Last year was the beginning of a new journey as I became a finalist for the Hollywood screenplay contest for my script Do You Believe in Zombies? Since then I saw a potential for more with the storyline and weighed in on the options to turn it into something more. The first option was to turn it into a television series, and the other option is to turn it into a movie series. Either way, coming up with the route I want to take for the spinoff has not been easy, and it’s a dilemma every writer faces in the building phase.
The script is currently a short movie and it’s a long hard decision figuring it out what route to take with it. The spin-off aspect and getting it right is vital, and something that any writer should take seriously. I never wanted my script to be in competition with any other current zombie shows like The Walking Dead or Z-Nation but wanted to bring a new story to make it unique that everyone can enjoy without comparing it to anything else.
The research and keeping up with zombie shows has been exhausting since The Walking Dead franchise, Z-Nation, and many other shows have many long-term projects. While looking at my outline, I asked myself “how can I pull this off to make it my own in the midst of a zombie boom?”. With many movies and television shows combined, weighing in the options made it harder with all that in mind.
There is always room for more no matter what genre and theme, but the worry of getting lost in the shuffle will always be there when creating the original content. The idea is to stand out and embrace the culture rather than compete and overthink. The last script I made was stiff and didn’t have all the necessary parts, because of overthinking and trying too hard to not be like another movie that had the same theme as the other script.
It will all flow organically with no worries or anxiety. In this case, the horror culture for zombies have been rising to a new high, and as a fan, I want to see it all go down with The Walking Dead and other shows coming soon, but as a writer, I am saying that “it’s time to get moving on it”.
The dilemma is trying to figure out which fits better, a television series or a movie spin-off, because both are great options, but which route is a little better than the other? A similar dilemma occurred while I was writing my original short script. I had to decide if I wanted it to be a book or a short movie script. I went with turning it into a short movie script and became a finalist for it.
The timing is always right, because what’s better than the present right? It is a matter of what to do now with it. The work is ours and there is no right or wrong answer, but just something that feels right to each individual writer. Some writers may say “Yeah make another television show!” while others may say “Do a movie series out of it!”, which is why I haven’t asked for anyone personally with help for this (no offense to anyone who has helped me in the past!).
The unique thing about this whole situation is that there are so many ways to craft an apocalyptic world full of zombies. There are so many unique stories that grab an audience or reader with those kinds of stories. If you always wanted to write about the apocalypse whether it is a book, movie, or show, go for it. There are so many scenarios and each world whether it is The Walking Dead or Z-Nation tells different stories for how it all happened and how they could survive.
The biggest and most important part is to have fun with the process, not just the writing, but while watching what’s happening around you with other writers and shows that are part of the same genre as yourself. That’s what makes the journey so special while writing the spin-off to Do You Believe in Zombies? It’s all about having fun while making even the hardest decisions in the long process to make it unique to your own personal journey and enjoyment while making the piece come to life.
As I continue to plan the outline, I will soon make an announcement for what route I will be taking, but no matter what decision is made, it will surely be something I can guarantee people will enjoy just like I have enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned for more details.