Screenwriting : I don't know. - Wow! by Stevan Šerban

Stevan Šerban

I don't know. - Wow!

How many times have you spoken one of these two comments after watching the movie?

Someone wrote the script. Some people liked this script. Someone has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make a movie. Thousands of people participated in the making of the movie. The best marketing experts have organized a promotional campaign.

In the end, I take two hours of my free time to watch the movie. My wife, who was watching the movie with me, asks me: "And?" And I say to her: "I don't know".

Someone made two billion dollars on the hundred and fifty million dollars invested, but my comment is still: "I don't know."

Of the ten films you've watched, how many times have you said: "I don't know." And how many times: "Wow !"

Christopher Phillips

I like most movies that I watch, made for $10k or made for $100m. But, on occasion, I will watch a movie that has some rough spots and they are usually expensive movies that just got away from what they started out to do.

Stevan Šerban

Once upon a time, people wondered what we had learned from the movie we were watching.

I still wonder that after every watched movie. Art always has a dose of educational value. Maybe I'm wrong?

Dan MaxXx

I watch lots of movies, maybe over 200 new films a year. I'd guess half are indie movies by nobodies, first-timers, seasoned pros. I will say the bar is extremely high just to be noticed, the next big thing/storytellers reinventing "cinema" don't come around much in a generation.

Stevan Šerban

So it would be better if that money was spent to feed the hungry people on the planet?

Christopher Phillips

Ignoring the microbudget projects where people don't get paid, the film, TV, and distribution and display industry all employ a lot of people. Even if the movie isn't artistically the most perfect film, a large crew of people made, edited, mixed, and distributed the film. If it makes it to the theater, many people are employed to get it projected and are well fed with popcorn and soda. And in the end, there are the streaming platforms, and cable and TV. So, even a mediocre film feeds a lot of people.

Doug Nelson

Dan M - those are the very types of films I feature on my Independent Filmmaker's Showcase cable network program - any of 'em you want to send my way; go for it.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Stevan Šerban I don't know how often I am confused by a film, although I know how often I wonder why certain films are greenlit and others are left to die in post. Then again, maybe that's a statement on how often I watching challenging films LOL!

James Hoey

That happens more often than not for us. We watch at least one b-movie or indie film a week for our podcast, and truth be told we watch far more than that. Our primary goal is to give recognition to everyone involved for even getting the film made. We may not like some of them, but that's our opinion. Making a film is a huge thing. Getting it in front of others, even bigger. Sometimes the story isn't good. Sometimes the acting is not great. In all cases though, something was made and it deserves a hat tip just for that.

Nick Assunto - Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator

If you're talking about the quality of the film, there's a lot of scenarios that can happen. The first one that scares me the most as a writer, is the script started out great but then someone came on board and forced changes like an actor, director, or producer. Another thing is the idea was greenlit off the pitch from someone already successful, and they then had a time constraint or just tried something new and didn't hit it out of the park. Studios make less-than films because they're making decisions off the numbers. This genre has done well. This writer's scripts have high box office returns. This director had that hit show. And when indie films are bad, well, that's just either newer film maker, failed experiment, or not enough money. You've probably heard people say it's a miracle anything good ever gets made. There are so many things that can go wrong, and since the money was already invested they have to release. Warning signs are usually not opening the film for critics, skipping theaters and going to on demand, or an absolutely over the top and noisy ad campaign to try to make up the money.

William Martell

No movie makes $2b or $1b unless the film had repeat customers and great word of mouth. Lots of people had to love it.

When ever I see a film that everyone loves but me, I wonder what I am missing.

Obviously it's not the rest of the world that is out of sync, it's me.

Movies are a mass audience medium. That's who I am writing for. If I don't understand why they loved something enough to see it more than once, I need to figure that out. I need to learn what I am missing in my scripts, and factor that in. I need to learn.

Christopher Phillips

Karen "Kay" Ross I read an article eons ago from a writer that talked about being hired to put together a script in 6 weeks. The producer had access to some used movie sets and wanted to shoot something before the sets were taken down. Sometimes things get put together because everyone's schedule is aligned, not because it's the best of projects.

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