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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Lemon

#1 Brutal Truth About Hollywood Development

"The average development time for a Hollywood movie is nine years. Nine years for a studio film. And a lot of what you do is abstract."

Stephen Gaghan

You've written an amazing outline. You've partnered with a wonderful writer to flesh it out. The network says, "We love it! Let's take it to camera! Budget be damned!"

You are so happy because you've heard of development hell and like any good practicing creative, you want to avoid it at any cost. But there's a problem. You've skipped one critical step: Development

This aspect isn't about delaying your project, so it never sees the light of day. Think of it as another gift of creative Gods who allow to refine your ideas to the point where characters and ideas seem to bounce right off the page. It's an opportunity to continue the creative spirit you have already put in motion. But how do you continue this creative juggernaut without sacrificing your baby?

It's All About Casting

As any great director will tell you, the success (not profit) of any movie or series will tell you that the casting process is more than half the battle. The same goes for the development process. It's about the team you surround yourself with.

The More of My Ideas, Means I Win

When you start out as a stand-up, improvisor, writer, etc., there can be a general belief that the less you get your ideas out there, the less you will be valued creatively. When it comes to the development process, the opposite is true. That's not to say that you need to sit back and let others do the work.

But as a creator/producer, you need to be aware of your current weaknesses. If you aren't strong in story structure, find someone that can. If no one on the team is great at character development, seek someone out that is.

Follow David's example and take a step back to allow others to befriend your idea. This is your baby. Put your ego aside and give it a fighting chance to grow.


Part 2: Money, That's What I Want

Next week's blog will be about the subject we all dread talking about, how to find the money to fund your project. Don't worry, there won't be a pop quiz, nor will you need to study up on long division.




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