Home Your Ad Here

Go Back   IndieTalk - Indie Film Forum > Making The Film > Screenwriting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-16-2017, 08:47 PM   #1
Mr.Struggle
Basic Member
 
Mr.Struggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollywood
Posts: 17
Question Business vs Creative Decisions in a Script

I just met with a producer! A small fry, but at least he’s on the menu. Our meeting was going well, but he rejected my script, stating that it lacked “international appeal” because it was set in America, had American characters and was about American politics. China is a huge market and he wanted my script to play to that audience.

This interaction had me thinking. Moving forward, should I include international and Chinese elements in all my scripts? Should I think about making a script that's enticing to buyers when writing? What are your thoughts on balancing business and creative script decisions?
Mr.Struggle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today   #1A
film guy
Basic Member
 
Posts: 17

 
Old 03-16-2017, 09:57 PM   #2
mussonman
Basic Member
 
mussonman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: www.youtube.com/mussonman
Posts: 3,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Struggle View Post
it was set in America, had American characters and was about American politics.
Shouldn't be a problem even if you're trying to appeal to China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Struggle View Post
and was about American politics.
Definitely a problem if you're trying to appeal to China.... and even America
mussonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 11:23 PM   #3
Sweetie
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 4,173
Quote:
What are your thoughts on balancing business and creative script decisions?
If your aim is to get paid, attention must be given to the business elements.
Sweetie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 03:46 PM   #4
WalterB
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rotterdam Area, The Netherlands
Posts: 3,205
How many movies does China let in each year?
I understand the potential appeal of the Chinese market. But the odds seem so much worse than any other market.

Chinese market: no politics, no rebeliion, no struggle for freedom.
Yes: sacrifice for the community.
Read Confucius to get a better understanding of the roots of Chinese rule.
WalterB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2017, 10:52 AM   #5
Aspiring Mogul
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North America
Posts: 1,920
The balancing act is the art of management.
Aspiring Mogul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2017, 08:48 PM   #6
Mr.Struggle
Basic Member
 
Mr.Struggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollywood
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterB View Post
How many movies does China let in each year?
I understand the potential appeal of the Chinese market. But the odds seem so much worse than any other market.

Chinese market: no politics, no rebeliion, no struggle for freedom.
Yes: sacrifice for the community.
Read Confucius to get a better understanding of the roots of Chinese rule.
24 films, unless it is co-produced by a Chinese company.
Mr.Struggle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:55 AM   #7
WalterB
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rotterdam Area, The Netherlands
Posts: 3,205
That are slim odds.
And while there are indeed many people in China, far from everyone can affort to go to see a movie.
The only difference is that, when you are in that market, you'll have only a few western competitors.

Does he have the connections to get it co-produced with a Chinese studio?
Does he know and understand the constraints you'll have when writing for Chinese audience?
WalterB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,058
This is what I find interesting:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Struggle View Post
Moving forward, should I include international and Chinese elements in all my scripts?
One producer you met with is looking for scripts with international
appeal, specifically the China market. So now you are wondering
if all your scripts should have international (specifically Chinese)
elements. You know that China accepts only 24 films a year yet
you're wondering if every script you write should appeal to that
market. You know that this producer has never made a movie that
has been released in China yet you're wondering if going forward
all your scripts should appeal to him.

Seems to me China isn't a huge market.

Two films that came out within one week of each other; “The Great
Wall” and “Get Out”. One was geared toward the international (specifically
Chinese) market and made $44 million on a budget of $150 million.
Although it DID make $170 million in China – still not enough to break
even. The other was set in America, had American characters and was
about American issues. It made (so far) $133 million of a budget of
$5 million.

The producer you met with would have rejected “Get Out”.

If you want to sell to this producer you need to write a script that meets
his needs. However there are producers out there who want to make
movies set in America with American characters and about American
politics and issues.

Yes, thinking about what will sell is important. I'll bet that you could name
five movies that did NOT seem like a good business decision but made a
lot of money. My advice is to not take that too far when one producer
rejects a script you have written.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 12:26 PM   #9
Mr.Struggle
Basic Member
 
Mr.Struggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Hollywood
Posts: 17
I had a similar conversation with another producer (wasn't pitching, just discussing). Do people think this may be one of those fades that producers are now chasing?
Mr.Struggle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Struggle View Post
I had a similar conversation with another producer (wasn't pitching, just discussing). Do people think this may be one of those fades that producers are now chasing?
Producers chase money. Producers have been chasing the China
market for decades. During much of the 90's they found there was
no money there. As we move through the 2010's it seems there is
a bit more of a market. But as you point out, still very few American
produced films are allowed into China.

If you want to change what you write to appeal to those producers
you should. If it works out and these producers you're talking to
buy your scripts then you succeed.

Next time you're talking with one of these producers I like you to ask
them which movie they wish they had produced, "The Great Wall" or
"Get Out" And then ask why they are pursuing the China market.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 11:53 AM   #11
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,058
Deadline posted their annual profit/loss report of 2016. It's always
good to find out what a movies actually make after expenses. Since
there is a China column it peaked my interest in light of this discussion.

14 of the top 20 were released in China – interesting that number 2,
"Deadpool", wasn't released there. Of those 14, 8 were animated. Of
the top 5 earners in China 3 were animated, 2 were Marvel. All were
major studio pictures. At the bottom of the China list was “La La Land”
- number 18 overall in profit – made $35mil in China.

Makes me wonder why the producers you met thinks they should be going
after this market. I see no indication that a non studio connected producer
making a film with a budget under $50 million not animated and not
Marvel could find a market in China.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 05:18 AM   #12
WalterB
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rotterdam Area, The Netherlands
Posts: 3,205
Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
..............
Makes me wonder why the producers you met thinks they should be going
after this market......
I think it is the idea that there are 1 billion people living there.
The illusion of 1 billion people buying a ticket is a strong one

Deadpool is too subversive to get a release in China.
WalterB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2017, 09:41 AM   #13
Filman
Basic Member
 
Filman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 472
No, don't go down that route. That's overthinking. Write a script that you would produce. Why would you produce it? Because you see how it would make its money back.
Filman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2017, 02:46 PM   #14
Alcove Audio
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
Alcove Audio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fairfield County, CT
Posts: 7,389
During the creative process you write/compose/paint/sculpt/record/etc./etc./etc./etc. whatever makes you feel good and satisfies your creative vision.

If you intend to "sell" your "product" you will have to make it attractive to the average Joe/Jane on the street.

The broader the original concept the easier it will be to "translate" into something that the general public will buy.

That's the challenge of being a creative, to produce something that satisfies your personal creativity AND is accepted by the general public.
Alcove Audio is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2017, 03:19 AM   #15
gorillaonabike
Basic Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London
Posts: 1,563
Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Deadline posted their annual profit/loss report of 2016. It's always
good to find out what a movies actually make after expenses. Since
there is a China column it peaked my interest in light of this discussion.

14 of the top 20 were released in China – interesting that number 2,
"Deadpool", wasn't released there. Of those 14, 8 were animated. Of
the top 5 earners in China 3 were animated, 2 were Marvel. All were
major studio pictures. At the bottom of the China list was “La La Land”
- number 18 overall in profit – made $35mil in China.

Makes me wonder why the producers you met thinks they should be going
after this market. I see no indication that a non studio connected producer
making a film with a budget under $50 million not animated and not
Marvel could find a market in China.
You're looking at it through the wrong end of the telescope. It's not about making money from the Chinese market, rather it's about getting money out of China.

Imagine a Chinese billionaire. They aren't allowed to travel on vacation without informing the Chinese state six months in advance, can only take a certain amount of money on vacation and have to sign over their entire fortune to the state upon departure (they get it back on their return). However, if there is a legitimate Chinese - US investment (e.g. a movie which could potentially play in China), they can travel to their hearts content. They can even get a certain amount of their money out of China which is the dream.

Last edited by gorillaonabike; 04-11-2017 at 03:21 AM.
gorillaonabike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
business, china, screenwriting


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


©IndieTalk