So you’re starting to get ideas for a blockbuster movie huh? Sure, who hasn’t thought about doing just that after walking out of a great flick? But it’s been a few days now, the adrenaline has gone down, and your emotions have had time to simmer. If you still have the desire to put pencil to paper (so to speak), you might just have what it takes! Everything that is, but a solid idea. Fear not you eternally hopeful writing warriors! Here’s a list of helpful tips to get you a leg-up on that illustrious story steed, and riding off into the most epic tale your imaginations can conjure!
- Be Original, But Classic. Think back over some of your favorite blockbuster movies. More often than not, they’ll all have one thing in common: a very simple root story. Blockbusters unapologetically stick to the classic story themes. “Star Wars” (Good vs evil). “Titanic” (Boy meets girl). “The Dark Knight” (Revenge or redemption). These are all classic story themes. Think of it this way: the simpler, (or classic) your root story, the broader the audience. These classic themes act as the building blocks to your larger story, allowing others to easily relate to the world you’ve created.
- Mix Up, Mash Up. When it’s used properly, this tip has helped create some of the biggest successes in blockbuster history. Try mashing different combinations of ideas you wouldn’t think at first naturally fit together. This could work for genres, themes, characters, plots, or anything else your story contains. For example, let’s look at the father of all blockbusters, “Star Wars.” Lucas’ brainchild certainly wasn’t the first space adventure to gain popularity, but it was the first to transcend its own genre boundaries, skyrocketing into the blockbuster stratosphere. Inspired by the work of philosopher Joseph Cambell, Lucas was able to lace his sci-fi epic with just enough Greek Mythos to created a generation of space junkies whose lives were forever ruined with an unquenchable thirst for another sci-fi fix. As you gather ideas for your blockbuster – get creative, try new mixtures, and mash away!
- Think Like A Marketer. As much as we don’t like to admit it, some of the top blockbusters of all time have made more money in franchise-able goods, than the movies themselves made. To help propel your ideas to blockbuster status, think beyond the screen. Can you imagine your characters as a marketable toy? Is your story able to be expanded into a book, graphic novels, or magazine? Can you picture the video game? Remember blockbuster status is simply a reflection of tickets sold – and ticket sales are dependent on marketability. Those who can keep this very golden rule in mind before putting pen to paper will probably be the ones making the gold… and their own rules.
- Fun for the whole Family. If blockbuster status is all about butts in seats, who has more butts, than your average movie going family? This is easily the most lucrative audience you can appeal to, and tailoring your ideas towards this demographic will certainly help you reach blockbuster status. To acquire this ideal demographic, your story should be accessible to children, but intelligent enough for an adult audience as well. This strategy will both raise ticket sales, and increase your chances for repeated views from the younger audience base.
- Copycat Killjoy. The single most important thing to remember before writing your own blockbuster is this: Don’t rewrite what you’ve just seen. This happens all too often. Inspired by the latest hit movie your mind races with possibilities, and a flood of ideas for your own blockbuster start to form. Problem is, those ideas can be a little too close to what has just inspired you. This is where you need to step back and take a breather. Unfortunately, industry school-of-thought roughly states, “If it’s currently on the big-screen, it’s old news.” So that ‘disaster movie’ you were thinking of penning right after seeing “2012” is about two years too late… Shelve it and move on.
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