NOBODY BUYS IDEAS. NOBODY. They buy the execution of those ideas.

Here’s the article on screenwriting that sentence came from.

I’ve had a few chats with people who (think they) have had a great idea for a script and asked me (as if I’d really know) if there was some kind of market for those ideas. ‘Well’, I would generally begin, ‘No. No there isn’t.’

I think this situation exists in all areas of art (unless, as the article continues, you have already proven yourself to the extent that someone would believe you could execute seven shades of shit out of an interesting idea). This is because the execution is where the road meets the rubber. I’m fond of explaining the plot of my novel to people, and when they respond in a way that suggests they’re unsure such a story would be worthy of publication by Penguin I point out that ‘Dinosaurs run amock when they’re brought back to life on a remote island’ would not necessarily seem like a great plot until it was executed brilliantly by Michael Crichton.

In the screenwriting world a premium is placed on the ability to produce a plot that can generate a good logline, that is a distillation of the concept to a couple of appealing sentences. Yes, that can indeed be very helpful, but it’s about 2% of what someone really wants to buy. Either it’s the key to getting a producer/director/rich bloke to read the full script, or it’s a way of getting someone interested enough to pay you to write the full script. On its own it’s as valuable as a dead dog’s cock.

So have a great idea, but don’t start celebrating until you’ve done the months of work required to execute it.