‘Democratic’ is a word few would use to describe Hollywood decisions, but Cowrite, a collaboratively written movie script, is here to change that. After two sentences that describe the mood and plot (‘Napoleon Dynamite’ meets ‘Pineapple Express’, starring an awkward teenager caught up in a dangerous conspiracy), the organisers put the public in the driving seat. Anyone is open to submit a 10-page portion of the script, provided they do not belong to the Writer’s Guild of America and have paid an entry fee of around USD 10.
The contest was announced in December 2008, with the opening ten pages to be selected by Cowrite’s judges and uploaded to its website for all to see by 29 January 2009. The story will build from there, with the judges selecting and uploading the best ten-page addition every fortnight over six months. Each of the 11 selected writers will receive USD 2,000 prize money, with USD 5,000 is reserved for the overall winner, who will also rewrite the first draft. Writers will also receive a share of the royalties should the movie go into production.
The project is the brainchild of Benderspink, the management and production company behind the 1999 flick American Pie. It’s shaping up to be an engaging project from start to finish, as fans wait for each fortnightly installment, passionately debate the changes made in the rewrite and spread the word to build hype before the film is released. The movie’s innovative creation process will certainly create press attention, which could make it more likely to succeed at pitch and (hopefully) the box office.
Given that everything these days can be written, designed and produced by your customers, providing affordable labour as well as die-hard fans, what aspects of your business could you relinquish control over?
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