- There’s a change happening in the entertainment industry. No longer is it simply film and television. There is ONLY CONTENT and it can be distributed with wifi and a laptop. The problem is there are now millions of creative voices. We want to help some of those voices be heard.
- In an industry plagued by indecision and waiting games, CineCoup aims to give all Filmmakers a quick “Yes” or “No” instead of a long string of “Maybes”.
- Most importantly we’re looking for talented people who understand that being a filmmaker is being an entrepreneur as well. Look at all your favorite filmmakers. From Walt Disney to J.J. Abrams (do you think the same person gets to reinvent BOTH Star Trek and Star Wars based on directing ability alone?) they all realized early on that they needed more than a script to find success. We’re hoping this process will guide you as a filmmaker and help awaken that entrepreneurial spirit inside you.
How does it work?
Simple, AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION HELPS PROJECTS ADVANCE!
You need to rally your audience (your fans) to WATCH your videos, SHARE your videos, RATE your videos, and VOTE for your project to help you advance towards that sweet production money, BECAUSE WE’RE MEASURING EVERYTHING!
It’s about getting fans involved in your project and inspiring them scream your awesomeness across the inter-webs! The more fans participate, the more it helps you! Here’s how it breaks down:
- You upload your project
- We show your project to the public
- We give you missions to complete to help develop your project
- We show your completed missions to the public to help you build fans
- Through fan participation we narrow it down to 5 teams based on which projects fans like best
- Those Final 5 pitch their projects to a panel of experts at our Big Deal Event.
- We greenlight one of the Final 5 for production.
How long does it last?
Approximately 12 weeks after the application period concludes.
APPLICATION PERIOD: Monday, February 9 to Sunday, March 8, 2015*. Filmmakers submit their application requirements to the CineCoup website.
ADVANCEMENT PERIOD: Monday, March 16 to Sunday, June 14, 2015*. Filmmakers create content to develop their projects. CineCoup publishes the content while Teams share it over the internet to promote their projects and build fans.
*Dates are subject to change.
What are the project guidelines?
We’re looking for an original feature film that can be produced within a budget of $1 Million (CDN) with enough potential to be developed over multiple platforms (TV, print, web, etc.)
- All material you submit to the CineCoup website must be original and generated by the applicant (no other legal agreements can be attached to your project).
- Music can be difficult to secure so CineCoup has pre-arranged the use of the Jingle Punks library to be used in content directly related to weekly mission content.
- CineCoup is not interested in being a censor, but we expect Filmmakers to use common sense in terms of the subjects, themes and values they choose to explore. That being said, we did produce Wolfcop. So you can use that as a barometer.
- CineCoup will not support blatant pornography, narratives that promote hate, violence, or obvious intolerance against any specific group.
What does CineCoup do? It seems like I'm doing all the work.
CineCoup is unlike any other film studio in that we option projects based on what the public shows DIRECT and MEASURABLE interest in. We then develop that project with our own team of experienced professionals (see our TEAM and PARTNERS)
Additionally we’re helping you build the ultimate pitch! You’re creating a project package with accurate (and free) market research that increases the value of any project when pitched to a studio/network. Even if your project isn’t optioned, it's our hope that your team can leverage your CineCoup experience and project package to entice outside producers and get a leg up advancing your career.
What do I get from this deal? Why participate?
A common misconception among young filmmakers is that all you need is a good idea and a script. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You also need the right doors to be opened at the right time, a strong pitch (inclusive of marketing knowledge), and the desire to keep moving forward after a door has been slammed in your face.
ALL TEAMS who participate will create a complete and comprehensive package for pitching your project to financiers, producers, networks and studios. Specifically:
- Build a professional, multimedia package to promote and pitch their project.
- Develop media and social marketing savvy to further your career.
- Gain national press and worldwide internet exposure while building new audiences for your talent and ideas.
- CineCoup will host your project content and social feeds for two years on your unique CineCoup microsite.
FOR TOP PROJECTS, CineCoup will:
- Option a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of ten (10) projects for development.
- Greenlight one project with (up to) $1 Million (CDN) in production financing to create a feature film to be released in Cineplex Theaters.
- Work with all optioned projects to develop, package and position them with other producers, studios, networks, etc.
I think your whole program is rigged!
You can think that, but you’d be wrong.
We wait for thousands of fans to tell us what they want through their participation in the CineCoup website (no one’s forcing fans to watch videos, rate them, or vote for them). Through a combination of Performance Indicators (based on fan participation) and Social Voting, the project selection is narrowed to five projects. From those Final 5 CineCoup selects one that that has the most potential and options (at minimum) 4 others. There is no secrecy to the process.
If you have doubts, check out 2013’s Top Project, WolfCop.
So, you want us to create, develop and market our own project?
Yes. Because that’s what filmmakers do. Did you think all you needed was a script and a smile? Again we recommend you check out 2013’s Top Project, WolfCop. The WolfCop team completed every mission to perfection and are now making WolfCop 2.
One of the hardest things that any filmmaker learns is that it’s not enough to be a director, or a writer, or an actor; you also need to be an entrepreneur. And the product you’re selling is more than your idea, it’s you.
Is CineCoup a contest? It sounds like a contest.
No, CineCoup is not a contest. It’s an independent studio that’s focused on supporting independent projects and bringing creative talent into the public eye to help filmmakers connect with untapped audiences.
The advancement process is decided through fan participation, which combines Performance Indicators, fan influence and evaluation from CineCoup producers. CineCoup does not offer a “prize”, but instead guarantees to option a minimum of five projects and finance one project with (up to) $1 Million in production financing and a release in Cineplex Theatres.
- We are not giving anyone a $1,000,000 prize. We are providing production financing and support.
- After the Final 5 are selected, the Big Deal recipient is not chosen at random or by social voting. It is selected by CineCoup in its sole discretion.
Are you looking for another Wolfcop?
No. We’re in the process of making WolfCop 2, so another one would be a little redundant. That being said, everyone loved Wolfcop's throwback, grindhouse style, so it really all depends on what resonates with fans.
What kind of movies are you looking for?
CineCoup is looking for High Concept, Genre Films, inclusive of Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Thriller, and Comedy. Also acceptable are documentaries whose subject matter falls within these genres and their target demographics (eg, King of Kong, Indie Game: The Movie, Trekkies, etc.)
What we’re really looking for are strong TEAMS. A group of filmmakers who compliment each other, support each other, and when the pressure is on...together they get the sh*t done.
What does "high concept" mean?
High-concept is an ironic term used by the film industry to describe a movie that can be explained using the most basic premise, often in the form of a “what if”. For example: “What if there was a cop who turned into a werewolf”?
The best examples are concepts that can be pitched on their title alone. Brilliant films such as Jaws, Star Wars or Wolfcop (available on DVD and Blu-ray March 10!).
What are "The Crowd" and "The Critic" videos?
Every time mission videos are published on the CineCoup website, one mission video is selected as “The Crowd”, and one as “The Critic”. These designations are given to videos that have received high accolades from either fans or the CineCoup team.
“The Crowd” is a representation of how much audience support a specific video has generated for its team. This is another reason it’s important to share your favourite videos (via the CineCoup website) and get more people to support your project. Earning “The Crowd” title can bring a team front-and-center as the first thing everyone sees when they are exploring projects – and we all know the more eyeballs on your project, the better!
“The Critic” title is opinion-based, and is determined by a committee of CineCoup Producers. Collectively, these industry pros are responsible for producing thousands of hours of television and theatrical content.
PLEASE NOTE: To prevent unfair gaming (cheating), CineCoup is unable to publish exact details relating to “The Crowd” algorithm.
Who can participate?
Everyone! Providing you’re Canadian.
CineCoup invites both emerging and existing creative talent to apply. Any legal resident of Canada who has reached the age of majority who are not employees or representatives of CineCoup or its partners can participate as a CineCoup Filmmaker.
Here are some important points regarding participation and eligibility.
- All projects must apply with a team of three Canadians who are the age of majority in their province.
- The person who has registered the project must invite two team members to join the project.
- These three people will represent the project on the CineCoup website and (if your project is successful) will execute the legal option and attend the Final 5 event.
- Each team member must complete their personal profile (bio, image, team role and links) before the application deadline.
- Team members don’t have to be located in the same city, but be warned – they will have to work closely every week.
- You can only be an official member of one CineCoup project.
- To change a team member after the application deadline, you must request permission. CineCoup (in its sole discretion) will consider such requests based on reason and compassion.
What do I need to apply?
Filmmakers must sign up and complete the following requirements before the application deadline on Sunday, March 8, 2015:
- PROJECT REGISTRATION: One team member must register your project. Click APPLY NOW (top right corner), enter a project name, and follow the steps to activate your project.
- TEAM: Invite your two other team members to join your project. Each team member must complete a personal profile (bio, image, links).
- PROJECT PROFILE: Create a project profile that includes images, a tagline, a logline and synopsis that will be displayed on your project page and across the website.
- TRAILER VIDEO: Upload a 60-second movie trailer that showcases your project. Read the mission brief and upload your video in the MISSIONS tab of your project dashboard.
- SOCIAL ACCOUNTS: Create an original Facebook page and Twitter account for your project and connect them to your CineCoup project page. If you already have pre-existing accounts you may connect to those instead.
How Canadian do I have to be?
Very! CineCoup is committed to qualifying as a 10 out of 10 Canadian content production with the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO). The 10 point scale as defined by CAVCO awards points for key creative personnel who are Canadian. The 10 point scale is as follows.
- Director = 2 points
- Screenwriter = 2 points
- Lead performer = 1 point
- 2nd Lead performer = 1 point
- Director of photography = 1 point
- Art Director = 1 point
- Music composer = 1 point
- Picture editor = 1 point
For Producers and all other cast and crew who are not part of the 10 point scale, your Canadian citizenship is equally important, as tax credits for ALL Canadian labour are an integral part of production financing.
What if I’m a Canadian citizen but I’m living in the United States (or abroad)?
Excellent question! In response let us ask you this:
- Do you maintain a permanent residence in Canada?
- Do you pay income tax in Canada?
If you answered “no” to either of these questions, then sadly you do not qualify and should move back to Canada because Canada is awesome and you never should have left. The Canadian labour tax credit is designed to be a rebate of the income tax that individuals are paying to Canada. If you don’t keep a residence and/or don’t pay taxes in Canada, you’re ineligible.
What if I’m in the union?
Well first of all congratulations, that’s fantastic. Unfortunately, being a union member of any kind doesn’t really help you as CineCoup has no agreement with the DGC, WGC, IATSE, ACTRA, or any other film union.
CineCoup trailers, participating mission videos/stills, and related content are materials of an entirely promotional nature, intended to help package your project to gain the attention of producers, media, fans and other such parties that may be interested becoming involved. There are no expectations that union crew or cast members be involved in the production of these promotional materials.
Should you have any concerns regarding union matters, we recommend inquiring with the union in question directly.
NOTE: Should any project be greenlit from production, all union related inquiries will be addressed at that time, and will adhere to relevant union requirements.
Do I have to have a team of three?
First, to embark on this magic carpet ride is a huge commitment and impossible to do alone. Second, having two other equally insane partners is proof that not only are you prepared for what lies ahead, but you are truly committed to a process that other teams will be taking very seriously. Third, a tripod needs three legs to stand or else it’s just a dumb stick lying on the ground.
Will I need a crew of more than three people?
Does a bear sh*t in the woods?
To meet the demands of CineCoup, you will likely need an extended crew to help create and promote the weekly content and we highly recommend that you give that crew credit!
There are many opportunities to give your crew the credit they deserve. Consider including them in your project synopsis that appears on your main project page. You can give them credit in the video’s written description or upload an additional image of that week’s crew and tag them. You can also give them shoutouts on social media.
What are the trailer video requirements?
The following info is also available on the Mission 1 Brief
- Submit a video. Maximum 60 seconds.
- FORMAT: .AVI, .MOV, .MP4.
- RESOLUTION: 1280x720 or 1920x1080
- Submit a thumbnail. Upload an image that will be displayed as your video thumbnail.
We also highly recommend that you take advantage of optional upload opportunities.
- Submit up to four additional images that are relevant to this week’s mission that you think can increase your chances of connecting with fans. For example, showcase your extended crew or share some behind-the-scenes pics.
- Provide a title and description for each image.
What if 60 seconds for my trailer isn’t enough time?
First of all we’re not giving you 60 seconds. We’re giving you 12 weeks of mission assignments that a driven and clever filmmaker can use to build into a single, complete, shining package. That being said…
- A television trailer is only 30 seconds.
- Few film executives will give you more than 60 seconds for the quintessential elevator pitch.
- Vine (the video sharing service) currently has over 40 million users watching nothing but 6 second videos.
For a filmmaker who knows his/her idea inside and out, a filmmaker who believes in his/her idea and wants it bad enough…60 seconds of bravery is all you will ever need. #BeBrave
Do I need a script?
Of course. How else are we supposed to make your movie? Honestly, we’ve never known a movie to be made without a script so we kinda expected that this would already be completed.
While a script isn’t required to register for CineCoup, it is required to advance to the Top 30. You must submit a feature length script, written to current industry standards for evaluation before the Top 30 Voting Window. Please look for the Mission Brief in your MISSIONS tab.
So if you don’t have a script, now you know, so you have plenty of time to finish it before the Top 30 voting window!
What is the difference between a tagline and a logline?
TAGLINE: A tagline is a catchy hook for your project that helps define your movie.
Superman - “You will believe a man can fly”
Jaws - “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”
WolfCop - “Here Comes the Fuzz”
LOGLINE: A logline is a single sentence that accurately summarizes your film’s plot.
Superman - A man with superhuman abilities saves the world from a criminal mastermind.
Jaws - A man eating shark terrorizes a small, seaside, resort town.
WolfCop - he’s a wolf…he’s a cop…we shouldn’t have to explain this one to you.
How do projects advance towards that sweet production money?
Teams complete Filmmaker Missions, while moving through what we call “Advancement Gateways”, when both a project’s Performance Indicators and Voting Results determine if it moves forward.
- Advancement Gateway 1: We start with 120 Projects
- 120 Teams - Filmmakers complete missions and Fans WATCH, SHARE, SUPPORT
- Advancement Gateway 2: 120 Projects are reduced to 60 Projects
- 60 Teams - Filmmakers complete missions and Fans WATCH, SHARE, SUPPORT
- Advancement Gateway 3: 60 Projects are reduced to 30 Projects
- 30 Teams - Filmmakers complete missions and Fans WATCH, SHARE, SUPPORT
- Advancement Gateway 4: 30 Projects are reduced to 15 Projects
- 15 Teams - Filmmakers complete missions and Fans WATCH, SHARE, SUPPORT
- Advancement Gateway 5: 15 Projects are reduced to 5 Projects
- 5 Teams are invited to the Big Deal Event to pitch their projects to a panel of professionals
What if there are more than 120 projects?
If CineCoup receives more than 120 eligible applications, we will select internally 120 projects for advancement at our sole discretion and announce that Top 120 at 9:00 PM ET Monday, March 23, 2015 on the Website (date subject to change).
IMPORTANT! Teams that do not advance to the Top 120 may continue submitting content for their Project to be considered for Wildcard Advancement (SEE “What are Wildcards” under Voting).
What are Filmmaker Missions? What’s the point?
They are weekly homework assignments, assigned on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM ET and are due no later than Sunday at 9:00 PM ET the following week.
They are designed to make you think about your project from the perspective of producers, studios and other financiers. You may have an idea and a script, but the days of letting
only scripts and ideas speak for themselves are over.
- Teams will get instructions for each assignment in the weekly “Mission Details”, published on the MISSIONS tab of your project dashboard.
- Each mission will contain both “mandatory” and “optional” content requirements.
- Every week, CineCoup will publish your new mission content, Monday nights at 9:00 PM ET.
- Teams are expected to promote their mission content on Facebook and Twitter.
Do I have to complete every Mission?
No, filmmaker missions are not mandatory, but you should treat them as if they are!
The only penalty for not completing a mission, is a lost opportunity to connect with more fans. In past Coups there hasn't been one team that has made it to the Top 15 that has missed a mission.
Can I share my trailer before the launch on March 16th?
Why you ask? Because CineCoup doesn't start audience measurement until the designated launch. Hence any views, shares, likes, or other traction you might gain before that time will be unaccounted for.
How do I promote my project online? What is social marketing?
The easiest things to do is to connect every unique social account you have to your project page, and on a daily basis, blast the word out on each of those platforms to come and support you. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, etc. Voila! Now you’re using the power of social marketing! As time goes by you’ll learn the best time to post your messages, who you should be focusing your messages on, and what your message should be!
How do you choose the Final 5?
CineCoup evaluates the Top 15 projects by considering a combination of performance indicators from prior weeks and past voting performance. From there our team of producers and partners (through their combined experience) look at the quality of the script, and speculate a project’s potential on a variety of levels from production costs to marketability.
What’s The Big Deal? What Happens at “The Big Deal” Event?
The Big Deal is the final step before glory! The Final 5 teams travel to an exclusive event to pitch their project live before an audience of fans, industry and media. Asking the tough questions at the end of their pitch will be a panel of industry pros and the CineCoup “UberFan”. It breaks down like this:
- First! We travel the Final 5 teams to wherever we’re holding the Big Event.
- Second! We provide teams with an intense, one day, PR training course in the ancient art of creative property pitching and public speaking.
- Third! The weeks of CineCoup culminate on stage before hundreds of fans and media where the Final 5 give the ultimate pitch to a panel of experts.
- Fourth! One Top Project is greenlit for production!
- Fifth! We party like it’s 1999.
Who are these industry professionals on the panel at the Big Deal Event?
Well that varies, but if you Google any of them you’ll find they’re kinda big deals themselves…
CineCoup 2013 featured:
ComedyCoup 2014 featured:
- Michael Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Filmed Entertainment Cineplex Entertainment
- Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Films
- Brad Pelman, Executive VP Distribution for Alliance Films, formerly Co-President of Maple Pictures
- J Joly, CEO of CineCoup Media
- Michelle Daly, Sr. Director of Content for CBC Comedy
- Dan Goldberg, Producer of everything funny from the Hangover Trilogy to Meatballs
- Sean Buckley of Buck Productions
intention is to announce the panel in advance of the Top 15.
How am I supposed to find the time? This seems like a lot of work.
It is a lot of work! Succeeding at anything requires a lot of work.
We do understand that this may seem like a daunting task, but CineCoup is not asking for anything unusual. ANY independent filmmaker must also be an entrepreneur, devoting long hours, blood, sweat and tears to what they love.
You ask how are you supposed to find the time, we ask, how bad do you want it?
What is social voting?
Social voting is another way your fans can support your project and help it advance. But there is more to advancement than just voting!
How do I advance through voting?
Teams don’t advance
only through voting. They advance based on the strength of their project package and their efforts to engage fan support. At the Top 60, Top 30, and Top 15 gateways, teams will advance based on a weighted calculation of the following criteria:
- Voting results
- Performance Indicators (defined below)
- Gateway-specific criteria (such as meeting the script requirement)
While audience support is a key element to success, CineCoup is not a popularity contest. Our performance algorithms are designed to reward qualitative over quantitative engagement, which is a fancy way of saying we’re measuring everything!
PLEASE NOTE: To prevent unfair gaming (cheating), CineCoup is unable to publish specific data points and weight allocations for any given criteria.
What are Performance Indicators?
Very simply, Performance Indicators are how we measure how much you and your fans are participating.
PLEASE NOTE: To prevent unfair gaming (cheating), CineCoup is unable to publish exact details relating to its Performance Indicators.
- If your fans visit CineCoup.com only once to vote for your project...that’s bad.
- If your fans visit CineCoup.com, rate your missions videos, share those videos over their social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and encourage their friends to do the same, then return to CineCoup to complete Fan Missions every week to earn votes so they can spend those votes during voting windows...that’s good!
How do I earn votes?
All Fans and Filmmakers will be awarded a base number of votes upon registering. Users can earn additional votes by completing new “Fan Missions” which are revealed every week on the FAN MISSIONS page (which will be revealed on March 16 at the Fan Launch).
How do I cast votes? When do I vote?
There will be THREE scheduled Voting Windows during the Advancement Period when Users can login to the website and cast votes to help their favourite projects advance.
- Top 60 Voting Window: April 6, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET – April 10, 2015 at 8:59 PM ET
- Top 30 Voting Window: April 20, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET – April 24, 2015 at 8:59 PM ET
- Top 15 Voting Window: May 4, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET – May 8, 2015 by 8:59 PM ET
During voting windows, Users can cast all their votes for one project, or they can distribute their votes amongst several projects.
Do I have to sign in / register to vote?
Yes (this falls into that whole cheating category).
To prevent unfair gaming (cheating), you must be a registered user and sign in to cast any vote during a designated voting window.
All votes are audited and verified algorithmically to identify and rectify any incidents of gaming.
What are "Wildcards"?
A Wildcard is when CineCoup advances a project between Advancement Gateways regardless of Performance Indicators and voting results.
- Top 60 Gateway: up to 10 Wildcard Projects may be advanced
- Top 30 Gateway: up to 5 Wildcard Projects may be advanced
- Top 15 Gateway: up to 3 Wildcard Projects may be advanced
CineCoup reserves the right to consider any Project for “Wildcard” advancement, in its absolute and sole discretion.
If (for example) your project does not make the Top 120 selection, you can continue submitting content for your project on the website to be considered for Wildcard Advancement. Upon the close of the Top 60 Voting Window, you could find yourself back in the game!
Can I participate if I already have an agreement with other producing partners?
Many Filmmakers ask if they can apply with other production partners or sources of funding tied to their projects. Unfortunately the project must be unencumbered in every respect (clean chain of title, no outside partners, etc.). The Top 15 teams will negotiate the same option agreement; collectively employing a single legal representative decided by a group vote. Due to the tight window required to negotiate the option, CineCoup Producers are not in a position to process special circumstances by individual teams.
That being said, once the option has been executed by both parties, there will be an opportunity to consider scenarios that add value to the production. Our goal is to create the best package possible.
Do I give up my rights when I apply?
No. By participating in CineCoup, we do ask for the non-exclusive rights to use any materials you upload, filmmaker likenesses, editorial content, etc. The intent is for CineCoup to be able to use this uploaded material for press releases, broadcast, marketing, etc. to help promote Filmmakers and their projects.
Does signing the agreement to surrender rights mean you now own our creative work? Or is this just a scam by CineCoup to steal ideas and give nothing back?
You don't lose any rights by applying to CineCoup. The terms on the current website state that we reserve rights to use materials uploaded to CineCoup for promotional purposes only.
If you advance to the Top 15, you will select legal representation who will negotiate an Option Agreement for all Top 15 projects with CineCoup. It is at the Filmmaker's discretion to accept and execute the agreement. If you accept, your project may be optioned for a one-year term as per the Option Agreement. If your project is greenlit, you will negotiate exploitation of the IP, distribution, ancillary, etc. with CineCoup Media Inc.
How Are Options Negotiated?
After the Top 15 projects are selected, CineCoup will present the teams with a list of qualified entertainment lawyers to assist in the negotiation of the Option Agreement (including the option fee and all terms). Each team will be allotted one vote to cast for their preferred lawyer from the list. The lawyer who receives the majority of votes will be designated as the lawyer for all Top 15 teams.
In an accelerated period, the designated lawyer will negotiate the Option Agreement on behalf of all Top 15 teams with CineCoup’s legal representative.
Signing the Option Agreement is at the sole discretion of each individual team.
Can you provide some details on the “Option Agreement”?
If your team is selected to advance to the Top 15, a requirement for advancement is an executed option agreement.
CineCoup will present you with an Option Agreement for your IP (intellectual property) that is negotiable. If you choose to accept and agree to the terms of the negotiated Option Agreement, CineCoup will offer a minimum of five and a maximum of ten teams a renewable 1-year option on their project.
Who will control the rights?
The team with the project selected for financing will negotiate a long-form contract in good faith that will address worldwide rights, fees for the content Filmmakers and net-revenue percentages.