Remember, It’s Not Your Idea, It’s Your Interpretation of It
Yesterday, over on the Cartoon Brew Biz section, I read an announcement that the Disney Channel has ordered a pilot for broadcast in 2012 tentatively called Zombies and Cheerleaders. Now I’m not so sure about yourself, but when I read that title, the first thing that popped into my head was this:
Yes, it’s the Zombies Vs Cheerleaders comic by Stephen Frank et al at Moonstone Books. Similar topic, very similar title.
On the surface they look much the same, however each composition is/will be hugely different. The TV show is described as follows:
The story follows Zed Necrodopolis, a typical high school student with one small caveat; he happens to be a zombie. Despite a high-tech wristwatch designed to curb any appetite he may have for his classmates, he and his zombie friends remain unpopular with the school’s most influential group, the pom-pom wielding cheerleaders. Never one to back down from a challenge, Zed sets out to improve zombie student body relations and win the attention of Addison, the cheerleading squad’s newest member.
In contrast, the comic is described as:
Morbid or funny, and sometimes morbidly funny, top talent bring eclectic tales of Zombies vs Cheerleaders in this best-selling anthology series. Based on the hit sketch card series from 5FINITY Productions, read the exciting stories of the two things everyone loves: zombies and cheerleaders!
So while they appear similar on the surface, featuring zombies and cheerleaders, they differ greatly when it comes down to actual content.
This is something to be very aware of if you are writing or creating your own material. You can’t copyright ideas, only exceedingly similar interpretations. This is why we continue to see new versions of Alice in Wonderland despite the fact that the Disney version is the de facto story as far as the masses are concerned.
So don’t be afraid to use someone else’s idea for something personal you’re working on, just so long as it’s different or heads in another direction. 🙂