July 14, 2013

Join the YouPix Community and Better Your Odds of Getting Your Movie Made

YouPixSometimes it can feel like the chances of your screenplay being bought and made, or having a shot at getting paid to direct a film is 1 in a million. YouPix is a contest/community that may help up those odds -- to 1 in a thousand to be more accurate. This new platform is twofold: It's an online filmmaking community where members can upload their scripts and films, talk in forums, and follow each other's activity (like Facebook.) It's also a screenwriting/directing contest that awards winners up to $500,000 to make their film. More details after the jump.

YouPix was launched in late-May of this year. Founders and filmmakers Mathew Davis and Talieh Safadi set out  to offer opportunities for screenwriters and directors to both share their work with fellow members of the site, as well as compete for the chance to make their films. Safadi says:

Discouraged by the lack of support for emerging filmmakers, we decided to bring hope to this next generation of talent. On the YouPix.org platform, it’s a democracy of industry peers providing feedback, coverage and introductions.

The Community

YouPix is also made up of a community of filmmakers.

In this FREE section of our site, we get to know each other and share ideas.  Our YouPix Social Network will allow you to upload a profile picture, “friend” other members, create groups, participate in forums and BEST of all, share some of your work under your PROFILE.  Free.  We invite all film disciples to join up, and network.  That’s really how films get made -- by who you know as much as by what you know.

Writers can list 1 script for free on the site, but the cost of unlimited uploads is $9.95 ever 6 months. Directors and cinematographers can promote themselves by linking to their demo reels.

The Contest

The contest is open to all screenwriters and directors around the world who are interested in getting their screenplay made, directing the winning screenplay, or both. This is when the YouPix "community" aspect comes into play:

After submitting their scripts/short films, editors and directors must "read and fairly critique" 2 scripts and 2 short films submitted by peers. Screenwriters receive multiple critiques from those who covered their scripts. Once the first 1,000 scripts/short films are submitted, submissions close, which allows contestants a greater chance of winning.

Those top scripts/short films are then submitted to an advisory board for final analysis and judging. The top 10 directors are interviewed by the advisory board. Finally, the winning script gets produced by the winning director. For a more specific rundown of the schedule of each step, go here.

The submission requirements are available on the YouPix website, but a few things to keep in mind if you're a screenwriter, your script needs to: be able to be produced on a budget less than $500k (that's the prize money,) follow standard screenplay format, be between 90 and 125 pages, and to "ensure unbiased coverage" must be anonymous (no title or name on the script.) If you're a director, your short film must be less than 20 minutes and be able to be embedded.

Each submission for both screenwriters and directors is $150. There is no limit to how many screenplays or short films a contestant can enter, however the submission fee applies to each. If you win, you get to make your film with a budget of up to $500k and access to professional gear.

As far as who owns the rights to your submitted work, you keep the rights unless your screenplay wins. For more info on that and other details of the contest, check out the FAQ page. Submissions are now open, so get your screenplays and short films ready!

What do you think of YouPix? Are there any other sites that offer the same community experience, both in and out of competition? Let us know in the comments.

Links:

Your Comment

20 Comments

$150 to submit a script? No thanks. I've seen this already happen, as this isn't the first site to do this, but things like this won't get anywhere. Usually the winner's pre-determined, and the fact that the above site runs on wordpress is just ridiculous.

I'm probably going to get bashed the hell out of me for this, but honestly, there's no such thing as a "helpful" filmmaker. All these "contests" and "helpful sites" are just scams that ripoff naive and disheartened people. I'm utterly disgusted by the growth of these.

July 14, 2013 at 2:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
zeke

1. I'd consider myself a helpful filmmaker.
2. Guess what site ol' NFS runs on.

I see what you're saying, though, Zeke, and I'm sure lots of people feel the same. The community is free, though, and if enough people join, I could see it becoming a great resource for screenwriters -- a place for them to workshop with other writers. Ch! My dream.

July 14, 2013 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

3
Reply
avatar
V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

Hi Zeke,

Our goal is not only to make Films, but to also create Film~MAKERS. We are not a "site", we are a team of accomplished film professionals with degrees from AFI and USC, with combined credits on over 70 feature films with budgets ranging from $100K to $100 Million.

The reason we created this competition is to address a couple of problems we had with every other script contest: other competitions have open~ended submissions (some have nearly 10,000 competitors).  YouPix limits each competition to 1000 script and short film submissions, so you never compete with more than 999 other scripts or short films.  Another problem we have with other contests is the "Grand Prize". A nominal cash prize does NOT get a film made. YouPix actually PRODUCES the winning Script, directed by the winning Director  (budget up to $500,000).

Your frustration with the business is palpable, but probably
warranted. There's a certain amount of healthy scepticism in most of us who have been around a while.  However, you seem to be doling out an extra dose of pessimism. 

To quickly clear the air, I'll address your main issues:
1)  $150 IS a lot of money, unless you consider the value: each submission receives 4 pieces of coverage ~ try pricing that out, and add in the benefit of multiple critiques of your work. Then multiply that by your odds of having your work produced or becoming a feature Director and then ask yourself again if YouPix is worth it. 
2)  No one has "predetermined winners" unless they want to go to jail. Period.
3)  Word Press is just a tool ~ one that is effective for us. Your complaint here is a bit obtuse and off topic.
4)  I'm sorry you never met a helpful filmmaker. I assure you we are out here.
5)  There ARE scams out there! So we offer YouPix ~ the contest BY Filmmakers FOR filmmakers.

My advice, Zeke, is to either hang in there, and let your passion for filmmaking subdue your negative experiences, or find an easier line of business. I wouldn't even encourage my kids to become filmmakers. It's a tough road. 

YouPix may just be the hope you've been looking for. Give it a shot. That's what we do.

- Matthew W. Davis 
Co-Founder of YouPix.org
"Where Scripts get a SHOT"

July 15, 2013 at 6:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I agree with you Zeke. 1,000 people pay $150. They pocket $1M and kick back $500K to their nephew. This is some bs.

July 14, 2013 at 5:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
Reply
skeptic

150 by 1000 isn`t 1,5 millions...

July 15, 2013 at 3:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
mariano

Skeptic and Marino your math is way off. Double check the numbers:) it's only a $150k.

July 15, 2013 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
YouPix

methinks yer bad at math.

1000 X 150 = $150,000

July 15, 2013 at 8:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
math guy

Its not ridiculous that the site runs on Wordpress, its ridiculous that they wouldn't be taking measures to mask that fact. Trust in the brand is everything, and leaving the label on, so to speak, does not imply trust.

Also, the proof is in the community, if that's brilliant, then there's hope.

July 14, 2013 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

6
Reply

This reeks of scam. The only winner is the site holding the contest. Pure crap.

July 15, 2013 at 12:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply
Greg egan

Greg,

I totally understand your skepticism. There are a lot of rip-off sites. But we are NOT a site. We ARE Filmmakers working FOR Filmmakers, and our aim is to make as many films as is possible. But not just any film. We want to make GOOD films. That's why the contest - to get the BEST of 1000 scripts. We make money if the films make money. That's all. Every bit of our submission fees gets thrown onto the screen. With a budget of up to 500K, and just 1000 scripts and 1000 short films at $150 each to support it - where's the scam?

July 15, 2013 at 8:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

I applaud anyone trying to take initiative to help film makers get things made and start new communities. I really do. And couldn't give less of a shit if it runs on word press or not...

However if I'm trying to be helpful, what does greatly concern me with the ever increasing number of "contests" (some of which look terrific) is just how badly it exposes writers to being ripped off. To be honest, your work is absolutely begging to be. Especially with a broad access strategy like this one.

I see this erroneous statement a lot, but simply "retaining your copyright" is unfortunately no protection against someone ripping you off. It shocked me when I found this out. For any inclined to a greater understanding, The Reel Truth - link below does a depressingly excellent summary of it.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Reel-Truth-Everything-Independent/dp/0571211038

July 15, 2013 at 9:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
Reply

that's why we launched YouPix.org. Our team has been in the business for over 20 years and we have worked on over 70 films -- ranging from $250k to $80m. And we have won contests for our screenplays and films. We wanted to create something unique and different that HELPS filmmakers reach their ultimate dream of making films! Take a look at this blog from our site:
http://www.youpix.org/not-another-screenplay-competition/

p.s.
We can report to you with high confidence that having worked on over 70 films in the last 20+ years, we have meet so many awesome and HELPFUL filmmakers. There's so many of us out there despite what some say:)

July 15, 2013 at 12:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

4
Reply
YouPix

Hi YouPix,

I've had a look, and I think it's great what you're doing. I really do. Unfortunately, my major area of concern is not with your credentials, but my understanding that you simply can't protect someone's work if they are putting it out to 999 other director/writer/producers? Rather that it's inherent with risk, and in reality, you are forgoing the best protection you can honestly give your work, and that is by being very selective in who you give it to in the first place.

I'm not trying to be negative. I live my life trying to be "helpful" too, yet I've had work "seemingly" stolen before, and I would love to be able to participate with confidence in a venture like YouPix. But if by undertaking to submit your work you are also undertaking significant risk, then I feel that should be well advised along with the potentially great advantages and rewards you are offering.

As accomplished as your team is, I'm sure you guys must have spoken with an Entertainment Lawyer specialising in copyright law regarding this. Be great if you could you please advise further?

Best

Lliam

July 17, 2013 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

thanks for your kind words and for bring up an important issue. We spent a long time discussing this very issue with our attorney and done a lot of research to make sure writers are protected. First, intellectual properties and copyrights issues have been a concern for most writers for years. It's a dilemma, if you don't share you work with others, then you will never be discovered and if you do, you run the risk of someone stealing your idea. So what are the options? that's why there is WGA registration and Copyrights Office. They are still the most important and effective way to protect your work. We make it very clean in our FAQ that participants should register their work before submitting to our contest.

More importantly, @ YouPix.org we are not doing anything that is not currently being done by all production companies, film festivals or other screenplay contests. In fact, it's the same exact system that was used by Project Greenlight with Ben and Matt. Furthermore, if you look at most platforms out there that offer coverage and consulting do the same thing. It's a risk that each screenwriter has to evaluate on their own. But in our case, the risk is so much less since we are talking about low budget film less than $500k! Most of the screenplays are very personal and art house projects.

One last thing, good writers don't steal ideas only bad ones do. And when they do, they are so bad at it, they don't even know what to do with it. So if I were you, I wouldn't worry about it. Just remember, no one can steal you VOICE as a writer which is the most important element of any screenplay! Hope this helps:)

July 18, 2013 at 4:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

Also, I forgot to mention two points: Your statement about 999 seeing your work is not correct. Each script submitted to our contest is only read by 4-6 people. On top of the WGA registration (which we strongly recommend) Each participant signs an NDA with YouPix.org that protects all scripts.

July 18, 2013 at 4:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

7
Reply

You can't make an omelette without breaking an egg. Movies are glorified omelettes.

July 28, 2013 at 1:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
math guy

Damn but I could do with an edit post button for typos NFS...

July 17, 2013 at 12:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply

How about not charging to enter the contest and just giving 350,000 for the film. It's break even if the rules are true and thousands of writers will participate

July 22, 2013 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
Reply
Clay

That sounds amazing. Except that it would suck if you were the one creating the contest. Ask your mom for the money to make your film. I bet it would be awesome.

July 28, 2013 at 1:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

7
Reply
math guy

Wait. If your mom says, "no", you might want to start typing up query letters. ALL producers read those, and NEVER throw them away. And most of them have 350K to throw at unsolicited writers.

July 28, 2013 at 1:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

0
Reply
math guy