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Old 10-18-2012, 07:13 PM   #251
halloweenjak
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Default Re: The New Black List

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Originally Posted by JeffLowell View Post
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.

No, I understand this is the reality of the industry today.

But a short pitch and a logline are not exactly the same things. A short pitch in person, where someone can feel out the person they're pitching and allay their concerns is not the same as a single sentence sent through email.

When Buck Henry pitches Tim Robbins in the "Player" for a "Graduate" sequel, and Griffin Mill ( Robbins ) asks is this going to be funny, he answers "yeah it'll be funny, with a stroke ( Mrs. Robinsons )

There's a difference between pitching and a single logline, which can't answer such questions when asked. Because loglines can't talk.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #252
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Default Re: The New Black List

So a logline is irrelevant because movies are all about stars, but a 30 second pitch is relevant because you can answer a question?

Got it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:18 PM   #253
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Default Re: The New Black List

You're absolutely right, halloweenie...since your script can't be 'pitched' in less than a sentence or two, it's Hollywood's fault.

And you still miss the point that it doesn't matter what the logline for PULP FICTION is...as long as you've got a couple of optioned screenplays under your belt, and your first directorial effort was a critical and commercial success, you're going to be given a little bit longer leash to follow it up with a movie that only has one star.

HH
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:24 PM   #254
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Default Re: The New Black List

"There's plenty of evidence that big stars can do big business, but no star can salvage a bad movie. "

This is verifiably false.

"Grown Ups" has spawned a sequel. And "Grown Ups 2" will make money.

Of course I'm using salvage in a monetary sense, not an artistic sense. The only sense that matters.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:25 PM   #255
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Default Re: The New Black List

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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.
Back in the 80s I might have agreed with you to some degree.

But Stars don't open movies like they used to.
Look at their track record: it's just not there anymore.
Even Tom Cruise can't deviate far from what he does best and still hit it.

Think about what kind of movies made Will Smith a huge star:
FX-heavy Science Fiction Spectacles with a romantic subplot.
Ever since 96 he's made most of his money doing those.

How many $100 million hits would he have if he preferred starring in Romantic Comedies?

Stars appear in Indies all the time. They can't get a wide release and rarely make much money.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:26 PM   #256
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One blip does not disproof anything. I'm not gonna point out the endless numbers of films that stars did not salvage. We all know of examples.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #257
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Default Re: The New Black List

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You're absolutely right, halloweenie...since your script can't be 'pitched' in less than a sentence or two, it's Hollywood's fault.

And you still miss the point that it doesn't matter what the logline for PULP FICTION is...as long as you've got a couple of optioned screenplays under your belt, and your first directorial effort was a critical and commercial success, you're going to be given a little bit longer leash to follow it up with a movie that only has one star.

HH

This is Monday morning quarterbacking on your part.

Using Tarantino's history is not fair to the premise of the hypothetical.

Saying he's an exception because he was a success, isn't fair to the hypothetical.

If the cards hadn't aligned with "Reservoir Dogs" and Tarantino had been working in that video store when he wrote "Pulp Fiction" and didn't have any connections, that's the hypothetical.

Would a logline have sold that script. Based strictly on the logline.

Please tell me now how he's a special case, and I'm not Tarantino, nor are there any other budding Tarantinos outside the fortress gate.

I still have yet to see any of you concoct a suitable logline. ( not a short pitch. )

It's a great script. Sell it in a sentence.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:34 PM   #258
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Default Re: The New Black List

I think people are missing what HALLOWEENJAK is saying. or maybe I'm misunderstanding. Let's take Tarrantino's history out of the convo. What I think he is saying, if an average JOE queried with a script that was like PULP FICTION, execs would pass reading on the script. Because it doesn't really have a concise logline.

For example a script that rocks and sold for a million dollars, PRISONERS doesn't not have a really compelling logline. But the script is f*cking awesome. I think the point he is trying to make and kind of what BDZ said, there are a lot of scripts that have great loglines that suck. There are also scripts that don't have compelling loglines that are awesome scripts. HEAT is a perfect example.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #259
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Here's the thing, Jak: many great scripts go unrepped, unsold and unmade. And Pulp Fiction could very well have been one of them.

It was made because Tarantino had already proven his ability as a solid, bankable director. If he hadn't, PF probably would not have made it.

And rightfully so. No one spends millions to a make a movie they're not sure will make money. But Tarantino was/is bankable. As is Terrence Malick or Nicolas Refn or Wes Anderson or Paul Thomas Anderson or whoever else.

Pulp Fiction was made because of Tarantino. Tree of Life because of Malick. Drive because of Refn. Moonlight Kingdom because of Anderson. The Master because of PTA.

These are not examples that disprove the necessity of a solid concept. These are examples of talented people earning the right to bet their careers on not-so-marketable ideas.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #260
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Default Re: The New Black List

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Originally Posted by halloweenjak View Post
This is Monday morning quarterbacking on your part.

Using Tarantino's history is not fair to the premise of the hypothetical.

Saying he's an exception because he was a success, isn't fair to the hypothetical.

If the cards hadn't aligned with "Reservoir Dogs" and Tarantino had been working in that video store when he wrote "Pulp Fiction" and didn't have any connections, that's the hypothetical.

Would a logline have sold that script. Based strictly on the logline.

Please tell me now how he's a special case, and I'm not Tarantino, nor are there any other budding Tarantinos outside the fortress gate.

I still have yet to see any of you concoct a suitable logline. ( not a short pitch. )

It's a great script. Sell it in a sentence.
I don't have to. Again, just to be clear: I don't care about your hypothetical 'cause it's got nothing to do with the reality: he was a proven commodity.

I think TRUE ROMANCE was his first sale/option, and one can probably come up with a decent/interesting logline for that one. Whether one likes it or not, those of us outside the walls pretty much have to come up with a decent logline.

HH

ETA: cross-posted with ATB, but, yeah, what he said
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