Screenwriting : How is this for a really dumb idea? by Stephen Thor

Stephen Thor

How is this for a really dumb idea?

Hello all

I wrote a script several years ago. I thought I did most, if not all of the right things. It was reviewed by script consultants. I was on blacklist and even got several evaluations from them, but when I found out that a script that featured a woman sexually connected to her dog was featured, well, I figured out that blacklist was just another scam, not to mention two wildly different scores and levels of competent assist. My biggest credit? Received a Nellis award in the animation to live-action category. Big frigging whoopee.

I tried on Amazon movies. And a few more steps. Results... zip. I sent out literally at least 100 query letters to agents, as Warner Bros. has a patent to one of the names and series that I would like to use, and being an unrepresented nobody, I was lucky if I had received a reply, and some of those were kinda weird in my opinion. Please do not suggest, or suggest it if you must, that I enter a screenwriting contest, it is just that my idea that for my entry fee I get, as the top prize, a half-hour "consultation", usually with some Hollywood has-been who cannot further my script in any way, shape or form, except give me drivel and waste both of our time.

Disillusioned? You bet I am.

Ok, here is my idea. My REAL script involves big-budget and I mean A REALLY BIG BUDGET. It involves transforming a couple of cartoon figures from a series back mostly in the 60's to LIVE ACTION, like so many movies in the last decade based on either cartoon or tv series, cartoon or otherwise. Think Transformers, Ironman, and about a dozen or so others. Remember, cartoon to live action. Or 60's tv series. Heck, even Fred Flintstone had his own live-action movie for crying out lout and most of the others have had like 5-10 sequels. As you all well know, if a movie made over a dime in profits, there will be a sequel. My script involves the FIRST cartoon to fully LIVE ACTION movie for my subjects. And I just get the door slammed in my face on what I think is a terrific idea. Well, here THAT one is:

(and yes, I know about the mis-spelled name in the title... I DO have to think about violating any possible Trademark issues. I would rather not have some lawyer send me a desist order if possible before it even gets off the ground, if ever. What really irritates me is that I discovered that Warner Bros. was finally going to make a movie about (one) of my characters. The problem is that the movie IS STILL A CARTOON! Just friggin great.

Well, forget all of that.

It is my intent to produce or other make in whatever position I might finance a low-budget ($75,000 - $100,000?), one hour indie film, using my own money, or mostly my own money. It would be made partly in the USA, with the other 90% of it made in a specific foreign country which is economically depressed, so I do not think that I would be overpaying for experts. Some of my characters in the USA would be used in the foreign country. I do have some contacts, and I am sure there would be film type people over there who would love the work. Of course, I would need a stunningly beautiful woman to play a major lead. And I do mean stunningly... at least after make-up hahaha. Keeps the guys interested. The movie itself would be largely distributed in this specific country initially. If people think that the film is worth going beyond the borders, well great. I am uninterested in a big, or any profit if it came down to it. What I am interested is having the best film crew that I can afford.

Then, with that under my widening belt, I would use that film as a "credit" for the big IMB page. Maybe It will help. Maybe it won't. The way I figure it, if the Blair Witch can do it, if I can do a hundreth of good as that film, I would consider myself extremely lucky.

What would speed the whole thing forward is some sort of crowd-sourcing or whatever it is called for people who would like to contribute a dollar or three to the project, no matter how it turns out. Does anybody have any ideas or sources for that? Spelled out more specifically... money. And if the movie turns out to be a dog (it won"t be tho), I can only accept money from those who do not view the project as some sort of investment that they are certain to get a return off of in profits. Keep in mind that I am prepared to use my life savings for this and am not depending on a cent from anyone else but of course it would be better if I can receive many cents. The outcome on this depends whether the project is made in 2020 (with many donated cents) or 2010 (no donated cents).

My son and only heir? Well, he would just have to understand and I would have to make sure that the grass over my grave is piss-proof. I could try the old "I have cancer" thing on go-fund-me, but I am pretty sure that one has already been used, plus I do not relish time in prison for fraud.

No, not exactly the first version of "The Producers" type of concept on this one. Gawd, I loved that movie. My favorite scenes is the producers waiting in a nearby bar for patrons of their movie to come in bitching about how lousy their play was, and the Nazi writer who was incensed with his story having being butchered. And a musical at that. How could it not have bombed? No, it is not some kind of "Springtime For Hitler" thing.

Or, maybe some of you "real" accomplished pros might have an idea or two, regarding anything? Or does my idea just plain SUCK? If so, it takes a big man to admit that he is wrong... I am not a big man. And spare me any talk about contests as I am in denial about many things and that one tops the list.


Stephen Thor

The Last Friends of Willie Coyote
The Last Friends of Willie Coyote
Please take a few minutes to look around this site - it's fun! Although there is a lot of Coyote / Roadrunner - related stuff and information in here, the main purpose of this site is so that you can…
Stephen Floyd

Take what you just posted and summarize it in two sentences.

Craig D Griffiths

This is a blog post I stopped reading. Sorry.

Stephen Thor

That is ok, my skin has gotten pretty thick after all this time. No need to be sorry Craig. And Stephen, if what I wrote was a script, it would be pretty hard to put it in 2 sentences. I do not mind detractors. It is just a story on what I plan to do. Please, if anyone else has anything CONSTRUCTIVE to say, then please do it. I stopped listening to a lot of folks over the years. Just after opinions. Myself, when a person writes something on this blog, I read, evaluate and if I feel the needs to comment, then I do. Negativity is all part of it. What I do not do, ever, is to write anything negative to anyone here, even if they deserve it.

I figure if someone has the guts to either ask for constructive advice or wants to tell a story, well, I listen. Some won't. And that is ok. But to pile on or insult is simply something I refuse to do, as I have respect for writers, good or bad, new or old. If I feel I can help, I do. If I feel I cannot, I don't. This is all just my opinion. Personally, I really like to read other perspectives, even if I do not agree... like I said, thick skin. If anybody got scared off, I do feel sorry about that. Goodby for now and I will let you know how it turned out. I guess the moral of my story, right or wrong, is that I am ready to try something different.

Craig D Griffiths

A script in two sentences is a logline, it is possible (I have a book on the subject).

I don’t think I am the only one that dips into the lounge on a phone. A post this long feels horrible on a phone. You probably have some valid points to make. Just make it easier.

Stephen Floyd

(If you want the unvarnished version) I think it is a bad idea, for a few reasons. There is no way to render Looney Toons characters in live action outside of putting people in cheesy costumes. Do you mean CGI characters superimposed in a live-action world, like Rocky and Bullwinkle? Because that would be more practical. Second, I don’t think there’s any desire among an audience to know what ultimately happens to the roadrunner and coyote because that’s not why we enjoy them to begin with. They aren’t characters that arc or do anything outside the bounds of silly antics in short cartoons. But that’s why we enjoy them. It’s predictable, two-dimensional slap-stick. To want to know the end of the story overlooks the fact that there is no actual story beyond guessing how long it takes an ACME gadget to explode. Third—and most important—is you do not have the rights from Warner Bros. to write this, nor do I imagine they would be in a mood to grant such rights. So that sinks the whole ship from the beginning. If it is your passion to write this story, write it. But be not surprised if it never leaves the page.

Dan MaxXx

Do you have another idea besides road runner & Coyote? Something you can do simple, establish a track record first and aim for franchise characters after.

Even if you were doing this idea as an expensive hobby with your own $$, how would you physically make a live action road runner & Coyote?. That new Lion King movie with CGI photogenic animals is not cheap. $100 grand won’t even cover a pre vis layout.

Stephen Thor

Thanks Dan for the reply, it is both logical and helpful. Yes, I do have another idea, and I think it is a pretty good one (but who doesn't haha). That is kinda why I wrote "Well, forget all of that" above to dismiss the coyote concept for now. But you do bring up some very valid points. The short indie film has nothing to do with the coyote movie... way too expensive for me, even if I was a millionaire. And that would be just the start of the issues I would be running into, some of which I have solved, some I have not.

There is little to no cgi in my short. And I think your suggestion about establishing a track record was kinda what I was getting at in the "forget all about that" line. It might not even get out of the country I plan to film it in, but it is a story (having nothing to do with any coyotes or roadrunners) that nearly everyone there over the age of about 20 knows, or has heard about.

It is about a legend that is true, but one that, in real life, has factually attracted many thousands in the searching and endless speculation, rumours, lies, fear, conjecture, confusion, murders, corruption and betrayal. The stakes involved has consumed more than several lives and ruined even more in the real world, but I believe in happy endings so it would be like a false documentary, using some reality mixed in with fiction, a reality show and a movie, all rolled into one, using largely local talent and resources. I believe a basic storyboard and a great script would be a good, if not complete, start.

Again, thanks Dan, your thoughts are more appreciated than you are aware of. As far as the coyote movie is concerned, I have ironed out the more complicated issues having had years to work on it... I think... however it might be more useful as a idea concept or writing sample than an actual doable script because mainly, my story is way too dark than big stuffed animals (or birds), and that is just for starters... I just wish somebody, anybody would write something about it in live-action. Ironman #6 or Fantastic whatever #4 and all these dam sequels is starting to get a little old... Stephen Thor

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