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Monday, June 2, 2008

The Rouge Wave Mailbag

Long time Waver Monica sent in a great question and I turned to my friend, manager Garth Pappas for the answer:

...what is your feeling on a movie that does well, to which you have a similar kind of project and hitting the town/producers after that opening weekend? I always tend to hear things like the Monday morning meetings at the studios/production companies being about them trying to find more projects like something that's done well.

Garth replies:

This is a very good question and there's no right answer. The real question to ask is how good is the piece of material. If a movie does well it's good for the genre; but, the screenplay has to set a bar with regards to characters and story. It's true other studios want the next "Ironman" franchise or even the next "Juno," but what it comes down to is the script. How big are the characters? Will the roles attract 'A' list talent? Is it a studio idea or geared for the independent world? "Juno" was a darling film just like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" but these are gems and the studios aren't counting on these movies to hit it big. Their money is on high concept properties that'll attract stars.

Now, the spec market is hit with scripts that are similar with successful movies but the percentage sold is low. A screenplay "too similar" to a released film will hurt the submission. Studios will find every reason to pass so the originality of the script must stand out. Don't forget, you're in competition with many other specs; specs with talent attached; specs from produced writers; and, specs that were in the marketplace a year ago. Readers remember and keep track of every submission. So, if you're script is similar, it has to exhibit enough of a unique voice to overshadow what's already been done.

Keep on hitting those keys.

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