Repeating Myself



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  • Repeating Myself

    I had a new idea today. I love it. Of course it's been ten minutes and I'll grow to hate it by tomorrow. But now it's the best idea I ever had. But it's close thematically and setup wise to the last spec I just wrote. Both magic ideas.

    What do you guys do when this happens to you? Do you like to vary up your ideas so they all aren't movies about dogs for instance.

    I tend to write a lot of two-hander comedy specs. But I keep trying very hard to avoid writing the same story over and over. Yet I do recall one manager pointing out, all your ideas are a normal guy and a crazy guy -- you got to avoid that. And he was right.

    And not sure it's a great idea to have two specs with the same general feel.

    So we always talk about how you don't write an idea because you see X movie just came out or X idea was just sold as a spec -- but we don't talk about not writing something because you think it's too close to something you've already done.

  • #2
    If you're working with an agent/manager I think it may be an issue if the scripts are too alike but if you're just working alone and yet to be sold then I think you can write as many versions of an idea that you want.


    • #3
      Last edited by Clint Hill; 09-04-2021, 12:25 PM.
      “Organizations for writers palliate the writer‘s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.“ — Ernest Hemingway


      • #4
        David Milch talks about finding the "first cousin" to an idea if the original idea becomes unavailable for whatever reason, e.g., when he first pitched Deadwood to HBO it was about "cops" in ancient Rome at the time that St. Paul was proselytizing about Christ. But HBO already had "Rome" so (in the room, if you believe David) he reset the premise in 1890 Dakota Territories. Changing the organizing principle of these forming societies from the cross (Rome) to gold (Deadwood) but the idea was still the same: how do people choose to generate order -- law -- out of disorder or lawlessness. But also, apocryphally, David had a hat filled iwth slips of paper with random words on them and would just draw slips and whatever idea the words on the paper generated, that was the premise of the show.


        • #5
          Hey, Bono! Did you see this?
          • A Nicholl fellowship script is in post-production. Netflix recently bought the drama-comedy for ~$20 million based on the script and a four-minute sizzle reel.
          “Organizations for writers palliate the writer‘s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.“ — Ernest Hemingway