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PlayStation's Emerging Filmmakers Program Finalists

Oct 16, 2017

By: Max Cannon

In an initiative to develop their own TV-styled content, PlayStation had a public call for TV pilot submissions called the PlayStation Emerging Filmmakers Program. At the moment, 5 shows are going into production with a pilot episode for a release in March/April, from there it will be decided which shows get ordered for more episodes.

What is a Pilot Episode?

You may notice that several of your favorite shows have first episodes that are titled "pilot".  A pilot episode is the first episode of a show to kick off a series and a test to see if more will be to come. You'll sometimes notice several changes following the pilot episode, new actors, new characters, a new intro sequence/them song. But the foundation of future episodes comes from that first episode and that episode needs to give a solid vibe, formula, and an introduction to the world of the show.

The stage where the contestants presented their pitch.The stage where the contestants presented their pitch.

There are some shows out there with fantastic pilot episodes. "The Office", "Spongebob Squarepants", and "The X-Files" all have awesome starts to their series. If you don't like a show's pilot you typically won't like anything more past that, some shows stop their journey after their pilot episode but the best of the best will kick things off with a killer comment.

PlayStation Emerging Filmmakers Program


PlayStation's New Shows

The top 10 from this competition went down to LA to pitch their shows and receive advice from some successful members of the industry. Here's a bit from PlayStation's press release:

"The program began with an invitation for writers and filmmakers in We Make to submit their best concepts for an original television series. Out of hundreds of submissions, 10 concepts were chosen, and their creators pitched their ideas directly to PlayStation executives and industry professionals.

The creators attended a multi-day pitch event in Hollywood where they participated in workshops and enjoyed access to mentors, including luminaries such as Jack McBrayer (30 ROCK, WRECK-IT-RALPH), Marco Ramirez (EP and Showrunner on Marvel's THE DEFENDERS), Justin Spitzer (Creator & EP of SUPERSTORE), Gloria Calderon Kellett (EP & co-showrunner on ONE DAY AT A TIME), and Mark Goffman (former showrunner on BULL, SLEEPY HOLLOW)."

The top 10 creators of the competition.The top 10 creators of the competition.

The top five concepts, which will move into pilot production for release on the PlayStation platform in 2018, are:

  • "Breakthrough" by Gordon Freas & Amanda Freas
  • "Made in Boise" by Max Cannon & Brandon Sullivan
  • "Orthus "by Shira Rosenzweig
  • "The Many Lives of Ayn Winchester" by Steve Spalding
  • "Two Roads" by Miranda Sajdak & Vanessa King

The concepts were selected by a judging panel including: Stephen Falk (Creator, EP, & Showrunner of the FXX series YOU'RE THE WORST), Erica Messer (EP & Showrunner on CRIMINAL MINDS), Patrick Walsh (Creator, EP, & Showrunner of BY THE BOOK premiering in 2018), John Hlavin (EP & Showrunner of SHOOTER and BLOOD DRIVE), Shawn Layden (President, SIEA & Chairman of Worldwide Studios), Eric Lempel (Senior Vice President, Marketing & Head of PlayStation Network), Jennifer Clark (Senior Vice President, Public Relations and Corp Communications, SIEA), and Nancy Kim (Sr. Director, Entertainment Product and Services, SIEA).

My friend Brandon Sullivan and I get advice on our show Made in Boise.My friend Brandon Sullivan and I get advice on our show Made in Boise.

The coolest part of this for me is that I was involved. My close friend and I have gotten our show, "Made in Boise", into the top 5 and our show will be going into production for a release in March/April. This was an awesome experience and I can't wait to show off my pride and joy, the show I've spent the last 3 years of my life working on. Check it out when it releases on PlayStation!

Have Your Say!

Have you seen PlayStation's other show "Powers"? Are you going to be checking out the new pilots? Comment below!