Hollywood term to describe a literary property or idea that can be pitched in six words or less: Under Siege was sold as " Die Hard on a boat" ("in a tunnel": Daylight; "on a bus": Speed). AEI-Zide Films sold Meg to Disney as "Jurassic Shark." One of the jokes going around Hollywood, reported by Thomas Taylor in ScreenWriter Quarterly, tells of a young agent saying to his new client, "Why don't you go write ' Die Hard in a building!'" A story that takes a paragraph to pitch is not high concept.
refers to an idea that sounds very commercially appealing and in many cases unique and original. Usually associated with big blockbuster films but can reference any idea or script that would appear to have great potential.
A term used to designate the studio marketing value of a piece of material. High concept scripts and stories usually possess a "hook" that allows the studio to focus an ad campaign around. These hooks range from a one-line plot description with broad audience appeal (the true 'high concept'), to the twisting or remaking of a classic story with high name recognition, such as "Robin Hood" or anything Shakespeare. In either case, the high concept should be simple and thrilling enough to evoke audince interest through the viewing of a simple one-sheet.