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Logliner
02-03-2014, 10:10 AM
I know and agree with the sage advice that we should choose to write a screenplay we're absolutely passionate about.

But putting that aside for the moment, just what genres and budget range stand the best chance for a first-time spec to actually be sold?

In other words, would I probably be wasting my time writing a mid-to-high budget action thriller if I have no established credits?

grumpywriter
02-03-2014, 11:22 AM
Low-budget/"contained" horror and thriller always seem to be in extremely high demand, as do Christmas scripts, low-budget family friendly scripts and "faith-based" scripts.

But unless one of the above genres is truly in your wheelhouse, I'd say write whatever you want to write because you'll have a better chance with a great high-budget action-comedy than a bad Christmas script.

Just my two cents :)

Logliner
02-04-2014, 07:14 AM
Thanks Grumpywriter. What you suggest makes sense.

ShugarPakket
02-04-2014, 07:22 AM
Obviously I don't know what type of writer you are, but I know I couldn't just write something without feeling passionate about it. If I were to try to write something faith-based, for example, I wouldn't be able to put out my best work because it's not a genre I care all that much about.

I think it's best to write what you want. Hopefully that's enough to get you in the door. Worry about selling out later.

madworld
02-04-2014, 07:34 AM
I don't agree that Christmas scripts are in high demand. Maybe at a lower budget but certainly not at the studio level.

What excites you the most? Write that. If most stuff doesn't sell anyway, why put ANY constraints on yourself?

This is something I read about Aaron Guzikowski, writer of PRISONERS.

An article from the LA TIMES:

"When I was writing it, I never imagined I would sell it, first off, and especially that it would ever get made as a studio film," Guzikowski said. ("Prisoners" was financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Warner Bros.) "It just all seemed way too dark and just kind of an exercise in futility."

If you have it in you to write something brilliant, do it and you'll shatter the odds.

scripto80
02-04-2014, 09:35 AM
My first ever option (last year) was a female coming of age drama -- that is now being turned into a male psychological thriller.

I. Sh*t. You. Not.

So I'd say it doesn't matter. Just write what you're passionate about... and then be prepared to have it completely destroyed. Welcome to Hollywood, and good luck! :D

ShugarPakket
02-04-2014, 11:28 AM
My first ever option (last year) was a female coming of age drama -- that is now being turned into a male psychological thriller.

I. Sh*t. You. Not.

So I'd say it doesn't matter. Just write what you're passionate about... and then be prepared to have it completely destroyed. Welcome to Hollywood, and good luck! :D

This may not be the place for it, but I'd love to hear the story behind how that happened.

IGetsBuckets
02-04-2014, 02:15 PM
This may not be the place for it, but I'd love to hear the story behind how that happened.

Seconded. Very curious to hear about it.

scripto80
02-04-2014, 02:51 PM
I set the story in a unique subculture/world not really explored yet on screen. After 4 unpaid rewrites over the course of a year going in a million directions trying to make it more and more action packed and exciting, they finally realized the "problem" was that they didn't realize until just now that just want a totally different genre. Producer claims no way, no how, AT ALL do dramas sell anymore (tell that to the last half a dozen dramatic hits in theaters currently vying for Oscar consideration, but anyway). And he tacked on that a female lead is just an impossibility as well. Mm hm. Hard? Sure. Impossible? I don't think so.

Basically they're just holding onto ONLY the location and setting because they love the idea of "a movie set in that world", but are changing EVERYTHING ELSE. I actually asked to be let out of my option because at this point it's just an entirely different film from what they optioned, but well... lets just say in a nutshell, I've had my Hollywood f*ckover cherry popped. :D

Thankfully, I have other, bigger specs I'm shopping and getting some incredible feedback on. Still hustling for an agent, but for now -- the future looks hopeful, a lot more hopeful than the above situation anyway. ;)

p.s. My apologies to Logliner for hijacking the thread.

Bunker
02-04-2014, 03:20 PM
Sadly, that story doesn't surprise me at all.

It's kind of the opposite of Good Will Hunting, which was originally a spy thriller. Legend goes that Matt and Ben went into a meeting with Rob Reiner (at the pinnacle of his career), who said, "I really like the math genius part of the script, but don't care about all this spy/thriller stuff. Why don't you rework it so it focuses on him and his abilities?"

Me, personally, would have responded to that note with, "Thanks for entirely reimagining my script, Rob. Good luck with North." But Matt and Ben, to their credit, reworked it and created Good Will Hunting.

I just can't imagine such a note ("Let's remove the thriller aspects and bring in more character drama") ever being uttered these days.

Geoff Alexander
02-04-2014, 03:25 PM
I know and agree with the sage advice that we should choose to write a screenplay we're absolutely passionate about.

But putting that aside for the moment, just what genres and budget range stand the best chance for a first-time spec to actually be sold?

In other words, would I probably be wasting my time writing a mid-to-high budget action thriller if I have no established credits?

You would not be wasting your time, it's a great genre/budget to break in with because a lot of companies are interested in this sort of thing.

Logliner
02-04-2014, 04:31 PM
No problem Scripto80.

Very interesting comments from you and Bunker.

And Geoff Alexander:

You would not be wasting your time, it's a great genre/budget to break in with because a lot of companies are interested in this sort of thing.

Good to know. Thanks.

Unusual Suspect
02-09-2014, 10:11 PM
I always found that comment about Good Will Hunting interesting.