Is the original concept an endangered species?

Keep looking! They're out there somewhere.
Keep looking! They’re out there somewhere.

Quick! Name a recent successful film NOT based on a pre-existing property.

Right now, the only one I’m coming up with is INSIDE OUT.

Warner Brothers just blew $150 million on PAN, which finished 3rd its opening weekend, dropped to 6th this week, and has only made $25 million. It’s probably safe to say it’ll be one of the year’s pricier bombs.

Marvel unveiled its slate of something like 20 films over the next 5 years.

Every studio desperately wants the next Harry Potter, TWILIGHT or HUNGER GAMES franchise, but despite plenty of copycat attempts (e.g. GOLDEN COMPASS. DIVERGENT. PERCY JACKSON. SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. MAZE RUNNER.), the search for a new heir to the throne continues.

Despite cries of “Ugh! Another reboot/remake/reimagining?” the public keeps paying to see them and the studios keep making them. (“It worked before, so it’ll work again!”)

And with so many other writers out there, both aspiring and professional, as your competition, there’s bound to be a lot of repetition and similarity of stories and ideas.

What’s an ambitious spec writer to do? Especially when you take into consideration the age-old adage “Nobody’s going to take a chance on an unknown writer.”

To say our work is cut out for us is putting it very, very mildly.

We are competing against source material from all kinds of media, so your script has to be jaw-droppingly amazing for it to have any kind of traction.

And even getting to that point ain’t easy.

Everybody always says they have an idea for a script, but how many are actually able to turn that into an honest-to-God original, as in “never seen that before”?

Every script you write has to be something that people who aren’t you would want to see. Totally brand-spanking new. Out of left field. New twist on an old idea. Familiar, but different. The more original and well-executed it is, the better your chances.

What is it about your script that makes it truly stand out from all the rest? How mind-blowingly original is the idea behind it?

There really is a demand for solid, well-written original scripts. It’s up to you make sure yours is all three.