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[P]
Four Unproduced Screenplays

By alby in Op-Ed
Sun May 09, 2004 at 03:28:26 PM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)
Movies

The Writers Guild of America registers approximately 30,000 screenplays every year, most of which never make it anywhere near the silver screen. Some of these are by "big name" writers like James Cameron and The Wachowski Brothers. Presented for your reading pleasure are four of my personal favourites.


Edward Ford by Lem Dobbs - Possibly the best known unproduced screenplay in Hollywood. Based on a real life friend of Dobbs, and written in 1979, it's been doing the rounds ever since. Dobbs himself appears in the screenplay under the disguise of "Luke" - see also the fantastic Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation - as a friend of the titular character; a loser arriving in Hollywood in the 1960s desperate to be a 1940s B-movie actor like the ones listed in his obsessively-maintained index.

Avatar by James Cameron - Not technically a screenplay but rather a "scriptment", a combination of both screenplay and treatment. A stunningly majestic science-fiction piece that if produced (especially if by Cameron) would surely rate highly against sci-fi classics like Alien and Blade Runner.

One Saliva Bubble by David Lynch & Mark Frost - it's David Lynch so you won't be surprised to learn this is an utterly bizarre screenplay. It revolves around a malfunctioning space weapon (the titular saliva bubble causes a short circuit at a ground control station) which causes amongst other things, all the cheese in Newtonville, Kansas to disappear. I shit you not.

Red, White, Black, and Blue by Andrew Kevin Walker - an ultra-gritty police drama (as you'd expect from the writer of Se7en ) about a trio of 1970s vice cops who are trying to stop a huge shipment of heroin headed for Los Angeles.

Honourable Mentions:

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Related Links
o Edward Ford
o Lem Dobbs
o Adaptation
o Avatar
o James Cameron
o One Saliva Bubble
o David Lynch
o Mark Frost
o Red, White, Black, and Blue
o Andrew Kevin Walker
o Se7en
o Carnivore
o Alien 3
o A Crowded Room
o I Am Legend
o Also by alby


Display: Sort:
Four Unproduced Screenplays | 79 comments (66 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Suggestions. (none / 1) (#2)
by alby on Sat May 08, 2004 at 07:40:16 AM EST

Any K5ers suggest others that should appear on the list?

--
Alby

Haven't read it yet (none / 3) (#3)
by R Mutt on Sat May 08, 2004 at 12:02:23 PM EST

But the Charlie Kaufmann script for Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" is supposed to be interesting.

It's being filmed, but to someone else's script. After all, what could the "Being John Malkovitch" scriptwriter bring to the filming of a legendary work of darkly humorous psychotic surrealism?
----
Coward... Asshole... from the start you kept up the appearance of objectively posting interesting links.
[ Parent ]

Funny. (none / 1) (#5)
by cachilders on Sat May 08, 2004 at 01:18:14 PM EST

I was just about to suggest that one. Another that might be of interest is the Cronenberg draft of American Psycho, though I'm not even certain if this script was ever fully rendered.

[ Parent ]
I'm a HUGE fan of Charlie Kaufman ... (none / 0) (#6)
by alby on Sat May 08, 2004 at 08:34:22 PM EST

... but - you knew that was coming, didn't you? - in my opinion A Scanner Darkly is not his best work. Worth checking out though is Human Nature (available at the link above) which might as well be unproduced for the amount of attention it got. Hopefully Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind should focus attention back upon it, with it being from the same writer/director team.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

human nature was mediocre (none / 1) (#28)
by Nigga on Sun May 09, 2004 at 11:56:39 PM EST

i mean it was fun but nowhere near the standards set by BJM, A, and ESOTSM

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

a few (none / 3) (#22)
by fenix down on Sun May 09, 2004 at 04:42:48 PM EST

The old Neuromancer script, even if it sucks a little.

Sandman has one of those too, which actually isn't that bad at all.  Especially when you compare it to the earlier draft, which I have saved here but can't seem to find online.  The early one has a sorta-interesting-but-also-infuriating ending where they fake a happy ending and then it turns out it's a dream and the Sandman is still all heartless and Endless-y.  It's cute, but filmed, it would just piss you off.  The second version's better, and it just has better flow overall.

Also, Kevin Smith's Superman Lives script just gets more and more hilarious the longer it goes on.  Aparently he wrote it in the throes of some kind of horrible fanboy seizure.  It's got a gay British robot that learns the True Meaning of Christmas!  It's got puns!  It's got a backup gay British robot that doesn't learn the True Meaning of Christmas, but is gold-colored and bitchy!  Jimmy is the least dorky character!  It uses the best line ever written for the screen:

                        SUPERMAN
        Huh?

Truly, it is a work of genius.

[ Parent ]

Notice ... (none / 1) (#23)
by alby on Sun May 09, 2004 at 06:39:21 PM EST

... how the baddie is called "EL RON"?

If you're into that sort of thing, Smith's Six Million Dollar Man is great.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Cheers guys (none / 1) (#29)
by GenerationY on Mon May 10, 2004 at 12:47:31 AM EST

just finished reading the Superman script.
(Never really tackled one before; really efficient way of reading a novel in the time it takes read of a short story sort of. Reminds me of the day I realised -- as Douglas Coupland also noted -- you could watch a film twice as fast if it has subtitles).

My favourite line:

                       LEX
        Never trust anyone with the stones to
        call himself Brainiac.

Hehe. Yes, quite.

I think Smith had the right idea really. Superman is inherently ludicrous (a near invincible hero is hard to make interesting) perhaps he is best dealt with lightly these days.

The exception this being (of course) if they ever get a fairly-close-to-the-book adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns of course. (I heard something about "Batman vs. Superman" a while ago, but nothing since).

[ Parent ]

Another guy's top ten (none / 1) (#30)
by GenerationY on Mon May 10, 2004 at 01:12:07 AM EST

Theres a lot of overlap actually. I haven't read anything thats on this list other than those that Alby has already recommended (I Am Legend is a great piece of work IMHO, I can't help wondering if it inspired any of 28 Days Later, and whether the existence of that film means IAL will never see the light of day now) so I can't say how perceptive/clueless this chap is actually being. Anyhow.

[ Parent ]
I am Legend (none / 1) (#33)
by bil on Mon May 10, 2004 at 03:57:00 AM EST

I am Legend was filmed as The Omega Man in 1971 with Charlton Heston in the lead.

They changed the ending slightly but well worth watching

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Good grief (none / 1) (#40)
by GenerationY on Mon May 10, 2004 at 12:55:32 PM EST

you're right. I've never, ever heard of that film before. Thanks. A quick bit of research suggests that there was another stab at an adaptation of the source novel (written by Richard Matheson, apparently by the guy who wrote the scripts for a lot of the 1960s Edgar Allen Poe adaptations), starring Vincent Price (The Last Man on Earth, 1964).

[ Parent ]
Avatar (none / 3) (#12)
by sien on Sun May 09, 2004 at 02:37:07 AM EST

The story is brillian but is it a screenplay? You couldn't shoot it. Well worth a read though.

CGI slugfest... (none / 2) (#16)
by Surial on Sun May 09, 2004 at 08:46:22 AM EST

If ever it is shot, it would be. over 4 fifths of the movie is on a completely alien planet with loads of complex movement (all the animals) - and most of the characters are aliens (at least in appearance).

Squaresoft studios might be able to do this, but I don't think they're making movies anymore after 'Final Flight of Osiris' and Final Fantasy (the movie).

Maybe it's something for Pixar.

As far as reading scripts goes, though, yeah - that is a fine read. It's a weird mix of screenplay (references to when things go on-screen, what's in the foreground and background) and 'treatment', which is background info, character thoughts, and other things which are hard to visualize. As such as it's an easier read.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

Exactly (none / 1) (#17)
by sien on Sun May 09, 2004 at 09:08:24 AM EST

I meant that it wasn't a properly written screenplay, my meaning wasn't clean. It is indeed an easier read.

[ Parent ]
Ah, but... (none / 1) (#24)
by Surial on Sun May 09, 2004 at 09:44:51 PM EST

I was just clarifying your statement, not disagreeing.
--
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 1) (#27)
by sien on Sun May 09, 2004 at 11:17:56 PM EST

Sorry, I was just trying to clarify what I was trying to say. I wasn't disagreeing either. I reread my post and realized how unclear it was.

[ Parent ]
Square Pictures (none / 1) (#25)
by voodoo1man on Sun May 09, 2004 at 10:18:24 PM EST

Square Pictures laid off most of their employees not long after Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and closed down completely after Final Flight (from what I gather, the only reason they made it was to fulfill a contractual obligation). The studio was an independent body, based entirely in Hawaii, that had very little to do with the videogame company aside from ownership.

[ Parent ]
The story (none / 1) (#34)
by Ward57 on Mon May 10, 2004 at 04:41:07 AM EST

would make 1970s style crappy science fiction. Give me practically anything by Arthur C. Clarke instead.

[ Parent ]
brilliant? (none / 2) (#45)
by sesquiped on Mon May 10, 2004 at 06:51:13 PM EST

It was a fun read, with some good scenes and a few interesting ideas, but I'd stop short of calling it "brilliant". The whole stop-giant-thoughtless-corporations-from-destroying-the-environment theme has been done before, and the setting on another planet doesn't make it much more interesting. The Gaea ideas aren't particular original either (various bits reminded me of the end of the Foundation series, and of Speaker for the Dead). I also thought most of the characters were pretty flat, especially the natives.

I understand why it was never produced (besides the fact that it's not a proper screenplay): we don't have the technology to do it right yet. An animated or all-CG version somehow doesn't feel right. It would diminish the contrast between human and alien that it needs to work.

[ Parent ]

Don't smoke on Pandora (none / 0) (#48)
by lugumbashi on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:05:26 AM EST

With an atmosphere of Methane, Oxygen, Ammonia and Nitrogen, one careless ciggy and the whole place will go up.
-"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
[ Parent ]
Depends how much nitrogen there is! [nt] (none / 0) (#49)
by alby on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:11:05 AM EST


--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Larry? (2.60 / 5) (#21)
by Karaoke God on Sun May 09, 2004 at 03:46:04 PM EST

You mean Linda, right?

Sounds as though Larry Wachowski -- one half of the Chicago-born, super-successful brother team (along with Andy Wachowski) that created the "Matrix'' films -- is about to make a life-altering move.

According to those close to the extremely reclusive duo, Larry is about to finally become "Linda.'' Wachowski, who has been living and dressing as a woman for some time, reportedly is preparing to take the final step and have sex-change surgery. As always, it was impossible to get any comment from the press-shy Wachowskis, but several longtime friends of the Rogers Park native confirm Wachowski is planning to complete the process of becoming a woman.

from http://www.suntimes.com/output/zwecker//cst-ftr-zp29.html

wow (2.00 / 2) (#37)
by zenofchai on Mon May 10, 2004 at 09:43:41 AM EST

ok now I'm good and creeped out. I don't have anything against homosexuality, but paying someone to lop off your bits and sew on different ones? I'm not sure there are many more depraved things a person can do to themselves. I mean, seriously, it's one thing to say "Ok, I like guys" but to get your willy chopped off????!? On purpose????!?
--
as gold which he cannot spend will make no man rich,
so knowledge which he cannot apply will make no man wise.
[ Parent ]
Remember, kids... (2.60 / 5) (#38)
by rusty on Mon May 10, 2004 at 10:38:17 AM EST

It's easier to dig a hole than build a pole.

That news casts an interesting light on the whole premise of The Matrix though, doesn't it?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Well it Worked for Me ;) (none / 1) (#41)
by TechnoGrl on Mon May 10, 2004 at 02:35:16 PM EST

'nuff said there..... Now where did I put that leather trenchcoat and sunglasses....

--

In Your Cubicle Nobody Can Hear You Scream
[ Parent ]

They're... (none / 0) (#67)
by laotic on Thu May 13, 2004 at 12:51:00 PM EST

both still on the blue floppy where you left them...

Sig? Sigh.
[ Parent ]
I kindled a fire last night. (none / 2) (#42)
by Trollaxor on Mon May 10, 2004 at 03:21:54 PM EST

How 'bout you?

[ Parent ]
The Matrix (and sequels) make more sense... (none / 0) (#72)
by Elendale on Sat May 15, 2004 at 10:40:28 PM EST

Actually, they make a lot more sense when you stick the transgendered themes into them. I can fill in a lot of what was left out and even make some sense out of the quagmire of Matrix 2 when filtering the whole thing through that light. Anyway, i'll have to re-watch the whole series or something.
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
You 'aint seen nothing yet (none / 1) (#39)
by spasticfraggle on Mon May 10, 2004 at 12:21:00 PM EST

If you think you're creeped out by that, go and read the "Nullo" story.

Just search for it.

Oh wait...

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]

Kevin Smith's "Superman" (1.00 / 5) (#26)
by cribcage on Sun May 09, 2004 at 10:59:29 PM EST

I'll add Kevin Smith's unproduced Superman Lives script.

I couldn't find a link to the infamous "Lex Luthor is from Krypton" script, although there's a lengthy review of it here. Anyone have a link to the script itself?

crib

Please don't read my journal.

How did that Alien 3 lose to the one we got? (none / 1) (#31)
by PowerPimp on Mon May 10, 2004 at 03:04:59 AM EST

I cannot understand how the Alien 3 that got made got made instead of the script there, because that script seems infinitely cooler.


You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
Alien3 is my favourite Alien movie. (2.75 / 4) (#32)
by mr strange on Mon May 10, 2004 at 03:50:48 AM EST

I loved Alien & Aliens, but the third movie told a more compelling, human story and avoided the trap of being 'more of the same'. I know I'm in a minority, but there must be others like me - so don't be so quick to assume that anything would have been preferable to the Alien3 movie that got made.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Not saying that. (none / 1) (#36)
by PowerPimp on Mon May 10, 2004 at 08:24:03 AM EST

Just saying that this one is more interesting as it delves more into just what the corporation is, and exactly how extensive its control of everything is. (Hello! Privatization of prisons!) Besides, I liked the Alien 3 movie too.


You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Did you notice ... (none / 0) (#35)
by alby on Mon May 10, 2004 at 06:01:50 AM EST

... the scene where characters collect luminous bugs and fill containers with them to use as lamps? Twohy later re-used this scene in Pitch Black.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

This script did get made... (none / 1) (#43)
by yore on Mon May 10, 2004 at 04:23:28 PM EST

The above script reminded me of parts of Aliens 4.
Which I think is the WORST of all the sequels. Maybe they took a bunch of Alien 3 scripts and mangled them all together until they got the craptacular Alien 4.

[ Parent ]
The David Lynch one is hilarious (none / 1) (#44)
by wobblie on Mon May 10, 2004 at 04:57:32 PM EST

the one by Ridley Scott is an Ok read, but nothing special really.

I am Legend (none / 1) (#46)
by Wildgoose on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:49:16 AM EST

...might make a good "arthouse" movie but it's probably too bleak for mainstream cinema audiences.

The book by Richard Matheson that the screenplay is based upon is well worth reading though.

Avatar (none / 3) (#47)
by bugmaster on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:06:27 AM EST

Cameron's setting is pretty cool -- reminds me of Blue Planet. But the writing kind of sucks. I was able to predict the entire plot from the very beginning, because it's such a chiché. All the characters are classic NPC stereotypes. Come on Cameron, I know you can do better than that...
>|<*:=
Avatar and Aliens3 -- Four cents worth. (2.50 / 4) (#50)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:51:33 AM EST

First off. . . I've never read screen plays on-line like this before. What can I say? I had a lot more fun doing this than actually having to watch a movie! And I enjoy movies! Maybe it's because I didn't have to pay for this, and because I got to see the un obstructed vision of a single writer unhampered by Hollywood imbeciles, my brain got to work a little harder and I know the whole affair didn't cost a hundred million dollars and a whole lot of stupidity.

Anyway. . .

Aliens 3, by David Twohy.

1. The first Alien film was brilliant and frightening because the monster was Unknown. The minds of all the movie goers had never seen or even heard of anything remotely like this. When the mind is scrambling to catch up with a new idea, Fun and Fascination are the results.

2. James Cameron's Aliens was brilliant and exciting because while the Unknown was now known, but had as of yet been un-challenged. How would the Alien Monster stack up against the might of a fully prepared human military command? This film was the archetypical comic book 'Who Would Win' slug-fest, appealing to the minds of the 14 year old in all of us, and also, I am fairly certain, tapping into some primeval aspect of the human psyche. Again, Fun is the result!

3. Every Alien film since, including this un-produced screen play and the ones which did get shot, were either half-measures or complete failures. Why? Because nothing was Unknown and nothing was Proven. The Alien at this point is fully explored, it's biology probably now better comprehended by every person of movie-going age than that of many real Earth creatures we actually share the planet with. We also know that bullets DO kill them, technology and human cleverness CAN indeed win. So problem solved. In fact, until somebody comes up with a burning question everybody wants to see answered, then I don't think at this point there is any need for further episodes in the Alien 'franchise'.

David Twohy's film was basically a prison film/monster movie where we already knew everything about the monster. It wasn't badly executed, (except for some basic physics questions, like "Why the heck would anybody build something ultra-expensive like a space station and put a prison inside it -of all things!- and then fill it with millions of gallons of water?"), but other than that, it was fairly engaging for a bit of free and light-weight evening reading. The spelling was good, anyway.

Of course, it didn't get made, did it? Instead we got the crappy Aliens 3 where they killed Ripley and the little girl. And, frankly, I'll take a few million gallons of implausible water floating in space rather than a bleak bullshit movie about Ripley dying for no good reason and a bunch of psychopathic prisoners shot with too-tight camera framing, (to make us feel 'confined') (bloody film-students!), any day of the week!

Next up. . .

Avatar, by James Cameron

Okay, the first half of this one I actually really liked! --And knowing what a Cameron film looks like, I'll probably remember it as though I did see it in full color and motion.

Even though it was basically Dances with Wolves meets Aliens with a Strange Days twist thrown in.

But then, Cameron has never been accused of originality. (Indeed, in the case of Terminator, he's be accused of outright theft.) But whatever the situation, he knows formula and he knows how to swing it. And above all, he's a very smart man who knows his physics better than most of the chuckle-heads working in big-money Hollywood today. Cameron wouldn't be dumb enough to put a million gallons of water into a prison space station. (A Prison space station. . ? Sheesh. Even an underwater base would have been less expensive! Why not just line the whole prison with gold and be done with it? Sheesh.)

Cameron's his wise-ass, punchy approach to writing is fun, (if slightly overbearing), to read. There seems to be a real conflict in the man; He's got this real clever asshole demeanor thing happening while beneath it all he understands the basic heart-breaking problems which are built into the human condition. When I mist up at the end of Terminator 2, I really have to give the man due credit. --While at the same time, I hope he manages to deal with his edgy external character which seems to be really awkward and artificial and broken. But that's his problem. (Thank goodness!)

Avatar was Brilliant and New in the first half. Formulaic, predictable and adolescent in the second.

The idea seemed inspired from somewhere higher than Cameron, and then left to his childish devices (and those of Hollywood) to solve.

I'm not joking about that. The Grey Aliens currently giving our planet trouble, work in somewhat the same way to the avatar. --Although it's much more complex than simple atmospheric barriers keeping the controlers at a distance! This movie was, I think, the result of deep suggestion from outside forces trying to Give Humanity A Hint.

But I digress. (When do I not?)

I'll have to read the David Lynch thing another time. I don't know if my little head can stand much more weirdness tonight!

-FL

Lest we forget the other Alien 3 (none / 2) (#51)
by lumpenprole on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:48:52 AM EST

http://www.planetavp.com/amr/scripts/Alien3Gib.txt

By William Gibson, which would have been a much better film. Oh well.

Let's not forget ... (none / 0) (#59)
by alby on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:56:06 PM EST

the Alien 3 screenplays by: John Fasano, Walter Hill & David Giler, Eric Red and Rex Pickett.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Or the unmade AVP's (none / 0) (#74)
by cgenman on Sun May 16, 2004 at 10:31:49 PM EST

Let's not forget the excellent AvP script, which will never be made thanks to that atrocity of a "film" which will be. Mayan temples full of aliens in Antarctica? Can we please have script approval by anyone who has a clue?


- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]

That Alien3 Script (none / 1) (#52)
by killmepleez on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:15:21 PM EST

was quite enjoyable. I've always enjoyed the SF/horror elements of the Alien series, but never was particularly tuned in to some of the social/political commentary. In the last few years, however, it has become apparent that the American population is all too ready to accept/overlook violations of human rights like those depicted in the neo-industrial-corporate criminal justice system of the twohy Alien3 script. It's disheartening to realize that many of the dystopian visions depicted in books/movies of the last fifty years are well on their way to manifesting by the time I reach middle age.

Incidentally, I'm wondering if there's a general estimate of the translation between script length and cinematic time. I've not traditionally been into the theatrical/cinematic arts, but I did notice that reading many of those scripts takes significantly less time than two hours. I know a single typewritten page takes about three minutes if delivered as a speech, but obviously there will be greater variations for an inherently visually descriptive text.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
Typically... (none / 2) (#54)
by GriffX on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:58:54 PM EST

One page of screenplay = one minute of screen time.

[ Parent ]
On the Simpsons... (none / 2) (#55)
by Insoc on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:03:12 PM EST

Homer is told that most Hollywood scripts are 150 pages long, whereas his is 17. And most of them are drawings of the time machine. So I'd think that 150 pages= ~90 minutes. Which breaks down into 1 minute and 40 seconds for every page.

[ Parent ]
120 pages =~ 90 minutes (none / 1) (#57)
by willj on Tue May 11, 2004 at 06:36:44 PM EST

1.5 pages per minute. I think most books and classes say 120 pages.

"and his best friend is a talking pie."

[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#68)
by reklaw on Thu May 13, 2004 at 05:23:06 PM EST

because the guys who write the Simpsons know absolutely everything about everything, ever.
-
[ Parent ]
no, (none / 0) (#71)
by Insoc on Fri May 14, 2004 at 04:27:14 PM EST

but I'm more apt to believe them, working in the entertainment industry as they do, than say, you. Especially if said figure comes from the head of Conan O'Brian, a genius.

[ Parent ]
One page = One minute (none / 0) (#58)
by alby on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:51:29 PM EST

Is the tradition "rule" in Hollywood. Most scripts I've read come in between 100 and 120 pages. It's sad but only Big Name Writers can get away with a script anything over that.

Obligatory link.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Nobody creates a screenplay. (none / 2) (#53)
by Fen on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:27:21 PM EST

All ideas, and all manifestations of those ideas exist in the timeless plane. Nobody ever creates an idea. These are only discovered.
--Self.
Ideas are not the same as work. (none / 0) (#64)
by spectecjr on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:44:16 PM EST

Screenplays are a lot more than just an "idea". There's structure in there. And work. Ideas are like assholes and opinions - everybody has them. Funny how few people write screenplays though, isn't it?

[ Parent ]
Including manifestations. (none / 0) (#65)
by Fen on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:39:51 PM EST

Idea--love triangle. A manifestation is the structure and stuff. Both are in the timeless plane of information.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (none / 0) (#70)
by spectecjr on Fri May 14, 2004 at 12:33:41 PM EST

That's wonderfully new-agey and spiritual-sounding, but it doesn't actually mean anything. I guarantee you - if I write a screenplay, and I don't copy someone else's screenplay, I'm the one who created it. Not some "eternal plane of timeless information".

[ Parent ]
New Age? (none / 0) (#78)
by Fen on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:48:31 AM EST

How can something be new age if all is timeless?
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Avatar -- comments. (2.60 / 5) (#56)
by sudog on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:26:01 PM EST

It started out tremendously--with some excellent ideas, beautiful storyline, and mystery and wonder.

... and then went downhill from there. All I can say is, it's obvious why this was never translated into a movie (I mean aside from the titanic cost of animating the "avatars".)

It steals ideas from many different places, but the most glaring cliche is the whole "rainforest is biodiversity, we should save it" that was hashed to death in the late 80s and 90s with such movies as "Medicine Man." The whole noble natives versus blind, raging, uncomprehending stereotypical military white man while only a tiny few special scientists "understand" and who appear to be incapable of malice is frankly getting tiresome.

There are some glaring inconsistencies with it, too. I once thought that while an idea was terrific on paper, sometimes translating it to the movies reveals some problems that were unforeseen: logically, I mean. However, when we're talking about an eight-foot blue-skinned "Avatar" grappling successfully with a "powersuit" which just moments before was successfully grappling with "the most awesome predator the Universe ever created" which stands tens of feet tall at the shoulder, it stretches credibility and makes it clear that these glaring problems which make suspension of disbelief practically impossible probably could actually be prevented after all.

My opinion of filmmakers like James Cameron dips and wanes the more I hear and read about him and his miserable attempts at creativity.

Obnoxiously, the atypical white man (who seems born into the life of the natives and manages to absorb every important aspect of their culture in a matter of weeks) manages to snag himself the princess and daughter of the "matriarch and patriarch" of the local tribe. Of course the native tribesman who was apparently her beau from before fumes and storms, finally challenging the white man in his Avatar body to a duel, and basically loses. (How the hell can "Josh" learn to control a native body in combat better than a native-born? Gimme a break.)

It's such an irritating cliche from about 50% through straight to the end that James Cameron needs a slap in the back of the head for even bothering to complete the morass.

I don't know how the author of this story could possibly think that this would be competition for "Alien" or especially "Blade Runner". It's unimaginative crap by comparison. Sheer, utter crap.


Worth remembering ... (none / 1) (#60)
by alby on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:59:01 PM EST

... that this isn't the screenplay they'd have used to make the movie. Still, I stand by my recommendation, as I think you'll find the majority of posters here do.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

alby rates 1s on complex comments in own stories (none / 0) (#61)
by sudog on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:28:46 PM EST

Way to go, ha ha..

I take the time to read the entire script, start to finish, keep notes, and finally write an extensive comment, and you rate it with a "1"?

Way to take a little criticism. Ego fragility problems?


[ Parent ]

Meh. (none / 1) (#63)
by alby on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:10:38 PM EST

Like I care.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

You clearly do. . . (none / 1) (#66)
by thankyougustad on Wed May 12, 2004 at 06:15:04 PM EST

way to play the nonchalant, but the mere fact that you bothered to rate it shows that you do in fact care.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Of for goodness sake (none / 0) (#75)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:28:03 PM EST

Look, he might make out that he doesn't care even though in reality he does care, but the point here is that nobody else cares whether he says he doesn't care even though he does care.

In summary: care factor? Zero.

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Hey. . . (none / 1) (#76)
by thankyougustad on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:38:00 PM EST

I'm not the one who cares. I don't care. He cares. Maybe. Who cares? I don't.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Listen you (none / 0) (#77)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue May 18, 2004 at 11:46:40 PM EST

I don't care that you don't care about the fact that nobody here cares whether he says he doesn't care about something he actually doescare about!

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
BTW: The other posters appear to agree.. (none / 0) (#62)
by sudog on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:41:26 PM EST

Here
Here
Here
Here

In fact, it looks like more people agree more with my point of view on the "Avatar" script than not. The second half sucked ass, there were some interesting concepts, but overall it's basically a cliched rip-off.

[ Parent ]
Cameron's golden touch (none / 0) (#69)
by rmn on Fri May 14, 2004 at 01:20:09 AM EST

Cameron is a decent director, but he's an absolutely terrible writer. The only thing written by him that I ever actually liked was Terminator (the original one). And this puzzled me for a long time. Until it came out that he had actually plagiarised Harlan Ellison (later, Ellison was added to the movie's credits). When I heard that, my universe finally made sense again.

All his other movies (that were written or co-written by him) are so full of plot holes and general inconsistensies they're painful to watch.

Remember the radars in "Aliens"? They could detect individual enemies through walls, but couldn't tell if those enemies were above or below. I won't even comment on how he turned Ridley Scott's creepy original into something that resembles Starship Troopers (only without the sense of ridicule, which is the only good thing about ST).

Remember the wire mix-up at the end of "Abyss" (which is essential to the "plot")? Even an amateur engineer knows the wires need to be distinguishable under light of any colour, so if one wire is striped, the other has to be plain.

I could go on and on.

[ Parent ]

bingo (none / 0) (#73)
by the sixth replicant on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:40:55 AM EST

i agree, the characters and plot arc would have been embarrassing even for a made-for-tv movie.

whether or not the message was bad is another thing. but the cliches are just too much. this would have turned into one of those two mars movies that came out about 4 years ago. (in fact, let me rant : what the fuck is the plot device that they always use in any big budget movie where the main character, for some reason, is introduced to a weapon/technique/special talent/bottomless pit, and then suddenly it appears at the end of the movie to save the day. name me one *good* movie that uses this plot device and then tell me why we need it?)

ditto about JC. Terminator and Aliens had a spark. but this is just old. (as you reading thing like that he thought he could do the alien designs better than HR Giger just turns me off him)

on a more positive note I do like scriptment way. easier to read than scripts.

ciao

[ Parent ]

There are no unproduced screenplays... (none / 1) (#79)
by trentish on Sat Jun 12, 2004 at 08:29:08 AM EST

by the GNAA. However, there is the film Gay Niggers From Outer Space.

Four Unproduced Screenplays | 79 comments (66 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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