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The Creative Writer's Companion: Selling Your Ideas for Movies, Books, Electronic Media, and More

The Creative Writer's Companion: Selling Your Ideas for Movies, Books, Electronic Media, and More

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The Creative Writer's Companion: Selling Your Ideas for Movies, Books, Electronic Media, and More

139 pagine
3 ore
Apr 9, 2001


Whether you're sitting on one blockbuster idea or half a dozen bright possibilities, The Creative Writer's Companion will help you parlay what you've created into the widest number of outlets. You'll learn how your plot and characters can become a book, a movie, a television show, or even a cartoon strip, and how limiting your queries to just one of those industries can hamper your project's ultimate success. Corwin will show you how to get your ideas into the hands of decision makers, explain how proposals get noticed, and divulge tips on presentation and packaging both ideas and written material.

The world of media is hungry for content, and there are more opportunities than ever to place your work. The Creative Writer's Companion will give you the inspiration and the strategies you need to turn your ideas into product.

Apr 9, 2001

Informazioni sull'autore

Stanley J. Corwin has been the publisher at several major book companies and is currently the president of Stan Corwin Productions, a bicoastal media company that creates and produces literary properties for publishers as well as film and television companies.  Corwin teaches a popular UCLA extension course, "Selling Your Ideas to All Media."

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Anteprima del libro

The Creative Writer's Companion - Stanley J. Corwin




Once upon a recent time, an engaging artist from the English countryside by the name of Martin Handford drew an imaginative series of children’s pictures in different settings. The intriguing concept of Finding Waldo was to locate this little elfish man in multicolored costume amid a myriad of objects and artifacts in a village, in a zoo, on a beach, etc. This cute and clever idea, with drawings deftly done in pen and ink, was a modest success in its British publication as a children’s book.

Finding Waldo then became a craze, a media phenomenon that crossed the Atlantic. The original creative concept and idea of Waldo—the book—led to a myriad of books, games, puzzles, T-shirts, place mats, posters, calendars, and other mass merchandising products as well as a TV show. Everyone was soon asking Where’s Waldo?, and the ensuing media blitz reflected the answer; he was everywhere.

A simple creative notion had succeeded far beyond the artist’s imagination and become a licensing phenomenon. Its media exploitation was serendipitous, much like that of Barney and Chicken Soup for the Soul and other merchandising manias of the past decade. Each new medium adapted the product of the previously successful medium and brought a new brand-name product to the marketplace. And each new format generated synergistic awareness and sales of the previous media entities. There were more Waldos and Harry Potters and Chicken Soups to buy in various media configurations.

This kind of exploitation of a media product is often intended from the outset. The product is designed from the beginning to be packaged and merchandised as a myriad of licensed items.

When I was president of Tudor Communications in the late 1980s, author Gail Brewer Giorgio approached me with her written revelation that Elvis Presley did not die, complete with evidence that he was still alive. Gail appeared on Larry King Live and Oprah with her startling facts and generated a national public response.

We decided to rush the book Is Elvis Alive? into print. But there was a tape as well—a tape of Elvis speaking from somewhere after his death. The tape was shocking and had to be heard. How could we combine our unusual media products—book and tape—into one commercial entity?

We created a cassette tape featuring two minutes of the mysterious Elvis recording, and we simultaneously created a paperback book. The tape was affixed to the front of the book with removable glue, and the entire package was shrink-wrapped. The book sold the tape; the tape sold the book—all in one $5.95 package.

This much-hyped, much-ballyhooed media product was an instant rage. The book-and-tape elicited orders for one-and-a-half million copies, extraordinary numbers for a trendy pop-cultural product. In fact, it was so startlingly successful that it closed down our young media company. The investors could not, would not capitalize this media-exaggerated blowout. Neither they nor we were prepared for Elvismania. The book—with tape—became a New York Times bestseller. The tape—with book—went to number one on the Walden audio bestseller list. With some innovative marketing we had tapped into Elvis fanaticism everywhere.

When Tudor, with Elvis book-and-tape, was eventually sold to a New York entity, I realized that this fervent Elvis market had not been entirely satiated by media products related to the legend who would never die, literally or mythically. There was much more to exploit. The lives and times of Elvis were not finished just yet.

Gail and I formed a partnership and set out to create and produce an Is Elvis Alive? TV special. In a brief period of time, The Elvis Files materialized. The two-hour nationally syndicated prime-time show, hosted by TV star Bill Bixby, aired live from the Imperial Palace hotel in Las Vegas.

Simultaneously we created a 900 number to call during the show (for $1.00) to register your opinion as to whether Elvis was still alive or dead. Incredible to imagine, over one million people made that call. Additionally, there was an 800 number to call to buy Elvis products, which included another book and a video—all not-so-coincidentally entitled The Elvis

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