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20th Century Fox & Tongal Announce Alien Short Film Contest!

20th Century Fox and Tongal have just announced they’re teaming up for the first officially sanctioned Alien short film competition! Offering $246,000 in prizes, the competition is open to American fans and film makers and is due to last until the end of the year.

The competition is sorted into various phases, beginning with the pitching phase. Eighteen short form pitches will be selected to move onto a full pitch, each receiving $2000 to help develop it.

That’s right, Tongalers, we’re giving you the chance to create your own original story set in the biggest horror franchise of all time: Alien! Go ahead. Run outside and scream with excitement if you want to (just don’t do it in space). But then hurry back here and pay close attention to this Brief because we’ve got a lot to cover.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Alien, 20th Century Fox is tapping six visionary filmmakers in the Tongal Community to produce their own original short videos set in the aftermath of the original film.

Fox wants a wholly original story with completely new characters but your Pitch should draw on all the things that made the original Alien so groundbreaking. Think about all the unique qualities of the movie before crafting your story.

 20th Century Fox & Tongal Announce Alien Short Film Contest!

Following this, 6 pitches will be selected to move onto full blown production and receive a budget of $30,000.

Head on over to the official competition page to learn more about the whole event! You can find out a little more Tongal and their creative processes on their website. Good luck to everyone who enters!

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Comments: 55
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  1. Huggs
    Please tell me Alien Knock Knock is about Keanu being seduced by two scantily clad xenos. :laugh:

    Only two possibilities leap to mind.


    1. Knock Knock

    Who's There?

    (Alien Hiss)

    "Oh...damn".


    2. Knock Knock

    Who's There

    Keanu

    Keanu Who?

    If you Keanu who I was, you wouldn't open the door.  ;)

    "Facehugger with sprinkles, wow!"

    Damn, you're too quick. I changed the first joke. The idea of Golic kicking some poor slobs door in was too hard to resist.
  2. The Old One
    Not so keen on the amount of Narcissus and Nostromo I'm seeing, but they could surprise me.

    The Alien series has always looked for upcoming talented directors, Ridley, Cameron, Fincher, perhaps this is a new way of finding fresh blood.

    Regardless, I hope we will get some good short films out of it. The Alien prequels have a better track record with their virals than the mainline entries so it's not like it would entirely be unheard of.
  3. The Old One
    From the Tongal Website
    Quote
    Lesley Worton Tongal

    Thank you all again for your patience as we continue to work to resolve issues with the Tongal website. In the meantime, a big congratulations to the Pitch Qualification Winners who have been selected to move on to the next phase of this project!

    David Ferino - The Flight of the Astraea:
    An Alien Love Story

    Kelsey Taylor - The Greenhouse Effect

    Eli Sasich - Alien: Last Survivor of the Nostromo

    Claire Africa - Alien: Ore

    Jordan DiRisio - The Lesson

    Michael Pedaza - The Narcissus

    Patrick Ridge - Alien: Alone

    Asa Tait - Alien: Father

    Patrick Ward - No Escape

    Butcher Bird Studios - Awake

    Joshua Mabie - Stowaway

    Aidan Brezonick - Night Shift

    Ian Kammer - Alien: Knock Knock

    Confetti Lab - The Janitor's Daughter

    Virgile Bage - Omitted

    Paige Dowling - Alarm

    Justin S. Lee - Alien: Unmanned

    Maja Fernqvist - Vessel Nostromo

  4. CainsSon

    So I think today is the deadline for the pitches. Has anyone here entered?

    Dammit! I missed this deadline by like 35 min! I saw the post today said 5 hours left at 12pm today, spent all this time writing, then at 4:30, I went to it with all my materials, and the site says they had already moved on! I think with my film exp, crew and story idea I had a real chance and Im very bummed!

    I swear to god it said I had until 5pm earlier and then at 4:30 it said they were already in stage 2!

     :(

    Maybe I can submit my story to Dark Horse or something. Wah.
  5. Olde
    I think this is a horrible scam. If you read the text highlighted in red, you'll understand.

    Quote
    4. BY SUBMITTING A VIDEO ENTRY, YOUR SUBMISSION IMMEDIATELY BECOMES THE SOLE PROPERTY OF TONGAL OR ITS ASSIGNEES – SEE OFFICIAL RULES FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT OWNERSHIP OF ENTRIES. YOU MAY NOT PUBLICLY SHARE OR PUBLISH YOUR SUBMISSION IN ANY MANNER AND YOU MAY NOT POST OR UPLOAD YOUR SUBMISSION TO ANY WEBSITE OR VIDEO HOSTING SITE (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE OR VIMEO), WITHOUT THE PRIOR EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF TONGAL AND FOX.  FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS REQUIREMENT MAY RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF YOUR ENTRY IN THE PROJECT AND LEGAL ACTION TAKEN AGAINST YOU.

    Besides that, the payoff (for winners only) is a mere $5000. The $246,000 at the top is horribly misleading and it looks as if they're hoping people aren't going to read everything. $5000 isn't nearly enough to justify the time, energy, and work put into the writing, equipment, music, actors, etc. On top of that, the winners can't even keep the movie as their property and Tongal and Fox can do with it whatever they want. The winners may get a tiny bit of exposure but if they aren't even able to show the video publicly, what chance do they have? This would end up costing the entrants much more than they would gain back.

    f**k that.
  6. TC
    ...
    This really isn't about the money.  It's a chance to get some terrific exposure I think, and if anyone here is thinking of a career in film, this is a great way to get a start...

    I think it's safe to say no one will be making money out of ths. Judging from the evaluation criteria, they are expecting a professional skill level from the winners, even if they are technically "amateurs". $30,000 is a generous budget for a real amateur production, but for pro's it's chicken feed. EspecIally for a sci-fi film that's likely to need  stuff like creature effects, specialty props, custom wardrobe (e.g. spacesuits), sets, VFX like spaceships, CG animation, etc.

    Also, I agree; if you're a first time writer or newish, this could be a great opportunity to break into the industry. But you'll definitely need that experienced (and American) producer to carry you throught the qualification phases.

    TC
  7. Perfect-Organism
    I dabbled before in script writing, but I do not plan to actually participate in this contest.  I'm just trying to help others who may not be from the US, but may be better to get a chance to participate.

    This really isn't about the money.  It's a chance to get some terrific exposure I think, and if anyone here is thinking of a career in film, this is a great way to get a start...
  8. TC
    There  are a few more posts (they seem to be writers) from non-Americans looking for US Producers to partner with:

    https://tongal.com/forum/crew-finder

    There have been some questions to Tongal about the reasons for the US restriction. It looks like Tongal is well used to hiring international contractors, so it must have been a Fox stipulation. I speculate that it has to do with the high-value Alien IP. International copyright enforcement is already like the wild west, and since this competition is open to amateurs I can imagine that Fox feels they will have a greater level of control if they contract someone in US territory.

    Don't give up Perfect-Organism!

    TC
  9. Perfect-Organism
    Anyway, I'm really glad to see an Aliens topic appearing in the news section.  This site has rather been becoming the Predator Galaxy in recent months with all the hoopla surrounding the new film.  It's naturally to be expected, but still, I'm just not much of a Predator fan since those AVP films...
  10. TC
    ...
      The key question being, are corporations allowed to participate ?
    ...

    Yes. Absolutely. In fact, I would go so far as to say they would prefer it because it implies that the applicant has professional backing. But a corp. that's only there to provide an American front? That's something different and requires checking out. (They would definitely be reluctant to encourage anything that has a whiff of a sham structure because that has the potential of embarrassing them in front of their client, Fox. There's no way they will hook Fox up with someone they think could be unreliable).

    You see, they call this a "competition" but it's really no different from their normal means of trade. i.e. a client comes to them wanting a film/video/animation/whatever. Tongal says yes, we can manage that for you. Tongal calls for tenders to pitch for the job. Tongal filters the applicants and presnts the good ones to the client. The client picks the successful tender (based on best creative, professionalism, and budget - though this doesnt count in this case). Then Tongal hires the filmmaker/production company. Everything else about the contract management is exactly what you'd expect to find in a professional commission: the client oversight, milestone targets, part payments etc. All the while, Tongal is mediating between client and production co.

    The only difference is that Tongal runs, from its website, a means for the individual filmmaker workers (cameramen, CG artists and animators, scriptwriters, directors) to get together. But they need to get together and tender for jobs under the umbrella of a producer. Tongal is not going to put your production team together for you, all they provide is a networking board for individuals to find each other.

    That would be another option if you are a non-American with a story: Leave a message on their board requesting an American producer to team up with. It's just that I didn't see much of that activity going on.

    TC
  11. Wysps
    Another solution is to work with Americans in the incorporation process.  If there are foreign nationals (um... aliens) who would like to make an American film outside America, get some friends or partners to register a corporation in the US.  US members of this community could do that if they wanted to participate and help out a foreign friend.  The US corporation would submit the film for review.  The logic here is fairly clear as it would be an American entity making the submission, however if anyone is thinking of doing this, they would be wise to ask the organizers if that is acceptable.  The key question being, are corporations allowed to participate or is the competition limited to individuals?

    Yeah, if the product belongs to that new "company" and the product is associated with that respective company's EIN number, then why not?  On paper, it's very much keeping things on American soil if that's what they're going for - even down to the tax part.  Seems like a legitimate, round-about way of doing it to me. 
  12. Perfect-Organism
    Another solution is to work with Americans in the incorporation process.  If there are foreign nationals (um... aliens) who would like to make an American film outside America, get some friends or partners to register a corporation in the US.  US members of this community could do that if they wanted to participate and help out a foreign friend.  The US corporation would submit the film for review.  The logic here is fairly clear as it would be an American entity making the submission, however if anyone is thinking of doing this, they would be wise to ask the organizers if that is acceptable.  The key question being, are corporations allowed to participate or is the competition limited to individuals?
  13. TC
    That's a good question. The only way to be sure would be to ask them on the Tongalir message board. There's been a few questions from non-Americans already.

    I don't know what it would take to incorporate an American co. remotely. (I'm not American, BTW). You would be best advised to consult your own local solicitor about this. Other questions would be registering such a co. with the American IRS, and whether you would need a U.S. bank account. I' m guessing yes on both counts.

    The simplest arrangement for a non-American that I can see is :

    1. American producer
    2. An animation production (no live action crew or equipment hire).

    TC
  14. TC
    Ok I didn't know what Tongal was so I looked up those links. They are a US-based project management and booking agency. They act as middlemen between end-clients who want various types of non-broadcast films made (e.g. educational, training, marketing, promotion, instructional videos), and freelance independents who pitch for the work. In this case, the end client is Fox. I guess the respondents they are expecting to apply will be first and foremost from their database of freelance contractors who have an existing relationship with them. But all applicants are welcome.

    The cutoff date for initial pitch is 4 July so that's not far away, but probably pretty typical for the types of projects they usually handle. So if anyone's interested, the first thing you need to do is find an AMERICAN producer who is willing to front for you. Preferably a producer who works for an existing professional production company (an LLC), because you're going to need to make use of their existing infrastructure for business-type things: legal, banking, book-keeping, hiring of crew and equipment, insurance, logistics, that kind of stuff. You'll also need to get this producer enthused because this person (or rather their LLC) will be the actual competition applicant, and the one who will be responsible to Fox to the tune of $30,000. Once you get this American producer on-board, all crew they hire can potentially be from anywhere in the world (e.g. a U.K. visual effects artist who could interface via internet).

    So if you've got a story idea, great, but you need to find that producer!!!

    TC
  15. Corporal Hicks
    Good luck with it necrotard!

    It's a real shame about the regional restrictions. People like SiL and James Bushe are missing out.

    That said, I wonder if Alex Popov is going for it. I think Jamie from PO is having a go.
  16. Wysps
    I have a degree in film production and I submit to a lot of contests, but have no actual industry experience outside of local television.  I can contribute, but I doubt they’ll be impressed by my past work.  Still, as a fan and a filmmaker, I feel obgligated to give it a shot.

    Most contests just ask you to make something yourself and submit.
    But being responsible for $30,000?
    Having Fox approve every detail before you start rolling?
    Trying to come up with something worthy of being part of a franchise I respect so damn much?
    This whole thing is pretty daunting.

    Knowing the business side of things and having the creative process down, you'd probably be a good candidate to contribute your piece to the cause!  If anything, this will be a great exercise to sharpen your skills in filmmaking.  Everyone needs a creative outlet – indulge your art, I say.  (I know nothing of filmmaking, so I may just be talking out of my ass, but it’s coming from the right place ha ha…)  And that goes for everyone else that's interested, for that matter.
  17. necrotard
    I have a degree in film production and I submit to a lot of contests, but have no actual industry experience outside of local television.  I can contribute, but I doubt they’ll be impressed by my past work.  Still, as a fan and a filmmaker, I feel obgligated to give it a shot.

    Most contests just ask you to make something yourself and submit.
    But being responsible for $30,000?
    Having Fox approve every detail before you start rolling?
    Trying to come up with something worthy of being part of a franchise I respect so damn much?
    This whole thing is pretty daunting.
  18. 0321recon
    Dam US only.

    Here's my story for shits and giggles.

    Someone should do a short film, about an Alien fan who is pissed off with how 20th Century Fox and Ridley Scott made shitty Alien prequels. The crazed Fan (probably a member from this forum) kidnaps David Fassbender and demands that David Fincher has to remake Alien 3 with no studio interference and have full control over the script and directing.. If Fincher fails he will cut off Fassbender's fingers and toes one by one and post them to Fox/Disney. However Fincher wants nothing to do with it because of how Fox treated him back in the early 90's when he made Alien3. The kidnapper sends one of Fassbenders fingers to 20th Century Fox / Disney. Ridley Scott is having a breakdown cos his beloved Fassbender has lost a finger and won't be able to finger his flute in Alien Covenant part 2. Ridley now refuses to make Merlin for Disney because Disney and fox can't convince David Fincher to make his true Alien3. Time is ticking Fassbender life's in danger.

     :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    He'll live. Just cauterize the wounds. The fingers will become mechanical.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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