Genre: Period
Premise: In 1929, the owner of a logging business marries an ambitious young woman named Serena who becomes obsessed with the bastard child he had from a previous woman.
About: Based on the book by the same name, Serena stars mega-celebs and frequent collaborators Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The film was actually shot back in 2012, and is yet to be released due to (according to the production company) a very deliberate editing process. Christopher Kyle adapted the book, whose last credit before Serena was Oliver Stone’s Alexander. Don’t be worried for Kyle though. Since there were 17 cuts of Alexander made, he got paid for each one. Word is Stone will come out with another version later this summer titled, “Alexander: The Rethought but Carefully Considered Semi-Violent Cut” and Kyle will get paid again. Ron Rash, who wrote the novel, has written several books and lots of poetry. His most recent book was 2012’s The Cove, about a family who experiences a set of grave misfortunes.
Writer: Christopher Kyle (based on the book by Ron Rash)
Details: 124 pages – August 9, 2009 draft

serena-jennifer-lawrence-bradley-cooper-image

Some longtime Scriptshadow advice: Don’t write a period piece on spec unless a) you are SURE you can get an A-list actor (they’re the only way these get made) and b) you know it’s going to win an Oscar. It’s the only way these movies have any sort of success.

Editing rumors aside, I’m guessing the real reason Serena hasn’t been released yet is because they’re trying to figure out how to market it. You have two of the biggest movie stars in the world. But they’re in completely unfamiliar roles. And you’re selling a movie about logging in the 1920s. Doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest marketing genius in the world. You’re going to have trouble with that one.

This is why I tell you to look into the future BEFORE you write your script. Ask the hard question: Are marketers going to have an easy time marketing my movie? Or a hard time? Cause if it’s a hard time, you probably shouldn’t write it. Not unless you’re Christopher Kyle and you’re getting paid on assignment for it.

But even if you get past the obvious obstacles – like trying to market this kind of film – it’s just really tough to WRITE period pieces. The further back you go in time, the slower life was, and movies work best when the story’s moving quickly. So the elements are always working against each other when you’re trying to write one of these.  The period is trying to slow you down, but you want to speed up. It can be a very frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong. It can be done. But you have to be on your A-game. Let’s see which game Serena brought to the table.

It’s 1929 and George Pemberton is plowing down trees along the North Carolina coast, looking to build a logging empire (I guess from the timber he just cut?). But apparently, chopping down timber could use a little Tinder (app that is). There aren’t a lot of females around. So George starts boinking a 16 year old girl named Rachel and accidentally knocks her up! (Is there an app for that?)

His father dies soon after so he heads home to sell the house, and when he comes back, he’s married to a psycho woman obsessed with hawks named Serena. No really! Serena spends the bulk of her time training a hawk. Serena also wants to rule this timber business with an iron fist, and therefore it doesn’t take her long to start bossing everyone around. Naturally, everyone just loves her for it.

Serena becomes aware of Rachel carrying Pemberton’s bastard child, but doesn’t think much of it. That is until her own pregnancy goes awry and she’s told she’ll never get pregnant again. This inspires a rage inside Serena, and she freaking orders a hit on Rachel and her little boy!

This is where the screenplay makes an interesting choice. Rachel and the boy actually get away at the end of the second act. Because Serena couldn’t kill them, she turns her rage towards Pemberton. As such, she meticulously sets up a hunting “accident” that will happen the next time her husband goes hunting. Will he figure it out though before it’s too late? Or will he perish under the psychopathic rage of…. SERENA!

I’ll say this about Serena. I’ve never read anything like it.

Here’s the question I always ask with period pieces though: Why do we need to tell this story in this time? What is it about 1929, specifically, that necessitates the story be told then? Because if there’s nothing that happens in the story that’s specific to that time, why not just save a ton of cash and tell the story in the present?

I’m looking at “woman gets jealous of husband’s bastard child and wants to kill it” and thinking, “Why not just tell that story today?” There doesn’t need to be any logging to tell it. Look at a movie like Titanic. Why does that movie need to be told then? Because that’s the only time it could’ve been told!

I guess an argument can be made that, if we tell this story today, it’ll feel like all the other “psycho wife/gf” movies. By setting it in 1929 at a logging facility, that’s what makes it unique. I suppose that makes sense. But I still think if you’re going to go that far back, why not intertwine the setting into the story in a way where this only could’ve happened then?

Another problem was the extreme emotional detachment all the characters showed. We never see Pemberton court Serena so we don’t know why they fell for each other. This was the biggest surprise in the script to me. Why wouldn’t you show these two meet (we sort of do in a brief flashback late in the story, but it’s too late)? Their relationship is the engine that drives the story and because we don’t see how they meet, they feel like two strangers working together. They’re so cold to one another, more interested in the business than the relationship. When they have sex, it’s raging angry sex, not tender love-making.

This makes Serena’s jealousy later on all the more puzzling. We don’t really see her love Pemberton outside of the words she says to him (words alone never work – you must SHOW NOT TELL), so it’s confusing why she’d get so worked up about the whole bastard child ordeal.

Then there’s Rachel, who Pemberton has no feelings for either! Their sex is “mechanical” when we see it. And when she has his son, he’s intrigued, but by no means interested. Wouldn’t this have worked better if he had some feelings for Rachel? A part of him regrets leaving her? Serena could’ve felt that, and then her desire to kill them would’ve actually felt motivated. Here, she’s just doing it because she’s a psychopath with a lot of issues.

The more I think about it, the more I believe the lack of emotion was the script’s undoing. How come nobody actually cares about anybody in this script??? Everyone is a zombie, a stiff. Nobody emotes. Nobody lets loose. Nobody cares. Characters without life aren’t characters.

I do give credit to Kyle for keeping things lean. Despite it being a period piece script, the action lines were nice and tight (most were 2 lines or less). His descriptions were strong. I didn’t know what a logging office looked like until I read: They’re like “boxcars on stilts.” And you’d get these winner lines, such as when they were losing all these lives due to heinous body-severing logging accidents. One official tells him, “If only I could stitch together all the severed limbs, I could make you a new man every week or two.”

And really, some of the early drama, with (spoiler) Pemberton murdering his boss before he could underhand him, was exciting. But after awhile, it became unclear what the script was about, until Serena came up with her murder plot, and I never thought that was big enough to carry an entire movie. I hope they figure it out in editing, but this draft wasn’t for me.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Do not hide “YEARS LATER” or “MONTHS LATER” in a slugline. Big time jumps must be made CLEAR to the reader, since there’s nothing more confusing than reading and then, all of a sudden, nothing makes sense, then five minutes pass and you realize it’s because a time jump occurred that you were unaware of. For the most part, readers skim over sluglines, so they’ll miss any time jumps at the end of them. Instead, add them after the slugline, and BOLD THEM. It’s crucial enough information that you have to draw attention to it.

INT. BOBBY’S BATHROOM – DAY

Title: 307 years later

  • Citizen M

    OT: I wonder how Aronofsky pitched Noah?

    “It’s Titanic meets Waterworld.”

    • Gregory Mandarano

      When I saw Waterworld, it was the single best viewing experience I ever had at a movie theater. I was on vacation in Florida. I was with my friend and my cousin, and there was a tropical storm outside, so it was windy with torrential down pours. We went to this huge imax theater with the largest screen I’d ever seen, and the place was absolutely empty. There was no one there at all except the three of us. We camped out in the perfect seats and had a feast of popcorn and candy and soda. It was amazing.

      • Magga

        1999: The Matrix, American Beauty, The Insider, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Toy Story 2, American Movie, Magnolia, Election, Eyes Wide Shut, Blair Witch Project, Three Kings, The Sixth Sense, The Virgin Suicides, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Iron Giant, Mr. Death, The Straight Story,

        • garrett_h

          1999 is one of my favorite years as well. I was in HS, and we went to the movies just about every weekend. And every time we had a day off. Awesome year.

          i remember 1994 being a pretty damn good year too, with the likes of Pulp Fiction, Speed, Forrest Gump, True Lies, Interview With A Vampire, Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, Shawshank, a whole host of awesome movies that I would watch over and over on cable (like Major League 2, Sugar Hill, Above the Rim, Air Up There, PCU, Camp Nowhere, Little Giants, Natural Born Killers, The Professional, Stargate, et al), and of course, the grandaddy of all animated movies… The Lion King.

          Man, this is bringing back some memories!

          • Magga

            And to be fair, 2013: Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Twelve Years a Slave, Her, Inside Llewin Davies, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Room 237, Stories We Tell, Frances Ha, Act of Killing, Before Midnight. It’s easier to see how much good stuff comes out in retrospect because you forget the Man of Steels of the world.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      Discus ate my epic comment about 1995. Currrrrseee youuuu!

    • Poe_Serling

      When Aronofsky pitched the project to Russell Crowe, the director told him that he wouldn’t have to wear sandals or stand next to a giraffe.

      • klmn

        Do they make lift sandals?

        • Poe_Serling

          Of course. Goliath used them to go from a mere 7-footer to a whooping 10-foot giant. ;-)

    • klmn

      Aronofsky pitched him curve ball low and outside, fast ball high and inside.

    • Jonathan Soens

      Think he said something along the lines of: “You guys, it’s ‘The Ten Commandments’ meets ‘Waterworld’ meets ‘The Happening.’ You can make the check payable to me personally or to my production company.”

    • MaliboJackk

      Yeah but —
      The Titanic was the bigger boat. About twice the size of the ark.

      • MaliboJackk

        If I was pitching Noah —

        I’m thinking love story.
        Two lovers on an overcrowded boat.
        A boat half the size of the Titanic.
        7 millions species on board. Fifteen million in all!

        And here’s the thing —
        We’re going to sink the boat!!

      • Poe_Serling

        Hey, I like this new side of you. You’re a budding bibliologist.

        • MaliboJackk

          Lots of good stuff in that book.

      • John Bradley

        But the people who built the Titanic weren’t 500 year old men, right?;)

  • ripleyy

    Marketing is something A LOT of writers aren’t aware of. Everyone is so focused on writing their script and making it perfect (with their third acts and making sure their plot points hit 25.2 pages precisely) that marketing isn’t a consideration, because not even the best director or the best marketing team – like Carson mentioned – can make your script work.

    You cant market in your head, don’t bother. Always find two films you can connect your script to before you write/plan. As for Selena, sounds good and exciting but sad that it fell flat, ironically, on the very thing it hinges on to succeed.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      Exactly. The problem with period pieces are that by setting the date at anything but the present, you have already exponentially raised the costs of producing the script into a film. If you are not already a produced writer, and you intend to write something set in in the past, it’s critical to find a story that is extremely marketable. Those perfect ideas are rare, but they really are out there, and are ripe for the taking.

      • Jonathan Soens

        Dynamite or Bonaparte?

        • Gregory Mandarano

          Well ND is existing property, so unless I got the rights, would have to go with public domain Bonaparte.

  • leitskev

    I have to admit, there is literally nothing in this concept that sounds interesting to me. Except maybe the period part.

  • Bifferspice

    “The further back you go in time, the slower life was, and movies work best when the story’s moving quickly.” – what??

    • brenkilco

      Well, I kinda like the drowsy, bucolic charm of Saving Private Ryan, The Wild Bunch and Gladiator.

  • G.S.

    As Carson brought up in the “Do the Right Thing” post, setting can be a character. In my view, it NEEDS to be a character. All script choices should have a valid story-driven reason. So the setting needs to have as much of a recognizable and unique impact on the narrative as any character element. The initial purpose for choosing it can be as simple as establishing a contained environment for your contained thriller, but it needs to be exploited for all its worth. If you’re stuck in a lumber mill with a deranged killer, how about some giant saw action, or tumbling 2×4’s? (Bad example, but you get it.)

    This is never more true than in sci-fi/fantasy and period pieces where the setting tends to drive up the expense of production. I think we writers sometimes forget that we’re actually asking people to spend tons of money on our vision. I imagine we’d sometimes make different choices if it was our OWN cash on the line.

    • ChadStuart

      But, it is our money on the line. I recently had a producer tell me that although my script was great, it’s too expensive to produce since it’s not an established property. Therefore he can’t sell it to studios. Therefore, I don’t get paid.

      • G.S.

        Good point. But I did say “sometimes make different choices.” :-) I have a number of spec projects I know are necessarily big-budget blockbusters that a studio won’t bite on unless and until it becomes bankable (i.e. I become the mega-uber-ultra king writer of Hollywood, or a major star/director jump on it for reasons unknown). But I make that choice knowingly. In the mean time, I’m looking to break in with things that wouldn’t be quite so expensive.

  • ChadStuart

    ” I’m guessing the real reason Serena hasn’t been released yet is because they’re trying to figure out how to market it.”

    Marketing these types of films are easy. You position it for awards and market on the awards. However, if they know they have a turkey on their hand that won’t get awards, then they’ll have no clue what to do with it.

    • Jonas E.

      this

    • ScottStrybos

      Could it be that there have been too many Lawrence/Cooper collaborations, and the studio is afraid people will get sick of the pairing if spaced to close together, they fear the audience will think “I’ve already seen this film,” so they feel they need to space them out?

      • Brainiac138

        No, the conventional wisdom in terms of film marketing is that if an audience likes one thing, they will like it again and again and again, until they don’t. We haven’t reached the “until they don’t” market quite yet.

        • ScottStrybos

          Yeah, you’re right. This film is a turd.

  • ScottStrybos

    When characters are emotionally detached, it’s not necessarily a fail. If done right, if in the hands of a good writer or director or actor, it can still work. The fun then comes from watching these horrible characters exist together and ultimately torture and destroy each other.

    The only example I can think of is any Neil Labute film. Like Your Friends and Neighbors. With maybe the exception of the Amy Brenneman character, no one in that film really felt anything for anybody. And those characters have stayed with me to this day, in the pit of my stomach. They were monsters. Sociopaths. Completely detached. But I had a sick fascination watching them interact and live.

    Or am I mistaking emotional detachment for something else?

    • G.S.

      I can kind of see what you’re getting at, but how to two emotionally detached characters torture each other except by poking at the things they DO care about. It’s one thing to be detached from each other, but Carson makes it sound like they don’t seem to care about anything.

      The conflict should come because the characters are invested in opposing directions. If neither are invested in anything, why should they interact at all, let alone butt heads?

      • ScottStrybos

        I’ve written and deleted a counter reply to you thread at least three times, because my response never is able to hold water. But I can’t give you the win either. I don’t think I have the language to defend what I feel in my gut.

        But I think a film populated with emotionally detached characters, living for themselves only, not caring about anything but their own existence… there is something there (?).

        The conflict comes from these horrible characters, who care about nothing but themselves, existing in the same space….

        • G.S.

          Can we call it a tie? :-) We might be driving to the same destination from different directions.

          When we discussed emotional detachment, the implication is generally that it’s a relational issue. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the character is devoid of emotional investment. Everyone desires something, even if they do it with a straight face. Selfish characters serve their own whims above all else, but those whims indicate desire, and desire is placed on SOMETHING. That desire is the motivation behind character actions that drive the story.

          So in this case, we see Serena plotting to murder her husband. Why? What is her motivation? What does she desire? Without having established that, none of the other stuff works.

          Even the Joker from The Dark Knight, wanted something – the chaos of exposing the inner ‘villains’ in others. Though he appeared to care for nothing, he was emotionally invested in getting people to dance to his music. If his actions appeared to have NO motivation, his actions would read as false. We’d see the writer’s hand and it wouldn’t be nearly as engaging.

          • ScottStrybos

            Yeah, you win.

          • G.S.

            I still say tie. :-)

          • Citizen M

            What makes a character interesting is not so much what drives them, but how powerful their drives are.

            A passive and wishy-washy hero is as unexciting as a passive and wishy-washy villain.

    • Jonathan Soens

      Off-topic: I just looked at Neil Labute’s IMDB, and was surprised by some of his credits. He wrote/directed the Nic Cage Wicker Man film.

      • ScottStrybos

        I haven’t seen the Wicker Man, so I can’t call it an anomaly in his career, but it seems out of place.

        I also haven’t seen his latest films, but Your Friends and Neighbors, In The Company of Men, and Shape of Things are favorites of mine. If anyone on this board hasn’t seen them, I highly recommend them.

  • Citizen M

    I rate the script much higher than Carson. [xx] worth the read. It’s too long at 125 pages, but it’s worth reading the first 50 pages or so to see how to tell a drama through action and not through dialogue. Compared to a typical AF entry, there’s half the dialogue and double the action.

    By page 16, when Serena says, “I didn’t come to Carolina to do needlepoint.” we know 90% of the location, the people, and the conflicts that we need to know. It’s very economical at setting things up, something most amateurs struggle to do concisely.

    I doubt it would be hugely expensive to shoot because so much of it takes place in a logging camp and the surrounding forests and countryside. There’s no need to recreate period city street scenes with period motor cars that need renting.

    Apart from cutting costs, setting it in a logging camp shows us an interesting way of life and time period where one group of people were cutting the indigenous forest while others were trying to preserve it. Just another source of conflict in a script where practically everyone was in conflict, leading to huge drama.

    I had a couple of problems. The end should have come sooner and been wrapped up quicker. There was a totally unnecessary carnival scene I doubt will make it to the movie, and a few other bits and bobs that could be cut. The two leads, the ice-cold psycho Serena and the driven but slightly warmer Pemberton, were powerful and proactive enough, but somehow never quite came into focus for me. Maybe more of their early life together would help, as Carson suggests.

    The principal’s names — Campbell, Buchanan, Pemberton, Galloway — might seem different but they are a similar length and rhythm and sufficiently similar sounding that I had to keep checking a list to see who was who. Moral of the story: make names more dissimilar. Vary the length, the rhythm, the ethnicity, whatever it takes. It makes for an easier read, and that’s what you are aiming for.

    (Skidders are mentioned quite often. I had to look them up. They are big steam-driven contraptions with booms and cables that haul felled logs out of the forest and load them on rail cars. See illustration.)

    • Citizen M

      A couple of points on Carson’s review:

      Pemberton is cold to Rachel in the only scene we see them making love. He seems to have his mind more on the logging business. I think it was written this way to show how important this operation was to him. We learn he is in his father’s business but he purchased this particular stretch of forest on his own initiative and is determined to make his fortune independent of his father. But it could have been better handled.

      Pemberton and Serena are introduced by a Boston society hostess who tells him she has already scared off all the other men in Boston. She takes the initiative and seduces him easily. He is hypnotized by her.

      Serena is the daughter of a timber magnate and knows the business very well. The men respect her for her knowledge. She learns they are terrified of the rattlesnakes that hide in the cut branches, and she trains an eagle to catch the rattlesnakes, which wins the men over.

      The exact source of Serena’s drive to conquer the logging world is not specified. Daddy issues are hinted at. But she respects Pemberton for his drive, initially. Later, he proves he is not ruthless enough for her. But it could have been made clearer. There’s a lot of action but too little emotion in the script.

      As to why set it in a logging camp in 1929? I don’t know. Maybe it’s clearer in the book. Perhaps because it’s an area you could still make a fortune with guts and hard work and greasing the right palms. When men were men and women were, well, perhaps I better not say. At least it’s different. It’s not one of those locations we’ve seem a million times before.

      • bex01

        I hate to kick off what generally becomes a long list of requests…. but any chance you could send along the script? Can’t find it anywhere. Setting things up with action… this is what I desperately need help with!

        babelfish79@gmail.com

        Would be much appreciated

    • Casper Chris

      Compared to a typical AF entry, there’s half the dialogue and double the action.

      That’s not necessarily a good thing. In my experience.

  • brenkilco

    Obviously the novel inspired enough love to get this adapted and made. I think novels can be traps. YA fantasy tales of female empowerment. Fine, they’re barely more than screenplays anyway. But with a serious novel so much is lost in the translation to the screen. Often what one loves about a book is the author’s voice and its the first thing to go.(See Great Gatsby, any version) Along with the interior thoughts of the characters, which can intensify scenes of conflict that in terms of physical action are strictly routine. And novels often have unwieldy narrative structures, far removed from the desired three acts. Not to mention the fact that most novelists write dialogue that reads well but plays badly. What works on the page may not work on the screen, may not even lend itself to being put on the screen.

    • leitskev

      I recently watched the new Great Gatsby and was pleasantly surprised. I never thought that was a good story to convert to film, and when I heard they were using Jaz Z music I wanted nothing to do with it. I happened to catch some on TV and it intrigued me, so I got the video. And it’s pretty impressive. The dialogue is brilliant, and the story is actually effective, even powerful. And the choices of music and colorful depiction of New York turned out to be bold.

      • brenkilco

        we’ll have to disagree. The movie stays faithful to the plot. But the tone is all off. From Decaprio’s frequently babbling Gatsby to the crushing CGI to the over emphatic screenplay(There’s actually a voiceover that tells you the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg are like the eyes of God) it’s a long way from Fitzgerald’s delicate tragedy. And the casting isn’t great. Decaprio might have been ok if he hadn’t been directed to act so frenetic, but Toby Mcquire and the guy who plays Tom just look lost. And what’s the deal with hiring an actor to play a jewish New York gangster who looks and sounds like a middle eastern potentate. There’s not much to say about Cary Mulligan. Daisy is an impossible role. The ’75 version is pretty inert but has better acting. It’s just a story moviemakers should avoid.

        • wlubake

          Agree with most of what you say, but thought Joel Edgerton was great.

          • brenkilco

            Thought Bruce Dern was perfect in the old one. And if you read his bio you’d think he was that character, scion of midwestern millionaires and Ivy League educated.

      • bluedenham

        I really liked it, too. I think the music is amazing. As is the use of 3D.

      • John Bradley

        Just saw it yesterday and really liked it too. It’s a novel type story that breaks a few screenwriting “rules” but was a really enjoyable watch.

  • garrett_h

    Part of me thinks this hasn’t been released because they knew J-Law was coming with Hunger Games, and then the buzz behind Silver Linings Playbook and later American Hustle. They were waiting for their stars to rise, then you have your marketing: Come see another amazing J-Law and B-Coop pairing!

    Wouldn’t be the first time. Won’t be the last.

    • G.S.

      Like the Red Dawn remake?

  • Sullivan

    Why plot to kill him in a hunting accident? With all the logging going on, why not kill him in a logging accident? Use your setting!

  • ximan

    “When they have sex, it’s raging angry sex, not tender love-making.”

    Well….there IS a time for both, C. Maybe they were in a hate-fuck down-cycle. (Gosh, I miss those!) XD

  • Randy Williams

    Please always include the name of the original authors in adaptation reviews. Ron Rash in this case. They always deserve mention.

    I think this will do well. A “Cold Mountain” for Oscar season. I’m looking forward to it!

    Off topic. Someone’s posted a script on The Black List skewing the site itself (called “Black Board in the script) and screenwriter wannabees. “Kiss Me Bloody” is about a “script reader who covers a screenplay he’s convinced is a confession to serial murders…” I’ve got the pdf if anyone wants it.

    • Rzwan Cabani

      That deserves atleast the first 10 pages — r.cabani@hotmail.com — I appreciate it Randy.

      • Rzwan Cabani

        Stopped exactly on page 10 — straight mind EFF — this script needs some AOW love/hate… lol

        • Randy Williams

          I discovered he has another script on the site. Read a bit of it. There’s a 15 page scene of characters at a baseball game, chatting in their seats. Guy loves dialogue and has a talent for it. Thank god for the beer vendor that breaks up the scene., though.

  • carsonreeves1

    It’s a good movie. I talked about it a little in the newsletter. Very strange screenplay though. Entire races of creatures sing songs who have nothing to do with the story. It makes up for it with great character work though.

  • Scott Reed

    When I write, I try to keep things real and simple.

    Seems the big problem is, “what’s driving the story?”

    I would have went to the obvious, Pemberton is thrilled with having an “Heir Apparent.” Have Rachel want back in because she now realizes she’ll be on easy street. That more than tweaks Serena’s nose after all the work she’s put into the business. People get killed everyday for a whole lot less.

    I think the fixes on the relationship dynamic are just as simple. Make everyone want something that the other doesn’t. I think we can all recount numerous times that’s happened in our own lives.

  • DD

    if anyone has or can find the pilot script for the SCREAM tv show for MTV, I would love to read it and will gladly trade something good in exchange.

    please e-mail:
    ardorenfest at gmail dot com

    Thanks!

    DD

  • gazrow

    INT. BOBBY’S BATHROOM – DAY

    Title: 307 years later

    Got to be the worst case of constipation ever?!

  • Nicholas J

    You wanna market the hell out of your movie, make it a musical and hire a great team to write/compose/perform the shit out of your songs. People will do the marketing for you. I’m expecting to see a lot more animated musicals in the future.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    Its ok Franchise. I’m too busy finishing my novel DEAD STAR. (Yes that’s really the title.) If you wanna write this one, go for it. Ill be happy to consult. Somehow period pieces have been my thing. Getting pretty close to ground zero where my musical biopic will explode into publicity, and I’ve already got the next two scripts I have to write loglined and ready to be exploited. Those gems I can’t share, heh. But the point is there’s plenty of marketable treasures out there for people to stumble upon, and the only way thats gonna happen is if people workshop their ideas for marketability before committing.

  • Bfied

    “But you get what I’m saying i hope. The unleashing of a characters power is infinitely filmic and important to a story…

    …How many scripts do we see here with such watershed moments of triumph? How many writers bother to show the hints of that power being withheld, until they can’t hold it back anymore.”

    I just want to make sure I’m understanding correctly.

    So with the unleashing of a character’s ‘power’ or ‘ability’ at a pivotal moment in a story, would you say they usually have always possessed this power or ability – but have just been reluctant to accept and/or use it? And in order for this ‘power’ to come out of the character, it takes the necessary events of the story for them to change, which will then bring the power out of them, so that they can eventually triumph?

    Take Brody from Jaws for example.

    He changes from a character who is a reluctant coward, to someone who faces his fear and comes out a winner.

    He repeatedly does everything he can to avoid facing the shark, but eventually has to muster up the courage to get his ass on that boat and come face to face with it.

    However, it took the necessary events of the story for him to be able to tap into that courage, so that he could get on the boat and come face-to-face with his fear, and because he finally faces his fear, that allows him to have his triumphant watershed moment, right?

    So really, Brody actually had the courage to face his fear and defeat the antagonist inside him all along, right? BUT… it took the necessary events of the story – mainly a result of the antagonist’s doing – for
    Brody to tap into his ‘power’ (courage) that he actually had in him the entire time?

  • ff

    I’m so sick of these 2 actors I won’t see it purely for that reason…

  • Bfied

    OK, I see. Thanks for clearing that up…

    Btw, I’m sitting in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” (have you seen it yet? Thoughts?) and BOOM! The “Under the Skin” trailer comes on… I had no idea it was being made, let alone released this month… Can’t wait…