hate to bring it up, but I'd be really scared to make
a horror film that put bruce campbell anywhere near
a cabin in the woods. Audiences these days aren't exactly
the most discerning, and regardless of how intriguing/clever
the idea is, I don't know that I would trust them to
see it for what it really is.
selling an audience, one must sell a production company
and a distribution company, and I thought they would
think it was a commercial idea having Bruce in and around
a cabin in the woods. Whatever.
story you got there. While I thought there were some
gaps in logic, and I generally dislike "dream"-style
stories, I thought it was entertaining and original.
I'd say it is probably 1 or 2 drafts away from being
a good horror movie.
the biggest accomplishment of the piece is that you've
got this horribly depressing ending that somehow ends
up feeling like a satisfying conclusion to the story.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought
this was going to be a more commercial movie for you.
But man, that's a weird fucking story. It walks such
a fine line between horror and camp that I could easily
see it done the wrong way. Granted, Bruce knows his
camp, but this could potentially be camp to the point
of ridiculousness. It would take alot of skill to make
this story seem plausible and scary on a movie screen.
On paper, it worked for me. But as a movie, it probably
needs some more work before its ready.
definitely feels like a solid first draft for what could
be a unique horror movie. Its good because its completely
insane and yet somehow has believable characters and
movitations. I wonder though how it would translate
to film, particularly all the passages from Gabriel
Smith's journal, and the cross-cutting in the second
act that seemed kind of obtrusive. I also thought the
bit with the answering machine not being deleted was
a little too convenient. A little suspension of disbelief
is required for these sorts of stories, but this story
stretched it a little too much. A good horror story
is in there, I just think you've got a little more work
to get it out.
agree, I'm just not sure that I'll ever do it. I used
up all of my inspiration on the first draft of the treatment.
My buddies' complete lack of interest has basically
killed my interest. So I'll do what I always do, which
is move on to the next idea.
goofed up on the link its http://twistedmindpictures.n2v.net
No Zombism. Its a real word! LOL I thought I made it
up until I entered it in a search engine. Its gonna
be a action/horror. I picked A title that was new and
different. Too bad you cant review it. I just wanted
to know what you thought of it so I can learn from my
mistakes and do better on my other films. Well later
and take care!
does Romeo have an E-mail address I can contact him
trying to make it not like other zombie films. Im trying
to make it new and fun. Check out my site. thats all
I have to say. You can also check out my friends fan
film. Evil Dead: Return to the woods. You can review
that one too if you want. He wants the creators of the
evil dead to see it anyway.
if you like the title that's great. Have fun making
the whole, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI was an excellent
film in almost every way. My only objection is to William
Holden's character, who I found to be rather unsavory.
He's realistic and he's a survivor, but he's also what
the military would call a "dirtbag." The viewer
gets the impression that his malingering, get-by attitude
applies to his entire life, not just the prison camp
or his military service. The film on the whole seems
to lend a 1960's attitude to a 1940's setting, and such
deep cynicism seems misplaced in an American service
member during World War II.
However, that is my only real complaint about the film;
otherwise it is flawless. It is certainly the best performance
by Alec Guinness that I've ever seen, and I can understand
and sympathize with the viewpoints and rationales of
the other characters, as well. As you said in the commentary
track on RUNNING TIME, it doesn't matter whether the
ending is upbeat or downbeat, only that it be satisfying
and appropriate to the characters of the film. And it
certainly does that. The moment when Colonel Nicholson
looks at the detonator and realizes what he has done,
the moment is absolutely compelling; you can feel the
anguish and shock of the mistake that he had turned
his entire career into, all in one glance. When all
is said and done, they just don't make films like that
Are you still working with your treatment of TERRIFIED?
If so, will you post it on the site as another draft,
or work it into a full-fledged screenplay?
you'll excuse me, I think you're missing the point of
Holden's character. He's the one that makes the biggest
change, the one who believes his only duty is to himself.
When it gets down to it he becomes the biggest hero
because he realizes that duty is a much bigger issue
than just saving yourself. It's imperative that he's
a dirtbag at the beginning so he can realize what duty
is. I think he's a great additional character to the
story, which then expands the theme. Meanwhile, no,
I'm not still working on "Terrified!" I posted
it to sort of get it out of my system. People's comments
do interest me, though.
This may be stepping across a line, and if so feel free
to say so, but I've been thinking some more about "Terrified".
With minor modifications it could be made to play this
has lost his faith as a result of the accident. He uses
this to deny his guilt; if there is no God there is
no accountability. He cannot believe it himself, however.
cell phone is the physical symbol of his guilt. He carries
it with him without using it, handling it, talking to
it. Eventually, in a drunken rage he throws it into
the woods. It lands and starts to ring(malfunction).
He obsesses, needing to stop the ringing, and so finds
Smith was lynched for a similar accident, is not identical
to Gabe physically, but similar. Gabe sinks into the
Raimi character, originally the cabbie, is a brother
to Gabe or Anna. Explains the move to Oregon (he lives
there) and why he might drive Anna to and from the airport.
Besides, you would put Ted on-screen more.
escaping the lynch mob encouters Raimi and Anna and
flees. They are joined by Larry and pursue.
in the house or the cabin, Gabe turns and defends himself,
taking the offensive with appropriate gore. Killing
his family increases the subconscious guilt and pushes
him to his self-execution.
his final speech, Gabe denies his impending death; there
can be no justice. "God, you have no right!"
irony is that a man who feels he has lost his faith
feels the need to shout defiance at his God. His self-execution
affirms his faith in the God he tries to deny.
are just thoughts. I thought they might provide a little
more motivation for the events and help build tension.
This approach obviously denies the supernatural and
keeps to the psychological realm with the coincidence
of Gabriel being the big "gimme". Thanks as
interesting. Should I ever do a rewrite I'll keep these
ideas in mind. Thanks.
Hi Josh, hope you are well. I was wondering, I know
you haven't seen Spiderman, but have you seen the Spiderman
trailers? You can watch them online or download them
from various web sites. If you have seen them, what
do you think about them, from a directors point of view?
How important do you think it is for the director to
handle the trailers instead of the studio? I know directors
usually cringe at how studio directed trailers show
too much and leave nothing to the imagination. What
do you think?
finally, Do you think Sam directed the trailers himself?
I have a feeling he did they're so good!
don't cut their own trailers, trailer companies cut
them. I'm sure Sam had some say-so, but not much. Sam
was just a hired hand on that film, it wasn't his project,
and he wasn't the producer.
just one more thing: the ending of "Terrified"
is reminiscent of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"
(minus the axe murder, of course). Did you have that
story in mind when you wrote your treatment?
I did. It was the only film ever picked up by Rod Serling
and shown on "The Twilight Zone," which they
didn't make themselves.
just read your treatment for "Terrified,"
and I had a few thougts on it. For the most part, it's
a well put together, creepy little story, but I do not
feel that the supernatural aspect of it was set up enough
for it to work to it's fullest potential.
For instance, there is the recurring theme of the girl
being run over, yet it is simply that; a recurring theme.
It has to go somewhere, depending on where you want
to take the story (psychological thriller or genuine
horror story). Perhaps she could be the point of hallucination
in Gabe's mind; i.e. instead of Angels of Death, have
him hallucinate the girl, with miners filling in as
his father and the cab driver.
I've read the other posts, and none of the continuity
errors are serious (for instance, insert a scene at
the airport where the SUV won't start and the wife,
in desperation, takes a cab). I did notice that you
had Gabe's father drinking tea while driving to Oregon;
I don't know if they're still this strict, but the Mormon
church used to forbid its members to consume any stimulating
beverages, specifically mentioning alcohol, coffee,
As for the miners, rather than religious fervor, would
it be possible to have them angered at him for spoiling
their fun (i.e. interfering with the drinking, gambling,
and prostitution) and decide to lynch him out of drunkeness?
It would require establishing more of a specific rant
against vice in the preacher's character, but it would
work (at least to my perspective).
The basic premise of your story is sound, and has appropriately
creepy moments. You are a talented writer and this is
only a first draft, and I don't mean any offense by
what I've written; it is only my opinion of how the
story would work better for me personally. By all means,
don't give up the fight!
P.S. Per your recommendation, I finally saw THE BRIDGE
ON THE RIVER KWAI tonight, and it was indeed an excellent
film, although I had a few issues with William Holden's
character (but that's for another post; this one's long
are perfectly reasonable suggestions. I posted it to
hear what folks like you had to say. You can't offend
me by not liking something I've written or filmed. What
offends me is when people take potshots at me personally
and don't even know me. Anyway, I await your comments
on "Kwai." Holden's character, BTW, was created
for the movie. It's a tad absurd that an American is
there at all, but I forgive them because they needed
a big American star, and they pay his character off
so well. Holden proclaiming at the end, "Kill him.
Don't wait, use your knife. Kill him!" then running
out to do it himself is really spectacular.
it is a shame that Beacon has never made Cycles. a lot
of people that I worked with over there liked the idea
as well. The president of the company was all gung ho
on it for awhile but then he just lost interest. Phillip
Kaufman wrote a few drafts and then the Fishman brothers
took a crack at it. I'm not sure what is going on with
it right now. Marc Abraham left the company to form
his own. He took a bunch of Beacon projects with him.
Cycles may have been one of them. I'd be happy to find
out what's going on with it for you. It would only take
a couple of emails.
I'd love to know. I always thought it was one of my
better ideas. The Fishman bros. have come and gone off
the project, and were there before Phil Kaufman. In
fact, I optioned the script to the Fishmans, and they
did the deal with Beacon. Then Beacon bought the script
from me and aced them out of the deal. Therefore, I
was pretty certain that no one at Beacon had ever seen
my draft since it was rewritten by the Fishmans right
away. So I called Beacon (in 1996 or so), got to as
high-ranked a person as I could, which I'm sure wasn't
all that high up, and suggested that I send them my
draft. The exec said, "Why?" I replied, "So
you can read it. maybe you'll like it better than the
rewrites." She hesitated, sounding very unsure,
"I don't think we can do that." "Do what?
Read the script?" I wanted to add, "Can't
anyone there read?" but I didn't. Finally, she
wouldn't take responsibility for me sending them the
script, which they owned. I said, "Look, you paid
a lot of money for this script, you may as well have
a copy of the original. I'll just send it, and if you
don't want to read it, throw it out." I never heard
from them again.
just about to read Terrified, but before I do I have
a question about financing. What are the chances of
getting this film made as a made-for-tv movie? I notice
that Bruce does alot of Sci-fi channel movies, and I'd
imagine their budgets are in the 500k-1 mill. range.
Is there an opportunity for you to submit this treatment
to them, and get it produced that way? The network might
want to have a hand in changing aspects of the screenplay,
but I get the impression you're doing this as more of
a commercial project anyway, so it wouldn't be a big
worked at a production company for a short time, I understand
how difficult it is to get the opportunity for a pitch
to a cable network, let alone a project financed. But
it might still be worth considering. Bruce might be
able to twist an arm or two over there as well. I also
heard that the USA network is looking for alot of genre
movies now that their show Dead Zone has become popular.
Of course, if Bruce didn't like your treatment, thats
another story ;-) But based on some of the tv-movies
he's done lately, your treatment must either really
suck, or he just expects more out of you than the writers
he's worked with in the past. Either way, I figure there
might be some avenues you could explore for this movie.
Of course, I am sort of naive to the whole process,
so maybe these are worthless suggestions.
got sad news for you and everyone else, but movies don't
get made because you go in and pitch them, they like
the idea, then it goes into production. It simply doesn't
work that way. You can't forget monsterization, which
is built in. Should anyone actually like an idea, first
of all there must be a screenplay because no one will
develop anything anymore. Then the screenplay is completely
thrown out, and entirely rewritten by other people,
usually so poorly that the whole idea is dropped. It's
a very dispiriting process. Also, Hollywood comapnies
don't often make production deals with individuals,
just other companies that they know, and can trust will
actually produce the film. It all bores me deeply.
read "Terrified," and wow. I was impressed.
What an excellent ending. I could see it all in a series
of long, complex tracking shots. Very good work. Perhaps
there's a possibility to one day do this yet. I can't
see why there isn't more interest in this from your
firends. Perhaps someone other than Ted Raimi would
be interested in producing?
again, a very good little chiller. Perhaps a little
more about Bruce's character and his problems before
he goes totally looney, but aside from that, everything
falls into place wonderfully.
a good one.
get more response from you folks on the net than anyone
I know (I'm including my wonderful webmaster, Shirley,
as part of the net crowd). Thanks one and all that have
read it, whether you've responded or not.
the one question on "Spider-Man" that perhaps
you *can* answer.
do they determine "gross income" for a film?
Is it based on domestic box office revenue only? Do
re-releases (like the numerous Star Wars re-releases)
in later years get added into that? And what impact
(if any) is had by income from foreign box office sales,
video/dvd sales, tv sales, etc.? And I'm assuming that
merchandising profits aren't factored in at all?
last thing I read was that "Spidey" had broken
the $400 million mark, which I'm assuming edges it past
"ET" to the number 4 spot, and within reach
of Episodes 1 and 4 of Star Wars.
not sure about it moving to 4th place, I think it had
to do over $450 million to get there. Generally, films
are first released in the U.S., which accounts for the
entire box-office gross on the initial release. However,
since "Titanic," Hollywood studios have been
releasing big pictures simultaneously throughout the
world. This is based on the fact that word of mouth
can spread so quickly and internationally on the internet,
and since so much of their income is based on the first
two weeks, they can't risk bad word of mouth killing
the first two weeks overseas. The gross revenue is based
on all of the money coming in at the box-office, the
net is what is returned to the company. For these big
blockbusters, the deal is frequently 90% back to Hollywood
for the first few weeks, then it evens out over the
next few weeks. That's how "Spider-Man" could
gross over $300 million in two or three weeks. Obviously,
video and ancillary can't be added in that early. And
re-releases do get added in to that.
I've just read through your treatment for "Terrified"
a few times and had some thoughts. The character of
Gabe bothers me. He is a lapsed Mormon, seemingly, but
it doesn't seem to influence his character in any way.
Mormons ascribe to a characteristic life-style which
Gabe seems in no way to reflect. One can lose faith
in the God of one's culture easier than depart from
the mores of one's culture. Gabe's Mormonism seems not
to effect the story, which it should, and so becomes
a distraction. One might counter that it provides a
link with Gabriel Smith, but there could as easily been
an evangelical connection. There should be something
inherently Mormon in either his character or circumstance
if you're going to so distinguish his religion.
His eventual self-execution and the deaths of the his
wife, father and the cab driver have the tinge of the
supernatural (the light in the cabin, the resemblance
to Gabriel Smith), but there seems no need for supernatural
punishment. He is already punishing himself through
his guilt. If it is simply his guilt motivating the
sequence then no supernatural element seems necessary.
The supernatural would seem appropriate if Gabe were
without remorse, but he seems a hapless victim of circumstances.
So he was on the cell phone, that in and of itself doesn't
make him malicious. Moreover, he seems to have no recourse
of action. He does not see the end coming so there is
no suspense there, nor does he have a way out so there's
nothing for the reader to anticipate (will he make it,
will he not).
The mob that tries to lynch seems poorly motivated as
well. If he is in a lawless mining town, where does
the religious indignation come from. I could understand
a spontaneous reaction to extempore exhortations, but
to mob a guy as he got out of bed, essentially, seems
misplaced. My understanding of frontier mining towns
is that people were too busy working to worry about
itinerant preachers. The Angels of Death were also confusing
as they were a hallucination within a hallucination
who turned out to be real people. You've mentioned in
the past about getting one "gimme" and the
hallucination within a hallucination seems like one
too many. I think it would have been enough had he just
struck them down blindly.
I believe that horror is predicated upon anticipation,
and I didn't find any in "Terrified". I think
it would play better as a psychological thriller along
the lines of "The Shining". Gabe's hallucinations,
based upon his guilt, lead him to the murder of his
father, wife and the cabby. But that would mean establishing
a neutral perspective to demonstrate that Gabe's perceptions
On a nit-picky note, I checked with my wife, a surgeon,
and she agrees that no one would be told by a medical
professional that someone had "...had a brain tumor."
A stroke or simply an embolism would work better for
the phone conversation.
I don't mean to sound so negative and hope my comments
are taken in a constructive spirit. I'll be interested
to see what others think about your treatment. Thanks
appreciate your comments and thoughts on the subject.
I think you probably represent the view of this story
I've already run into several times, only you were able
to actually elucidate what you meant, whereas everyone
else just sort of grunted. Thanks.
read Terrified, and I wanted to comment if that's all
right. I really liked that story, the way the foreshadowing
picks up into an intense hallucinatory climax. The pacing's
nice, which is especially important in that first act.
I really see how you're putting Mr. Campbell in the
Gabe character (even with a few slapstick touches!).
I also think you develop the characters very well; even
those with little screen time are well-rounded and complete.
Really nice the way you handle them.
minor story point tripped me up: the fact that Anna
rides home in a cab in Act III. Didn't she take the
SUV to the airport? Did she come back to a different
airport? Maybe I missed something.....
only other quibble is the image I get when Gabe looks
into the mirror and sees himself as Gabriel the Morman.
At that point I know something violent is about to happen,
and I think to myself, "uh oh, Maniac Mormon!"
That scene, I think, more than any has potential for
some unintentional humor. But that could just be me.
in all though, I think it has the makings of a nice
suspense film. I hope something happens.
just a continuity screw-up, and I thank you for pointing
it out. You see, even in a short piece it's very possible
to goof up. Yikes! And I think that moment in the mirror
ought to be an actually scary moment, handled correctly,
really enjoyed Terrified! I must admit, when I heard
what it was about initially I had my reservations, but
it worked. The first two acts have a nice build up,
and I think the end pays off quite nicely. I'm surprised
that Bruce and Ted aren't interested. I think the role
of Gabe would have given Bruce the chance to show an
audience what he's made of. If you had funding would
that rekindle his interest? I understand that it's a
catch 22, no Bruce, no funding, but one can hope.
not that Bruce isn't interested, it's that Bruce isn't
interested in making it super-cheap, and I understand
that. That if I can't put together about a half a million
bucks to do it right, why bother? Anyway, I'm glad you
$30,000 to show Running Time for a week in LA. You are
a dedicated filmmaker! I'm a young person who has been
working in the film business in LA for about 4 years
now. I worked on your script "Cycles" at Beacon
and now I'm working as a director's assistant for a
straight to video release. The amount of money that
is thrown around here on a daily basis is insane! Even
for a straight to video film. So for me to read about
a filmmaker like yourself putting up your own money
for your own films is really cool! As you know all too
well it is really hard to keep your chin up in this
business and I have spent the past year in a pissy mood
because of all the stupid people and their politics
that you have to deal with day in and day out. But it's
nice to know that there are people like you who really
care about the filmmaking process and the end results.
You have got guts dude!
up the good work!
$30,000 was the cheap part. The film had cost $130,000,
most of which I put up myself. And all of that was a
drop in the bucket compared to the $350,000 that "Hammer"
cost. It's a damn shame Beacon doesn't finally make
I had the money I'd four-wall the film in LA, like I
did with "Lunatics" and "Running Time,"
then you get quotes from the LA crirics, but alas, I
do not have the dough.<<<<
does it mean to "four-wall" a film? What does
friend of mine works for a video distributor. They mostly
do old or obscure movies that they then sell cheap at
places like Walmart. He says they also do some independent
movies, though. Would you ever consider going that route
for Hammer, just to get it out there?
is when you rent the theater, then all of the ticket
sales are yours. And if you want any advertising, you
have to pay for it yourself. To get a little theater
in LA for a week was about $5,000, if I recall correctly.
Advertising in any LA newspaper is expensive. Also,
theaters aren't available all the time, particularly
as you near Oscar time. But if you play for a week in
LA in a theater you are then eligible for Academy Award
nomination. It ended up costing me about $30,000 to
open "Running Time" for a week in LA. As fate
would have it, I opened the same day as "Titanic."
Both RT and "Deconstructing Harry," which
was playing across the hall, died terrible deaths due
I'd be happy to get the info on the video company your
talking about. I still need to clear the music rights,
and make a decent video transfer, so it's not like anyone
will be able to release the film for free.
You can send the info to me personally at email@example.com.
look forward to reading the treatment for "Terrified!"
when you post it (will it be in the story section, or
the screenplay section of the site?).
Just a note to Will, who asked about screenplay formats:
the screenplays on this site are a great example of
the proper format, and Bruce Campbell has a good section
about writing screenplays on his website
(I think Josh has a link on this site for it), called
"Shun Society, Be a Screenwriter," which includes
some good tips to that effect.
will be a link from the front page, and we may start
a new section for treatments.
[and now it is done --webmaster]
was just wondering what kind of comedies you like. From
your movies list I see you enjoy slapstick like 'Airplane'
and whatnot. There really aren't good comedies anymore
like that. The last one I saw that I laughed my ass
of was Broken Lizard's 'Super Troopers.' Before that,
I can't remember. I'm still waiting for the Mr. Show
movie to come out but I guess New Line's more interested
in rehashed garbage (i.e. Goldmember). What would make
comedy better, being that it's supposebly the hardest
to sell. Thanks man-
would make comedy better? If it was funny. I don't find
Austin Powers funny, nor do I see what the joke is.
I'm pleased for Verne Troyer, who plays Mini-Me, and
was a regular on "Jack of All Trades," that
he's got a good gig. The last movie I really laughed
at was the Showtime film, "Elvis Meets Nixon."
watched the TSNKE DVD with a friend of mine last night
and we had a blast! It was a really cool and fun film
to watch. And the commentary with you and Bruce Campbell
was very entertaining. Did Sam really kick Ted in the
face? We were wondering if you ever intended to make
more films about the Stryker character? He's a really
interesting character. He's someone that the audience
can care about which is a very rare thing especially
in films these days. Is there going to be a Lunatics
DVD? Oh, and one more thing about TSNKE. What was up
with Ted's stuffed pants!? We were laughing our heads
wrote a sequel, but no one was ever interested. The
original title of TSNKE was "Stryker's War,"
and the sequel was "Jackson's War." There's
no word on a "Lunatics" DVD, although I wish
there were. And I don't know about anything stuffed
in Ted's pants. He's always been very popular with the
women, so maybe that's just him.
Colin J. Warnock
have a major factual error in your piece: William Wyler
directed Bette Davis in her Oscar winning performance
are absolutely correct, and I am well aware of which
films she won for, I just goofed up. Thanks.
the behind the scenes pics are great!
Have you some more pics?
of "Xena" I don't. You weren't allowed to
shoot pictures on the set, even though I did anyway
a few times. I just spoke with Lucy the other day, for
about a half an hour. If I wasn't such a cheapskate
we might have talked longer, but I got nervous about
the phone bill and calling New Zealand. Anyway, she's
incredibly funny and insightful and really amuses the
hell out of me. She's got her new baby and is very happy.
man. You have done some great work. Anyway I am a newbite
film maker and im working on my first film Zombism I
was wondering if once the film is done you can view
it and write a review on it or say somthing about it
in one line like. A great film-Josh Becker
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Or somthing like that. My site link is
www.twistedmindpictures.n2v.net Check it out for more
info on my film. Thanks and later!
Maybe you mean "Zombieism"? Either way, it's
a silly title, and the chances of me liking it are probably
zero. Maybe you ought to contact George Romero, who
is partial to zombie movies, and is a very nice guy,
too (and really tall, like 6'5").
just been reading the buzz about your new horror film
treatment. Is this angle about the gold rush and the
Mormons set up early in the story? It seems to me that
without clues or plot points along the way preparing
the audience for it, the transition is a little clumsy
(please don't take offense; your other screenplays more
than prove your considerable talent at your craft).
Perhaps if you made some connection between the boy
and the past (for instance, what if the victim was a
Mormon boy, and the accident occurred in Utah, with
the man ending up haunted by his victim?) it would work
In any case, the theme of a past misdeed forcing resolution
in the present through a haunting can successfully be
carried out in a screenplay; two films that worked very
well with this theme were THE CHANGELING and THE FORGOTTEN
ONE. Again, I reserve total judgement since I haven't
seen the actual treatment; my comment was based on what
has been posted so far. I'm sorry that Bruce and Ted
have lost interest in the project; the basic concept
is sound, and I agree with the opinion that you could
write a horror film superior to anything available now.
I know it goes against your practice, but do you think
that you'll post the treatment, so that we can read
it should be up today. I don't think it's the best story
I've ever written, but I'm not sure it should have fallen
as flat as it did. I may post some other treatments,
too, just for fun. I'll be interested to hear your comments
when you've read it.
E-mail: don't have one yet
really is a shame your horror picture isn't going to
be made. I would have loved to see the end result, but
I am glad you enjoyed writing the story. There will
be many more opportunities in the future, of course,
and you have more than enough ideas to make them possible,
I bet. I've got a question for you, Josh, why aren't
you interested in shooting some of your scripts on this
very site? For instance, THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK, THE WINDS
OF FATE, or THE HAPPIEST GUY IN TOWN. In my opinion,
those three alone would make brilliant motion pictures,
as any of your other scripts would.
more question, if you don't mind, in your treatment
for TERRIFIED, what character would Ted play? I'm pretty
sure Bruce would play the main character, being the
man who goes crazy.
a good one,
not that I don't want to make the scripts posted on
the site, it's that I don't have to money to do so.
Ted was going to produce "Terrified!" I thought
he could play the cab driver just for fun.
was just curious as to what you write your screenplays
on (IE: word documents?) & if so, what are the proper
submitting styles and fonts(tabs and all of that for
dialogue, parenthesis, etc).
for any help you can give me.
a nice day.
use MS word, or any other word processing software I
may have (first I was on Apple, then IBM software).
Script format consists of four tab stops and a margin.
The far left margin is where the slug-lines and scene
descriptions begin; tab #1 is 20 spaces in and where
the dialog begins, and ends at 80 spaces in, before
the right margin; tab #2 is 25 spaces in, and is where
the emotional description begins, in parethesis (annoyed)
(amused); tab #3 is 30 spaces in, and where the character's
name goes, in capital letters; tab #4 is 80 spaces in,
and where the transitions, DISSOLVE or FADE OUT or FADE
have a question did you ever read the old yeller book?
If you did why is John Longridge looking after the animals?
never read the book, but I saw the movie. Not much of
it has stayed with me, but I recall it was a pretty
good Disney film. I liked "The Yearling" a
know, most indi films that plays at these festivals
already have critic quotes on them. I still have the
"Dear Filmmaker letter" from Telluride that
at one point reads, "Your film is an original and
admirable work that deserves to be seen by many."
I strongly thought about lifting the later part of that
quote and putting it on my posters. I should have done
it, after all, it's a direct quote in writting.
come to see that most critics will not watch unsolicited
tapes, but one who will is Ray Carney. You might like
to submit a tape of "Hammer," to him. (He's
a farily famous critic\film teacher at Boston University,
and author of "Cassavetes on Cassavetes,"
and "American Visions: The Films of Frank Capra.")
I sent him a copy of my picture a year ago. Never heard
from him. Perhaps you'll have better luck.
College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
I thought your horror film idea sounded interesting.
Not too scary, though. If you're interested in the old
west, the gold rush and the first mormons, why not write
a script about these things? Sounds like a big, period
piece...Not a horror film. Reminds me of what Raimi
did with "Army of Darkness" which is obviously
a comedy. Why make a funny movie out of a horror film
an observation. Have a good one.
not supposed to be funny, although perhaps it's not
all that scary. Nevertheless, I did take it seriously.
I may just post it so people can see what I meant, then
they can pick on it specifically. Thanks for the info,
BTW, although I probably won't follow it up. I really
can't see what a quote from a Boston critic will do
for me. If I had the money I'd four-wall the film in
LA, like I did with "Lunatics" and "Running
Time," then you get quotes from the LA crirics,
but alas, I do not have the dough.
don't wanna knock your friends cause i know that i'd
get pissed if someone knocked mine even if they were
up to no good, but i took my 16 year old brother and
his friend to see spiderman the other day, and they
asked if we could leave about 35 minutes into the film.
the sad fact is, i left to smoke a cigarette and called
my girlfriend to tell her how upset i was with the film,
after all my film major friends ate it up and couldn't
believe that i, being the sam fan that i am hadn't seen
it yet. josh i hate to judge a film without seeing it
all, and yet the pacing was so pitiful that it was hard
to stand. we laughed as we left due to the fact that
we all thought the american film audience needed action
in their face all the time and yet spiderman was a complete
bore. we also laughed in the fact that i could have
gotten really exciting after we left.... and yet, what
is the point by that bit? just sad i guess for me.
my brother and i and his friend were in savannah for
the weekend and it rained so friday we saw reign of
fire and the new halloween, just to waste some time
believe me. the great fact was, and you are gonna think
i'm a fool for this but i gotta say it, we saw crocodile
hunter on saturday and it beat the hell outta the previous
films. no big suprise, just wanna tell folks that like
frequenting the big screen.
about terrified, sounded fun and refreshing.
not liking "Spider-Man" is no skin off my
nose. Nor Sam's, either. It's now the fifth largest
grossing film of all time, pushing out such lackluster
under-performers as "The Godfather," "The
Sound of Music," and "Gone With the Wind."
And it was only number one for two weeks. The economics
of this business are now completely insane. I still
haven't seen it, but I'm sure it won't be my cup of
just read Dark of the
Moon. Could you tell me what are the act breaks,
plot points, irony, theme, and subtext for that script?
The script's awesome; it's a shame it wasn't produced.
glad you enjoyed it, but it's not the writer's responsibilty
to point that stuff out. Also keep in mind that it's
a 15-year-old script.
from spain and I not write english very well.
I has got only question:
Why you has got photos whit lucy lawless???
I be worked whit her many times.
sounds like a Twilight Zone episode. I like the concept
of a guy accidentally running over a child and cracking
up. But, the gold rush and Mormon stuff seems a bit
much. Now, if he were haunted by the kid he ran over,
then, I would be scared and interested. I sincerely
hope you get the financial backing to make another film.
The way you have "Terrified" now, how much
do you think you need to get it produced and do you
have a finished script or just a treatment?
just have a completed treatment, although quite a long,
detailed one. I guess I'd need a half a million, if
I want to do it in a reasonable fashion and have Bruce
Campbell star in it.
is your horror screenplay about?
is about a guy who accidentally ran over a child in
LA, begins to crack up, so he and his wife leave the
city and move to Oregon. Circumstances cause the wife
to leave for a weekend, and once alone the guy completely
cracks up, hallucinating that it's 1849, the big gold
rush is occurring, and he's the first Mormon to make
it to the west coast, where he's vainly trying to convert
J. C. Denton
have a question about shot composition. I often notice
that directors frame shots so that the camera masks
off the top of the actor's head while at the same time
showing their entire neck. Is there any reason why the
director doesn't move the camera up a bit so we get
all of the actor's face?
the common way of framing a fairly tight close-up now,
cutting off the forehead. I personally have always found
it a tad odd myself, though I don't mind it, but framing
the entire face is considered old-fashioned now.
a month ago, I caught the last 45 minutes or so of a
flick from the early 70s called "Badlands"
on TV, and... wow.
didn't even see the whole thing, and it just blew me
away. The acting was top of the line, and there were
so many tiny details that contributed depth to the story
that I have to assume it was the result of quality direction
(I'm not sure about that, not really knowing much about
thought it was strange but cool that the little bits
and pieces made it into a better movie than the big
plot points, etc., did - the couple moving the furniture
around in the rich guy's house, and the way the girl's
love of trashy movie magazines colours her narration
and two examples.
reading the credits at the end, I saw that it was made
by the same guy who did "The Thin Red Line",
which was kind of depressing. (not the movie, the fact
that the same guy yadda yadda)
the hell can someone who translates the ideas and images
in his head onto film so well make such a lame movie?
well. Anyway, do you have any thoughts on "Badlands"?
It seemed like the sort of movie you'd dig.
your summer is going well so far.
think "Badlands" is a really good film, and
miles ahead of all the other young-couple-on-the-lam
movies that have followed, like the execrable "Natural
Born Killers." I also think it's Terrance Malick's
one and only good film. Sissy Spacek, in her first big
role, is great and her flat narration works incredibly
well ("He was about the craziest boy I ever met").
Malick has tried to repeat the success of that monotone
narration in every movie since (all two) and it just
doesn't work. Martin Sheen is also at his very best,
and Warren Oates is terrific, too. When Sheen puts those
people in the root cellar, then fires all of the bullets
in his pistol down into the cellar, it's horrifying
without seeing any carnage. I also think it was beautifully
photographed by the wonderful DP Tak Fujimoto. They
don't make pictures like that no more.
agree about Tom Clancy; I'm not terribly thrilled by
those bloated, overly-technical works of his (especially
since he started writing those books about the service,
like AIRBORNE and ARMORED CAV, where he not so subtly
intimates that everyone in the army outside of special
operations units is basically dogshit). If Eric Von
Stroheim had attempted a page-by-page screen adaptation
of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER instead of MCTEAGUE, he
would have ended up with a 20 hour movie, and it wouldn't
have been a masterpiece.
Anyway, to save my sanity (what's left of it), I watched
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP last night. It was an excellent
film, and I see elements of it in every submarine movie
made since then. It was soothing to see two real actors
(Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster) doing their job in
a well-paced, well-written story. Interestingly enough,
it was independently produced (Hecht, Hill and Lancaster),
although stars like Gable and Lancaster could get major
studio backing with a snap of the fingers. Was this
project farmed out to Lancaster's production company,
or was it an independently made concept?
The film also has another one of those great movie lines,
when the idiot Lieutenant spouts off about Clark Gable
in front of the crew, and the crewman stands up and
says "Sir? Words just fail me." and knocks
the idiot out.
agree, I like "Run Silent, Run Deep" very
much, and every other submarine movie since has ripped
it off. And you can't do better than Gable and Lancaster.
The 1950s were the beginning of the independent production
companies, like Hecht, Hill, Lancaster and Kirk Douglas's
company Bryna (his mother's name, BTW), but they didn't
finance the films themselves, they set up financing
and distribution deals with major studios before they
made the pictures, which is how most films in Hollywood
are still made. This sort of a deal is referred to as
a "negative pick-up deal." Both Lancaster
and Douglas, who were best buddies, had very good taste
and produced quality films, like "Spartacus,"
"Marty," "The Vikings," "Seven
Days in May," "The Birdman of Alcatraz,"
and many more.
Hi there Josh,
you watch "Bottle Rocket" yet? If so, what
did you think of it?
thought it was dull, unmemorable, unbelievable, severely
uninteresting crap. I don't think it had anything going
sucks that Bruce and Ted have lost interest in your
horror film. I was really looking forward to seeing
the end result of a colaboration between the three of
you. What happened? And do you think you guys will work
on something together in the future?
me. Hey, it's not their fault, they can only legitimately
be interested in that which actually interests them.
If my story failed to do this, then it's my fault. I
have come to accept a long time ago that if one is going
to toil in the coal mines of making movies, one is going
fling a lot of shit at the wall, and very little of
it will stick. Ultimately, however, it's the process
that matters, not the end result. I enjoyed writing
that story, so it was worthwhile to me.
screenwriting book says that the script's length must
be 120 pages. Are they for real? When do you put the
act breaks and plot points? I'm asking because your
screenplays' length, when I transfer them to Final Draft,
can run from 60 to 80 pages (Delirious and TSNKE, I
but most of my scripts are legitimately 110-130 pages,
those just happen to be short ones. I think if you're
anywhere in the 100-130 page range it's fine. Clearly,
with all of these bloated, hyper-extended films around
-- like "Minority Report" -- there are quite
a few 150-200 page scripts floating around, and being
filmed, too. In a 120 page script, generally act one
ends between pages 30-40, and act two ends somewhere
in the 80-100 range.
last post wasn't really about movies, so this is another
try. I knuckled under and went to see THE SUM OF ALL
FEARS the other day, and caught myself enjoying it a
bit. It had the usual Swiss cheese plot, explosions,
gunfights, and action movie cliches (the largest one
is the way they feed the audience a plot as if they
were receiving a mission briefing; there is no subtlety
at all), but it still had a few moments. If you do get
to see it (six months from now on cable, most likely),
look for a few good moments from Morgan Freeman as the
director of the CIA, and an enjoyable performance by
Liev Shriber as an undercover operative. Liev, as you
will recall, played Orson Welles in RKO 281. The rest
I mentioned the lack of subtlety in action films, but
it is actually a problem with almost all modern movies:
they shove details in the audience's face. It wasn't
always like this.
I remember watching HOUSE OF WAX and appreciating the
way Andre de Tothe very gracefully set the stage: first
you see horse carts and gas lights, then instead of
a title giving the location, the camera moves in on
the license plate of a car, where you tell from the
registration sticker that it is New York, and the year
is 1914. Nowadays, everything is spelled out at the
bottom of the screen like Java script. When do you suppose
this first started showing up in American films?
Just another thing about movies that irks me: did you
ever notice that whenever a character in a film is named
Darryl, he's usually a jerk? Think of the character
Darryl in RED DAWN, who betrays his friends to the Russians,
or the prissy, jerry-curl wearing Darryl in COMING TO
AMERICA? I wouldn't notice or mind so much, if my name
you know, anyone named Darryl is a jerk. Just kidding.
Although I repect him, I've read that Mr. Darryl Zanuck
was actually quite a big jerk, although he had pretty
good taste. I could really care less about any of that
Tom Clancey crap. And sequels to sequels to sequels
hold zero interest for me. A pox on them.
this is a well-trod conversation path on this site,
but I feel compelled to rant on it again. I was forced
to watch the multiple-Oscar nominated "Quills"
the other night. Geoffry Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin
Phoenix, Michael Caine. Big names, period piece, Marquis
de Sade. HORRIBLE. Story? I'm not even sure what it
was. Acting? Passable, but these stars were slumming.
Writing? Worse than bad.
biggest issue was the MPAA again. The same old story:
studio release, big stars, easy to get an R. This despite
the fact that we see multiple shots of Rush's old johnson,
Joaquin screwing a corpse, etc. etc. etc. If an independent
made a much better film with disturbing images like
that, he couldn't get an R, that's for damn sure.
I said, it's been discussed 100 times before. But I
wondered (couldn't remember if you'd been asked this
before): have you had any MPAA difficulties? I suppose
Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except would be the only film
you've directed I could see having an issue, but I wondered.
bailed out on "Quills." I find most of Phillip
Kaufman's films to be dull and lead-footed. Yes, I had
difficulty with the MPAA on TSNKE, who gave me an X-rating.
At just about the same time, "Indiana Jones and
the Temple of Doom," which has much more explicit
vulgarity, got the newly created (just for them) PG-13.
No, it's not fair, but then, no one said life was fair.
Speaking of Spielberg, I got wrangled into seeing "Minority
Report," which is just crap, and long, too. With
these last two films, Spielberg proves beyond a shadow
of doubt that he knows nothing about science fiction.
Of the three Phillip K. Dick adaptations, this is by
far the worst. I really, really hate sci-fi that has
zero chance of coming true. I'm supposed to accept that
in 33 years, cars will drive on the sides of buildings,
space ships will fly all over the city, and people will
have jet packs? Plus, it's the worst example of product
placement I've ever seen -- in every scene there's a
name product being flaunted. Everything wrong with the
modern film industry can be found in Spielberg's films.