How Marketable is Your Film Idea or Screenplay?
So how marketable is your film idea or screenplay? I know so many screenwriters and filmmakers who spend months and sometimes years on an idea that is cool to just themselves. Depending on what you are attempting to achieve with your story, you should always figure out if you idea is marketable or if you have a fighting chance of selling the screenplay or final film.
Paul Castro, the writer of the Warner Brothers feature film August Rush (Starring Robin Williams) shares with us his thoughts on how to test and find marketable ideas. You can download the MP3 or watch the video below.
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Welcome to the bulletproof screenplay podcast episode number nine. If you want to be a writer you have to do two things above all others read a lot and write a lot Stephen King broadcasting from a dark windowless room in Hollywood when we really should be working on that next round. It’s the bulletproof screenplay cast showing you the Crafton business of screenwriting while teaching you how to make your screenplay bulletproof.
And here’s your host Alex Ferrari. Welcome to the bulletproof screenplay podcast. I am your humble host Alex Ferrari now Today’s Show is sponsored by bulletproof script coverage now unlike other script coverage Services bulletproof script coverage actually focuses on the kind of project you are in the goals of the project you are so we actually break it down by three categories micro-budget indie film market and Studio film.
There’s no reason to get coverage from a reader that used to reading Temple movies when your movie is going to be done for $100,000 and we want. Focus on that at bulletproof script coverage. Our readers have worked with Marvel Studios CIA wnbc HBO Disney scot-free Warner Brothers, The Black List and many many more.
So if you need your screenplay or TV script covered by professional readers. Head on over to cover my screenplay. So today I wanted to talk about the marketability of your idea or your screenplay specifically at your screenplay, you know, a lot of people always go off and you know, spend six months a year even longer either writing a screenplay making a movie and they don’t even understand if this is even marketable if it’s something that the marketplace wants or is is positioned in a place that you can sell it, you know.
Seen so many filmmakers go off and make a movie and spend six months a year two years of their lives putting stuff together and they have no idea if the the idea the movies even marketable and it’s a waste man and I hate again. They all depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to just put out art or trying to do experiments and keep the budget slow and you could do whatever you want.
Then that’s fine go for it. But if you’re spending, you know a substantial amount of money and it takes you a year or two of your. And you haven’t even tested to see if this isn’t even a marketable idea. Oh my God, it’s just such a way. So please always test your ideas go off and do a little do a little research and see if the marketplace is interested in your kind of movie.
And if they if it is interested in your idea, do you need to Stars attach things like that to make it a marketable thing now? Where you start with this whole idea is with the screenplay with the idea. Is this a marketable idea or marketable screenplay. So if you’re only a screenwriter listen up because this is going to be very very valuable information.
Um and also filmmakers who are screenwriters directors last producers definitely perk your ears up because you’re going to get some knowledge bombs thrown at you right now. So Paul the writer of August Rush and I have put together a course. Called The Million Dollar business of screenwriting. Now.
I’m gonna give you a one of the lessons that he teaches in. This course called is your screenplay marketable. What is the mark ability of your screenplay? So I wanted to give you a kind of a sneak peek of the course in this podcast and listen to one of these amazing lectures that Paul does in this in this course now, this is not just for screenwriters.
This is also for directors producers filmmakers who have ideas that they. Want to get flushed out or a movie that they’re about to start definitely listen to what Paul says because it might save you years of your life let alone thousands and thousands or even maybe even millions of dollars depending on the level you’re at.
And at the end of the episode, I’ll give you a special link to get the course at a substantial discount. So sit back and get ready to get your minds blown. I wanted to talk to you about the marketability of your idea so writers. We all have a peppering of all sorts of ideas bombarding our psyche and our soul often and most of the time every day at least for for me and many of my friends so.
How do you choose an idea? Well, I think it’s important to take your top three ideas and be really honest with yourself. Is it marketable? I consider ideas out there that you know something that’s interesting to me may not be interesting to the world. So I wrote a script about a Fugu Chef one time the Japanese puffer Blowfish, which is the poisonous fish and I love this story and it got some traction but nobody ever bought it and the writing experience was a value for sure, but I could have spent those eight weeks to 12 weeks to eventually six months.
Working on something that was much more marketable. So what makes a marketable screenplay that’s going to put you in the best possible position to sell it. So these days it is a true story. For some reason Hollywood and actors movie stars like to play something that actually happened. So, how do you acquire that?
Well you acquire it from Source material. What is Source material from a magazine a book an article something you’ve seen in the news now, you may be saying yeah Paul, that’s great. But I’m a new screenwriter. How am I going to acquire that well from my experience? I have seen that book authors are a lot more accessible and open than say trying to get to a movie star.
So if you approached a book author notice I said he or she not the agent because agents are wonderful, but they’re The Gatekeepers they’re trying to protect that person and they’re trying to get them paid understandably. So. But if you approach a book author and show your passion for the material have a plan for how you’re going to adapt it from book to the big screen and oh by the way, you’re going to do this for free as long as that he or she gives you a free option if the material once you’re done with it is it had a level of vibrancy and at a high frequency of quality.
That that person says yes, this is what this is my book on screen in a screenplay form that can eventually make it to the big screen. I would love to see you did a great job if they agree to that. Then you go forward as a team to sell the entire project and it cost you. Time and Sweat Equity that can be done and most writers are a bit trepidatious and shy and circumspect and going that route because they feel like well what value do I have to add?
Well, I’m here to tell you you have a lot. You’re a creative. All right, that’s invaluable. And if you’re going to be brave enough to approach this person and coming from a good place. You’re not trying to rip anyone off. You’re trying to add value with your talent and creativity. You can acquire some wonderful stories, right?
So the market is very friendly towards a true story something that’s current. Is it like these days you hear a lot of stories about autism, which is a very important subject. All right, if there’s something that is relevant to the Science World As far as I care about disease something that has an energy Beyond just a true story right an Olympic hopeful who blah blah blah fill in the blank.
Maybe there’s something in your hometown somebody that nobody even knew about this person and you could bring that story to fruition through a screenplay. Where there’s a will there’s a relative and there’s also a way so I would encourage you to start looking for true stories something from Source material if there’s a book that you saw when you were you read when you were a little kid and he why isn’t this ever been a movie then that’s avoid a little God wink that’s telling you to pursue it.
So your job now is to spend the next. I’m sorry. Not one hour. Two hours going to Google going to your roll attacks going to your hometown going through all your resources to identify a true story that you can bring to fruition through the craft of screenwriting. So you have two hours make sure you hit the restroom get some water and get some almonds, whatever you do and get prepared because two hours and you’re gonna on.
Fail the gem that you were meant to write through a true story from Source material. Okay in three. To one right it I’ll tell you what. I learned a ton from Paul while I was working with him on this course. I mean, he goes over things like how to Workshop your screenplay, which I had never heard of this whole technique of how he actually workshops as screenplay so he can get feedback and make it better.
It’s pretty pretty awesome, uh how to submit to an agent how to get your screenplay to an agent. Uh pitching how to read a room not read a person but actually read a room, uh, which is amazing, um how to write different kinds of screenplays from 30 minutes sitcoms, the one-hour dramas, um, residuals wga writing assignments and so on.
I mean, it’s it’s a pretty dense course on the business of screenwriting and how to actually make a living being a screenwriter but again a lot of the concepts and things that Paul, Ox about for screenwriters can easily be translated to filmmakers so definitely a course to take a listen to and as promised.
I am going to give you a discount code. So all you have to do is go to indie film hustle screenwriting 25 that’s indie film hustle screenwriting 25 and you’ll get the course for 25 bucks. I mean that is a absolute steal. I’m not not even playing around. It’s so dense and there. More preview, uh, when you go to that link, you’ll see a few more lessons.
You can kind of preview and take a listen to well worth it guys. So I hope you got a lot out of this episode and if you want the link again just head over to the show notes at any film also, and if you haven’t already, please head over to screenwriting podcast and leave us an honest review on the show really helps to show out a lot and get this information out to as many screenwriters as possible.
And as always keep on riding no matter what I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the bulletproof screenplay podcast at bulletproof screenplay.