Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ideas? Oh Dear!

Will everyone stop stealing my ideas....Please?

How many truly original ideas are there in the world? Not many, which makes it even more annoying when someone comes up with an idea that you thought was original a few weeks before. It's happened a lot to me in the last few months and it's driving me potty. Here are some examples.

First of all there was my idea for a three part drama that suddenly turned up in documentary form in the cinemas. I won't go into details on this one because it's still workable..... Just!

Then FX go and announce Brotherhood starring Jason Isaacs, about two brothers, one a crook, one a cop, fighting for control of their neighborhood. I had just such an idea half way through the treatment stage. That one's in the bin then. Bum!

Then came a fantastic idea about a new way to approach writing for TV. Having thought about it for six months, but not being able to put it into action, I was quite miffed when Danny Stack mentioned he and James Moran were going to do something similar. Again I can't mention what it is because their idea is top secret and I don't want James coming around my house with his axe and chopping my fingers off. I need them to type. Besides, I want in on the idea, after all I thought of it first. Not that they will believe me. Thieving gits!

I've come to the conclusion that original ideas are like buses; you wait ages for one to come along and two or three turn up at once. The question is, how quick can you turn your idea around? Don't sit on your idea until someone else thinks of it too, get it down on paper.

PS. This is my 37th post, the same number as the candles on my birthday cake last April. Woo Hoo!

PPS. Danny and James, you haven't really stolen my idea, I was just joking ;-)


Lucy V said...

I can honestly say this has never happened to me. Maybe if it did, then I'd know I was on the rite track with the specs I actually have written. Perhaps that's why they're not sold!! I'm too weird. Ah; problem solved, Relief.

mark g said...

Happens all the time. It's happening even as I write this, in fact. I'm involved in developing a project that has an amber light (non-standard industry coinage I rather like - it started here, people) at the Beeb and mentioned it to a pal who works High Up at a Big Company, who blanched. He rang today to check if I had indeed said what he thought I'd said, and is breaking the bad news to the creators and execs right now.

Even worse news (for them) is I know of at least two other companies who've tried developing a series from the same source.

In which case, it's the not necessarily the best who wins, it's the first.

Lucy V said...

You do yourself down Mark. If you are the first, you must be the best, right? And now I've flattered you, can I have a job?? Pretty please? ; )

mark g said...

If I'm part of the team who get there first, it's entirely down to the Exec. Prod. (ohmygod they DO do stuff after all...), who is a very smart cookie indeed, and who went about the unusually well planned development process in the closest thing to a US writers room style as you're likely to get in the UK. If, as looks very probable, it goes ahead, I'll tell you about that process when we go into production (some time next year).

And when I'm an exec. prod. I'll get my PA to offer you coffee, I'll laugh at your jokes, look enthusiastic at your ideas, and smile as I work out a way to shaft you. ;)

Lucy V said...

Thanks! Though tell your PA I expect REAL coffee, black, no sugar, none of that instant shit. And anyway, somebody's going to shaft me at some point in my glamorous writing career, so it might as well be you... ; )

Dominic Carver said...

Lucy, stop pimping yourself on my blog....if there's going to be any pimping around here, it's going to be done by me.

Robin Kelly said...

Actually Brotherhood features a crook and his brother who is also crooked but is a politician. (Worth seeing it's brilliant)

The two sides of the law thing has been done many times before with childhood friends, brothers, sisters but that doesn't matter.

You are unique and if you create your characters properly then they will be unique as well. They will follow their own destiny which is unlikely to have anything to do with Brotherhood or Dead or Alive or The Indian Runner or Horizons West or History of Violence or Night Passage or loads of other ones.