Not Uncomfortable at All.

What the hell is I.P., you may ask?

Well, to start with, there’s no need for that kind of salty language.  There are kids all over the internet.

Intellectual Property is the literal meaning behind it, but in essence, it’s made-up stuff that someone owns the rights to.

It can be written.  To some degree, a spec script is intellectual property.  But that’s not generally what people are talking about when they use the term.

Most people in the business are referring to something that’s already been produced in some capacity.  A book, a comic, a web series.  Maybe a board game or viral video.

But even then, I.P. doesn’t really become anything of value until it’s a known entity to the public.  Preferably known and liked.  Though sometimes just known is good enough.

Old television series and movies are popular forms of I.P. right now.  Those have a lot of value as they can be recreated many different ways, complete with a built-in hook.

These days it seems to be a popular concept to freshen up old I.P. by changing its format, rebooting series into movies (Mission: Impossible21 Jump Street, CHiPs) and movies into series (Bates Motel, Lethal WeaponWestworld).

Not your Father’s Jumanji. Possibly Not Yours, Either.

Not that there aren’t also plenty of examples of movies being remade as movies (Planet of the Apes, The Mummy, Jumanji) and series being remade as series (Hawaii Five-0, One Day at a Time, Fuller House).

Really, as long as you have a title people have heard of, you’ve got “brand awareness” and something to sell that buyers will be interested in.

There are no guarantees for sure.  There have been examples of hugely successful media properties born out of I.P., as well as utter disappointments.  Regardless, the appeal always remains to financiers, as those properties and titles are considered pre-sold to audiences.  People have heard of them, so the marketing is already underway before anyone even spends a penny on the newest version.

Granted, most of us don’t own the rights to old series or movies, unfortunately.  Though a way to sort of achieve a similar result is to research recognizable properties that are in the public domain and invent a new take on those (Robin Hood and his Undead Men or Treasure Island Resort maybe?  I dunno.  Just spit-balling.  Check with your lawyer).

But With Zombies!

Obviously, it would be ideal to create something entirely new that comes to have value in the marketplace and can eventually translate to an entertainment property.  Not at all a simple task, of course.

Nor should it really just be a means to an end. Ideally, you should make something you love and then figure out how to get it into the world and known.  Maybe a play.  An album. Trading cards.

Be realistic, though.  And smart.  Always be aware of the marketplace and try to tailor your projects for it.  But if you’re going to do the hard work of creating, make sure to find an idea that you have a passion for, because getting to a place where your I.P. is the kind that Hollywood will come knocking for is going to require a hell of a lot of dedication.

Start brainstorming.

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3 Responses to [IN THE TRENCHES] I.P. Or Do I?

  1. Dave says:

    Good blog. Also, I didn’t know Westworld was a movie…

    • textsmith says:

      Thanks, Dave.

      “Westworld” in ’73 was followed by a sequel. “Futureworld” in ’76.

      I’ve recently also found a slew of other reboots/remakes on the verge of release, including Flatliners, Heathers (as a TV series), Dynasty, and DuckTales (it never ends)

      Make yourself some I.P., and quick!

  2. Pingback: [ETCETERA] It's Just a Fantasy (oh-oh-oh-oh) - [TEXTSMITH] BLOG[TEXTSMITH] BLOG

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