16 Oct 038: How to Find Story Ideas
Producer and tech whiz Keith Collea advises on how to find story ideas. He shares the right way to pitch and how to attract film producers.
THREE KEY POINTS
WHY DO YOU NEED A CHINESE PRODUCER?
Keith points out that China is where the growth is. Undoubtedly, not finding a producing or financing partner in America is not the reason to look for one in China. To attract a Chinese producer your story needs to be commercially viable in China. See my blog How to Find a Chinese Partner. You can also check out podcast number 18 – How to Find a Chinese Business Partner.
CHINESE WRITING PARTNERS
Now is the perfect time to get into the China market. The industry is young and has a universally accepted Hollywood story structure. Hence this means using the hero’s journey story structure which is new to most Chinese writers. That’s your opportunity. For this reason, the Hollywood story structure combined with Chinese culture is a dynamite combination.
Furthermore. if you are specifically looking for a Chinese writing partner you can download my e-book How to Find a Chinese Writing Partner on The China-Hollywood Greenlight homepage https://chinahollywoodgreenlight.com. In addition, you can also sign up for a free trial on The China List and post your request on our private writing jobs page. See the URL in the shown notes.
HOW TO FIND STORY IDEAS
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As revealed by Keith, get inspiration from older films and put your own unique spin on them. Evidently, there is an easy way to find story ideas. Plus, there are many books that tell you how to do this.
Personally, I like Your Idea Machine by William Martell. Find a film that you wish you wrote or has a theme that resonates with you, change the time period or change the genre (i.e. – turn a horror film into a romantic comedy) Moreover, you can even change the hero from male to female or vice versa. There are many ways to take a winning formula and give it your own unique spin.
BIG MONEY FOLLOWS GOOD STORIES
Top Chinese writers make more money than most Hollywood blockbuster writers. In China, if you make one good movie – you are in demand. Because of this, really good Chinese writers are booked for years. It’s difficult for producers to find quality scripts. As a result of this writers can find lots of opportunities. In other words, find a Chinese writing partner and get your piece of the action.
THE RIGHT WAY TO PITCH YOUR STORY IDEA
Clearly, the best way to pitch is to plant the seed at one market and follow up at the next one. Chit-chat with an exec you targeted. Then at the next film festival add to that conversation. You’re fostering a relationship. Don’t pitch your project the first time you run into an exec in an elevator. Start a relationship first.
WESTERN FINANCING MODELS CREEPING INTO CHINA
Of course, the challenge with Chinese films is the director is like a God. There’s not a lot of oversight. Therefore, due to many investors losing money, western financing models and oversight is creeping into China. In the west, if a director flagrantly goes over budget or over the schedule – an investor can bring in an outside producer to get the project back on track.
China Hollywood Greenlight Podcast – Episode 38
Keith Collea, Producer, Technical Producer, VFX
Host: Caryn McCann
Website: The China List – where Hollywood and China meet
Twitter: @chnlist https://twitter.com/chnlist
Book mentioned: Your Idea Machine by William Martell http://www.scriptsecrets.net/tips/tip360.htm
Previous podcast (#18) How to Find a Chinese Business Partner. https://wp.me/p8U8pg-qJ
Guest: Keith Collea
I appreciate your support. Help us out by rating this show and sharing it on your social channels.