An excerpt from my script review for Body Cam which will be available 06/01/20:
1.) Marketability of the Idea
This is a tricky thing to write into, and even harder to pull off, in a script.
Projects take anywhere from two to three years to bring to audiences, so what’s relevant (or popular) at one point in time may not be so when the movie eventually hits theaters.
On May 25, 2020 this man died while in police custody. To date there’s only been one officer arrested on manslaughter and murder charges, but arguments are being made for more.
However you (personally) choose to view it, a man lost his life.
When you add the “how” into that you’ve just polarized your audience, potentially alienating up to half of them given our current political climate.
Are you willing to throw half of your audience away? Is your producer? Is the studio?
Those are all tough questions that need to be answered, because it could have you questioning your own morals in relation to financial gains.
For instance this script explored the theme of “low income neighborhoods don’t trust cops” and that may be true to some extent.
However, look at what happened shortly after this project was released, a black man died while in police custody, losing his life while a suspect of a forgery charge.
The only reason we know about it was due to cell phone footage of citizens witnessing the arrest.
It’s tragic, and in my opinion needless, but a film comes out relating to this incident?
That could appear opportunistic to the public.
But it’s not the writer’s fault, being that he hatched the idea three or more years ago. (Or the producer’s, or the studio’s, etc.)
An unlucky case of bad timing.
Does that make sense?
Wanting to convey a message with your story is fine, applauded even when done correctly, just try to steer clear of polarizing social or political ones.
None of us know what the future holds.
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