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View Full Version : Spec screenplays revolved around games/toys


jeffoscribe
02-05-2011, 05:17 PM
I hear there is a project based on the game Monopoly. What are the issues with writing a spec screenplay based on a game? What about a spec that revolves around a popular toy?

wcmartell
02-05-2011, 05:46 PM
No different than a script based on a novel.

- Bill

emily blake
02-05-2011, 06:00 PM
Or a popular theme park ride.

jeffoscribe
02-05-2011, 06:05 PM
So, you have to get the rights first?

Todd Karate
02-05-2011, 06:17 PM
No one will buy it if they don't have the rights to the underlying material, but a great script can do a lot more than sell.

If you have an equally good idea that isn't based on a board game/toy/comic/whatever, write that instead. If this is going to be your best script, write it. Why not?

jeffoscribe
02-05-2011, 06:44 PM
Okay, thanks. Specifically, I have a story idea/concept that heavily involves a popular toy and just wanted to know what I'm getting myself into before I spend time pursuing. I might still write it though, regardless.

Ronaldinho
02-05-2011, 06:46 PM
If this is going to be your best script, write it. Why not?

Because nobody's going to want to read it.

It is much, much easier to get someone to read a script that they think they might be able to buy (or sell) than it is to get them to read a script which they know they can't sell.

If I'm an agent's assistant, and am picking a script off the slush pile to read, looking for the diamond in the rough which I can take to my boss, which one am I going to pick up? The original concept, or the one where the author doesn't own the underlying material?

Which wins me more points in my boss's eyes: "This is a rad script - you should read it!" or "This is a really cool script, but I have to warn you we won't be able to sell it. It's still a great read, though."

Furthermore, you don't know what else is out there, what else has been done. Your Monopoly script might strike you as very original, but to somebody who's read a dozen Monopoly scripts it's might seem very trite.

Write original material which you can own completely.

wcmartell
02-05-2011, 07:22 PM
Because nobody's going to want to read it.

Plus, there may be legal reasons why they can't read it.

- Bill

jeffoscribe
02-05-2011, 07:34 PM
It's hard enough to become a working screenwriter, why make it more difficult, right? Bummer. It's a strong concept, but maybe it's better to wait until I'm an established writer with credits, etc. then approach the powers that be.

Ulysses
02-06-2011, 04:08 AM
I hear there is a project based on the game Monopoly. What are the issues with writing a spec screenplay based on a game? What about a spec that revolves around a popular toy?

Obviously you mean a sex toy.

jeffoscribe
02-06-2011, 09:06 AM
:bounce:

michaelb
02-06-2011, 11:09 PM
With so many titles in the public domain, why risk writing a spec for a game/toy that you do not have the rights to? Look at Snow White and the Huntsman.....it sold for $1.7 million to universal. Go find a great character/story from the classics, (Three Musketeers, Count of Monte Cristo, Grimm Fairy Tales, etc) and write a great script re-imagining one of those stories. There are literally 1,000's of them, that give you the pre-branded awareness (what you are ultimately looking for when getting the rights to a book/game/toy), but as they are in the public domain, they are free.

Remember, selling a script or getting great representation is the combination of both having great writing AND great ideas. At least if you go off and write Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, you are starting with a safer, more commercial idea that the studios are looking for than AMERICAN PIE meets DRIVING MISS DAISY (yes, I have been sent that log line before).