Monday, September 04, 2006

A Challenging Week...

I had a busy week last week and as such didn't get much out there in the way of this blog or my own writing. I was too busy taking meetings, talking on the phone, writing for other people, talking on the phone, watching movies and oh yeah, talking on the phone.

Let's just say this week has been a challenge.

I am working for a company from the Great White North writing all of their sell sheet copy and designing their sell sheets and key art. That means watching movies and figuring out what the sellable points are to the movie:

Does it have a lot of action?
Does it have a lot of sex and nudity (preferably together and still the cheapest special effect money can buy)?
Does it have stars?
In general, what's cool about it?

My job therefore is to communicate that "cool". Whether it's through the key art or the copy, I have to draw the buyer in and make him think, "Cool!"

I have to make him think that even if that cool isn't so cool in the movie. I think that's why I like the idea of creating the art and the title and all of the other marketing material prior to shooting the picture - it sets the bar pretty high. You as the writer, director or producer have to live up to that cool. It's a challenge to do so, but it's the type of challenge that makes you want to get better at what you do - and that's an incredibly good thing, not only for you but for the industry as a whole.

I had a meeting this week as an interview for writing a low budget horror movie. I don't know if I'm going to get it, but I know I'm the best person for the job (egotistical I know, but true) . They laid down some "rules" for me (ala Dogme), and I said to myself, "Hell, I've been following these rules all along! You have to do that when you're writing for little-to-no money and you're just starting out." Thing is, I look at it as a challenge. All these rules and restrictions and encumbrances make me want to do better - to come up with that take on an idea that fits the horror and the budget.

So if you look at your own situation, and say, "I have no money. No crew. No equipment. All I do have is the ability to shoot in my apartment for free." Then take up the challenge and write something that fits what you do have, and comes up with a unique take on a situation in that setting. Set the bar high for yourself by asking, "What story can make this apartment cool?"

You take up that challenge then I guarantee you you're on your way toward crafting a cool story that someone, somewhere will want to make. Find those unique sellable elements that everyone instantly understands and embraces. They are everywhere - on the street, in the restaurant and even in your apartment. Explore what could make them unique and interesting.

Come on... I "double-dog dare" ya.

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