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Old 03-27-2015, 10:33 AM   #11
PoisonIvy
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Default Re: Sticking to one Genre??

Actually, there are more horror comedies now being bought than straight up horror which is now pretty down. The fact that not many are reaching the screen is completely different matter.

Same thing about comedy thrillers - after what happened this year, there won't be another Taken in the works for a while. However, people are looking for that light action fare.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:20 AM   #12
ricther
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Default Re: Sticking to one Genre??

Lots of great responses here. Even though I do have ideas for other comedies, I'm going to go ahead and write this horror idea I got, mainly because I just really love the story. Who knows, maybe one day I can buck the trend and be that exception hybrid writer. But just out of curiosity, someone cited Jane Goldman and James Watkins as "hybrid writers", does anyone know examples of any of other writers like this? Off the top of my head, I know that Brian Duffield wrote the upcoming western "Jane Got A Gun" and he also just sold a horror, comedy called "The Babysitter". I know Max Landis wrote the sci-fi, thriller "Chronicle" and also wrote the upcoming action, comedy "American Ultra" as well.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:23 AM   #13
Paul Striver
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Default Re: Sticking to one Genre??

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonIvy View Post
Actually, there are more horror comedies now being bought than straight up horror which is now pretty down. The fact that not many are reaching the screen is completely different matter.

Same thing about comedy thrillers - after what happened this year, there won't be another Taken in the works for a while. However, people are looking for that light action fare.
That claim strikes me as pretty bizarre. I'd be interested to know what you base it on.

I've seen a few horror comedy and action comedy pitches mentioned on the tracking boards, but they're far outnumbered by straight up horror and action.

As for actual spec sales, the data decisively refutes your claim. There were 8 or 9 straight horror specs sold last year vs. 1 or possibly 2 horror comedies. There were around 40 action/thriller specs sold last year—maybe 5 of them have a comedic element and the other 35 are straight action/thriller.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #14
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Sticking to one Genre??

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonIvy View Post

Same thing about comedy thrillers - after what happened this year, there won't be another Taken in the works for a while. However, people are looking for that light action fare.
I think we've got to be careful about over-generalizing.

Yeah, I think the Taken-derivatives are likely to be a lot less common over the next couple of years after the disappointing results of ""A Walk Among the Tombstones" "Run All Night" and "The Gunman." On the other hand, "John Wick" and the "Equalizer" did great.

I also think we can say, "hm, maybe the Taken-shaped box isn't the best place to be right now" without saying "oh, everybody's going to go for action-comedies." There are a lot of ways to do non-genre-blended action that don't feel like Taken.

That being said, this isn't about what Hollywood is doing overall. Rather, it's the fact that if you have success with Genre X, the vast majority of the opportunities open to you will be in Genre X. Once you've strung together a few successful jobs you'll start to see more opportunities outside that genre, but "stringing together a few successful jobs" is far from a given.

Exceptions. Sure. But don't count on it - ESPECIALLY with studio work. Studios have lists of people they will consider for various genres. It's very hard to get on that list without having fans at the studio in of your work in that genre. Poison ivy, you sort of make my point, here, in that you went to 20 action-thriller writers FIRST, and only when they failed did the sitcom guy get a shot. Many projects die when 20 writers fail to crack it, so lucky for your sitcom writer the project didn't die. Also lucky for your sitcom writer than none of the other guys were able to crack it - if one of those 20 guys had, no job for him.

This doesn't mean "only write one genre." It does mean that when something does hit, you have to be able to follow-up on it, quickly, with similar material. I think, especially when you're writing on spec, for yourself, the most important thing is that you love what you're writing. There's no substitute for that as far as maintaining your sanity and passion, and I think trying to write what Hollywood wants is one of the most common mistakes young writers make.

But the moment you go from writing specs to actually starting to get work and make a name for yourself, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't have a followup project. That project doesn't have to be a finished script, but at the very least get it to a pitchable place. And I would personally advise that, the moment it looks like one of your scripts is going to get picked up or win an award or something, that you re-jigger your priority list and put the stuff most similar to that first project at the top of the list.
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