Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GingerCoffee, Aug 14, 2013.
I hope that's a good sign.
I should hope so.
I love it when that happens, especially when reading a book. You just keep thinking to yourself, "What is this? My plot/character/climax/other is way better than this!"
For me, at least, it means that I'm on the right track, so that means you are, too.
You were up late. Or really early.
sadly, crap movies are aired all hours of the day and night, amigo... the so-awful-it-made-cnn grade 'z' flick 'sharknado' was slotted in prime time...
And Sharknado did well enough that there's a sequel in the works, which is scary, or possibly sad.
But Sharknado was supposed to be bad... I heard an interview with the director where he was like, "You don't think we knew what kind of movie we were making? There's a scene where a guy gets swallowed whole by a flying shark and cuts his way out with a chainsaw, we knew what we were making, and we knew it was going to be bad."
It was playing off the horribleness. It's sad to see when a movie actually tries, and still fails miserably... Especially when it's so bad it isn't even funny.
Yeah, that's true. And I am fine with movies that try to be campy and bad. Evil Dead 2 is one of my favorites, for example. I haven't seen Sharknado, though I heard that even taking the goal into consideration it wasn't very good.
That sounds like a hilarious scene.
So do you mean it tried to be horrible and failed to do even that?
Time to cue up Springsteen's "500 Channels and Nothing On".
Being 'bad' or campy in a way that is also entertaining and fun, so that the movie experience is good, is difficult to do. I've seen a lot of failures attempt this, and only a few successful tries.
All good guesses aside, this was a movie I rented. And bad movies like Sharknado I get. This one, no, not 'getable'. It was a bad movie that shockingly was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola!
It's about some author on a really bad book tour (opening scene the book store for the signing is an isle in the hardware store, town too small to have a bookstore). From there we meet a weird fan who is the local sheriff and wants to co-write a new story with the author. The cop shows the author a body in the morgue (some other local business, the only place in town with a fridge large enough, not a real morgue) with a several foot long wooden stake still sticking out from under the body cover.
Cue the dream sequences with a ghostly girl, dead kid ghosts that come out and dance around with the serial killer that killed them I guess, and, for the coup de gras, Edgar Allen Poe has some connection to the town's closed hotel and he shows up in the dream scenes for the author to consult with.
Then for protag character development, we have the greedy author's wife who calls from home repeatedly, telling the miserable author to write another "witch" story the publisher is waiting for. This torments the author who really wants to write something else but he's pressured to write another crap book (oh the irony). The wife's greed is established by her threatening to sell one of his prized antique signed-by-the-famous-author rare books and he's too far away to stop her.
I turned this monstrosity off at that point but I may watch the rest before I take the movie back tonight.
The plot is atrocious! It goes nowhere interesting. And nothing about the protag makes you care one iota for the guy. Ugh!
My story is incredible next to this tripe. I have a lovable protagonist you can't help but care about who stands up to a world of challenges amidst a fantastic sci-fi future world. There's no big war, no muscle bound heroes, (though there are plenty of heroes and sexy YAs), the bad guys have feelings and guilt, except for a couple you can safely hate, in short, I'm writing a real story. There are so many bad published books, horrid stories turned into horrid movies....
I am thoroughly encouraged that the bar is so low I will be leaping over it.
Wow....now that's old school.
Yeah yeah, I know, I get that all the time from my son. And he's right, I really need to dump the TV altogether and go all internet. But I used to get so annoyed at the buffering delays that I have not made the switch.
So on that note, I did see the ending.
It only got worse. They threw in teen vampires at an outdoor bonfire with motorcycles and Goth tattoos, a haunted clock tower, gratuitous blood and gore that had nothing to do with the plot that I could discern, implied child sex, with a disgusting scumbag hint of blaming the kids , and to finish the nonsense off there was a scene where Poe leads the author along a narrow rock ledge (I guess so we can feel tension ) where he then sees his daughter who died in a speed boat accident for which he blames himself because he was hungover, his alarm clock didn't wake him (hint hint haunted clock tower connection) and he wasn't there.
Skip to end, he pulls the wooden stake out of the body in the weird morgue which turned out to be the daughter, a fountain of blood erupts from the chest and she wakes up and bites his neck. And then we see him getting accolades and money from the publisher for the great book about vampires instead of witches (I guess that was his dream). The greedy wife was just left as a glaring loose end and I suppose we were supposed to be left wondering if the town with the dead bodies ever existed.
Here's a suggestion for writing one's next book. Take all the clichés that you can think of, put one each on little pieces of paper, put them in a bowl and draw them out one at a time, writing a scene in the book to go with each randomly chosen cliche. Then all you need is a theme (or use the down and out author dreaming in a weird town, who would notice ) and an ending.
You're going to like this
"Hollywood Is Literally Following One Screenwriting Formula"
That's hilarious. I may have to look for that book after I finish my two so I don't contaminate my brain before I'm done.
Update, my library has it, it's popular so I put a hold on it which is fine because I'm already two books behind in my reading, NOS4A2 and Maya's Notebook.
Safeway, they have a three-fer deal with movies. So I just watched the third movie I'd rented, "Mud".
Now that was an excellent story. Totally makes up for the Coppola fiasco.
I go to sleep happy tonight. Order is restored in the world.
I used to think that a lot, when I was just starting out writing. But once I got to the point of attempting a publishable novel, I realised, there's so much more to a book than twists and plot and characters, and even the mediocre movie or a published book outdoes me on all or most of those little details that connect the elements into a cohesive narrative. Like transitions, pacing, dialogue etc. So I started to watch with new eyes, appreciating the little technical things or understated elements, and learned a lot from it. And if a movie is really more crap than my story, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, I turn it off. Why waste time?
Ton of articles written about the "Save the Cat" formula recently. My favorite is this one, particularly because it has a handy link to the actual beat structure;
One other thing I love is that the articles note how slavishly all Pixar movies follow this approach. Since I'm someone that thinks Pixar moves range from slightly above average (Toy Story) to horrendous dog shit (Finding Nemo), and are generally unoriginal cliches, it's nice to see concrete evidence of this.
It feels even better when you hear it from other people. Most of my beta readers seem convinced that my book would make a great movie.
And then there's the odd one who thinks it should've been a movie instead of a book.
To be completely honest, it's not a sign of anything, either good or bad.
Hell, the vast majority of movies aren't trying to be "good" at all. They're trying to make money. Sometimes, the second coincides with the first. Other times, it doesn't.
Pixar, although cute, is fodder for the masses.
I've been working with a very good critique group for more than a year, so I hear you. Hopefully I've become a decent writer during that time. I think I have.
As it turned out, I was glad I watched the movie to the end, and glad I wrote the summary up in this thread. I could see the silly plot devices and recognize why I didn't care about the MC, I saw the failure of the cliff scene to build any tension, the disappointing effect of the unaddressed greedy wife loose end, and the wrongness of implying in any book or movie that young girls are willing seductresses (if you show a pedophile's POV, that's fine as long as it's clear it's a sick POV and not a truth of any kind, this movie failed that). There was a of slew of bad examples in that movie I found redeeming value in recognizing.
Disney is all about the marketing, not the story, so it's no surprise they are following a formula, one with a billion dollar profit track record.
Something tells me 'instead of' means they truly liked it, but maybe think of everything in terms of movies as that's what they grew up on.
While the production of this movie may have been a little on the cheap, I wouldn't think Coppola was trying to turn out a marketing success with it. I'm not sure, maybe he just decided to try his hand at writing a screenplay and had the money to produce it without waiting for it to gain any acclaim as a written work. Or maybe no one wanted to tell him how really bad it was.
I have yet to figure out how so many horrid books line the shelves of book stores. Some of them can be explained, a person has a best seller and publishers take a chance on the next one or more books the writer churns out. And these days self publishing can explain some of them. Of course some, like Twilight and 50 Shades, reach success with an audience attraction to the story despite mediocre writing but in this case I count those as having a high story interest bar.
But that leaves zillions and zillions of books out there with a very low bar. One can look at that cynically and think, I can write a good story and it still won't matter. Or, one can look at it like me with a more idealistic POV and think, I can do better than that so I'm very encouraged.
You might be surprised. Firstly, every great director in history, even Orson Welles or Sidney Lumet, have admitted to doing movies solely for the money.
And Coppola in particular, in an interview with Adam Carolla, stated that many of his pictures were done solely for the money. In fact, his biggest successes, Apocalypse Now and the Godfather 1 and 2, were both for the money . They weren't his true "art" films that he was making from personal passion.
As years went by, Coppola lost the thread, as Jack so sadly demonstrated. I don't know about the particular picture you watched, but it's very likely that it was solely made for the money.
A huge problem for anyone with prior success.
Equating quality with financial success is a mental heuristic one is far better off abandoning. Yes, there are millions of awful books, very few of which are successful. There are also tens of thousands of amazing books, few of which are successful.
I'm not sure where "financial success" became conflated with "way better" but money was never part of the thought I was sharing.
Separate names with a comma.