It’s the Concept that Counts

Hurricane Sandy came and went. It did a lot more damage in other places, but Virginia Beach seems to have come out relatively unscathed.

The view from my balcony. Yes, I’m jealous of me too.

I just submitted my third writing assignment with ScreenwritingU, and I’m enjoying it immensely. The teaching style is so low-key and inspiring, and it motivates me to believe I can really do this. Which, after years of listening to experts explain how impossible and difficult it is, is really quite refreshing.

Not that I’m now throwing caution to the wind to dream the impossible dream. But the dream is a little less impossible these days.

Right now we’re working on high concepts. I became aware of the principle of high concepts a few years ago while reading Michael Hauge’s book, Writing Screenplays that Sell – the original edition, which was published a few decades ago. I learned that high concepts are nice, but not absolutely necessary in order to sell a script.

Well, like high-waisted pants, high concepts are back in fashion and I need to be good at creating them.

The idea is to tell a story that can be boiled down to one sentence that makes you say, “I wanna see that!” Kind of like back in the days when the only way people could find out about what’s playing was to look in the newspaper listing. No room for paragraphs of description, critical acclaim, or the trailers and clips you’ll find on movies.com nowadays.

‘Cause you know what movies don’t show up on movies.com? The ones that haven’t been produced yet. And if we unknown screenwriters want to cut through the slushpile and have our scripts read, purchased, and even produced, a high concept is the best place to start.

 

2 thoughts on “It’s the Concept that Counts

  1. So something like: “Young woman moves to the beach to find inspiration and writes a hit screen play that goes on to be a major hit!”

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