Sideway is a new streaming app - unlike any app you have seen. Each show is presented within a completely simulated social network (similar in format to Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok but scripted in every way). As the audience enters a show they land inside a small social network where every profile belongs to a fictional character (portrayed by an actor) and the story is told through their interactions. The narrative is expressed via video chats, direct messages, pictures, videos, live streams, and other original formats.
To develop this new cinematic language and experiment with the format, we’re currently shooting our first pilot episode for scripted show called “Hartley”. The story revolves around six high school seniors navigating the post Coronavirus world, dealing with the complexity of isolation, virtual relationships, and sexual expression through social media role playing. The production includes 10 actors in leading or supporting roles and a cast of over 100 background characters.
“Hartley” is just the beginning of a much larger plan to build a platform for creativity that goes far beyond the limited interactions of existing performance platforms. We are working on developing additional new shows for the platform and are seeking submissions from writers looking to develop shows with us. We strongly believe that original stories come from diversity and strongly encourage BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and female writers to submit.
Seeking Original Ideas for an Original Format
We are looking for original stories that would fit well within the platform. These are stories told through the lens of social media by weaving a narrative from video chats, direct messages, social media posts, likes, comments, live streams, digital diary entries, and other new formats unique to the platform. This new format works best for stories that can be told exclusively with these formats. For example, two people can video chat or direct message each other, but they cannot sit on a couch and talk because that content has no natural place online.
What to send us:
Please submit a short proposal (no longer than one page) with a working title, logline, brief description of the lead characters, and synopsis for the pilot episode. The ideal synopsis will tell the story through a list of scenes each using one of the formats listed above (video chat, dm, etc.). For example: “Natalie live streams from her dorm upset about not being allowed in the building,” or “Travis direct messages his much older lover to buy him an expensive gift.” We are not looking for a fully baked pilot, just to get you to think about your story as it would be told on the platform.
If we like your idea, we’ll contact you and provide a sample script, detailed scene format specifications, and other resources that will help you develop your idea into a full pilot script. We will work with you to explore the best ways to tell your story, and we’ll pay you to develop it for us. Our goal is to reach a fully developed draft suitable for a full cast table read within a couple of months.