Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!

Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!

In industry meetings, we’re constantly asking writers, “What’s Next?” eager to hear about their next project, hoping it’s a terrific idea.

Screenwriting is about decision-making – thousands upon thousands of decisions.  But the single most important decision you will ever make as a writer is what to write next.  I guarantee it.

According to George Lucas, who knows a bit about filmmaking, “A movie is a success or failure from the minute you solidify the concept.  Execution is 50 percent.  It is the primal attachment to the concept that makes the movie work or not work.”  

We’re constantly looking for the next great movie idea.  It’s the Big Fish all the industry is hunting for, and the best possible way for a new writer to break in.  I call these captivating concepts “Hooky Ideas.”

You wouldn't play darts blindfolded?Screenwriters devote years to writing and rewriting and rewriting a script, striving to make it what I call “more better.”  And yet, often their process for figuring out what to write in the first place is about as methodical as throwing darts – blindfolded.

How can you tell when you have a Hooky Idea?  It’s tempting to say, “You’ll know it when you see it” – because believe me you will.  You won’t be able to get it out of your head, and neither will anyone else who hears it.  It will grab you – and your imagination – and it won’t let go.

A Hooky Idea immediately intrigues us.  It makes you want to know more; it gets you hooked and sticks with you.  In a few sentences, or even a few well-chosen words, a Hooky Idea floods our mind with images and emotions.

When you hear a Hooky Idea, you know what the movie will FEEL LIKE.  Right off the bat, you know if this is a movie that you wanna see.

A Hooky Idea makes other writers think, “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!”


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5 Responses to “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!”

  1. Marcus March 23, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    We’ll feel it – great summary. Thanks, Barri

  2. Sandra Gates March 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Articles like this are just what the doctor ordered to let you know when you’re on the right track! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your hard earned wisdom with the rest of us. —-Sandra

    • bevins March 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Thanks so much Sandra. I kinda love getting that feeling when I read a great logline!


  1. 004 – Curious About Filmmaking: Film Producer Barri Evins on Big Ideas, Zen Pitching, and Finger Puppets | CuriousCity - October 14, 2014

    […] Barri’s approach is this… start with a BIG IDEA. That doesn’t mean follow in the footsteps of Michael Bay, rather it is a practical and real world truth of a film producer who has not only seen dozens of films packaged and sold, but has done the pitching, packaging, and selling herself. Its important to remember that there are a lot of paths to building a career in Hollywood as a writer, but one of the items you’ll want to check off your list sooner than later is to sell your work. The quickest way, according to Barri, to write and sell a script is to start with what she calls, a “hooky” idea. This is how Barri describes it in one of her blog posts: […]

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