How to breakthrough in movie business? It is a question of all script writers and filmmakers.
Hollywood film studios and TV networks used to buy three types of scripts before such as:
- Paradigm scripts: These are formula driven scripts like many TV comedies which have the same story structure but different jokes
- Imitated scripts: These are scripts that were imitated from successful TV series like breaking bad or Mad Men
- Pitch perfect authentic scripts: These are original scripts that nobody has ever seen before. They have different kinds of worlds and characters such as Orange is the New Black. They are completely original and followed by their loyal audience.
In TV market HBO, ShowTime, AMC used to buy paradigm driven scripts. A writer had to follow a specific formula to write the script. For comedy writing, a screenwriter used to write an episode of a drama to prove that s/he can imitate a show. This is how they got hired in the past.
Executive producers know what’s original. Because they are the generation of video on demand and have seen a lot of movies and TV shows.
What I found out that HBO, AMC and Amazon chase key demographic 18 to 49 years old. This is why my scripts are written for this particular demographic. There is so much on TV that audience will be attracted to those shows that grab their attention.
Every script that sold in the last 3 years was pitch perfect script.
You can sell paradigm scripts if you are a celebrity executive producer in Hollywood, but show runners won’t look at imitated scripts. If you write a paradigm script, does that make you a great writer? No. Based on my research I explored that the recent years the majority of seminars and writing classes’ topics were taught on the subject of how to write and imitate scripts and follow a certain formula. Writers were trained for writing about the world which doesn’t exist anymore.
Major Film Studios
The mistake so many writers make is that they simply write the wrong types of scripts. Today major player film studios produce 3 types of films such as: Pixar films, marvel films and Star Wars films. That’s it. One of my friends got her first writing job at Pixar but the script which she wrote was a pitch perfect authentic script. So even though they hired her because of the uniqueness of her script, but they wanted her to write a Pixar script. And you know what? As a writer you don’t break in with a Pixar script, you break in with an original script that everybody loves it and can relate to.
How some writers get hired to write for for big film studios? They either have an amazing track record of script writing or have written an authentic pitch perfect script that no one had seen before.
What Major film studios really want?
After pitching to so many Hollywood executives and film studios in L.A and London, I explored that the big 6 film studios more care about pre-awareness of your script than its uniqueness. If so why do they buy scripts based on established IP ? Because they follow a blue print to make money for example the following movies were proven to hit the box-office in 2019: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Toy Story 4, and The Secret Life of Pets 2; genre films like John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, and Godzilla . What the studios really buy is pre-awareness. For example studios did not buy a show like “Baywatch” because they loved it, they bought it because of the pre-awareness around it. The studios go after shows and films that have already audience because it makes their investment less risky. So the principle of what they love is “pre-awareness”. This is what I am doing for Ghostware my sci-fi fantasy movie using my unique transmedia and film marketing strategies. Your job as a screenwriter and producer should be to create pre-awareness around your show to make it commercially viable. This way you solve the problem of selling your script or movie.
You have to think outside the box. Create pre-awareness and build audience around your story.
You should think like an entrepreneur or inventor who has built a consumer brand in order to build a successful script writing career. Build an entertainment brand the way an entrepreneur builds a business brand. This is how you build it differently. Just being great at your individual craft isn’t enough unless you are an A list in your town.
Everybody is living from pay check to pay check including those Hollywood A list actors in film industry. They fear that some new and younger actors may come and take their place, so you see there are a lot of pressure and uncertainty in this market. This is why you should think outside the box. So get out there and use all the tools available and figure out how to apply them in the best possible way.
To Your Success