New Challenge: HTF Script-to-screen discussion group??

Vince Maskeeper

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Hey Guys,

I have been kicking around the idea with some film fans, and thought this might make an interesting project to conduct here on the HTF as well. Since we have had some great collaborative discussions of Cinematography and the like- I thought this might be fun.

This summer, i'm thinking about doing something like this:

Post a screenplay for a particular film available for download. Over the course of a week or two, ask particpants to post thoughts and discussion about that screenplay: about the plot, pacing, characters, story arch- even your ideas for the possible casting of particular parts.

Basically a chance to discuss the screenplay like a book- and also discuss it as if you were considering directing it yourself- what elements you think are key, the scenes you think would be the most important, etc...

At the end of the discussion period- I would then ask that everyone watch the finished film in question and continue the discussion on how the particular cast and director translated the material to screen- and how it differed from your perceptions and visions for the film, how it was successful, how it failed, what you liked, what you would do differently, etc.

Now, obviously this will work better if the particpants have not yet seen the film in question- but anyone is invited to participate. I'm going to try to pick films that are a bit more obscure (but not impossible to find- all will be available on DVD)-- and would maybe like to emphasize on the early works of directors who have gotten famous later (like doing Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave or the Wachowski's Bound).

I'm also considering trying to track down several drafts of particular screenplays, either to use an early draft exclusively for the discussion (so that the finished screen version will be a bigger surprise)-- or at the very least to have multiple drafts for comparison and discussion if desired.

I would ask that if you don't know anything about a particular film, or don't know much- that when the discussion starts please avoid looking up details on IMDB (such as casting)- and try to go into the script portion as clean as you can.

So my question is- does anyone have any interest in taking part in something like this? The script reading should be super fast (to be honest, scripts are 100 pages or so, and the formatting really means that it would be 30-40 pages of raw text- you can usually knock them out in an afternoon)-- and you'd have to be willing to buy the DVD or rent it locally.

Let me know your thoughts.

-Vince
 

Brandon_T

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Sounds like fun!! I am definatly in. This is exactly the sort of thing I would love to get into.

Brandon
 

Kirk Tsai

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I'd be interested. Not only can we evaluate the script, but also the casting choices, directorial style, and what we personally would have done different.
 

Agee Bassett

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Chiming in with an unhelpful reply, this sounds fantastic to me, but I seriously doubt I will be able to allot the necessary time for it. Besides, the film I'd really want to do is still a long way off from reaching DVD.


Great idea nonetheless, Vince. I hope you can recruit enough folks to make it a go. At the very least, I'm sure it would be an insteresting read.
 

Paul_Scott

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i'm in.

i'll try to storyboard some of whatever it is also since
1) i am poor at expressing ideas verbally
2) i could use the practice (eventually i would like to do more comic work).

both of the films you've mentioned so far i have not seen.
 

Adam_S

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Consider me sorta in, I can't tell for sure if I'll have time this summer or not, but I'd like to do this.
 

Matt Stone

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I should have plenty of time to participate this summer. Great idea!
 

JohnRice

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Count me in, Vince. Please either do it in this thread or announce that you have started a new thread with a link, since I rarely surf anymore. I don't want to miss it. I have seen both the movies you mention, but I only vaguely remember Shallow Grave and I have "played" this game enough already to have a knack for thinking of alternate actors I would prefer in roles I have already seen.
 

JohnRice

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BTW, a second cinematography discussion should be coming up in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Just thought this crowd might be interested.
 

Vince Maskeeper

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No problem. I will start a new thread when the time comes, and will email everyone who posts here to let them know, and provide links to the script to download.

So if you're interested, keep posting here- and once I get an idea of how many folks seem into the idea, I'll get things started. I'd figure that first script will probably be announced around the middle fo this month.

-Vince
 

Adam_S

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BTW, a second cinematography discussion should be coming up in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Just thought this crowd might be interested.
Well you just made me happier than a pig in shit!
Don't just love midwest colloquialisms.
woohoo I'll definitely be looking very forward to the discussion, in fact I was just thinking of this last night as I finished up a paper comparing A.I. to Paradise Lost, the Aeneid and Orlando Furioso, (basically my argument was that the film works better in the narrative conventions of the classic epic than modern film [damn why couldn't I think of that particular phrase for the actual paper?] especially since David is the founder of the metal-mecha culture and society, so thematically it works as well) and was taking screencaps for illustrative figures. looking at some of those caps I thought how awesome AI would be to do a cinematography discussion of on HTF, and then was saddened because the cinematography discussion never seemed to continue.
 

JohnRice

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Well, Adam. I did mention A.I. to one of the contributors as a possible film, but we are aiming for films that are not often mentioned for their cinematography this time. I think all 3 have finally been settled on. We will also do this one at a more leisurely pace, starting a new film about every 3 weeks or so, with a bit of a lul in between.
 

Randall Dorr

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I could be interested, depending on the screenplay.

But there is one problem I see:
Now, obviously this will work better if the participants have not yet seen the film in question-
I think it would be very, very difficult to find any film that most HTFers (especially ones willing to participate in a discussion of a screenplay) have not seen, that is on DVD, and has a screenplay available somewhere.

What about discussing a screenplay that was never filmed?

Such as One Saliva Bubble by David Lynch and Mark Frost?
 

Matt Stone

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Wow, the mention of One Saliva Bubble has me salivating.

...dammit, I just said salivating, didn't I.
 

Lew Crippen

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Pretty much what Agee wrote. I hope to have the time to participate fully, but probably will have to be content with reading the thread.
 

JohnRice

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I like Randall's idea, but personally would prefer that for a later choice. I'm most interested in having an actual film to see to wrap it up for the first round.


I would think Seth Paxton would be interested in this, if he has the time.

I will do my best to make the time regardless. This is exactly the type of discussion I wish there was more of here.
 

Seth Paxton

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Yeah, I just saw the thread. Unless I'm hit with unforeseen time restrictions, I'm totally in.

Why not go with scripts for films that aren't out yet, like LXG or something coming out even later.

I'm not against examining art films, but I think the process might be a bit more interesting with something that is semi-classical Hollywood, complete with all its trappings.

A script that is too experimental might cloud the issues we are looking at, which I assume is the overall process and how things get altered. I don't think picking an example from outside that process would be a good way to go about it.
 

JohnRice

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I still like the idea of having an actual film to watch at the end of the first discussion. I would definitely be open to more experimental approaches later on, though.


BTW, Seth, looking at your sig, I finally rented Reign of Fire a few weeks ago, and I'm a little sorry to see all the bashing it received. I thought it was a campy good time.
 

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