I'm new and I have a question...



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  • #46
    Re: I'm new and I have a question...

    Ideas aren't work.
    A really great, original idea is. It may not seem like it, because getting a great idea for a story doesn't involve physical labor or even sitting down and typing. But when you get one, you can bet your mind has been working on it for a while, if only unconsciously. Putting together various little bits from your experience and things you've seen and read until they coalesce into something that could be a story.

    And if it's truly great and original, and you haven't seen anything quite like it before, then it's possible only you could have come up with it. If you're comfortable with risking the theft of an idea like that, then go for it. Me, I wouldn't take the chance even if it was one in a billion.

    Consider this: You say everyone who writes from the same idea is going to come up with a very different script. I'll grant you that. But suppose you have one of these truly great, original story ideas, and you put it in a public place where it could be stolen. And suppose (again, granting that this is a highly unlikely occurence, but is within the realm of possibility) someone did steal it. And finished a script and registered it and shopped it around before you could do the same with your own. Suppose further that this person managed to get the script into development.

    Now along comes your script. It may have been your idea, and you may have executed it in a completely different way than this other guy. But there's no chance in hell you're going to sell it now. At best, you're going to be told "Sorry, this is great, but there's already a script like this in development." And at worst, if the concept behind both scripts is really a unique idea, people are going to think *you* stole it.

    Yeah, it's very unlikely all these events would come together like that. But as long as the odds aren't zero, why wouldn't you at least take the simple precaution of making sure whatever you post in a public place -- logline, pages, etc. -- is from a script you've finished and registered?

    It's not paranoia; I think it's common sense.


    • #47
      Re: I'm new and I have a question...

      It's fascinating to read all the insights and opinions here on this topic (all valid points, even the ones that disagree. Go figure.)

      But, just two comments (IMO):

      1) I just read in the book "ASK THE PROS: SCREENWRITING 101 questions answered by industry professionals" ... a comment that concerning SPEC scripts, often it's the IDEA they buy, because they know they can easily have a great idea WORKED ON by another writer. (That's both a positive and negative for the original spec writer, obviously: yes, you'll sell it, yes we'll screw with it once it's ours )

      But to someone struggling to get a first or early sale ... it's good to know it's not ALL "who do you know in the Biz, what have you already sold, etc"

      That the GREAT IDEA depends on YOU, whether you're sitting in Venice or Chicago or Cornfield Iowa ... in a seaside apartment or your Mom and Dad's garage.

      I'm just hearing some "everything's been done, who cares, one idea's not gonna change the world" etc vibe ... which I'm not sure is what will INSPIRE the struggling new writers here (myself being one of them)

      2) We (they, I, we) CANNOT compete with writers already in the loop, already connected in the Biz. We CANNOT present anyone with a track record of past box office hits ... or twenty years' writing experience or honed craft.

      We CAN come out of nowhere, and amaze them with AN IDEA.

      And I'm pretty sure most of us are together enough to recognize a great idea if one occurred to us ... or offer feedback to a great idea offered for comment here.

      Everyone's maybe wiser and more realistic than I am here, in my comments defending the "myth" of the GREAT IDEA.

      But that's the myth that inspires ME to keep my nose to the grindstone and my eyes squinting into the pc screen, writing.

      That the IDEA is what the spec writer has going for them. Hell yes, learn to write and develop the CRAFT and the SKILLZ of true Writing. Hell yes, your second and fifth screenplay will be better than your first, so keep WRITING ...

      But no one's going to hire ME to write their rip-off of a sequel of an already-done idea. I'm not in the loop. No producer's gonna call me in and GIVE me an idea and pay me to develop it.

      What WE have ... starts with IDEAS.

      (I just wanted to defend the worth of the Idea ... now, about how to defend the Idea itself, I return to the thread)
      "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -
      that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."
      -Mahatma Gandhi.


      • #48
        Re: I'm new and I have a question...

        Almost every new writer comes to this board with the notion that their idea is new and original. I know I did. And guess what? I was completely wrong.
        But, the possibility is there that some new writer on this board has a notion that their idea is a unique, fresh twist on this or that â€" and it actually is.

        Stop fretting over how original you think your idea is and get it written.
        I think the original poster is getting it written, but was fretting about what might happen if he put up a thread discussing his story before it was finished, which I donâ€TMt find unreasonably cautious.

        If someone took a script I'd written and shopped it as their own, you're damned right I'd be pissed. But an idea?
        If someone stole a script I wrote, Iâ€TMd be pissed, too, and Iâ€TMd have some recourse.

        If someone stole a distinctive concept I came up with (however slim this possibility may seem) and he got his **** buzzing under peopleâ€TMs noses before mine, because I was careless, Iâ€TMd be pissed, mostly at myself, and Iâ€TMd have no recourse.

        Originally posted by Geevie
        So. Be smart (only share copyrighted material) and dive right in.
        A sharp lady said this.
        Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.


        • #49
          Re: I'm new and I have a question...

          my last post was obviously misunderstood.

          it wasn't a clear post but anyway, good thread.


          • #50
            Re: I'm new and I have a question...

            And I still stand by it.

            "So I guess big parts of our youth are supposed to suck. Otherwise we'd get too attached and wake up one day trapped on a hamster wheel that used to look like a merri-go-round." - Hal Sparks


            • #51
              Re: I'm new and I have a question...

              If someone took a script I'd written and shopped it as their own, they'd have to be nuts.

              There are two kinds of ideas. The first is the kind that gets your script read. You only need one of those per script. The second is the kind that makes your script good. You need lots of those in every sc ript. Usually, only the first kind get stolen.