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palindrome
03-26-2014, 10:27 AM
Hello there,

Been lurking here for a couple of years now. I would care to pose a couple of questions that perhaps some may regard as na´ve, and/or have previously been met with indifference. But I’ll pose them anyway, with a little context, if I may.

An amateur writer, with one rather extensive but unpublished novel to his nom de plume, succumbs to the beckoning lustre and challenge of screenwriting. Not because it is easy -- but because it is hard. No, hang on . . . Not because it is easy -- but because he feels he has fashioned a compelling story that has strong commercial and cinematic potential. Researching format here and elsewhere, amongst much invaluable advice is to begin with a story about which the author is passionate. Therefore, for this author, the screenplay recently completed is a sequel to a long-standing franchise owned by a major studio. . .

Herein is what has already been gleaned concerning the beloved endeavours of ambitious writers that willingly volunteer to visit the self-imploding, shoot-oneself-in-the-foot, dubious and notoriously lousy world that is ipso-facto the very definition of the term -- ‘fan-fic’.

- Studios do not read so-called fanatical-fiction, in part because much of it is ‘notoriously lousy’ -- and in part to avoid possible litigation in the event a ‘fanatic’ felt his/her work had been plagiarised, and therefore due commensurate compensation to the tune of a free-for-all at Fort Knox.

- The studio who own the franchise will have little interest in a story written by a ‘fanatic’ if said fanatical story has already been read, aired, discussed, by anyone outside of said studio. (*Therefore, this particular story remains in limbo, unexposed, virgin.)

- If the studio wishes to pursue the franchise with another installment, an established and produced Hollywood writer will be offered an assignment subject to the proclivities and directives, story or otherwise, of the director / producer / studio.

- Placing the piece on Ink Tip, the Black List, or anywhere in the public domain, will leave the author vulnerable to litigation due to possible infringement of copyright / intellectual property rights. (See * above.)

- The author may insist his/her story is the exception to the rule. He/she slips into ‘Pick-Me-Pick-Me’ syndrome, and finds the more he/she attempts to justify the perceived qualities and commercial viability of this work, the more boorish and irritating they (perhaps inadvertently) become. A defensive stance takes root that smacks of purblind desperation. The accusation of ‘fanaticism’ is assumed as said author appears to sink into a mire of self-delusional entitlement. Fait-accompli -- ‘fanatical’ fiction.

So here are those two questions. Other than giving up on this, how do I avoid these pitfalls? And is there anything I can do -- beyond writing more screenplays (which I intend to do) -- that could garner a modicum of interest in this screenplay without compromising its chances due to the above-mentioned caveats?

Ronaldinho
03-27-2014, 03:01 PM
Wow, you know, I hope your screenplays are more concise than your message board posts.

No, there's nothing you can do.

You have a couple of the particulars wrong. (They're not likely to sue you for putting it on the blacklist, for example). But your larger point is right.

They ACTIVELY don't want to read it. Nobody not associated with them will want to read it.

There is nothing you can do.

Your best bet is to write something else that gets you attention, and get a meeting with them, and say, "Hey, I have a great idea for a movie with this franchise," acting as if you haven't already written it.

But I think you knew this answer already.

And honestly (no offense intended, but people often take offense to this) as somebody who's writing experience consists of one unpublished novel and this screenplay, the odds that this is close to as good as you think it is are, unfortunately, rather slim.

sppeterson
03-27-2014, 03:44 PM
1. Change the character names and some story details.

2. Title it 50 Shades of Mauve.

3. Profit.

palindrome
03-28-2014, 06:53 AM
Ronaldinho, thanks for responding.

I hear what you’re saying, and you’re right of course. I was aware this was always going to be a very long shot, and that the odds are stacked high against. Your post simply confirmed it.
Just like everyone else, I realise the necessity to demonstrate the facility to write engaging and commercially viable stories. And to do so consistently with multiple screenplays. If that proves to be the case for me, and I get lucky at some point in the future, then who knows?

And as for the rather discursive OP, I was simply hoping to demonstrate that I hadn’t undertaken this endeavour blindly or naively. Just covering all the bases.