My Black List Experience

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  • sc111
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    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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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JeffLowell
    replied
    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.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • figment
    replied
    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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  • JoeNYC
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mitchell McLean
    replied
    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. :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post

    Love Sucks Ass, well, it sucks.
    Damn. I so wanted an edgy title. I guess I better keep my targeted audience (females 25 and under) in mind and go with the romantic title: "All I want Is You." (I already sent out the script to two contests with the "He's My Man, Bitch!" title.)

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeNYC
    replied
    Originally posted by Bono View Post

    See I think writing a new romantic comedy would be 100% easier than trying to fix up an older one that I believe you first wrote many years ago.
    It’s not like I’ve been working on this script for ten years. When an opportunity comes around for a past completed script, pros and non-pros will dig that script out of the drawer.

    For example, when Kevin Williamson moved to LA in 1990, he took a screenwriting class at UCLA where he wrote “Teaching Mrs. Tingle.” A decade later, when he had success with “Scream” and “Dawson’s Creek,” he took advantage of that by taking “Tingle” out of the drawer and using it as his directorial debut, but unfortunately for Mr. Williamson it was a critical and commercial bomb.

    When Netflix with their “Summer of Love” and other streaming platforms came about, I thought this would be a good opportunity for my teen romantic comedy, but I had to give it a -- as Warner Bros.’ marketing department would say, “modern update.”

    I’ve had a set back with two of the three Black List readers calling the predictability issue problematic, which I really don’t get. The majority of successful romantic comedies are predicable. It’s their nature.

    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.

    I’m hopeful about this script because of the professional readers’ feedback and the fact that the earlier, original version, which was a weaker draft, was a Quarterfinalist in the Page Competition.

    Now, what has been dashing my hopes is the fact that a successful working professional writer, Jeff Lowell, tells me the predictability factor could possibly turn off producers. Jeff, suggest to improve my chances brainstorm for a twist that would surprise the audience, which is sound advice and which I will certainly be looking for, but if it doesn’t happen and this screenplay doesn’t attract a buyer, it’s okay.

    The rejection will wound, but not kill. I’ll live to write another day. (Too melodramatic?)

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
    Stop the presses! I just heard the U2 song: "All I Want Is You." This title or the edgier "Love Sucks Ass"?
    Better.

    Love Sucks Ass, well, it sucks. Why? Because no one says that. They may say, "Love Sucks."

    One opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bono
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

    I've always been open, always brainstorming for a unique angle, but it always came down to the natural feeling of taking her for granted. They've known each other since they were 10. She was always there, until one day she wasn't. He didn't realize his feelings for her was love.

    I'm entering the screenplay in contests, but I'll stay open to the possibility of a clever twist popping into my head, while I work on another screenplay. If it doesn't do well in contests, then I won't query the industry with it. Thank you for taking the time to give me your opinion.
    See I think writing a new romantic comedy would be 100% easier than trying to fix up an older one that I believe you first wrote many years ago. If you think of a new angle on a romantic comedy -- write a new story to go with it. Not one that's been in your head for many many years as it's hard to break free and write fresh.

    Blank page is scary, but it's also sometimes the only way.

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  • Bono
    replied
    Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
    Stop the presses! I just heard the U2 song: "All I Want Is You." This title or the edgier "Love Sucks Ass"?
    Sorry The Edge won't sign off in letting you use that title. Also Larry feels it's not right for this project. Adam doesn't care either way. -- Bono

    Leave a comment:

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