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Old 01-19-2020, 10:23 AM   #21
finalact4
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

yeah, you might be right. When the third session was open, they were quiet about who the selectees were, and their general "openness" to the public was significantly reduced.

they want something very specific. and it's not about who is the best writer or who has the best story, it's about THE RIGHT kind of person and THE RIGHT kind of story. I respect that it's their company and absolutely their right to create a process that works for THEM. II is devoting huge financial expenses to find the diamond in the rough.

The fact that a person is NOT reading the applications or the submission material, and they are solely relying on a computer algorithm to pre-select a top group of candidates based on a combination of keywords is, on its own, a deterrent to those writers believing II are looking for good writing and well executed stories.

I respect and appreciate they are trying to do something different, I just wish they had been more transparent before I spend dozens of hours completing their 80 question application.

The mistaken assumption by every applicant is that their work would be read by a reader. II even tweeted a picture of readers diligently "reading" applicant's scripts. II could have revealed their process at that time-- which is, those scripts being read by readers were only a small selection of the enormous number of applicants that were already filtered out.

Geez, it's hard to not go off the rails here, haha. As you can see, I was very disappointed when II revealed their process, even though it makes absolute, perfect sense.

It's akin to that article on the boards about executing a good plot twist-- subvert the reader's already preconceived ideas, notions, assumptions and expectations and you can trick them into "missing" what's there.

IOW, revealing the use of AI to filter their applicants was one doozie of a plot twist.

IMO, it might be better to just query their prodco directly.

Happy Sunday DDPrs.

Wishing much good fortune to everyone who enters.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:54 AM   #22
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post

I respect and appreciate they are trying to do something different, I just wish they had been more transparent before I spend dozens of hours completing their 80 question application.
Because there is no entry fee and a 40k stipend awarded per writer or team, I assumed the huge amount of questions on the application were (in part) meant to stave off so many entries. It doesn't look like that worked.

Not completely sure that the AI process is working as they thought though, either, if multiple chosen writers/teams are still not sold after all the hoopla and support.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

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Originally Posted by figment View Post
Because there is no entry fee and a 40k stipend awarded per writer or team, I assumed the huge amount of questions on the application were (in part) meant to stave off so many entries. It doesn't look like that worked.

Not completely sure that the AI process is working as they thought though, either, if multiple chosen writers/teams are still not sold after all the hoopla and support.
I wonder if the ROI hasn't been there so they are cutting back. If January comes and goes I would suspect changes have been made, if not announced.

But at the same time it's weird to me that they launched the management department, because you would think Impact is meant to be a feeder process for that group.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:51 AM   #24
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

They could just adjust it so that they are a feeder for the contests. Writers that place high enough on well regarded contests get more attention. Writers that have reps and writers that have been vetted in other ways. Otherwise, I am not sure how AI can do the work of an artistic endeavor where you can only really judge something by reading the script....and reading it closely I might add. There have been scripts that I didn't think were good until it hit page 15 and the hook came along. They might have been flooded by an avalanche of first time writers or writers who hadn't even thought through their ideas before submitting a logline that didn't have a vetted script.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:28 AM   #25
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

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Originally Posted by Friday View Post
They could just adjust it so that they are a feeder for the contests. Writers that place high enough on well regarded contests get more attention. Writers that have reps and writers that have been vetted in other ways. Otherwise, I am not sure how AI can do the work of an artistic endeavor where you can only really judge something by reading the script....and reading it closely I might add. There have been scripts that I didn't think were good until it hit page 15 and the hook came along. They might have been flooded by an avalanche of first time writers or writers who hadn't even thought through their ideas before submitting a logline that didn't have a vetted script.
I don't believe this is the goal. They are a development group. They want to find the story, the idea, the right writer and develop the material into something they can sell based on THEIR EXTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT experience.

And, imo, writers need to stop projecting their goals onto what Imagine Impact has stated over and over is THEIR goal. I'm guilty of doing this initially, too.

Imagine Impact wants to change the way the development process works and find projects that are MISSING from the industry. It's not about what others already do and doing THAT better. They want to change the development process. Shorten it. Tighten it.

The want to deliver produceable projects fast.

They aren't looking for the best amateurs-- just look at their roster. For the most part, they are selecting already established professional writers that just haven't had a so called "big break," or other "opportunity" in film yet.

From a recent Reddit thread:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriti...pact_unless_a/

Quote:
[Discussion] Don't apply to Imagine Impact unless a computer would think you are "diverse"

So, unless a COMPUTER can tell that we're "diverse" or have "overcome challenges", our application won't even be read by a human.

This seems pretty weird, considering they made such a big deal about how their application review process was "meritocratic" - implying it was about skill, not identity.

And another...
Interesting article about the lab here. Most of the participants already have credits and agents. I think the real barrier to getting read is that, and not diversity. It may be that they only pick one or two diverse candidates per cycle so they can write marketing articles about the lab. [read Fast Company Article below]
What I think many are missing, is this ISN'T an amateur contest.

An excerpt from the article below:
Quote:
"...seeks unknown or underrepresented writers with unique stories and gets their projects ready for sale."
Imagine Impact has been telling us THIS from the beginning, but writers want to SEE what THEY WANT, instead of taking in the goals as stated by the very people running the program. No where in their statements have they ever said they are an amateur contest to "break in" unknown NEW writers.

I wouldn't underestimate the use of algorithms, they are quite powerful. With the use of the algorithm, they never even see the first time writers, for the most part, and when they do, those writers STILL have something ELSE that fits into their specifically designed search.

Imagine Impact IS NOT going to pay a writer $40,000 for 8 weeks of writing if they didn't believe, for one reason or another, the WRITERS THEY SELECT have the ability to deliver a well executed story that is ready to sell in 8 weeks.

From a Fast Company Article:https://www.fastcompany.com/90432644...hollywood-2020

Quote:
Imagine offers its creators a stipend of up to $40,000 and recoups its costs from an undisclosed percentage of a script’s or pilot’s sale, as well as fees on the back end should the project get made.
They've sold 23 projects, so if Imagine gets a cut or comes on as a producer, they've won. They're basically funding the "development" process and saving the studios that process.

Each Impact costs them $800,000 (really think about that), so it's vital that they believe in the projects. IA is the workhorse that gets them closer to the mark. They have more material than they need, so they can cherry pick the specific ones that align with their sensibilities.

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/12/im...op-1202194309/

No one can wait until page 15 for a story to "kick in" or get interesting-- it needs to be interesting on page one. At best, you get maybe 5 pages to hook a reader. For example, there have been many show runners online, and in interviews, that have made that statement.

They want bold writers-- everyone does.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:41 PM   #26
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
I don't believe this is the goal. They are a development group. They want to find the story, the idea, the right writer and develop the material into something they can sell based on THEIR EXTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT experience.

And, imo, writers need to stop projecting their goals onto what Imagine Impact has stated over and over is THEIR goal. I'm guilty of doing this initially, too.

Imagine Impact wants to change the way the development process works and find projects that are MISSING from the industry. It's not about what others already do and doing THAT better. They want to change the development process. Shorten it. Tighten it.

The want to deliver produceable projects fast.

They aren't looking for the best amateurs-- just look at their roster. For the most part, they are selecting already established professional writers that just haven't had a so called "big break," or other "opportunity" in film yet.

From a recent Reddit thread:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriti...pact_unless_a/



What I think many are missing, is this ISN'T an amateur contest.

An excerpt from the article below:


Imagine Impact has been telling us THIS from the beginning, but writers want to SEE what THEY WANT, instead of taking in the goals as stated by the very people running the program. No where in their statements have they ever said they are an amateur contest to "break in" unknown NEW writers.

I wouldn't underestimate the use of algorithms, they are quite powerful. With the use of the algorithm, they never even see the first time writers, for the most part, and when they do, those writers STILL have something ELSE that fits into their specifically designed search.

Imagine Impact IS NOT going to pay a writer $40,000 for 8 weeks of writing if they didn't believe, for one reason or another, the WRITERS THEY SELECT have the ability to deliver a well executed story that is ready to sell in 8 weeks.

From a Fast Company Article:https://www.fastcompany.com/90432644...hollywood-2020



They've sold 23 projects, so if Imagine gets a cut or comes on as a producer, they've won. They're basically funding the "development" process and saving the studios that process.

Each Impact costs them $800,000 (really think about that), so it's vital that they believe in the projects. IA is the workhorse that gets them closer to the mark. They have more material than they need, so they can cherry pick the specific ones that align with their sensibilities.

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/12/im...op-1202194309/

No one can wait until page 15 for a story to "kick in" or get interesting-- it needs to be interesting on page one. At best, you get maybe 5 pages to hook a reader. For example, there have been many show runners online, and in interviews, that have made that statement.

They want bold writers-- everyone does.

I already said "writers who have been repped or vetted in other ways." I was pointing out the opposite. That if they wanted to save time, they might as well sift through the vetted writers in the process (whether it's through other contests, agents/managers or workshops). They can reach out to these writers privately. They don't even need an impact program. If they only want a certain type of writer, they can easily just say that they are not looking for certain types of writer. Only the writers that have this criteria should apply. The scripts I was referring to were from A list writers. Many of them did not hook me until page 15. A script can be competently written, but sometimes, you do not see what's special about it until that unique element kicks in.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:18 PM   #27
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

I think they sold the writing the community the idea of a lab that would be open to submissions, and that all writers had a legitimate shot to be considered for the lab in order to get free advertising.

In practice, I think this was just a front to get people talking about their lab -- free advertising -- while they used "AI" to search for one or two poster diversity candidates. This last round, they only picked one inexperienced diverse candidate -- a young, photogenic woman that they used in multiple photos and articles. ONE.

I don't think they used real AI. As I've said before, in order to train an AI engine, you need to feed it lots of trained material, basically examples of what you want, that's been carefully tagged. This would cost them $$ to create. You know those landing pages that make you select the crosswalk out of the photos? When you click on images, you are helping training an AI engine, that's not just to verify you're a "human." Free labor for high tech.

Far more likely is that they select down to people in their 20s, then narrow it down by race and gender. Then look at photos and the first ten seconds of a video. "Would she be attractive in our Fast Company article?" Only then do they start looking at the screenplay. Those of us who are over 35 didn't even get one second of consideration...

Why so many questions? To make you think any of that matters.

That's my jaded take on it all.

That said, I believe this is a legitimate lab created to develop writers who have already made some headway into the business, and if you are repped and been a staff writer, or something -- you're being considered through a back door.

Do I think it's useful to enter the lab? Yes. Because it makes you get your work ready to present to other entities. And who knows, lightning may strike.

I would say if they don't announce an application period by the end of the January, they probably are going to a once a year model.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:59 PM   #28
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

I think you make valid points. It “seemed” to be something it was not. I don’t think there’s a way to game it. I agree, they already know what they want and where to find it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:34 PM   #29
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

I wonder how much money is spent to run that program? I know they pay 20 writers $40,000. But, on top of that, they would have other expenses, like catering to all the big name shapers that come in, not to mention other expenses like food catering, staff, etc. So, if it's close to 1 million per program, then they would need to justify that expense.



From the interviews, the director of the program said that the program seeks to "democratize" the process, by finding "strong voices" who otherwise would not have access to Hollywood. Seems pretty straightforward. Actually, the ones that seemed "inexperienced" are actually names I've seen win a fellowship. So, they have been vetted in other ways. Reddit users have pointed out that most of the loglines did not seem to be that high concept, so perhaps they are looking at the writing? The news outlets pointed out that they are leveraging technology to identify talent at scale, using Silicon Valley's Y combinator principles. A lot of the ones selected seemed to be "older" and really less diverse than the first time around. Maybe, someone in the Impact inner circle knows exactly what they are looking for. I haven't really applied, so I am just a curious bystander. It would be interesting to find out what their actual selection criteria is. Most of the reddit commenters are just throwing out theories.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:34 AM   #30
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Default Re: Imagine Impact Using AI to Select Candidates...

Below are the loglines published (Deadline) for the first Impact pitch day.

Brian Corcoran
FAMILY LAW — TV Half Hour
The story of a desperate young attorney, Jennifer Lombardi, who through hustle, luck, and sheer tyranny of will, holds together the Family law firm of an legendary, undefeated LA defense attorney.

Chris Stevens & Hunter Daniels
MORE HUMAN — Feature Film
Set in a futuristic Bay Area – a decade after a civil war between San Francisco and Oakland that left the latter city in ruins – More Human follows SF Police Officer Cameron Mitchell as he infiltrates Oakland’s underground world of cybernetic body modifications in order to stop a series of heists that threatens to ignite another war. But as he comes to sympathize with the people he’s been sent to investigate, Cam finds his loyalties tested and begins to question who the criminals truly are.

Daniel Bonjour
SHYFT — Feature Film
In a world where time-travel is outlawed, an elite government agent is sent on a secret mission to the past where he inadvertently witnesses his former self killed and returns to the present timeline, where he hasn’t existed for 5 years. Now, on the run from the agency that trained him, he is forced to turn to the underground world of illegal time travel in order to get his life back, and discovers… that he may be the key to saving humanity from a corrupted timeline.

Yeah, sounds like LOOPER 2

David C. White
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH — TV One Hour
A western set in a near-future, warmed Antarctica, following the residents of an Antarctic frontier mining town as they discover a revolutionary new energy source, sparking a global battle for control of this new and potentially fertile continent that quickly evolves into an unexpected, underdog fight for independence. It’s Deadwood meets Game Of Thrones… with penguins.

David Cornue
SINLESS — TV One Hour
A 19th-century television drama inspired by the true story of John Humphrey Noyes, a charismatic preacher who believes he is without sin. When he creates a controversial utopian society founded on “free love,” his Heaven on Earth is condemned by the outside world as a sinful Hell.

David, btw, has been a pro for a while. He had already worked with several studios before being selected for II1. Not exactly "under represented" or "otherwise would not have access to Hollywood."

And if you like what he has to say, he charges between $450 (one call) and $5000 to consult with writers and coach them through their drafts. before he was selected by II he had already been a paid writer for several studios.
I was impressed. https://www.davidcornue.com/


Elizabeth Stamp
SILOED — TV Half Hour
A wayward millennial ends up in a luxury doomsday bunker after an apocalyptic event and has to create space for herself in the community while staying on the good side of its overbearing leader.

Godwin Jabangwe
TUNGA — Feature Animation
A spirited young girl ventures to the mythical lost city of Dzimbahwe to learn how to control her strong-willed animal totem and prove that true communion with totems is still possible.

Jessica L. Funches
ONE LAST BOW — Feature Film
In a last ditch effort to revive her dismal career, an aging actress convinces her reluctant former co-stars to reunite for a revival of the musical that once made them all famous. Through laughter, tears and song, they face their insecurities head-on and watch their lives change in surprisingly wonderful ways.

This one sounds similar to a DDP story someone pitched in the past year, or am i wrong?

John Clark Arends
THE TRAITOR’s SON: THE BETRAYAL OF PAUL ROBESON — Feature Film
Set inside a London psychiatric hospital at the height of the Cold War, a young doctor struggles to piece together the shattered psyche and memories of a mysterious patient being treated by the CIA—only to uncover the astonishing life and treacherous “assassination” of Paul Robeson.

Kate Oliviero and Kristen Vadas
FLOCK — TV One Hour
A character-driven drama about an all-American poultry dynasty in crisis, and the diverse blue-collar work force that lives under its feudal rule. It’s about the price of family, and the cost of your chicken dinner.

Kuamel Winston Stewart
UPTOWN — TV One Hour
In the 1920s, a revolutionary writer, a gifted musician, and an innovative gangster each move to Harlem to capitalize on extraordinary opportunities provided by the Harlem Renaissance: an explosive period of African African achievement in the arts, entertainment, and organized crime. But what they don’t expect is the price they’ll each have to pay for their ambitions.

Linda Ge
CANARY — TV One Hour
Grace Chen is serving 20 years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit so her best friend Kyle Wang could live out the promise of an amazing future. Seven years in, she buys her freedom in exchange for spying for the FBI on prominent leaders of a Chinese human smuggling ring — who happen to be Kyle’s own family. As Grace grows into her new role as an undercover informant, she will be torn between embracing her new destiny in espionage and her unexpected freedom, or betraying the only person she’d ever trade it all away for. The Departed meets Revenge.

Lynda Heys and Steve Turnbull
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED — Feature Film
An inspiring adventure painted on an epic canvas of faraway lands with a 1969 VW Beetle and a honeymoon do-over that proves life doesn’t always come with a map.

Matthew J. O’Neill
THE TIMES — TV One Hour
The filthy rich Chandler family, founders of the L.A. Times, has their fake news empire rocked when Dorothy Buffum marries in and makes it her mission to bring progress to the family and raise her son, Otis, to legitimize their newspaper.

Matthew T. Price
EXCHANGE STUDENTS — TV Half Hour
Plans unexpectedly change for high schooler Jason Pierson on his semester abroad when, instead of France, he’s sent to Cartoonisia: a country populated by animated creatures. Back in America, his family is surprised the foreign exchange student they received is a cartoon character: Trixie.

Paul Marchand
JAMESTOWN — TV One Hour
On the night of his brother’s coming-of-age ceremony, a seven-year-old Powhatan boy is kidnapped by Spanish conspirators plotting to colonize his homeland. For ten years he is raised like a prince in the Spanish Empire before returning home and upending his captor’s plans with a plot of his own…

Perry Janes
AMERICAN REFUGEE — TV One Hour
In a future beset by climate change, the American government faces an unprecedented refugee crisis and re-opens the evacuated state of Texas for settlement, triggering the first major land rush in almost 200 years. As homesteaders compete for land, each must reckon with their own vision of “home”—and how far they’re willing to go to defend it. GAME OF THRONES meets THE GRAPES OF WRATH in a grounded, science-fiction landscape.

Priscila Garcia-Jacquier
WHATEVER IT TAKES — TV Half Hour
When her powerful Colombian family loses everything, Helena engineers a plan to fund her American Dream through an older man’s pockets. In other words, she finds herself a sugar daddy. Whatever It Takes is not the Gf Experience; it’s a LatinX Insecure.

Stefanie Woodburn
POLE BOSS — Feature Film
A hedge fund analyst begrudgingly joins a bubbly heiress in a pole dance competition, in hope of winning her investment.

Tanya Steele
ROCKET — TV Half Hour
A visual memoir about an African-American girl who survives the journey to womanhood with magical realism and empathy.

Victor M. Dueñas
SLICE OF LIFE — TV Half Hour
Two gay divorced fathers – one Latino, the other white – decide to move their family from LA to the small town of Yucaipa after discovering the existence of a daughter the Latino husband didn’t know he had. There, they’ll struggle to uphold their urban gay identity as they co-parent alongside his conservative ex-wife, help run his overbearing mother’s popular pie shop, and coexist with the town’s quirky locals.

Vidhya Iyer
WEDLOCKED — TV Half Hour
To placate their marriage-obsessed parents, an Indian-American woman, Laxmi, marries her gay Indian-American friend. It’s the perfect plan — until Laxmi’s mother-in-law moves in with them and keeping up the charade of the fake marriage becomes much harder. Especially, when she discovers that she is pregnant with her very white ex-fiancé’s baby.

the comments are an interesting read... one of the contributors mentions that they had hired one of the writers...

Quote:
TBF
on November 13, 2018 2:17 pm
I was happy to hear a writer I used to be good friends with and once actually hired (for a nominal fee) to write a treatment with me got picked for this program.

I wasn’t super-happy to read the logline for his script here and discover that one or more elements from his current script sound like they may have been lifted from my story. It reads like it’s more different than similar, though. Hope so.

Of course, it’s impossible to be *completely* original. We’re all influenced by everything we’ve read, seen, experienced, and everyone we’ve ever known.

But there’s something to be said for at least *trying* to be original.

https://deadline.com/2018/11/imagine...9001/#comments
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