MySpace had a great deal of success with their short form webisode, “Prom Queen”. The heavily hyped ode to teenage drama drew over 15 million streams during its run and is gearing up for another season. MySpace is looking to take the format to the streets, now soliciting film makers for their own shorts with a chance at earning some money. It’s part of a series of new ideas MySpace has been trying, which earlier this week included a user generated comic.
MySpace and the Producers Guild of America have launched a contest called “The Storyteller Challenge”. The contest will solicit 5-7 minute television pilots from film makers. The entires will be displayed on a dedicated MySpace community page beginning September 4th, 2007. The top two winning entries will each get $25,000 and an opportunity for a development deal with FOX. The top two entries will be picked based on a combination of user ratings and an expert panel from the producer’s guild. The finalists will be weeded out over the course of two rounds ending January 6th and January 25th of next year.
The winning videos could be featured on MySpace Film and MySpaceTV. According to ComScore, MySpace properties drive 39% of video streams.
The new program is similar to what the freshly relaunched Crackle is trying to do by dangling production deals in front of aspiring actors and directors. While most video sites have abdicated viral video to YouTube, professional content is still a booming market. Contests with the lure of fame and fortune are an efficient way to pull new talent from the crowds on the cheap. It’s a good time to be a film student.