Please Don't Write Your Next Spec About COVID-19
We're all living it right now. The drama isn't compelling, it's boring. And no one will want to read it when this is all over.
I am completely against telling people what they should write. I think it's asinine and limits someone's imagination. The best screenplays live in your imagination and hit the page. You should always be writing the movie or TV show you want to see.
But please, no one wants to read your COVID-19 script.
I know you think you have a unique take, an angle that makes it feel exciting and new.
But people don't want it.
Right now, most of Hollywood is talking about how things will change internally when this ends.
We're trying to figure out new ways into productions and how to maintain the safety of our crews. The last thing we want to do is shoot something that requires living through this time.
There will be documentaries, news hours, and lots of specials.
But no one wants the movie. They just don't. A buyer won't want to read, stars won't want to star, and there's not an audience for it.
I know what you want to say, That it was reported in a piece by Vulture’s Chris Lee that a COVID-19-related project for Quibi is in the works and a Ron Howard documentary for National Geographic about World Central Kitchen is also happening.
There's even a Jenji Kohan Netflix anthology called Social Distancing that will take on quarantine life. But most of these have been greenlit because they can be made right now with footage edited while in isolation. And who knows if they'll catch on.
According to Deadline, producers of Social Distancing said, “Our job as storytellers is to reflect reality, and in this new, bizarre, bewildering reality we are all experiencing, we feel passionate about finding connection as we all remain at a distance,” the producers said. “We’ve been inspired to create an anthology series that tells stories about the current moment we are living through — the unique, personal, deeply human stories that illustrate how we are living apart, together.”
“The experience of social distancing is currently universal, but no individual story is the same. Through a broad spectrum of tales and moments, some seismic and some mundane, we hope to capture a moment in time. And we hope that Social Distance will help people feel closer to one another,” they added.
If you want to break into Hollywood as a writer, you need to show the ability to carry a story. While biopics and real-life stories usually get a lot of attention, my bossy opinion is that ones about this crisis will not find a home.
You'd do better brainstorming a movie that takes people completely away from this world and excites them to imagine better days.
But only time will tell if I am right.
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We're all stuck in the house with nowhere to go. We can't go into production on anything, thanks to coronavirus. But what we can do, is write. It's time to flesh out that story idea you've been thinking about!
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