Are there any Spielberg’s, Scorsese’s or Quentin Tarantino’s out there? Are you a would-be filmmaker craving a shot at the big timeif someone would just allow you to score that first big break? Jumping into the film industry is a daunting task, particularly if you lack financial backing. NYU and the New York Film Academy are excellent filmmaking schools providing hands-on directorial and editing know-how, but for many, the hefty tuition and fees at these institutions can be prohibitive.
The recent attempts by TV shows to single out would-be filmmakers in an American Idol-like fashion, did offer a handful of hopefuls an opportunity. But while IFC’s Film School is still on the air, Matt Damon’s and Ben Affleck’s “ProjectGreenlight” and Spielberg’s costly reality show “On the Lot” that followed were short-lived attempts at providing the undiscovered a chance to be discovered.
So in this new digital age of YouTube and instant videography, if you think you are adept with a camera, or can pen an interesting screenplay and the only thing standing between you and making that next Pulp Fiction is luckthere is an alternative. And all it will cost you is an investment of time, creativity and a whole heck of lot of blood, sweat and tears.
So what is today’s option? Well, if the name Keyser Soze rings a bell, you are a few steps ahead of the pack? If not, you are not alone because the question: Who is Keyser Soze? is repeated continuously throughout the 1994 cult classic movie the “Usual Suspects. The answer is Kevin Spacey who played the unassuming but cunning schemer Keyser Soze in this suspenseful Hitchcockian-type thriller.
Yes, the Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey might be just the man and his website TriggerStreet.com might just be the organization to further your career in filmmaking.
TriggerStreet.com was founded in 2002 by Spacey and his producer partner Dana Brunetti as an online social network to discover and showcase emerging filmmakers and writing talent. This interactive mechanism is similar to the slew of social networks that have emerged within the last five years, or so. However differing from social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, TriggerStreet.com’s focus is niche-market oriented to filmmaking and book publishing.
With all the restrictions and hurdles outsiders incur when trying to break into the movie industry, Spacey and Brunetti creatively sought to democratize the process by providing a conduit of communication between Hollywood and emerging talent everywhere, overcoming the barriers they so often encountered.
As Spacey puts it, it’s like sending the elevator back down to help bring up the next generation of undiscovered talent. Now, “a person who lives on a farm in Ohio and doesn’t know a soul in Hollywood can use TriggerStreet.com as a way to get their work out there to be seen and maybe even discovered. All they need is a computer, a decent internet connection, and of course, a bit of talent,”
As a TriggerStreet.com member you will be able to view and review any short film or screenplay on the site. Beyond its Short Film and Screenplay genres, TriggerStreet can also provide opportunity and exposure for Short Stories, Books, Plays and even Comics. And by nurturing an environment where users collectively strive to for creative excellence by reaching out to others, TriggerStreet.com has grown to hundreds of thousands.
The quality of work is assessed each year, and here is animated short that won the top spot in the 2007 judging:
The review of submissions is an integral ingredient in the mix. Since, the major tenet of the community is tied to the strength of the content– all members in addition to being able to submit their work are required to also critique the works of others. And with every review submission, a member earns credits that qualify their work presentations to be viewed by more and more people, over time.
For example, in the interest of helping all contributions get reviewed, TriggerStreet has established a four to one ratio of reviews to uploads for screenplays, and a two to one ratio of reviews to upload short films, So for each four screenplay reviews you write, you can upload one of your own, and for each two short films you review, you can upload one of your own short films.
As far as plans for the future, at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and producer Dana Brunetti spoke with ABC News about their latest partnership between TriggerStreet and Stella Artois. The Stella Artois Short Film Project will provide a $50,000 cash award to one filmmaker who submits a winning entry to TriggerStreet. The film, which must be less than 10 minutes long, will be judged by the TriggerStreet.com community as well as a panel of actors, directors and producers.
The Stella Artois Short Film Project is open to any independent filmmaker in the United States. Entries can be submitted to TriggerStreet.com started January 26. Ten finalists will be selected; the winner will be unveiled later in 2009. The winning film will be considered for exposure at various independent film festivals throughout the year. For complete rules and submission requirements, visit www.triggerstreet.com.
From script to screen, it is the belief of the founders that exposure to the film and publishing industries provides a strong potential career boost to those actively committed to creative excellence. But perhaps, more importantly, TriggerStreet has created a creative milieu for budding artists to thrive collaboratively with like-minded kin folk under the watchful eyes of industry VIPs.
So if you are up for the challenge and think you oughta’ be in pictures, you should definitely gallop on over to TriggerStreet, which by the way was affectionately named after Roy Rogers’ horse!