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Why Everybody Has A Movie Idea

“I am selling my story that I have been creating for 10+ years (not constantly writing, but of piecing everything together in a cohesive manner). It can be compared to stories like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Indiana Jones and other titles in those categories… “

“I will share my story with someone in person only and not over the internet. My story is too valuable to be spread publicly and will give a lot of new ideas for movies and book series that should belong to the buyer… Starting bid $3,000,000.”
-Wannabe Writer

I’m a member of a lot of Facebook screenwriter’s groups. I have my own, called “LA Creative Professionals.” Another is called “Screenwriters Who Can Actually Write.” And the biggest group is called “Screenwriting.”

In the “Screenwriting” group you’ll find people who want to be screenwriters, but don’t really know much about how it’s done. This is where you’ll find “writers” like this gentleman, who really hasn’t written a script, but has spent years on his story. All he needs is a writer to “transcribe his ideas” into a film script.

These guys are for real, and they’re out there. They have seen a lot of movies, and they have a lot of ideas. They can picture the movie in their minds. They love what they see. But they skip over the step of actually writing the script.

They figure, their idea is worth money. And in Hollywood, big ideas are worth big money.

Some of my friends find this phenomenon somewhat amusing. Hal Quincy, a screenwriter friend of mine and I recently had a conversation (online) about why this might be.

Hal: “All through history, humans had artistic impulses, and they would look at their culture and their environment, and find a medium to express themselves in. They would draw, or paint, or sing, or tell stories, or write poetry, or make folk songs. If a Navajo or a Viking thought of a new story with an old hero, he’d dream up the story and tell it around the fire.”

“But for decades, humans have been increasing our exposure to movies and TV – and video games – moving graphic depictions of life, largely fictional. So, used to be, when a person had a creative idea, they’d tell a story, write a poem or a song, or maybe paint a painting.”

“When people get a creative idea now, it makes sense that their first reaction to making it into art would be to make it into a moving image – a movie or TV show, a webisode – something that could eventually break down into a YouTube video.”

“And most people who think about movies and TV for a second know – or soon figure out – that somebody writes that stuff. The first thing that has to happen is, I have to write a screenplay! So they go looking under the word Screenwriting, and find the main Screenwriting group on Facebook.”

“It’s people around the world who have an idea that once would have ended up as story, a sketch, or a Haiku, but now, with almost all of their culture and art coming through moving images, that’s what a huge number of people think they need to do to express themselves.”

“When people wander into Screenwriting saying, I have an idea for a movie, they’re really just saying, I have an idea. A “screenplay” is just their first guess at how they can express that idea.”

“And that is my theory.”

David: “Interesting theory. So the instinct in storytelling going back to cave times is to speak the idea… and to spin the yarn like you would around the fire. What we think of as archetypal storytelling.”

“People today are hard-wired to think more visually, and in terms of screens. But at the same time their first impulse is to “tell” the story – verbally.”

Hal: “Yep. That huge impulse, from around the world across multiple generations, powers the gigantic “Wannabe” industry.”

David: “Movies look deceptively simple to make.”

Hal: Right.”They’re saying, “How can I tell this story?” So they speak the yarn and figure the rest is transcription. “Bring in a ‘writer’ to transcribe my story and fill in the blanks.”

David: “And –don’t forget, people are hard-wired for survival. In evolution the guy who could tell an effective story would be more likely to survive. Storytelling is a survival tool. So there will always be a never ending stream if wannabe story tellers.”

Hal: “Yeah. We just need to tell more people on their first day in the Screenwriting group, “Are you sure you don’t want to write a song, or do an etching, or write a short story?”

David: “Yeah. Makes sense.”

Hal: “They might say, I got an idea for a haiku. It’s not written.”

David: “Yes. But the glamour is in movies… will they accept the poetry instead?”

Hal: “Movies are always going to be more glamorous than haiku’s. Plus, the movies are also the last art form that makes any money.”

David: “Of course. And that’s a lot of money.”

According to our discussion, the instinct to speak your story is powerful and has been hard-wired in us forever. At the same time, we are saturated with moving images on screens, movie screens, and TV screens.

People are drawn to storytelling. We all want to do it. We all want the attention. Today there’s a huge price tag on the best stories. Movies make millions, in fact hundreds of millions. I guess it’s only natural that people start thinking their ideas might be worth $3,000,000.

We see movies and read books about writers who “pitch story ideas.” These are writers with track records. They’ve written great scripts. When some studio buys their idea, they’re paying for them to write it.

Sometimes, a person who’s not a writer sells an idea to a studio. Those people are usually producers. They come in with an idea – and a writer. Without a script, you can’t really be a wannabe screenwriter. You can, however — be a wannabe producer.


If you have great idea, but are having a hard time writing a script, feel free to talk with me at 310-850-4707

Image credit: Creative Commons, STORIES, 2009  by Banalities, is licensed under CC By 2.

Why Everybody Has A Movie Idea

David Silverman, MA, LMFT

A lot of careers can really knock you around. The compettiion is fierce, in graphic design, architecture, you name it -- especially in creative careers in Hollywood. Writers and performers get slammed with rejection constantly. If you're going through something -- anxiety, addiction or depression -- I help people like you get through it. And thrive. Let me help you get your dream back on track.

Please check out my website: davidsilvermanlmft.com My story: my brother grew up with a severe case of OCD, and while I just a kid --- in family therapy with him, I witnessed a miracle as he was transformed, and now is enjoying the life he deserves. I went to Stanford University to study Psychology, and USC Film. I've worked in FIlm/TV and experienced high levels of anxiety, and got slammed with rejection myself. I learned how to get through it. Today, I love to help people to regain the lifestyle they deserve.

David Silverman Psychotherapy

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APA Reference
Silverman, D. (2017). Why Everybody Has A Movie Idea. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 24, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/hollywood-therapy/2017/08/why-everybody-has-a-movie-idea/


Last updated: 5 Aug 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Aug 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.