Reboots. They’re everywhere. I don’t believe I can get more than one week without hearing about one. Whether it’s a movie or a television show, I either hear of them myself or I hear people talking about them.
Scratch that. I hear people groan about them.
At this point, I’ve noticed that more people are annoyed at this obsession over Hollywood rehashing the same ideas and biting off the same movies and television shows than those who even like the idea of this happening as often as it has.
As an aspiring professional screenwriter, it goes without saying that this kind of hurts my chances a bit. After all, strike one is that these movies and shows have been successful in the past, at least title-wise. Strike two is that more often than not, those who are already established as professional writers look way more attractive than I do.
Strike three is the fact that as a new writer, I’ve already been criticized for even thinking about copying something that has been done before. I’ve received coverage on my work that has included “This has been done before.” Of course, those could have just been individual opinions, but the consensus I’ve received is that we as new writers come across as “lazy” when doing that. One of those things that apparently, Hollywood can do, but we can’t. (I don’t need the reason as to why; I’m well-aware of it). Along with that, how much faith would a production company or network have in using a “new” idea that was coming from someone who no one had ever heard of before? It wouldn’t surprise that in those cases, the powers that be would be just looking for any excuse to say, “Pass.”
I don’t need for anyone to explain why that is. I get it. Everyone is too busy to give someone like me an honest chance. But who am I?
Of course, everyone believes they are the “best writers ever,” right? So that must apply to me also?
I don’t believe I am the best anything. As far as writing goes, I am willing to learn and study this as I have for several years. I don’t for a second expect that I will write the “next best” this or that, so whatever box you want to put me in, don’t. I’m not the one.
But back to Hollywood being “too busy” to give new writers and new ideas an honest chance. Reboots are the “safe zone.” I get it. The title alone is attractive enough to give them a shot. Pair that up with an unknown writer and MUCH greater reduced chances of success and the decision is pretty easy to make.
I could compare that to where we choose to shop. Would you rather go to Walmart or Target, despite any and all bad experiences you’ve had with them, or take that chance on a Mom and Pop store?
Now, of course, for the sake of conversation (or a desire by folks to be “right”), many will say “the Mom and Pop store.” But you get the concept. Despite success, many of us feel more comfortable sticking with what we know than taking a leap on something we never have before.
So again, I do get it. Plus these production companies and networks have WAY more on the line than figuring out where to buy a loaf of bread. This concept is not lost on me. I understand why this has to happen.
Again, as for us as new writers getting an “honest chance,” I also don’t need all this and that about how many lousy writers there are out there. I’m well-aware and how this, as with anything else in life, hurts those of us who are great at what we do. It’s much easier to assume that we’re all lousy writers because of the bad apples out there.
But I’ll say this again; do NOT box me in with everyone else.
Am I where I need to be as a writer? No. I can say that with ease, which is why I work so tirelessly at this. I have friends who don’t believe I ever sleep. There are times my wife doesn’t believe so, either. I can’t speak for the other writers out there, but this is me and how hard I’m willing to work to learn and to make this happen.
You would think that the idea of so many reboots would be intimidating to me.
Here is why it isn’t.
For one, I am stubborn. I often avoid the path of least resistance like the plague. I don’t do it to brag, but for some reason, I feel I’ve earned it if I take close to the most difficult route to get there. Every time I have accomplished anything in my life, it takes me about two seconds before I look for the next “thing,” saying that I “didn’t do much” or feeling that I “didn’t earn it” for whatever reason. I force myself to believe that it came “too easily” for me. My wife had to point this out to me once. Whenever she praises me for whatever, I almost always downplay it. Doesn’t matter what it is. I could dunk on Lebron James and then I’d say, “Well…it is late in the season. He’s probably a bit tired by now.”
Two, as an Army soldier (20 years in July) who started at the lowest rank possible (not everyone does), I understand the concept of paying my dues. As much as it makes me want to kick a grizzly bear to hear this, I’ve long ago understood that there are certain things that I as a new writer am just not allowed to do. The reason?
Because I’m a new writer.
Not because it’s wrong…
Not because it is unacceptable in the business…
But because people “don’t know” me…
So that means that start off being…”judged,” kinda sorta, right? Again…as with anything in life, people have found a way to make this acceptable.
And three, I love writing too much to let anything stop me. It’s really that simple.