intellectual property

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  12 December 2004
intellectual property

Is anybody worried at all about posting their thoughts and ideas on a forum in case somebody takes their brilliant concept, puts their own spin on it and makes millions? I'd love very much to discuss my scripts with likeminded people, but i gotta admit, i'm worried.

For now i'll ask in general terms, would any of you americans go see a supernatural thriller that had australian accents? or would you need to hear your own accent to be immersed in the story? Funny thing is, even Australians i have asked all say they wouldn't be able to get into a supernatural thriller if they were hearing their own accent up there.
  12 December 2004
hmmmm... I agree that it will be risky showing ones ideas here. Things will just have to evolve slowly.

<<<would any of you americans go see a supernatural thriller that had australian accents?>>>
Well Im canadian but its all good. we're friends right. Anyhoo, do you feel that the accent is neccessary for the overall meaning of the plot or is it because you live in Australia? (heres where I ask what the plot is....). If the time and setting, and plot is appropriate for it than I dont think the accent would bother me, ever. In fact, It probably wouldn't matter at all. accents are fun!! Besides the audience will be paying attention to the ghosts or other phenomena.

<<<<Funny thing is, even Australians i have asked all say they wouldn't be able to get into a supernatural thriller if they were hearing their own accent up there.>>>>
are you sure??? My Uncle is australian and he thinks I have an accent.

Hope that helps and stuff. Good luck
  12 December 2004
I think it would all depend on the delivery of the lines. If they are delivered like most aussie films have their actors delivering lines, then no (oh, i'm not really answering your question, since i'm australian too).

I've actually been thinking a bit about this too, cos me and a friend are in the middle of scripting a supernatural type thriller as well (although writing is going slow, as we both have no spare time). The way i'd like the actors to deliver lines would be like in the original "alien" (except with aussie accents). I dunno... that style of acting really struck a chord with me. So to that end, i'm trying to get written dialogue and circumstances to fit better with that style.
  12 December 2004
I really don't think most Americans mind what type of accent an actor has. Yes, Americans can be very picky. But, these types are usually the "let's watch a big-hyped Hollywood production with quirky one-liners and things blowing up".

I am a member of numerous Horror forums, and when it comes to films of a supernatural element, we fans and creators could care less. You're talking to a group of people who choose to watch subtitles than have to listen to a dub. As long as the film is decent, we don't care if the actors speak Pokemonese. But, if you want some usual Hollywood-type of film where grossing money is the key factor, then add an American dialect in the film just to appeal to the American fancination with themselves, or have a well-known American actor in the film speaking the foreign dialect. As long as an American distinction is formed, American viewers will have your attention.

By the way, I am an American. I was born and raised here. I live and breathe film, especially of the horror genre. And I have noticed that many of us are engrossed within ourselves and big budget films. Americans are fascinated with Lord of the Rings and seeing their American counterparts speaking a foreign dialect, but I bet you 80% of the American viewers have never seen or heard of Peter Jackson's early splatter works 10 years before the release and viewing of LOTR, mainly because of its content and it being foreign films. They may say Heavenly Creatures(for it's beautiful imagery) and Frighteners (for having American actors), but you will not hear Bad Taste of Braindead/Dead-Alive.

What ever it is that you have planned, do it. But, keep in mind of the American psyche. Look at the result from 28 Days Later; foreign horror, high-paced, no American dialect or actors. It turned out to be a high-grossing film of its type.

Do I know exactly what I'm talking about? Hell no. This is all an opinion and observation. But, to hear that someone dealing with a supernatural element is interested in catering to Americans, I had to comment on what I have observed.

I wish you the best of luck, mate. Don't let anything bring you down. Make the film and screw what a certain country may think. If you are more concerned of how much money your film will make because of a dialect, then I have wasted both our time. To me, it better just be a pretty good damn film with a plot.

Last edited by Funeral Laugh : 12 December 2004 at 01:27 PM.
  12 December 2004
Hey thanks for the replies guys... ultimately i want my story out there regardless of how many people will see it, but having said that, i want to generate enough income to make another film after it. So it's tough. I feel like the story is good enough to bring the crowds, but it's set in Brisbane, so i won't be asking my actors to fake an accent.

But yeah, the other thing too.. i'd love to be discussing the story and getting opinions, but like i mentioned, i just feel a little worried putting it out there for anybody to 'borrow' from. Especially since i only have a script.

I guess the main thing is that if people would be willing to watch a supernatural thriller with aussie accents, then i will try to get funding from the Australian Film Commision, but if not, and i need big American actors, then i have to get an agent to pass my script around in Hollywood.
But i'm unlikely to get a deal because i want a friend of mine to direct.

So yeah, original question still stands.. how does anybody else feel about sharing their stories?
  12 December 2004
Only a lonely man's opinion

It's a tough call.
I personally wouldn't. But, seeing how "secure" this site is, you can start off with WIPs. This way, no one can claim "I wrote this" (of course, archive the webpages onto your own drive for further reference and back-up security).

I've been told on a thread I posted in the General Discussion forum that what are the chances of someone making millions off your work? I could care less of the money aspect, what bugs me is the fact that I was the one that created it. This question can go on and on with many different opinions, but the fact is, do you wish to be noticed? What I would fear with putting a script up is that it can readily be altered without any fancy-schmancy digital program. Just copy/paste, and alter words. But, you can also expect this in the world of film. Look at Anaconda, Blair Witch, Scream, etc. Have you seen the replications of these films? Same type of "plot" or storyline, but different writers, with cheesier titles (Boa, St. Francisville Experiment, Cut).

Catch-22, my friend. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. But, if it's a very original idea, keep it to yourself. If it's something in which you can say, "it's a cross between The Others and The Shining", then post up WIPs. If you can compare it to another work, then the chances of someone ripping the story off is unlikely.

  12 December 2004
Look how many artists put their work up here - character designs, world designs, stylistic and technical developments.

Do people take the ideas and develop them for their own gain? Sure. Do people get better by having put them up and engaging in the discussions? You bet.

Why shouldn't it be the same with writers. While seasoned vets won't be putting up major developments - maybe they would put up some sketches, or experiments to be discussed. Younger writers particularly from cg roduction backgrounds too. It would be a great thing for the collaboration forum as well. Something could even get produced, maybe it would even hit a festival or two, or just have a run in the internet, and cgTalk will have given birth to a short-lived moment of brightness.

  12 December 2004
I would say that if you are worried about it then don't do it. If you are developing something for actual release then keep it to yourself and only post the parts you want help with or get a copyright. They aren't as expensive as most people think. Start here Visual art copyrights cost $30 bucks according to the website.

My first project that I'll post here is a portfolio piece only because it uses established characters and music and other things. I have no problems posting this obviously since people can't steal what isn't mine.

On this topic, barring an actual copyright does anyone think that posting on this website would be a good way of establishing ownership since it's timestamped and recorded. I've had this discussion before on other sites (it's probably been on this one before I'm sure) but I'd be curious what you guys think.
HMC: Model Collection
WIP: Harris Nut House
WIP: WarCraft Troll Dig it!
  12 December 2004
More info on protecting scripts here:
I used to hate liver, then I met a man who didn't have one.
  12 December 2004
I think the timestamps on this forum are probably not unlike the old trick of mailing your work to yourself and never opening it, so that should a court case arise you have a date-stamped package with your development in it.

I think it would work, but for me, the fear isn't that somebody will take the idea outright, but they would put JUST enough spin on it to be able to rip me off. I think as far as my 3d characters, i really have no problem sharing them on CGTalk, it's pretty obvious when somebody is ripping somebody elses stuff, and they're an obvious showcase of the artists skill.

But a script... that's less obvious. Once the film is made the script itself doesn't really stand out all that much.

Perhaps i'm agonizing over nothing though. I really like that idea about something that was developed and produced by CGTalkers, it sounds like a whole lot of fun.
  12 December 2004
Here's the Matrix case.

Wachowski brother's stole the "idea" for the Matrix and just lost a major suit for it.
HMC: Model Collection
WIP: Harris Nut House
WIP: WarCraft Troll Dig it!
  12 December 2004
that's pretty crazy. It's kind of what i'm talking about... though i would hope CGTalkers are slightly more moral than that, but i guess ANYBODY can browse these forums.
  12 December 2004
Do not count on morals. Besides there are 100 000 CGtalkers so that can include variety of different levels of morals.

Amyway - said zillion times. Work does not need to be registered to have copyright - creation is enough. Prooving the ownership and time of creation might be difficult is case of legal case. That is why one should take care of the registration/documantation.

Another very important thing is that idea is not considered a piece. So if you reviel here the clever idea of Super Studs from outer space whose semen is actually nanobots and how they take over the world it becomes public domain. Well not really public domain but you can not sue anyone who wrote a full script based on the idea. The work has to qualify as a piece or something. If you feel that the idea is worth protecting - read more.

  12 December 2004
How the hell did you know about my intergalactic super studs I never told ANYBODY.

hehe... yeah i think i might just keep my screenplays to myself.
  12 December 2004

This would, however, be a good place for everyone, including yourself, to throw hints out here to get ideas. For example of a thread-

mod#2: What type of script can you come up with SuperStuds2: The Second Coming? Winner gets a digital plaque and the copyrights of possibly having this used for any film consideration, god forbid..
member#45897: Hun Johnson, from the planet Vans Deferens, travels through the unchartered galaxy of the Uterian Loop to the Milky Way where he plans to land his pod...
member#9083: Rod Slim, master of his domain, and Jack M., his right-hand man, go solo in the dark depths of the virgin landscape.... *ey group, need some hints on whether or not I should have the plot change to this entire film actually being a wet dream sequence half-way or three-quarters way through... what do you think?*

Get the idea? People can throw any idea out here, as they do in your personal life, and create a storyline out of that. Only you would have the creativity and "expertise" of making this sell. If I'm wrong, write a script of me blowing my brains out all over the forum walls. Heyyyy... *the nickle-plated Colt was cold, with signs of misuse from its previous abuser...* I think I'll copyright that as Intelletual Property: the Scourging of a Bad Idea.

Well, heck. You never know... maybe as this new forum grows, so will some posties from the mods and what not on what to do. Give it some time. But, it diffently wouldn't hurt getting some ideas from people if you only give a small scenerio from your tale where you are stuck.

I just realized that I practiced what I just preached: Kerosene threw an idea out there with 17 simple words describing a plot, and I had already came up with ridiculous names and summaries, and different ways of altering it. It's that type of method, perhaps for a Challenge, that will help everyone get fresh (though horrible) ideas. But, since you, Matty, already have an idea and want it filmed, may I suggest to you what I have underline above before my edit.

Last edited by Funeral Laugh : 12 December 2004 at 12:14 PM.
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