Isn’t it irritating that although we all believe that we’re unique, the truth is that we do often unknowingly share the same ideas and end up fighting over who came up with it first. Of course having copy-written documents helps, however regardless of that, arguing the point is moot.
In 2009, I came up with a script entitled “The Best Laid Plans.” A dramatic feature surrounding a break in. I’d become irked once I saw Terry Fallis’ successful book on shelves in 2010, but I knew due to the differences in content – making a film with that title wouldn’t be a problem.
However, little did I know that back in 1999 Ted Griffin wrote a feature that was produced and starred Reese Witherspoon, Ben Kent wrote and produced a short film with the same title in 2007 and Chris Green came out with another story entitled “The Best Laid Plans” this very year.
What I wonder about is how important a title is. I’ve never renamed any of my scripts, because I’m fairly pretentious towards my work. Although the title is adapted from a famous quote by John Steinbeck from “Of Mice and Men” (“The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.”), is the point any weaker if reworded? As a writer you do need to be able to let go of your work. But also, don’t you need to place a certain value on the elements you construct around it?