Screen Queensland, a regional Australian funding agency, has set up two projects, a feature film, a TV series, which stems from a relationship with fan-driven literary platform Watpad Webtone. Both will enjoy more input from super-fans before going into production.
Dominic Morris, author of Photon Creative at the Brisbane production company Like, and Nadine Bates, producer, have been chosen to turn “The Bro Code” into a feature film. Originally written by Elizabeth A. Sebert and attracting more than 21 million readers, the story is set in a world where peers are social suicides by breaking brothers and bro codes. It saw a damaged high school football star navigate a secret romance with his best brother’s sister.
Author Sivan Domingo and producer Elizabeth Seymourd have been selected to create a TV series based on Australian Kate J. Skyers’ “How to Lose Weight and Reveal Your Life”. The story involves a woman and her friends traveling from Sydney to Melbourne and fighting looters and late-day cult members, while trying to balance an awkward-end-love-triangle.
Watpad, a Canada-based platform, signed a development agreement with Screen Queensland in June last year. Since then, Watpad has been acquired by South Korean internet giant Navarro and merged with its online cartoon firm Webtun to form Watpad Webtun Studio.
The scripts have now been distributed, both projects will be tested by some of the most avid fans of the story.
“Rarely do creative teams have access to this level of engagement with their main target audience; it’s very satisfying for writers and producers to learn what scenes, characters and ideas really impress and what work they can do equally,” said Joe Dillon, Screen Queensland’s chief creative officer. And will be constructive.
“From the perspective of Screen Queensland, this audience-driven aspect of our collaboration with Watpad Webtoon Studios makes the partnership truly unique and career-changing for our two Queensland teams. For potential buyers, of course, the process is particularly interesting, as it assures the marketing of these screen adaptations, series or feature films, providing a ready viewer who can’t wait to enjoy the projects on screen.
Dexter Wong, Head of International Strategy at WhatPad Webtun Studios, said, “WhatPad WebTun Studios has paved the way for a fan-first, data-driven approach to creating hit entertainment.” “These are incredible stories for readers around the world, and we’re thrilled to be able to include some of their most avid fans in the adaptation process.”
Watpad has previously worked with companies including Sony Pictures Television, Eon, Eric Fags Picturestart, Bavaria Fiction, MediaSet, Lagarde Studio, Wise Entertainment and Turner Latam’s Special Crowd. A notable example of the screen process from its online literature is a Watpad story written by Beth Reckless, which gathered 1 million readers and created an international fanbase for Netflix before it was built as “The Kissing Booth”.