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Welcome to the twenty-ninth of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 29 is about older audiences for cinema, TV and streaming services.

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:

A project that will appeal to people over the age of 55.

  • As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to older audiences for cinema, TV and streaming services.
  • Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC29”. 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 #100DayCC29 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!


Feedback:

Younger people often badly stereotype the interests and lifestyles of older people – but the Baby Boomer generation are that age now and a lot more similar to modern audiences in their sensibilities and lifestyles, than any previous generation; many of them are also far more active than their parents were at the same age. A 14-year-old who screamed for the Beatles in 1964, sang “I hope I die before I get old” with the Who in 1965, and joined the Summer of Love in 1969, hit 70 in 2020.

Older audiences are an increasingly important market for films. These are often people whose children (if they had any) have moved out, and they’re usually retired or able to improve their quality of life, so on average they have plenty more free time and disposable income than their children and grandchildren… producers are still too fixated on young audiences but a growing number of them, like Working Title, are increasingly comfortable producing films aimed more at older people, and some resulting productions like MAMMA MIA have been extremely successful commercially.

As for what kind of project appeals most to them, that’s not an easy question to answer – the breakthrough hits for this demographic have usually come as a surprise – so your original concept here may have more appeal than anyone might expect! Grown-up stories and themes often matter to this audience – for example historical or nostalgic productions – they won’t stand for having their intelligence insulted either, they really have seen it call before. And, yes, name talent who have matured with them, are usually important attachments to make.

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!

Go to the 100-Day Creative Challenge homepage HERE, to access further Challenges! Use our hashtag #100DayCC on your social media to discuss the Challenges more generally!

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