Is Drama Dead in Hollywood?

US-based agents on the Left Coast seem to think it’s wise for budding screenwriters to ‘avoid drama’ as feature film script material, altogether. They’ve proposed drama be left with the television crowd, ‘where it’s done so much better than movies’. Bah Humbug. heard the damning word at the recent London Book Fair hosted panel on writing for Hollywood. Word around H-town is there just isn’t any interest in anything that’s not a ‘high concept’ pitch. When pressed for a definition of ‘high concept’, here’s the reply: ‘Whorishly Commercial’. Ouchie. Considering the studios general approach to film fodder in the last few years (Transformers; need I say more), what’s the news?

What is changing is that screenwriters are dusting off unsold scripts/ properties and spinning them into graphic novel gold. Releasing as a graphic novel, the property in mind has a shot at developing an audience outside the traditional routes, while developing the story and characters. Build a fan base, let folks grow with the characters, develop interest in the story, and add interactive elements spread across several media; print, online, mobile. etc. A cross-media approach is proving a viable option in getting properties in front of a lot of potential fans, which in turn can push low-budget development into potentially high-budget production. Hey, the studios are already doing this to great effect (Dark Knight, Cloverfield), so wy not the rest of us out here with cool ideas and a script without a home?

SO, when (and if) one of these projects grows legs and takes off in a big way (ie; lots of fans), there’s a much better chance of getting hold of the studio’s attention.
Shiny lure’s catch more fish, dont’cha know.
Least Hollwood says so.

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