Opinions one and all, please :)

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  • Opinions one and all, please :)

    Do you think Cults are cinematic death? -- Now let me qualify that.

    Are they cinematic death if not revealed fully until Act III?

    This came from another great screenwriter website in which I read a list of things that never do well on screen, one of them being cults. Of course, I think 'Vikings' were also on that list Thanks in advance to anyone who weighs in

  • #2
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Death? No. Obstacle? Yes. My writing partner and I have an action/thriller based around the actions of a cult using the bible to justify their terrible actions. It's not a slam against religion, but it certainly hovers around the issue. Reaction has been mixed. Some people don't mind, but we have had more than a few execs tell us they like it, but don't want to touch anything that can be construed as religiously controversial.

    Don't let it deter you. If you believe in the story, you believe in the story. Just know that you are going to have some extra barriers and "no's" to deal with. That doesn't matter though, when you get the "yes".

    The script is still standing in the Final Draft Big Break Contest, so we'll see what happens when they announce the semis here soon.

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    • #3
      Re: Opinions one and all, please

      For what's worth, Marta Marcy May Marlene was a fascinating movie.

      "Are they cinematic death if not revealed fully until Act III?" I'm not sure I understand the question. It sounds interesting, though, so I'd appreciate if you'd explained it.

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      • #4
        Re: Opinions one and all, please

        Ty. To elaborate, it's a satanic cult, but their identity is not revealed until well into the story. Their not running about cavorting in robes from page one.

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        • #5
          Re: Opinions one and all, please

          Originally posted by nativeson View Post
          it's a satanic cult, but their identity is not revealed until well into the story.
          Why would that make it cinematic death?
          Story Structure 1
          Story Structure 2
          Story Structure 3

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          • #6
            Re: Opinions one and all, please

            Maybe I'm being really stupid, but I genuinely don't get why anyone said this. It's like saying characters called Brad are cinematic death.

            Martha MMM was great. Rosemary's Baby was about a cult. Kill List was. Wicker Man was. The Master was.

            The only issue I can imagine is if we're talking about a specific religion being a cult, in which case - as happened in The Master - you may have to give it a different name. But if it's a Satanic thing then I really don't get what the issues are.
            My stuff

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            • #7
              Re: Opinions one and all, please

              It's BRAD! Ahhhhhh!!!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Opinions one and all, please

                I'd actually count "Hot Fuzz" among what you're describing and I think it worked fine. 'Course, it's a comedy.
                For me, the tricky part of a cult is that, all along, I'm trying to figure out whodunit, then it turns out to be multiple peeps. Meh. It kind of worked for "Scream" but I may be getting way off base here.

                SL35
                SL35
                Potent dreamer. Newb disclaimer.

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                • #9
                  Re: Opinions one and all, please

                  Originally posted by nativeson View Post
                  Ty. To elaborate, it's a satanic cult, but their identity is not revealed until well into the story. Their not running about cavorting in robes from page one.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Opinions one and all, please

                    I don't understand the problem.

                    I would tend to agree that it is hard to do a "good" cult story. Conspiracies in general are pretty hard to pull off. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't pursue cult/conspiracy stories if we think we have a strong idea.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Opinions one and all, please

                      Big hoo-rah on the twisty revealage. My work is done here -- I love you guys!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Opinions one and all, please

                        I think the danger is that it's all too easy to write cliches when it comes to cults. Rosemary's Baby is a fine example of a cult done well.

                        For one thing, I'd advise losing the robes (unless you're somehow playing on that expectation).
                        Need a collaborator? GeniusCreatives.com.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Opinions one and all, please

                          Originally posted by GeniusCreativesCom View Post
                          I think the danger is that it's all too easy to write cliches when it comes to cults. Rosemary's Baby is a fine example of a cult done well.

                          For one thing, I'd advise losing the robes (unless you're somehow playing on that expectation).
                          Every time I've seen a Satanic Cult where they show up in those Satanic Cult robes I've wondered:

                          A) Where do they get the robes from? Who makes them? When you join the cult, do you have to give them your size so they can send out to the Satanic Cult Robe tailor so they can get you the robe in your size? And depending on when you join do they sometimes have to put a rush on the robe so that it arrives in time for the next Black Mass?

                          B) What happens if your robe is late and it doesn't arrive in time? Does that mean you can't go to the Black Mass, or do they allow you to go to the Mass in just regular street clothes, or can you just wear a suit?

                          C) After the Black Mass, is there some special place where they send all the Black Mass robes to be cleaned or does everybody just send their robe to their own cleaners? Or are the robes machine washable? That would be convenient, except of course, not everybody who goes to the Black Mass is going to have a washing machine at home which means that some people would have to go to a public laundromat to wash their Black Mass robe which might be kind of a drag.

                          There are certain kinds of scenes that, no matter who tries to do them or when or whatever, they're almost always terrible.

                          Black Masses are one of those kinds of scenes. Almost without exception they come across as goofy to the point of being idiotic.

                          Native dancing girl scenes -- same deal. Virtually all of them are completely ridiculous.

                          And also -- dancing scenes of the far future. All ludicrous.

                          NMS

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                          • #14
                            Re: Opinions one and all, please

                            Originally posted by nmstevens View Post
                            Every time I've seen a Satanic Cult where they show up in those Satanic Cult robes I've wondered:

                            A) Where do they get the robes from? Who makes them? When you join the cult, do you have to give them your size so they can send out to the Satanic Cult Robe tailor so they can get you the robe in your size? And depending on when you join do they sometimes have to put a rush on the robe so that it arrives in time for the next Black Mass?

                            B) What happens if your robe is late and it doesn't arrive in time? Does that mean you can't go to the Black Mass, or do they allow you to go to the Mass in just regular street clothes, or can you just wear a suit?

                            C) After the Black Mass, is there some special place where they send all the Black Mass robes to be cleaned or does everybody just send their robe to their own cleaners? Or are the robes machine washable? That would be convenient, except of course, not everybody who goes to the Black Mass is going to have a washing machine at home which means that some people would have to go to a public laundromat to wash their Black Mass robe which might be kind of a drag.


                            NMS
                            Lol. I can just envision the dude who didn't get his robe in time standing among the masses of black ceremonial robes, trying to explain why he's dressed in camo shorts and a Duck Dynasty T-shirt.


                            * I wonder if they scamper off to a pot-luck afterwards
                            Last edited by bjamin; 11-16-2013, 07:49 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Opinions one and all, please

                              Originally posted by Jon Jay View Post
                              Maybe I'm being really stupid, but I genuinely don't get why anyone said this. It's like saying characters called Brad are cinematic death.
                              Oh, man, you didn't name a character Brad, did you?
                              wry

                              The rule is the first fifteen pages should enthrall me, but truth is, I'm only giving you about 3-5 pages. ~ Hollywood Script Reader

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