Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Damn, it's already been done!

I got that feeling yesterday when it came to my attention that a concept I'd been pretty jazzed about was the basis for an American show that was cancelled a few years ago. It was a knock, but I took a deep breath and then began focusing on the differences that my take had on the subject.

Because when it comes down to it there are very few concepts we haven't seen before. Your different spin on it is the important thing. Life On Mars was a popular series. Time travelling Cop? Seen it. Is it real or is he in a coma? Biggest hoary old chestnut on the planet. But the take on it was to exploit the social differences between the 70's and now, especially as far as policing is concerned. And you got to see them tool around in a big brown Ford Granada and relive your youth with The Sweeney.

The buzz word at Network Centre is 'Clear Concept'. Coming up with a highly original clear concept is a very difficult thing. The concept of Hustle is hardly original, it's been done in both TV and Film. But the take is on a cosy gang of Brits, and one token American of course. How many variations of cop shows are there out there? Midsommer Murders, Inspector Lindley Mysteries, Morse, The Commander, Blue Murder, Taggart, Foyles war ....and on and on. Similar concepts, different takes.

Heroes isn't all that original. it's just X-men with ordinary people. Studo Sixty, a show about a show? Heck, Sorkin himself did it already with Sportsnight, so not exactly original - but the take is completely different.

So I'm going to plough on with my idea. The concept might not be original but I think the take is different enough. Time will tell. As Joe Gillis said in Sunset Blvd, ''Every time I pitched I was told it was either too original or not original enough'' But you never really know until you get it out there.

Couple of last things before I have to do some proper work. I've noticed a significant spike in numbers reading the blog today. First of all welcome and I hope you enjoy it. Have I been linked somewhere?

Secondly, last call for script reading. I've really enjoyed it and hope I've been of help and will consider keeping on doing it in small numbers. But after next week my response time will be weeks rather than days. You can get me on


Dave Anderson said...

Put the sudden spike down to Andy Conway, Dave. He's bigging your blog up in today's 'Shooters'. And deservedly so, too.

English Dave said...

Thanks for that Dave. And thanks to Andy Conway and 'Shooters'. Is that 'Shooting People'? Because I seem to recall they were responsible for a significant hike in my visitors a year or so ago.

I don't want to know what they said. Praise and criticism can damn you both the same lol

Piers said...

It was praise.

Piers said...

Ach, dammit. I've spoilered you. Sorry.