title change



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  • title change

    i've been working on a script for about 8 years now (although i finished work on it earlier in the year). in that 8 years or so, i've posted loglines and synopsis to most of the major screenwriting sale sites. no one has taken a bite. i know i have a solid story, but i'm wondering about the title. i recently thought about changing it to reflect the mood of the script, but i don't know if i should do that now, all of sudden, after 8 years. and is it wrong for me to change a title just so i can get someone to look at it?

  • #2
    1. There's nothing wrong with changing a title. If it's a better title for your script, then go ahead and change it.

    2. Changing the title of your script won't ensure a read. You said that you haven't had any bites for this script, which I am assuming means that nobody asked you to send your script their way. If this is true, then it's the logline/sypnosis/premise that is preventing solicitation.

    I have read on this board where changing the title got the screenwriter a second chance to have his/her script read, but that only came because the logline/sypnosis/premise intrigued the agency or production company. And since the New Title+Author was not in the databse, they requested the script.

    Eight years? Is it possible that you could put this script down temporarily, and move on to another story?


    • #3
      I've been forced to change the title of my script before for scripts that have already received coverage around town as a way to try to circumvent that.

      Somehow I doubt that really works, and I end up with a title I don't like on the script, but whatever.


      • #4
        8 years!?

        If you do not master your script, your script will become your master.



        • #5
          IMHO, changing your title may be good thing. If the logline has been read before and people were not interested, they are not likely to be interested in reading it again. A new title may fool them.

          Have you posted your logline here? Maybe it needs to be finetuned to help you get more responses.


          • #6
            I once swapped titles between two of my scripts - leading to my own confusion when trying to remember which draft is which script.

            Find the title that sums up your story (or the mood, or whatever) and that's the best title for your script. Changing the title is no different than rewriting.

            But - as everyone else mentioned - I don't think a bland title is going to kill your chances of getting read, but a bland story will. Hollywood changes titles all the time, so that doesn't matter much... but the story better be something interesting (or why waste the time reading the script?).

            So, go over to BoxOfficeMojo.com and look at the top 50 films of all time, compare *those story ideas* to *your story idea*. Does your script belong on that list? That's the list that everyone is shooting for - we all want a movie that is loved by millions of people enough to get on that all time list. You've spent eight years on this thing (I'm guessing the writing is *perfect* after all of that rerwriting), so I'm guessing you spent a bunch of time finding the *best* story idea (instead of the first one you came up with) and your script belongs on that list.

            If it doesn't... um, that's a major problem.

            If it *does*, then you need to figure out how to get across your script's idea in a logline. This shouldn't be too difficult, because screenwiting is condensed writing already - you just need to apply those skills to the logline. Find the essence of the story, and find an interesting and involving sentence or three that gives those essentials.

            - Bill