Thursday, Oct. 11 2012 4:45PM
Former LS resident using social media to share script
By Toriano Porter
Technology and the advent of social media has somewhat leveled the playing field when it comes to the world of entertainment.
Stories are endless on how an artist’s big break surfaced through word-of-mouth social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
A Lee’s Summit native now living in London hopes his latest marketing campaign via Twitter can help bring attention to his feature-length movie script.
Jordan Waid, a 1986 graduate of Lee’s Summit High School, announced in September plans to unveil the Tweet Film Project, using Twitter to share his script for the movie “The Piece” per Twitter guidelines of 140 characters or less at a time.
Waid won a Student Academy Award in 1999 for the short film version of “The Piece” and since has spent more than a decade writing, including the feature-length screenplay based on the original short film.
The project got underway Oct. 1.
“I’ve had my screenplay for a while now – ever since I won the Student Academy Award back in 1999,” Waid said Oct. 5 via telephone from London. He added tweeting “The Piece” is definitely an experiment and he plans to deliver the entire script with all cinematic details and in traditional screenplay format. “I wrote the screenplay about a year after that, but I’ve kind of been crafting it over the years.
“I’m always trying to get a good angle and this just sounded like a new way because it’s hard to stay competitive out there even if you have a Student Academy Award. I thought, ‘I’m not doing anything with this screenplay, why don’t I do something different with it? Let everybody enjoy it for free.’ I thought it’d be good to do it as a tweet.”
The idea of the Tweet Film Project caught the attention of representatives from Final Draft, the screenwriting software developed for writing and formatting a screenplay to meet submission standards set by theater, television and film industries.
“It sounded very innovative and Jordan is a Student Academy Award winning filmmaker, so he had credentials to back it up,” said Zack Gutin of Final Draft.
Gutin serves as the software company’s director of retail and studio relations. He said the company got involved after Waid contacted Final Draft to introduce the project. Gutin added the timing was perfect because he was headed to London from Los Angeles for two months in early October to visit the studios, production companies and writers that the company works with in the United Kingdom.
Waid and Gutin arranged to meet shortly after Gutin arrived in London to discuss the project more in depth.
“Final Draft is the most used screenwriting tool or resource in the world, so we always want to support the community of emerging writers who take their careers seriously and are going the extra mile to succeed,” Gutin said. “Plus, Twitter is a great marketing tool and one we also try to be very engaged in, so it was a nice fit.
“We’re going to support Jordan in the arena where he’s playing – on Twitter. We’ll be promoting his Tweet Film Project to our own 5,000 followers – most who are also emerging screenwriters and may find his project to be both entertaining and a resource to learn from. Hopefully they will share it too.”
After tweeting “The Piece,” Waid plans to release other screenplays and stories via Twitter. He plans to tweak the format of the other projects and deliver those differently than the first project, reflecting the ever-evolving medium of social media sites such as Twitter.
“The main obstacle is you really have to know people,” Waid, whose parents still live in Lee’s Summit, said of getting his film made in Hollywood. “Some of it’s luck, some of it is getting to know the right people, some of it is getting the word out and creating a buzz. Getting an agent is the main thing. If I can get an agent based in Los Angles to represent my writings that would help loosen things up. I still want to be a filmmaker.”
For more information on the Tweet Film Project or to follow Waid’s progress on the script follow @tweetFilmProj on Twitter or visit https://twitter.com/tweetFil-