Done Deal Pro Forums

Done Deal Pro Forums (
-   Articles, Books, Blogs, Magazines, DVDs & Podcasts (
-   -   The New Black List (

Mossbraker 10-18-2012 05:39 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by JeffLowell (Post 833502)
If you can't sell your script to a studio in thirty seconds, how is the studio supposed to sell the movie to an audience in thirty seconds?

with a very shiny looking trailer that includes lots of explosions and sexy ladies.

whenever I write "sexy ladies" and "big explosions!" in my logline, it just doesn't have the same effect :(

JeffLowell 10-18-2012 05:43 PM

Re: The New Black List

Yes, all movies are sold by advertising the stars, not the concept of the movie.

It's why Bruce Willis starring in "Breakfast of Champions" in 1999 made the exact same amount of money that Bruce Willis starring in "The Sixth Sense" in 1999 did.

(Enough thread hijacking from me.)

Richmond Weems 10-18-2012 05:44 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by halloweenjak (Post 833507)
No. The point is there might be the next "Pulp Fiction" out there, and no logline would convey its excellence.

The point is if "JAws" and "Deep Blue Sea" were pitched cold, by no names, with no bestseller and no info other than a logline, "Deep Blue Sea" might seem more attractive to a producer these days.

More sharks.

But let's not make this nasty , Lowell.

DEEP BLUE SEA is more attractive precisely because of JAWS. But that's really got nothing to do with the PULP FICTION premise since Tarantino wrote a couple of screenplays that got the attention of others, and directed his first film which got a lot of attention from others.

Giving Tarantino money to do PULP FICTION after the success of RESERVOIR DOGS was pretty much a no-brainer. It was made for less than $10 million, most of which probably went to Bruce Willis. And he wasn't even the "star" of the flick. John Travolta's career was dead, and no one knew who the fvck Samuel Jackson was.

But it's still got some trailer-worthy moments, and it was still going to make back its money even without the advance word of mouth from Cannes(?).


Deion22 10-18-2012 05:45 PM

Re: The New Black List
I understand what he's saying about PULP FICTION. If someone today wrote that logline, and I don't even know what that logline would be. Execs wouldn't read the script. There are some movies that are great, but don't have great loglines. HEAT is the perfect example. I know producers and people who say HEAT isn't a high concept movie and would have trouble getting made today.

halloweenjak 10-18-2012 05:52 PM

Re: The New Black List
Let's see Hecuba, Lowell, Atb...

The usual possee who follows me around these boards. Where's Joe Lefors?

Jeff, you asked me how Hollywood sells an audience on a project, I said star power.

Who gets paid the most money?

Who are the people that make opening box office?

Stars. I didn't say that's the only way, but you asked and my answer is, above all else famous actors are the number one way movies are sold to audiences.

Word of mouth is risky.

Do they expect to cast a no name in "The Disciple Program"? Of course not.

And Hecuba, the hypothetical entailed a suspension of your need to destroy the very parameter of the hypothetical simply for the sake of argument. If both movies were pitched simultaneously, the logline to "Deep Blue Sea" might sound more exciting, more capable of raising interest than "Jaws".

An industry predicated on telling stories that hates reading them in their entirety is to me silly. It saves time, but as the Twit Pitch experiment proved loglines are no indicator of writing acumen.

Geoff Alexander 10-18-2012 05:59 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by halloweenjak (Post 833511)
You're wrong.

I'm the audience. They're sold to me, and the millions of us out there.

You're talking about insider decisions.

I know what Hollywood does to get me to go to a movie.

You don't have to be an insider to know that. Okay?

No, cast is only one element. Beyond that, you're completely missing the point of Lowell's post. You need some sort of driving idea that can be articulated in a comprehensible fashion. Like a writer strives for with a logline, marketing strives for in advertising the completed movie.

Hamboogul 10-18-2012 06:00 PM

Re: The New Black List
Like query letters, contests, film festivals, and referrals, Blacklist 3.0 will likely only help the top 1-5 percent of the aspiring screenwriters who are extremely dedicated and talented.

And if you are in that top 1 to 5 percent, you should explore every possible outlet available to you within your financial means to get discovered by a champion.

Jeff Lowell has said in this thread that he is cautious about the effectiveness of BL 3.0 but if he were unrepped like most people in DDP, he would give it a try.

I have also said that if this service was available 12 months ago, I would have given it a try.

And then you have a dozen or so procrastinators who have nothing better to do than complaining about how Hollywood is biased against their genius. You should really spend your time honing that genius instead of channeling all your greatest words in this thread.

halloweenjak 10-18-2012 06:01 PM

Re: The New Black List

Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander (Post 833519)
No, cast is only one element. Beyond that, you're completely missing the point of Lowell's post. You need some sort of driving idea that can be articulated in a comprehensible fashion. Like a writer strives for with a logline, marketing strives for in advertising the completed movie.

No, you're missing the point.

What logline for "Pulp Fiction" would earn it attention by the industry, if no names were attached to it.

It's a simple question. Answer it or accept the fact that the system is flawed.

JeffLowell 10-18-2012 06:07 PM

Re: The New Black List
The basic short pitch is the tool that represents your script when you're talking to your agent, when your agent is talking to producers, when producers are talking to studios, and when studios are talking to directors and stars.

It has to be so clear and compelling that any chucklehead can repeat it and still excite his boss or client.

Because to get a script repped, sold, and to production, people will ask roughly a thousand times: "what's it about?" before they agree to read it. If the answer is "I couldn't possibly boil it down. It resists quick description," then you are truly and deeply fucked.

Of course, as I said (sincerely, not facetiously), if you've got the next Pulp Fiction, then the circumstances change. If you're an incredibly hot actors' director and can go to major stars personally and say "I wrote this part for you," then you get to skip a few steps.

I'm not there. Are you? If not, maybe work on making your script sound like a movie.

Or not! No skin off my nose.

ATB 10-18-2012 06:08 PM

Re: The New Black List
Jak, ignoring the fact that I wasn't even responding to you, here's a great article to read: The Myth of Stars.

An excerpt:

Of the 100 most popular movies of all time (based on box-office gross adjusted for inflation), 42 were made after 1975. Of these 42, half featured no star actors (defined as someone who had top billing in at least one hit movie previously).

The movies at the very top of the list--Star Wars, E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial and Titanic--had no stars. (Leonardo DiCaprio became a star in Titanic, but he was not one before.) Of the top 15, seven had no stars, and six certainly did. The other two, both sequels to Star Wars, featured Harrison Ford, who became a star by virtue of the first installment of that intergalactic series.

"There's plenty of evidence that big stars can do big business, but no star can salvage a bad movie. No star can change the odor of a stinker," says Leonard Maltin, the critic and film historian. "What [the top-grossing movies list] confirms is that it's the movie itself--not the star--that makes the hit."

The absence of star actors in the most popular movies is especially remarkable because, Hollywood insiders say, many films would not be produced at all except for the fact that stars are attached. None of this says that people don't go to the movies in part because of the chance to gaze at Julia Roberts or Brad Pitt.

But even together Pitt and Roberts are no guarantee--witness The Mexican (U.S. 2001 gross $66.8 million). By the same token, Spider-Man and Jurassic Park did huge business without stars.

"Movies are a marketing business," says Lawrence Turman, a veteran movie and television producer who also heads the producing program at the University of Southern California's film school. "They [studios] are looking for an 'event' movie. If they can make an event out of Spider-Man, then Spider-Man is the star. They have made it an event without a star."
Bolded for emphasis.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:48 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro