I often think how successful a film is deemed should NOT be measured by its devotees (like screenwriters and fans), but those who need persuading to watch them … what hardcore devotees appear to miss, over and over again, is that for MOST people, films are *just* films. A way to pass an hour an half to two hours, perhaps together, perhaps alone, perhaps drinking alcohol & eating treats, perhaps not. Films are simple relaxation. They don’t know what goes into making them; more importantly, they don’t care. They know what they like and they know what they don’t – and they want to be ENTERTAINED.
And this, Lucy points out, is exactly what is missing from most genre spec scripts:
Your premise needs to be sold quickly – and if you can take advantage of a “pre-sold concept”, then all the better. When we say “pre-sold”, we mean stuff the audience is already familiar with. So we’re talking “the same but different” (hey, “Like Die Hard – but on a plane!”) or a concept they already know – werewolves, vampires, zombies, serial killers in the woods, insurance salesmen who really turn out to be kickass hitmen. You know, the fun stuff. And don’t bother making up some new *thing*, make up a new angle if you can – but hey, sometimes you don’t even have to do that. Originality can be very overrated … You need to remember your audience …
The full post is well-worth a read. Check it out at Write Here, Write Now.