Good pitch / Bad Pitch
Have you ever left a movie theater muttering, “I could think up a better story than that!”? Or have you been nurturing a great idea for a film, but lacked the connections necessary to sell it to Hollywood?
We are using the global reach of the Internet to give average folks — non-writers as well as writers — a Hollywood connection. That connection is Robert Kosberg, a creative producer who has made a name for himself selling story ideas to studios and production companies for the past 15 years.
Unlike most established producers, Kosberg accepts ideas from Hollywood outsiders. For example, a grandmother from Arkansas named Emily Newland sent him an idea about a man who lived inside the Statue of Liberty. She thought it would make a good movie, something along the lines of The Hunchback of Notre Dame set in the Statue of Liberty. Kosberg liked her idea, called her, and ultimately sold it to Working Title Films, based at Universal Studios…and Emily was paid for her idea. The production company then hired Ryan Murphey (creator/producer of GLEE) to write the script. And Emily will receive a bonus payment if and when the movie is produced.
Is her story typical? No. Finding good ideas is like mining for diamonds. You sift through lots of material in order to find the gems. And you might have one.
What is a Good Idea?
You know one when you hear one.
IDEA #1 A cranky, rude man has to relive the worst day of his life over and over again until he gets it right. When he does, he finds true love.
IDEA #2 Two women receive in vitro treatments at a fertility clinic. The good news is they both become pregnant. The bad news is that their embryos were mistakenly swapped. An odd couple, they move in together to keep an eye on how the other one gestates “her” child. We called our pitch SCRAMBLED EGGS. A variation of this concept was made as Baby Mama.
We cite them by way of explaining what we mean by good story ideas. All are simple. If you read the description in a TV Guide, you might be inclined to see these films because the underlying ideas are good. Which isn’t to say that bad movies don’t get made from good ideas. But a good premise is where Hollywood likes to start.
Does it take a screenwriter to come up with good ideas? Not at all. Lightning and inspiration can and will strike anywhere. This has always been true. But now non-writers — taxi drivers, homemakers, school teachers, prison inmates, students, you name it — have a means to pitch their ideas and have them heard.
If you think you have a good idea, you will soon be able to Pitch to Bob and find out what Hollywood thinks.