Hmm. It's surprising to me how much people want things to be oddly formulaic in early meetings. They want some cynical thing that they don't actually like themselves in real life. I ask people in meetings what they watch. It's never garbage. They LIKE the good stuff but they seem to want to BUY the bad.
I'm reasonably unsuccessful. That's not a bit of self sabotage. Its more or less the truth. But I really do attempt to do things with a fresh twist. John Lyons, one of my early producers, (boogie nights, Austin Powers, etc) once told me that success for me would take a while (if ever) but that the payoffs for doing compelling work would be higher (if I lived). When he tried to get a deal for Austin Powers no one would buy it. They said it wasn't commercial. I was shocked. He said "well it's commercial NOW...but at the time it was very weird. Some mix of ideas from Myers childhood. Part Peter Sellers, part James Bond." That movie was what Mike Myers wanted to see in a movie. And those Austin Powers movies changed cinema. It was copycat-ed a million times over. John then told me something I think about every day...
"It's harder to get a good movie made then a bad one. I know that seems hard to believe but it's very important to remember."
...It's counter intuitive. It doesn't even make any sense. But it's true. Most good movies happen by accident. They slipped through the cracks. It wasn't an accident for the FILMMAKERS but it was an accident for the industry. John John told me this about a movie I wrote called Zombie Squad:
"You know that element of the script, that Doctor Strangerlove-y thing that's going on that we all love and is why we are doing this? That's exactly what they won't even SEE. And we will keep it that way. I mean, the audience will see it. They will see it (later). But that's the thing we won't even talk about in meetings."
So...from this moment forward please assume I am hiding some strange ideas in my scripts.
I assume no one is reading this so I will confess one of those ideas here. The pilot for Mysterius The Unfathomable is a classic Joseph Campbell story about someone being indoctrinated into the world of magic and magical things