All Women's Talk

Bill Marsilii and High Concept

By MaryAn

Bill Marsilii, co-author of Deja Vu with Terry Rossio, talks about his start in screenwriting to Michael Cortson via a cell phone conversation turned podcast. Most interesting in this podcast is how Bill learned high concept and more importantly, how it was high concept that got him out of the theatre and into screenwriting. High concept is what ignited his career.

For those of you who don't do podcasts, it basically goes like this--

Bill Marsilii, originally from Wilmington, Delaware, began doing theatre in high school and then went to NY to study drama. He and some friends formed Bad Neighbors, a theatre company, when they got out of school and realized they had no idea what a head shot was or how to get an agent. Turns out, the theatre company was great screenwriting training because they couldn’t afford to pay royalties and had to write all their own stuff. When he saw that the New York Times published off-off Broadway theatre titles with a one line synopsis, Bill figured out that he needed a premise that could be thoroughly conveyed in single sentence.

While he also discusses his film, how he got together with Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and his near miss with a producer/Heidi Fleisch patron, the crux of the interview is this: high concept is why he is where he is today.

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