Tuesday, March 11, 2014
A Novel Idea
When I went to film school I always wanted to write a screenplay with a female protagonist. Why would I write anything else? Unfortunately, I was always told that scripts with female leads were "not easy to sell.' You needed to write something that was "high concept" or an "action-film" or maybe something that was based on a comic book. That was the sure-fire winner in Hollywood. After a few years, I decided to turn to my first love: romance novels.
At the heart of most romance novels you could almost always find a woman. Strong, vulnerable and in search of a good man. Of course, romance novels have changed since I was thirteen. Telling part of the story from the POV of the male hero is a must. And it is with great delight that romance novels have now started to feature the romance of same-sex characters. Romance writers have progressed!
Isn't it intriguing that meanwhile over in Hollywood, where mining for a "new and original" idea means scouring the Young Adult shelves in Barnes & Noble, very little has changed. In fact, if anything, things have gotten even worse. It's sad when the winner of the Best Actress Oscar refers to movies with female leads as niche films. And the number of women working in front and behind the camera is shrinking instead of growing.
What is wrong with Hollywood? Can it be fixed?