So you’re still writing?

Me too but it’s a lot harder out there these days… I personally lean more toward independent film and in case you aren’t aware, Independent film has all but disappeared unless some studio decides to take an interest in an indie production.

For just about two years now I’ve been ranting about distribution… Many people IN THE BIZ didn’t believe me way back when I was really ranting about it but look where we are now… Most of the mid-size distributors that were available prior to the economy meltdown are gone. True, we have some UP and COMERS trying to fill those slots but so far, I haven’t seen any of these startups being able to perform a theatrical wide release.

On top of that, we’ve got all these other models of distribution everyone is trying out… Eventful immediately comes to mind and apparently, it worked very well for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY but so far, that’s about it success-wise. And of course, everyone is playing their cards close to their chest and watching the hell out of everyone else to see what they do and more importantly, see if what they do WORKS.

But back to screenwriting…

If you don’t think that the current state of the economy isn’t influencing the current state of screenwriting, think again. Everyone seems to be LOOKING for the proverbial needle in the haystack that is going to knock the current ticket-buying demographic out of their socks and that current ticket-buying demographic sure as hell ain’t people in my age group.

I know I know… I’ve read it all before… Don’t write what the market is looking for because who knows what the market will want by the time you’re ready to kick your script out into the market.

Just write a kick-ass screenplay.

Hmmm. So how’s that workin’ for ya?

It’s true… I think a kick-ass screenplay is definitely going to get you noticed but at the same time, based on everything I’ve experienced over the last two years, I don’t think a kick-ass screenplay is going to sell unless it FITS in with the current movie ticket-buying demographic. Don’t believe it? Just check out 2010’s Box Office and see what movies did well and see if you can find any patterns.

If you get absolutely NOTHING from the MPAA’s stats above, get this:

Young people aged 12-24 represent the highest proportions of moviegoers and tickets relative to their population. They also attend the movies eight or more times a year, more than double the national average. In total, people aged 24 and under bought about 47% of tickets.

Sure, the stats go on to say that more women buy tickets than men but Hollywood hasn’t quite embraced that fact… Bottom line? 12 to 24 year olds is WHO Hollywood is making movies for with the occasional end of the year movie that the older generation might leave the house to see during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.

This is another reason why 4 Quadrant movies have become so popular… They are SUPPOSED to appeal to the largest demographic of movie goers there is i.e., it’s just another example of the studios decreasing their overall risk.

All I’m saying TODAY is that if you haven’t been writing for this demographic, expect success to take a little longer than normal ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL.

I won’t sit here and tell you to start writing to this demographic… That’s for you to decide.


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