story concepts for books, film/series, toys and games.
Everybody can have good ideas.
Former advertising creative director Patz van der Sloot has developed an oeuvre of children's and youth books and I.P's / story brands in recent years. Some appeared under the label CircusPatz; others came out under his own name or a pseudonym. The way of working is unique in the Netherlands; in most cases, Patz develops the story concepts and storylines and, where necessary, collaborates with authors to work out the story and give the story and characters a ‘voice.’
In 2009, Patz wrote 'The Extraordinary Remarkable Diaries of Victor Veggiestein' (De Buitengewoon Opmerkelijke Dagboeken van Gregor Groentestein) under the pseudonym Acke Vaerle, and sold the international movie rights in 2013. After Patz almost sold the movie & television rights of 'The Ministry of Very Secret Affairs' to Disney Studio's in 2014, he sold the total rights of his first concept-only property ‘Little Jules’ in the same year. 'Little Jules' is a story concept based upon the youth of the famous French Sci-Fi writer Jules Verne.
Meanwhile, Patz has also made the turnoff for film and television, and besides his autonomous and commissioned books, story products and I.P's work, he is also involved as a story concept developer and scriptwriter for several TV and film productions in the Netherlands and abroad.
It's true. My personal 'core' talent is a difficult one. It's almost like building great wheels. It can be a talent, and wheels are very useful. But you need people who can build cars to have any value.
My real 'thing' is creating story concepts. As a good film producing friend once said; it is quite worthless without someone who wants to write a complete story and someone who wants to produce a film from the whole thing. It is more or less 'the easy part' of the whole process. 'Everybody can have good ideas.' Not surprisingly I don't agree.
A couple of years ago I visited an international animation feature film pitch event in France. At this event the bigger European animation producers where hunting for (financial) partners to help them produce their films.
There I witnessed the power of the concept. Or better, I witnessed the lack of good concepts. Whole production trains with a value of millions of euro's where waiting to start their engines. The artwork was amazing, their concepts where unexplainable complex or boring as hell.
They had paid thousands of euros to present their project at this event and were pitching for millions of euros and it looked like they were forgotten to work on 'the easy part' of the whole thing: the concepts that they here trying to sell.
There I witnessed the power of the concept.
Or better, I witnessed the lack of good concepts.
What is a good concept? I think a good story concept scores on two things. First: it has the ability to produce a good rich story with amazing characters. Second: the concept has to generate a good title and short premise that is exciting, make you curious and almost explains itself.
Most of the stories you see in the theatre, in the book- or game store have the first thing right. You can produce a beautiful story out of a 'not-that-interesting' concept. The problem is that you lose a lot of energy explaining your concept to stakeholders and...to your audience. A time we all know you don't have. The poster, the premise, the package must do the trick. It must lift your story between thousands of other stories. And when you must lift the story with your own muscles without any help of famous names and impressive track records you have a challenge. A big Challenge.
You know what? It's a good thing I love challenges. So, if you are a writer looking for a concept for your new book, a publisher or an agent who wants to help his top author out of his writer block, a film producer who is looking for his new blockbuster or a game producer looking for a new backstory/world design you are welcome to have a coffee with me and talk about your challenge. For all we know, I can be just the man you are looking for.
Patz van der Sloot