Screenwriting : Guardians Of The Galaxy, And It's Implications by Rob Mc

Rob Mc

Guardians Of The Galaxy, And It's Implications

So Guardians Of The Galaxy has come out, to immense plaudits. Instant Classic some say, and others similar. For me this is the best movie I've seen in years, and only Inception has come close to the sheer excitement I've felt at a movie theatre since. That said, it is an odd film in itself. Completely new characters, one a Racoon and another a Tree. The eighties music, the humourous style going against the serious nature of what has been seen in recent years, Nolan's Batman trilogy being the biggest example. I talk about this because I wonder if it will change what scripts make it to the big screen. I've heard it said that people struggle to get into fantasy without a book behind it (say, Game Of Thrones or Harry Potter) can that now change? Speaking as one of those who likes to write stuff treading the line of sanity, I hope so.

William Martell

No. Even though you may not know who GUARDIANS are, you still have to look at the genesis of the film: the path that story took to the screen. It was a popular comic book with 2 major incarnations. How the movie came to be: Marvel had a program where they paid promising new writers to find a lesser known Marvel comic book to adapt to the screen, and this came from that program. Because Marvel is the studio behind the film, they basically hired a writer to adapt an existing comic book, the same as if they hired someone to write the next IRON MAN movie. So this changes nothing at all. It was never a spec script, and it was not original characters. And humor has been an important part of the Marvel movies since the first IRON MAN, this film just has a little more humor than usual.

Cherie Grant

Just saw it a few days ago. Enjoyed it, but I sure can't see how it will change anything. I've seen FAR more avant guard films than this.

William Martell

There are two kinds of "good", one is much more important than the other. The first kind of "good" is whether it sells lots of tickets and whether those ticket buyers love it and will recommend it to their friends. The other kind of good is what critics think of it (which may include us, because we pick apart movies). GotG not only broke August box office records, it has managed to break second weekend records. Oh, and that is because the people who bought tickets on opening weekend gave it an A in the audience poll CinemaScore. Compare that with INTO THE STORM which only got a B from the audience, and LUCY which got a C plus... and took a major nosedive in its second weekend when people told their friends the film stunk. The critic's response on Rotten Tomatoes is 92 percent, which is very good. Compare that to EXPENDABLES 3 which is currently at 37 percent. The critic response often impacts "shelf life" of a film. A movie doesn't end life in the cinema, it goes to TV and cable and video platforms and streaming and years later there will be a second push for video platform sales. Oh, and sequels. A film like LUCY has little chance of a sequel, but also may have a short life in all of those other venues. Plus, no one will want to own a LUCY plush toy or wear LUCY underoos or sleep in LUCY sheets. The film may have opened at #1, but it has a short shelf life due to that low audience grade. GotG does not have that problem. Both the audience and the critics have given it good marks. What GotG does have is an article about "post plot cinema" using it as an example... except it is by far not the greatest offender of having a weak plot, and plot is not everything. It is just one of the many many elements that make up a story. What GotG does have in bulk are emotional moments, which trump plot every time. We are in the "emotion picture" business, and people may not remember the plot of some film, but they remember if it made them cry, or made them laugh, or kept them in suspense, or scared the crap out of them. In the case of GotG there are two scenes where people say they cried... which is unusual for a comic book movie. I think the Marvel theory of making fun superhero movies is genius, because more people will want to experience the fun of a movie like GotG again (shelf life) than the seriousness of DARK KNIGHT (which came close to being nominated for an Oscar). Movie like WINTER SOLDIER and IRON MAN 3 have balanced humor and serious subject matter to create films you want to see again that are really about something.

Carlos Pena

Just watched this last night and three words is how I summarized it to friends: Big. F*cking. Fun. The movie mixed good action sequences with well timed comedic elements. Pratt was excellent in the role and should continue to do so in the follow up sequels.

William Martell

AVATAR made 2 Best Unproduced Screenplay lists almost a decade before it was made. The script had no FX and was not in 3D... it was just a very well regarded screenplay. And like GotG: critics loved AVATAR and it was nominated for Best Picture Oscar. If you write movies that don't make money they stop buying your scripts and stop hiring you and no one ever sees what you have written. End of career.

Fay Devlin

We are Groot!

William Martell

Here's the thing: what I personally like or dislike doesn't matter at all. Aside from that gag in BACHELOR PARTY there are no one seat cinemas. Film is a mass market medium. Even a niche film plays in a cinema with hundreds of seats. If a small percentage of people don't like GotG it doesn't matter, and those people do not matter. Those are a few seats in a world full of multiplexes. What does matter to a film is word of mouth (Cinemascore rating) and box office (money) and to a lesser degree what the majority of professional film critics say (because that often has to do with long term profits when the film becomes a library title). To the studio or producer, all of those things are money. To the writer, all of those things are a happy audience... as storytellers we have told a story which strikes a chord. A story which provided an emotional experience. We have communicated genuine feels to that audience. People named their children after characters in AVATAR. Imagine writing something that powerful. There are no one seat cinemas. A movie is written for millions of people around the world. A mass audience is the essence of this medium.

William Martell

Marvel Studios knows exactly what they will be making up until 2019 (hey, that's five years) because those films have already been scheduled. May 3, 2019 they have a movie coming out. But those films don't have screenwriters, yet... and since GUARDIANS was a new screenwriter (Nicole Perlman) hired off a space disaster spec screenplay, there is a very good chance they will be open to new writers with great screenplays in similar genres for their films in five years... and past that date. And nothing in this thread is about trying to follow the lead of GotG anyway, so this is some odd thread drift.

William Martell

Yes, and this conversation is about the Marvel movie GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

Cherie Grant

no william, it's about her.

Dillon Mcpheresome

Rob I haven't seen the movie but are you wondering if writers have to come up with characters very different and wild to make it on the screen? And if you only have human characters they won't make it. Did you see "Her"?

M Powers

I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday and one of the things that struck me in one scene was that the dialogue could have been pulled right out of an AA or NA meeting. They were even in a circle. It was interesting to think that an everyday experience (for some) can be rewritten to fit a completely different concept. Excellent movie.

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