Producing : Do Americans/Asians/ English, European Peoples like Australian based Screenplays and Movies? by Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

Do Americans/Asians/ English, European Peoples like Australian based Screenplays and Movies?

,I wonder a lot about my Aussie Stories/ Screenplays if they appeal to other Countries or should I rewrite them for each country's audience? I would sleep better at night if I knew the answer. please let me know if you do. Thanks in advance, Cheers Ray.

James Bradley

yes we do, well our film festival certainly does :)

Debbie Croysdale

I second the above. The quality of story, and slickness of the production, will out where it's filmed. I don't see many films set in Australia in UK, I think it would be "refreshing" to have some, especially the diverse countryside/outback.

Adam McCulloch

Australian stories tend towards a lower box-office so I'd suggest not writing a sprawling sci-fi epic.

Rosalind Winton

Hello from South East England. It's always good to learn about other places, cultures etc, if everyone made films to cater for certain countries, it wouldn't be as interesting.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day James, Nicole, Debbie, Adam and Rosalind, Thank you all for your informations all encourage me a lot. The story/screenplay is a poignant love story of a beautiful thirty six years young Air Hostess , a Flight Captain who want so much to marry her and a rich young Aussie philandering stock broker it is set in London / Chelsea and Heathrow Int. Airport and in Brisbane Australia as well the Flight Captain's courting her in Paris, Rome and the Swiss Alps. Altogether a wonderful scenario that should appeal to audiences with a love of Romance and intrigue as the story unfolds with attempted suicide and lots more. Warning contains nudity but none should be offended. Now having disclosed a short Synopsis of it I wonder if you hold the same opinions and if so would it have a better chance of box office success if made by an English or American Film maker?. I hope you will enlighten me further,thanks Cheers Ray.

Charles G. Masi

Being, say, an American film maker is far less important than whether that American film maker happens to be named Ron Howard. People seek entertainment to get new points of view that maybe they can apply to their own lives. I've never lived long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but I gobbled up Star Wars! Entertainment -- and that's the business we're in -- sees no borders or cultural barriers. The only barrier I know of is language, and that only involves accessibility. If I don't understand it, I can't enjoy it. So, stop worrying. The business is tough enough without worrying about the inconsequential. You have enough to deal with without caring about the three people on the planet who might be Aussiephobes.

Rosalind Winton

If your story takes place in all those great places, but you find a really good producer in Timbuktu, then you stand just as good a chance as if you find an English or American producer. People that don't care for the genre you're writing in, won't be interested, but plenty of people will. look at the great film with Hugh Jackman 'Australia', I live in England and I've watched that film over and over, if you have a good story that the majority of people can relate to, then you shouldn't worry, it's difficult enough to find publishers and producers, so I would make your search everywhere, as long as they have an understanding of the story and what you as the writer wants for it, then I don't think it matters.

Adam McCulloch

Hi Ray, I don't mean to discourage you but I think there are many more issues to focus on with the synopsis than box office. I would suggest focusing on the job of telling a compelling story and leave the packaging decisions to your agent. For starters, watch out for spelling and grammar.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

With respect, I think you're asking the wrong question. What do I mean? I've seen Australian films which I enjoyed, both the well known ones and some rather obscure films including the 1991 'Proof' starring Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe before they were famous. I thought the latter was excellent and it didn't really matter to me where it was set. It was the story which counted. I've also seen Australian movies which I thought genuinely sucked and about which my view was that there was absolutely no chance that a change of venue would save them. So if you're losing sleep over where your story is set, I'd say shift your focus and instead become an insomniac over the quality of your story telling . :) Seriously, good luck with your work.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day Charles, Rosalind, Adam and Douglas, thanks for your informations. For three years now I have grafted away at making screenplays of some of my stories ( I have self published a book of one of them) and all the while have tried to connect with an Agent/ Movie Producer or Director to make a movie of this particular script without success and wanted to clarify if it lacks something thaf could be changed to gain success. I guess the problem now after gaining confidence from many Stage 32er's comments and yours is how to connect with UK and USA movie makers and an Agent, please help me if you know how I can do this, thanks Cheers Ray.

Charles G. Masi

Okay, RT, you seem to be serious about this, so I'll jump in with some long-term advice. I've been studying written English for about 60 years, and writing professionally since 1985, so it's possible I may know whereof I speak. Most people -- even generally well-educated, literate people -- are hopeless as writers. Almost all the self-published books I've read (including, to some extent, my own) are tough to read because of basic grammar, word choice and even spelling errors. EVERY book contains some errors. Professionals keep them to a minimum. Start by honing your basic grammar and writing skills by getting, and reading cover-to-cover, a copy of Strunk & White's "Elements of Style." Then go over everything you've written to "correct" it according to their rules. Strunk and White's style comes off a little stilted, but it's at least clear, readable and correct. Won't get you a Pulitzer Prize, but it'll put your work ahead of 80% (or more) of the so-called writers out there. This next trick comes from my Master's Thesis advisor at RPI. His idea was to find an author who's work you really love to read. At the time, I used Robert Heinlein. These days, I recommend Janet Evanovich's work because it's entertaining, clever, easy to read and hard to put down. Pick the book you like the best and read it over and over until you know it so well that you can forget about the story and concentrate on HOW she tells it. Then, start copying her style instead of slavishly following Strunk & White. I often say: "All my best ideas are stolen." That especially goes for how to lay out a story. For example, in my last two novels, I stole an idea from Clive Cussler, who tends to start his stories with a vignette of action that happened well in the past -- years before the story that the novel actually relates begins. I won't do it again for a while, because it can become hackneyed if over used. But, you get the idea. Authors have various plot tricks to keep a story interesting. Find them and use them. At that point, you will have turned yourself into a competent writer. THEN, check out some of the Stage 32 Happy Writers short courses. Learn about story arcs and character arcs, etc. Also, download April Rider's example of how to format a screenplay from the Motion Picture Academy's website at Finally, when have another go at your screenplay, logline, and synopsis. At that point, pay some folks (through Happy Writers, again) to critique your script. After all these months (maybe years) of work, you'll be ready to beat on some doors to wave your script under some producers' noses.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Ray. The following is based on my experience and conversations with other writers in the US. You are very unlikely to get an agent by direct submission. It is possible but mostly agents are looking for writers who have some sign of being on the verge of success. For example, best would be a well known production company wants to option, or buy, the writer's script. Or your script scored very high in a prestigious screen writing competition. Managers are a bit different. They will take on a writer in whom they see potential (for example, from a strong spec script) and help develop that writer's career. They also charge a higher percentage. There are two ways to attract attention. First, screen writing contests, especially scoring high in the bigger ones. Secondly you can pitch production companies with a well written log line and synopsis. Stage 32 has pitching opportunities (as does another web site, Ink Tip). Both will cost you a few bucks as will contests. I hope that's of help. If not, just fire off more questions.

Doug Nelson

Howdy Ray, I’m speaking as an American screenwriter and as a film reviewer. I’ve tried working with UK and Australian screenwriters but found it very difficult due to our language variations but I have seen some very fine films come from the UK, Australia and NZ. When it comes to Asian films – there culture and mine are so divergent that I just don’t get the stories and the sub titles really get in the way of watching the actor’s performance. I personally have similar issues with many European films but just not as intense. My personal advice is to strive to become the finest screenwriter on your own turf first and not worry so much about the rest of the world just yet. That’s just my POV, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Bob McCarty

Ray, I've very much enjoyed watching many Australian films and television shows over the years. I don't think you need to worry about customizing your scripts for people in other countries.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day Douglas, thanks for your information. I have been writing stories for twenty five years and have become exhausted after many offerings to book publishers who make spots available only after a member of their writer's stable is deceased and I hope that the same will not apply to gaining attention of movie makers though I have tried Ink Tip for two years with others of my scripts ( maybe I should try again with "I Promise" screenplay) I've got my fingers crossed that Stage 32 will be different, cheers Ray.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Hey, Ray. One last suggestion which you may well have considered. Start making your own films, if you can come up with a story which is suited to low budget film making. A few words of caution. Because movies have gotten cheaper to make, the marketplace is CROWDED (says he who is working on selling his first low budget feature). But distribution is growing. More ways to distribute. Again, a note of caution. The sudden increase in ways to distribute/platforms, etc., has made the world of distribution highly complex and very tough to navigate. As the old Chinese curse goes, 'May you live in interesting times.'

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Here's an example of how it can work. (Quoted from SSN Insider) "Thanks To Fox, Another Sci Fi Short Film is Being Turned Into a Feature Fox has bought the rights to the concept for Controller, by Iranian-American filmmaker Saman Kesh, for Real Steel director Shawn Levy to produce. Relative unknown Alev Aydin is writing the screenplay. The premise is that a kidnapped woman is able to control her boyfriend, who becomes a killing machine as he makes his way through an office building to her rescue. Its style and plot are heavily influenced by video games, even including a menu bar on screen."

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day Bob, sorry Mate for not responding earlier, got involved with a new Screenplay I am compiling of another of my stories. Thanks for your information. I fear that Australia is just too far away from mainstream Hollywood and UK but I got my fingers crossed for "I Promise" capturing the interest of a movie maker somewhere, Cheers Ray. G'day Douglas, I should have mentioned before that I self-published one of my stories to be sold upon release of a movie made of it. Sorry I digress, I don't have money to make a movie and most certainly I don't have the knowledge to do so, I guess I will just have to keep trying all other avenues available such as this board and others, thanks for your welcome advice. Cheers Ray.

Joe Becker

Hmmm, Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee, Quigly Down Under, Koala, Kiwi, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman... not sure if we really like things that come from Australia (friendly sarcasm) We don't really care where they come from. We only care if it's a good story.

Benjie Anderson

Where isn't nearly as important as what. An intriguing story regardless of origin is a plus. Write-on!

Mark Ratering

I give credit to the Aussies for restarting Hollywood and redirecting Hollywood with a film called "Chariot's Of Fire"

Regina Lee

As a former development exec for Hugh Jackman, I can tell you that in all likelihood, you should not be writing different scripts for different territories. That said, there is probably a peculiar scenario in which a country-specific script could be useful. I'd have to know more details. But typically, the script should not be so esoteric that it requires a translation.

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