Screenwriting : Screenplay Title by Claude Gagne

Claude Gagne

Screenplay Title

I've changed my mind about writing a gangster, comedy screenplay. I'm going into the creepy, beastly story I had started last year. I've chosen a title but I'd like your take on the length. Is 'WARNING: KEEP YOUR CATS AND DOGS INSIDE,' too long? I've done some research when I moved here that a beast they call, 'MUGWUMP' has been heard but not seen in Lake Temiskaming over the years. So I decided to have a Conservation Officer be the protagonist to find out why pets are disappearing from the backyards in the district. I have to make it entertaining. lol. What do you think of my challenge? Thanks for that.

Maurice Vaughan

Some successful movies have long titles, Claude Gagne, but I try to keep my titles short. One reason is it's easy for an audience to remember a short title. "WARNING: KEEP YOUR CATS AND DOGS INSIDE" sounds like a Horror/Comedy, but your script might be Horror/Comedy. You could use "MUGWUMP" as a title. It's short and interesting. Or "THE MUGWUMP."

Claude Gagne

Thanks Maurice Vaughan It's not a comedy. It seems horror is the hot topic these days. I'll try my hand on it. You never know maybe I'm the gruesome writer inside me. I think you're right. I'd like a take on others out there. I remember a movie I saw a ways back, I don't know if you ever saw it, 'Batteries not included." Three words. "THE MUGWUMP" seems like the likely choice but it lacks something. Not scary enough. I'll keep "Warning:... as a working title for now. Thanks for commenting.

Nathan Smith

You could use the name of the lake in your title. I agree that the "WARNING:" title makes it sound more like a comedy and if your focus is more straight horror the title should reflect it or at least be something chilling or thought provoking. "The Monster of Lake Temiskaming", "Beneath Lake Temiskaming", "The Mugwump of Lake Temiskaming", or if you want to really play up the missing pet angle "Lost: Dog" etc.

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Claude Gagne. I like Nathan Smith's lake title idea.

Craig Court

You could make the title slightly ironic and call it DOG FOOD (i.e. the dog is the food) Just a thought.

Claude Gagne

Funny Craig... The titles are still long, Nathan. For now all this thing eats are cats and dogs, but this is only the beginning. I hope I don't make Temiskaming Shores another macabre town as in the Steven King's books. I hadn't checked my documents and it sat there with eight pages. So now that I have my first plot point down all I need now is to find out what this Mugwump is. I still don't know! Cheers all.

Sydney Summers

I think your title is spot on, love it!

Claude Gagne

Thanks, Sydney. You like my long one? I'll take 'Your' out. A little shorter. I did research today on my beast. I've become a ghastly person. I hear horror is hot. What do you think, Sydney?

Jessica Novinger

I think a working title is important but the majority of titles change anyhow. Stranger Things was Montauk while being developed for instance.

Choose something that resonates with you. One thing I stick to is beats of three syllables.

Sam Cochran

You could probably keep it to "Keep Your Cats And Dogs Inside", the warning is implied in the message.

Sydney Summers

Claude Gagne Horror is very hot right now. I like the long one a lot !

Claude Gagne

Before I even begin to write the screenplay, I need a working title, the beginning, and the ending. I was going to title it, 'The Mugwump' as mentioned before, but "Batteries Not Included" came to mind, and then it struck me, 'WARNING: Keep Your Cats and Dogs Inside.' Every now and again, on our daily walk my wife will strangely look at me and say, "Are you with your Mugwump again?" And I'd reply what was on my mind. I'll drift off to a sticky point in the screenplay. "I need to go that way now. Scare the crap out of them." And she sort of looks the other way, pissed off I wasn't paying attention to her. Surprising how a bit of fresh air will get you thinking.

Thanks for all your suggestions. It may not even that title, but thanks Jessica, Sam, and Sydney for your comments. I really appreciate it.

Sam Mannetti

Agree with Sam on this one!

Sydney Summers

Please keep us in the loop with your journey!

Other topics in Screenwriting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In