Screenwriting : 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?

G'day Stage 32'ers, 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.

Kent Flaagan

No worries Mate;-) Use Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max or other Aussie films for your measuring stick. The box office doesn't lie, and these broke records for sales in their day. So unless you're from a multi-culture back ground, write what you know best, in your own voice. Also, ask the producers lounge that question, screenwriters don't buy the screenplays.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Is it about Australia or just a story set in Australia? Either way, if it's a good story no one is going care.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day Kent, Jean-Pierre, Alle, Nerys and Jim, thanks for your responses, the main character/s of my screenplay are a thirty six years young beautiful Air Hostess, a Flight Captain who wants so much to marry her and a philandering rich young stockbroker who loves many beautiful women but is reluctant to marry. The scene flits between Heathrow Airport, suburbs of London and Brisbane Australia ( though it could be any two countries in the world). Of course being an Aussie I write that which comes naturally and not intentionally for any other audience and the thing that bothers me is because it is not written especially for "American Audiences" would American Movie Makers/ Producers and Directors dismiss it out of hand? Conversely if I rewrite it set in New York or other and London or Brisbane would it appeal more readily to them? I would like to know please advise if you do, thanks Ray.

William Martell

What's the story? I think everyone wants to see the new MAD MAX movie.

Chanel Ashley

Ray, nice premise, but ultimately it's in the writing - if you are serious about an international audience, write for an international audience - those Australian film titles mentioned above were wonderful cinema, but their target market was not Australia - do you think it was a coincidence Paul Hogan made those tourism ads for free, he's no mug, that one - I would give brisbane airport a miss and choose another site, off-shore, say NY -a good test will be The Water Diviner with Russell Crowe, you can't get more Australian than with a story about Gallipoli, comes out this week in the USA.

Bill Costantini

I have a hard time understanding the foreign accents at times. I did love "Chopper", "Muriel's Wedding", "Animal Kingdom", "Mad Max", "Picnic at Hanging Rock", "Mad Max", and a movie about Neo-Nazi punks. The name escapes me but a young Russell Crowe was in it.

Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy

Raymond: Bill referenced a bunch of great Australian movies I love. Last year I watched a bunch of Peter Weir movies and still like “The Last Wave”. By the way, the movie with Russell Crow is "Romper Stomper". One of my favorites is "Look Both Ways", which is very Australian but still crosses boundaries to tell a beautiful, affecting story. I think if you write great stories and they will come. Don't worry about homogenizing them for foreign audiences. Cheers Mate!

Chanel Ashley

Bill, Romper Stomper re Russell Crowe - Mad Max was dubbed for the American audience, that's my understanding - how good was Chopper - I'm impressed you managed your way through our accent in these films.

Patrick Freeman

Off the top of my head I can think of only a few Aussie based film and I enjoyed them all. Crocodile Dundee, I & II (but not III) Dirty Deeds (2004) with John Goodman and Bryan Brown, and of course the original Mad Max.

Alex Sarris

Hey Ray, Boy does your post does touch close to home. I live in Oz and have been screenwriting for many years. If I feel a particular story would have a target audience somewhere other than Australia, then I write it for that country and location. Funny enough most of my features are US based and have been easily accepted. If you want to write an Aussie story then write it for an Aussie director and market it so. If he feels they will go international with it then BONUS. I have had a few Australian stories in my head over the last few years though it is extremely difficult to get them of the ground so I've dropped them. Write for the market.

Philip Sedgwick

Personally, I love Australian movies and will make the effort to seek them out. Breaker Morant, one of the best movies ever. Priscilla, The Oyster Farmer, The Castle, Japanese Story more Aussie movies I thoroughly enjoyed. And already mentioned, Dirty Deeds was interesting, I did like Woop Woop, twisted though it was. Muriel's Wedding. Just watched Wolf Creek again and had bad dreams. Dare I admit I liked Strictly Ballroom!? My thought, write a great Australian movie script; and also write a fish out of water Aussie dropped elsewhere script. I'd watch an Aussie in Paris movie in a heartbeat. Or a new take on Crocodile Dundee. In my mind Americans like Aussie characters because of their quirk. Seems "normal" people (whatever that is) admire and fancy characters that run circles around thought boxes and traditional behaviors. Having spent time in places like Gundagai and Katoomba, events and character images filter through my head with virtually everything I write. Ultimately, if you want to write a script for production in the U.S., go for it. It works because you can give them the same thing, but different, as the old axiom goes, complete with rich story arcs, complex characters loaded with skew, a "universal" theme, and as Alex notes above, that will resonate with the market. Years ago, there was a movie I would love to see again. It was about British prisoners selecting wives to take to colonize Australia. The protagonist picked the most wicked shrew he could find. Ring a bell? I'd love to see it again.

Cherie Grant

It's funny you say all this Phillip, but believe it or not Aussies HATE Aussie films. We don't all go to see them although Red Dog did do well for the Australian market. Why is this so? Why don't we like seeing us on film? Too familiar maybe or just that annoying accent. I don't know. It's a mystery. I have one screenplay I have written, that needs a lot of work, that is set in Australia. Could be set any where really, but I wanted to make one that didn't annoy and would appeal to us. Fingers crossed I make something of it.

Marlene Hamerling

One of the most wonderful things about film is that it gives us the opportunity to explore and experience diverse ideas and cultures. And when you look at some of the early work of, say, Peter Weir, like The Last Wave and Gallipoli, it's just stunning. They were huge hits in the US. And, certainly, The Last Wave could have been made nowhere else. But stories are, fundamentally, about people. Our hopes, dreams, struggles...what we do and how we overcome. And great films tell the stories of people who resonate with us, somehow, regardless of accent or language or culture. Though all of that adds what I think is can be a very interesting and enlightening layer over the fundamental humanity that we share. Think Slumdog Millionaire.:-) My 2 cents.

Philip Sedgwick

@Cherie I have heard some Aussie film folks define the plot line of all Aussie movies saying they are all the same and predictable. Perhaps then, French movies?? I am remiss in mentioning The Dish as a worthwhile movie to see. Fish out of water with US in Oz, and based upon a true story. Worth watching... if you're not in Australia (said with a wink and the chortle of a magpie). I remain a fan. And here I thought the accent is charming. What do I know? I'm a yank.

Chanel Ashley

Philip, you mentioned the wonderful Breaker Morant and The Castle, The Dish is also special, I loved Strictly Ballroom, but Cherie is correct, I hate to hear our accents, do we really speak like that, lol?

Philip Sedgwick

Not to worry. I bet there are heaps of dialogue coaches on Stage 32!

Marlene Hamerling

I thought all the movies mentioned were wonderful. And yes, you do sound like that. But, hey, I'm from Noo Yawk, so whaddoo I know. Seriously, though, I like the accent -- though I've worked long and hard to lose mine.:-)

Chanel Ashley

I spent 6 weeks in California, had a wonderful time, loved the locals, when I got onto my Qantas flight to come home and heard the flight attendant speak, I cringed, that accent, a bloody Queenslander, they talk funnier than we do, lol - Adelaide is the most English of all our cities, so we tend to speak "proper", lol - people often ask me which part of England I come from, which is ridiculous because I'm Adelaide born - NY my next stop, Marlene, but I barely noticed the American accent on your home soil, but American tourists in Asia, well that's a different story, we discerned your accent from a mile away - Yanks were generally polite overseas, but usually loud, demanding and assertive, but the Australian tourists I found loud and obnoxious and to put it mildly, enjoyed a drink..

CJ Walley

I've always noticed a bit of a buzz surrounding Aussie films. There's something down and dirty about them that appeals. As for the accent, I find most American's can't tell the difference between an Aussie accent and a British one.

Cherie Grant

I have to dispute that claim CJ. When I visited California I was constantly asked if I was English. Not one person thought I was Aussie.

Chanel Ashley

CJ, I've never heard of anyone English being mistook for an Aussie, but like Cherie in California, everyone thought we were English, not one person suspected I was Australian.

CJ Walley

HA! When I go to the East coast everyone thinks myself and my friends are Australian. Well there you go. I'd suggest it's a East Coast - West Coast thing but I watched a documentary on entrepreneurs in San Fran last week (How to Be a Billionaire - Channel 4) and one of them said he found the same thing, he was English but people, particularly taxi drivers, assumed he was Australian. Perhaps it's just certain regional dialects which seem to cross over.

CJ Walley

This is quite a funny article and the writer proposes a theory related to movies; http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/05/05/australian-british-exp...

Chanel Ashley

Well bugger me, who would have believed, it, pommie bastards mistaken for Aussies, now I've heard everything, lol - seriously, that's very interesting to know, I'm astounded, but there you are - I'm not certain if its a compliment to you guys, as you know, we are a nation of convicts, mmm, and you're mistaken for one of us, hahaha.

Chanel Ashley

While I remember, it's been awhile, CJ, trust all is well with you - the Lounge doesn't quite feel the same when you're not throwing your 2 cents worth - good to see you in a post.

CJ Walley

I take it as a compliment. I assume I must look healthy and have a fantastic tan. But yeah. To help conclude the point it seems a production in Australia should have no fewer accent appeal issues than any production in England outside of London.

Chanel Ashley

Yeah, your photo would suggest a lot of surf and tan, you would like Bondi.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day William, Chanel,Bill, Phillip, Patrick, Alex, John, Cherie, Marlene, Benjamin and Cj.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 wants 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. ( I once toured all of these countries and London too) 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 with English, American and Aussie Actors?. I hope you will enlighten me further,thanks Cheers Ray.

CJ Walley

I really don't think it matters, Raymond. There's plenty to suggest any combination can be successful, especially given the London/Chelsea setting.

Philip Sedgwick

Agree with CJ. And, how many American films have English leads and the same with TV? Heaps.

Steven Fussell

I recently watched Manny Lewis. Nice straight-forward rom com. Any movie featuring Carl Barron and Iced VoVos has a thumbs up in my book.

Chanel Ashley

You are correct, Philip, combine those English with Australian actors and it is astonishing how many have infiltrated the American film industry - can you believe Margo Robbie, Simon Baker, Chris and Liam Hemsworth had roles in our soaps as part of their CV.

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

Thanks Cj, Phillip, Steven and Chanel, 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.

Chanel Ashley

Ray, mate, you ask for a lot and offer so little - no offence, but your effort is a little naive, lift your game, son - you have NO screenplay uploaded here for scrutiny and feedback - your last sentence of your synopsis is embarrassing - why would anyone offer anything considering you have virtually offered NOTHING - there is some wonderful writing talent on this site, in other words COMPETITION - this means you need to raise the standard, YOUR standard - stop fishing for favours, get your script uploaded, allow we mere mortals to review your work, you want FREE, then you must upload if you want FREE - people here are generous with their time and will help you, but you must also help yourself - if you truly believe your work is of the standard required, and sorry, I'm not convinced, send it to Happy Writers for assessment, they will tell you the TRUTH and they will help you "CONNECT with UK and USA movie makers and an agent" - you ASKED how you can do this, I have given you one example - you have received some good advice, exercise it, Ray, and NO, I have not been too mean, only realistic, cheers, mate.

CJ Walley

Ray, that's the hard bit, trying to find industry members you align with. Certainly check out the Stage 32 jobs section for a start. Also check out Happy Writers.

Dov S-S Simens

If they come with OZ Funding...

Raymond ( Ray) Thyer

G'day Chanel, my apologies to you and all Stage 32/ers if that is your understanding of my posts it certainly was not my intention. First I am new to this board and afraid as always that interpretation of my Australian vocabulary be misunderstood particularly in USA. I once tried to write as a female author would with disastrous interpretation of my story and promptly destroyed it at the first person's comments of it, sorry I digress. Two problems exist for me as an Australian Screenwriter, (1) Interpretation of our Australian Vocabulary/words and intent (2) Being too far away from mainstream Hollywood and UK movie makers. I have asked as best I could in my posts here to find the answers that might lead to having my screenplay/s considered in both USA and UK. If I have created the impression of asking a lot and offering nothing it is because of fear of downloading on the internet my screenplay that may be high jacked and made into movies or TV Series without reward to me with only a ten percent change. These matters are still of great concern. Cheers Ray.

Chanel Ashley

Ray, I'm not here to insult you, we all want to help you, but you need to chip in a little as well - I understand and appreciate your fear re your script being stolen/hijacked, it's a fear held by many members here, though I don't subscribe to it - how can we help you if we can't see what your writing capacity is like, how can we offer any assistance if we have bugger-all to go by, put yourself in our shoes - you have a product to sell, but we are not allowed to see it, you want to market this product, but again, we are not allotted an opportunity to assess what you have - why even bother talking to us, go straight to a screenplay competition or have your work assessed by professionals, there are plenty on here at S32 - this ensures your valuable product is hidden from view, safe and sound as we await the opportunity to see it on the big screen - Ray, try a little trust, show something of your work - if you're a genius, it will be acknowledged, if your work sucks, no doubt that will be brought to your attention as well - my opinion, GET IT SEEN, GET IT REVIEWED, GET FEEDBACK, TAKE A PUNT, DO SOMETHING - you have nothing to lose, no one will steal it, the ball is in your court - CJ is highly regarded, I would listen to his advise and suggestions, cheers, mate.

Chanel Ashley

Ray, forgot to add, the odds of your script ideas stolen and made into successful movies and TV series, is fairly remote - your lack of potential reward re your scripts/ideas should be the least of your concerns at this point - remember that footy saying, you're "getting ahead of yourself" - I would heed that advise, keep writing, concentrate on the job at hand, not count the money you "might" make.

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