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Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

High Concept Story Plots: How to for Hollywood Screenplays

I’m co-writing a feature length alien sci fi screenplay based on my short film Zedic and the Crimson Born. To improve my knowledge of screenwriting I decided to watch a few how to videos. This first video I came across is a guide to coming up with the main story for the movie which can be called its “High Concept”. This concept can then be the summary you use to pitch your film.

The author of this video explains that if you are pitching your screenplay to Hollywood producers and agents, you should stick to a proven high concept—but with an original twist. He says formatting using examples, templates and software can be helpful, but it is not as important as the high level story. The idea is to follow some basic rules, but still be creative. Check out this very informative video!

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The high concept is essentially the main super cool original idea behind your script. In the video he gives the example that for the movie “The Minority Report” the high concept is the idea that a small group of psychics can see into the future and you can get arrested before you commit the actual crime. Here is a post that discusses the Titanic’s high concept as well.

So one of the ways to come up with a new high concept as a writer, is to take the idea of a previously successful film and put a spin on it. For instance, take the the same idea but use it in a different genre.

I’ll come up with my own example now.  How about the idea behind the Bourne Legacy —a government experiment of creating super spies gone wrong. Well what if you put that story in space and make it funny. So now you have Bourne Identity meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Not bad, I may use that : )

If you like this post you may be interested in my other article “7 Indie Film Digital Distributors You Can Submit to Online“.

Also this week I released a new piano and guitar track called “Come Alive” that is free to use in your film or video.


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