An excerpt from my script review for No Escape which will be available 9/3/15:
1.) Marketability of the Idea
Here’s an idea we’ve not discussed before…
Meaning your script can be shot in a variety of locations.
When pitching a spec, it’s good to keep your options open, since that increases your pool of potential buyers, and this trick helps you achieve that.
Just as buyers will have specific deals with talent or distributors, they also may have specific locations that are friendly to them. Tax credits, cost efficient regional production, even local government backing, any little bit helps when taking in the large scope that is a production budget.
(Some popular locations for recent script requests have been China, Vietnam, and Eastern European countries to name a few.)
By keeping the door open in your story, you’re making the script more attractive to buyers.
Set a script in Paris, and only people looking for Parisian scripts will want to read it. On the contrary, set your script in a rural wooded setting, and suddenly people shooting in the State of Washington can use it, western Pennsylvania, the hills of Kentucky, and on and on.
(Remember though, where your setting can lack specifics, your plot/story CANNOT.)
So why does No Escape work?
Syria. The Ukraine. Hell, maybe even China if their stock market keeps tanking.
With all the civil unrest going on in the world, this premise certainly feels current, and the script doesn’t mention a specific country until the family flees to Vietnam in the very end.
Setting a script in a volatile 3rd world environment makes for good drama.
Mixing in a bunch of upper middle class characters that are out of their element increases that drama tenfold.
It stands to reason producers were intrigued, as was I, with the premise, of a family trapped in an impoverished nation where the controlling political powers have just been overthrown by rebel masses.
Want more helpful screenwriting tips and movie/script reviews? Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.
And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.