Wattpad, the entertainment company known as a source for original stories, has teamed with Screen Queensland, a Queensland Government-owned company that invests in talent and production to grow a creative, innovative and successful screen industry with a focus on stories and audience. This marks the first Australian partnership for Wattpad.
The partnership combines Screen Queensland and with Wattpad’s data-backed approach to development. The companies will use Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology to identify stand-out stories for development from the extensive library from the storytelling platform. The partnership will also allow the companies to use data-backed audience insights throughout the development process.
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Screen Queensland and Wattpad will select up to three successful stories from the Wattpad platform and ask Queensland screen industry creatives to submit their “take”. Writers will provide a pitch outlining how they plan to translate their original idea from story to screen for a film and TV adaptation. Up to three concepts will be selected for further development with the input and feedback of the Wattpad platform audience over the next 12 months, with the intention of identifying a project to secure marketplace backing so that it can move into production in Queensland.
“Screen Queensland is delighted to be working with global, creative-tech leader Wattpad in an Australian-first partnership, which will give Queensland’s creative talent access to stories that have already found a passionate audience on the Wattpad platform and the opportunity to adapt them for the screen with the guidance of their global fan base,” said Jo Dillon, Screen Queensland’s Executive Vice President, Content. “Wattpad and Wattpad Studios are unafraid of bold ideas and approaches and we’re excited to see what will come out of this unique collaboration.”
“As a company that works with studios and producers across the region, Screen Queensland understands the importance of tapping into incredible new voices and creating opportunities for diverse creators,” said Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios. “We’re thrilled to partner with Screen Queensland and work together to bring an innovative, data-backed model for entertainment to Australia.”
Screen Queensland has attracted an outstanding slate of international productions to the state including the Warner Bros. DC comic book pic Aquaman, Paramount Pictures’ Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok. Local productions include the Emmy-Award winning children’s animated series Bluey by Ludo Studio, political drama series Total Control by Blackfella Films, that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Tidelands by Hoodlum Entertainment for Netflix and Content the world’s first scripted vertical video drama set on a phone. The Screen Queensland production slate is complemented by original local development and production initiatives that promote diversity and home-grown talent such as First Peoples: First Draft, for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen creatives, and the RIDE Feature Film Fund (standing for Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) for underrepresented groups in the screen industry.
Screen Queensland is the latest company to partner with Wattpad, which currently works with companies like Sony Pictures Television, eOne, Erik Feig’s Picturestart, Bavaria Fiction, Mediaset, Lagardere Studios, Wise Entertainment, Turner LatAm’s Particular Crowd, among others.
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