Saturday, November 17, 2012

High Concept

If you want to get noticed, the best advice I can give you or me is to come up with a great idea.

I remember when I lived in California the big sale was two advertising guys got on the phone and said we're not getting off until we come up with a million dollar idea.  They finally came up with "What if a nuclear weapon became sentient?"  I think Kevin Costner got attached to it and they got their million dollars.

I knew someone who was so angry with the way she was treated in tradpub she decided to make them pay by coming up with a million dollar idea.  She did and apparently is living happily ever after.

What's high concept?  Snakes on a plane.  Except that's bad because once you hear that, you don't need to know any more.  It got made so I suppose that's the point.

The other best advice is to look to the mechanics of screenwriting and movie making for high concepts.  Be able to explain it in a sentence.  Shout it across the parking lot and have it understood.  Some people say 15 words or less, some give you an extra 10. 

Then you, of course, have to, like Snakes On A Plane, have a title that conveys this idea.  How many words should be in a title?  I like 1 but obviously at some point we're going to run out of all the words people know.  I told a friend her 2 word title needs another word and she said "The rule of three?"  Which I admit I had never heard of,  so no, it was just that her 2 words didn't have impact or rhythm for me.  It has to have some kind of flow.

They say in Hollywood if it can sound like something someone already has heard of that's good.  What you probably don't want is something no one has ever heard of.  The Golblutz of Asyirya.  Sci Fi always baffles me.  I don't even know how to pronounce most of the words.  It's good in that community  if you're not in with the in-crowd, not so much.

The point is to connect with the audience/customers as quickly as possible.

No comments: