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New! Share Your Projects

By Uncategorized

Coverfly allows you to host unlimited projects for free, but until now, it wasn’t always easy to share your project and its most recent draft with others.

Now, you’re able to configure your project’s permissions with much more granularity, and share your project’s page or draft with whoever you want–whether that’s any Coverfly member, or specific people–even if your project is set to “Private”.

If you share your project’s URL or download link with someone else, and subsequently update your draft, there’s no need to update the link you’ve shared. Anyone who has access to your project will automatically see the latest updates. Plus, you’ll receive an email notification anytime someone downloads your project!

To configure your sharing permissions, just go to your project’s page and click the sharing icon next to your project’s Discoverable/Private setting. Once you’ve specified who you want to be able to access your project, you can copy the URL by clicking “Copy Link”, or simply copy and paste the link from the URL address bar in your browser.

 

Happy sharing!

Saying Goodbye to the Coverfly Score

By Uncategorized

When we launched the Coverfly Writer Portal almost 4 years ago, we knew we wanted to create a top rated chart for the most-awarded projects on our platform to help elevate writers. We built a dynamically-updated live ranking of projects, The Red List, based on all of the placements, scores, and information we had on a project. We called it the “Coverfly Score.”

The dynamic top rated chart has been a resounding success. It’s given writers something to achieve and celebrate, and, more importantly, built heat around writers that’s given them career traction. Today we’re generating a new “writer success” nearly every day where a writer is discovered by an industry exec or rep off a Coverfly list or through a Coverfly initiative.

But the underlying score these rankings are based on, known as the “Coverfly Score,” hasn’t had as smooth a ride. Some of its flaws were gradually exposed as it struggled to adapt to the growing needs of our industry and writer audience.

I can summarize the problems with the Coverfly Score as:

  1. It doesn’t reflect both a project’s quality and relevancy (or “heat”) simultaneously.
  2. It fails to react to new information or data points the way one would expect it to.
  3. It doesn’t convey enough information.

Problem #1: Reflecting Quality and Relevancy

In terms of quality, the Coverfly Score has proven difficult to “game” – that is, projects with very high scores are almost definitely of high quality. There aren’t false-positives, which is great! But the score does a poor job of highlighting projects that don’t yet have a lot of data. It misses out on quality projects that are new, or only have a few recent placements.

And in terms of relevancy, or “heat,” it totally misses the boat. The Coverfly Score, by design, doesn’t go down. That means projects retain their high scores as time passes and remain at the top of The Red List years into their existence. As the industry has increasingly adopted our platform for talent discovery, we have hundreds of execs scouring our lists every day, and many of them are looking for new, hot projects–they’re not always as interested in ones that have been collecting accolades for a few years.

Problem #2: Reacting to new information the way one would expect it to

Since day one, we’ve struggled to explain the Coverfly Score to writers simply and in alignment with their expectations. That’s because the Coverfly Score calculation is quite complicated – its variables include scores, placements, competition ratings, historical reader bias, number of scorecards for the given project, and more, into every calculation. We believe all of this information can be relevant to helping find scripts the industry will be excited about, but it’s difficult to boil down into a simple algorithm.

A complex or opaque algorithm wouldn’t be an issue in and of itself if its result was predictable, or at least within the realm of what we’d expect, but the amount of time our customer support team spends answering the question “Why didn’t my score go up?” is evidence that something isn’t right. 

Why is it so unpredictable? If your script becomes a Semifinalist in Nicholl, your score should go up, right? Well, not if the previous 9 scorecards we have on your project were great and raised its score already. But try explaining that to a disappointed writer who wants to celebrate every success–and rightfully so. Since Coverfly Scores can’t go down, we designed the algorithm to be really careful about letting them go up. That means your score might jump on a placement you think is “low-value,” but stay the same on a placement that you think is “high-value.”

Problem #3: Conveying Information

If you tell a producer that your project has a 640 Coverfly Score, it conveys almost no information about the quality of your script. Even if the producer is familiar with Coverfly Scores, they don’t know how hard it is to earn a 640, or how many projects are above a 640. What if 90% of the projects on Coverfly have a Coverfly Score over 640? That 640 isn’t so great anymore. 

By the way, in reality, a 640 Coverfly Score is insanely high, and represents the top 0.001% of our database. See? Presenting it that way conveys much more information. Oftentimes sharing the percentile of a score, rather than the score itself, is a much better indicator of the value of the score. “This project is in the 10th percentile of 40,000 projects on Coverfly” is much more powerful and understandable than “This project has a Coverfly Score of 520.” You’ll notice a lot of other popular scoring systems around you are relational in this sense. Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t use a raw number as its score – it uses percentiles of critics’ ratings. IMDB’s star meter is based on percentiles. That way, if internet traffic quadruples across the board next year, that kid in your improv class doesn’t have a star meter higher than Anne Hathaway’s in 2012. Most standardized tests convey the test-taker’s performance as a percentile-based score. To receive a 700 on the GMAT (a test for admission to business school), you need to perform better on the test than 90% of the other test-takers. No one cares about the percent of questions you answered correctly, though. Relational data is much more informative.

The most visited FAQ on our support page is “What’s a good Coverfly Score?” My answer has always been “a score higher than the next person’s.” The true value of a Coverfly Score is that it places you higher on a list than someone else, and that leads to additional exposure on Coverfly.

The Solution

At the end of April 2021, we’re retiring the Coverfly Score in favor of a percentile-based ranking system with a new underlying metric. This underlying metric will have the following characteristics:

  1. The rank will always go up when a project receives a new placement.
  2. More recent placements will receive a value bonus that will diminish over time, but will still retain some value, even years later.
  3. The value of a placement will take into account the amount of submissions selected for that placement by the program, as well as the quality of submissions submitted to that program.
  4. After a certain number of top placements for a project, the value of additional top placements for that project will start to count less.
  5. Writers will have access to their percentile of this metric, but the metric itself will not be shared with anyone (including writers).

This solves a few problems:

  1. By reducing the “relevancy” value of a placement over time, projects with more recent placements will have an advantage and rise to the top of our top rated charts. This will surface more writers and give our industry members exposure to more timely projects and writers, which ultimately translates into more opportunities for more writers.
  2. By accounting for quality and recency in a placement, projects with only a few top placements per year will rank high on the charts.
  3. By recording your highest rank on the charts with our new badges, you’ll be able to more easily switch focus to a newer project without feeling like you’re abandoning a score or a hard-won rank on the top rated list.
  4. Because the underlying metric will move more predictably (and rise when a new placement is added), so will the project’s percentile ranking. We want movements in a project’s rankings to make sense.
  5. By focusing on the percentile/ranking instead of an arbitrary number, we’re able to better convey information about a project’s relevancy, which in turn helps industry members looking for great scripts.

In addition, we’ll be introducing the concept of Badges to writers’ profiles. Inevitably, there will be projects that rise to the top of the charts, but over timeas the placements that got them there age and diminish in valuefall off of the top rated chart. The writers of those projects should have something to show for their months or years of hard work, which is why they’ll receive a “Top 5” badge on their project page, for example, along with the date the badge was achieved.

Good for Writers; Good for the Industry

Within the next couple of years, we expect the majority of new paid, working writers in Hollywood to have been discovered through Coverfly or a Coverfly-qualifying program. Being a professional writer shouldn’t be dependent on who you know or whether or not you can afford to make the move to LA to start looking for work. We believe that, as much as possible, your chances of breaking in should be based on how good your writing is. Our goals are lofty, and in order to hit them we have to adapt quickly and attempt radical strategies. The new ranking system will help us better highlight projects and writers for our growing industry base; they’re hungry for fresh perspectives, and we know they’ll find them on Coverfly. We can’t wait to see the incredible writers who enter the industry through our pipeline in the coming years.

April 7th, 2021 // By Scot Lawrie, Co-founder

Coverfly at 2021 ScreenCraft Writers Summit

By Uncategorized

We’re excited to participate in this year’s ScreenCraft Virtual Writers Summit on April 9 – 11, 2021.  In addition to hosting two panels, we’ll also be holding Booth Workshops, where you’ll have an opportunity to work with our team to improve your strategies for building your writing career.

See below for the full schedule.

Buy Your Summit Badge

Plus, save 10% when you use coupon code

COVERFLYSUMMIT2021

Friday, April 9

TimeTitleLocation
2:00p - 3:00p PDTWriting Concepts that Sell (and Pitching!)Booth Workshop @ Expo
3:00p - 4:00pHow to research ideal fellowships and competitionsBooth Workshop @ Expo
4:00p - 5:00pHow and when to seek representationBooth Workshop @ Expo

Saturday, April 10

TimeTitleLocation
10:00a - 11:00a PDTFinding the right repBooth Workshop @ Expo
11:00a - 12:00pWhat makes a great Story Analyst?Booth Workshop @ Expo
1:00p - 2:00pInside Screenwriting Competitions & FellowshipsPanel @ Main Stage
2:00p - 3:00pImproving your Online Profile for Industry InterestBooth Workshop @ Expo
3:00p - 4:00pDiscovering, articulating, and marketing your brandBooth Workshop @ Expo
4:00p - 5:00pRevising the first draftBooth Workshop @ Expo
5:00p - 7:00pNetworking Mixer with Room ExpertsMixer @ Rooms

Sunday, April 11

TimeTitleLocation
10:00a - 11:00a PDTCreate a personal blurb, bio, and pitch yourself as a writerBooth Workshop @ Expo
11:00a - 12:00pHow to get the most out of your coverageBooth Workshop @ Expo
11:30a - 12:30pSelling Scripts: What Works and What Matters?Panel @ Main Stage
2:00p - 3:00pImproving your Online Profile for Industry InterestBooth Workshop @ Expo
pitch week tips

How to Get Chosen for Pitch Week

By Events, Success Stories, Uncategorized

It’s that time of year again — Coverfly Pitch Week. And this year’s line-up of agents, managers, producers, and studio execs have selected 123 screenwriters for nearly 250 pitches! In fact, many talented screenwriters who submitted to Pitch Week were selected to pitch their scripts to more than one industry decision-maker. Here’s a quick look at how Coverfly Pitch Week selection works, and a few of the common factors that we found between our roster of successful screenwriters that were chosen to pitch this year.

How many screenwriters were chosen for Coverfly Pitch Week (September 2020)?

  • 123 screenwriters were selected for 250 pitches total
  • Just under half of all writers were selected for at least 2 separate pitches
  • 12 writers were chosen for 3 pitches
  • 7 writers were tapped for 4 pitches
  • 6 writers are pitching to 5 groups
  • 5 writers were selected for 6 different pitches
  • And one talented screenwriter was selected for 8 separate pitches!

This Pitch Week is absolutely jam-packed with top-tier writers, agents, managers, Hollywood literary agents, and development execs from companies like CAA, Good Fear, Circle of Confusion, Zero Gravity, Lee Stobby Entertainment, Cartel Entertainment, Management 360, and many more. If you want to learn how these screenwriters were chosen and what they have in common, read this writer roundup so you’re ready to pitch at our next Pitch Week — February 21-25, 2021.

How screenwriters get chosen for Pitch Week: 3 things they have in common

The selection process for Coverfly Pitch Week is full of intangibles and variables. However, we were able to find some common trends among the 123 writers that were selected to pitch to industry professionals. Here are three of our biggest takeaways for how to make your profile, logline, and scripts stand out so you can pitch to Hollywood decision-makers:

A strong personal bio

Nearly every single writer that was selected to pitch this year has a professional bio on their screenwriting profile. Not only that, each of these bios lets development executives know exactly what kind of screenwriter they’re looking at. Pitch Week writers clearly state who they are, what kind of screenplays they write, what their goals are, and how their professional experiences have influenced not just their most recent screenplays, but all of their work. The first step to getting your screenplay pitch ready is filling out your writer’s bio. Make yours as descriptive as you can.

A clear photo that captures their personality

Every single one of the top selected writers for Pitch Week this year had a clear, professional photo on their profile. It’s 2020. There’s no excuse not to have a decent, posed profile picture on your personal or Coverfly screenwriter page. You can even get a decent picture with portrait mode on an old iPhone. Find a friend or grab a tripod and take a good picture of yourself.

If you want to get your script in front of industry insiders you need to have a profile picture on your site. End of story.

Add multiple projects to your profile

All of the top selected writers each have multiple projects on their profile pages. And while these scripts and projects varied from features to TV they were all consistent in voice, style, and tone. Use your profile to highlight your range. It’s ok to write for TV and for Film. In fact, writing in multiple formats can make you an enticing candidate for studios looking for diverse and multi-talented screenwriters.

How to get selected for Coverfly Pitch Week

Pitch Week is your chance to get your screenplay in front of some of the most influential managers, producers, and agents in Hollywood. Learn more about how you (and your script!) can prepare for the next Coverfly Pitch Week here. And remember, Pitch Week is free for Coverfly members, so sign up now!

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/9/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 9 — CINESTORY TV/DIGITAL RETREAT — Regular Deadline — $55



JULY 9 — SCRIPTAPALOOZA FELLOWSHIP
 — Regular Deadline — $45


JULY 10 — THE BREAKK SCREENWRITING COMPETITION Final Deadline — $59


JULY 10 — PUBLIC DOMAIN SCREENPLAY CONTEST Final Deadline — $69


JULY 11 — SCREENCRAFT DRAMA CONTEST — Early Deadline — $49


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 7/2/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JULY 9 — CINESTORY TV/DIGITAL RETREAT — Regular Deadline — $55



JULY 9 — SCRIPTAPALOOZA FELLOWSHIP
 — Regular Deadline — $45


JULY 10 — THE BREAKK SCREENWRITING COMPETITION Final Deadline — $59


JULY 10 — PUBLIC DOMAIN SCREENPLAY CONTEST Regular Deadline — $69


JULY 11 — SCREENCRAFT DRAMA CONTEST — Early Deadline — $49


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 6/25/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon – some closing this week!



JUNE 29 — SCREENCRAFT HORROR CONTEST — Final Deadline — $69



JUNE 29 — NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL SCREENWRITING COMPETITION
 — Extended Deadline — $30-$40


JUNE 30 — SCREENCRAFT FILM FUND Regular Deadline — $35-45



JUNE 30
 — APU SCREENWRITING CONTEST: CROWDSOURCING THE CURE FOR THE SIMPSONS Regular Deadline — FREE


JUNE 30 — LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS — Final Deadline — $55-75


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 6/12/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



JUNE 15 — LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SCREENPLAY AWARDS — Mid-June Deadline — $53-$73


JUNE 17 — THE FILM EMPIRE’S DIVERSITY SCREENWRITING CONTEST Regular Deadline — $27


JUNE 22 — WESCREENPLAY TV CONTEST — Regular Deadline — $39



JUNE 29 — NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL SCREENWRITING COMPETITION
 — Extended Deadline — $30-$40


For all the latest from Coverfly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Calling All Writers! Weekly Contest Roundup — 5/14/18

By Uncategorized

Screenwriting competitions are tried and true when it comes to planting a foot firmly in the appropriate door. Here are five of the hottest contests that are wrapping up soon!



MAY 15 — The Breakk Screenwriting Competition — Early Bird Deadline — $39



MAY 15
 — PAGE International Screenwriting Awards — Final Deadline — $85



MAY 16 — Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition — Late Deadline — $65


MAY 16 — Vail Film Festival — Early Bird Deadline — $45


MAY 17 — Creative World Awards — Extended Deadline — $75