Monday, September 23, 2013

I got a great idea but...

Back from my 1800 mile roadtrip through the Canadian prairie, seeing old homes and old friends and old highways. Always brings me back to where I came from and what I am.  Still a small town boy.

During that time our effort to raise money for Ghostkeeper 2 died miserably but as I mentioned in earlier posts, I expected that due to the lack of promotion and a fan base that wasn't enough. But I will continue to look for funds the old fashioned way, knocking on doors. And also crowdfunding will get a possible asset when an announcement comes offering investors into the mix.

Basically that means that a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project could get real investors rather than donations and that could be, as they say, a gamechanger.


Because investors want to not only get a return on their money, but also a profit. The announcement is supposed to happen this week.

So that's that.

But back to the title of this blog...

I recently finished a new spec screenplay called The President's Heart, got a great comment on The Black List (if you've never heard of this click on the link to your left). The story is about a U.S. President needing surgery in a foreign country. I thought it had a unique angle but tonight on CBS (Sept 23), at 10pm, a show called Hostages begins.

Okay, not exactly my idea but very close. Hostages concerns a family being taken hostage by "ruthless bad guys" who want the mom, a doctor who has to operate on the President, to accidentally kill him. 

There are a lot of similarities but still a lot more differences.

But this goes with the rule I made up years ago and it says this;

Whenever Jim thinks of a great idea, there are at least 5 other writers with the same idea. And they are:

One is thinking of the same idea.
One has started writing the same idea.
One has finished the screenplay.
One has sold their screenplay

And one that completed filming last January (or whatever).

So it just goes to show you how my idea (and most likely yours) has dopplegangers all over the place.

In my case, the reviews on the show are so-so but the one element that will kill the CBS show is that it's a series. And having a family being held hostage for 13 episodes is going to be hard to find ideas to keep it going. In short, it would be better as a feature film. After all how many times can the family attempt escape or chase someone away from their door while the bad guys threaten to kill their family?

Under The Dome was a better idea; have lots of people trapped in a bubble and begin to show the weaknesses of people under stress. But they have cars and roads and lots of places. Hostages has the house mainly and some FBI guys trying to stop it.

So what will I do with my screenplay?

Plan B is to send it to every producer I know and especially foreign producers as my story takes place in Europe. 

Here's the Black List comment on the idea:

"The premise of a presidential heart transplant is strong and commercial. It takes a personal need with a ticking clock, and transforms into a global crisis with a journey as its center. It's a smart base for an affordable political thriller which still has world-wide stakes."

I can live with that.

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