readers. The contest is open to to everyone and could result in the participating writers working on a Hollywood feature.

Please note that we in the League have not submitted to Cowrite, so we can not speak about it from personal experience. This is just an informative post about another contest option out there. You can read about our experiences in various contests here and here, as well as other places on the blog.

The following information is from Mr. Soffian, but can also be found on Cowrite's website.

A movie premise will be posted on the Cowrite website and writers now have the opportunity to submit their version of the first ten pages of the story. The best opening ten pages ($10 per 10 page entry), selected by the Cowrite judges, will be posted on the website and the story will build from there.

Every other week, the best ten-page script submission will be added to the developing story until the script is finished and ready to be sold. There will be eleven winners over the six month contest. For their ten-page contribution, each winning entrant will receive money and prizes totaling $3000, a pitch meeting with Benderspink and a chance to win the grand prize of a paid rewrite of the script. Winners will also share in any potential script sale proceeds.

Another exciting aspect of the Cowrite website is the "Pro's Take" section where professional screenwriters and industry professionals will offer comments and suggestions on the developing story as well as insight into how to get started in Hollywood. This mentoring program will serve as an invaluable tool for aspiring screenwriters and help guide the story along. Guest mentors will include screenwriters Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Shintaro Shimosawa (The Echo) and Josh Schaer (TV's Jericho).

This is believed to be the first screenwriting competition where the end goal is to try to sell a collaborative screenplay. In true Web 2.0 fashion, Cowrite utilizes social networking and the "wisdom of the crowd" to create a community-sourced product. Cowrite believes this method of art creation will become a widely accepted, and, in fact, sought out way of finding new talent while producing blueprints for major motion pictures. After all, what better market research tool for studios trying to figure out what audiences want to see at the theaters than letting the audiences provide the content?

Cowrite has partnered with The LA Film Festival and software companies Final Draft and Jungle Software, all of which will supply prizes to each of the eleven winners.

Please let us know if you submit to this competition and what your experiences with it are. We'd love to hear your responses, as this sounds like a neat idea. We'll certainly let you know any experience we have with it.

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