Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The kind of script you should be writing
Today, I'm going to talk about the biggest challenge ever: THE NEXT BIG IDEA. People will often tell you to write commercial, but they don't tell you what else you need to write. Just having one good script is not enough. You need to show that you can continue to produce work the town will want to read, and hopefully buy.
So I've got a script worth reading. Heck, I've got two scripts worth reading. I'm taking meetings, working my thing, getting introduced to the town.
Meanwhile, I have to figure out what to write next. Those ideas I've been saving up for years on little color coded index cards? USELESS.
When you're on your own you can write whatever you want. Want to write a Civil War martial arts story? Knock yourself out. Passion can drives your work. You write the idea that excites you the most.
Once you start building a career, you write the idea that excites you the most but which also 1) has a commercial concept, 2) fits within the genre of your previous work, and 3) can have a star in the lead role so you can make attachments.
Never underestimate the importance of a star vehicle. When you're writing a script to get the attention of a rep, you need something that will attract a star, and not just one or two stars. If the only person who can star in your movie is The Rock, it's going to be a hard sell. What happens if he's not available, or if he doesn't want to do an action movie right now? You're stuck.
So the best thing you can do to get noticed is write something commercial with a lead who is a white male in his early 30s. Then write another one.
This is a lot harder than it sounds. That's where I am now, trying to beat out an idea that fits that criteria and has obvious potential to make money. I think getting my masters degree was easier.