An excerpt from my script review for Tesla which will be available 09/14/20:
1.) Marketability of the Idea
The Current War.
I can remember watching something on the History Channel (maybe The Men Who Built America) and thinking that the battle over electricity would make for a good movie idea.
So I took to Amazon to see about books that may “illuminate” (sorry) me more on how it all shook out in the battle between AC and DC.
Enter the book The Current War. “Oh, this is exactly what I’m looking for Amazon, thank you!”
But looking a little further down the product page…Soon to be a Major Motion Picture!
Now, I wasn’t wrong about the topic being interesting, just late and more importantly left without the rights to an established novel that would help garner a “yes”.
Knowing it would be hard to sell a project along these lines with the aforementioned project being greenlit with a star studded cast, I moved on to other topics, which we should as amateur writers.
After that The Current War comes out in 2017, to mix reviews from what I can gather.
You can imagine my surprise then when I realize this script is not the same thing, but a different project altogether.
Nikola Tesla is a man shrouded in mystery, and many people would be interested to know more about him, but can this project deliver?
(We’ll cover that in the next section.)
My advice if you’re selling a spec, unless you’re absolutely certain you have an original take to what has been done or is currently in the works, save time and move on.
It doesn’t take much for a “no” from producers and managers, and this is just short of a guaranteed fast track to that response.
(Speaking from experience here trying to pitch a space isolation thriller after Moon and Gravity have come out. People love linking your pitch to something already existing, like it validates their “pass”.)
“Give me the same, only different.”
It’s frustrating advice that you could have heard already, but take away the best part of it in regards to competing with “based on” works with big names signed on.
Move on and save time. There’s limitless story possibilities out there.
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