Before you pick an idea from the (probably) many ideas demanding your attention and pushing you to your “calling” to write a script, decide what you want (hope) the outcome to be. If your “calling” sees you writing an award-winning blockbuster and you’re shaking hands and cashing checks then you’re going to have to hunker down and consider whether your concept has enough dramatic potential and can be brilliantly written with commercial appeal to sustain a 90-minute movie. You can do that – just learn how.
You ask why? To have an audience glued to their seats for an hour and a half you must have a storyline that can carry it through – entertain them, wow them, capture them, and make them spend $16 bucks to see it.
You need to have what is called “commercial appeal”, “commercial potential” in your script.
Hollywood wants so badly to buy your script. Hollywood wants to pay you big bucks for it. Hollywood agents want your script to be awesome to win them awards. Hollywood celebrities want to get Oscars for bringing your characters to life. Directors, editors, sound, wardrobe, producers, you name it – just like you – they want to make money and become famous because of your script.
Yes, I know – your “calling” to write is demanding the storyline be “this” or “that” but remember, you’re in charge, you guide the ship, you’re the god for the project, you’re the writer, and you do get to write it any way you want. The key to the “want” part is better served to a favorable outcome “if” you choose a topic/idea/storyline/plot that will get you to where you want to go.
You might write many scripts before you strike gold on your #1, fantastic, brilliantly written, ready-to-be-made-into-a-movie script. So what, keep writing, keep honing your craft, keep getting better and better. For the pot of gold you can’t do mediocre. For the pot of gold you can’t do been-there-done-that-before stuff. You can’t expect that a story you feel is/was so, so, so close to your heart it’s something others would want to know about as well. That rarely happens. If you’ve not seen a movie about it, there’s a good reason; it’s not a good concept.
You CAN and probably should practice writing on those ideas, but keep moving your sights higher and higher – reach for the pot of gold writing ability inside you. When you’re writing from true experiences, you have to be able to pull out that “one” storyline, not the whole enchilada, not every single true detail, laboring over every aspect to keep it as true as possible – NO! If you must write from true experience, and I’m talking to new writers who are still learning their craft, finding their voice, finding their brand and style of scriptwriting, you can consider writing a script “inspired” by a true story.
You have to make a script, a screenplay commercial. If you refuse to do so, since for many of you aspiring writers, your “calling” is pushing and running the show, then dig in and write the novel. You have so many more pages to gloriously embellish every detail with delightfully less restrictions on format. Get it published, let it become #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, and who knows, it could get picked up to be made into a movie. Voilà- there you have it.
People need to be vastly entertained to stay glued to their seats. Your idea may be interesting to you, but not all ideas translate to a great storyline on the page that’s worthy of being made into a movie for the big screen. Pick your screenplay ideas carefully. Write a spec script with the intention to sell it, not just satisfy your calling to write out your idea. Best of luck on getting your movie made.
Source by Lena Banks