Military base/training - cliched setting?

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  • Military base/training - cliched setting?

    I'm thinking about writing a script that would be an ensemble comedy set on a military base, probably during basic training, but I feel that this is overly familiar territory.

    I can remember a few similar stories (Catch 22, Full Metal Jacket, Tigerland) but I feel like there's more and it just feels like a very familiar setting and type of story, a bunch of guys in the military.

    Do you guys feel the same way or am I wrong on this?

  • #2
    Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

    Stripes- Bill Murray
    Private Benjamin- Goldie Hawn

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    • #3
      Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

      If we've seen the location before, it puts more pressure on the concept to be original. I have a Script Tip in rotation on how vampires are not high concept - we've seen them a million times before so they don't make a good "plug in" ("It's CASABLANCA... with vampires!"), which means you have to find the element of vampires that has never been done before. The vampires are the "same" and now you need to find the "but different". So 30 DAYS OF NIGHT gives us vampires in Barrow, Alaska - the land of always night! We haven't seen that before and it totally ratchets up the conflict and changes the vampire story, so it's a great "but different".

      So what is the high concept "but different" for your story in basic training?

      - Bill
      Free Script Tips:
      http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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      • #4
        Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

        the military keeps changing.

        just my four cents.

        and i'd guess the new changes tend to change everything. or maybe not.

        crap, now it's eleven or seventeen cents. something close to that.

        best,
        anconranger, who was never an army ranger, or park ranger, or texas ranger, etc.

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        • #5
          Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

          It's going to be really hard to have a setting that has not been used before, so go for it.

          As someone said, if the setting is not original (and that's ok) you need a great story with great characters.

          If you have that the setting should be irrelevant (unless it is, for the story: you HAVE to shoot Titanic on a ship).
          Check out my website with my productions: http://www.picturesplusproductions.com

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          • #6
            Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

            There's a lot more to military training bases than the parade ground, shooting range and barracks. The mess hall, stores, armory, admin offices, and other areas are all places where you can change the setting and dynamics to give your story some difference, but the main difference needs to be in the story itself.
            "Friends make the worst enemies." Frank Underwood

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            • #7
              Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

              Originally posted by Dimitri001 View Post
              I'm thinking about writing a script that would be an ensemble comedy set on a military base, probably during basic training, but I feel that this is overly familiar territory.

              I can remember a few similar stories (Catch 22, Full Metal Jacket, Tigerland) but I feel like there's more and it just feels like a very familiar setting and type of story, a bunch of guys in the military.

              Do you guys feel the same way or am I wrong on this?
              Last edited by Clint Hill; 10-24-2016, 05:13 AM.
              “Organizations for writers palliate the writer‘s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.“ — Ernest Hemingway

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              • #8
                Re: Military base/training - cliched setting?

                Originally posted by Dimitri001 View Post
                I'm thinking about writing a script that would be an ensemble comedy set on a military base, probably during basic training, but I feel that this is overly familiar territory.

                I can remember a few similar stories (Catch 22, Full Metal Jacket, Tigerland) but I feel like there's more and it just feels like a very familiar setting and type of story, a bunch of guys in the military.

                Do you guys feel the same way or am I wrong on this?
                To me it would depend on what military base or what type
                One must be fearless and tenacious when pursuing their dreams. If you don't, regret will be your reward.

                The Fiction Story Room

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