Story – Robert McKee's Creative Storytelling Magazine Issue 005 – Drew Carey - Page 75

HOW HOLLYWOOD REALLY WORKS genre? Does this feel like it’s fresh enough or original enough or true enough so that it works? I don’t want a total knockoff or a derivative of something. If I’m looking for a comedy, I don’t want to read a script about four guys who lose their friend and wake up in Atlantic City with a hangover, because that’s too much like The Hangover. I want something that’s fresh enough, but also feels like it’s current enough in terms of the story. It’s going to feel like you are pushing a big rock up a hill if you get a big-- budget Western, since nobody is making big-- budget Westerns right now. I want something I can get made—a script that allows me to imagine four or five actors playing the lead. This is what producers are looking for. They are looking for material that can get made, either because it’s distinctive enough to get the attention of financiers or it’s familiar enough and true enough. I’m always looking for a professional presentation. Most things are submitted electronically these days within Hollywood, so if I get a script that has a spiral binding, I think, “Well, this person is not working in Hollywood.” My experience is that people who are coming from radically outside the system are much less likely to deliver something that’s professional because they don’t have the basic etiquette or understanding of how things work. I’m also looking for scripts that don’t have any misspellings and are professionally formatted. I look for character introductions to feel like real character introductions. If a celebrity is supposed to play that character, I would like to see some description of why that character is worth playing, even as he is introduced. I would like to see things that are not all dialogue or all scene description, because that’s how professional writers tend to write. Of course, there are exceptions. What I am looking for may not be what others are looking for. There are producers who are looking for slightly more derivative material, who make action movies with B-level stars. There are producers who are looking for big temple things, so they’re looking specifically at what the provenance is, or whether they can control a piece of intellectual property, which you may or may not have. There are people who are looking for all kinds of different things. One of the things I am definitely looking for is something that pulls me in with its first ten pages. If I’m reading a script from a writer who doesn’t have any produced credits, I’m going to make a decision pretty early about how good that writing is. Story Magazine // Issue 005 Finally, what I’m looking for is truth. I’m looking for something that grabs me—something that is compelling and true. Bob McKee says, “Write the truth.” He’s right.