Mental real estate is the most valuable in the world. Especially prized in Hollywood. If you own some, you could be set for life.
If something is taking up space in your head – tying up billions of neurons, that makes it valuable, because if it is owning space in your head, chances are, it’s taking up space in a large percentage of other people’s heads around the world. It is the main commodity of Hollywood.
In Hollywood, there’s nothing more valuable than a franchise. A tent-pole brand can generate revenue like a theme park — you know visitors will be showing up year after year, and they’re gonna buy the T-shirt and merchandise, as well.
A franchise offers security. We get movies based on comic books; historical and current events; biographies; old television show; and other concepts that linger in our brains. Disney films have chosen to tell stories that are known but are based on characters in the public domain; ALADDIN, CINDERELLA and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.
Consider that there are people who have value, the way brand recognition has value. Individuals who reside in the high rise apartment complex of public consciousness. Actors are walking mental real estate.
For example, you manage to complete a screenplay and get it read by an agency. The agency loves it, so they send it out to various production companies. Some creative executives like it, so they recommend it to their bosses, and one of them likes it enough to buy it. You take their notes and do revisions and drafts. The producers are finally satisfied with the script, and it is forwarded to a studio, to the top executive, who green lights it.
You would think that your project is a done deal but it’s not. What happens now is the project gets set out like a sample plate of apple pie at a buffet, along with many other screenplays, to be checked out by directors. If a director takes your pie, you have a movie; if not, well you don’t. Better luck next time. There are far more desserts than directors and each script has an expiry date.
Filming takes lots of money, which means Hollywood requires mental real estate, which means they need certain stars and A-list directors for pictures above a certain budget, because those directors are good but also because those are the only directors who can help get a big star.
So if you can get interest from a star with ‘name recognition’ the better your chances of getting your screenplay off the page and into theaters. You can’t place an offer in on a property (star) if the real estate agent doesn’t even take your call. As long as stars exist, Hollywood exists.
So write something that will tweak the ‘public consciousness’ and ensure ‘brand awareness,’ because it will help you attract the necessary elements to develop your package deal into a winner. By building your brand awareness, you help the project move forward. The more powerful people you get involved, the better your chances of success.
So before you write your next screenplay, think of it like the top echelon of the entertainment industry do – every idea is a form of mental real estate. Just make sure you are writing and building a project with a solid foundation and potential for many guests to visit again and again.