Pitching Ideas

One thing that's always bugged me is how hard it is to share potential ideas. I know it's partially to protect them from, undoubtedly, the hoards of people with similar ambitions. And so ideas for new shows and movies typically come up from people already involved in the industry.

In my case, I have two specific, fully formed ideas; one a TV show and the other a movie. I am not a writer, but have the vision, ambition and skills to be the director of such projects. It's easy- or at least I assume it is easy- once you are involved, and your friends "know people", but looking in from the outside, it's impossible. Everyone I ask either says "give up, don't bother doing it" or "you just have to know people"- each of which is equally frustrating for different reasons. The point is, I know the odds. I understand that neither is likely to happen. But I want to share it. I am meeting people. My failings come from a lack of involvement and basic understanding. Both of which I am trying to remedy. In the case of the movie, the script would be adapted from a preexisting work. I could prepare the script myself, but where would I go from there? Is a non-registered adaptation considered plagiarism? I have started from nothing less than a half year ago, and have gotten experience since then. I am learning a lot. But the higher-level stuff that is crucial to developing your own projects remains a mystery, and those that do know are not very forthcoming.

I'm not even expecting the answers to come from any response on here. I'm just venting my frustrations. I am in a mid-level production city, and live a trivial distance to major ones. There are opportunities here, and I have worked with some big names. I just cannot find the right situations or words to convince those people to help me learn. It's disheartening, and I'm on the verge of giving up hope. I feel like that's a common, and expected, response. I'm just stubborn enough not to.


  • edited January 2017

    You should produce the ideas yourself. For the movie write a short film version. For the TV show you can shoot a sizzle reel, just key scenes and lines edited together to make a dramatic 2 minute commercial for your show. Then you'd have these as your calling card to show everyone how good your ideas are. You could enter the short film into festivals. Hollywood respects anyone who can get stuff made without their help. Good luck.

  • The movie script from the preexisting work, you need to find out if and/or who owns the film rights. If it is a book, you can contact the publisher. If no one currently owns them you can purchase an 'option' on the film rights for a set period of time in order to write your script and try to produce it yourself. Without the rights then it is a copyright infringement. If the preexisting work is in the public domain then you should be okay.


  • Hey Alexander!

    It sounds like you want to be a Producer.

    1. Listen to the podcast "Script Notes" , although you aren't a writer it gives a lot of insight into the writer's world. This will DRAMATICALLY increase your knowledge of how adaptations and everything works. (You can thank me later :wink: )

    2. An adaptation must be cleared. Whomever owns the rights has to sign off on it. Another route you can look at is changing a lot of the elements so they aren't identical.... but even then I refer to point #1 and listen to adaptations on script notes.

    3. If you are really really serious about getting a script put together for your ideas you have to start looking for funding. Sure you can go to a university and try and get a student to write your project but it might not be the quality you want. If you can secure funding to pay a writer to write you a script, you can get additional funding to film it or sell it.

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