Gosh, You Mean I Could Work for Free for Kevin Spacey?!

And He Might Tweet About It?! Sign Me Up!!

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Last night I got this email from someone named Tasia of Scripted.com, a freelance writing marketplace that was launched last year by Scripped, a web-based screenwriting services company:

Hi Simon!

Do you want to be a successful entertainment writer or film critic? Or, do you just love writing about movies and the technology surrounding them? Either way, we can help you get your articles and critiques out there.

We've recently met with Trigger Street Productions (co-owned by Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey) and we have launched a publishing site called ShowWatcher. If you're interested, joining the site as one of our authors would be a great way to get your name out there and be recognized as a talented entertainment writer.

Since many of the film and TV sites on the Internet are more industry related (they focus mainly on news and industry happenings), our site will appeal to the masses (think Bleacher Report for movies and TV shows). Each writer will receive a byline on all of their posts, and will be able to use their articles as clippings in their portfolios.

The site is be based entirely on user-generated content, of which we'd like to invite you to be amongst the first contributors. A few things we want to be upfront about:

  • There will not be financial compensation for posts. That said, TriggerStreet/Scripped will put on a party/event for contributors (Date TBD, but most likely summer of 2012).

  • Kevin and Dana's name will be attached to the site, so there should be excellent publicity and reach associated with all content generated (Kevin has over 2 million Twitter followers, and will occasionally tweet some of his "favorite" posts)

  • None of the posts are research heavy, and all should be very short form/opinion-based (sample topic: Top 10 movies of the 1980s)

  • Should you choose to partake in this project, we will provide an extensive list of topics, and you will be able to choose 5 to start with

  • Additionally, we are currently working out the best way to allow users to suggest their own topics, so you will likely be able to write on any topic of your choosing

  • If you are interested, or if you would like some more details, email [email protected] or reply to this email

Thanks for taking the time to look over this, and we hope you decide to participate!


Accounts and Special Projects Scripted.com

Isn't that precious?

This curious venture seems like it has been in the works for a long time. Last July, Scripped co-sponsored a guest lecture in Palo Alto by Brunetti, one of the producers of "The Social Network." Then in late October, Scripped posted a photo on their Facebook page of Brunetti and Spacey (who was also a producer of "The Social Network," by the way), captioned "Thanks to @danabrunetti and Kevin Spacey for swinging by our offices today. Big business news in the offing, so stay tuned..." This past January, the showwatcher.com URL was registered by TriggerStreet, the production company Brunetti and Spacey formed in 1997.

But what's really confusing is that last November TechCrunch reported that Scripped had scored $700,000 in seed capital. Wait, what? Why would they need money? In the new new economy, everything is free and everybody works for free! Because it's a great way to get your name out there, of course.

Presumably, ShowWatcher will offer advertising space on its site for free. Or at least I hope that 's the plan, because it's hard to imagine any self-respecting marketer putting money behind the crap that 's on the site so far, like a real whizbang review of the movie "John Carter" that begins:

John Carter has been more famous for it massive budget of $250 million and the fact that Disney were rumored to lose a whopping $200 million on the film. Poor marketing was blamed along with the weak brand name causing consumer confusion.

Just kill me now.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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