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Dennisss
12-22-2010, 06:18 PM
Hollywood mantra for 2009-2010: "No period pieces...No period pieces...No period pieces."
Script Magazine, January-February 2011, p. 32: "If ever there was a perfect Oscar movie, it's The King's Speech....depicting the friendship between King George VI and his speech therapist."
:confused:

Ronaldinho
12-22-2010, 09:19 PM
What? You want Hollywood to be consistent?

Look's like "The King's Speech" is a true indie. In other words, Hollywood didn't buy the script.

The indie world plays by different rules.

(But, heck, "Sherlock Holmes" was a period piece, too ... it's not like Hollywood won't do them.)

Authorized
12-23-2010, 12:11 AM
"Sherlock Holmes" was an action "cartoon character" [based on the Arthur Conan Doyle classic series] movie.

True period scripts have to be vigorously fought for either as an indie funded project and/or even inside the studio system.

Except for boring British films based on the royals or on old English novels, I'm not sure why great screenplays based on or inspired by historical events don't get made more often for the Oscar awards season. Or at any time during the theatrical release schedule. Oh. Audiences don't want them...For who? 14-34 year-old males? And period flicks don't make tons of money.

How about making more quality stories, with Oscar nomination performances versus CGI-laden (Tron: Legacy) films. Didn't Fox make enough of the $2B revenue gold on Avatar to make more lavishly produced set pieces and exceptionally acted period films? Nah. Let's greenlight Jim Cameron to make Avatar II 3D and rake in more cash.

catcon
12-23-2010, 07:22 AM
I didn't see it, but from the previews the recent Sherlock looked more like a transplanted Die Hard than a period piece.

I'm sure that when execs state "stay away from period pieces" they mean the close-to-historically-correct type of stories with fine English diction, where the biggest action scene is a tiny dust-up between two genteel guys tussling over a woman's handkerchief.

Maybe it's "don't do period piece" if you want a piece of the millions of development dollars and big grosses; but "do period piece" if you're looking for a statue.

Madbandit
12-23-2010, 08:41 AM
I didn't see it, but from the previews the recent Sherlock looked more like a transplanted Die Hard than a period piece.


It's more "Lethal Weapon" with a steampunk flavor, actually, and I liked it.

Ronaldinho
12-23-2010, 11:00 AM
Well ... the reason I through Sherlock Holmes in there was to push your definition of period piece.

Hollywood is slightly resistant to anything that is done "period" because it costs more money. I guess people often say "period piece" to mean something talky, where the primary pleasures of the film are subtle, but in practice it's a hard line to draw.

The truth is that Hollywood's not too likely to make a drama about overcoming stuttering, whether it's contemporary or period. That's indie-movie subject matter. When Hollywood does make a "period" movie it's usually because it has action or other elements.

"Period piece" is an often-derogatory term thrown at "soft" dramas, but Hollywood doesn't make those kind of dramas anyway. If you want Hollywood to make your movie, write the kind of movie Hollywood makes. If you want to make a soft drama, figure out how to do it outside of Hollywood.

Dennisss
12-23-2010, 11:11 AM
Thanks for your inputs. I summarize:

-- that a period piece can be successful IF you can find a producer, or in other words, if you have a good reputation. (I wrote one about which I was passionate--two American historical figures--but I was told by coverage writers, including one popular on this Website, there is no market for it because it's a period piece. Even so, I'm glad I wrote it.)
-- that Hollywood cares only about quick cash, not art. (I think that is well known.)

How the West Was Won couldn't get made today, because teenagers don't care about westerns. Of course it had its faults, but I believe it is regarded as a classic period piece.

Tochirta
12-23-2010, 11:53 AM
so let's say you had written "Sherlock Holmes" or "Pirates of the Carribean", in your query, would you say:

GENRE: Action, Fantasy, Period?

or just leave it at action/fantasy

Sherlock (action/mystery)

Dennisss
12-24-2010, 10:53 AM
I wouldn't list Period as a genre. I would use History or Biography if appropriate, otherwise, just Action/Fantasy/Drama, etc.

Biohazard
12-24-2010, 02:52 PM
so let's say you had written "Sherlock Holmes" or "Pirates of the Carribean", in your query, would you say:

GENRE: Action, Fantasy, Period?

or just leave it at action/fantasy

Sherlock (action/mystery)

I would say 'Based on (source material)'.

So, neither is technically a spec.