1. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Creating a plot idea from a movie?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BillyxRansom, Jul 5, 2008.

    I saw the movie Wanted, and I thought it had a lot of elements similar to my story. Is this a bad sign? Do people make up stories for novels from movies? Is it rare, but not a bad idea? Is it just a bad idea?
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    ANY source of inspiration is legitimate. Copying isn't. If your story happens to have some elements that a movie does, oh well, it happens. Your story has as much right to be told as anybody elses, whether it's in a book, movie, tv show, music ect.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    CDRW is, as usual, correct. As long as it's inspired by the film, not simply a carbon copy, it'll be fine.
     
  4. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Your post seems to indicate however that you didn't first see the movie, then come up with the idea for your story ("creating a plot idea from a movie"); it seems to say that you already had the story ideas in mind, THEN saw the movie, and realized they had some similarities. If that's so, then you're not copying the movie, so it's a moot point.

    It's okay to see similarities. And if you came up with your ideas before seeing the movie, that's fine. And yes, it's even okay to be inspired by ideas from a movie. BUT...you should beware of "borrowing" from a movie just because it's similar to your own story idea. Just because the two started out similar doesn't mean you should make them into clones of each other. Now that you know how similar the movie and your story are, you should try not to let the movie influence your work too much. Just try to write the story as if you never saw the movie at all. It might be hard, because you might unconsciously try to incorporate things from the movie without even knowing it--ideas you did not have before seeing it--so keep your eyes open.

    Just try to wipe the movie from your mind when writing and you should still be able to come up with something original (if somewhat similar).
     
  5. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know sometimes it is hard to get over the idea that your work is similar to another book or film you have seen, but at the end of the day there is only so much things that people can write about, so yea, things are going to be about similar things.

    Think about witches and wizards for an example. How many times have they been the subject of films and books over the years, and yet J.K.Rolwing can come up with something complatly origional and fresh that stormed the world. The point of it is to make whatever you are writing your own. Yes, they may be about similair things, but as lng as the plot has its own twists and is your own story, and the charectors are oriongional, then you are set. :)
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    on the down side, which hasn't yet been mentioned and should be, movie producers are a litigious lot and they have the wherewithal to sue at the drop of a hat [or character/plot!], which they've been known to do... so, be sure that what you write/have written IS different ENOUGH from any movie to not be actionable...

    if there are elements similar enough to the movie that a judge might find the suit worth trying, then when you wrote it could be critical to your case, but also hard to impossible to prove... and keep in mind that a movie takes a year or two to go from script to the screen... and the writer of the source material will be offering proof of when s/he wrote the first draft, too...

    however, all of that is moot, if your book never gets published... in ms form, you're pretty safe... unless you post it on the net, where someone connected to the film might see it, that is.............

    bottom line: when in doubt, consult a literary attorney, not just fellow members of a writing forum!... we're willing to help and some of us are pretty knowledgable, but we're not practicing attorneys in the media field... ;-)

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    And in any case, the movie is based on a comic which was probably written before your own material:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanted_(comics)

    But it doesn't mean that you can't write something that is a bit similar to some other story. :)
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    when in doubt, check out the laws: www.copyright.gov

    and when still in doubt, consult a literary attorney!
     
  9. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Thanks for all your help, guys. I should be fine. :)

    Thank you.
     

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