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Thread: I Have An Idea For A Film: How Do I Get It Made?

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    I Have An Idea For A Film: How Do I Get It Made?

    This is a serious question. I took an introductory screenwriting course a few years ago, and afterwards I came up with an idea that I actually think is pretty good. How do I get that idea in front of the right people to have a chance of it someday being made?

    This thread is also a place to post comments/thoughts about attempts to get creative endeavors published or otherwise seen by others.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Maybe shoot a low-budget version as a proof of concept, then find some way get that distributed. It seems to have helped a few people break in to the industry. Perhaps Youtube? I'm not sure how to get people to watch a Youtube video, but I'll bet if you got enough hits, the industry might take notice. Of course, they may also steal the idea from you.

    I should add that I have no idea what the hell I am talking about. And please don't chop off my dick.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I researched this a lot about 10 years ago, when I had a bad script that I wrote with two buddies. I think the usual way is to hire an agent or some kind of representative to get your script out there, and then you get a meeting, and you have to nail the pitch.

    But that was how it seemed to go 10 years ago. I thought it was quite badass that writers generally get paid 2-3% of what the film's final budget is. On a 10 million dollar film, that's sweet...

    Nowadays, with affordable technology and networking and all kinds of other tools, it seems like all you need is a kickstarter campaign.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kungfury/kung-fury

    ...I doubt your idea is that good though.

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Maybe shoot a low-budget version as a proof of concept, then find some way get that distributed. It seems to have helped a few people break in to the industry. Perhaps Youtube? I'm not sure how to get people to watch a Youtube video, but I'll bet if you got enough hits, the industry might take notice. Of course, they may also steal the idea from you.
    That's probably a good idea, except I know nothing about directing or shooting a film. I have opinions, thoughts, ideas, but practically speaking, I'd be a first time director. My idea is also way too long to just make a proof of concept, I wonder if it can even be effectively contained with a two hour movie.

    I don't really mind getting my idea purchased, just so long as I get some value for it, and get to be involved in some level in the production. I wouldn't expect as a no-name first-time writer to have any say in anything - I would just hope to get to sit in the meetings and be along for the ride. Hopefully, I'd get an opportunity to provide input, but I have no illusions about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    I researched this a lot about 10 years ago, when I had a bad script that I wrote with two buddies. I think the usual way is to hire an agent or some kind of representative to get your script out there, and then you get a meeting, and you have to nail the pitch.

    But that was how it seemed to go 10 years ago. I thought it was quite badass that writers generally get paid 2-3% of what the film's final budget is. On a 10 million dollar film, that's sweet...

    Nowadays, with affordable technology and networking and all kinds of other tools, it seems like all you need is a kickstarter campaign.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kungfury/kung-fury

    ...I doubt your idea is that good though.
    You know how M. Night Shyamalan movies are all about the twist? This concept is basically about the twist, although I think there's some room for compelling storytelling along the way. It's the kind of film where you're not totally sure what's happening, because it isn't explained upfront, but there are clues that gradually help you understand what's going on. By the end it all makes sense.

    I would need to put my idea in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing. I think I'm a decent writer, but I'll admit to complete ignorance about the industry, and almost complete ignorance about how to write a script, or even a good treatment.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    This is probably one of the best resources I came across in my travels:

    http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/welcome.html

    I think it is more geared towards folks that actually want to write the script than to people who just have the idea...but it may prove helpful anyhow.

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    DOA Space Invaders Champion Neville's Avatar
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    sane in insane places kali's Avatar
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    Clerks is the kinda film that would work on a low budget though.

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    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Rodriguez followed the same model as Kevin Smith in making El Mariachi.

    Don't get me started on Primer.

    Low budgets have made for some of the most impressive films.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Besides what Robcore and Neville said, you would want to get a current list of production companies from Samuel French, target them for the type of thing they work on, send it out and follow up by begging for feedback. More than just the script, you're going to have to get a killer logline, a killer treatment, and the ability to pitch these things over the phone and in person. It's gonna take a while.

    The bigger the place you're sending it, the bigger the pile of scripts in which it will sit, and the less-powerful and grumpier the intern (who's also probably a writer, btw) who might eventually read it.

    As far as agents, I don't know what that scene is like… but if it's anything like music, you best learn to row for yourself anyway, as they have nothing to lose by locking you up for the duration of your contract and bringing your script up whenever it's convenient. Research the crap out of your agent, and bear in mind that they will spend the bulk of their energy on their best client, not you.

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    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Intuitively, I'm inclined to guess that your best course of action would start with just sitting down and writing out a script. Then you've at least got a tangible product which someone can choose to buy or not buy. (Substitute "buy" with "invest in/collaborate on" as desired.)

    I know nothing of significance here, but my impression has always been that the movie industry is a very good-old-boys, networking-centric, whom-you-know-not-what-you-know kind of business environment. Studio people probably get a constant stream of unsolicited scripts being mailed to them, so you'd want to find someone that knows how to put you in touch with people who will actually look at your work and give it a real examination.

    But all of this seems much simpler to do with a real document in your hands representing your contribution as opposed to just an idea about what that document would contain if you had it.


    Is it about the lives of a couple of people who have dead-end jobs and basically don't go anywhere or do anything? Because then you could write it, direct it, and star in it yourself and probably put it on your credit cards. Otherwise, IDK.

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