Problem Reading Dark Scripts

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  • #16
    Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

    I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone, so don't mind when I'm asked to read something in a genre that I don't work in.

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    • #17
      Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

      Originally posted by TheConnorNoden View Post
      I know I'm in the minority around here on this issue but finding a "market" for every story isn't the way to go about things. I know the ultimate goal is to be able to live off writing but sometimes you have to tell the story you want to tell regardless of whatever everyone else might think. You start by writing something YOU want to see. Good or bad at least you have a story at the end that you can be proud of.

      EDIT: It's just...how many people here are writing for the joy of it? Isn't that what should come first?
      Excellent points. Over and over again the pros tell us to not to worry about the market - write something you love to write. The chances of your spec script getting made into a movie is almost zilch. But if you write well and with your heart (and don't worry about the budget and all the other niggling things that seem to preoccupy some new writers) your script might lead to an assignment and from there ... with a lot of luck ... a career.

      I, personally, couldn't write a script with graphic cruelty to a child or a dog - no matter how much justice prevailed at the end. But if you can - and you're best writing comes out when writing this kind of story, and you're really compelled to tell this story - then that's probably the story you should write.
      STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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      • #18
        Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

        Originally posted by Centos View Post
        That's fine, everyone has a different opinion. You're right about one thing at least -- I don't know enough about your script. I was just going by how you described it. I still don't think anyone wants to watch graphic scenes with dogs (or children) being hurt -- and if that's what happens here, I seriously doubt you'll find a market.
        Yes, as mentioned, that's what was the second reviewer's take on it. Worse, I believed it to be true.

        Worse than animal abuse (to me) is first, rape (Irreversible and others) and after that, murder (take your pick of any number of movies). Movies like these depict worse things than a man fighting a dog (Mankind versus Nature).

        Not to appease those who despise animal cruelty, but not every tousle with the dog is going to be shown, nor ought they all be shown. That would grow tiresome and lose the impact of the struggles. Only the key fights where there's a turn in the dog's advantage are viable for a screenplay, which is just as they were depicted in the original short novel. Besides, there's a lot to be said for maintaining suspense in any conflict we write in our projects.

        In the short novel by the original author and in the original author's day and time, Mankind was supposed to best Nature at its every turn. To satisfy that end, even though the original author made the man the villain and the dog the underdog hero (bad pun, but true!), both succumb to their end at the hands of the “peace-keeping and law-abiding men” of the town. To the original author, Good (men) triumphed over Evil (dog abuser) and over Nature (dog).

        More in line with the Truth, the ending in my adaptation is changed from the original ending. In my screenplay, Nature (the dog) triumphs over Mankind (the villainous dog abuser) and evades capture by the townsfolk (Mankind) to roam free.

        There's an old business sales standard to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative to make a thing desirable. The first reviewer had some keen insights on how to make the existing screenplay better and where it needed some serious bolstering to “make it play.”

        That's where I'm headed, even if it turns into a “calling card” screenplay or a writing exercise. It's now a personal challenge to employ the first reviewer's comments to the detriment of the second reviewer's comments whether the script should find an audience or not.

        The short novel was a great story and moved me when I first read it and it's still a great story and moves me whenever I reread it. That's what I'll try to capture, infuse, and suffuse throughout the screenplay.
        Last edited by TigerFang; 08-27-2017, 12:05 PM.
        "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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        • #19
          Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

          Some folks can be objective, others have a hard time suspending their personal tastes and likes/dislikes. There are genres I favor and some I don't care for. But I pride myself on my ability to help clients with ANY genre. Story is story.

          For instance, I like a good comedy but it's not my favorite genre. For over a decade at New Regency, however, I was the go-to guy to read comedy specs.

          I'm also not a fan of torture-porn or hardcore horror, but I've read hundreds and can help writers who work in that genre.

          If you're reading for fun, then of course why would you read a style of movie you don't like..? This is why there's an inherent risk in getting feedback from friends, family or writer's groups. They may not have enough experience or context to draw from, which can help them be more objective in assessing material. If I had only read 50 scripts instead of thousands, maybe I wouldn't be as useful when it comes to giving you feedback on that slasher pic.
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          • #20
            Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

            I entered a comedy script once, entitled "Dead Son of a B#tch".

            It was about a dead, egotistical prick, told from his point of view. It began with him kicking a dog and breaking his toe and then trying to kick the dog again. The dog dodges, he goes over a cliff, breaks his neck and dies.

            While he's decomposing, the dog pees on him several times a day, he even yanks off one his leg bones.

            The obvious point being the Dead SOB, got the worst of it, compared to the dog.

            A couple of demented people thought it was funny. But, in general, I got more grief from this script than from anything else I ever entered into a contest.

            BECAUSE, the man kicked the dog.

            Probably thirty people commented on this (and judged it). At least half chewed me out for hurting a poor, innocent dog. Mind you, this script was up against chainsaw massacre type scripts (at least three of them) and other scripts where young women were cruelly and graphically murdered.

            Did I mention my script was a comedy?

            Anyway, I decided then and there that any kind of script with even the slightest animal cruelty is dead in the water.
            Last edited by StoryWriter; 08-31-2017, 11:48 AM. Reason: Correction
            "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

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            • #21
              Re: Problem Reading Dark Scripts

              Originally posted by StoryWriter View Post
              . . . any kind of script with even the slightest animal cruelty is dead in the water.
              Originally posted by EvilRbt View Post
              Story is story.
              Thanks for the POVs, one and all. Nevertheless, I'm going to patch up my screenplay and put it back in action; say what you will about its viability or marketability. Story trumps everything, and it's a classic story.
              "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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