Afghanistan-centered action movie

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  • Afghanistan-centered action movie

    I have an action spec that's set in Afghanistan, which I had to rewrite due to our withdrawal. The plot still works, but I'm wondering if managers and agents would be interested in representing it now that Afghanistan is old news. Is it a waste of time marketing it? Should I stash it away and just move onto something else?

  • #2
    https://www.8-ball-magic.com/
    "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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    • #3
      1. Maybe set it in the past? 2. Probably going to be a very tough sell and tough to get reads.

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      • #4
        3. Does it matter if it’s a real country or never mentioned to the story? If they aren’t hunting bin laden for real I think you can make up a country and most readers wouldn’t care.

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        • #5
          Atonement (2007) is a film set during WWII with a great storyline. 1917 (2019) is another war film with a great storyline. It's not (to me) whether it's a war film, it's whether or not the script's story makes a great movie. What's your script's story? What does its logline say?
          "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bono View Post
            3. Does it matter if it’s a real country or never mentioned to the story? If they aren’t hunting bin laden for real I think you can make up a country and most readers wouldn’t care.
            I hate fake countries. Unless it's Top Gun. Which is really just an unidentified country. But if it's not fantastical I hate that stuff.

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            • #7
              This is not distant past, it's Afghanistan. IMO everyone feels the sting of that very recent withdrawal, and reading a script about the war there will only jog readers' memories about it right now. Even if your story is good, you're already coming from a position of weakness in terms of who will want to champion it right now.

              I'd put it aside for now if you have something else. This too will pass and then your suddenly "period" script will be fine to pursue soon enough, when the wound has healed a bit.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Satriales View Post

                I hate fake countries. Unless it's Top Gun. Which is really just an unidentified country. But if it's not fantastical I hate that stuff.
                Zamunda.

                https://ew.com/movies/fictional-coun...958904#5958904

                I'm thinking of Predator. I've watched that movie so many times. I think it's just somewhere in Central America. I don't recall them saying which place. And I think they filmed it what in Mexico? So if the movie is going to be filmed in Utah, screw it and just make it work.

                Obviously sometimes location is KEY to plot. But for me when I'm watching Jason Bourne movies I'm not thinking where are they. Maybe you are. Mission Impossible. I don't care. I just want the action. And to have a general idea if they are in the US, Europe, the middle east or China.

                Then again, I write dumb comedies. Maybe it's just how I see the world.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bono View Post

                  Zamunda.

                  https://ew.com/movies/fictional-coun...958904#5958904

                  I'm thinking of Predator. I've watched that movie so many times. I think it's just somewhere in Central America. I don't recall them saying which place. And I think they filmed it what in Mexico? So if the movie is going to be filmed in Utah, screw it and just make it work.

                  Obviously sometimes location is KEY to plot. But for me when I'm watching Jason Bourne movies I'm not thinking where are they. Maybe you are. Mission Impossible. I don't care. I just want the action. And to have a general idea if they are in the US, Europe, the middle east or China.

                  Then again, I write dumb comedies. Maybe it's just how I see the world.
                  Oh man, for Mission, Bourne, and Bond the locations are what make it. A motorcycle chase in a nondescript Euro city is boring. Paris? Sounds good.

                  It was definitely an 80s thing. And while the movies work in many cases, I still find it distracting.

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                  • #10
                    I'm saying a cool action movie scene on a cliff or a high rise 100000 feet in the air, I don't care where it is in the world, just that my hero is doing something cool near it. So my point is for the OP so he/she can fix her script. Honestly, I don't know why they even have to change it. Do what you said, set it in 2018 before withdrawal is easy fix. But if he wrote a movie like Extraction, I'm saying, I don't recall where the movie took place just that Hemsworth kicked ass.

                    I mean it's the movies. My favorite movie is Halloween 1978. I know it's filmed in Pasadena, CA, but it's supposed to be Haddonfield, IL and to me it's just my hometown in MA... what matters is the feel of it. The setting is the suburbs. So for the OP the setting is a war zone in a desert is my guess. If he wrote a Rambo movie, then literally you can make up a country.

                    I'm not saying writers shouldn't write for specifics, I"m just saying, seems odd that his whole spec is ruined because the war ended. All Hollywood does is make movies about wars that ended.

                    Anyway -- I just think writers give up on their work too easily and find reasons to kill their own work. Let Hollywood kill your dreams. Not you.

                    Also -- the OP question was about marketing and to me it's much more in the news NOW then a year ago or ten years ago... we just left so it's now on everyone's mind. I think that's a positive actually in selling it to reps.

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                    • #11
                      I have some recent experience on this subject and I would advise OP to smother any non-true Afghan story (unless you're writing like a horror version of Three Kings or something maybe?) with a pillow. That's just my two cents.

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                      • #12
                        IKR? Why try to push something just because...

                        "I have a script about a cop who accidentally kneels on the neck of a suspect and kills him, but he didn't mean to and he's really a nice guy. Is this the right time to market my script?" There is a difference between not following the market trends and not acknowledging the current zeitgeist.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Satriales View Post

                          I hate fake countries. Unless it's Top Gun. Which is really just an unidentified country. But if it's not fantastical I hate that stuff.
                          What?! Not even Moon Over Parador (1988)?!
                          "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the replies. The Afghan setting had thematic significance and personal significance for once character, but the story works just as well if the setting isn't as precise.

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                            • #15
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                              Last edited by entlassen; 10-23-2021, 11:23 AM. Reason: double post

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