Thursday, June 01, 2006

1st Draft Race Prep!

Edit 2: Getting better. Engines starting up...

Edit: Wow. One comment and no responses. That's well, underwhelming...

It's almost time for the 14 Day Screenwriting Event!

Okay screenwriters, start your engines!

No, wait! Stop!

Have you gas in your tank? (besides plenty of Diet Coke and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?)
I'm talking about your title and your logline and your outline. The stuff that fuels the hemi in your muscle car of a D2DVD script. Is that set? Tuned for racing?

If not, then your Mad Pulp Bastard Racing Team is here. (If Denis McGrath can talk about NASCAR, I can surely use a few racing metaphors). If you think you're having problems then please post your logline up here on the rack and we'll take a look under the hood. We're running a special on bad titles this week too.

The point is that when the checkered flag is dropped, I want you guys to rush to the finish line with the best vehicle possible. This is a group project and as a group we should help one another get across the finish line in time.

So, keep the comments short and sweet. Title and logline and any questions you need help with that involves screenwriting. If I can't answer it - I'm sure someone in the scribosphere can.

This will be going on until 7 am saturday morning when you folks will be off and running on your scripts.

Remember the only race worth running in is the human one.


Steve Peterson said...

Sounds like fun! Sorry that I can't join in though.

On Saturday my wife went on a 10 day retreat and I get buttloads of work done while she's gone so I had to start my first draft on Sunday. Page 45 so far!

Jeff O'Brien said...

The spirit is willing but the flesh can't get off the couch... blech...

Odium said...

I'll bite.

Title: Lawn Enforcement

Logline: A team of Landscapers must battle a clan of gnomes living beneath a Golf Course protecting a treasure cursed by a demon. An action-comedy in that's Ghostbusters meets Lord of the Rings.

Bill Cunningham said...

I take it they accidentally let the cursed treasure or the demon out somehow?

What are the stakes?

I see the movie - maybe more as 'Caddyshack meets Ghostbusters', (Both great Bill Murray movies by the way) but I see it.

The possible poster: A landscaper above ground scratching his head over some broken lawnmower, as below ground the gnomes are laughing at him and holding a mower part.

Anyone else want to comment?

Bill Cunningham said...

By the way - good pun title.

It conjures an image, which is exactly what it should do.

Odium said...

Thanks for the kind words. Yes the treasure is cursed by a demon who is released when a greedy member of the team tries to steal the coins.

Plus the main characters' personal stakes are that he joins the landscapers to impress his future father in law.

There's an old English poem called Sir Guy of Warwick that I based the main characters arc on. His name? Guy Warwick. Huzzah!

Love this blog. Thanks for this.

Odium said...

Also....for those intrested I'm adapting this idea from a comic book that I wrote and self-published. If youre intrested in a free preview plase follow this link:

nshumate said...

I hadn't checked on your blog for a couple of weeks, so the first time I heard about this was today, which ain't a lot of prep time... I am planning ahead for NaNoWriMo this November, though, and maybe I'll be able to swing the 14-day script thing next year. (They need a nifty abbreviation like NaNoWriMo.)

Bill Cunningham said...

A couple of weeks without your dose of DISContent?

You've missed two chapters of RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON, my announcement that SciF is going to show both SCARECROW and SCARECROW SLAYER, and other useless bits of trivia, rants and general excrement.

How could you do that to yourself?


CD said...

Lawn Enforcement is a great title. My two cents about the story (of course, if you've already written it as a comic book, what's the point, but still).

Here's my comment: gnomes and demons in the same movie? Even if it's a demon cursed treasure that's almost too many wrinkles.

I thought you might going somewhere with the gnomes though. Like, those garden gnomes that everyone has on their lawn come to life and wreck havoc on a quiet suburban neighborhood.

James Moran said...

Great title, great idea - for some reason, I thought the story was told from the point of view of the gnomes, but looking at the comic preview it looks like the other way around. If the gnomes are the main characters, that could be fun too - they'd have it a lot more difficult than the humans, and might have to venture out into the human world...

Lee said...

This is what I'm working from at the moment (no title yet):

When Chris' girlfriend announces her unexpected pregnancy, he prepares to do what he does best - bail. But as his town is invaded by a demonic army he discovers the only way to avert the apocalypse is to overcome his selfish desires and protect the ones he loves.

Bill Cunningham said...



Now does the baby have anything to do with the impending apocalypse?

(I see a situation where girlfriend has cheated on our boy, Chris. What she doesn't know is that she slept with the devil, and she's carrying his boy and she's trying to pin it on Chris)

But of course, this may not be the direction you're going...

Now is this a drama or a comedy? I see enormous comedy potential with this one - something like Shaun of the Dead.

You do a great job of setting up Chris with a simple premise - he's gonna shirk his responsibility and bail. That's his modus operandi.

You've raised the stakes by saying he can't bail - the army of hell has hit the town.

I think you're on the right track...just cut down the verbage a bit.

When his girlfriend announces that she's pregnant, Chris prepares to do what he does best and bail, but the army of Hell invades his sleepy town and cuts off his escape, so he must take responsibility if he is to avert the apocalypse and save them all.

Lee said...

You've pretty much hit on it, Bill. The baby will be involved, although not in the way you suggest, and Shaun of the Dead style comedy was exactly what I was thinking of.

I like the title, and the whittled down log-line is much improved - there's acts one, two and three right there. Very focussed, and a great help.


Dave Fogerson said...

I am trying to decide among these possibilities. Any thoughts??


A brilliant science student in danger of losing her spot on the Dean's List to the popular rich kids decides to level the playing field by turning the competition into zombies. HEATHERS meets NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.


A big city police detective and a small town forensics specialist try to identify and locate the source of a series of grisly deaths ... a cell phone with a direct connection to Satan himself.


When deadly spores get loose at a bio-tech lab, eight people try to escape before the mold overruns the building ... and them. Will they get out alive?

(Actually, I already have a first draft of MOLD. Do page-one rewrites qualify for this event??)

James Moran said...

Lee: Sounds cool - got the nice subtext of invading baby/invading demons, life no longer being your own, etc. And of course, you'll have to have the moment where she thinks he's been all heroic, then realises he was going to bail and leave her a single mother... Nice! Title: Demon Spawn, Breeders, something like that?

Dave: 1 and 3 spark for me, 2 doesn't feel quite there yet. 1 sounds hilarious, a proper 80s-style gore comedy with a built in 3 act structure. 3 sounds like it could be more of the same, but with more tense, scary setpieces. Define some "rules" for the mold spores, and come up with creative death scenes - does it deform people, or just kill them? Mutate them? Must they contain/destroy it, prevent it getting outside? If it gets out, will it overrun the whole world...?

As for page 1 rewrites, I'm sure nobody would begrudge them - if it means a usable script in 14 days, I say have at it.

Bill Cunningham said...

1. MAGNA CUM ZOMBIE - the "problem" with this one is the fact that she should be trying to kill them only to have the situation flipped and they become the living dead instead.

The title is okay, and is appropriate, but it really doesn't 'sing" for me.

I can also see this one as a comedy and I would lean toward it.


If you're going for a "Ring series" type of movie, then yes, I see it. We developed a similar concept called COLD CALLER for York about a phone telemarketer from Hell.


I'm not feeling this one. If it were a MOULD and people were being duplicated somehow, that might be cool (in my mind anyway). Since you've already written it - why not set it aside and do something new?

So I would go toward MAGNA CUM ZOMBIE but I would work on twisting the premise a bit to where the 'heroine' lets things get out of control and accidentally creates zombies (Big industrial accident that leaves girl 'head of the class').

Hope this helps you make your decision..

Rock said...

Chiming in with a few thoughts, ideas, questions, etc...

I think Lawn Enforcement is a great title, and I think the concept could be an amazing comedy. Hell, one I'd send you $10.00 now for an advance seat to. However, I'll admit when "demons" and things of that sort started sliding in, I found myself a little more confused. Is the demon actually involved? Either way, this idea sells itself with the hilarious concept of Landscapers VS gnomes. Seriously, laughing out loud fun.

If you're going for Shaun of the Dead stylings, mixed with genre themed story, then this is a total winner. Shaun of the Dead was absolutely hilarious, and if you can take another "genre" theme fromthe horror book, and slide in that sense of humor, it sounds like it'd be quite good.

And, Dave,
Magna Cum Zombie was by far the most intriguing to me. I agree with Bill in saying the title didn't really "Sing" for me. but the concept and idea could be a very fun one. Let us know if you come up with more.

And Bill, glad you put a place together for some people to post about this. Thanks for the email bringing me over.


Joey Fidler said...

1)Hell of Bullets

A murdered hitman comes back from the dead seeking vengeance on those who betrayed him.

-In the beginning the hitman is betrayed by his employer, thrown into the trunk of a 1970 Barracuda and burned alive. He returns, with vengeance on his mind and the Barracuda as his demonized deathmachine with a flaming trunk that serves as a portal sending his victims straight to hell.

2)There's a Monster in the Woods!

Teenagers unleash a deadly force upon a small town that only kills those who are told about it.

Tagline: Spread the Word.

-A girl, her younger brother who is a mute and a couple of friends stumble upon a headless body on a camping trip. They alert the authorities but when the body disappears without a trace and the mute brother and a friend begin to claim they saw something else, a "monster in the woods", they realize anyone they tell is hunted down by an unstoppable creature. Gossip has never been so deadly.

Any thoughts?

Danny Stack said...

Wow. These are all great ideas. And sound advice too. I particularly like Lawn Enforcement as you get the tone from the title and then the pitch adds to the humour with its appealing premise.

Hell of Bullets is more appealing to me than There's a Monster in the Woods. Both are obviously quite focused on their genres but Monster feels like a parody in the mould of Scream If You Know What I Did Last Friday 13th.

But Hell of Bullets could cross the History of Violence vibe with a cutting slice of deadly humour...nice.

Bill Cunningham said...

I would write HELL OF BULLETS but call it HELLFIRE.

But I would ask, what are the stakes for the hitman?

When a murdered hitman comes back from the dead seeking vengeance, ....(you see you have nothing else there. He has to uncover something not only about who did this and why but also he has to uncover something about himself).

Think about that and you'll be on the right track.



Dono da Verdade said...


A jaded heavy metal band fights an evil corporation, trying to put an end to commercialism in today's music... using their instruments as weapons. Literally!!! In this cartoonish world, dart-throwing flutes can be as deadly as metal-made cellos being used as giant hammers by a hideous orchestra!

Dono da Verdade said...

Damnit, I'm late!