Writers Take Note: If you are hoping to pitch projects to Hollywood, not all books adapt best to a feature film. Some stories will transfer well to a small screen because...
Screens are getting smaller, entertainment content is getting shorter.
This is something I learned from the Connecting Writers with Hollywood Conference this weekend. Sad, but probably true. The future of entertainment--movies, TV, screen viewing, is shorter stories to be viewed on smaller screens, like a tablet or phone.
When our children grow up, they will be used to viewing on a phone screen the size of their hand. My son says he'll always want to watch good movies in a movie theater but for the most part, the market will head towards projects that can be viewed on small screens.
If you are writing and want to tailor it to what Hollywood is looking for, here's some nuggets from Entertainment Agent (formerly with William Morris, now with The Wayne Agency) Shawn West:
Must have a RELATABLE HERO, STRONG VISUAL, 3 ACT STRUCTURE, 2 HR LIMIT,
And Hollywood wants writers that take responsibility.
If your story has franchise potential, that's great.
Also mass appeal, like young men, young women, old men, old women.
Is there merchandising potential, like dolls, happy meal toys, etc.
Can it be made for under 10 million in easy-to-shoot locations?
If you have a story that involves thousands of cast members, ten international locations, CGI and 30 million to make it, you will need a very large studio to make the movie.
If you have a story that involves only several key players, it takes place in basically one location and no CGI, it will appeal to more studios and film makers because it will cost less, the risk will be less, the possibility of making back their money will increase.
If your story can be made into 6 shorter parts to be viewed on HULU, that is something different from a feature film and will have different appeal to a studio.
One thing Shawn said in his talk was write what you know and be authentic. Great advice because no one else can do you, like you can. Write your 10 second log line and go get'em!
Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.