One of the questions I am constantly being asked is: How do you keep the ideas fresh and up to date?
The film You’ve Got Mail tried to use email as a gimmick when attempting to retell the great Ernst Lubitch story, The Shop Around The Corner. The recent film The Hangover relied on cell phones.
In the first case, the script was weak, so the gimmick couldn’t save it, but in the second, the cell phone is an effective device that enhances the story.
I am always trying to explain to my private students that the key is to focus on the basic love story and use current events (or technologies) to flavor but not distort the story.
As an example this video, a fresh take on West Side Story really pulls this off.
I’d love to hear your own thoughts on writing the “new” film.