FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Question: What is the Steeltown Film Factory?
Answer: The Steeltown Film Factory (SFF) is a yearlong filmmaking competition designed to engage aspiring filmmakers to create projects with Pittsburgh-inspired content. The competition will be supported by a series of public workshops, panel discussions and staged readings by experts in the field that will provide emerging talent with an opportunity to learn from internationally renowned film and television professionals about the entertainment industry. A successful SFF will, in turn, lead to the training and employment of the local workforce, the incubation of talent and intellectual property, and the nurturing and development of future projects that can be spun off into commercially viable entities. These entities will create jobs, investment opportunities, and products that will be exported by our region. By bringing together local and expatriate resources in Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA), the SFF will help to transform this region's non-profit "Arts Sector" into a thriving "Entertainment Economy."
Question: Why should I enter this competition?
Answer: Breaking into the entertainment industry is tough. Meeting the right people in the industry and having them available as teachers and mentors is even tougher. The Steeltown Entertainment Project's Film Factory exists to help develop ambitious and commercially viable screenwriters and filmmakers, which sets it apart from other competitions. The Steeltown Film Factory aims to place filmmakers in a position where they see their script developed into a finished film and are able to meet agents and studio executives to exhibit a reel or portfolio.
Question: Whom are you expecting to participate?
Answer: The SFF is expected to attract a range of people to the competition and related events: High school, college, and university students (ages 16-25 years). Amateur filmmakers. Professionals in the entertainment industry with ties to SWPA, as mentors and judges. Civic and economic development professionals, school administrators and arts educators with an interest in developing the arts sector in SWPA. General public keen to learn about "behind-the-scenes" in film, TV and web entertainment.
Question: When does the competition take place?
Answer: The competition Open Submission period for the 2013 FILM FACTORY Competition has ended. The competition Events will take place from March 2013 through May 2013 with the winners being announced by May 2013. The winning film or films will be produced during the summer of 2013 and screened at the 2013 Three Rivers Film Festival in November.
Question: How does the Film Factory work?
Answer: The Steeltown Film Factory invites students and amateur filmmakers to submit original film ideas for the competition. Submissions must include a maximum 12-page script along with a logline, a one-page synopsis and an optional sample of prior work. After receiving reviews from a selection committee comprised of distinguished industry professionals, the most promising screenplays will be developed into full-fledged productions through staged readings, panel discussions and public workshops, which will be open to the public. All submissions will be required to be:
- Relevant to the SWPA/Pittsburgh region.
- Commercially viable.
- Capable of being produced in SWPA/Pittsburgh during Summer 2013.
During the year, the SFF will facilitate:
- Educating, mentoring, and connecting students and amateur filmmaker participants.
- Establishing relationships between participants and film industry professionals with ties to SWPA.
- Educating the public about the creative development process in the entertainment industry.
Question: If I enter the competition, do I have to attend all workshops and seminars in Pittsburgh throughout the year?
Answer: Yes. All applicants must attend the workshops if their script is forwarded to the next phase/event, and winners of each stage must be present to proceed to the next phase/event. Entry to the workshops is included in the competition entry fee. While the end goal is to eventually identify a winning script for production, this competition hinges on amateurs being mentored by professionals to develop the necessary filmmaking skills and to shape and fine-tune their screenplays to meet industry standards of excellence. Winners are judged on the success of the final script; hence it is imperative that all competitors attend the events.
Question: Where can I find the official rules to enter the competition?
Question: If I have questions about the competition, whom can I contact?
Answer: We suggest that you look over the "Rules/Agreement/Pledge" PDF document first (Download: PDF / DOC). If you feel you need further clarification after reviewing that document, we can be contacted at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 412-251-0890.
Question: What are the prizes for the competition?
Answer: The total prize package is worth up to $30,000. The prize is available to be used to produce the winning film or films in the SWPA region in the summer of 2012. One to three short films wills be chosen and the funds will be divided and awarded at the discretion of the judges.
Question: What formats are accepted for submission?
Answer: Short screenplays, teleplays, and/or other digital media narrative formats will be accepted. No stage plays will be accepted. Scripts must be between maximum 12 pages, not including the title page. Entries must be in English and should conform to the standard screenplay format. For details on screenplay formats, please reference Syd Fields.
Question: If I win, can I produce my film anywhere I choose?
Answer: No. The filming and production of your short films must be filmed in the Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA). Southwestern Pennsylvania includes the ten-county region, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
Question: Is it a requirement to register or copyright your script prior to submitting it?
Answer: No, it is not required; however, for your own protection and professionalism, we highly recommend that all contestants register their work with the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) or the U.S. Copyright Office; however, we do not require that you do so. Please see the "Rules/Agreement/Pledge" PDF document first (Download: PDF / DOC) for further details.
Question: I was thinking about making a movie on a famous person or other subject: Can I submit that idea as a script?
Answer: Screenplays must be the original work of the applicants; if submission is not original work, Film Factory applicants must have the rights to the work. Adaptations and material based in any way on other media, produced or unproduced, (i.e. short stories, movies, novels, biographies, songs, etc.) for which the applicant does not have the rights are not eligible for entry into this competition. Screenplays that have been previously sold, optioned, are currently under contract, and/or have been previously produced, are not eligible for entry into this competition.
Question: I wrote my script with a friend, can I still enter?
Answer: Any co-authored scripts require the permission of all authors to be considered valid entries. If a submission involves two or more writers as applicants, the award will be divided evenly among the authors. If submissions include more than three writers, please contact us.
Question: Can I come to the events if I am not entered in to the competition?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. Even if you do not enter the competition, you are encouraged to attend all of the events, get valuable insights and advice form the experts, and watch the filmmaking process. See the next question regarding the cost to attend events.
Question: How much does it cost to attend each EVENT? Is there a student or senior-priced discount?
Answer: The cost to enter each EVENT ONLY (NOT THE COMPETITION) is $5 for students and $10 for non-students. which will be showing at the Three Rivers Film Festival. The Cost of the Showcase Event is $9.00 for general admission. Click here for advance-purchase tickets for the Showcase Event
Question: Where can I register?
Answer: REGISTRATION FOR EVENTS: For all other events, you may purchase tickets online at: COMING SOON!. REGISTRATION FOR THE COMPETITION: Register online and upload your submission using our WithOutABox account.
Question: I would like to know more information about the industry professionals who will be attending. Is this information available?
Answer: For more information on the workshop panelists, please visit the press section for the most current list of panelists and event details, or register to receive the Steeltown newsletter by writing to email@example.com.
Question: Who will be judging my script? Who will choose whether I am a finalist in the competition?
Answer: The judges will be responsible for narrowing the selection pool to 1-3 winning finalists. The judges include local and nationally successful entertainment industry professionals, and a full list can be seen on the Film Factory judges page. Check back often for updates on the judges committee, or register to receive the Steeltown newsletter by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: If my film wins, who will produce it? Do I still own my movie?
Answer: In short, yes! You will produce your film and you will own it. Steeltown Entertainment Project will act as Executive Producer on the projects. You choose your crew and ask one of our judges to mentor your project. We will assist you with equipment through our partnership with Pittsburgh Filmmakers. We do ask that you complete the Pay It Forward Pledge as part of our "Rules/Agreement/Pledge" PDF document (Download: PDF / DOC), but this is entirely optional and will never impact your entry or ability to win the competition. Entering this competition will not limit your copyright. Applicants retain the copyright to their work 100%, however it is suggested that all contestants register their work with the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) or the U.S. Copyright Office.
Question: After I register as a competitor, what are the events that I can attend?
More detailed information, including the specific location and start time of the events will be posted soon. For more information on the dates as they are announced, keep checking our website, or register to receive the Steeltown newsletter by writing to email@example.com.
Question: How can I volunteer with the Steeltown Film Factory?
Answer: We always are looking for enthusiastic support from individuals and organizations to help reach our goals. Please contact Program Coordinator Rachel Shepherd at 412-251-0890 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more information.
Question: I would like to help sponsor the Film Factory. Who can I contact?
Answer: We are always looking for monetary and in-kind support from individuals and organizations for our initiatives. Please contact Film Factory Producer Lisa Smith-Reed at 412-251-0890 or via email at email@example.com for an official sponsorship proposal. Our sponsorship package is available online as a PDF or DOC (Download: PDF / DOC).
Question: What or who is Steeltown Entertainment Project?
Answer: Steeltown Entertainment Project is a Pennsylvania 501c3 Nonprofit organization founded in 2003. The mission of Steeltown Entertainment Project is to connect entertainment professionals, with Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) ties, to projects, people and partnerships in order to support and invest in the socially and commercially significant film and media industry of the Pittsburgh region. Steeltown Entertainment Project sponsors several media initiatives in the area, including the FILM FACTORY and its Youth & Media Initiative. It is also working toward completing the documentary "The Shot Felt 'Round the World: The Untold Pittsburgh Polio Story," and is creating an Entertainment Incubator and Investment Fund. For more information, please call 412-251-0890or visit www.Steeltown.org.
Question: How does Steeltown Entertainment Project plan on accomplishing its mission?
Answer: Steeltown accomplishes its mission by educating emerging talent through intensive mentoring experiences, and fostering economic development by nurturing and seeding entertainment projects that will provide employment and investment opportunities. By connecting local resources with filmmakers and agents active in the national film industry, Steeltown is helping to establish Southwestern Pennsylvania's entertainment economy. This economy will help to market the region in a unique and powerful way, attract and retain talent, and jump-start a dynamic industry that will ultimately provide a robust return on the region's investments. Since its formation, Steeltown has recruited over 40 former Pittsburghers who are now successful filmmakers in New York and Los Angeles to serve as Steeltown advisers. Steeltown has endeavored to have them bring their film and television productions to the Pittsburgh region, and has, in collaboration with the student organization, Pitt-in-Hollywood, presented over 30 speakers from the entertainment industry at local events.
If you have more questions, please feel free to post your questions/comments below and we will answer them as soon as possible!
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