Archive for March 9th, 2012

March 9, 2012

Talentville: Taking Up Residence in the Virtual Screenwriter’s City

Writing is a lonely profession. Most writers come up with their ideas alone, write them alone, and rewrite them alone. If we’re lucky, we get some knowledgeable friends and family to read our stuff. If we’re really lucky, we get contacts in the industry to take a look.

Benjamin Cahan, co-founder and former CEO of Final Draft, has come up with a better way.

Over the last several years Ben has been building Talentville, the Screenwriter’s City. The site is a virtual community in which writers can read fellow writers’ scripts and give them feedback. In exchange, writers earn TalentDollars which they can then use to “buy” coverage for their own work.

I recently spoke with Ben to get an inside look at the City.

LA Screenwriter (LA): What have you been up to since leaving your post as CEO of Final Draft in 2001?

Benjamin Cahan (BC): When I initially left Final Draft, my intention was to take a break of a year or two and come back. Building a company from nothing but an idea was a huge responsibility that was both exciting and stressful. When the company was to the point of running itself to a large degree, my own gas tank was running close to empty.  So I packed up and moved to Boulder, CO, to get reenergized in the great outdoors, then I moved to Miami. It was there that I decided to relinquish my stake in Final Draft and seek other ventures.

As you can see from my creation of Talentville and my return to Los Angeles, I have come full circle. But I hope I have returned a bit older and wiser, ready to once again roll up my sleeves and make a difference. 

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March 9, 2012

Quote of the Day: Salman Rushdie

Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.