As I’m scrambling to get my last few thousand words in for NaNoWriMo, I decided to distract myself by entering the Twilight Saga Storytellers competition.
What? Twilight? But Sara, you have a Master’s Degree! some of you might be thinking. Now, many of you will recall that I actually have posted about this before and I’ll admit I am actually really fascinated with the cultural phenomenon of Twilight: how it went from bestselling novel series to worldwide phenomenon to world’s most hated film and book series in the span of a decade. These things fascinate me. I also think all of the backlash she got was total crap, but that is another subject. Regardless, I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Twilight fan, and Stephenie Meyer is one of the major reasons I decided to try writing young adult fiction. Don’t hate! (If it weren’t for J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, we certainly wouldn’t be in this “golden age” of young adult lit!)
So when I heard about this new Twilight Stories project, I was excited. Stephenie Meyer has partnered with Facebook and Women in Film, and she is allowing female screenwriters and filmmakers to create short films centering around the backstories of some of the secondary characters in the Twilight Universe. Now, many of you know I got my MFA in Playwriting, and I have written a few film scripts as well (one of which–Leapfrog–was produced and even screened at film festivals in 2009) so naturally I was super excited to potentially get the opportunity to write a screenplay about these characters. I also think the whole project is just a great idea. When it comes to the film industry, particularly directing, writing, editing, working on the crew, etc., women are majorly underrepresented. So what a cool way to give more women a chance to participate in the filmmaking process.
The competition is set up in several phases. In phase one, fans voted on the top ten secondary characters they wanted to see featured in these films. And now we are on phase two, where writers create screenplay outlines (of 500 characters or less!). Writers were allowed to submit up to five so of course I wrote five and submitted them (about Jane, Esme, Garrett, and two on Alice). The panel of judges will select 40 finalists, and then the people will vote to narrow it down to 20 winners. Those 20 winners will receive $500 and a chance to write complete screenplays. From there, five screenplays will be selected, and then five directors will be selected, and then five short films will be made. How cool is that?
So, I had a blast writing these outlines. It was a fun challenge to shorten them down to 500 characters or less. Should I make it to the group of 40 finalists, you can bet I will be harassing every single one of you to go vote for my screenplay outline! But even if I do not get to participate in this project, I am so glad that they are doing it. I have so much respect for Stephenie Meyer for opening up her world to other artists like this in a chance to give more female filmmakers a voice. Go you, Stephenie!
Photo from Tongal