Saturday, August 2, 2008

Premise...

I'm so excited. This is the first time I can comment on a comment to the blog.

Dave writes:

I definitely agree that bad dialogue is an instant turn-off when reading a script. However, most producers will only even start reading the script if they’ve first been triggered by an intriguing premise. So when they start reading they’re looking to see if this is a movie, not whether the writer is the new Harold Pinter!

In my experience (but this may have to do with my penchant for structure), producers are reassured when the structure is clear and firm. All the details can be perfected during development, as long as the basic framework feels solid.

Having said that, great structure, great dialogue, great locations ... none of this can make up for a lousy, uninteresting premise."


I could not agree more. When thinking of a project, the first thing you should be thinking is...This premise...would I watch it if I wasn't writing it? Would I pay $10 to see it? Would I want my mother, brother, sister, uncle, best friend, to watch this movie? Would they even want to see it?

There is nothing worse that a boring, bland, run of the mill premise. In all of my reading, writing, and 'rithmatic, one thing I see over and over with my clients who have open submissions is a boring premise, which is a certain deal killer AND the first thing a reader comments.

As far as structure...once again I couldn't agree more. That's why I am trying so hard to modify my writing structure in order to make the structure perfect. I've spent so much time relying on my dialog to get the message through, that I forgot the most important thing to make someone read it, the structure.

As a reader, the thing I see with all of my CLOSED submission clients is that the premise in on point, pitch-able, and high concept, and the structure is relatively well-constructed. However, in almost every instance, the dialog and characters are just atrocious. Still...they are getting their film read, and the quirky esoteric unmarketable story sits on the shelf.

This is very important...if the structure is NOT good, and the PREMISE is not on point, NO ONE will read the script even if you are the next "Harold Pinter".

That felt good...like really gooood. Keep the comments coming.

2 comments:

Christoph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christoph said...

agree with all of that.

....But then you have to wonder how one dimensional films with terrible premise and dialogue are STILL being made in Hollywood.