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Announcements

Coverfly Career Lab Schedule and Speakers

By About Coverfly, Announcements, Events

On Saturday, June 20th 2020, Coverfly is excited to present our first Coverfly Career Lab, a day-long intensive focusing on key professional skills for emerging screenwriters. Over a full day of panel sessions with A-list industry leaders – studio execs, managers, showrunners, Oscar-nominees and more – you will learn key skills and strategies to advance your career: general meetings, working with representation, standing out from the crowd and getting (and staying) hired.

Live-streamed online, the event is a pay-what-you-can benefit for The Actors Fund and the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF), two organizations that serve the entertainment industry community in need.

Coverfly exists to make sure that talented emerging writers have the skills and support they need to get discovered and hired in Hollywood. The Career Lab is our way to share that knowledge outside of the typical centers of the entertainment industry. If you have a few polished scripts, have a good understanding of the industry, and are looking to get signed by an agent or a manager, this virtual lab is for you!

This event is not meant for beginner writers, but is open to anyone, anywhere and is donation-based. Bring your questions and your game-day focus, because this is where you learn strategies and tools to catapult your career to the next level. Below you’ll find more details on the format of the event, and bios for the speakers. We hope you can join us!

PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE:

11:00am – 11:15am: Preparing for Success, with the Coverfly Development Team

Our team starts-off the day with tips and recommendations on how to make the most of the program.

11:15am – 12:15pm PANEL 1: “Perfecting your Brand” 

How do you best present yourself to the industry? How do you know what they’re looking for? This panel covers best practices on everything from branding to bios and loglines, with special focus on personal experience of what works and what to avoid.

Speakers:
Monica Macer
Monica Macer is a screenwriter, Exec. Producer, and Showrunner of Korean and African American descent. She has written for some of the most acclaimed television series over the last 15 years, including LOST and QUEEN SUGAR. Most recently, Macer served as showrunner and executive producer of Netflix’s Latinx dramedy, GENTEFIED. Additional writing and producing credits ranging from PRISON BREAK (FOX) to TEEN WOLF (MTV), NASHVILLE (ABC) to DECEPTION (NBC), and THE BREAKS (VH1). As showrunner of Queen Sugar’s second season, Macer was tapped as one of Variety’s 10 Writers to Watch. She currently serves on the Motion Picture Television Fund’s (MPTF) NextGen board and is a co-founder of the newly minted organization, Korean American Leaders in Hollywood. Additionally, Macer is a 2020 Coalition of Asian Pacific (CAPE) Writing Fellows Mentor.

Eric Fineman, Senior Vice President, Pascal Pictures
Eric Fineman is a Senior Vice President at Pascal Pictures where he has worked since 2018. Before that, he was a Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures working on such films as: VENOM, SPIDER-MAN:HOMECOMING, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, GOOSEBUMPS, INFERNO, along with many others.

David Rambo, TV Writer and Playwright
David Rambo has written some of the most popular television of the last twenty years, including CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, V, NYC-22, REVOLUTION, the record-smashing premiere season of EMPIRE, the TNT series WILL, CLAWS, and the upcoming Netflix drama TINY PRETTY THINGS. He is the author of the plays THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre starring Judith Ivey; Lortel nomination), GOD’S MAN IN TEXAS, THE ICE-BREAKER, BABBITT, an all-new book for Lerner and Loewe’s PAINT YOUR WAGON, and THE TUG OF WAR. His work has been widely produced at theatres throughout the country, including The Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geffen Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, Alliance Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse. In addition, he adapted several classic screenplays for live performance, including ALL ABOUT EVE, CASABLANCA, ADAM’S RIB and SUNSET BOULEVARD, produced at the Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri conducting Franz Waxman’s Oscar-winning score. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of N. Carolina School of the Arts.

12:30pm – 1:30pm PANEL 2: “The Writer’s Team”

Description: Who are the team members – Managers and Agents – that are key to a writer’s success? How does a new writer find representation, and what are the hallmarks of an ideal writer-rep relationship? Learn from top representatives as they share what works and what doesn’t, from referrals and first meetings to building a career-long partnership.

Speakers:
Ava Jamshidi, Literary Manager, Industry Entertainment
Bio: Industry Entertainment is the management and production company behind such Hollywood talent as Ted Danson, Chan-wook Park, Kal Penn, Jeff Goldblum, Alexis Bledel and many more.

Matt Dy, Literary Manager, Lit Entertainment Group
Bio: Matt Dy is a Literary Manager at Lit Entertainment Group. Formerly Matt ran the Austin Film Festival’s Screenwriting Competition. Lit Entertainment was founded by manager-producer Adam Kolbrenner who produced the Oscar-nominated film, Prisoners, for Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment, written by Lit client Aaron Guzikowski. Lit Entertainment’s next film is Fox’s Free Guy, along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. The film, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Shawn Levy, is an original spec from Lit client Matt Lieberman.

Parker Davis, Literary Agent, Verve
Parker Davis is a motion picture agent at Verve, a premiere talent and literary agency based in Los Angeles, representing clients in film, television and new media. Davis has focused on cultivating voices with unique points of view and nurturing their careers. He was the #1 agent on the Black List and Hit List last year.  His clients include Davis include the writers of UNCLE DREW, Amazon Studios’ THE LORD OF THE RINGS series, STAR TREK 4, JURASSIC WORLD 3, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, and BOYS DON’T CRY.

2:00pm – 3:00pm PANEL 3: “Good in a Room”

Meetings, pitches and generals are keys to success for all writers, from breaking-in to long-term careers. Learn from writers, Showrunners and Execs about what it’s like to be on both sides of a great meeting, how to prepare, how to present yourself and red flags to avoid.

Speakers:
Sera Gamble, Showrunner, TV Writer
Bio: Sera Gamble is the creator, with Greg Berlanti, of YOU (Netflix), based on Caroline Kepnes’s acclaimed novel. Upon its worldwide debut in December 2018, YOU was seen by an estimated 40 million viewers. Gamble is also the writer and executive producer of THE MAGICIANS (Syfy). The number one scripted show on Syfy, The Magicians ended its five year run in March 2020. Previously, Gamble wrote and produced the cult CW series SUPERNATURAL for its first seven seasons, also running the show in seasons six and seven. Gamble is a first-generation American, for which she credits her work ethic. Gamble’s family are Holocaust survivors; members of her family fled to Russia and Siberia during the Nazi occupation. At age seven she was given her first book of fairy tales, which made her promptly decide she wanted Hans Christian Andersen’s job. Her Hollywood career began when she was a finalist on the second season of “Project Greenlight” in 2003.

Jelani Johnson, Exec Vice-President, Content Strategy and Senior Partner, MACRO
Bio: Jelani Johnson serves as MACRO’s EVP of Content Strategy and Senior Partner of MACRO. Most recently, Johnson spent 4+ years as a Motion Picture Agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). While at CAA his clients included: Melina Matsoukas, A$AP Rocky, Cheo Coker, Jesse Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Storm Reid, Angel Soto, Solvan “Slick” Naim, Gina Rodriguez, Virgil Williams, Mara Brock Akil and André Holland amongst others. Johnson began his career in entertainment as an intern at CAA and transitioned into talent management at the Santa Monica-based management company Generate. He subsequently co-founded The Mission Entertainment, a management and production company focused on multicultural content creators, before returning back to CAA. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in History and Anthropology from Columbia University.

Cate Adams, Vice President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures
Cate Adams is a Vice President in the Warner Bros. Pictures creative group, which is responsible for developing and producing the feature films that WB distributes worldwide. Cate was part of the creative team behind the 2019 films TOMB RAIDER and THE MEG. In her early years as a creative executive, Cate worked on Jeff Nichols’ MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, Shane Black’s THE NICE GUYS, and Guy Ritchie’s KING ARTHUR.  Cate is currently overseeing the development and production of a diverse film slate, including a re-imagining of Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES, a live-action animation hybrid version of TOM & JERRY, and a SESAME STREET film.  Cate serves as a NextGen Board Member for the Motion Picture Television Fund and sits on the Committee for the Science and Entertainment Exchange.

3:30pm – 4:30pm PANEL 4: “Getting (and Staying) Hired”

You’ve learned about branding, working with your team, taking the critical meetings, now how do you close the deal and get the job? More importantly, how do you keep it? This panel focuses on what working writers do to stay constantly working, from rewrites and collaboration to pitches and industry trends.

Speakers:
Vanessa Taylor, Oscar-nominated Screenwriter
Bio: Vanessa Taylor has worked in both television (most recently GAME OF THRONES) and film. Her feature work includes HOPE SPRINGS, DIVERGENT, THE SHAPE OF WATER, for which she was nominated, along with co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro, for an Oscar, and the upcoming HILLBILLY ELEGY, directed by Ron Howard.

Alexandra Cunningham, Television Showrunner and Executive Producer
Alexandra Cunningham is the creator, showrunner and Exec. Producer of DIRTY JOHN based on the hit LA Times podcast of the same name, which premieres on USA Network June 2, 2020, and stars Amanda Peet and Christian Slater.  Cunningham began her television career on NYPD BLUE. She has since written and produced such shows as ROME, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, BATES MOTEL, AQUARIUS, and CHANCE starring Hugh Laurie on Hulu. Cunningham graduated from Johns Hopkins and Columbia, and was a playwriting fellow at the Juilliard School.

Lang Fisher, TV Creator, Writer and Executive Producer
Lang Fisher is a writer, producer, and director based out of Los Angeles, California. She recently co-created and executive produced the acclaimed Netflix series NEVER HAVE I EVER with Mindy Kaling. Prior to this, Lang has been a writer and producer on three seasons of BROOKLYN 99, five seasons of THE MINDY PROJECT, and was a staff writer on the Emmy-nominated final season of 30 ROCK. The 30 ROCK episode that she cowrote, “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World” was named one of Variety’s “25 Best TV Episodes of the Decade.” Before venturing into the world of sitcoms, Lang spent six years writing for the satirical news outlet The Onion for which she won a Peabody as a member of the writing staff for The Onion News Network. She is a graduate of Columbia University and lives with her baby and her cat.

4:45pm – 5:00pm Let’s Move Forward, with the Coverfly Development Team

Time to pull it all together and dive into a few mid-and-long term strategies for writers to improve their craft and get noticed. Bring your questions, as we take some time to share lessons from the day, as well as insights we’ve garnered from our wider industry network.

Join Us!

Coverfly Career Lab Rescheduled to June 20th

By Announcements

The Coverfly Career Lab, scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed to Saturday, June 20th

As the events in our nation prompt a long-overdue conversation about injustice and systemic racism, Coverfly wants to keep the focus on this critical national movement. We believe it is right to keep the floor open for those voices right now. 

All panelists and moderators are confirmed and excited for the event on June 20th, with bonus speakers just announced, including:

  • Monica Macer (Executive Producer, Showrunner, GENTEFIED, QUEEN SUGAR, TV Writer LOST, NASHVILLE, etc)
  • Alexandra Cunningham (Creator/Showrunner/Exec. Producer DIRTY JOHN, TV Writer ROME, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, BATES MOTEL, NYPD BLUE, etc)  
  • Parker Davis (Literary Agent at Verve Talent Agency
  • Cate Adams (Vice President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures). 

Coverfly exists to serve writers, and the Coverfly Career Lab will return very soon, to give advice, tools and strategies to emerging artists to advance their screenwriting careers. 

We hope you will return with us in a short while for this educational event to benefit the Actors Fund and the Motion Picture Television Fund, two organizations that serve writers and our community in times of need. 

If you’ve already signed up, the private link you’ve already received will still work on June 20th for the event and you’ll have access to the recorded sessions after. There’s no action needed.

Until then, let’s all listen, learn, make art and raise our voices. 

“If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?” – Alice Walker

Thank you, 

Scot, Mitch, Maggie, Tom, Julianna, Mark, Jen, Jeff, Micah and the Coverfly Team

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.

Announcing our First Virtual Live Read!

By Announcements

We are excited to announce the inaugural performance of the Coverfly Virtual Table Read Series in partnership with The Storytellers Conservatory! Coverfly’s monthly Live Table Read was previously an in-person performance with professional actors in Los Angeles. In light of the recent coronavirus quarantines, we’re switching them to virtual live-streamed video events – and the good news is that this allows for more people to join virtually!

Join us this Friday March 27th at 5pm PST through this link here — no sign up required. The virtual hangout will open ten minutes prior to the performance. Performers will appear on screen but all are welcome to watch! Closed captioning available for hearing impaired.

We have selected CRAWLSPACE by Jacob Wehrman, a thriller feature that follows struggling plumber who is trapped by criminals fleeing a murder scene. The screenplay was chosen by the Coverfly team after Jacob applied for the Live Read program.

Want to see your screenplay performed live by professional actors? You could have the chance to invite friends, family, colleagues, producers, and managers to an exclusive event celebrating you and your work. Connect and collaborate with working industry pros to improve your material. Coverfly’s monthly Live Reads are free, and accepting applications here!

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

New Coverfly Features: Understand Your Projects Better

By About Coverfly, Announcements

We’re excited to share new updates to Coverfly. Before we dive into the details, here are three big changes in this month’s update:

  1. Improved Project Page
  2. New Coverfly Score Page
  3. Request Projects from The Red List

Let’s dive into these new updates:

An Improved Project Page

Writers have been asking us for greater insights into their projects’ Coverfly scores, and we’ve listened. Now, on the project page, you can better gauge how well your script is doing, see clearer score updates, and find out if your script made The Red List.

Here’s how you can get the most from your new project page:

  • COMPARE. Compare your project’s Coverfly Score to other projects in the same format and genre
  • STORY TRAITS. Use our new “story traits” to get an idea of your project’s strengths and weaknesses. We base these off of numerical scores that coverage and competitions on Coverfly have shared.
  • RECOMMENDED DEADLINES. View recommended upcoming competition deadlines that fit your project, right on your project page
  • COVERAGE. View coverage entry types you’ve previously received from Coverfly coverage partners
  • SEE DRAFT HISTORY. Track your draft update history and download old drafts

A new score page for each project

Our Coverfly Score algorithm is complex, but understanding your Coverfly Score should be easy.  We’ve created new charts to help you compare your score with other projects on The Red List in that specific format and genre.  Now you can see your score increases more simply:

  • See how your project’s Coverfly Score has increased with each submission
  • View upcoming and past Coverfly Score updates for every competition submission
  • We’ve published an improved article on the Coverfly Score and how it works

Request top projects from The Red List

Is there a project you’ve noticed on The Red List that you’ve been dying to read? Or maybe you just wanted to get in touch with a writer? Now you can. Visit The Red List and click “Request” next to any project to send an email to the writer requesting to read their script.

None of this would’ve been possible without the help of the members of our new Sneak Peek program. Thank you to the writers who generously donated their time to provide feedback on these new features!

What is the Coverfly Score?

By About Coverfly, Announcements, Screenwriting 101

Helping Writers Get Discovered by Tracking Progress on Submissions and Coverages

Our goal is to become the most efficient way for writers to be discovered by the entertainment industry, and the most trusted guide for emerging writers to achieve their goals. We do this by offering a free database for screenwriters to host their screenplays. In addition to hosting your projects for free, Coverfly uses your project’s reviews from submissions to top-tier festivals, competitions, fellowships and coverage services to provide a measure of our confidence that an Industry professional would be interested in your screenplay.  We’ve also pulled together dozens of highly regarded screenwriting competitions and free fellowships and programs to help you improve your score. Check out those tips and resources at the end of this article. 

The Coverfly Score is simply a tool to help writers better understand how their project is improving while also helping industry professionals discover great writers and great projects. It is, of course, not the only or even most important factor in determining the success of your script.  While we want the score to be helpful and empowering, we don’t ever want it to dissuade you from writing more projects or putting your work out there. The best writers write a LOT of projects!

A Special Metric Aggregating Screenplay Evaluations 

Aggregating scores

To help industry professionals discover great matches on Coverfly, we have found it important for projects to be vetted several times.  This allows for greater confidence in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and general quality of the piece. On average, it takes about five reads before we have gathered enough data to confidently rate a project for Industry consideration. Remember, many contests read a script multiple times, so 5 reads can happen quickly.

More Evaluation Data is Better (up to a point)

Chart showing confidence in score increasing

Larger score updates will occur for the first five scores as we build confidence in the quality of the project.  Once a Project has a mature score, larger jumps may still occur with draft updates and strong placements in fellowships or competitions, but mature scores often change less because Coverfly is more confident in how your script is being received. If you submit an updated draft for coverage, we’ll weight that score more than the previous coverages you received.

Each score increase takes many factors into consideration, but essentially, your Coverfly Score increases as readers from well-regarded programs respond positively to your project. Our algorithm needs 5 reviews to be fully confident in your Coverfly Score. After 5 reviews we’re more confident, and placements will change your score less. It’s also worth knowing that 5 reads doesn’t mean you need to enter 5 competitions, most competitions read a script multiple times as it advances, so you may only need to enter one or two.   But, rest assured, we follow a strict rule: a Coverfly Score can never decrease. So, you’re free to experiment as you hone your story, without concern that it will negatively impact your score.

A Project’s Coverfly Score Won’t Ever Decrease 

Chart illustration showing that the Score never decreases

There will be times when your score does not increase.  A common reason for this is that the most recent screenwriting competition placement or coverage is not strong enough to outweigh the recent historical scores on your project.

When your project places in a festival, competition, or fellowship, we usually wait until after the placements have been announced publicly to update your score.  To determine a fair score for the increase, we take several core variables into account: how your project placed or scored, the thoroughness of that specific script evaluation process, and the success rate for writers in that specific screenwriting competition, fellowship or lab. It’s worth noting that larger score updates will occur for the first five scores as our algorithm collects more data and builds confidence in the quality of the project.  Once a Project has a mature score of at least 5 evaluation data points, larger jumps may still occur with draft updates and strong placements in fellowships and competitions, but mature scores often change less dramatically because Coverfly is more confident in how your script is being perceived across many different readers and judges.

Your Coverfly Score Consists of 3 Types of Information From a Competition 

Chart illustration showing the variables that help define score updates

Two things to consider:

  1. Coverfly Score updates may take up to 30 days to appear after a Competition or Fellowship announces their placements.  To help you keep track of your Coverfly Score updates, you can see a list of all pending and completed updates from your Project’s Score Update Page.
  1. While a lot goes into our algorithm, a simple way of thinking of these submission variables is:
    • Placement Score = Placement Position / Amount of Submissions, 
    • Evaluation Thoroughness = Number of Reads x Detail of Reads, and 
    • Writer Success Rate = Number of Writer Successes / Amount of Submissions 

In order to help you gauge your project as our algorithm builds confidence in the current quality of your project, we provide guides on your Coverfly Score graph to help writers predict where their current draft will place once it becomes a mature score with at least 5 evaluations. The Red List is Coverfly’s leaderboard of top projects, filterable by genre, format and time range. The Red List guide is a line that lets you see  how average Red List projects in your project’s genre and format performed for each score update.

The Red List Guide Line Shows Your Project’s Estimated Current Trajectory 

Illustration showing how the Average Red List line helps compare your project's score

One thing to keep in mind: The Red List line is merely an estimation, and not a guarantee that your project will follow the same trajectory as the projected guide.  Your project may be shown as below a guide, but one strong placement in a major fellowship or competition can dramatically boost your aggregate Coverfly Score.

The moment you list a script as “discoverable” on Coverfly, your project can be discovered and downloaded by vetted industry professionals, no matter how many reads or submissions it has received.  In order to bubble up the top projects for our industry professionals, we use the Coverfly Score to create The Red List. Scripts with the best Coverfly Scores are listed by genre and format, allowing professionals to discover the best matches for their needs. However, you do not need to be listed on The Red List to be discovered by Industry Pros.

The Red List is Coverfly’s Leaderboard of Top Projects 

Illustration of different ways to be on the Red List

By default, your projects are “private” on Coverfly and viewable only by you, and by the competitions to which you submit your project. While everyone can see and search “discoverable” Coverfly project profiles, only vetted industry professional members can download your script.  And we’ll notify you if an industry member downloads your project.

We would love to hear your feedback on how we could improve the Coverfly Scoring system to better impact your improvement as a writer and facilitate Industry discovery. The important thing is to continually improve your craft and keep getting your material out there. Remember, writing is rewriting!

Happy Writing

Tips for Improving your Coverfly Score

  1. Use feedback to improve your script. This can be from friends, coverflyX, or just trading notes on social media — the important thing is to take the feedback and re-write process seriously. Once you’ve updated your script, you can update Coverfly with your latest draft.  While new drafts do not advance your score, a polished script will do better in competition submissions and script review services.
  2. Get professional script coverage to help identify areas of improvement. Writing is rewriting! The average produced screenplay undergoes no less than 30 rounds of notes, or more from various creative stakeholders. Getting and implementing notes is an important part of the craft.  
  3. Submit to top competitions.  Please be sure to research opportunities carefully. We only allow reputable and proven talent-discovery programs to accept submission on Coverfly, so it’s a great place to find appropriate competitions, festivals and fellowships for your project.
  4. Take advantage of free submissions whenever available. Check out our extras for free opportunities.
  5. If you’re low on funds, check out Coverfly’s fee waiver program which helps writers who demonstrate financial need.

Announcing Coverfly Pitch Week

By About Coverfly, Announcements

We’re very excited to announce Coverfly Pitch Week.

Pitch Week is a free-for-writers initiative that pairs talented emerging writers with industry professionals for virtual general meetings. These virtual meetings allow writers to pitch themselves and their projects to industry pros (agents, managers, and producers).

Coverfly Pitch Week is unique in two simple ways:

  1. Coverfly Pitch Week is free.
  2. Coverfly Pitch Week is merit-based. Writers opt-in to having their profile reviewed on Coverfly, and we select the top writers for Pitch Week.

Managers and agents who choose to hear pitches from top Coverfly writers understand that the writers they’ll be hearing from are talented and uniquely ready to have their work optioned or sign with a literary agent and/or manager.

We quietly launched our first Pitch Week in January 2019. We set up 160 virtual meetings between about 50 writers selected from The Red List and 20 representatives from companies such as CAA, Good Fear, Circle of Confusion, Zero Gravity, Lee Stobby Entertainment, Cartel Entertainment, and Management 360, among several others. We have since run three additional Pitch Weeks and facilitated writers signing with reps, landing paid assignment work, and optioning their projects.

Now, we’re opening it up to all Coverfly members to apply to have their profile and work reviewed. We’ll be running this event 2-3 times per year – so be sure to apply every few months. Are you interested in practicing your pitch and meeting industry professionals who are looking for talented emerging writers? Apply for free now!


See what writers are saying about Coverfly Pitch Week:

“Coverfly’s Pitch Week was a great icebreaker to gain access to the people who make things happen- it’s a good opportunity to be read and considered, everything else is up to the quality of writing.”

Brock Newell

“Coverfly is unique. They actually care. They care about their writers and want to do what they can to facilitate their success. So grateful to have a platform to be “heard.””

Beth Curry

“The chance to chat briefly with legit lit managers for free seemed too good to be true. But it was just as promised. A great opportunity for screenwriters trying to break in.”

Clint Williams

“The Coverfly Pitch Week is a great way to connect with reps from the comfort of your own living room, and given that you’ve only got 12 minutes, having that comfort zone helps make the most out of your limited time.”

Ned Farr

“I love Coverfly! Submitting my work to various contests and placing or winning them is great, but driving up that Coverfly score is almost more gratifying. A great score draws attention and, in this industry, that is what we are all looking for.”

Karl Archer

“Coverfly has been an absolutely incredible experience for me from top to bottom! Not only has it provided me valuable exposure and reads through the Red List, it’s also afforded me some invaluable opportunities to connect and meet with some amazing executives! Not to mention the fantastic staff at Coverfly who have been nothing but caring, wonderful and unwavering in their support! Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s all FREE? I am so grateful to have Coverfly in my corner!”

Aarthi Ramanathan

“Coverfly keeps expanding their free services, helping to connect writers with managers, agents and producers in search of powerful material to represent and produce. It’s a fantastic matchmaking service that benefits both sides of the industry.”

Cari Daly

“Coverfly is responsive, attentive, and really cares about their writers. I feel like they take an active interest in me and my career.”

Robin Fusco

“Coverfly is a fantastic service! It’s obvious that the Coverfly team have a sincere passion for helping new talent breakthrough!”

Mukilan Thangamani

“Coverfly has been great as a site where I can show that I’m a writer that’s less of a risk to take a chance with, and won’t waste anyone’s valuable time.”

Erik Sternberger


“Kudos to Coverfly! This organization is extremely classy. I felt like they had my back every step of the way. “

Heather Ragsdale

“Coverfly is great for streamlining the process of submitting my scripts, but for them to proactively set up ACTUAL manager meetings through ‘Pitch Week’ was a totally unexpected benefit that takes the service to another level. Looking forward to seeing this continue to grow as a resource and opportunity for writers.”

Gareth Smith

“Coverfly raised the profile of my scripts for the past year. Now Coverfly Pitch Week has given me an extraordinary opportunity to introduce myself and my work to some top reps in a relaxed setting. Thanks much, Coverfly!”

John Dummer

“After only a year of entering contests, I am certain much of the success I’ve received was directly related to Coverfly. My script is not the norm, so their support has helped it move up the ladder at a significantly faster pace. They actively promoted me as a writer and have set up meetings with top representation. They have also invested their time and energy coming up with ways to support me as a filmmaker. If you get taken under their wing, Coverfly offers a writer, free of charge, more than you could ever ask for.”

Nicole Jones

“Coverfly Pitch Week was an unexpected surprise…just having the chance to connect with managers was really fantastic. I appreciate Coverfly doing all they can to help writers.”

Ervin Anderson

“This was a great opportunity to pitch to managers and make introductions that typically aren’t open to writers. Thank you for making the connection.”

Rich Orstad

“Coverfly is a refreshingly democratic and merit-based ranking system that encourages writers to improve and to branch out while giving them an effective platform to be seen by decision makers. Can’t wait for the next Pitch Week!”

Carlo and Erin Carere

Announcing Free Live Table Reads

By Announcements

Today we’re thrilled to announce the rollout of our latest writer discovery initiative: free, bi-monthly live table reads of projects atop The Red List.

Coverfly’s core mission is to facilitate the discovery of talented writers. That means helping writers get started, develop their projects, and gain exposure on those projects when they’re ready.

We already offer various free tools that help writers gain exposure on their projects, including free hosting on our Industry Dashboard (where hundreds of industry execs are currently browsing), Coverfly Pitch Week*, free project file sharing, a curated list of screenwriting competitions and fellowships, and The Red List.

Live table reads, on the other hand, bolster the tooling we provide for the bottom end of the project development pipeline – helping writers write. We think this complements the other two programs in this category, our fee waiver program and coverflyX.

The inaugural Coverfly Live Table Read (June 2019)

We are selecting writers with high Coverfly Scores who have a project that could benefit from a live performance. Basically, if there is a project with two characters and hardly any dialogue, it probably wouldn’t benefit from this. As much as THE QUIET PLACE was a great movie, a silent film may not make for an exciting table read. There needs to be something performative about the piece.

We are doing it on the first and third Saturday of each month. The table reads are produced and cast by our partner Shaan Sharma and his team at The Storytellers Conservatory and professional CSA (Casting Society of America) casting directors. The cast are entirely professional union actors. They are held at Culver City Casting Studios, the American Film Institute (AFI), or the Writers Guild Foundation Library.

The events basically serve three purposes: (1) a chance for actors, writers, casting directors, and creators to network, (2) allow the writer to workshop the latest draft of their project by seeing and hearing it aloud, and (3) the fun for the writer of actually seeing their material on their feet for typically siloed writers.

We hope this free program will enrich the work and careers of 24 writers on Coverfly each year. Click here to apply!

Happy writing!

*Coverfly Pitch Week is a week where we set up hundreds of virtual meetings between top Coverfly writers and literary managers and agents. It has been in stealth-mode and hasn’t been formally made public yet. There will be a public announcement about it soon!

 

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.

 

Announcing Hosted, Shareable Coverfly Project Pages

By Announcements

Today we’re rolling out a feature that we think writers are going to love: hosted project landing pages that writers can easily share with their network.

Let’s say you’ve got a project on Coverfly. If you’ve made the project public, it may show up on The Red List, and Coverfly industry users can access it on their industry dashboard. But what if you want to share your project with colleagues, friends, and family?

A sample project landing page.

Now you can. Just go to any project from your projects page and click “Share” to get a beautiful, shareable landing page for your project that displays your project’s key details and competition successes. By default, no one except you has access to this page, but you can change the page’s privacy settings to allow anyone with the link to that page to view and download your project.

We won’t list the link/page anywhere, so if you enable anyone with the link to view your project, only those with whom the link is shared will be able to find it.

No more uploading your latest draft to Dropbox to share it – now you’ve got a free, hosted URL for your project. Coverfly doesn’t charge a penny for this service, and no credit card or personal information is needed to use it.

Happy sharing!