Welcome to the sixteenth of our Creative Challenges. In our fourth week of Creative Challenges, we’re exploring the nature of profitability for screenplay writing: WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 16 is about the profit motive for producers.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you prepare a creative piece about:
Someone who would sacrifice everything to make big money.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to the profit motive for producers.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC16”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC16 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
More than anything else, film and TV production is a BUSINESS. Things have to recoup their costs and make profit, or else the person who made the bad decision loses their job. All of the things that aspiring writers are more likely to value – quality, innovation, originality, new voices, etc etc – are at best SECONDARY aims. If that.
Because the primary motive is PROFIT. Making something that will be profitable is paramount. Being ‘good’ is never a bad idea – and always helps a project – but it’s never the goal in itself. This is why lots of schlocky movies still get made, denying opportunities for ‘original’ writing that takes more risks.
Public-service broadcasters like the BBC may have additional values (inclusivity, education, whatever) but they’re fighting for audiences and revenue just the same as the rest of the industry, with only slightly different measures for success, and lots of their staff have come from the commercial sector. So, ignore the profit motive at your peril.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!