Developing the Idea

Learn how to find and develop a marketable idea, what producers are looking for and which ideas will prevent your project from selling.

Developing the Idea

Developed by Jason Tomaric, FilmSkills
ABOUT THIS LESSON
Strong ideas are the basis of a compelling story, if they are fleshed out the right way and appeal to a mass audience.  In this module, we’ll show you where you can look for creative, original ideas and how to determine their marketability with both studios and producers.
 
  • 34:58 video walking you through the process of finding a marketable idea
  • Comprehensive resource guide
  • Story effectiveness questionnaire
  • Recommended industry-standard software
 
For Instructors:
  • Script Writing Curriculum Guide
  • Exercise - Finding the Audience
  • Exercise - Adapting the Idea
  • Exercise - Idea Diary
  • Exercise - Understanding the Trades
  • Quiz and answer key to test your students' proficiency
  • PowerPoint presentation you can use to help support your classroom lecture
 
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • How and where to find marketable ideas
  • How to determine the marketability of an idea
  • What types of ideas studios will immediately dismiss
  • How to find strong ideas for low budget projects
  • How to choose the right idea
  • Concepts to avoid
ABOUT THE LESSON AUTHOR
Jason Tomaric

Jason Tomaric

Director, Cinematographer Los Angeles, California
Jason J. Tomaric is an Emmy, Telly, and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer of four internationally-distributed feature films, dozens of national television commercials, music videos, and the largest film training content library in the world, published author of 8 books - used in many top universities, and creator of AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform. 
 
Jason has worked in Los Angeles and around the world in over 20 countries. His clients include Disney, NBC/Universal, National Geographic, McDonald’s, Toyota, Scion, Microsoft, and Paul Mitchell, with narrative work screened at Sundance, Slamdance, and South by Southwest film festivals as well as on Netflix and on all broadcast networks.
 
Jason has taught and/or guest lectured at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA, Columbia College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, San Francisco State, University of Notre Dame, and numerous film festivals.
 
Jason has written eight industry-defining books, all sold in bookstores, and used in film schools around the world. The American Society of Cinematographers hails Jason's books - "There are no wasted words in Tomaric's tome, which concisely summarizes each facet of the director's craft.  It's difficult to think of a step in the process that Tomaric fails to address." 
 
Jason’s DVD training series on Hollywood film production have trained filmmakers in over 40 countries, with distributors in Europe, Hong Kong, New York and Australia.
 
In 2010, Jason launched FilmSkills, which combines the world’s largest film training video library with his proprietary learning management system.  Adopted by 47 universities within the first year, FilmSkills is now the leading industry-standard training solution for motion picture and television production.
 
In 2015, Jason launched AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform that bridges the gap between academia and industry.
THIS LESSON HAS BEEN UPDATED BY
Kingsley Benham

Kingsley Benham

West Hollywood, California FilmSkills
UPDATED ON 1/8/2016
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS LESSON
David Freeman

David Freeman

Writer, "Street Smart," and "The Border"
Working as a writer and producer, David Freeman has written and developed scripts and other properties which have been bought or optioned by Columbia Pictures, MGM, Paramount, Castle Rock, Buena Vista Television, Atlas Entertainment, Hearst Entertainment, and many other major film and television production companies. He's a long-standing member of the Writers Guild of America.
Jerrol LaBaron

Jerrol LaBaron

CEO and Creator of Inktip.com
Jerrol LeBaron is the CEO of InkTip.com and stars in the upcoming documentary "Fools on The Hill" which documents his attempts to get his Honor In Office Act which required state legislators to read the bills they are signing before they sign them, on the ballot in North Dakota's upcoming election.
John Anderson

John Anderson

Los Angeles-based screenwriter
Los Angeles-based screenwriter
Michael Emanuel

Michael Emanuel

Independent Film Producer, actor in over 200 national television commercials
Multi Hyphenate, Michael Emanuel is the Star/Producer of the MTI/REDRUM distributed, multi-award winning film titled "LUCKY". A familiar face and quintessential 'EVERYMAN", this award winning actor/producer/writer has appeared in numerous feature films, television shows and hundreds of national TV commercials.
Steve Skrovan

Steve Skrovan

Two-time Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer, "Everybody Loves Raymond," and Writer, "Seinfeld"
Steve Skrovan has had an eclectic career in show business as a stand-up comedian, actor, television writer and film director. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and a graduate of Yale University, Steve began his career as a stand-up comedian in New York City during what is now referred to as the “Comedy Boom” of the ‘80s. After moving to Los Angeles at the end of that decade, he segued from stand-up into comedy writing when Larry David gave him his first writing job on “Seinfeld.”
 
Steve subsequently landed on the first season of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where he stayed for the entire nine-year run of the series, rising to the level of executive producer and garnering two Emmy Awards. After Raymond, he has been on the staffs of “‘Til Death,” starring Brad Garrett and “Hank,” starring Kelsey Grammer. Currently, he is a co-executive producer on “Hot In Cleveland,” starring Betty White. In film, Steve directed the critically acclaimed, Sundance Grand Jury nominated, and Oscar short-listed documentary on the life and career of Ralph Nader entitled “An Unreasonable Man.” Steve made his narrative directorial debut with the feature “Fred and Vinnie,” which is currently on the festival circuit.