Used to be, if you wrote a good script and the studio liked the idea, it got produced.
Then we evolved to "packaging" scripts so the studios could feel more comfortable with what they were buying, where-in a director of some status and actors with familiar names were "attached" to the script.
Over time, these "packages" needed a further level of comfort, so they were "pre-sold", meaning money was committed from Azerbaijan or Zaire, so the studio or network didn't have to risk so much of its own cash.
But now a lot of the people who make movies are being asked by those who fund movies to provide further proof that they actually have the talent to make the movie in the first place.
It's kind of the writer/director version of actors being asked to appear at auditions in costume -- because the people doing the casting don't have the ability to believe an actor could play Spiderman unless they see him hidden under spandex.
Only in this case it involves a lot more than sewing a Hallow e'en costume in July.
Along with putting up the money to rent or make costumes, a writer has to find a director and a cast, hire a crew, scout locations and secure the services of a company that does post production and/or CGI.
These people spend a few days realizing a scene or sequence from the script, not just bringing it off the page, but making it as close to what the final version might look like as possible.
It's the kind of process that demands an enormous outlay of creative energy and sweat equity while insuring that people in suits with no clue about how to do their job can keep drawing a salary
And if those execs viewing your final product don't consider your leading lady "fuckable" enough or believe your grandma's house is really located in an idyllic small town in the 1950's -- you're still out of luck.
The smart screenwriter considers forgetting the middle man, mortgaging his house and continuing to shoot the film. At the very least it supports the "single vision" concept Writers Guilds like to champion -- and who needs to own a house anyway?
How good does a "proof of concept" need to be these days?
As good as what follows, the product of "Fight Club" scribe, Jim Uhls and Academy Award nominee director Ruairi Robinson.
Enjoy your Sunday.