Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

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  • Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

    I love horror. I've written 2 scripts -- one a horror/comedy about werewolves in 2004 or something like that with a friend -- the other more a thriller/horror that I think is still an awesome concept but an average script. I did write in it in 2007, so I think I've become a better writer since then.

    I write mostly comedy scripts -- but irony is my favorite genre is horror. If I had to choose I'd say HALLOWEEN 1978 is my favorite movie.

    I know we all love movies -- say action - that we don't write.

    And I write mostly comedy because well that's where most of my concepts take me and comedy is a part of my normal life. Some people write comedy and other people live it. I'm one of the latter. By that I mean, I'm making jokes in real life too not just on the page. So my general outlook on life is sarcastic guy.

    Anyway -- what I'm trying to get too -- is I know the reason I haven't written more horror specs is twofold. I had a writing partner who didn't like horror and we found success in comedy -- so I focused on that. Still am focused on comedy.

    But I guess this is a message to myself and people like me -- write what you love. And by that I mean write the movies you loved seeing at 8 years old... as an adult writer now.

    We get so lost in this business -- and chasing a dream -- some of us get off track because one person liked our thriller script -- so we only write those -- but maybe your dream was to write muscials....

    So just curious if others are like me. I'm sure there are plenty of people on this board that write scripts in all genres. But I'm sure there are a few of us -- who do love what we write -- but often neglect another huge part of us that we forgot we loved.

    Somewhere along the way I became a comedy writer. I love that. But I always love horror... My POV these two genres are very closely related and also I think the hardest to do well. I feel like you can make an okay action movies or thriller -- but there really is no okay comedy or horror. It either is funny to you or scary to you -- or it just dies. It's a tightrope... At least in action movies a car blowing up is a 99% approval rating...

    Anyway -- I'm going to write a horror thing on the side. Just for me. And I encourage you all to do the same.

  • #2
    Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

    I like everything aside from big action stuff (unless it's high concept 90s-esque spec fodder type material) but I mostly stayed in my lane of true story/historical fiction stuff. My last spec was elevated (Sounds douchey, but it had Big Themes) contained thriller which isn't much of a jump.

    In 2003 or so I did the typical out of college semi autobiographical comedy complete with roommates sitting on a couch. I haven't tried to write comedy since...I'm just not good at it on the page, or at least haven't ever educated myself on the science of constructing a joke. When I have to funny something up on the page of my dramas, I generally resort to sarcasm which isn't comedy.

    I feel the same way about horror. It is thriller adjacent-ish but feels too close to comedy in that there is a manner to setting things up that I don't quite understand. I have a werewolf idea that I'd love to write, and probably will get at some point.

    It's funny but if my wife and I see a 90% RT score horror or comedy it's an automatic watch for us, usually. And I don't write in either genre.

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    • #3
      Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

      Originally posted by Bono View Post
      But I guess this is a message to myself and people like me -- write what you love. And by that I mean write the movies you loved seeing at 8 years old... as an adult writer now.
      Regardless of format, I write from story premises I would pay to see as movies.
      Clint Hill
      Member
      Last edited by Clint Hill; 07-04-2020, 06:29 PM.
      “Nothing is what rocks dream about” ― Aristotle

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      • #4
        Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

        I love horror, too, but I find the genre far-too limited now. What passed in the 80s is so cliche now as to be cheesy and today's insistence on PG rated horror removes all notion of actual horror. I've never found horror and comedy to be similar even though it's a common (mis)conception. I was very surprised to find myself drawn to the noir, the dark and the seedy - as well as mixing dry humour at the most inappropriate times. It's a slight surprise, though not too much, considering my love of horror and the 70s/80s penchant for twist endings, that I'm drawn to antiheroes and bleak endings. Not a single script of mine has a happy ending and I really expected no less than 50% to be that way.
        SundownInRetreat
        Member
        Last edited by SundownInRetreat; 07-04-2020, 10:07 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

          I don't think Blumhouse has released a horror movie that isn't at least PG-13 but would guess they are all R rated...

          The Conjuring
          Saw Movies..

          I don't know what PG horror you are reffering too -- but I assume you mean less gory than the 80s?

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          • #6
            Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

            You gotta have a really good concept for a good horror script. I mean it's not like the main character is going through some big transformation. It's how the horror enters the lives of these people. That's why Saw did so well.

            I don't think you can write another slasher movie with a Jason Voorhees running around at a camp. Would Us be considered horror? That had an interesting premise but I didn't love it as much as everyone else.

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            • #7
              Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

              Us is horror.

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              • #8
                Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                You always need a good premise, but the slasher movie is alive and well.
                I think horror movies may be number one genre the past few years besides Marvel movies... streaming wise -- killing it!

                I saw 7 Saw movies except first one in theater -- and I would have seen Chris Rock movie but I don't know when that's coming out...

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                • #9
                  Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                  Bono I would write horror if that's what you love. If you're worried that you've built an image as a comedy writer, what about a middle ground? For example, I'm a huge fan of Ash vs Evil Dead.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                    I’m not worried. I have no brand. But thank you.

                    I’m just pointing out how many times I’ve read someone’s comedy spec and they said I don’t like comedy I want to write thrillers. Or they wrote a horror movie but really like westerns. Or my case I am writing what I love to write the most— comedy. However I ignored my second love.

                    Horror comedy is so tough to nail. But I always hear that’s harder sell than just horror.

                    I’m just pointing out as I see it a lot over past 15 years of writers somehow forgetting what inspired them to write. Not all but a lot of us.

                    I have a friend who writes great comedy but so sick of failing at that he’s going to try new genre. I get that too.

                    I’m saying once you get in the business a little it does get in your head. I’m suggestions to all

                    Reset
                    Forgot
                    Pretend this is your first script
                    What types of movies do you like to watch?
                    Write one of those.

                    It’s not as easy as it sounds. Or obvious.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                      To Add:

                      Even in my genre comedy I have not written ideas I love for whatever reason --reps or writing partner didn't like it -- or some other idea took it's place...

                      But more than that, there are movies I love that I haven't written my own version of like:

                      -- vacation movie

                      -- 3 comedy leads movie like The Hangover

                      -- buddy "cop" movie (I'd most likely make sure it's not a real cop these days as the real world stuff is impossible to ignore and pretend it's still 1984 beverly hills cop days -- but that is the movie that comes to mind first)

                      -- action comedy movie

                      -- a strong one hander like Happy Gilmore - - I tend to write 2 handers

                      Anyway -- my point is -- I think of my favorite comedies of all time and I have not written movies like them which is weird to me. That's all.

                      Take Back To School. I have many "back to school" like ideas for years. MM just made her version of that world. But there is still room. i thought of one the other day and my buddy said -- yup can't make that now. He may be right or wrong. But that's what I'm talking about. Getting pushed off course.

                      If i never asked him at all -- I may be 50 pages into the idea. That could be bad... or it could be great...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                        Originally posted by Bono View Post
                        I don't think Blumhouse has released a horror movie that isn't at least PG-13 but would guess they are all R rated...

                        The Conjuring
                        Saw Movies..

                        I don't know what PG horror you are referring too -- but I assume you mean less gory than the 80s?
                        There's been a ton since the early 2000s and those that are R are so tame so as to encourage parents to take their kids to see them.


                        The Woman In Black
                        The Possession
                        When a Stranger Calls
                        The Stepfather
                        Insidious
                        Lights Out
                        Drag Me to Hell
                        Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
                        Happy Death Day
                        The Lazarus Effect
                        Poltergeist
                        Devil
                        Ouija
                        World War Z
                        The Uninvited
                        Cursed
                        The Exorcism of Emily Rose
                        The Grudge
                        The Ring
                        The Unborn
                        The Boy
                        Before I wake
                        Black Christmas
                        Cursed

                        And these are just off the top of my head. Cursed was hacked to pieces to make it a PG-13 and the others - along with anything James Wan touches post-Saw - replaces genuine horror, violence and gore with cheap jump scares so as to play to as wide an audience as possible.

                        Modern day is horror with all the horror removed.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                          I was thinking maybe Happy Death Day -- I obviously did not do research -- I wouldn't have guessed most of those were PG-13. I honestly thought PG-13 died in the 90s. I feel like every movie is G PG or R these days. I guess I was wrong.

                          Ha.

                          Well anyway -- I hear you. I don't know all the rules for PG-13 vs R -- some swear words -- can you have any naked bodies in PG-13...

                          But here is the trick. If you have a horror idea and you want it to be R -- write it that way. They can always make it PG-13 later like most of these movies I assume did. That's a marketing choice. things you can't control.

                          I love Happy Death Day btw.

                          Maybe I'm watching old movies, but I feel most of the horror I watch is R.

                          Even if it isn't -- Sundown -- write some! Is your handle based on the horror movie like I suspect btw? One I never saw...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                            I write what I love to watch, sci-fi action thrillers in the $40-$100 million. That is my wheelhouse. Strengths in world-building, fast action and well paced plots.

                            I lean toward dark material with psychological elements.

                            I wrote a rom-com, not because I like that genre, generally, I don't. I wrote it because I loved the idea and character.

                            My stories all have similar themes and always have a social commentary element to them.
                            "Reserving rights to comment and make changes."
                            Hollywood producer

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                            • #15
                              Re: Not Writing the Types of Movies You Love

                              The very first thing I wrote and posted on this site was a strange dark comedy short about barney the dinosaur as a washed up drunk. Before even that though I was interested in a story about some mob stuff in a town I grew up in. I then started working on a sci fi space adventure. It wasn't working so well so I turned it into a parody of all sci fi space adventures. So I'm struggling between sci fi adventure, sci fi thriller, and comedy or parodies of sci fi stuff.
                              Until I can find a quote from Pope Francis regarding one licking one's butt in the Vatican I'll post this:
                              Just One Scene - Contest #1

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