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I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
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Eddie Winslow Offline
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Post: #1
I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
Forgive my vagueness, I don't have much of a choice right now. I want to make something (movie, book, screenplay) of my life events after discovering the forum.

I had an absurd experience with entrepreneurship after trading in my boring cubicle job for one filled with adventure and trying to get rich with someone I met through a cold-approach.

My partner and I did everything backwards. By being in the right place at the right time, we secured a huge investment at an insane valuation with nothing more than a logo, a crappy business plan, and a dream. We had did nothing illegal. We had not a clue what we were doing. We had a long string of good fortune that we thought would never end.

After that, a lot of crazy things happened, a lot of drugs were ingested, and a lot of dumb decisions were made.

The money is long gone and I've been out of the picture for years. At least one of the people involved is now dead, and today, I learned a couple more are in prison serving long terms.

If presented the right way, I truly think the story could be a successful motion picture or something similar.

Does anyone have suggestions on realistic first steps?
04-24-2019 06:56 PM
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YetiECV Offline
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Post: #2
RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
I'm not sure, you see many crazy stories on locked up abroad, I almost got away with it, etc. Maybe get on one of those show to expose the story and someone even more major will pick it up for a actual movie. I'm interested in the story. I'll be honest, I dont think there's many stories that haven't been told but if your nervous about someone stealing it, just sum it up and leave major parts out.
04-24-2019 07:41 PM
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Eddie Winslow
Ringo Offline
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RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
(04-24-2019 06:56 PM)Eddie Winslow Wrote:  Does anyone have suggestions on realistic first steps?

I'll reply below with my knowledge of a few years working in TV and media.

First thing you want to do is organize your story. You can do pen and paper, type it out, tell it from start to end while recording audio, prepare a slideshow and presentation. Whatever you feel comfortable with. The medium you choose in this first step is not important. This is just for you. You just want to organize facts, chronology, characters, and so on. You will remember many details over the next days, weeks and months - let it simmer and keeping adding to your story.

DO NOT show this to anyone. Don't talk to anyone about it, but if you must (like if you are trying to piece together part of an event), do not disclose what you are trying to produce.

If you think you're done with your draft, think again. Go through it again, edit it down, try to make every word or minute worth its time.

With your draft ready, assess, realistically, if you have a good story. You will obviously have a deep emotional attachment to it, but you must try to distance yourself from it as much as possible. Is this really worth pursuing? You don't want to be like one of those guys who can't sing for a damn and end up on an "American Idol's most embarrassing auditions" video. Literally everyone thinks of themselves as the stars of their movies, but few life stories are actually worth being told - your story will only have value if it can ultimately be converted into money through ticket sales, book sales, advertising, etc.

You should also know if you want to, and are willing to, remember, narrate, relive and reconnect with everything attached to this story for the next few years (it is highly unlikely that it will take less than three years, from this step, to get a final product in the form of a TV show, series, documentary or motion picture).

Another thing to keep in mind is the possible legal ramifications. Think deeply about this. Don't use real names. You can be sued if your story compromises people, companies, and so on. Be honest with yourself and contact a lawyer, especially since you mentioned some of the people involved are locked up.

If everything checks out, start working on your pitch. You must not only have a story worth telling, but one worth listening to. Producers and writers get pitched daily and it's very hard to get anything made. Make a bulletproof short (<10min) and a long pitch.

BEFORE you show your story to ANYONE, protect yourself legally. I'm not familiar with how this works in the U.S., but if you are trying to get a movie or TV show made in Brazil, you need to register your screenplay or plot with Brazil's National Library. It's neither expensive or difficult, it's just paperwork.

In the U.S. I believe that is done through the Writer's Guild. Don't show your stuff to anyone (I mean it!) unless you can somehow register it or copyright it beforehand. You should also get some form of NDA written by a lawyer that you can use when pitching to potential producers or writers. Again, I'm not sure how this works in the U.S. (it might be a faux-pas since you already have your story's rights) so get professional help before you go with what I'm saying. Theft of ideas is common in this business.

At this point you should have a solid pitch ready; ownership of your story's rights through the Writer's Guild (or whatever organization is pertinent); and possibly an NDA you'll use before your pitches.

Only then you should look for production companies, studios, screenplay writers, ghost writers, etc. That's still at the very least six to twelve months from now if you start today, so I'll stop here.

There are other ways to get to this point, of course. But if you want to retain the full rights to your story (which you do) this is the safest approach.

Good luck.

Datasheets São Paulo, BR | Diamantina, BR | Osijek, HR | My most reliable opener
(This post was last modified: 04-24-2019 08:34 PM by Ringo.)
04-24-2019 08:25 PM
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TopPanda Offline
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Post: #4
RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
I think it's hard to sell a story as everyone has plenty of stories - they're not particularly valuable.

When I lived in Bangkok I went into Asia Books and wow - even the "banged up in Thailand" niche was saturated.

Personally I have some awesome stories from excesses of the dot com boom. But it was kind of over so quickly it wouldn't be a very long movie (or a book).

Maybe you could tap Patreon for funding and hook up with a YouTube video maker. I've just been watching some documentaries about retro games. A few of these have been made in the same fashion.

Well done leaving your cubicle though - hope you didn't have to go back to it. I left mine in 2017 and now I'm an overseas ESL teacher.

Stuff I've seen on my travels...
Chinese Ladies Mapped by Province
04-26-2019 06:51 AM
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Bienvenuto Offline
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Post: #5
RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
There's some hard advice here but.. worth reading.

Nothing is more nauseating than Insisting that something IS good, HAS to be checked out because of its USP.

Doesn't work that way.

Its instructive to watch Michael Mann's LA Takedown and Heat in which he told the same (you gotta watch this!) story (written by himself) with greatly varying amounts of skill and effort and results. One version was shit, the other should have won the Oscar that year.

Same Director, same story.

Seems like others will be able to steer you about how to go about things. What you need here is a creative or creatives who are hungry and in need of content.

We had lots of 'reasons' why we should want to watch 'The Last Skywalker' but its stilll gonna be shit. Hangover 2 and 3 anyone? Look at SNL these days - lots of 'talent' (debatable) but no ideas.. all the viewers get is lots of enthusiasm but nothing else.

Lots of Creatives need a story, they don't have any.

My suggestion would be to follow Ringo's advice so that you actually have something your own that can't be taken off you easily. A lot of great anecdotes told to creatives will be pick-pocketed immediately. Sayonara great story.

Also something that is polished, because otherwise no one will be the slightest bit interested in an extremely competitive field.

Depending where you are you might wanna try attending screenwriting classes and workshops - give you a feel not just for how to present your story but also some time around screenwriters who can be pretty interesting, collaborative and sociable in comparison to other writers.

You might develop some creative collaborators. Even if you don't tell them your story they might help shape its presentation from the insights that they share.

(My two cents;
Anonymous forum post aside, if you start off the class introducing yourself with "I've got this Amazing story I'm just not sure how to tell it" that will be a sure sign that you're not serious.)
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2019 08:51 AM by Bienvenuto.)
04-26-2019 08:51 AM
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JohnKreese Offline
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Post: #6
RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
Does the story top this?

[Image: AdeptTallBufflehead-size_restricted.gif]

If not, we've already seen that episode. Urkel wore a wire!

"In America we don't worship government, we worship God." - President Donald J. Trump
04-26-2019 09:00 AM
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Eddie Winslow
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Post: #7
RE: I have a story worth sharing. Where do I start?
I highly recommend Robert McKee's book: Story

This is after you've written everything down. This book is a MUST for building a coherent story that other people want to hear.
04-27-2019 01:38 PM
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