Saturday, June 16, 2012

How Can We Find The Next Great Script?

Let's build a better mousetrap.

Over the next month and a half, Scriptshadow will relaunch its site.  I have some great things in store for readers, but one of the things I'm most excited about is the time it will free up for me to start working on my next project - Developing a new system to find great screenplays from unknown screenwriters.

For 100 years, Hollywood has basically used the same system for finding screenplays.  Each company, whether it be a studio or agency or whatever, has readers cover all incoming scripts, and anything the readers like gets passed up to their superiors, who if *they* like it, pass it on to their superiors, and so on and so forth.

Here's the thing though.  Over the past 5 years, the script-sending game has changed dramatically.  The obvious difference is that scripts are now sent digitally as opposed to via a hard copy.  This has led to a more instantaneous flow of scripts, and I feel like it should be ushering in a new filtering process.  But it hasn't.  The model for weeding through screenplays has pretty much stayed the same.

Well, I want to change that.  I feel we need some new ideas and some new voices.  We need the younger generation - the generation not tethered to these outdated models - to look around and say, "How can we do this better?"  I've already started looking for new ways to find great scripts, starting with my Twit-Pitch contest.

But I'd like to develop a large all-encompassing model for finding great screenplays that's smarter, faster, and more efficient.  I want to do what the studios and the agencies are too lazy to do.  I want to change the system.  And I thought, "Who better to ask for advice than the very people submitting these screenplays?"

So, I'm interested to hear what you guys would do if you were me.  I'd like you to come up with a system for weeding out the bad screenplays and finding the good ones that takes into consideration today's technologies and new avenues.  There was no Scriptshadow 5 years ago.  There wasn't a huge community of people reading screenplays for enjoyment and education every day.  There was no Twitter.  PDF scripts were a luxury at the time.

Pretend that you've just been given the job at Scriptshadow Studios to build a better mousetrap.  I have thousands of scripts coming into me from Amateur writers.  How do we weed those down efficiently and find the good ones?  The sooner we figure out how to do this, the quicker we revolutionize the business.  So, I'm leaving it up to you guys.  I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section.  Show me what you got!