You nestle into your movie seat, popcorn on your lap, and the trailers begin to roll. I don’t know about you, but that’s my favorite part of going to the theater. Maybe it’s the anticipation of the movie I’m about to see or perhaps it’s simply getting a sneak peek at what films I have to look forward to. I love the tease!
After each trailer ends, you probably do what I do—turn to the friend beside me and either say, “Let’s see that,” or “Man, that looks stupid.”
But by then, the film has already been made, and the studio money spent.
What if the industry could know an audience’s interest before the film was locked? More importantly, what if you as a screenwriter or indie filmmaker could prove to the executives there is indeed public interest in your story during the pitching process itself?
Founded by a former advertising executive, the MovieHatch model turns art into a business. If you want an executive to understand your work, help them by putting it into the terms they understand: marketability.
Here’s how MovieHatch works:
1. Enter your script for consideration. Yes, it costs $60, but not only do you get feedback that’s less expensive than you get from a consultant, if your work is good enough, you’ll make it to the next level. Personally, I love this vetting process. I’d rather my work go through strict scrutiny prior to sitting in front of a judge.
2. If you make it to the next level, you are invited to submit a video trailer for your film and have it posted on the MovieHatch website.
Not a filmmaker? Don’t fret. You can do a PowerPoint of still pictures that capture the feel of your film. It doesn’t have to be professional as long as the concept and feeling comes through. Reach out to those in your network who might have experience to help. I bet your teenagers could do a bang-up job! But fear not, if you’re stuck and averse to making a video, they will also accept a one-sheet. But let’s face it, a picture speaks a thousand words. Take the leap and give the video a shot.
In this step, the site’s public audience as well as MovieHatch judges will rate your trailer. It’s sort of like reality competition show. From these entries, the Top Ten Finalists will be chosen.
3. The scripts for the Top Ten Finalists will then be read and evaluated by the Hollywood expert partners and judges of MovieHatch. At least one will be selected to go into development or production. But often, they select several to go into script development.
Even if you aren’t that lucky top winner, there are other prizes for being selected into the finalists. The best prize, in my opinion, is that every Top Ten Finalist gets to speak or meet with two of the judges after the final evaluation phase. A full tally of prizes are listed on the website, as are the impressive list of MovieHatch partners and judges who are part of the judging process.
What sets MovieHatch apart from other contests is the public’s participation—the very public you want to view your film in the theatres one day. Just going through the process might tune you into what works about your story and what doesn’t. If you win, great. If you lose, then keep rewriting and make the concept more marketable.
If nothing else, it’s a great way to test the interest of your concept before you spend the money to go to a pitchfest.Jeanne Veillette Bowerman MovieHatch Screenwriting Scriptchat Write On Review