Labeled as the first-ever social networking Website just for screenwriters, Circalit allows scribes of any experience level to upload their screenplays and showcase their work to producers, agents and directors. Through Circalit, users receive feedback, collaborate with other writers, manage their fanbase, share tips and become part of an ever-growing network of industry professionals. Free for all users, Circalit is quickly gaining notice as a top destination for screenwriters who want control over the way their screenplays are marketed.
Although the site is still in beta-testing, almost 1,000 users have already joined Circalit. MM recently caught up with CEO and founder Raoul Tawadey to discuss this great opportunity for screenwriters.
To check out the site, go to www.circalit.com.
Kyle Rupprecht (MM): How did the notion of Circalit come about? What did you find lacking in other screenplay facilitation sites that you wanted to fulfill with Circalit?
Raoul Tawadey (RT): I was inspired with the idea of Circalit whilst I was working at a production studio, writing script coverage reports. As part of my job I had to read through the slush piles of unsolicited scripts. I realized that there were hundreds of excellent scripts that were being discarded because they didn’t tick the right boxes. That’s when I realized that the film industry needed an objective forum where screenwriters could showcase their work to producers and agents. I wanted to make the site so that scripts were reviewed by industry professionals and judged democratically. Circalit is more than a Website, it’s a community that brings screenwriters and producers together in a way that is designed to protect writers.
MM: Circalit is being billed as the first-ever dedicated social networking site for screenwriters. What does this mean? How does it benefit screenwriters?
RT: Social networking isn’t as easy to define as it was. The stigma attached to most social networking sites is that they are fairly generic with no real purpose. Though Circalit has social networking features, unlike most social networking sites it’s designed for a specific purpose and for a specific industry. All the scripts on the site are ranked in order of popularity and the site is designed using a brand new intelligent data analysis system [configured] so that well written scripts will always eventually rise to the top of those rankings and come to the attention of agents and producers. In other words, it can never end up as a wasteland of competing sites like, for instance, MySpace. Circalit is really the next generation of social networking—it isn’t just a networking tool, it’s a marketing tool as well.
MM: You’re also partnering with The Script Factory, Europe’s top script development organization, who will be conducting a formal review on the highest rated screenplay each month. What does this entail? Are there any other special partnerships or features in the works? Why is an international focus so important to your organization?
RT: The Script Factory are a brilliant, forward thinking organization who have done a lot for screenwriters, so it was therefore a natural partnership. Each month, The Script Factory will be reviewing the highest rated screenplay on the site. Obviously this is a fantastic opportunity for writers—if their work is publicly appraised by The Script Factory, not only is that an accolade in itself, but it will definitely help to draw the attention of other industry professionals.
We are certainly delighted to be partnering The Script Factory, but it’s still a modest step in our development plan. We are constantly building partnerships with agents and producers and other organizations whose aims compliment ours. Naturally, it’s important for us to be an international site because talent lies globally. Not all of the best screenplays are written in Hollywood, and neither are all the best directors. Having said that, right now we’re talking with some production studios about doing a joint venture that is extremely exciting. We’ll send an update when everything has been finalized.
MM: The site is currently public, though still in beta form. When do you hope to launch fully?
RT: We’ve got a few more exciting new features to implement before we’re fully launched. One of them is a “talent scout” functionality to find and reward the people who are most savvy when it comes to judging a script. But we hope to be there by this summer.
MM: Ideally, what do you hope Circalit’s reputation will be five years from now? How do you think it will be regarded by both screenwriters and producers/directors?
RT: We would like to be known in the production community as a consistently reliable source of great new talent and the best place online to find it, and we would like to be the first and only place writers go to receive feedback, promote their screenplays and have discussions with other writers.
MM: Anything else to add?
RT: We hope that we can help to advance the cause of independent screenwriting across the world, and we hope that writers will appreciate the free service we are offering them. Circalit is a valuable tool for all those in the film industry and we hope that it can fulfill its potential to fundamentally change the way that the film industry sources screenwriting talent.