“Why I Make Films & Don’t Just Write Them”

Not Hank, but a cleverly constructed emotional facsimile

by Hank Isaac

There is absolutely no way you can guarantee that someone listening to your pitch will see the same film in his head that you do. No way. Everyone comes with preconceived notions about most things. How can you possibly know what they are? Answer: You can’t.

A decade ago, I pitched a high-adventure aviation film featuring a young female protagonist. Five words into my pitch, the producer said, “Nah, that’s just like [name of film].” Well in fact, it was nothing like [name of film]. The only similarity was that the lead was a young female who happened to fly something at some point, and there were also other humans in the story. That’s it. And yet, the producer had categorized all films within that exceedingly narrow spectrum as “the same.” No, actually, “identical.”

It would have been easier to talk my way out of a Middle Eastern border dispute than to convince him otherwise. read article