BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

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  • #46
    Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

    Originally posted by sc111
    I'd love to write drama - I have 20 pages of a drama written that I will keep on a back burner indefinitely. Why? Because I feel - after analyzing all the above factors - I lessen the odds against me if I stick with comedy focused on female leads to attract female actors. I'm specializing.

    Yet I don't feel this inhibits me as a writer. A commercial hook does not exclude the opportunity to write intriguing characters and compelling dialog. It doesn't make me less passionate about exploiting the dramatic or even tragic themes from a comedic POV.

    The bottom line - everything Martell said is valid set within the current climate in HW studios.

    If you want to disregard it and continue writing drama - fine - more power to you. But don't ignore the fact that it increases the odds against you if your goal is to sell to Hollywood. That's all I'm saying.
    Sc111 - Am I ever in your camp on this one. I write RomComs because that door it open for first time spec writers. I can still care about my story and my characters and still try to say something meaningful between the laughs and the obligatory montage. If I can't then it's not much of a story, is it?

    And the thing I've noticed is that most first time spec sales are high concept. I take no pleasure in saying that because I'm not high concept thinker by nature, but it's still a factor I have to deal with, so I work at finding a story that is high concept, funny, romantic...and something I can be passionate about.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

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    • #47
      Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

      you've noticed that more first time spec writers are high-concept. now exactly how have you noticed that? are you basing that on the scriptsales page, or have you done some research on that?

      just a knee jerk funny, but two women, journalist to the core, are writing romcoms.... nothing ever changes, because for a women to break in with a drama, something completely against their entire makeup and nuture, would be implausible.

      badump.

      vig

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      • #48
        Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

        Originally posted by vig
        just a knee jerk funny, but two women, journalist to the core, are writing romcoms.... nothing ever changes, because for a women to break in with a drama, something completely against their entire makeup and nuture, would be implausible.

        badump.

        vig
        You don't turn in a heartfelt story about the esthetic value of dandelions if the editor needs a headline piece. Does really nasty things to your career advancement possibilities.
        It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

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        • #49
          Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

          SC -

          For the most part, I write horror scripts. I also write thrillers (supernatural, psychological, etc.). And, occasionally, dark comedies. And, even more occasionally, surreal dramas.

          That said, I just finished writing a script that will probably never sell in the spec market. (For the record, it's a genre-bending ensemble/anthology script.)

          I don't think I've ever really thought of myself as a "spec writer." At leat not in the way you're using the term.

          I think of myself as a screenwriter. If something I've written (probably a horror script) sells in the spec market or gets me an assignment I can really sink my teeth into...

          Great! Fantastic! Woohoo!

          If something else I've written has no chance of doing either, even better. That means I'll have to find a way to get it made (even if I have to beg, borrow, steal and direct it myself). You don't know how much that excites me.

          You really don't.

          (It also scares the sh!t out of me, but, heck, we only get one life, right?)
          Last edited by Rex V; 01-08-2006, 12:11 PM.
          I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

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          • #50
            Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

            All points understood - even Vig's!

            We all have to plan a strategy for ourselves.

            Right now I'm getting studio reads with comedies/rom-coms. I'm not going to switch horses midstream.

            Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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            • #51
              Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

              I gave an example on the extreme juvenile end of the comedy spectrum to set up my funny with the arty character, but as sc111 and Martell pointed out, there are ways for a writer to use his creative skills for drama in the genres that are selling, i.e. comedy, horror, thriller and action.

              They don't have to write a silly, surface only type of comedy. They could add dramatic elements to comedy in order to have more depth and meaning.

              For example, James L. Brook's "Broadcast News."

              When people like Martell, creativexec and other industry professionals say, if you want to sell, write what agents can sell, what studios are buying, what the majority of the moviegoing public want to see... I listen.

              I just don't like how they leave out the "passion" aspect of writing. In order to break in that spec script needs to be a killer.

              I believe having passion for the story will bring out the writer's best writing, which he'd need to have in order to impress the industry people that are making the decisions.

              If my passion was more aligned with the art/indie world, I would appreciate pros telling me that it's a hard sell. Investors are savvier now where if there isn't an A-list star attached, they're not so eager to put up money and all the other pitfalls of writing for the art/indie world.

              Yes, I would appreciate the heads up, but I'll continue writing my passion. Yes, it'll be a tougher struggle to make a living going this route, but I'll be happier. I'll just keep my day job.

              Martell and others are talking about the odds, and of course, they're right when they say, writing in one of the genres that are selling, increases your odds.

              This needs to be said and it needs to be put in action if anyone wants to increase his or her odds, but it's just not the perfect road for everyone to take, when taking in consideration what they're passionate about.

              The advice I gave in my earlier post, I'm doing myself.

              I have a drama story idea and western story idea (probably would have to market it to cable when written) that I'm passionate about to write, but I listened to the industry pros and put these ideas on hold.

              Luckily, I have some comedy story ideas I'm also passionate about: teen romantic comedy, sci-fi comedy, superhero comedy and a couple of broad comedies.

              But, some day down that road, I'm gonna write that drama and western.

              Damn the odds.
              Last edited by JoeNYC; 01-08-2006, 02:42 PM.

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              • #52
                Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

                I'm nearly done with my first screenplay. I already have been writing outlines and started on at least 2 other screenplays that are quite different stories (but same genre).

                I have about 10 other "ideas" floating around where I have written short outline descriptions or loglines. I don't even want to think about pitching any of these until I have fully completed at least 3 screenplays.

                My thinking on this is that it seems that too many people are concentrating on writing and pitching their very first screenplay. I want to have a few under my belt, with several others in "development" as far as writing goes.

                I have several avenues to pursue contact wise, and I don't want to use up any favors until I have enough material where I can sit and pitch these ideas.

                Maybe I'm wrong in this...

                Anyway, it kind of goes with what the original thread was about... be true to oneself, be happy about what I do, have confidence in my writing and abilities... and pursue the goals no matter what the obstacles.
                Writer / Director available for your project.

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                • #53
                  Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

                  Someone posted about the realities of the marketplace, what people have wanted to see/hear/read for thousands of years, etc...I think that was very good.

                  Also, at the end of the day Hollywood and screenwriters aren't that much at odds, everyone wants to make movies other people will love. Regardless of whether it's classifled as 'high concept' or 'indie', no one is out to write a script that will cost $1 million to film but is still a financial failure.

                  The studios are corporations, so they want/need to make money. Sometimes it's a great movie, sometimes it's a '4 Quadrant' high concept, sometimes it's CGI-driven, etc...The studios are not completely brainless, they recognize that great small budget films not intended for a July 4th release can still be profitable, so they all have their own little production spinoffs for these kinds of movies (like Budweiser and Miller starting their own little 'microbrews'.)

                  At the end of the day, if you choose to write screenplays you must accept that it will cost a significant amount of money to turn that script into a movie, and distribute and market it (or you write around that.) If it's not your money, then you will have to convince someone else to put up the money. Whether it's a $10,000 budget or $100 million, someone has to put up the money with the hope or expectation of recouping that cost. Even an 'indie' production company still needs to break even or make money to survive, no different than major studios.

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                  • #54
                    Re: BE INDISPENSABLE - Part 1 & 2

                    Originally posted by geozero
                    Anyway, it kind of goes with what the original thread was about... be true to oneself, be happy about what I do, have confidence in my writing and abilities... and pursue the goals no matter what the obstacles.
                    Very true. I think another way of putting it is to open your eyes within- find yourself and your vision and try to express it, and without- understand the external realities of your endeavors, so you can best position yourself to achieve your goals, whether they be career, financial, or simply personal.

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