• 2007-11-30

    a few words regarding screenplays


    Well, a few things about screenwriters and  a few screenplays.

    On a whim I decided to find out who is the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood the other day(well,I must confess,it's not entirely curiosity-driven.There's also some peer ambition/emulation thing involved.Cuz I want to see how far I am from big bucks.)

    Top of the list is the indian-American director guy who wrote and directed THE SIXTH SENSE and also a few other horror flicks, like signs, the village. For some reason I don't "dig" this guy, so I didn't "dig" deep about him and didn't care to read his screenplays.

    The No2 guy is totally different.I felt instantly attracted to this guy,Shane Black.He is like a kindred spirit or something. After reading a few anecdotes and 'legends" about him(like sold his first screenplay "lethal weapon" at the still tender age of 22; pocketed 2 million dollars for a screenplay etc) I decided this is the guy I want to emulate. So I start by studying his writing, his screenplay. Which one to start with? How about the one that earned him 2 million bucks so legendarily? That one is titled "The long kiss good night".

    And it's a breathtaking script.I'm saying this not because I've let the 2 million dollars sway my opinion in his favor or sth.It is, a great script.I usually don't like ACTION movies, and I barely read any action movie screenplays and I never thought reading an action movie script could be so much fun and gratifying.The graphic experiences you created in your mind when reading a script is totally different from actually watching the movie.There're so many variations and possibilities, so many ways to render a certain description. and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT is a very fine story, told so vividly and poignantly I just decide not to watch the movie,for fear the movie version would spoil the fine scenes I've take the liberty of creating in my own mind.Oh,god,how exciting that truly is.The twists and turns are well,really twists and turns. And the characters in it all have this dour air about them, dark and cool. The humor in it,if any,is also exceptionally crisp and dark.The action part is also groundbreaking,totally attention-grabbing.All in all, makes me try to look at action movies in whole new light.

    Just sorry to hear that the movie flopped.Again like I said,movie version doesn''t always do a good screenplay justice.Glad I still don't feel compelled to see the movie.Probably never will.

    Yesterday I finished his another screenplay"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" at one sitting.Another creative, brilliant piece of work, with groundbreaking elements.I just hate to mention that I watched the movie shortly thereafter and found to my sore disappointment the movie is a disaster.The cast they chose is totally WRONG!Not the people I envisioned in my mind when reading the script.Couldn't be more different.The lead character,Harry,I thought he may be a pretty young guy,some one that has something owen wilsonian about him.But they cast a guy who looks like some porn actor with awkward smile, and much older.The other lead guy,Perry,should be a long-haird, high-cheekboned, narrow-faced dude,who looks smart, alert and sharp,a bit wiry.But they find a guy who looks like John Travolta to play this character.Totally disastrous.I don't even want to mention the lead actress.She couldn't be more different than the "Harmony" I envisioned in my mind.She killed the role.

    I strongly recommend you read the screenplay of 'kiss kiss bang bang", and pass the movie.You'd feel better that way.

    And a few words on the screenplay "letters from iwo jima", an oscar-nominated screenplay.It's written by a novice screenwriter Iris Yamashita,a Japanese-American web programmer.Holly Jesus!Her first screenplay was nominated for oscar.and she got to work with back-to-back oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis(Crash;Million Dollar baby)!What a marvelous experience.I think what she achieved,however impossible, would be a great encouragement to me,as a budding screenwriter.

    I think I'm gonna read more, think more and write more,Not to mention HOPE more.

    Anyway,again,hope you visit this site more.Thanks for your reading.