Wednesday, September 28th, 5-6:30pm (PST): Conceit Review
YOU CAN RSVP HERE (after you RSVP, access to the event is managed by zoom based on your registered email address)
Please join Writers Boot Camp Founder, Jeffrey Gordon (JG), for a discussion and review of the term “Conceit” and how writers can identify and activate the fresh entertainment of their projects. With so much lip service paid to the importance of story and content, inherently nearly all material is derivative, literally owing to something else or simply unoriginal. While a writer’s voice, conveyed through their specific creative choices, may on occasion elevate otherwise generic material, the secret to proactive writing and development is to cultivate your unique approach to content, to articulate and curate a layer of moments on the page that entertain in a way not seen before.
The necessity of study can be challenging for newer writers and filmmakers. It takes time to study and break down the components of what’s come before so that you can own the derivative traits of your material–and then smash the negative arguments by differentiating the fresh facets. In that way, the familiarity may be turned into a positive because audiences tend to choose movies and TV based on the emotional experience baked into accessible genres–horror, thriller, vfx or sci-fi/supernatural fantasy, family adventure, high-concept romance, teen comedy, male-lead comedy, Oscar-caliber story, etc.
Certainly, moments or lines of dialogue and action may stand out in their own right. But the key to defining your project’s conceit(s) is to drill down what characters do in the story that has not been depicted before. The moments, however, do not need to be unique on their own, but rather work together to entertain in a unique way.
For current and past Pro Members, the Mini-Camp will be a refresher on creating freshness. As Basic Training writers may also recall, the path to refining creative goals can be accessed through many single-sentence exercises. While it can be very challenging to write effective Premise Lines, prior practice of expansion and contraction will translate to other tools–and will gradually lead to improved writing on any page of a script or manuscript. The main difference between a Premise Line and a Conceit Statement is that a Conceit Statement only requires the story components and words and phrases that describe the fresh entertainment, not every component.
JG will review the two priority types of conceit, Story Conceit and Character Conceit. He’ll share a few examples of Conceit Statements for movies and TV series, as well as offer a few distinctions between movies and TV relating to the expectations for entertainment. He’ll also offer a case study or two on how to drill down a conceit statement, plus a 10-Point Conceit Test.
If you do RSVP and find you cannot attend, please email your regrets in advance. Significant effort and preparation goes into all events–and respect for follow-through and communication are always appreciated.