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Coverfly

Announcing our Second Virtual Live Read!

By Announcements

We are excited to announce our next performance of the Coverfly Virtual Table Read Series in partnership with The Storytellers Conservatory! Join us this Friday April 10th at 4pm PST (7pm EST) on the Coverfly Facebook page here: facebook.com/coverfly

At 4pm PST on Friday you’ll see our Facebook Live video of the virtual table read with professional SAG/AFTRA actors of a very funny comedy feature screenplay selected from hundreds of free applications. Learn more about our free Extras here.

We have selected DIRTY WATER DOGS by Terrie Viani, a comedy feature screenplay that follows a down-on-her-luck street vendor in New York who tries to rig a lottery for a hot new spot in the Central Park Zoo.

For any questions, please email support@coverfly.com. See you there!

We’re excited to announce that our last virtual live read resulted in the writer signing with a literary manager:

Congrats to screenwriter Jacob Wehrman!

“Coverfly proved to be a powerful resource. Opportunities like Coverfly’s Pitch Week and the Live Read series can get your work in front of actors, directors, and producers– for free. I feel that Coverfly has my back by vetting every contest, and they add serious value by offering those no-cost extra opportunities.” – Jacob Wehrman

Jacob Wehrman signed with a literary manager after his script was performed by a cast of actors for Coverfly’s Virtual Live Read!

Read more about Jacob’s story here.

Goodbye Withoutabox

By Announcements

After more than 10 years, film festival submission platform Withoutabox is shutting down, according to emails from the company to festival administrators today.  The company announced:

“After more than 10 years operating the Withoutabox film festival submission service, we have decided to phase out the service over the next year.

We are working with current film festival customers to fulfill Withoutabox’s commitments through October 30, 2019 and are working with filmmakers to ensure their submissions are properly processed during this transition. We are grateful to all the filmmakers who have shared their stories through Withoutabox and the film festivals who have discovered talented artists around the world using our service.

Why are you disabling the service?

After extensive consideration, we have decided to phase out the service over the next year. We are working with current film festival customers to fulfill Withoutabox’s commitments through October 30, 2019 and are working with filmmakers to ensure their submissions are properly processed in this transition phase. We are grateful to all the filmmakers who have shared their stories through Withoutabox and the film festivals who have discovered talented artists around the world using our service.”

The website pioneered online submissions for film festivals, and quickly grew to be the largest platform for submitting independent films for consideration by festivals. The company was launched in January 2000 by founders David Straus, Joe Neulight and Charles Neulight which allowed filmmakers to distribute their films to festivals. In January 2008, Withoutabox was acquired by IMDb, a subsidiary of Amazon. At its peak, Withoutabox hosted over 3000 film festivals on five continents, including such world-renowned festivals such as Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival.

The company earned revenue by charging a commission on festival submission fees, as well as by selling advertising to film festival administrators to promote their call for entries.

While the service was a breath of fresh air for filmmakers initially, who prior to Withoutabox had to submit their film 35mm prints and VHS tapes literally in a box to film festivals with a check for payment, the tide of public opinion began to turn.

After growing quickly to dominate the marketplace of film festival submissions, Withoutabox began to encounter criticism from festivals and filmmakers for charging to much money for their service and for having an unstable technical platform that was difficult to navigate.

Controversies

“The honeymoon was over for festivals,” as industry analyst Stephen Follows wrote in a piece titled The seismic shift in the world of film festivals.

Even before Amazon’s acquisition of the platform, anger and discontent about the service began to grow, as Withoutabox was blamed for a buggy site, high upfront fees for film festivals, high commission fees, anti-competitive practices and litigious behavior against upstart competitors, claiming unnecessary rights from filmmakers, and poor customer service. Additionally, Withoutabox claimed a patent on their submission platform which they wielded against would-be competitors.

A Facebook group called Filmmakers and Festivals Against Withoutabox was formed, and now has over 6,000 members.

Withoutabox came under fire for paying top film festivals to exclusively use their platform. As recently as this year, Withoutabox negotiated a 3-year exclusive deal with Sundance. It remains to be seen what will come of this deal in light of today’s news of Withoutabox’s demise.

As recently as last year (April 2017), Withoutabox crashed under the huge volume of of HBO Access screenplay submissions.

FilmFreeway’s debut in 2013 quickly supplanted Withoutabox as the preferred submission platform by many festivals and filmmakers.

Today there are several industry-leading submission platforms for films and screenplays, notably:

  • Coverfly (specializing in curated screenplay competition submissions management)
  • FilmFreeway (specializing in film and script submissions, and event ticketing)
  • Submittable (specializing in multi-format submissions including film, books, essays and applications)

Coverfly has quickly grown to be the leading submissions management platform specializing in screenwriting competitions, fellowships and writing labs. Open only to top screenwriting competitions with proven reputations, Coverfly offers festival and contest administrators robust features for managing their contest’s submissions.

 

Coverfly Partner Contest Criteria

By Uncategorized

At Coverfly we believe that screenwriting competitions can be effective and valuable avenues to early career success for emerging writers. To help writers wade through the hundreds of competitions, festivals, labs, and grants available to them, Coverfly maintains robust partnerships with some of the most respected programs in the industry. 

As a service to writers, Coverfly is always evaluating new partners for inclusion on the platform. We carefully consider a competition’s merits before allowing it to be listed on Coverfly. 

How We Evaluate Partners

Professionalism

Writers often look to a program’s website to determine whether or not the organization behind it has their best interests in mind. They look for clean design, easy navigation, and clear information regarding contest fees, rules, and prize packages. 

Transparency

Writers want to feel confident that their submission will be read and that when they submit their work to a competition they’ll have an understanding of when they will hear back. Transparently communicating information and sticking to the deadlines and announcement dates you set are an essential part of maintaining writer trust. We also look for competitions that are mindful of publicly maintaining lists of past winners and finalists. 

Unique Value to Writers

Writers have nearly unlimited choices but limited budgets when it comes to submitting to competitions, and we look to curate a list of partners who each provide distinct offerings to writers, which may include a unique jury, an opportunity to share work with an untapped market of industry professionals or audiences, or anything else that might set a competition apart from others. 

Industry Network

We also love to partner with programs that understand the importance of securing professional juries and mentors who are actively working in the industry in order to provide winners and finalists with tangible benefits as they build their careers as writers. 

Track Record of Helping Writers

The best endorsement of a competition or festival is one that comes directly from writers. If your past winners and finalists are satisfied with the process of working with you, it’s a great sign. We also look for competitions that keep accurate data on past competition results and success stories because it shows us you care about the ongoing development of the writers you’ve selected. 

“A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”

Ultimately, our goal is to build a community of like-minded programs all working together to level the playing field for new and emerging writers. We actively promote and support our partners and expect that support to be reciprocated. This means we look for partners who are passionate about their mission and who believe in and support ours.

How We Maintain Quality

In our initial evaluation, we take a holistic approach and meet internally to discuss the merits of a potential partner’s offerings. Our process also involves periodic reviews of all programs featured on Coverfly and a commitment to evaluating individual programs even if we’ve already worked with a partner in the past on another program, festival, or competition.

If you’re ready to work with us, fill out an application with details about your program. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the quality of any competition that is listed on Coverfly, please feel free to email us directly: support@coverfly.com. We will respond to you promptly.

Screenwriter Patrick Byrne Signs with Literary Manager via Coverfly

By Announcements, Success Stories

We’ve got another writer to congratulate: Patrick Byrne was discovered by literary manager Gavin Dorman via Coverfly! In the past couple years Patrick has received accolades from PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, WeScreenplay, ScreenCraft and the Nashville Film Festival.

Two of Patrick’s screenplays have been featured recently as top projects on The Red List – most notably, his feature screenplay The 405.

Patrick Byrne was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. For the last ten years he worked in TV and film (LOST as a production assistant for four seasons, and on the movies BATTLESHIP and INCURSION). He is a screenwriter and teacher. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and son.

Gavin Dorman signed Patrick after discovering him via Coverfly. Gavin is an independent producer/manager based in Los Angeles, CA. Previously, he worked for several years as a development executive at Vertigo Entertainment, where he helped craft a multitude of film projects, including: The Lego Movie (the 2014 blockbuster based on the toy line), Poltergeist (a remake of the horror classic), Run All Night (the Liam Neeson mob-thriller), The Stand (based on Stephen King’s esteemed novel), Deus Ex (based on the popular video game franchise).

This good news is on the heels of another recent Coverfly success story just a few weeks ago: Colin Dalvit & Andrew Lahmann Sign with Manager Josh Dove at IPG via Coverfly