What do you do when you have a good idea?
By “good idea” I mean an idea for a story that you would like to turn into something. For purposes of this conversation we’re talking about ideas for works like books (everything from short stories to novels), comic books/graphic novels, television shows, and movies.
Over the weekend I had two conversations with two different people who asked me the exact same question:
I have an idea for a comic book that I would like to eventually get turned into a TV show or a movie. How do I do that?
This came up because I was at a comic con over the weekend promoting my comic book “Agent 1.22″ but questions like this are asked in voiceover circles quite often. Voice talents tend to be highly creative people and in addition to their voiceover career they have ideas for stories they want to do something with.
TIP OF THE WEEK
This is the advice I gave them and it applies to you too if you have a good idea for a story in any medium:
Protect Your Work. If you think you have a good idea, before you share it with anyone in the industry, go to the Library of Congress and get it copyrighted. Here is the link. This does not provide 100% legal protection but it will help in case someone tries to steal your idea. Someone in the industry told me that a guy pitched his idea to a company and after the meeting they grabbed the rights to his idea before his elevator hit the ground floor because he didn’t protect his work. Don’t let that happen to you!
Determine what success looks like for you. What exactly do you want to happen with your good idea? Some want to write the next great American novel and others want to find someone else to turn their good idea into a blockbuster movie. Do your research, be specific, and write everything down.
What are you willing to do to make it happen? How much money and time are you willing to invest to turn your good idea into reality? If you don’t have the time, money, or skills to do it yourself you need pitch your idea to the right people in the right way. Do research on how to properly format and submit your idea. For example, if you have an idea for a movie you need to write a log-line & treatment then post it on places like Without A Box, Pitch Nehst, or Movie Pitch.
Some specific bits of advice:
TV and film companies are always looking for ideas but they are far more interested in developing their own properties instead of yours. ABC and Netflix will not take your call.
If you have an idea for a comic book, don’t call DC or Marvel. They won’t be interested. Neither will the second-tier publishers like Image or Dark Horse. They need artists and writers, not “idea people”. If you can self-publish your comic book idea you may have a chance at national distribution, but it will cost tens of thousands of dollars and take years to produce. Trust me, I know from personal experience.
As to books, once you have created a proper treatment you could try submitting it to literary agents via the Guide to Literary Agents. Read it CAREFULLY and submit your work the right way THE FIRST TIME. Just like talent agents, you will not get a second chance.
NEWS AND NOTES
Wednesday, May 23rd @6:30PM EST: It’s the Abacus Entertainment Open Mic #VO Nite! I will be the guest instructor along with voice coach extraordinaire Bruce Kronenberg. This workout session will focus on eLearning narration. Click here to sign up.
November 9-11: MAVO is coming!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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