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Concept. Whether High or Low; it's important.

Here's Why.

If you're new to screenwriting, you've probably heard the term 'High-Concept' banded about and might have found yourself a little confused by it.


A High-Concept is a 'punchy pitch' something marketable, something easy to understand, typically with a pinch of irony or obvious excitement in the logline. An easily marketable idea that can be expressed in a simple and attention-grabbing way. It often combines familiar elements in a unique or unexpected manner, making it instantly appealing to a wide audience. High-Concepts are normally 'Genre' Films.


A Low-Concept is a more nuanced story, typically following the subjective journey of a character and their emotions, rather than relying on strong plot to move the story forward. Putting more emphasis on character development and intricate storytelling rather than relying on a simple, easily marketable idea. These films often delve into complex themes, rely on performances, and may require a deeper engagement from the audience to fully appreciate the narrative. Low-Concepts are normally 'Dramas' or hybrid-dramas.


There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing whether to write a Low or High concept but for the purpose of new writers, mastering the High-Concept will definitely be your friend.


So, here are the top elements to consider when developing a compelling concept for your script:

Originality: Your concept should be fresh and unique, offering something new and different to the audience. Consider taking a familiar genre or trope and adding your own twist to make it stand out.


High Concept: High concept focuses on a simple and easily marketable idea that can be conveyed in a single sentence. This can help you to generate interest and excitement for your script, and make it easier to pitch to producers and investors.


Theme: A well-defined theme can add depth and meaning to your story, making it more than just a simple entertainment piece. Consider the underlying message or idea that you want to convey, and how it relates to the larger human experience.

Character: Your concept should revolve around a compelling and relatable character. Consider who your protagonist is, what they want, and what obstacles they will face in achieving their goals.


Conflict: Conflict is the driving force of any good story. Your concept should be centered around a central conflict that the character must overcome. This conflict should be both internal and external, and should challenge the character in a meaningful way.


Setting: The setting of your story can be as important as the characters and the conflict. Consider where your story takes place, and how the setting contributes to the overall atmosphere and tone.


Unique Selling Point: Your concept should have a unique selling point that sets it apart from other similar stories. This can be anything from a new twist on a familiar genre to a bold new approach to a well-known story.



With a strong enough concept, you'll have the foundation of a great screenplay. By considering these elements, you can craft a story that is both original and memorable, and that resonates with audiences. Remember to focus on character, conflict, and theme, and to develop a high-concept idea that is easy to market and sell. And even if it's not a high-concept - if your concept is compelling enough it can still act as a fantastic calling card to introduce you to the right people.


 

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