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Writing Summer Blockbusters vs Oscar Bait

 
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mainstream180
Leopard


Joined: 16 May 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:40 am    Post subject: Writing Summer Blockbusters vs Oscar Bait Reply with quote #49869

I'm curious, would everyone here prefer to write the screenplay for a summer blockbuster that goes on to earn huge amounts of revenue but isn't necessarily all that great story wise e.g. Transformers by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman?

Or would you prefer to write a movie that might not necessarily break any box office records but could potentially earn you an Oscar e.g. Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney Moonlight? Which of course did win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay.


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Gabs, the gabs
Leopard


Joined: 01 Feb 2015
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #49870

First I think there is a HUGE spectrum between both ideas you present.

Second I think a writer would never think on writing something that is not "all that great storywise".

Mature, polemic and delicated themes does not make a story better. A politicized or socially engaged one, for sure. But no necessarily better.



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James Patrick Joyce
Liger


Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 1108

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: Writing Summer Blockbusters vs Oscar Bait Reply with quote #49872

mainstream180 wrote:
I'm curious, would everyone here prefer to write the screenplay for a summer blockbuster that goes on to earn huge amounts of revenue but isn't necessarily all that great story wise e.g. Transformers by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman?

Or would you prefer to write a movie that might not necessarily break any box office records but could potentially earn you an Oscar e.g. Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney Moonlight? Which of course did win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay.


It's a false dichotomy.

What writer would prefer to write something with the intention that it be not, "all that great story wise"? Probably none who will ever succeed.

What writer would prefer to write something with the intention that it "not ... break any box office records".

And I think you know that your question doesn't hold water, because you didn't say "write a successful bad screenplay", you hemmed and hawed with "not necessarily". Same with not writing, "fail at the box office", and instead offering, "might not necessarily". Might not, necessarily, is about as prevaricative and prevarication gets.

Moonlight earned around 18.5 times its production costs. Maybe only 9 times, when the phantom marketing is taken into account. I think that's a financial success. Though it doesn't "break any box office records", it definitely qualifies as "huge amounts of revenue". And, now that it has achieved the second option, of being an Oscar winner, it'll go on to vastly greater financial success, post BO.

You'll need to spend a tad more time on the challenge/questions, to get a reasonable response, I suspect.

And you'll need to realize that everyone tries to make a good movie. And one of the major differences between a blockbuster budget and an Indie budget is that, in the former, the suits will be all over every moment of the filmmaking, whereas the Indie mostly gets made without interference.

I suspect that you would put Deadpool in the first category, but it's not. It was an indie made without studio expectations. They were cheap, with the budget, and scant with the oversight (S.O.P.). The sequel, however, will have a massive budget, lots of additional voices demanding changes, and will probably be more like your first option.

The money behind the production is probably more likely to make the decision you talk about, then the intent of the writer. Unless you have a major personality directing, in which case the director is the one making the decision you talk about.



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