WRITER’S EDGE: Brainstorming Technique – Amateur Blank

Steve Kaire is a Screenwriter/Pitchman who’s sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveKaire.

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Amateur BlankThe Amateur Blank is another brainstorming technique to help create instant movie ideas. This one involves the writer substituting a noun in the blank that movie audiences haven’t seen before. It usually involves someone pretending to be someone else or impersonating a professional in a different occupation other than his own.

In the film, Let’s Be Cops, we have two guys who impersonate policemen. The noun the writers chose to insert in the blank is Cops, making it Amateur Cops.

In the Richard Pryor comedy, Critical Condition, Pryor pretends to be a physician. So this would be an example of Amateur Doctor.

In the Dan Ackroyd comedy, Couch Trip, Ackroyd escapes from a mental institution and passes himself off as a psychiatrist. Here the blank is filled in with the word Shrink.

In another comedy, Trial and Error, Michael Richards fakes it as an attorney.

The entertainment value in all of these films using the Amateur Blank is the complications arising from being something you’re not.

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