Opinions one and all, please :)

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • wrytnow
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by Anagram View Post
    Not sure why you believe that a cult is an easy answer - could be as complex as you want.

    Also I don't think it's less creative to use a cult. It all depends on the quality of the story and and writing.
    Sure. But I didn't say cults are an easy answer, I said people use it that way. And often they do. That's why someone would respond negatively to the idea. I said nothing about what an individual writer can do with the same idea.

    However, it has been done a lot and there could be something more creative that would catch a reader's eye and an audience's attention.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bunker
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    I just watched the BBC documentary "America's Most Hated Family" about the Westboro Baptist Church, and it made me think of this thread.

    I think cults are cinematic death because they tend to be portrayed stereotypically. You say "cult" and certain imagery pops into mind. Robes... bonfires... glassy-eyed Biblical quotations...

    Anyone can write a robe-bonfire-animal sacrifice cult scene. Why? Because we've seen dozens of them. They're not new, and therefore they're not interesting.

    The Westboro Baptist Church documentary, however, was interesting because all the people, especially the older children, seem so NORMAL. Even when they're discussing why "God Hates ***s", their voices and tone are pure conversational. They giggle, and laugh, and sing. They seem incredibly... nice?

    They are disturbingly normal Americans in every way, except their ideology.

    A cult is a belief structure that, on a certain level, makes complete sense. To them, their belief is just as practical as any die-hard Christian, Muslim, Democrat, Republican, USC Football fan, etc. Westboro doesn't consider itself a cult. Neither did People's Temple or Heaven's Gate or FLDS.

    I think cults are lame in most scripts because the writer hasn't dedicated themselves to understanding the foundational belief structure. It's just "We like Satan, so we're going to sacrifice you."

    But if a cult is portrayed in some fresh way, with an original purpose and belief structure, I think it could work fine in a script.

    Leave a comment:


  • nativeson
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Awesome response, thanks. Probably just have them wear pendants beneath their clothing (tatts, maybe?) and do horrible things, no robes.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anagram
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by wrytnow View Post
    About your question. Possibly the problem is people use it as deus ex machina so often, the easy answer to why bad guys are doing what they are doing. If you have a diverse characters doing bad things and you want to connect them in Act 3, maybe you can find something more creative than a cult.
    Not sure why you believe that a cult is an easy answer - could be as complex as you want.

    Also I don't think it's less creative to use a cult. It all depends on the quality of the story and and writing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ire
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    I am a member of the Cults Are Cinematic Death Cult and this thread is infringing on our trademark. Also, we have one-size fits all robes. They're UPS'd upon paying cult membership fees so that no one shows up at a Black Mass feeling out of place, or underdressed. I also carry an extra one in the trunk of my car.

    The only thing that is death is cliche. And that is a cliche.

    If it's done so that like NMS pointed out it comes off as hokey, and or cliche, then it will be that. I'd suggest watching all the movies or TV episodes mentioned and then dig deep for something new.

    Leave a comment:


  • Why One
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by nativeson View Post
    Do you think Cults are cinematic death? -- Now let me qualify that.

    Are they cinematic death if not revealed fully until Act III?
    Personally I think it's because a lot of movies involving cults tend to be in the supernatural/horror mystery genre. Thus naturally they tend to be structured where the identity and motivation of the organization affecting the main conflict isn't revealed until late into the movie -- as with a lot of mysteries. Amongst the ones already mentioned, there's also THE SECRET WINDOW and BLACK DEATH.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cooper
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    I'm wondering if the cult idea is not embraced as much in features because it's done to death on television drama series. Not only did/do Dick Wolf's franchise investigate some sort of cult every season, so did/does the CSI franchise and just about every crime-themed show you can think of, particularly THE MENTALIST, CRIMINAL MINDS, you name it. And then THE FOLLOWING was an entire season devoted to a cult.

    Leave a comment:


  • kenklmn
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Thulsa Doom led a snake cult. Didn't hurt the movie one bit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Earth
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by wrytnow View Post

    One more and we'll be able to extrapolate a curve.
    You actually expect me to read other people's posts on here before I put up my own gibberish? pish posh.


    Actually, I don't know how I missed what you said, but apparently I completely agree with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • wcmartell
    replied
    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.
    I suspect this began with multiple studio execs saying the same thing, based on
    the box office of films with cults. History tends to repeat itself, so stuff like this gets shot down at the script stage.

    For over a decade they've used computers to analyze factors in screenplays to decide what has the best chance of making money before they greenlight a project. Maybe "cult" was one of the problem elements the computer spit out once?

    Bill

    Leave a comment:


  • wrytnow
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
    But I think the issue with cults might be of a technical issue than it is about how well it will do in the box office. Cults can be a kind of deus ex machina for a writer as in, "What motivated that character to do 'x"?" and the answer is always "The cult made him do it." This means a writer can make a character do any ridiculous thing and have the weak excuse that it was the cult that made them do it. That's kind of a cheat and not very interesting.
    Look at this:

    Originally posted by wrytnow View Post
    About your question. Possibly the problem is people use it as deus ex machina so often, the easy answer to why bad guys are doing what they are doing. If you have a diverse characters doing bad things and you want to connect them in Act 3, maybe you can find something more creative than a cult.
    One more and we'll be able to extrapolate a curve.

    Leave a comment:


  • Max Otto Schrenck
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    What Mr. Earth said. Cult movies are like exorcist movies. There's the ONE OR TWO WAYS it's been done well before (in the case of cult movies, ROSEMARY'S BABY, MARCY MAY MARLENE, maybe BURN WITCH BURN, THE OMEN and RACE WITH THE DEVIL, and Koontz' novel THE SERVANTS OF TWILIGHT -- though it didn't make a good movie, the potential was there but blown). And then there's the hundred or so ways the subject has been done badly. Basically, everything else.

    You need a new angle, a twist, a fresh take, even to get off the ground with a cult movie, let alone come up with a good script. Another EXORCIST or ROSEMARY'S BABY? Don't set your sights too high. Get going with your own original approach and see what happens.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Earth
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    I don't think you should ever let someone's opinion of what's hot or not (or dead) influence the spec stuff you write. If the story requires it, go for it.

    But I think the issue with cults might be of a technical issue than it is about how well it will do in the box office. Cults can be a kind of deus ex machina for a writer as in, "What motivated that character to do 'x"?" and the answer is always "The cult made him do it." This means a writer can make a character do any ridiculous thing and have the weak excuse that it was the cult that made them do it. That's kind of a cheat and not very interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • nativeson
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    Originally posted by Mintclub View Post
    I'm piecing together a spec at the mo. When I suggested using a religious cult as backstory for the antagonist my reps said "feels hokey"

    Also most of the examples mentioned: MMMM, the master, Rosemary's baby etc are all either low budget or from another era of filmmaking movies. You can thrown into that pot Kill List -- again made for under a million dollars though.
    They do (seem hokey), and yet horror/religious themed end of the world scenarios -- Legion, Cabin in the Woods -- have done very well. I'm thinking along those lines with satanists, not necessarily run-o-the-mill robe-wearing cultists. Finding that path to 'make it work' is the key, now, isn't it

    Leave a comment:


  • Mintclub
    replied
    Re: Opinions one and all, please

    I'm piecing together a spec at the mo. When I suggested using a religious cult as backstory for the antagonist my reps said "feels hokey"

    Also most of the examples mentioned: MMMM, the master, Rosemary's baby etc are all either low budget or from another era of filmmaking movies. You can thrown into that pot Kill List -- again made for under a million dollars though.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X