Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Script Gone Bad

A common question that comes up in my line of work:  after watching a movie, someone will ask, "How in the world did that script get made into a movie?"

There are many answers, in many colorful varieties.  Sometimes it is the writer, or the re-writers, or the development process.

Sometimes it's hiring a bad director, or a bad cast.

And sometimes, sadly, it's because a good director or good actor got hired.

Here's a case study of how the script Nottingham went from being the hottest script in town to the drab movie called Robin Hood:

A summary.

The long version.

A lot can happen after a production starts moving.  Puts me in mind of another recent movie.

Script got greenlit -- everyone very excited.

Big star hired to play the lead (a very good actor), everyone more excited.

Big star decides he wants to play a side character instead of lead.  Been done - think Arnold turning down the lead in Terminator so he could play the villain.  Everyone still excited.

Big star decides the side character's part is too small.  Rewrites commence, making the side character into a co-lead character.  Everyone starts to worry a little bit.

Big star's part overshadows the original lead part, everyone starts to wonder what the movie is about.

Movie is made, as is the decision to put all emphasis on big star, making original lead more or less a subplot. Sorta.  Everyone wondering why they were so excited at the start of the project.

Movie comes out, critics bash it in part because the main story was kinda boring compared to the subplot (the original main plot) which, according to the critics, should have been its own movie.  Everyone blames the writer.

And the circle of life goes on...

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wanna Know From Funny?

Couple of helps towards humor.

First off, Jane Espenson's blog -- specifically Sunday, May 16th: The Dangling Kitten (how Glee correctly told a joke);  Monday, May 3rd, Not Loving It (how McDonald's ruined a joke); and Sunday April18th, Go With the Flow (how Progressive saved an old joke).

Smart lady, smart advice on humor.  (She also worked on Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Buffy, Angel and Gilmore Girls -- I think I may have seen one of those shows...)

Then wander over to Jon Acuff's article at Relevant, where he talks about the difference between satire and mockery.  (As a side benefit that Relevant may never have imagined, you get insight as to why the Daily Show really works when it works, and why when it doesn't, it really doesn't.)

Just my "I'll get you a kitty" type thoughts,


Friday, May 14, 2010

Measure of Good Writing

Here's the wrap-up of a LA Times review of two television shows -- I'm re-posting here since it seems to be a good goal for all writers.

"Both shows are smart without being snarky, realistic about the limitations of the human soul without being jaded, carefully plotted without being overly clever.  Sex is present but not exploited, marriage is respected but not revered and love, though in the end binding, is never reduced to syrup."

Extra points if you can guess what shows she is talking about...  (I just started watching one, have not seen the other.)

Thanks to Chris for pointing me toward the review.

Just my thoughts,


How To Write Badly Well: Bible Edition

How to Write Badly Well advises that a good technique for writing poorly - try too much to be the Bible.

"...and then three more who had just turned up, throwing the numbers off."


Just my thoughts,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spiderman Can Do Anything a Spider Can - Like Dance!

The Spiderman Swing Dance:

Spiderman gets a gritty reboot (maybe I find this funny mostly coming from the Dark Knight world...)

Bollywood Superman and Spider(wo)man fly, dance, smooch and beat down the bad guys.  Video quality is poor -- maybe that's to match the special effects.

Ah, Spiderman.

Just my thoughts,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Proverbs 17:17

This weekend I volunteered at a fundraiser carnival.  One of my jobs was as the bouncy house bouncer.

In clubs, bouncers are big guys with bald heads.  At bouncy houses, bouncers are guys with big bald spots.

Anywho, my job was to tell the kids to stop pushing, punching or jumping on top of each other.

Two kids ignored me when I yelled, “No pushing!”  I had to point them out and yell again, “NO PUSHING!”

The kids looked at me incredulous, not believing I could be referring to them.

“But…” one began, trying to figure out how to make me understand.

“But… but we’re brothers!”

Ah, I understood.

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Killer

A recent video from my church featuring my lovely and talented wife; I'm pretty proud of her work here.  Written and directed by Cory Edwards.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

There's Discourse and Then there Dis Course

Don Miller has some ideas on discourse, which I would like to aspire to.  (I said aspire, people.)

First, Five Principles of Civil Discourse.

And then How to Not Really Win an Argument.

On the lighter side, Stephan Pastis deals with hate mail in a way that I only wish I thought of.  I think he wins the argument.

Eh, forget Miller's crap; I aspire to be Stephan.

Just my thoughts,