Games Writers Play #22: Crazy Hollywood Pitches

Scott William Carter   June 15, 2010  

Here’s another technique to take advantage of a fairly well-known fact, which is that some of the best new ideas come from combining two unrelated ideas together.

One of the ways I like to do this is by doing what I call Crazy Hollywood Pitches.  It’s fairly straightforward:  Make four or five columns of movie titles, separated by genre (horror, science fiction, romantic comedy, etc.), and then combine them at random in a MOVIE TITLE #1 meets MOVIE TITLE #2 fashion.

So let’s say I have Driving Miss Daisy in one column, and the first three movie titles in my science fiction column are Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Dune.  That would give me . . .

  • Driving Miss Daisy meets Star Wars
  • Driving Miss Daisy meets Blade Runner
  • Driving Miss Daisy meets Dune

If you’re laughing out loud at these, that’s great.  This should be fun.  Laughter is a tonic for a tired imagination.  But then ask yourself how you might really make one of these crazy pitches into a story, and don’t be afraid to change the idea to see where it leads you.  What if the story’s about an android driver shuttling a prejudiced old man to his retirement home on another planet?  What if their ship crashes?  What happens next?

It’s just one idea.  If it doesn’t lead anywhere, scrap it and try another.  If you’re looking for an easy way to make lists of movie titles, try IMDB.com.

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