Can selling scripts live become a "life-saving straw" for screenwriters?


Can selling scripts live become a "life-saving straw" for screenwriters?

  This article contributes to the author, which is the author’s personal opinion, and the opinion does not represent the position of poisonous eyes.

  Wen | Pu Juan

  In recent months, the wave of goods carried by the whole people has risen.

  First, Luo Yonghao settled in Tik Tok with high profile, and held several live broadcasts to sell goods and pay off debts. Later, Liu Shishi, Yang Yang, Victoria Song and other stars appeared in the live broadcast room to recommend products to fans together with well-known online celebrity such as Li Jiaqi. Later, even CCTV celebrities Zhu Guangquan and Ouyang Xiadan and Gree Chairman Dong Mingzhu also joined the wave.

  In the last month or two, the fire of live broadcast with goods has finally "burned" into the film and television circle, and screenwriters have joined the ranks, but the goods they bring are not lipsticks and food, but scripts.

  In April, the Writers’ Gang held three online "live selling scripts" activities, and organized 15 writers to bring goods online, including Yu Geng, the original author of the recent hot film "I am Yu Huanshui", and Run Nian Dong, the screenwriter of "My heart is blooming" and "Crazy Alien". People who usually bury themselves in writing suddenly turned into anchors with goods, which attracted the attention of many people in the industry and people who eat melons. The number of views of the third phase of the event accumulated about 13,000 times.

  As of May 2, four "live screenplay selling" activities have been held.

  (Screenshot from the screenwriter to help Weibo)

  Selling scripts live is essentially an online venture capital meeting. Each screenwriter first conducts a 10-minute roadshow to explain his creative experience and script outline to the audience. Then there is a 5-minute interactive question-and-answer session, in which the audience directly asks questions and the screenwriter personally answers them. Although it is somewhat different from the common live broadcast, the audience can also reward the screenwriter or brush comments according to their own preferences, and the producer can also contact the screenwriter to learn more about the script by rewarding 168 yuan.

  The writers’ gang publicized the first phase of the event as "The World’s First Live Screenplay Selling Conference", which also attracted well-known screenwriter Song Fangjin and others to open the platform in Weibo. However, from the feedback of the third phase of the event, it seems that writers, producers and other people in the industry did not fully buy it, and the comment area was polarized.

  Song Fangjin sells scripts for live broadcast in Weibo.

  In the author’s opinion, the reason why the live broadcast of scripts will encounter unsatisfactory feedback is that on the one hand, it has just begun to try, and all aspects still need to be improved and improved; On the other hand, it has something to do with China’s "awkward" position in the industry.

  Why is there a live broadcast selling scripts?

  On the surface, the appearance of selling scripts live is because many aspects of the film and television industry have come to a standstill under the epidemic, so film and television people take this opportunity to launch a self-help. But in fact, apart from self-help, the writer’s weak right to speak in China and the lack of appropriate channels for safeguarding rights and assistance are very important internal causes.

  The film and television industry is a huge social system engineering, which is not only a long industrial chain, but also a "cosmic planet"-like existence, radiating and blending with many related industries. From the perspective of modern enterprise operation, production, distribution and projection in the film and television industry chain correspond to the production, promotion and sales of goods respectively.

  Nowadays, the United States, South Korea, Japan and other major film and television countries have formed a mature industrial value chain of "upstream development, midstream expansion and downstream extension". The production, distribution, marketing and screening of film and television works are closely linked, while the film and television industry chain in China is still in the process of gradual improvement.

  The script development link is a relatively immature one. Script is the starting point and the core soul of a film and television work. As the creator of this soul, the importance of screenwriter is beyond doubt. But compared with other countries, China’s screenwriters are marginalized.

  According to "Hollywood 2017 Salary Report", the top film writers in the United States can earn $3 million to $5 million, while gold-medal TV writers often have the opportunity to enjoy the same treatment as executive producers. Ordinary film writers can also get about $500,000, and TV writers can earn $5,000 to $10,000 for a single episode. At the same time, there is also a Writers Guild ofAmerica in the United States, which has the right to speak in the industry, helping writers to protect their rights and providing notarization of their works and some legal basis.

  In South Korea, top screenwriters can get 100 million won for a single episode, and ordinary signed screenwriters are worth 20 million won, which is basically the same as that of big-name stars. Excellent screenwriters are not only well paid, but also have a high status. Directors can’t modify their scripts without authorization. It is also disrespectful for actors to modify their lines. Even TV stations will make decisions according to their status as screenwriters.

  In contrast, China screenwriters seem to have "long lost their names" in the industry.

  According to an industry insider, there are generally about one million top film writers, and it is not bad for newcomers to reach 150,000. The number of online screenwriters is about 100,000-100,000, and the number of TV dramas is 10,000-30,000. Only the top big coffee can reach 6 digits, and the number of online drama writers will be lower. In theory, scriptwriting is the freest, but in fact, I write scripts almost all the time, and I feel guilty even when I go out for dinner.

  Wang Hailin, a well-known screenwriter, once mentioned: "Basically, children from the planning department come to you, and then put out a bunch of data to tell you that the market needs this and that, and even teach you which are popular writing methods." He also pointed out that the excessive voice of capital and stars makes the screenwriter’s control over the script weaker and weaker.

  In addition, screenwriters also face difficulties such as weakening the right of signature, being paid in arrears, the script being stolen, and the difficulty in safeguarding rights. The Report on the Ecological Investigation of Young Screenwriters in China Film and Television Industry from 2019 to 2020 shows that 75% of the interviewed screenwriters have been cheated. However, due to the overlord clause, weak power and other reasons, even with the protection of relevant laws and associations, screenwriters can not safeguard the most basic rights of works.

  Source "2019-2020 Ecological Investigation Report on Young Screenwriters in China Film and Television Industry"

  In the already weak situation, this year’s epidemic situation can be described as making the screenwriter industry worse. At this stage, the film and television industry is in a state of suspension, and many companies have closed down or laid off a large number of employees. Although screenwriters are relatively safe jobs, many people have said that their income will be greatly reduced this year due to the collateral effect. For screenwriters, especially newcomers with meager income, it will undoubtedly bring many uncertainties to their future development.

  Being in trouble and encountering a black swan, the live broadcast of the script seems to be an attempt by the screenwriter to save himself. Du Hongjun, the founder of the writers’ guild and deputy secretary-general of the China Film Literature Society, said that he hoped to help writers build a good stage for script trading in the form of live broadcast, and then he would help outstanding writers to promote projects and provide legal aid for writers’ rights and interests.

  High opening and low walking, live broadcast with goods unacceptable?

  Since entering Tik Tok to live broadcast and bring goods, Luo Yonghao has not only satisfied the curiosity of all spectators, but also made all brand sellers addicted to the focus of the crowd. Let’s not comment on the rate of goods, but people really brushed up a wave of popularity. It is understood that after seeing Luo Yonghao’s debut show with goods, the screenwriter Run Nian Dong felt in the circle of friends that he also wanted to sell the script live, which was recognized by many well-known screenwriters.

  In April, the live broadcast of the script really came. In the film and television industry, stars, producers, directors and so on often do roadshows to publicize the films that have been completed in the later stage, and never involve the original script. The venture capital clubs specially for screenwriters are generally offline salons or small forums, and there are few online activities.

  Under the epidemic, many new formats have been born, and selling scripts live is one of them.

  Many screenwriters, producers and people in the industry are curious about the "World’s First Live Screenplay Selling Conference", and some of them are melon-eating people attracted by the "live screenplay with goods". Therefore, on April 3, the first activity of the screenwriter gang won more than 7,000 views. Du Hongjun revealed that most of the audience are insiders, many well-known screenwriters and production companies are among them, and some people also participated in the discussion.

  Screenshot from CCTV6 program China movie report

  During the live broadcast, the writers "do as the Romans do", like online celebrity, came to the screen, used different narrative methods, roadshowed their scripts in turn, and answered questions from the audience. It can be seen that these "literary veterans" are still novices when they become online celebrity. The face is simple, there is no filter, and the speech is still one-sided. However, it is this contrast that has aroused the curiosity of the outside world, and the comment area is very lively.

  These screenwriters have different backgrounds and different working years. They come from professional classes, have changed careers, and have won film festival awards. The types of works they create are also different, involving suspense, science fiction, war and other themes. For such diversity, some producers affirmed: "If there is a lack of projects or screenwriters, I will come here to dig well, and it should be no problem for good screenwriters to reach cooperation."

  However, with the live broadcast, the doubts from the producers became more and more obvious.

  The first is the way to bring goods. Many people I have come into contact with don’t quite buy it: "The script is a matter that requires many parties to participate and communicate many times. It is very difficult to make a deal immediately after watching the live broadcast."

  It is reported that during the live broadcast, if the producer wants to know more about the script, he can be rewarded with 168 yuan, and the screenwriter will help to match and communicate with the screenwriter. If the two sides reach an agreement, the script can be traded. The writers’ gang should set up such delivery rules to shorten the length of the script supply chain and eliminate the risk of second-hand dealers. However, judging from the producer’s attitude, the writer’s road to realizing the goods may still have a long way to go.

  Users can further communicate by rewarding and unlocking (source "Screenwriters")

  The scriptwriter’s explanation is also the hardest hit by the producers. Some screenwriters only talk about the content of the script, so it is difficult for producers to raise interest and judge the quality. Some people jokingly call it "trying to sell but hiding". Some screenwriters have no primary and secondary explanations, which makes people unable to find bright spots. Other screenwriters are immature, perhaps out of self-protection, but basically no one wants to know more about them.

  Producers are more worried about too much creative disclosure. "Now people are too smart to read the whole script at all, just one core idea is enough." A senior person said that a good core idea has been borrowed, and after the film and television company buys this script, there may be risks in copyright and it will also affect the film release.

  Feedback from fellow screenwriters is also mixed. Some people are eager to try and comment on social platforms after watching the live broadcast, saying that this has opened a channel for mutual communication and is also a resource channel. Some people think that the platform needs to establish better processes and copyright protection mechanisms, and continue to wait and see. Some people are not optimistic about this model, and think that public shouting is beneath the dignity of cultural people.

  "Li Jiaqi sells lipsticks and Viya sells rockets, all of which are in kind, just like painters sell paintings and sculptors sell sculptures. Commodities are traceable, and it stimulates your desire for consumption. However, the script is a creative work, which will involve the way of copyright purchase and whether it will be revised subsequently, which is different from a one-time transaction of buying lipstick. " Screenwriter Chen Lu said more directly, "it is better to sell scripts live than to sell screenwriters live."

  In the hot discussion of the main trading objects, the popularity of selling live scripts declined. On the 14th, the second activity was only watched more than 2,000 times, and on the 25th, the third activity was only watched more than 4,000 times. The total cargo volume of the third phase of the event is still unclear, but after the second phase of the event, Du Hongjun mentioned that there are about 10 producers who want to know more about it.

  From much attention to the decline in heat, is it unacceptable for live broadcasts to go so high and low in the screenwriter circle? Not necessarily.

  A painted skin without drawing bones may turn into a paper tiger.

  The screenwriter brings the goods with him. The audience can enjoy 6.66 yuan if they like it, 2.22 yuan if they don’t like it, and 168 yuan if they want to place an order. On the surface, this is the standard of live broadcast, but strictly speaking, selling scripts live is not a real live broadcast.

  The definition of live broadcast with goods is to sell goods by live broadcast, activate and transform users. Under the catalysis of capital, Taobao, Aauto Quicker and Tik Tok have already developed rapidly, forming a "three-legged" pattern in the field of live broadcast. Each platform has a huge user base, a large number of online celebrity anchors, all kinds of commodities, and a perfect supply chain.

  At present, in the mature industrial chain of live broadcast, these factors are indispensable: platform, seller, MCN and user. In the live broadcast of selling scripts, the writers’ gang is the platform, the writers play the dual roles of sellers and online celebrity, and the users are the producers.

  The screenwriter helped the founder Du Hongjun respond to the transaction of the first live broadcast.

  First, from the platform point of view, compared with Taobao, Aauto Quicker, Tik Tok and other pan-entertainment live broadcast platforms, the writers’ gang is more vertical, focusing only on script products. The quality of users of the platform is high, but the volume can’t compete with the big platform at all, and there is no perfect drainage mechanism, so the live broadcast viewing volume is generally low.

  Let’s look at the screenwriter who integrates the seller and online celebrity. The screenwriter is a creative seller, and his written skills outweigh his oral skills, but he may not be able to sell, which is still difficult for some people to accept. "It is a kind of sorrow that the products of wisdom are going to be sold intelligently. The onlookers are just curious, which makes the sales more tragic."

  In this regard, a Buddhist screenwriter said: "The quality of the script is the most important thing. Now I am only worried about whether my writing is good or not, and I don’t care about anything else." However, some screenwriters want to try to sell their own scripts. Although they have not signed up for the event, they have already started to discuss the speech lines with their friends.

  Finally, watching the audience, the screenwriter has been in a weak position in the industrial chain for a long time, with less publicity, weak fan base and poor appeal for bringing goods. At the same time, the marketing skills are not as good as those of online celebrity who came out of the professional system. The live broadcast process is easy to make people bored and can’t afford to buy. As the leader of the upstream link of the industrial chain, producers can decide which screenwriter will write the script, how the screenwriter will write the script, and which director and star will shoot and star in the script, but the overall number is small. The users of the general live broadcast platform are the general public with a large base.

  Display in the live broadcast of selling scripts (new Jingwei in the source)

  Therefore, the live broadcast of scripts is a kind of deformation of live broadcast with goods. Du Hongjun proved this point in the opening remarks of the event: "I hope this attempt can give some inspiration to the industry, rather than simply live broadcast e-commerce replication."

  Based on the above reasons, it is reasonable that the popularity of "live selling scripts" is low, the transaction rate is low, and the scope of influence is limited. Du Hongjun also realized the shortcomings of the activities and accepted everyone’s opinions with an open mind. He said that in the future, the form will be improved, and roles such as "venture capital tutor" or "special observer" will be added to the live broadcast, so as to guide the screenwriter to write and tell good stories and be more capable of improving stories.

  Live broadcast with goods, a possible perfect self-help

  The emergence of venture capital tutors, special observers, screenwriters and script brokers has indeed filled the gap in the "MCN plate" of live broadcast selling scripts, shared the sales tasks before scriptwriting, and made live broadcast selling scripts closer to the mature live broadcast delivery mode. If these people are big coffee in the industry, they naturally have weight in the users, that is, the producers, but now most of the film and television industry advocates "capital success", and it is still a question mark whether they can successfully bring goods in the end; And if these people are stars, the platform may have to be prepared to spend money for a long time.

  A screenwriter mentioned that similar platforms have done similar things before, but it basically didn’t work, and finally it can only be abandoned. It can be seen that increasing the number of venture capital tutors and special observers may not necessarily solve the problem of selling scripts live.

  The writers in trouble seem to have reached a dead end again, so is selling scripts live the right solution for writers to save themselves?

  Anxiety of young screenwriters, source of "2019-2020 Ecological Investigation Report of Young Screenwriters in China Film and Television Industry"

  The author believes that the landing of live e-commerce in the film and television industry can break the boundaries of interpersonal relationships, so that new screenwriters can also be exposed to the same resources as mature screenwriters and get more opportunities. Therefore, even if the current experiment is more meaningful, selling scripts live can also be a self-help for writers. If possible, it is still a perfect self-help.

  With regard to improving the live broadcast of scripts, the author tries to find the answer from the live broadcast industry chain, not that this proven business system is a panacea, but that he wants to get some suitable and effective solutions from it.

  After analysis, the author thinks that there may be traces in the following four aspects-

  First, expand the influence of the platform.

  Under normal circumstances, producers will independently develop scripts, but sometimes they will "cast a wide net, collect more fish, and choose the best ones", such as searching for good projects at major film festivals, salvaging IP online to adapt them, holding some solicitation competitions, and obtaining scripts from similar platforms such as writers’ gangs.

  At present, there are some platforms in the industry that are similar to writers’ gangs, such as script supermarket and Yunlaiwu. Expanding the influence of the platform itself and establishing the credibility of the industry are the best ways to attract the attention of producers.

  In addition to providing high-quality script content, reasonable trading mechanism and good after-sales service, the platform can cooperate with authoritative people to discuss and effectively solve some industry problems. At the same time, follow the example of the live broadcast platform, establish a perfect drainage mechanism by using communities and new media, attract more film and television companies to pay attention, create an active communication atmosphere, and thus enhance the influence of the platform.

  Second, improve the strength of screenwriters.

  Live broadcast with goods can’t turn bad stories into good stories, so the strength of screenwriters is very important.

  For mature screenwriters, the platform can provide an attractive cooperation model, and the two sides will benefit each other for a long time; For potential screenwriters, the platform can provide systematic and comprehensive training courses, such as screenwriter colleges launched by some platforms, to help screenwriters grow and improve, and then feed back the platform. Like live delivery, a good content production relationship is the key for the platform to build a high-quality supply chain.

  Tuyuan vision china

  Third, improve the marketing level.

  Song Fangjin commented that selling scripts live is a new creative form in the new era: "scriptwriters are players and their values are visualized. Stories are luxury goods, and the highest price wins them. This is different from Luo Yonghao, Viya and Li Jiaqi. "

  As said, the script is a special creative product, which is different from the main categories of live broadcast goods such as cosmetics and clothing, so the marketing methods will be different. If the screenwriter’s self-marketing ability is insufficient, the platform can be recommended by the script or screenwriter agent, star, industry expert, well-known director and screenwriter.

  In Hollywood, screenwriters basically sell scripts through brokers. "It is difficult to cultivate excellent script brokers in the domestic environment." The writers’ gang once said. But it is hard not to mean impossible, and practice is the best proof.

  Stars bring their own popularity. If they can stand for the works of screenwriters, it should be more likely for producers to consider bringing goods. Well-known directors, screenwriters and big coffees in the industry recommend scripts, which may also increase trading opportunities.

  In addition, the platform can also assist scriptwriters to display scripts through technical means and creative methods, such as script advertisements, real-life interpretation of scripts, VR/AR, applets and so on. 5G is the biggest variable of live broadcast, and it is also a live broadcast to sell scripts. The improvement of video clarity will create a better story experience.

  Fourth, expand the types of users.

  Producers tend to be market-oriented when they control the content of the script. Jing Wong, a well-known Hong Kong director, has publicly stated that the standard of his film is that the audience likes it. Although this statement may not be accurate, it can really inspire the platform.

  At present, "selling scripts by live broadcast" is mainly aimed at producers, but the scope of communication and influence is limited, far less than that of live broadcast platform. The platform can expand the targeted user types to the general public, and in turn change the minds of a few people by influencing the minds of most people. Because the producers know the public’s preferences, they may trade, then make a film and reshape the audience’s preferences.

  Of course, we can’t ignore the scriptwriting. At the beginning of the event, the platform required that the script must be a complete script with copyright, and the TV series should have at least 5 episodes. Although in theory, scriptwriters occupy the advantages of time and public opinion, there are many people who exploit the loopholes, and the legal team of the platform still needs to make emergency plans for the protection of scriptwriters’ rights and interests.

  As screenwriter Yu Fei said, it is a blessing for the industry if the live broadcast of scripts can form a new industrial model and make the best scriptwriters and scripts go to the market from here, but it is very difficult. But even if it is difficult, it is worth trying.


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