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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Platinum Studios is taking submissions of comics ideas; once the comic's done they hawk it to the studios:
Platinum takes writers' pitches, pays them an up-front advance against sales of the book for writing the script and then they also get a piece of the sale to the studio.
Interesting way to get your ideas on the screen if they are more visual than verbal. And studio execs will happily read a comic themselves.

UPDATE: Here's the URL specifically for screenwriters.


At this point, Platinum hasn't released any comics to the public.. although they have plans in place to do something in late 2006 / early 2007.

The big things they've done is MEN IN BLACK and the TV show JEREMIAH, which was based on a European comic.

But the comics as vehicle to movies thing has become big in comics, to some point that subtle jabs are made in comic reviews about the comic only being a failed movie script.

By Blogger Chris Arrant, at 11:26 AM  

Men in Black was also a pre-existing property that Platinum inherited... they certainly had nothing to do with its creation...

By Blogger John Hudgens, at 11:58 AM  

The thread here between all of Platinum's movies and comics is Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. He had MIB when he ran Malibu, which eventually became Platinum.

30 DAYS OF NIGHT was a "failed" script which is going into production after the comic sold for a cool $1M.

I'll take that kind of failure.

TALENT from BOOM! Studios was a TV pitch.

The crossovers are too numerous to mention...

I do have to agree that Platinum has to establish more cred with the comic audience by regularly releasing their graphic novels / comics. This has yet to happen.

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 12:05 PM  

Trying to get back to the core of what Alex was inferring, comics are increasingly being viewed by TV & movie people as a low-cost dry run for testing out properties.

Rumor has it that some comic companies factor in movie options as a part of their business plan.

By Blogger Chris Arrant, at 2:43 PM  

Like Speakeasy?

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 5:13 PM  

There is no profit in strictly making comics. Every new publisher factors in the Hollywood money into their publishing plans. And that causes plenty of contract strife, too. . .

It's fun walking around the San Diego Comic-Con every year and seeing the guys in suits and clipboards going from table to table in the small press area looking for properties to buy. They stick out in the crowd.

By Blogger Augie De Blieck Jr., at 1:31 PM  

I do think screenplays posing as comics can be a little harmful to the comic industry if the creators don't respect the comic audience enough. Here's a model that happens constantly (mostly with indy comics and smaller publishers).

A new book is solicited and the concept is discussed and raved about. Then the comic starts to come out, and Hollywood doesn't seem interested in the property, issue 2 comes out and still no interest. Eventually the real-world workload of making the comic becomes too much, and the comic just fades away.

Fans get burt, publishers get burt, and comic shops get burt. In the end, that's a bad thing for us comic book guys.

A constant stream of unfinished comics make it difficult to sell fans and retailers NEW (unproven) comics, since they know they're rolling the dice and have a very real chance of getting a book that won't complete the run. For guys like me that would LOVE to stick with creator owned stuff and not have to do spandex books, it's an uphill battle.

I think the best way to approach converting a screenplay into a comic is to truly choose to make a good comic from the script, and follow through, completely. Finish the story and get the books in the hands of readers. That means an investment of time and money, but finish the story.

The key here is to really focus on making a good comic (rather than a comic-film-pitch (for the sole purpose of selling the property), from there, everyone wins. You've got your film pitch, you've got a solid comic book, and everyone wins.

This is a bit of a generalization, but Hollywood seems to be starved for original fresh ideas and are stuck in a re-make, rehash rut, even though film fans are eager to drop a buck on something new and fresh.

But in comics, original fresh ideas are EVERYWHERE, but the fans ONLY seem to want to support the old stuff that's constantly re-made (spiderman, Batman, etc). It's frustrating to think that I may not be able to actually earn a living CREATING stories and may have to jump on board a superhero franchise to pay the rent.

By Blogger Kody Chamberlain, at 1:59 PM  

Kody, what you're saying is one of the reasons WHY Platinum has yet to publish anything. Our plan is to publish short-run books or graphic novels that have a definitive end. That's why we're taking a little while to make sure we have everything completed, so the fans aren't left in a lurch without an ending to a story AND that they get the best possible story.

One thing to consider, too, is that we produce comic books FOR Hollywood, not to make a mint in book sales. Our Chairman, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, used to own Malibu Comics, the publisher of Men In Black and a successful pubishing house that Marvel Comics eventually bought from him. That's when he decided to start Platinum, not with the intention to sell books (which he had already proven he could do) but with the intention to create books with solid stories that we could sell to Hollywood. If a book happens to become a hit, all the better but that's not the aim of our process. In a way, we're kind of following the Warchowskis' model. They created extensive storyboarding to sell their film, not to publish a comic book. The benefit that screenwriters get from this is that we work with you to develop your idea into something that will work for Hollywood.

It's fairly easy to get your script read in this town, but to get constructive feedback and a company that is willing to work with YOU in molding your ideas into something that works for what Hollywood wants (we respond to EVERY submission with usually a page plus of response). AND to be a part of a company that can put your idea in front of some of the top Execs in the business today? To me, that's invaluable and puts you head and shoulders above sending your script out through Scriptblaster or some other blind query service.

Thanks, everyone for such an animated discussion about our company. I had no idea so many people out there even knew who we are. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm a regular viewer of this blog and have been for some time.


By Blogger Platinum Studios, at 6:10 PM  

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