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Great Ideas Are Ten A Penny

Not to sound jaded, but I can but agree with Edwin. A good idea is nothing until it is turned into some kind of document. Only at outline, treatment or script stage, have you created something that other people (with money) can look at.

Before that point, it is all locked in your mind where it's shiny and brilliant. The lighting, editing, performances, locations, dialogue and music are perfect. Note that only one of these elements - dialogue - will actually be in your script.

If you see the film unfolding in your mind, with all the above elements working together in perfect unison, you may in fact, be a potential director rather than a writer.

I remember saying in a room full of screenwriters, that it is the writer's job to create a blueprint for the film. This idea was not exactly greeted with applause or joy. I believe if you want to control all the elements, then you'd better get hyphenated and add "-director" to your title.

Because no matter how excellent your idea is in your head, no matter how great you get it looking on the page, it still has to make it to the screen intact. All those aesthetic and technical elements have to be working together in order for your great idea to survive.

In fact, if you are an unhyphenated screenwriter like myself, the second most difficult to task after getting it from the back of the mind and onto the page is keeping enthusiastic about the idea.

To have an idea that thrills you and then keep working on it year in and year out - that takes some concentration. Sprinters don't make good screenwriters - it's a marathon event.

P.S. The above photo is a knitted clown doll called "Melancholoy Sid". Every screenwriter needs a talisman of some kind, this is mine. Suss out 'The Artist's Way" or the works of Joseph Campbell. It's probably in there somewhere.


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