Question about movie references...

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  • Question about movie references...

    Hey gang,

    Had a question. What is the deal with referencing another movie and/or characters in your screenplay? Is this something frowned upon in the industry, etc? For example, in my current screenplay, my characters, on a couple of occasions, reference other movie characters. The one dresses up as a Star Wars character for halloween. Another dresses as a famous superhero to entertain kids at a birthday party.

    Also mixed into my screenplay are many references of American pop culture... references of past singers, albums, famous atheletes, etc.

    Just an FYI... none of these characters, movies, famous people, etc. are being degraded or slandered in any way in my script.

    Any thoughts? Feedback?


  • #2
    Re: Question about movie references...

    A movie will age better if you avoid such references. Also, the studios don't want to give free advertising to another studio's franchises.

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    • #3
      Re: Question about movie references...

      I agree with Joan, but it isn't a big deal if you are using the references as punchlines.
      Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

      -Steve Trautmann
      3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

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      • #4
        Re: Question about movie references...

        And remember, 90% of newbies have first scripts littered with "funny" pop culture references (and characters based on the writer and his zany friends). They don't sell, they don't get made.

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        • #5
          Re: Question about movie references...

          In World Trade Center, one of the Port Authority cops who is trapped beneath the rubble, quotes a Demi Moore line from GI Jane about "pain being your friend." He also references the old television show, Starsky & Hutch. But the cultural references obviously serve a more important purpose while the two men are suffering, and close to death - keeping their minds awake and connected to the outside world through memories of even the most mundane events.

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          • #6
            Re: Question about movie references...

            I would throw a lot of Simpsons and Seinfeld references in there, it helps with the funny.

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            • #7
              Re: Question about movie references...

              Originally posted by scriptwriterNYC
              In World Trade Center, one of the Port Authority cops who is trapped beneath the rubble, quotes a Demi Moore line from GI Jane about "pain being your friend." He also references the old television show, Starsky & Hutch. But the cultural references obviously serve a more important purpose while the two men are suffering, and close to death - keeping their minds awake and connected to the outside world through memories of even the most mundane events.
              Also, wasn't it a fact that they had that conversation under the rubble? Helps when the story is a true one.

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              • #8
                Re: Question about movie references...

                Spike Lee's Inside Man pays tribute blatantly to other films in at least five instances. Spike said he liked that-- about the writing of it.

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