For instance, here's five pitches for movies or television shows that I don't think would ever get picked up.
Elevator Pitch 1) Kim Kardashian and Kevin James have a Freaky Friday incident.
As someone I told this to pointed out, it might become a bit too tacky and "wacky" instead of being a good movie.
You know, sort of like how I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry was supposed to be a great film about how it's okay to be gay. At least, it was before Adam Sandler attached himself to it and ruined it.
|Yeah, you heard me you...probably nice guy. BUT STILL. RAR, INTERNET RAGE!|
Now, I wouldn't actually cast Kim Kardashian and Kevin James, but just listen for a moment.
Anyway, think of what a clever script writer could do with the traditional Freaky Friday routine only with a man and a woman instead. She's a rich Beverly Hills celebrity surrounded by the paparazzi with just a week away from being married. He has a family, is a blue collar worker, and maybe he just lost his job due to the rich girl's father firing him.
Suddenly, the two switch (get two really good actors who can perform as two people, NOT ROB SCHNEIDER) and have to try to fill in for each other. The prissy diva who never really had to lift a finger in her life suddenly finds herself in any number of situations. Trying to work from home as a stay at home father, taking care of kids, or having to job hunt with only a limited knowledge of what the body she's in knows or can do.
He, on the other hand, suddenly finds himself in the spotlight, with easy access to the people he might think ruined his family's life. However, he comes to learn that the guy he worked for wasn't such a bad guy. Maybe he already took a massive pay cut himself to try to save some employees. Maybe he's losing business due to an overseas investor and had to close an entire office building because the company is slowly starting to circle the drain. Maybe he had no idea firings were happening because he's so caught up in some charities he's trying to get started and has also lost sight of how important his family is.
We have two people taking a look into each other's lives without necessarily having to reduce it down to "har har a guy wants to sleep with his fiancee but doesn't know it's another guy in there LOOK SEXUAL AWKWARDNESS because gay jokes are funny," but can make it actually emotional when the guy with a wealth of healthy family experience starts trying to fix a tabloid-covered broken family, and the woman gets to discover that there's more to life than just marrying a celebrity, and discovers the family life she missed out on and how she can devote her resources to helping others.
Maybe it doesn't immediately have a happy ending. The office still gets closed, but the daughter is able to work with the husband to come up with a business pitch for something new that, while not revolutionizing the world, will provide some steady jobs to people who need them and give the people that work there meaning to their lives.
Elevator Pitch 2) Sleeping Beauty when everybody has to get used to the new world they're in.
Everybody remembers the plot of Sleeping Beauty, right? Two fairy godmothers bless a baby with wonderful things, then Severus Snape's mother shows up and curses the baby simply because she wasn't invited to the party, meaning the third godmother has to do her best to reverse it, so instead of dying, the girl (and, if you go by the animated movie, everybody else in the castle) will sleep for a hundred years.
|"Really, Severus? You could've been a magic doctor, but instead you're teaching? I raised you better."|
So, uh, yeah. Eventually Prince Charming comes along, hacks through the "impossible to get through" thorn bush growing around the castle, kisses the girl, and on the basis of being able to cut up plants really well, she marries him.
...but a hundred years have still gone by.
Let me introduce you to a little something called "culture shock." Here's a few things going on in 1914 here in the United States:
Charlie Chaplin first appeared in a movie called The Little Tramp.
The first traffic light was introduced.
Women didn't have the right to vote yet.
Black people had no real equal rights yet.
World War I had just started, but we weren't involved yet.
So imagine what would happen if a whole castle full of people somewhere in Europe (heck, make it England so nobody needs subtitles) was in stasis for a hundred years before everybody woke up to realize that the village outside their castle was now a city, and oh yeah, everybody who wasn't in the castle at the time that they knew was dead.
We have so many television shows trying new things with fairy tales and people displaced by time or people who don't know what to do with themselves after some dramatic change...so why not try to mix it up a bit and focus on some people who need to try to assimilate into a society that has changed so drastically it's unrecognizable.
Elevator Pitch 3) Do something with this guy:
Don't recognize him? He was a wizard in the Leaky Cauldron in one of the Harry Potter movies (Prisoner of Azkaban, I think) and he's the most awesome character who existed in those films. Why? Let's break it down.
First off, he's reading A Brief History Of Time by STEVEN HAWKING. A WIZARD is studying up on the makings of the universe. Now, either he's having a really great laugh at a guy in a wheelchair who got everything completely wrong, or he's putting together how magic and the rules of the universe actually intersect.
Secondly, he's stirring his drink.
Sorry, that's not impressive? Well, he's doing it WITHOUT A WAND, something that, as I recall, is a pretty huge deal in the Harry Potter universe. Everybody else seems to need to use a wand (do any of Harry's teachers ever not use one?) and if I recall correctly, only ridiculously powerful ones could do it without a wand with even a tiny bit of control. This guy's doing delicate work with one finger while not even paying attention.
He's the wizard equivalent of the old monk who does nothing but rake rocks and sweep floors in the monastery, but even the leaders show him reverence because he's already figured out the meaning of everything, they're all just trying to catch up.
Send him on some magical, globe trotting adventures. We already know there's other schools out there, and I'm pretty sure nobody did anything to make sure the dementors weren't going to sneak into the Muggle-verse and ruin everything after Voldemort was dealt with...why not crank out a television series about a complete and total background character based on some of the biggest movies of all time? I mean, heck, if a guy zipping through space and time in a police box can get a huge following, I'm pretty sure this guy can.