Screenwriting : Screenwriting and explicit topics by John Radtke

John Radtke

Screenwriting and explicit topics

With Fifty Shades of Grey coming out will this enable screenwriters to write more sexually explicit material?

Ardua de Potomac

Yeah, I guess nobody ever thought to write porn before.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Washington Post critic EMILY YAHR wrote: "I brought a stopwatch to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to time the sex scenes. It was surprisingly challenging." http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/02/13/i-brought-a...

Cynthia Hochhalter

The story started out as fanfic for which porn is at it's core for the most part. This movie is another 9 1/2 Weeks. Lots of sex, little plot.

Laddie Ervin

Fifty Shades was not a spec script.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Nope. This changes nothing. Set aside the "contrived" content and consider only the story; at its core, it is just the old stereotypical tale of the rich, worldly man saving/educating/liberating the simple, innocent, wide-eyed, small town girl -- romantic novel fantasy. In regards to its story, it's actually cliché rather than risqué.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oh, and didn't the French basically give this film their equivalent of a "PG-13" rating? 12 Certificate or something? ;)

John Radtke

Thank you for all the comments. I wrote this sex comedy and have been pitching it around. I was curious to see what other people felt about sex in screenwriting.

Pierre Langenegger

@Beth. A retelling of Pygmalion? ;)

Anthony Cawood

Just back from watching 50 Shades, underwhelming on all levels... think the themes were done much better in 9 1/2 weeks.

Pierre Langenegger

Anthony, were there many guys in the audience?

Anthony Cawood

A fair few, I'd estimate that the audience was 70% couples and 30% girls... was a Valentine's special screening though, champagne on tap, boutique cinema etc... completely sold out too.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey, Pierre, we talkin' myth or play? LOL!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Anthony, did they also have the Valentine's Day "Mr. Grey" teddy bear with his little gray suit and little handcuffs at the screening? I saw a display of them at my local grocery store!? Hilarious! Or, at least good marketing, yes? ;)

Anthony Cawood

No Beth, we had a 'goodie' bag but didnt include a teddy, shame that would have worked!

Robin Juliet

Boundaries in sexuality can be pushed by writers now because new, more mainstream audiences have flocked to _50 Shades_ (I'm referring to the books--the jury's still out on the movie). This is especially true in terms of audiences with limited partners/experience who are now questioning whether their fantasies and kinks can be explored safely and without stigma. What is different this time around is many more people who previously would have feared/shunned/ignored their own sexual stirrings are talking about spicing up their sex lives. Vast audiences are curious about what they can do themselves--in their own lives-- instead of seeing a movie or TV show as a fantasy that would only happen to someone else. The key to _50 Shades_ isn't the writing or the billionaire or any of those other things--it made a splash because it allowed the reader/viewer to enter a world they're curious about . . . from the perspective of the outsider (Ana) instead of from an insider they cannot relate to.

Owen Mowatt

Pushing boundaries because of 50 shades?? Has no one seen Antichrist???

Diego Lopes Silveira

50 Shades of Grey did nothing that hasn't been done before. And I'm not gonna lie - IT HAD potential to be an interesting story either way. But it was so poorly developed it hurts. Anyway, I think this does allow filmmakers to think of a more sexual content without so much restraint.

Robin Juliet

@Owen. Nope. It's not mainstream. That was my point.

Anthony Cawood

There have been a few recent examples that have pushed boundaries in terms of sexual content on screen, Nymphomaniac, Blue is the Warmest Colour to name a couple from last year... but as Robin points out - they are not mainstream (though both are available on UK Netflix now)... Hollywood is still a little scared of sexual content in mainstream films, so we get 50 Shades which is frankly just a little dull, it certainly isn't 'sexy' to any degree.

Robin Juliet

@Beth This may seem like a trivial distinction, but Ana saves Christian--not the other way around. That's a big part of this genre and why it's so popular with the intended audience (vanilla women). The fantasy is being able to turn the bad boy.

Robin Juliet

@Anthony Oh how I wanted to like _Nymphomaniac_, but I couldn't bear to watch the second installment I disliked the first so much. To support your point, I saw it at the local (Denver), almost empty art house theater.

Beth Fox Heisinger

I totally understand your point, Robin. Nothing wrong with exploration -- again, to each their own! But, I think what makes Fifty Shades so contrived is that they are taking something typically considered taboo and presenting it in a mainstream, safe, conventional way. It's not authentic. I find it absolutely bizarre to be standing in line at a grocery store and see these "Mr. Grey" teddy bears, as if bondage is mainstream. It isn't. Fifty Shades is pure female fantasy, and a very limited one at that. A huge part of this particular fantasy is exactly that; a "perfect" rich man who swoops in and "saves" an average girl; pays attention only to her; that she is "special" in some way. This is a fantasy commonly read in romance novels. We see a similar idea in the teen girl fantasy, Twilight. If this film was truly about the world of bondage and its psychological aspects it probably would be more interesting -- at least in terms of story. As far as Fifty Shades "allowing filmmakers to think of more sexual content without restraint," Diego, I kindly disagree. This film was not that disruptive, nor shocking. It didn't change a thing. There's far too much out there already that is considered more risqué, particularly in regular TV programing, not film. ;)

Anthony Cawood

@ Robin, agree re Nymphomaniac... I've still not watched part two, thought the first was just a little dull. Blue is the Warmest Colour however is excellent! @ Beth, agree it takes a taboo subject and then belittles it and plays completely safe... this is epitomised when they are discussing the contract and get to the subject of anal fisting, it's quickly crossed off the contract and the film does exactly the same with anything that could be considered transgressive.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sure, Robin, I can see the "fixing" the "bad boy" girl fantasy element here too... But, yet again, another trite aspect to this story. It's redundant, it's cliché, no matter if it's dressed in leather or lace. The falsity here is "belittling" -- as Anthony so clearly pointed out -- not only to the subject it explores but also to its audience. A better twist to these typical tropes would have been to flip it; if Mr. Grey was Ms. Grey, and perhaps Ana was "Andy." Personally, I'm interested in story above all else. And, this one is lacking... Stephen King said this about Fifty Shades: "I read Fifty Shades Of Grey and felt no urge to go on. They call it mommy porn, but it's not really mommy porn. It is highly charged, sexually driven fiction for women who are, say, between 18 and 25."

Beth Fox Heisinger

Okay, can we please not use the word "fisting" in any context. I think I'm gonna throw up... :/

Tawny Stokes

I think it's brilliant how well its doing at the boxoffice. Because it will hopefully open doors to more boundary pushing stories and kill the stupidity of Hollywood saying women's movies don't make $$. But the fact is, the movie would never have been made if the books didn't sell over 100 million copies.

Beth Fox Heisinger

...I give up. As a woman, I do not consider this to be a 'women's film.' This film is blatant mainstream pandering and a well-executed sales ploy. This is all about money. That's it. Nothing more. Nothing will come of it except bad reviews, and of course, a sequel.

Tawny Stokes

It is a woman's film though Beth, the books were written by a woman, read by millions of women, screenplay by a woman and directed by a woman, the story is about a woman and her experience with a domineering billionaire who introduces her to a BDSM lifestyle (which the books/film doesn't depict well at all) and her sexual awakening. How is that not a 'woman's film'?

Beth Fox Heisinger

Let's not generalize, nor assume that this film appeals to all women -- it does not. And, frankly, a man bestowing a "sexual awakening" on a woman doesn't quite fit the ideal of pro-female messaging, even if she "saves" him emotionally in the end. It still is rather male focused. The fact that women were behind the making of this movie actually makes me feel a little sad... This dream line-up would have been really exciting to see on something more relevant, rather than on titillation.

Tawny Stokes

I don't think its for every woman. Absolutely. Just like Expendables isn't for every man. I know I didn't read the books nor will see the movie. I just think its just a good thing because it has empowered women to seek out whatever turns them on, regardless if its your thing or my thing. The books may be badly written and the movie poorly executed and acted but I say HELLA for the making of it. I think it will open more doors for all women to write and tell stories that matter to them.

Tawny Stokes

But I'm thinking maybe you and I will have to agree to disagree. :-) And that's awesome, because we can.

Anthony Cawood

I think the problem here is that Tawny is right, this is a film created for women after the women bought those 3 books, in their millions... so we now have a film, for those same women, making millions (200+ over weekend), that will be followed by two further films that are equally as poor. The fact that the film is created by women, is that any more than a good marketing ploy? And the problem with all this is that Tawny is right... but Beth should be. The story/film as it is peddles a negative female image, in my opinion, and if Christian Grey had been a plumber, rather than a billionaire, we'd see this as a destructive and abusive relationship - which it is really. Hollywood doesn't really care though, as long as it makes money, and that's always been the case. Remember Pretty Woman? Message was clear, get a great life, husband etc... through prostitution... made a fortune.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey Tawny, of course, we can agree to disagree. However, I don't think we really were, perhaps just looking at this from different perspectives. :)

Tawny Stokes

Yeah Beth, you're probably right. :-)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Anthony, I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you so much for your insightful comments. Yes, this whole thing is upside down. I find it very sad, very disturbing. There's this standard "male-gaze" that the world seems to look through -- a dictated gender expression that is perpetuated by men as well as by women. I would love to support this film, but I cannot. This truly is a negative portrayal of a woman but disguised to be "okay" simply because it was made by women.

Anthony Cawood

@Lisa - turn of phrase, Girls = women, in this case middle aged women out with their girlfriends after a bottle of Pinot Grigio or two and acting like school girls - given the amount of juvenile giggling going on ;-) And yes, Secretary is a much better film on every level!

Anthony Cawood

Thanks for the advice Lisa, I won't take my club or any of my other caveman paraphernalia, should I ever get that meeting. ;-)

Shari D. Frost

I'm totally in Beth Fox Heisinger's camp on this one. But what I'm also struggling with is the fact this this was a horribly written book (so bad I couldn't even make it all the way to the end) turned into a horribly written script. To quote just one of the reviews I read, "The problem is that as a character, Anastasia makes no sense. Her behavior has no logic, no pattern, no coherent set of causes or boundaries." Yet look at all the money it's making. It just makes me really sad for all the truly talented novelists, screenwriters and storytellers of all kinds who are struggling to put quality work out there. Said reviewer also noted, "W. H. Auden once wrote that "the proof that pornography has no literary value is that, if one attempts to read it in any other way than as a sexual stimulus, one is bored to tears." See what I'm saying? When I compare box office figures for Birdman ($36 million after months and months, and VOD) to Fifty Shades ($250 million in its opening weekend) I feel ill.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Well said, Shari. Thank you. I've been feeling ill all weekend and the sadness still lingers today. Everywhere I look, there it is... mocking me, mocking everyone really. This is the part of the industry that makes me question why am I trying to be a part of it. Why? Luckily, my inner voice of reason kicks in and tells me to just keep going. This too shall pass. ...Well, at least, until the sequel. :)

Kristopher Rickards

When rubbish action "pornography" films makes the equivalent money, does that make you off colour, too? Often the sequel makes more money than the first. The majority of the paying audience don't wish to think too much on their night off.

Owen Mowatt

Some excellent points here and I agree with all but one. It is very common knowledge that the book this was based on was pretty damn awful, it is also quite well known that the film is bad too. This alone stops me in my tracks from seeing this film. Am I missing something as to why you guys went to see it? if nothing else, surely you can see that this action has help make this film so popular. Not claiming any high ground here, just curious :)

Kristopher Rickards

It's not a film I'd go to watch. But I think people are going "for a laugh".

Anthony Cawood

@Owen, I reserve the right to watch rubbish if my wife suggests it, then we can both agree afterwards (which we did), that it was indeed rubbish - but at least we've seen it and can comment knowledgeably. (Neither of us had read the books) I think in reality the core audience is built in for this franchise, they bought a gagillion books afterall and are all going to see it, mny will be disappointed because the picture they've got in their minds eye won't be on screen. I'd be very interested to see how the box office is for 2 and 3 when people like my and my wife don't go see it, should take a couple of 000 million off the box office. @Kristopher - yep rubbish 'action porn' does make me feel off colour too, but largely because there is such good quality action out there that I feel sad that people put out dross like latest Transformers, but then I put Die Hard on and everything is okay again. Actually, I reserve the right to watch rubbish, and then comment on it, I do it week in and week out at my film review site www.subterrene.co.uk ;-)

Danny Manus

The only thing 50 Shades proves is that women, as consumers, are as stupid, desperate and easily manipulated as men. And that all those women who complain incessantly about how all men wanna see are explosions and tits, should take a look at the movie ticket they bought this weekend and hang their head in shame. And by the way, porn doesn't make equivalent money to Hollywood. in 2013, total worldwide grosses for all films in every country made $38 Billion. Porn made $97 Billion.

Kristopher Rickards

Hi Danny, where are those figures from? It just seems a bit shocking.

Danny Manus

From boxofficemojo, Google and CNBC. Those are real stats.

Kristopher Rickards

The $38 billion is just the box office figure. Whereas the $97 billion figure (from 2006) includes a large variety of "services".

Beth Fox Heisinger

...This doesn't need to get derogatory. Just saying...

LindaAnn Loschiavo

TWO writers - - Kelly Marcel (screenplay), E.L. James (novel) - - must be CRYING ----- all the way to the bank. :-D

Danny Manus

Kelly Marcel wanted her name taken off but she did get paid a ton of money. she was also rewritten as 2 or 3 writers were hired after her to work on the script.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

That trip to the bank to deposit a huge paycheck - - - tsk! Must be so difficult. LOL. :-D

Beth Fox Heisinger

The director also did not get along with the book author. They fought a lot. The director has not signed on for the sequels. More than likely someone else will direct. Anyway, I don't care how much money this film makes -- it's crap. It's just a marketing ploy. It's straight up pandering. I wish the general public would snap out of it and stop being so easily tricked into wasting their money.

JC Hess

I remain committed to the simple rule: Tell me a good story. That's it. That's all.

Peter Elliott

You can write into your contract that you reserve the right to remove your name if you think your script was raped or you just hate the movie or whatever...

Michael Eddy

No one has ever stopped anyone from writing sexually explicit material. The Supreme Court years ago defined it as "knowing it when I see it". That doesn't necessarily enhance the chances of it getting made. No studio wants an X-rated film (or NC-17) because they can't advertise on TV and most newspapers won't accept ads. Back in 1969 - "MIDNIGHT COWBOY" was released with an X-rating - and to this day - remains the only film in history to win the Oscar as Best Picture with an X. Watching it now - it's pretty tame (there is a very fast shot of full frontal female nudity) and it has since be re-rated as an R. 50 Shades is a huge hit - both as a novel and a book. Would a studio have made this movie if submitted as a sepc script - without a best selling series of novels blazing the trail first - I highly doubt it. So your query begs the question - because there has never been an embargo on how a piece is written - only if it's good and/or commercial. 50 Shades is lousy - but apparently commercial. I doubt it will open the floodgates for similar crap to get made. And remember - there are still 2 more books to go - and the leads signed for both.

Chanel Ashley

Beth, we have completely different mindsets so I will tread carefully and avoid any unnecessary conflict - I get the impression you yourself have not seen the film, yet you provide substantial commentary on a work unseen via your presumptions, but, if you have seen the film, that dilutes your argument re "marketing ploy", "..pandering. I wish the the general public would snap out of it and stop being so easily tricked into wasting their money" - if I may ask, which is it? - Commentary on a movie you haven't seen, or one of the public easily tricked into wasting your money? Personally, I think it's wonderful a film is such a financial success, whether it's to my taste or otherwise, nobody is forced to see it - I've read the book and enjoyed it, but I haven't seen the film.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Chanel, I'm not sure I understand what you are asking me... But, no, I have not seen it. I will not. I have read the synopsis. I know the story. I have glanced at the script; the first 30 pages or so? I couldn't read further cause it was bad in my opinion. I have friends who have seen the film -- they didn't like it. I have read reviews. I know a lot of the film's production details. I have done some research. I have seen clips. I have seen the trailers. I know more about this film then I really care to. I personally do not need to see it in its entirety to form a solid opinion about it. And, of course, it is just that -- my opinion. You have your own as does everyone else. :) I have also said repeatedly on threads about this film, "to each their own!" I have also said, repeatedly, that I don't care about the content -- sexual or otherwise. Chanel, c'mon, you know how much I care about "story" over everything else, right?! LOL! And, I do consider it to be a marketing ploy -- I used to work in marketing and advertising. Have you read the comments made by others on this thread? I'm not the only one that feels this way about this film. ...But, again, to each their own! ;)

Chanel Ashley

Wow, synopsis, story, script, friends who have seen the movie, reviews, production details, research, clips, trailers…and from all this you have formed a comprehensive opinion of a film you have not seen and a book you have probably not read - fair enough, as you say, it's only an opinion - I don't necessarily disagree with you and you are probably correct on most points, I'm simply SURPRISED at the level of commentary expressed here, some members HAVE actually seen the film, imagine that, lol - our local paper film critic gave it two and a half stars and he wasn't impressed except for the female lead - I haven't seen it so I can't comment, but I read the book and thought it was okay - so nothing personal, Beth, again, just my surprise over the extended commentary on an okay film from an okay book - actually, you do care about "story" and of course that is important, can't disagree with you there, but I LIKED the story in the book and disagree with many above observations re the tale, you know, "rich guys saves/teaches young girl new tricks, etc, etc" - so what, did it really warrant so much discussion and dissection here? Marketing ploy? Perhaps? They made a lot of money, I say good luck to them.

Danny Manus

The problem is, if you LIKED the book, your opinion honestly can't be taken seriously. Not as a writer.

Veleka Gray

That film is a Cinderella story. Write that.

Chanel Ashley

Danny, I presume your comment is directed towards me, I don't follow - how can me LIKING the book preclude me from being taken seriously as a writer? It is a massive seller so I'm no orphan in that I liked the book - while I read the book, I pictured how I would have made this into a movie, as in writing the screenplay - I often read your comments and we are usually in accord, but you've lost me on this, one - the general consensus above appears to suggest they DIDN'T like the book, so why is their opinion more relevant?

Owen Mowatt

I think Danny means that in the same way someone who appreciates cooking, cant be taken seriously if they believe that MacDonalds is good food. ...especially on a cookery forum. You could also throw in the Transformers argument here too. Took buckets of money but from a filming POV is ugly and rotten in almost every conceivable way.

Chanel Ashley

Hey, Owen, don't disagree with Transformers - not sure I agree with your other argument, I love the Game of Thrones books and the series is an excellent representation of those books, so does this mean my opinion can't be taken seriously? Sorry, this argument does not compute, there are many that would suggest GOT's is trash, but I think it's excellent writing - film isn't solely about art, it's also a business, so if Michael Bay can generate over $1billion from Transformers, who are we to judge, I say good luck to him

Tawny Stokes

I hope that's not what Danny meant Owen. I could say the same thing about Pacific Rim. Anyone who liked the film couldn't possible understand what good film is. That's my opinion. Period. Just as if someone liked 50 Shades. That's their opinion. Furthermore I'm pretty sure Chanel didn't say the books were good, but that she liked them. I don't think anyone is saying that the book is great literature, because it isn't. It's poorly written but that's not why people read the books... they read them for the story, it spoke to over 100 million people.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey Chanel. There's more here that causes concern and discussion, more than just a movie -- societal response; negative portrayal of a woman; an abusive relationship glamorized, celebrated and accepted; cliché storyline; disingenuous use of a "taboo" world to incite attention; not authentic; marketing that world to seem "safe" mainstream when it truly isn't; it was made 100% for money; no art; no meaningful message; no craft; offers nothing really fresh or new; purely spectacle. The fact that poorly written books are so "popular" and now the film is making over 200 million causes a lot of us to feel ill. Personally, I feel very sad. More so, because we finally have this dream line up of all women behind the making of this film and it's not "good" for the reasons listed above. That it's about titillation and not about something more relevant, more important, more artistic, more meaningful -- something MORE. That's what stirred my attention and commentary.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sorry... fixed my typo. I really should not type before I've had my coffee. :/

Owen Mowatt

....or after your gin. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey man, the only thing in my coffee is some sugar free creamer. ;)

Chanel Ashley

Beth, my difficulty is not in your opinion, you are entitled to that, but in the length and breadth of your commentary re a book you have NOT read and a movie you have NOT seen - surely you can comprehend where I'm coming from - you've seen the trailer, wow, so what, so have I and I thought it was pretty good and the production values superior to my expectations - I cannot disagree with many of your observations that you proliferate on these pages and I completely understand where you are coming from, IF one held that point of view, which I DON"T - it is NOT a poorly written BOOK, it's ENTERTAINING, in music it would be a pop song, you know, as in POPULAR - titillation is NOT a dirty word - you want something more relevant, more important, more artistic and meaningful, something MORE? Grand Budapest Hotel is such a film, adored by the critics, not embraced by the general public and bored me as over-rated and pretentious - we need variety, not solely art, and we have it.

Chanel Ashley

Gin and tonic is the go here, Owen, it was 41 degrees (106) last weekend and will be 40 degrees (104) this weekend - reminds me, I'll need extra ice.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Chanel, I'm just coming from a completely different place than you; a different perspective; a different sensitivity; a different way of thinking; a different way of observing, maybe? Perhaps our age difference may be a factor here? I certainly do not think I'm "entitled" to anything or special in any way. Not at all. Really. You clearly are not getting my points, and frankly, I'm not asking for your understanding nor your agreement nor your approval. I never have. I'm perplexed that you seem to take some sort of "offense" to my comments; that you feel the need "to put me in my place" or something? I'm not sure? But, whatever it is, I take no personal offense. Others on this thread shared similar opinions, yet you single me out? All these comments I made about this film were made in various conversations with several different people over the past 4 days! You feel you need to point out my amount of commentary as something negative? I've been told privately that it is greatly appreciated. Honestly, I've been done with this film discussion for some time now, but you keep engaging me. So, let's just move on, okay? And, sorry, but I absolutely loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Great film. ;)

Anthony Cawood

I loved GBH too, think it tied with Babadook as my film of the year in 2014.

Beth Fox Heisinger

YES! I have yet to see Babadook. But, I can't wait. Really looking forward to it, Anthony. :)

Chanel Ashley

Haha, I absolutely knew you would love The Grand Budapest Hotel, Beth, and that's fine, there is a market for all types of film and tastes - no, not a need to put you into your place, we come from completely different ends of the spectrum and I like to engage in order to try and understand an alternate point of view, that's all, nothing personal, cheers.

Michael Eddy

Wow - such sturm und drang over a movie. Personally, I'm not sure I need to hear someone's opinion on something they haven't seen. I always take umbrage with "critics" (not professionals - just those with an opinion) who trash something before it's come out. Like people for decency (who probably don't have much in their real lives) or religious fanatics etc.. But 50 Shades is a strange hybrid because there are a lot of people who haven't seen the movie, or read the book - who know enough about it NOT to want to see it or read it. Count me in that group. Would I steer someone away based on my not wanting to see it? No. Tio each his or her own. Bondage doesn't interest me in the least. I've heard the book is poorly written. The movie - notwithstanding its epic grosses (as in money at the B.O. as opposed to content) - has garnered a lot of poor reviews - and it was never really on my radar to begin with. I did watch Letterman when Dakota Johnson was his guest - and I thought she was cute and charming and funny - and I sometimes like her father and mother and grandmother in movies they've made. And then they showed a clip - which was Dakota and her paramour approaching a locked door in what I presumed to be his palatial mansion - and he warned her about feeling free to react however she saw fit to what was inside "my toys" I think he said. To which she replied, "Like your XBox?" And I was more sure than ever that my choice to skip this crap fest was the right way to go.

Chanel Ashley

Interesting, quite a few people have mentioned the ending to Babadook didn't impress.

Anthony Cawood

I think it depends on you interpretation of the film... I saw the film as an allegory for her grief and therefore the ending, where she controls and keeps her grief in check, made sense. I did come to that conclusion after a second viewing though, I think it's a film worth a re-watch!

Stuart Wright

Did you know in France this film is a 12 certificate?

Chinwe Okorie

I haven't seen the movie yet and I plan to.. but from what I have heard, there weren't many sex scenes.. hollywood still prude :)

Stuart Wright

What I mean is it's 18 certificate / nc17 in the the uk/states but the exact same film is a 12 in France. It isn't Hollywood that is prudish it our censors who set the classifications

Michael Eddy

If this particular movie was short of sex scenes - I would imagine the running time would be about 12 minutes. And along those lines - just read an article that EL James - the author of the books - had a lot of say in how the movie was made - casting - the whole 9 yards. Apparently - she was a pain in the ass to deal with (in keeping with the storyline perhaps...) and because of that - the movie's director - will not be back to do the sequels (although the two leads are contracted for both). James wanted a lot more sex - and graphic sex at that - but the studio fought her (the stars sided with their director almost 100% of the time) because it would have gotten a notoriously tougher rating and limited their ability to market the film. They wanted things softened a bit, so to speak.

Michael Eddy

And Chanel - generally enjoy reading your posts - but have to say - I vehemently disagree with your opinion on Grand Budapest (even though you certainly have a right to voice it). Pretentious? No way. I loved the movie. I thought it was inventive and colorful and tremendously entertaining with a deep well of offbeat and charming characters. Wes Anderson created an entire world that doesn't exist - but seemed as if it could - and it was the most fun I had at the movies last year. Along with Birdman and Whiplash and Nightcrawler and Chef - probably my 5 favorite films of 2014. I'm 100% with Beth on this one.

William G Chandler Jr

You can always create sexually driven work. I guess what will matter most is how the plot, and story of a film moves forward. I recall when 8 mm was released it seemed like the snuff film would corrupt the major box offices. 8 mm has a story. Some people enjoy it, while others might not, but the story will be the most important force.

Stuart Wright

You can't unsee what I'm about to show you - 8mm

Franzeska Dickson

Films that are full of sex or that feature unusual sexualities aren't hard to find. That's most of what I watched as a teenager in the 90s. I watched my tape of Crash (1996, Cronenberg) so much I'm surprised it didn't wear out. The more authentic and psychologically interesting the film, the less likely it is to be mainstream. It's just a question of whom you're trying to sell your screenplay to. To pick a couple of examples from the 00s: Secretary covers a lot of the same territory as 50 Shades, is also based on a story written by a woman, and feels like it actually has some clue about real BDSM. It did very well for the type of movie it was and is popular with the predictable niche audiences. Lie With Me (2005, Clement Virgo) is all about female sexuality and has tons of very graphic sex. It has an interesting plot that demands that amount of sex. (It's also about women in a way that leads to it being panned by men very frequently, but I think it's an exceptional depiction of modern female sexuality.) My impression is that the impetus to make such films usually comes from the director. They're adapting something they already liked or working with a script writer they often work with. So, no, 50 Shades won't change a thing. If you want to write weird sex movies, find a director to collaborate with and keep the budget low... and move to Canada. (Kissed, anyone? I mean, I loved it, but how did a fluffy, female-centric movie about necrophilia ever get made?)

Chanel Ashley

Michael Eddy, you're right, pretentious was a poor choice of word re Grand Budapest Hotel, in reality I thought it was okay, but nothing special, it didn't resonate with me - Wes Anderson and his works are highly revered in the US, especially by the critics, but this film simply did not hit the spot for me - there is not a single person this side of the water that I know that enjoyed the film, Wes Anderson does not have the same standing here and his work not regarded in the same stratosphere - I can see what he attempted to achieve and good luck to him, but in my humble opinion he didn't nail it.

Chanel Ashley

I saw the Academy Awards and surprised at the attention The Grand Budapest Hotel received - perhaps I should have a second look - this would not be the first time I didn't like a movie upon a first viewing, only to appreciate it with subsequent viewings.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Chanel, I enjoyed the first 40 minutes of "Grand Budapest" -- then it ran out of ideas, devolving into a "buddy flick" or a caper, relying on slapstick instead of the droll irony of the first half. I'd rather have dental surgery than sit through it again, actually. Glad it didn't win the brass ring. And neither did that home-movie slog "Boyhood."

Chanel Ashley

Thank you, LindaAnn, I was beginning to think I missed something - like you, I initially enjoyed the film and like you, it seemed to run out of ideas - yes, wasn't convinced with the slapstick either - the film was okay, but it appears to have had a profound effect on many other members - I LOVED The Imitation Game - Mr. Turner was 40 minutes too long - the story, character and writing were not strong enough to sustain interest for a solid two and a half hours - those extended scenes when both he and his father were gravely ill, all that coughing, geez, in the end I couldn't wait till they bloody died and put us out of our misery - a perfect example of a writer/director awash in self indulgence, where he was unable to dilute nor delete any precious scenes, it was tedious in the end, but could have, should have been a great little film - haha, love that, "home-movie".

Owen Mowatt

I could see what they were going for with GBH, but it fell short and felt contrived after a while. It also had my biggest pet peeve of TOO MANY FAMOUS FACES! Took me out of the story.

Michael Eddy

Chanel, LindaAnn, Owen et al...We can debate the merits of GBH until the proverbial cows come home - but in the end - each of us are issued one belly button + one opinion - and no one is wrong or right. I still thought it was a delight (as did my 18 year old son and 20 year old daughter), As to the plethora of famous faced cameos - it didn't bother me in the least. They are all part of an ever widening array of Wes Anderson regulars. Let me go on record as saying that I am NOT an out and out fan of his work - any more than I am with any other director. Some have a higher winning percentage than others. Wes may be in the 50/50 range. Hated The Life Aquatic and maybe a couple others. But LOVED The Royal Tenenbaums and GBH. As for Chanel - stating that she knows no one on her side of the pond who's a fan - I find that hard to believe. And I felt that GBH even had a sort of Brit comedy sensibility, which makes me even more surprised at your reaction. I was pleased that it won Oscars last night in categories where it outclassed the competition (set design, costumes, makeup) and was sorry and surprised that it lost Best Original Screenplay to Birdman (don't get me wrong - I loved Birdman and was thrilled it won for Innaritu and Best Picture - anything that beat Boyhood would have pleased me). It was one of only 3 categories on my ballot that I got wrong.

Chanel Ashley

In reality, Michael, GBH is a film I SHOULD have liked, I tried to like it, it was okay, but didn't resonate - as I said before, perhaps another viewing may change that - I know 11 people that have seen it, all 11 HATED it - they disliked Mr. Turner, but hated GBH - the critics here LOVED it and all gave it 4 or 5 stars - I just can't quite get into Wes Anderson, but I don't deny his talent, his work is not to my taste at this point.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Michael, yes, I agree. No one here is more "wrong" nor more "right." Please see my post on why BIRDMAN flapped its way past (yawn) BOYHOOD.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Sex sells, Sex will always sell. Period.

Pamela Bolinder

The Backcountry has sex scenes; however, they are not explicit. In my mind, that allows the audience to tap into their imagination. In terms of mass appeal and marketability, sexually explicit material will narrow the audience.

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