Applications close: Friday 22 March, 5:00pm
Screen Queensland is partnering with Wattpad WEBTOON Studios for the second time to allow Queensland-based screenwriters to access and adapt three stories from this leading social storytelling platform.
Adaptations of existing stories form a significant proportion of current commissioned screen content. This initiative provides the opportunity for emerging, mid-career and established Queensland writers to access an established I.P. with a strong audience base.
Writers will pitch their ideas for adapting one of the three below stories to Screen Queensland and Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. One writer per story will then be funded to develop their pitch into a polished, market-ready treatment. From there, two of the three treatments will be selected and funded to go to script stage.
The three Wattpad WEBTOON Studios stories are:
School Bus Graveyard by Red (68.9 million reads)
All Good Things by Renee Racine Kinear (89,600 reads)
Apartment 239 by Elford Alley (420,000 reads)
Producers are encouraged to register their interest here to receive updates on the progress of the initiative. Screen Queensland will facilitate introductions between producers and selected writers as treatments and scripts become available.
ZOOM INFORMATION SESSION
All Good Things
by Renee Racine Kinear
Genre: romantic comedy
Alice’s life isn’t going to plan. She’s tied to her phone, pointlessly managing PR for a sinking corporate megalith. She’s become a bit player in her kids’ lives and her marriage is coasting on fumes. Forcing herself into action with a rash resignation, Alice sets out to make a positive impact on the world around her. But how? Meditation leads to napping and her attempts to get closer to her teenage daughter result in the discovery of a secret that might have been best left in the closet! As the months tick by and a sense of purpose continues to elude her, Alice finds herself forming bonds with the most unlikely characters: the young woman who panhandles outside her old office; the homeless boy who sits cross-legged outside the liquor store with his ginger cat; her own dog walker who, it turns out, knows a thing or two about developing a good crema. Testing the limits of marriage, motherhood and the Toronto subway system–can Alice find her way into a purpose-driven life? Or will it all be one giant hangover?
by Elford Alley
When Abe Barrett’s family died, he started seeing ghosts. Soon he was living with three of them, and it turns out ghosts are just as eccentric as people. Abe is bothered by the ghosts constantly since he doesn’t want to solve their murders, avenge them or do much of anything. He just wants to do his job and relax. His dreams, however, have been getting darker as people in town start to disappear. Soon Abe realises there is something hunting him, and that same threat was involved with his family’s deaths. A legacy of darkness is chasing Abe Barrett, and his supernatural roommates may not be enough to save him.
School Bus Graveyard
by Red (@lilredbeany)
Genre: YA supernatural thriller
Ashlyn is an introverted loner until her class takes an overnight field trip to a haunted house. While on the tour she sees something strange and thinks it’s just a hallucination until the others confirm they have seen it, too. That night, the skies turn red, everyone else vanishes, and the phantom attacks them. Now every night at midnight they wake up in an alternate dimension where they are the only humans present to fend off the phantoms that want nothing more than to kill them. They decide to build a safehouse in a junkyard filled with abandoned school buses until they can safely journey back home and break the curse.
N.B. School Bus Graveyard is an ongoing WEBTOON series. You may encompass all available episodes in your pitch, or you may limit your pitch to the first season.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Eligibility criteria for all Screen Queensland initiatives are detailed in the Terms of Trade. Please read this document before preparing your application.
This initiative will best suit Queensland writers (including writing teams), who are keen to take an active role, beyond writing, in the development, packaging and selling of their work to market, and who will engage with established producers to craft their work with a commercial audience in mind. Established and emerging showrunners and producers who also write are welcome to apply.
This initiative is open to early, mid-career and experienced practitioners, and all applicants with a unique and commercial take on the above Wattpad WEBTOON Studios properties are encouraged to apply.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners are encouraged to apply. Additionally, we are committed to ensuring diverse representation across all aspects of the production and development process, including female; age; Aboriginal identity; Torres Strait Islander identity; cultural and linguistic diversity; disability; LGBTQIA+, location (including regional and remote areas); and socio-economic status.
HOW TO APPLY
Submit your concept via SmartyGrants by 5:00pm AEST, Friday 22 March
The three titles are available to access via the button above. You must read and agree to the terms of the release form, following which you will be sent a download link for the PDF files (Apartment 239 and All Good Things)/link to School Bus Graveyard on the WEBTOON platform.
Please note the release form is not the application form. Only completed applications will be considered.
Your application will need to include a pitch of up to 10 pages that gives assessors a clear idea of your “take” on the Wattpad WEBTOON Studios title you have selected, as well as the existing screenwriting sample (minimum 30 pages) that best demonstrates your screenwriting ability.
Items you need to include in your pitch are:
- the take – how you propose to adapt the original title for screen (include a strong hook).
- the story – broken down into episode summaries for series or, for features, an outline with a clear structure e.g. 3 act structure. This should be the longest part of your pitch and we suggest a minimum of 3 pages.
- the characters – a brief summary of the main characters in your story world.
- tone and style – briefly discuss the tone and style of your adaptation, including what your story-world is like, and if there are any particular rules of how you tell story in this world, etc. Please include some visual references These can be original or borrowed from existing materials and referenced. Please also reference how your idea is the same or different as existing titles in that genre.
- the themes – why is this story important for you to tell now?
- the audience and potential market – be specific in age, gender, what they watch, how they watch, and tell us who your target broadcast or distribution partners would be; think about both the appeal to the title’s existing Wattpad WEBTOON Studios audience, and how it will appeal to a broader viewing audience.
- the team – your bio(s).
Applicants that make the shortlist may be asked to attend an interview to discuss their pitch for Screen Queensland of their ‘take’ on their Wattpad WEBTOON Studios adaptation.
WHAT IS SCREEN QUEENSLAND LOOKING FOR?
We are looking for pitches with a strong commercial hook that will appeal to audiences around the world. The ideal pitch will appeal both to the built-in audience in that genre and to a broader crossover audience. We are looking for individuals or writing teams with the capability both to write to a professional standard and to write for a broad commercial marketplace. This opportunity is open to emerging, mid-career and established Queensland talent. Your application will be assessed on the following:
- STORY: the originality of idea or ‘take’; the strength of the hook, plot, characters, dialogue
- AUDIENCE: market potential; the pitch’s likelihood of engaging both the loyal Wattpad WEBTOON Studios audience and a broader commercial audience.
- TALENT: track record and potential of the applicant/team; impact on Queensland talent
STAGES AND KEY DATES
Here’s an outline of the stages of development supported by Screen Queensland through this initiative, and beyond.
- Applications – read the material and complete you application via SmartyGrants.
Closing: Friday 22 March
- Assessment – Screen Queensland and Wattpad WEBTOON Studios will select three (3) takes, one per story, for further development. Announcement of selected applicants: Friday 19 April
- Treatment stage – Successful applicants will be funded up to $15,000 to develop their pitch to polished treatment stage. This funding may also cover costs such as Script Editor’s notes. Approximate due date of treatment: Friday 21 June
- Callout to producers – At treatment stage, Screen Queensland will do a callout to producers seeking to explore whether they might be interested in optioning the material. Screen Queensland will assist the selected writers in commencing conversations with producers.
- Selection of top two projects – Screen Queensland and Wattpad WEBTOON Studios will select two of the three projects developed to treatment stage for further investment to script stage. Please note, selection of top two projects will be based on creative merit, though positive interest from producing community is desirable. Likely announcement: Friday 12 July
- Scripting stage – Top two applicants produce and deliver a draft screenplay. This may be either a full feature-length screenplay for features, or a pilot episode for series, to a minimum of polished second draft. Selected projects will be funded up to $35,000 to deliver their screenplays. This funding may also be required to cover costs such as a writers’ room and Script Editor expenses. Approximate due date of draft screenplay: Friday 11 October
If you’re an established producer with a strong track record, and if you’d like to follow the progress of this initiative, please click here to register your interest. Screen Queensland will facilitate introductions between producers and selected writers as treatments and scripts become available later in the year.
Screen Queensland Content team
Phone: 07 3248 0500