My Black List Experience

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  • #16
    If I were going to write this (and I'm not)...

    American Goth Chick

    The poster could be a parody of American Gothic, with your Goth protag making eyes at oblivious (non-Goth?) love interest. Their posing for such a photo could be a plot point in the story... everyone but him knows she's in love with him. Aaaand, they're vampires. :-)

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    • #17
      The "Goth Chick" is a cool angle that's in the ballpark for the title, but it would need a connection with romance because the script isn't gonna travel around with a movie poster. And the twist with the "vampires" is nice, but it's been done.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

        I plan to enter the nine most popular contests and at the end of the year I’ll post a thread in the contest forum to reveal the results.
        Hey, Joe, are you entering this many contests for more feedback? Or because you feel strongly that it will place? Because entering nine more contests for a script that still needs work adds up to a lot of money. A lot. I can't even name nine contests that are worth the entry fee. It might be worth it to step back and write something new and fresh, rather than shell out that type of cash for a script that might not have legs. Grain of salt, and all that.

        Good luck with whatever you decide.
        ------

        GOTH SEEKS LOVE for a title?

        YOUR QUOTE: "...When a Goth’s best friend is obsessed with the hottest girl in high school, she must find a way to dropkick her swiftly out of his head and get him to see she’s -- the one..."

        I will add that I used to write YA and because of that, read a ton of YA years ago, and this trope of the person that can't see his friend is the one who's perfect for him is very, very familiar. This is not as fresh as you may believe. Again, grain of salt and all that-- The GOTH angle makes it fresher.
        Last edited by figment; 01-18-2021, 10:25 AM.

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        • #19
          Exactly. A way to spice it up is have the same setup but have characters be high school teachers and not students. Sure it’s been done but at least it’s something less familiar.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
            Sure, you’d like to write a unique, not predicable romantic comedy, such as, “(500) Days of Summer,” but that wasn’t the type of story I had the inspiration and passion to write.
            That's a great example of what I'm talking about.

            That movie's plot tracks very closely to Annie Hall. Falls in love with quirky girl, has great times, they grow apart, has a miserable date with another woman, gets depressed... finally breaks through and returns to his passion (in 500 Days, architecture. In Annie Hall, he writes his play). Runs into Summer/Annie Hall for one last conversation... and they don't get back together. Both end with a hopeful moment - Allen's character wrote an ending in his play where he gets the girl / 500 Days had him meet "Autumn" and ask her out.

            But rather than being dismissed as a 20something Annie Hall ripoff, it had a very clever device that made a familiar story interesting. (And it had voice coming out of its ears, but let's not have a voice conversation. )

            A love triangle where everyone loves the wrong person isn't just an 80s movie trope - it's Twelfth Night from Shakespeare. And even he kept it fresh by having one of the people dressed up as the opposite sex. (Which is what "She's The Man" was - Twelfth Night with teens.)

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            • #21
              I just realized something that amused me - I sold and made a version of this movie. A guy pining for a woman he can't have, a woman pretending to help him but really wanting him for herself, trying to help him get over her... the twist in mine is that one of them was a ghost.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by figment View Post

                Hey, Joe, are you entering this many contests for more feedback? ... this trope of the person that can't see his friend is the one who's perfect for him is very, very familiar. This is not as fresh as you may believe. Again, grain of salt and all that-- The GOTH angle makes it fresher.
                In a previous post, I mentioned I'm entering nine of the popular contests because I wanted to do a thread on contests at the end of the 2021 contest year.

                I do not recommend for a writer to use contests or The Black List web site for feedback. Use peers for your screenplay's first round feedback and professional readers for the rewrite. I suggest that contests and The Black List should be used for marketing purposes only.

                "This is not as fresh as you may believe."

                When did I ever say this romantic comedy trope is fresh? In another thread, I only pointed out that it's a popular trope by giving a long list of successful romantic comedies applying it -- and that list could have gone on forever.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                  I just realized something that amused me - I sold and made a version of this movie. A guy pining for a woman he can't have, a woman pretending to help him but really wanting him for herself, trying to help him get over her... the twist in mine is that one of them was a ghost.
                  This high concept "ghost" hook does sound cool for a high school romantic comedy. This reminds me of the Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo high concept movie “Just Like Heaven.” I loved this movie.

                  Yes, it’ll be great to have something that feels new and fresh as the foundation of the storyline, or possessing a unique spin/twist.

                  For example, “The Fault In Our Stars” had “illness.” “10 Things I Hate About You” had the protagonist’s younger popular sister not able to date until she does. “John Tucker” had the protagonist falling for the target’s younger, sensitive brother. And so on...

                  I appreciate everyone’s attempt to get me to keep looking for that high concept hook, or unique spin/twist and I will, though if it doesn’t happen, I’ll go with what I got and move on to the next screenplay.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                    I just realized something that amused me - I sold and made a version of this movie. A guy pining for a woman he can't have, a woman pretending to help him but really wanting him for herself, trying to help him get over her... the twist in mine is that one of them was a ghost.
                    OMG! This movie mention went right over my head. You did a romantic comedy breakup movie titled “Over Her Dead Body (OHDB),” released in 2008 and staring Eva Longoria, Paul Rudd and Lake Bell. (I love Paul Rudd and Lake Bell).

                    It’s about a type “A” personality bride-to-be, Kate (Longoria), who is killed on her wedding day by a falling ice sculpture angel. Henry (Rudd) is very depressed about the death, so his sister takes him to see a psychic (Bell) in the hopes he’ll find closure and move on. He falls in love with the psychic. As a ghost, Kate, watches over Henry and she’s pissed another woman wants to get her hooks into her man, so she schemes to break them up.

                    There are a ton of movies using the high concept “ghost” angle, but one or more elements have been changed in these movies to not make them so familiar, such as, genre, gender, protagonist, world, setting, themes, tone, plot, etc., though OHDB using a psychic character is close to the movie “Ghost,” but still, it may bother critics, but not its targeted audience.

                    The critics bashed OHDB: Rotten Tomatoes, 15% Critics score, but the audience score was good: 45%. This score is comparable to other -- predicable -- but successful romantic comedies, such as, “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton (47%),” “Can’t Buy Me Love (48%),” etc.

                    OHDB wasn’t a big commercial success, but it was enough of success where it made some money and not lost money for the studio.

                    This is what I’ve been saying, romantic comedies have a strong fan base, which includes me. I’ve seen OHDB and I found it to be a fun, entertaining movie, but I liked “John Tucker Must Die” better.

                    Doesn’t the title “Over Her Dead Body” sound comparable in vein and tone as with “He’s My Man, Bitch”? Both is about a character scheming to break up a couple.

                    For the romantic comedy fans, I recommend a great, small romantic comedy staring Lake Bell titled “Man Up,” released in 2015.
                    Last edited by JoeNYC; 01-21-2021, 06:48 AM.

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                    • #25
                      I haven't read your script so my reactions are just based on my experiences raising a teen girl who is now 18.

                      Maybe it's just my kid's HS crew but these young women are very supportive of each other and never fight over guys. I couldn't imagine them uttering the words in the title except for possibly a joke.

                      They're more likely to gang up on the jock as in John Tucker Must Die than go at each other over the jock.

                      Gen Z is very savvy and cynical. Like my daughter said to me: We grew up with Hunger Games not Harry Potter.

                      She sends me tiktok videos all the time. Watching them gives you insight on today's teens. Did you run this concept by any teenagers?

                      My biggest bump: from your character descriptions, I have to wonder why the Goth girl is even interested in the jock if he's as shallow as he seems.

                      If I have time I'll read your linked script.
                      Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by sc111 View Post

                        Did you run this concept by any teenagers?
                        No, I did not. I believe it's an execution dependent situation for its success or failure.

                        Now, will my screenplay be a success in contests? Previously, I was confident that it would, but now with its overall average Black List score of 5, who knows.

                        On my list of concepts to write, I do have a unique high concept comedy romance fantasy, where a 10 year-old-boy prays for his mother to meet a guy so he could have a dad. A guardian angel in the form of an elderly homeless man appears to help him make it happen.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                          I just realized something that amused me - I sold and made a version of this movie. A guy pining for a woman he can't have, a woman pretending to help him but really wanting him for herself, trying to help him get over her... the twist in mine is that one of them was a ghost.
                          Wow, just realized a story I've been working on for a year is one of these triangle things. I found your movie streaming on my library site and I'm watching it now. Stephen Root as an ice sculptor. Heh. My best friend was this kind of bride -- she had her wedding storyboarded into 5 minute increments and yelled at everyone on her wedding day. I know this woman. Okay, here goes.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                            I just realized something that amused me - I sold and made a version of this movie. A guy pining for a woman he can't have, a woman pretending to help him but really wanting him for herself, trying to help him get over her... the twist in mine is that one of them was a ghost.
                            Oooh, like that.
                            "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                            • #29
                              Joe:

                              My movie definitely lost money. If I look at it even slightly objectively, it was out of time - it was a spec I'd written five years before it got made, and the concept felt dated in a world where more realistic romantic comedies like "Knocked Up" were ruling the day. I'm not holding it up as an example of anything except ironic that I made it, given this conversation.

                              Live and learn.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

                                My movie definitely lost money.
                                If you could address the business side of Hollywood, how could the movie lost money for the studio when you take into consideration such things as its estimated budget being $10,000,000 and its box office was $21,500,000, and then you have the DVD income, licensing fees to TV, cable, etc.?

                                Edited to add: I get the Judd Apatow factor with his R-rated "Superbad" and "Knocked Up." This is why I put my original version of my teen romantic comedy in the drawer, but still, as a hard core romantic comedy fan, I enjoyed OHDB as others, according to Rotten Tomatoes audience score.
                                Last edited by JoeNYC; 01-21-2021, 06:48 AM.

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