Got a cool concept for a TV series? Worried it’s not getting the attention it deserves?

June 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

 blogger_guestScriptcat’s MY BLANK PAGE is blessed to have a guest blogger for the second time— the talented screenwriter Mark Dark ( @MarkDarkStory).

Got a cool concept for a TV series? Worried it’s not getting the attention it deserves?

Even the best ideas get rejected before that magical ‘yes’ comes. Some of the greatest books ever written were rejected: Watership Down, Harry Potter… we’re in good company. You can imagine some famous TV series being rejected by a studio exec who think he knows what’s gonna work and what isn’t:

“What? A mafioso mob boss goes to see a shrink about his depression? Get outa here!”

OR

“A chemistry teacher becomes a meth dealer to pay for his cancer op? Are you crazy?”

Here’s how I imagine another famous TV series being pitched, dropped, and crunched.

STUDIO EXEC

So, your hero’s a serial killer.

WRITER

Yep.

EXEC

No body likes serial killers.

WRITER

Sure they do.

STUDIO EXEC

Look, kid, I know it sounds crummy, but characters are like cookies, they gotta be digestible.

WRITER

Wow, characters are like cookies. Never thought of that before. Cool.

EXEC

We’re here to learn, kid.

WRITER

This character is digestible. He’s your boy-next-door type, good-looking, great job…

EXEC

What’s his job? Cop?

WRITER

Kind of —

EXEC

Two words. Cli. Che.

WRITER

But he’s not a cop.

EXEC

Cop but not a cop.

WRITER

He’s an analyst.

EXEC

Sorry, kid. Too Criminal Minds.

WRITER

Forensics.

EXEC

Too Bones.

WRITER

He’s a blood guy.

EXEC

Does he kill zombies?

WRITER

He doesn’t kill zombies. He’s a blood splatter analyst.

EXEC

People love zombie-killers. Think Buffy.

WRITER

The vampire slayer?

EXEC

Now, your regular, boy-next-door, blood splatter what-ever-you-call it… why does he do it ?

WRITER

Analyze blood? He’s —

EXEC

Not analyze blood. Kill, kid? Why does he kill?

WRITER

He kills bad people: murderers, rapists…

EXEC

He’s a vigilante ?

WRITER

Yep.

EXEC

Like Batman.

WRITER

Not like Batman. He doesn’t wear a cape.

EXEC

Shame. People love Batman.

WRITER

They do love Batman. He’s not Batman.

EXEC

Batman the Zombie Slayer… now that I could sell.

WRITER

Sorry… this guy’s… different…

EXEC

Everyone’s different, kid. This is Hollywood. I need the same. Same, but different.

WRITER

Right, er… got it.

EXEC

Okay, so… your hero serial killer, he kills bad guys. But why?

WRITER

He has a “ghost”.

EXEC

A ghost? Now you’re pitching. Paranormal Activity. Blair Witch. Big bucks, kid. Big bucks. Does he see dead people?

WRITER

He doesn’t see dead people.

EXEC

Shame. People love dead people.

WRITER

It’s not a real ghost… it’s… metaphorical… a past trauma… he watched his mom murdered when he was a kid.

EXEC

And his mom’s the ghost, come back to haunt him?

WRITER

Um… not exactly…

EXEC

Look, kid.  Don’t take it personally: your concept sucks. Write “Batman Kills the Zombies” gimme a call.

You know your idea is superb. Someone else will think so too. Don’t give up! You just have to knock the right door!

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markdarkMark Dark is an actor and a writer. He’s currently adapting his gritty, London gangland short story Man or Mouse into a feature film called The Judge of Petticoat Lane for a UK BAFTA nominated producer. He trained as an actor at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and studied screenwriting at the New Producers Alliance, London.

His short story Man or Mouse also won the British Writers’ Forum Short Fiction Prize. Other writing awards include the Ether Books Award for “Best Use of Social Media.”

Mark currently lives in Cambodia where he spends his time teaching and working on the screenplay of The Judge of Petticoat Lane. Visit his website MarkDark.com and follow him on Twitter @MarkDarkStory.

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