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  1. lvlr
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    lvlr Member

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    Replacement for F*ck?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lvlr, Jan 26, 2010.

    I'm a screenwriter working on a PG13 film. Therefore you want to dodge the word: f*ck, but it's virtually irreplaceable while still having it sound natural.

    Two characters Matt and Lisa fall in love. Lisa is engaged already. This comes to light and here's a section of the dialogue.

    MATT
    Why didn't you tell me?
    LISA
    I wasn't planning on f*cking you.

    See ******* has the beauty of making it sound dirty as she's cheating, it always implies f*cking him over, and it still says sex.

    The simplest replacement would be to say screw, but that sounds like I'm just replacing f*ck instead of writing believable dialog. If Matt was saying it he might get away with boning, maybe; but this is Lisa. Any ideas...
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are PG13 films restricted to over 13s? Or does it mean children under 13 must be accompanied? I can't remember what the laws are like any more for this. For years everything was just open to all here until quite recently.
    Just trying to work out what kind of audience this is aimed at. I mean, when my children were under 13 I wasn't in the habit of taking them to films where the 'f' word formed any part of the dialogue, and even with under 15s I don't find explicit images or dialogue appropriate.
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your dilemma is not about the word...it is about the rating of PG13. If you want that rating, then the censor industry has made your decision for you. It's pretty simple, find another way to get across the dialog impact you want...or forget the PG13 rating.

    MATT
    Why didn't you tell me?
    LISA
    I wasn't planning on simultaneous orgasms.

    or

    MATT
    Why didn't you tell me?
    LISA
    I wasn't planning on kisses and condoms!
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing around language restrictions DOES require some imagination. But then, that is what writers are supposed to excel at. Overuse of the word is generally due to a lack of imagination in any case.

    By the way, consider this site to have similar restrictions. You needed to use the word in the subject line, but it was unnecessary and excessive after the first sentence of your post.

    Consider yourself warned.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just download scripts with that rating that are similar in sex-content to yours... you'll see there what you can get away with and how to overcome the f-word problem...

    i mentor many aspiring screenwriters, so if you have any further probs, just drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  6. lvlr
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    lvlr Member

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    I think I found a workable solution!

    MATT
    Why didn't you tell me?
    LISA
    I wasn't planning on doing you.
     
  7. ronmatt
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    ronmatt Member

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    There are many, many things I don't totally understand. One of them is 'fear' of a word. This particular word...the mighty 'F' word no longer carries with it the dastardly connotation it once did. Today it is as commonly used by 'blue haired grammas' as it is by 'pants on the ground gangstas'. It's rampantly used on cable tv, occasionally on broadcast tv and in almost every movie produced..even by Disney. Yet, some continue to fear it, cringing at the initial ffff sound as it escapes from the lips and teeth and clapping their hands over their ears.

    I use the word generously and gloriously, being free from the bounds of political correctness and social taboos. It is a word that I hear constantly mouthed by people of all walks of life, all colors and religions and political philosophy's.

    Fear anything and you are not free. Without freedom, you cannot create. However, I respect your rule and will refrain from using the 'word' on this forum. (*) (*) (*) (*)
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Back on topic, please

    It has nothing to do with fear. There is a time and place for everything. The use of that word is not completely prohibited, although it is filtered and converted to **** by the site. Its presence is understood clearly. Even when someone uses f*ck in reasonable context and frequency in a piece of writing, nothing is said. However, gratuitous use is not permitted, any more than it would be appropriate in a classroom conversation, a courtroom, a mainstream magazine article, or a business meeting.

    Not everyone appreciates the Tourette's-like overuse of profanity in casual conversation, and this site's policy is to keep the site freiendly to those people. It won't harm those who use profanity as frequently as conjunctions to practice some restraint, either. If nothing else, they will learn to write for markets such as the one lvlr purports to want to be able to write for.

    He could start by not going out of his way to use it as often as possible in the post that began the thread, or in the previous (deleted) version that used it to an even greater frequency.

    At this point, let's get this discussion back on topic, which is NOT why people should be allowed to curse witout restriction. The topic is how to write within a profanity-restricted domain. If this thread cannot remain on that topic, it will be closed.
     
  9. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I would think her line would work like this:

    Lisa:
    i wasn't planning on this [she gestures at the clothing scatter across the floor] happening.

    I'm not sure what stage direction you have going on for this scene, if they are in bed together, or getting dressed after the fact (which is where I placed it) or whatever...but you could use her just saying the word "this" because it could mean the sex or it could mean falling in love.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, I still feel (as a mother) that the content of this type of screenplay is undesirable in a movie which young teenagers will be able to watch (whether or not they actually experiment sexually is irrelevant IMO. Many teenagers DO NOT--and I am not being naive, BTW.) Maybe audiences in the West are becoming dulled to profanity and children are growing up quicker, but in my opinion that still doesn't make it acceptable or desirable.

    So, I'd say you need to seriously re-think who you are aiming this screenplay at. At the moment you are not considering your audience at all.

    Writers of YA fiction are often advised to have an MC who is about the same age as their reader, and also a film which is for a younger age group/family viewing should have the protagonists and story relevant to the lives of this age group. I do not swear or make out in front of my children, so when I take them to the cinema I don't want us to watch something which requires explicit language in any shape or form. Why are adults concerns like you outline interesting for young teenagers, anyway? I can assure you they will be able to watch what they like when they are older--but everything in it's own time, there's no need to rush it.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm not entirely sure where you are, that it's so common. And which disney film are you referring to?

    Back on topic, you could use screwing instead? Same meanings, same connotations, less profane.
     
  12. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Mad, I've watched many PG13 rated movies that I wouldn't let my kids watch, or would they want to watch, as far as dramas go. There are a lot of non-kid oriented movies that fall into the PG 13 rating that are really for adults. If I'm not mistaken, they are allowed a few swears for that rating, like one or two well placed sh word, or damn, or a-hole, and jacka**. I'm pretty sure one or two "f-bombs" are allowed for that rating now. However, the term "moderate" use of strong language is what the rating says.

    So in the end, you should just write it. If you sell it to a studio, then they decide how they want to market it, which is what the rating system really is for, and they would adjust the language or content accordingly. If the themes overall are too sexual in content, too much strong language, nudity, or violence then after the movie is made the rating system would give it an R. If the studio wants a PG13 rating, then they would adjust the script, either through you (though that is not as likely) as it would be through their own script writers who would rework your writing after they purchase it.

    You shouldn't worry about the rating until you are done writing and looking for a studio to buy it.

    And if you are wondering this is what the MPAA says:

    A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The replies are no longer addressing the topic as asked.
     
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