Tongal and Wattpad intend to flip the script on Hollywood by changing the how and who of content creation through a new partnership
Online creator network Tongal is teaming up with Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, to launch “Story to Screen – A Digital Pilot Project” with SYFY, adapting Wattpad’s hit sci-fi thriller, “Expiration Date” for the screen.
“Expiration Date,” which was created by Mikaela Bender’s, takes place in a world where the date of one’s death is known by the mysterious Society. Centered on 19-year-old orphan Iris Levine, the story imagines a society in which citizens are marked with their “Expiration Date”— the day they are supposed to die— at birth. When Iris’s expiration date arrives, a mysterious man saves her from death, but having survived her expiration date, Iris is now the Society’s biggest threat.
The story was created on Wattpad — an app where users can submit and read text-based stories. To date, “Expiration Date” has garnered more than 16 million reads on the platform and was one of the app’s most popular stories in 2016 and 2017.
Now, Tongal and Wattpad are asking creators to go to Tongal and submit a treatment that captures what “Expiration Date” could look like as a digital series on SYFY.com. After that, the companies will give three finalists funding to produce a proof of concept in the form of a series trailer, with Tongal, SYFY and Wattpad awarding one grand prize winner additional funding to create a digital pilot episode with the potential to go on to develop the entire series.
“The partnership between Tongal and Wattpad flips the script on Hollywood by changing the how and who of content creation through our open platforms for talent,” said Tongal Co-Founder and President, James DeJulio. “These new global communities are made up of diverse and passionate creators, and now they’re actually developing the shows they want to watch. I’m thrilled that SYFY.com has opened the door for this innovative, by the fans, for the fans shift.”
“Data and technology are helping entertainment evolve, creating new development opportunities for studios and creators,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. “We’re tapping into a whole new world of fresh voices, empowering new types of storytellers and exciting new narratives. The model we’re creating, with partners like Tongal and SYFY, shows that an established and loyal fan base will follow a great story wherever it goes.”