How does Community Movie work?
Community Movies are crowdsourced from start to finish.
- Submit ideas and vote on which will make the best movies.
- The best ideas move into development, where we create the treatment and screenplay piece by piece. Have a great line or a genius plot twist? Jump in and submit it! It's up to you which pieces make the best screenplay.
- One of the completed screenplays will get funding from our investor group and move into actual production - make sure it's your favorite by voting.
- The audience (that's you!) participates in making key decisions during production, such as casting important roles in the movie.
The best part happens afer this process, when you head out to your favorite movie theater for opening night to watch your movie on the big screen!
Want details? Scroll to the bottom of the FAQs for a more detailed breakdown of the process.
Does it cost anything to participate in Community Movie?
Are we definitely going to make a Community Movie?
We're definitely making at least one. If it goes well, there will be more.
Is this complicated?
It's as simple as reading two short ideas or paragraphs and picking which one you want to see in a movie. You can do more (like submit your own ideas), but only if you want.
How are Ideas selected for further development?
The Ideas are selected by you for further development.
Anything that has strong community support will move forward.
The Community Movie process is all about sustained community support and engagement.
If a Project has a lot of support and engagement, there's a good chance it'll be our first Community Movie.
If support for a particular Project wanes at any stage, that Project will slow down as the community's attention moves away from it and on to other Projects. We'll see some dominant Projects emerge, but you can save an abandoned Project at any time by coming up with something that excites the community.
How does voting work?
We use a proprietary algorithm built on comparative voting.
What are characteristics of a good Idea?
A good Idea is easy to read and understand.
Tips for Idea submissions:
- Use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling
- Bad: a killer shark is terrerizing boats and swimmers and its only one college student who can stop him so he teams up with his frat brothers to try to stop the shark.
- Good: A killer shark begins terrorizing boats and swimmers. Now it's up to one college student and his fraternity to end the shark's killing spree.
- Focus on the big picture - don't get caught up in details and don't try to tell a story here.
- Avoid naming characters where possible.
- Bad: "Bob builds an army of immortal kittens" doesn't give the audience any basis for connecting with or visualizing the protagonist. Who is Bob? Audiences care more about who Bob is than they care about what Bob is called.
- Good: "A lovable mad scientist builds an army of immortal kittens" gives the audience insight into the protagonist and helps them visualize your idea.
- If your Idea is set in an alternate reality, consider using the first sentence to set the scene and second/third sentences to describe the specific idea.
Take the time to clarify and present your Idea in the best light. If voters have to struggle to understand your Idea, they're more likely to vote against it - even if they actually like your Idea.
Wolverine vs. Man With Badass Retractable Claws
You can't submit protected, distinctive characters or plots as Ideas, but you can use the same concepts for your own original creative ideas.
So, for example, you can't submit an idea about Wolverine but you can submit an idea about a tough guy with badass retractable claws.
Ideas aren't protected by copyright. Copyright protects only original works that have been fixed in a tangible medium of expression (legal speak for things like "written down" or "sketched" or "recorded as video").
Not sure if your Idea about the Man with Badass Retractable Claws is a little too close to Wolverine for (legal) comfort?
Ask us. Or ask friends. If the response to your Idea sounds anything like "this obviously has to be a movie about Wolverine," then change it up so it's less similar.
What if I have an idea for a Project I haven't already contributed to?
Add it! You can jump into any Project at any point - as much or as little as you want.
We want you to participate whenever you're inspired, whether it's at the beginning of the treatment or the very end of the screenplay.
Can I submit a treatment or screenplay to Community Movie?
Not yet, but you will be able to submit treatments and/or screenplays to CM.
We will offer a separate marketplace for completed treatments and screenplays if you'd like to simply sell your work.
You'll be able to submit treatments to CM in September 2015, and screenplays in October 2015.
The separate treatment and screenplay marketplaces will open Fall 2015.
How are Community Movies funded?
Funding comes from a variety of sources, including a group of pre-selected studios, major brands, and individual angel investors. Crowdfunding may also be used to supplement these sources.
Our current estimated available budget for a feature film is up to $30 million.
What is the funding process for a Community Movie?
When a Project is about 60-70% through Development, CM will assign a producer to it. The producer will walk the Project through the funding (and, if appropriate, the production) process.
Before the Project completes Development, the producer will begin the process of estimating a production budget, creating a financial plan, and selecting appropriate investors. This makes it possible for the Project to rapidly move through funding and into actual production as a Community Movie.
Who are the investors that will fund Community Movies?
Members of CM's investor group are movie studios, major brands, and individual angel investors who are interested in the CM process's ability to gauge demand and predict commercial success.
Can we contribute videos or storyboards?
When a Project is in Development, you can submit videos and storyboards to help the community see your vision. You can attach videos and storyboards to your own content submissions - or to other people's content submissions - to help bring the story to life.
What's the Community Movie process? (Extended Version)
CM is broken into three broad stages:
- Development, and
- Community Movies.
We collect ideas from all over the world, and the best make their way to the top. Unlike traditional contests, there isn't a single winner - there can and will be many "winners."
An Idea does not need to be mainstream to move onto the Project stage - CM is carefully designed to allow Ideas with small but strong audiences to succeed.
There's no legal or IP stuff at this stage - no one owns ideas.
Ideas that move into Development are called "Projects."
Development consists of two stages:
- The Idea becomes a story.
- People who contribute content that is included in the final treatment have a proportional ownership in the Project.
- The treatment becomes a proper screenplay.
- People who contribute content that is included in the final screenplay have a proportional ownership in the Project.
CM assigns a Producer to the Project towards the middle/end of the screenplay stage. The Project remains in this stage until funding is acquired and production begins.
Projects may be sold to third parties at any point during the Project stage. The decision to sell belongs to the Contributors to the Project (though we have procedures to avoid/resolve stalemates - see the Project T & C for details).
A funded Project that moves into actual production becomes a Community Movie.
Help cast roles and participate in directorial decisions throughout the production.
Community members who contribute the most will get the chance to participate in closed-door meetings with the producers and directors and even visit the set during filming.