First ‘Mirror, Mirror’ then the more anticipated film ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ (set for a US release on June 1, 2012). All these retelling of old fairy tales makes us think, hey, why am I trying so hard to think of a unique idea, when I can just re-use one?
It’s a fair point, there are so many old stories available on public domain these days, if the major studios are going for them, then why don’t the struggling writers do same? Well, to help you decide whether you want to aim for the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’, or the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ oscar, here are the pros and cons for both:
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY PROS:
*The basic storyline and plot is already mapped out for you
*Characters are familiar, therefore dialogue should be easier to recreate
*Production companies and Studios love scripts that already have a large fan base!
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY CONS:
*There are already a lot of remakes out there and in the pipeline, so finding a new take on things could be tricky.
*While searching for your new angle, you may want to stay true to the original story and characters, as to not deter die-hard fans of the original.
*Some contests don’t allow adaptations and some industry representatives may judge an adaptation as not being as worthy a work as an original.
NB. Research any copyright issues you may with the story or tale before you begin writing to avoid disappointment, or worse, a lawsuit.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY PROS:
*You can really let loose in terms of creativity and imagination. There are no restrictions when you’re telling your own story, no rules, no limits, anything goes.
*No one can deem you for misrepresentation, or being unfaithful to a tale or character. You don’t have to spend time researching definitions for legal jargon in copyright infringements.
*Nothing beats the feeling of a finished screenplay that’s derived from your own inspiration. Visualizing the final product of your own dreams is nothing short of wonderful.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY CONS:
*Finding that perfect idea or high concept can be time consuming.
*You have no reference to story or character so it’s necessary to build the background of both from scratch = more time and energy.
*Although your story may be an original, some characters or aspects of the plot may feel familiar to another film, tv show or story, so people may judge you for being cliche` or copying ideas when that may not even be the case.
Now, while you chew over that list, deciding which road you’re gonna take, why not take a peek at the ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ trailer…
Reel Authors offers a genre-based screenplay/teleplay writing contest where scripts are assigned to readers who enjoy that particular genre. Contests run every 6 months.
The Pulsar Sci-Fi Screenplay Contest is an international screenplay contest dedicated exclusively to Sci-Fi. We also accept Sci-Fi original pilot and existing show teleplays. Contests run every 6 months.