At this point, would-be Hollywood types are more likely flush with web video ideas than headshots, though both options can be tragically bad. Online video has become a viable—and necessary—step in a career of writing, acting or directing these days (not to mention all the associated editing, art directing and other such tracks.)
Break Media, home of Break.com, has gone on record saying they are planning on producing more than 1,000 original videos this year. And even the great Andy Signore, Sr. Producer in Break’s Creative Lab which actually comes up with most of them, is going to be tapped out of comedic gold at some point. It isn’t every day you whip up an Interactive Hot Tub Girl.
So Break decided to team up with screenwriting software site Scripped.com to launch a search for the best web video scripts, with the winning script getting greenlit into production by Break’s Creative Lab. Fast tracked into riches and fame? Not quite. The top five winning scripts will get $500 each, which is half what Break was offering for April Fools prank videos, but the cash isn’t really the point here.
Careers after all, are all about momentum, built with a string of successively greater and greater accomplishments. Online video isn’t really any different, and even the top creators in the game today can attribute their current success to some early exposure like this. Judging the script entries will be two celeb judges in the form of screenwriters (and directors) Ed Burns and Steven De Souza, both of whom are dabbling in web series the past few years.
The creative team at Break took the time to throw together some “best practices” for development of script ideas, thinking of course about the heavily 18-34 male audience that Break courts. Entries are due by May 15, 2011.
Development best practices:
- Break Media’s audience is primarily guys 18-34, it should work for that group.
- Songs are not necessary but parodies when done well can be great in the viral space.
- Famous people will probably not star in your video. While Break does have relationships with celebs, your idea shouldn’t be contingent on their involvement.
- Limit the number of locations your videos use, this is online, people, we’ve gotta have a nimble production schedule for maximum efficiency.
- Pop culture parodies can work, but if it’s only funny for the week after the event you’re parodying you might want to try something else, this thing won’t be made for a couple of months and by then people may not know what you’re making fun of.
- Scripts should be no more than three or four pages
And to show off an in-house original that did well (over 700,000 views) recently on Break, they used Mike Polk’s original music video, “She’s Too Good For Everyone.”