I just got an email encouraging writers to submit their screenplays on a particular website.
I had been thinking about doing that for sometime, but never quite got around to doing it when low and behold there was a screenplay with a similar title as mine. I was dashed.
My first thought was someone stole my idea and in my mind I started thinking back in my mind of everyone I’d sent a copy of my screenplay to and did the usual paranoid new writer thing of “Damn, damn, damn!”. I think I may have been more angry at myself for my lack of follow through and someone beat me to the punch.
My son wrote me these encouraging words: (I’ve blanked out names since my intention here is not to slam another project or person)
Do your due diligence, but don’t be afraid to share things as well. As an artist I have learned that there are always the risks that someone will steal your work… If someone wants it, they will take it. I would find out what precautions they recommend. You have to give in order to get back and sometimes there is risk involved, but don’t be afraid to trust anyone or you won’t get the support you need. I would keep going with XXXX, you put a lot of work into it. I’m not absolutely sure this is the case, but if something IS stolen from you just remember, YOU are the source. You are filled with plenty more million dollar ideas where that came from and that can’t be taken from you. Don’t think in terms of scarcity, that wasn’t your one-shot at success it was your trial run. Think of how much you’ve grown as a writer since that first draft. Not to mention, I looked up XXXX. It was an abysmal film. No one will accuse you of ripping off a terrible film, they only do that for good films because of the notion you’re attempting to piggyback on their success. This other movie wasn’t your vision, it was a B movie. Many of the studios Stallone shopped his script to wanted to make changes but he stuck to his guns. I say make your film the way you want it to be made and they will remember it; no one will remember XXXX. Heck, if it makes you feel better, just change the name. That may have been the most significant thing they took after all, since the movie was so forgettable. Here’s the only review (more reviews had come in since) on IMDB had to say:
“It is rare that I give up on a movie within 30 minutes but in this case, I was so unimpressed that I did just that. . . I cannot comment on the story itself as it did not really have a chance to develop in the short time I was able to stand it. I would advise against watching this film unless you are hell bent on keeping track of the lead actor’s career which, going by this effort, is heading deep South.”
We’ll talk soon, Hang in there! I’m pulling for you. You’ve come too far to turn back down now 🙂
Shortly after that I found myself back into the stymied mode, doing nothing. How am I ever going to make it in the Biz? As I have mentioned before the odds are stacked against me according to statistics, so I let this sit awhile and in the words of Meg Ryan in French Kiss, I allowed to let it “fester, fester, fester” (I think she really only said it twice).
BTW. I rented the movie and yes there were similarities but it was enlightening. It showed me what direction not to take my film. So, I’m back on track doing a rewrite and working on other projects as well.
There’s a saying and I don’t know who originated it, but it goes something like this…
“If you’re doing the same thing over and over again and getting nowhere then change it” – unknown (to me)