The online creator network Tongal is seeking pitches from filmmakers interested in adapting Wattpad’s hit sci-fi thriller Expiration Date into a digital series for SYFY.
Story to Screen—A Digital Pilot Project kicks off with Tongal’s call for pitches. Three finalists will receive funding to produce a trailer. Tongal, SYFY and Wattpad will offer the winner the funding to create a digital pilot episode with the potential to go on to develop the entire series. The joint venture is part of the SYFY Wire Fan Creators initiative launching this month.
“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 James DeJulio, Tongal’s co-founder and president. “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.”
“Our creative alliance with Tongal and Wattpad is a natural extension of our SYFY WIRE Fan Creators initiative,” noted Alexandra Shapiro, executive vice president of marketing and digital for SYFY and USA Network. “It really marks the next phase of SYFY’s “It’s a Fan Thing” positioning and celebrates, nurtures and supports the makers, artists and creators at the heart of genre fandom. In addition to Expiration Date, Tongal will continue to work with SYFY to develop digital content that inspires and ignites fans and brings together the creator community.”
“Data and technology are helping entertainment evolve, creating new development opportunities for studios and creators,” said Aron Levitz, the 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.”
Expiration Date by Mikaela Bender has recorded with more than 16 million reads to date. “I created Expiration Date with the support of millions of readers on Wattpad, who encouraged and celebrated the story as it took shape,” said Bender. “It’s been an amazing journey interacting with fans around the world on Wattpad, and now seeing the story find life on a whole new medium. I’m grateful to Wattpad, Tongal and SYFY for the opportunity to take Expiration Date beyond words on a page to life on the screen.”