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Screenwriting : Writing Scripts with Lead Minority Characters? by Edith Woi

Edith Woi

Writing Scripts with Lead Minority Characters?

Is this strategy ...well a good strategy? Or should a script just be good enough and there shouldn't be a mission/focus on advancing movies with minorities in the lead role? Comments. FYI - I have a couple scripts whereby I started writing the protagonist as a white female. I have since changed them to black females.

Anthony Moore

I have the same issue but depending on the script, the voice, setting and choices will usually give clues to who the characters is. Even background and where they come from will influence race. Don't force race, allow the writing to tell you who they are.

Tarus Rhinehart

Hi Edith. This is another question of mines that I would like to know the answer to, but at least with me and my scripts, I have a mental note of which scripts would need to have minority leads due to the direction of story and which scripts can work without an ethnic specification. Personally, I would like to see more diversity on screen, specifically TV. I would love to be a part of bringing that diversity to the screen. I would like to think it is a good strategy but I would have to play the pitch once my work is completely finished and then we shall see lol. Good luck with your scripts.

Edith Woi

To me it seems clear. Many of the scripts and movies that I have seen could have EASILY have a black or minority lead actor. Why does it have to be specific in any sense. From the US point of view, cultural lines can be blurred through socio economic factors. Character- female, 30s, any profession could be a minority. Is it because there are still places in the states where you wouldn't find a minority? or mixed couple issue if the male lead is white? There is more to it than just setting, choices etc etc etc. Just sayin. I live between London and Vienna...and no one could ever cast me in any type unless they choose to do so. I have too many variables to be pinned down as white, black or anything. I LIVE...therefore, I am a character.

Edith Woi

Is it "black of me" to respond to Lisa's comment with "amnen sister"? LOL. Its about the Benjamins. Organised crime....rather organised Prime Time!

Tarus Rhinehart

@Edith...it shouldn't be because every word Lisa said was correct and I have the same hope about the aftermath of the Sony emails. I would love to see more diversity on the screen and I try to demonstrate that with my work with strong, complex, yet well-rounded roles that is either written specifically for minorities or can work with any ethnic type. A double benefit would be more minorities shows and movies written by minorities writers as they appear to be even less represented then actors. Also @ Lisa, I feel exactly what you are saying about the ONE example, but sadly that is the reality. I can't think of another minority producer/writer who has had the level of successful with mainstream television dramas as Shonda Rhimes and Bill Cosby (current news stories aside lol) for comedy. Maybe that's telling of something as we could name more examples of minority roles. I don't know but my sincerest hope and dream is that one day and soon, race and ethnic type will be taken out of the equation together. Great roles written by equally great writing without worrying about who is what ethnicity or which one will or won't work where. Hopefully, blinding ourselves to that will open the diversity door wide open as that will demonstrate the plethora of great talent, no matter who you are or what you represent. That was my rant and now it is over lol. Happy writing everyone.

Richard Allis

I agree a lot with what has been said about race in Hollywood, the need for diversity, and that a lot of roles could be played by anybody. I do not know what kind of advice to give, except maybe think about writing one race-neutral lead character in one script and writing one race-specific lead character in another script. Esp. if that race-specific lead character breaks some kind of stereotype, and I mean not just in America as a whole, but as in a stereotype of lead characters that is held by Hollywood. Just an idea. JFYI - I like to write about American history, all aspects of it, and actively search out AA people I could write about. From the obvious like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to the less known folks like Jorge Biassou, Stagecoach Mary Fields, Fritz Pollard and Duke Slater. I have pdf files on over 50 Negro League baseball players and hope to bring as many of their stories to light as possible. (One short on Willie Wells is currently being edited.)

Mark LaFever

I'm a white man, and I sure thought I was being entertained during repeated viewings of ENTER THE DRAGON, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, BLADE, KILL BILL, DEATH PROOF...

Richard Allis

Lisa, wasn't Halle Berry the first and only?

Richard Allis

Entertainment is a subjective thing, and it must be asked who is going to be entertained by something. Granted the studios are looking for the big home run movie right now, but audiences are fickle and can change at any moment.

Tarus Rhinehart

I would hope that most or all of us who have aspirations to be a part of the entertainment industry, no matter the career path, would have the basic understanding that Hollywood is a business. Most of the writers here and elsewhere have scripts they would like to sell and/or see produced into a finish product. It's not the easier business to become a part of no matter who you are or what you want to do. Me personally, as a writer, I would love to be able to write freely and focus solely on story and make a success of it. Every writer, whether its a scriptwriter, novelist, or journalist, wants to be able to write with that freedom. But sometimes (or more often depending on the medium), "business" needs dictate otherwise, putting a few restrictions on those freedoms. We have plenty of examples where this has happened (or in some cases currently happening). I don't believe the original topic was so much about sending a "message" as much as trying to find the best strategy to go with the needs of the "business". If the "business" of Hollywood wasn't the way it was, we would already have the freedom to write with only regards to storytelling and craft and the question asked in the original post would not have needed to be asked.

Tarus Rhinehart

@Richard. I agree with your advice. I have taken that approach with my work. I am a American history buff as well. I more so have an interest in 20th century American history but I'm familiarizing myself with other eras as well.

Richard Allis

Reading your question more closely, I'm going to say Charlize Theron. I don't normally keep up with award winners, so I had to google a list.

Richard Allis

Had a discussion in the film group I'm in about the trouble and silliness of the Census forms. White South African's in America have as much right to check the African-American box as black people. Also came up with the silly jokes of creating a box for "Yes, please" under the question of sex. Stuff like that.

Richard Allis

What’s interesting is that even when I found Charlize Theron’s name and where she was born, I was in the middle of a tunnel vision search for black blood under white skin. I didn’t carefully research her parents, but I don’t believe that’s the case with her. After a couple more minutes trying to figure it out, and after I had posted her name, I realized I already had the answer thanks to the discussion in that film group. (Another white South African had brought up what I talked about.) I’m just posting this just to show that anybody in general can be susceptible to thinking they know what the answer might be, even though it might not be quite what you think. Which is why we need to hear everybody’s perspective. And I’ll stop here before I go on a rant. :-)

Mark LaFever

I think a lot of this discussion really only becomes relevant in that space where ethnicity or gender of a lead character isn't fundamentally important to the story. Clarice Starling could've been a guy; Blade the vampire hunter could've been white; but Michael Corleone HAD to be Italian-American. Some stories can't be told without being specifically anchored in gender or ethnicity, while some others are easier to shuffle around.

Richard Allis

Mark, true enough and good examples there. But I think the central discussion was about when will the studio execs more often populate these gender-, and especially ethnic-neutral roles with non-white males. And what maybe can be done to push for more change along those “easier to shuffle around” lines while balancing the business realities of a career in current Hollywood.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Minorities simply want to see themselves being played as regular/irregular people of today. Nothing about the role would say anything about their race or gender (unless someone was describing them) . They're just characters in the movie that happen to be a minority. That's the end game. That's what minorities want. Just to see themselves on screen as "normal" people, because at the end of the day minorities stub their toes too, and get their earphone buds ripped out of their ears when the string gets caught on something. Normal.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

A black woman playing an alcoholic with a serious gambling problem is "normal". An Asian man waking up to find the whole world is invaded by aliens is "normal". A gay or lesbian couple with marriage issues, just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse is "normal". You want an argument but it really is simple. Put minorities in "normal" roles that have nothing to do with what makes them a minority, and what do you have? Happy minorities. Do you honestly believe there in no problem in Hollywood when it comes to diversity? I honestly believe television is doing an amazing job. Of course they have ways to go, but they have really represented a large chunk of minorities in a pleasant fashion. Films are a joke...

Mark LaFever

I think it's possible to wind up with a great movie with any of the scenarios Jean-Pierre describes...but I also think it's possible to have the same result by focusing explicitly on cultural identities that distinguish minorities. Look at the GODFATHER trilogy, or MEAN STREETS or GOODFELLAS. Italian-Americans are, and see themselves as, a minority. I actually can't think of too many significant movies or TV shows in which stereotypical "Italian-American-ness" doesn't drive a significant chunk of characterization. On the contrary, the works of Scorsese and Coppola basically wallow (in a good way, I think) in Italian-American culture, emphasizing that it's where characters come from, it's what drives their attitudes and actions, and so on. THE GODFATHER does it in a grandiose, epic, almost operatic manner that might seem to glorify Cosa Nostra, while Scorsese portrays Italian-American-ness in ways that are often broadly humorous, even cartoonish; it's like he's telling jokes that might even be offensive if he weren't himself part of the club. Jean-Pierre's also right a thousand times over with regard to the contrast between TV and movies lately, in terms of pretty much every index of quality. Oddly enough, though, in some ways I think that's a direct consequence of Hollywood trying to acknowledge a specific kind of...diversity. In many cases, Hollywood's figuring on the fact that there's more money to be made in overseas box office and DVD sales than there is on the U.S. box office. That overseas box office is biggest in Asia (despite the drain on it attributable to piracy), among non-native speakers of English. There's also an ongoing generational shift to take note of; the demographic Hollywood wants is the one that's most challenged, and challenging, in terms of attention span. Associating and communicating via cell phone in ways that older people don't, younger people are increasingly behaving in ways common to their generation, but unrelated to ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. These factors have contributed to an even greater industry preference for movies that are big on visuals and visually-impressive action sequences. Non-speakers of English can enjoy them as much as English-speakers can, and there's a chance they can retain the attention of younger viewers (otherwise potentially distracted by incoming texts). Characterization and suspense have suffered in contrast.

Tarus Rhinehart

Wow this post got interesting quick lol.

Tarus Rhinehart

The end goal should be to tell great stories. That goal should be achieved without taking into account what group of people (race, gender, orientation, etc.) needs to be shown or not be shown. This goal can achieved in a variety of ways. Like Mark stated, sometimes you do need to focus on a specific group. As with his examples of the Italian-American themed movies, focusing and showing what makes them stand out. I don't know about the last 2 movies he mentioned I haven't watched them but The Godfather trilogy (the first 2 parts anyway) was absolutely amazing. Also like Jean-Pierre said, minorities just want to see themselves represented. They want to see themselves in the "normal" or "not-so-normal" situations and while TV has been improving on that over the years, film appears to still be behind. An example is in the 1940s, with the rise of film, while this country was very different then. Although there was successful African-Americans in this country at that time as well as other minorities growing and emerging, I do not believe that was seen on the screens at that time. If I'm wrong about this, someone please feel free to let me know. While we have progressed from that era, Diversity in Hollywood is still a work in progress, as with all things in life are. We have made strides from the 1940s-50s, but we still have a way to go.

Mark LaFever

Peter, obviously you're free to disagree with anything anybody says as you will. Your point about the sexual tension between Starling and Lecter is well taken, but that same tension could've been achieved by making Starling and Lecter both gay or sexually confused males (or females) as well. If sexual tension's what a writer's after, there are many roads to take to get there. In any case, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS may be a bad example, since it was based on a novel, in which the genders and sexualities of the characters were already laid out explicitly.

Anthony D Paul

Why is television the go to for black women protagonist now? What about the movies? Is this strategy ...well a good strategy? I don't see a plethora of black female protagonist in the movies so go for it!

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Ugh... I wrote a long response and accidentally deleted it. Abbreviated : there's room for culturally different movies. I just want to see them both. I didn't mean pleasant as in non critical. I meant like minorities are being represented with more diverse roles. The confusion was completely my fault. Television has made great progress. For you to say film will never get there makes me not even want to continue this conversation with you, for you are clearly not open to the thought of diversity in film. But I will anyway. The Wire is the best show ever made. They even have a college course on it. Orange is the new black is absolutely amazing. I loved Paid in full, Friday, and The Wood. All their blacks are not portrayed in a positive light. So no, I don't think minorities need to be buttered up to the public. Minorities just need more than that. And more than other roles they typically get, but again, I don't feel like writing that out again. I loved how you created this whole European back story for the alcoholic and then proceeded to defend it as if I gave you that scenario. I don't expect the King's Speech or Gladiator to star an Indian guy, but films like... mom and Dad save the world, Jeepers creepers, The Incredibles, little miss sunshine, or honey i shrunk the kids could have easily starred minorities and been the exact same movie... Didn't i say this was going to be short? Well there you go. Typos and forgotten points and all..

Kieran C. Herman

I don't think there needs to be a concentrated effort to provide more minority leading roles, but rather the effort should be placed on simply providing a wider range of gender, skin tone, and ethnicity for leading characters.

Mark LaFever

Jean-Pierre - I found myself nodding my head silently as I read your post, especially the part about how you want to see "both" kinds of movies. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how one reads it), just us wanting something like that, obviously doesn't mean it's necessarily gonna happen. One of the reasons I got into making an effort at this is that I feel increasingly like I've already seen so many of the kinds of movies I wanna see, and it was starting to feel like, if I wanted to see more (that I hadn't already seen), I might just have to write them myself...hence the "unfortunately or fortunately" thing ("unfortunately" for me as a lazy/needy/greedy viewer/consumer..."fortunately" for me as someone who'd like a paid gig). THE WIRE was indeed outstanding (so was David Simon's earlier show, HOMICIDE, but it was on NBC and thus couldn't do a lot of what THE WIRE did on a regular basis), but I would hesitate to call it the greatest show ever. For me, it was a lot like BREAKING BAD in that you kinda have to give it a few episodes before it really gets good. With BB, those "few episodes" were pretty much the whole first season, but for some reason, as soon as season 2 began, everything somehow felt much more awesome and I just liked it a lot more. But this is probably a nit-picky point, the larger one being that awesomeness has occurred.

Edith Woi

@Lisa- you are officially crowned Queen of this post. I have consciously took an observers role for the past couple of day. Funny! I could wrote loads about such a scenario. I live in Europe. And Hollywood is just plain old American! Yes, I was raised in America, but good Lord! These execs need to travel more, or not only travel abroad and plop themselves on exclusive resorts! I am a black woman and my husband is Austria. I am in places like the back streets of East European where people have NEVER seen a real "life" Black person! Movies cater to a wider audience. Hollywood has no idea the impact it is making. People over here think what they see in the cinemas is real! Stereotyping may be obvious to "us", but to some, they think it is bleeping documentary! WTH!? Tv film and dandy, however, only a limited amount of tv programmes are distributed in Europe (have no idea about digital platforms). So frankly, someone has to be held accountable? I don't care about race in the least as I consider myself in the human "race". But @Kieran made an excellent point about having a diversity of skin tones. I am quite dark.....and my hubby is like so fair...and our child...perfection. :-)

Angel Nunez

I wasn't going to touch this topic, but some of the comments have moved me to do it. So, here goes...I'm a black Latino man with a set of parents who are each the product of interracial marriage, one in Puerto Rico, the other in West Virginia. I could identify myself as Puerto Rican, but I identify myself as black. Now, the world I grew up in between NYC and Boston in the late 60s through the 80s was built on a foundation of family and friends of all backgrounds. Sure, I could easily write a script about an armed robbery with an all black crew. But, that's not my story to write. That's Peter's story. My story is about a black kid with aspirations to become a judge...an astronaut...a cop...the President. None of those stories are implausible. None of them are impossible. But, what about scary black people? They're real too, aren't they? Yes, Peter. They are real. And, when I need them I will use them. My focus is to write about the world I actually live in. A world where people of color work, love, raise families and do great things. Why? Because I don't see those people on screen enough. Because my children need to see them. And, most importantly, because I know them.

Tarus Rhinehart

@Edith. I place my vote on Lisa as Queen of this post as well lol. Also I had a thought that you were observing. This post has been interesting and a bit eye opening. So much more I could say but like I saw someone else say on a different post, "This isn't Facebook." so Im not going to get into any petty discussion with especially when at the end of the day the goal is to help each other (at least so I think) but anyways there was some really good advice given up here as well in regards to your orignial point and I hope you can make it work for you. Good luck to you.

Tarus Rhinehart

@Angel. I was initially weary of posting here too, but I really had the same question as Edith about my own work and I was looking for to the advice but I think we all got that and a bit more like a true mini lesson in Hollywood's expectation. But I do have a question specifically for Peter and if it doesn't get answer that's quite alright. I never even been to NYC so Im not familiar with the South Bronx as far as what kind of neighborhood or area it is, but outside of maybe neighborhood demos, why do you say that most audiences would find it absurd that a red-haired green-eyed Irishmen would rob a bank vs. an African-American. Im sure a few "Irishmen" have robbed banks before in the real world. They are many documentaries and news stories out there detailing the robberies committed by all types, so why would a audience accept a black person as a robber and not another type.

Tarus Rhinehart

Exactly Lisa. The point is ANYONE can do ANYTHING and I believe the audience is smart enough to know that. As far as whether executives, advertisers, etc. what to go along with that and accept that is a different story altogether. Assumptions and guesses about a certain group and its stereotypes (even even paid professional assumptions like with the FBI profile) can be wrong as with anything guesses and assumption are made about. Who does what depends strictly on the narrative. Fictional and non-fictional. And now you got me scared to go to Washington state lol...Although I'm sure it's a lovely place but I seriously did not know that little fact. Thanks for sharing.

Angel Nunez

So, what was the rationale behind Morgan Freeman portraying the President in "Deep Impact"? At the time, it was possible. But, not plausible as no POTUS had ever been black. Why didn't people run screaming out of the theatre in droves when he appeared on the screen? Or, switch off "24" when Dennis Haysbert portrayed the President? If you are a good writer, it is your job to create a world in which any number of things are possible and/or plausible. Remember, Aristotle talked about the imitation of life, not the slavish duplication of it. That allows the writer room to do whatever he or she wants.

Tarus Rhinehart

OMG I refreshed by accident and I lost my response dammit lol. Basically @Peter I think I see where you are coming from now. I do believe your main point is possible vs. plausible which is a good point to make especially where there are millions on the line. I can certainly understand film producers not wanting to risk screwing up vs. where TV producers have a cushion there to be able to take such a risk. If that is the case that's comforting seeing that TV is the direction I want to eventually go in. To be clear, I don't care about the light minority characters are portrayed on screen as long as they are there. Im a fan of whatever the story dictates. As an outsider looking in, I still do believe that more can be done to better that situation but I do have a better understanding on why that hasn't happened yet and why it may not happen or at least for a while. Thanks for the clarification. Be blessed and Merry Christmas/Happy New Years everyone.

Tarus Rhinehart

P.S. I actually have been to SLC. It's a lovely place lol.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

All you guys are awesome. You too Peter. Keep writing and experiencing life. You'll grow. @ Lisa, I'm from Maryland and I remember the DC sniper. Aww. that was crazy. That white van with the ladder rack on top? Haha! They were completely wrong! I remember standing at the bus stop scared for my life...

Richard Allis

On a completely different topic, but since it happened a couple times here, I write out my posts, esp. the longer ones, on a word processing document, then copy and paste in case of accidents. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s perspectives and arguments. Very enlightening! Love Stage 32! Merry Christmas all!

Crystal Diane Stevens

As a writer, I write what's in my heart. I don't write to sell this or that producer, and I don't write with a marketing strategy. The key place for that applies to your CONCEPT. Otherwise, if it's all about formulas and numbers so to speak, your script will lack passion and authenticity and will likely never be made. I understand the pressure out there to be all things to all people, but just write what fascinates YOU and people will respond that that passion. Good luck :)

Tarus Rhinehart

Thanks Peter. I would love to be involved in the growing trend of web-based programming. A lot of these programs are cutting edge yet they would not have the best chances on lets say network television or even pass censorship rules in some cases and that's exactly what I want to be a part of as a lot of the newer web-based shows are being written on a level far superior to most anything the networks or cable has at the moment and with that growth potential that exist because as you said the "imitators "that are sure to follow as well as Netflix's own growth in the field, all of these new outlets to view programming will need there own materials to produce and air and there is opportunity for us writers wanting our work to be seen.

Angel Nunez

@Peter, thanks for the history lesson. I'm well aware of high profile blacks who held political office. Here's a lesson for you: Did you know post-Reconstruction, there were about 1,500 black elected officials in the South. In states like Mississippi and South Carolina. And, guess what? This led to the rise of the KKK and disenfranchisement in the South for many years. So, the idea that the powers that be would actually nominate a black candidate in either of the two major political parties was pretty implausible. Anyway...I think if you really want to get your work out there, gather a group of like-minded professionals and create your content. All these outlets are starved for it.

Angel Nunez

@Peter, please tell me you're not one of those people who believe the only reason blacks started voting for Democrats is because of welfare.

Angel Nunez

Peter - Anyway, I don't want to get into politics, but this does give me a little more insight into your viewpoint on the portrayal of minorities in TV and movies.

Shane M Wheeler

On Identity Politics... I think one thing that may be reducing diversity in film/television overall is outrage based media on the web. By including diversity, you run the risk that a journalist or blogger will interpret the attempt in a negative light, assuming ill intent on the part of the creator or inherent biases. To clarify, if a film does something truly offensive with intent, such as some of the racist humor in Love at First Bite, it needs to get called out for it. It was disgusting- but that was 1979. On the other hand, I've seen articles focused on the idea of women playing tech support somehow being 'demeaning' as they're not the main character, but it rings rather hollow when you realize that the role of 'tech support' in a story is going to come up, over and over again, and it will have to be played by someone. At one time, it would be considered progressive to have a woman hacker in a show, but when people complain about a role that at one time would've been exclusively male being somehow demeaning, I can see giving up in the face of adverse criticism. And some of the critics out there are going for the political jugular. Why You Can't Win the Diversity Game if Someone is Looking to Get You: Ex) On Action Show! Lead is male, Tech Support female- Sexist for being in inferior position. Lead is female, Tech Support male- Sexist for suggesting the female lead can't do the tech support herself Lead and Tech Support both women- Pandering, just replacing male archetypes with women without really trying to make them feminine. Both roles 'feminized'- Stereotyping women In other words, if you get on the bad side of diversity and identity politics, you will get raked over the coals hard, as with enough mental gymnastics, you can construe almost anything to be 'secretly' bigoted. I think more positivity needs to be employed when cries of diversity are asked, supporting and holding up those who try, rather than kicking and degrading any who might stumble. I want to see more diversity in film and television. But right now, the risks of bad publicity can outweigh the rewards.

Tony McFadden

Here's my view. In screenplays, unless there is specific need for a character to be blonde or female or left-handed or any other minority, I try to leave it as generic as possible. Shawshank's "Red" was meant to be a white Irishman. Morgan Freeman played it. Alien's Riley was famously written as a man. I say don't box yourself in. Unless the story calls for it.

Stacey Stefano

The strength of the overall story moves the market ! Be original ! It is good to devIse new styles of writing ! Remember , black or white doesn't matter ! What matters is : is your story character driven ?

Jamila Cobham

Can't read through some of these nonsense comments, but to answer the question if you want to see more minorities in leading roles you MUST make a greater effort to write them in. Yes, some directors have decided to cast more minorities, but I can still count them on my fingers in films and on tv. That isn't good enough. Write them. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't also write some without, but if it is important to you as it is to me. Write them! :)

Angel Nunez

I guess you're insistent on injecting right wing politics into this. You don't think there's anything wrong with you making assumptions about my political beliefs because of my color? I'm a progressive which means I believe in the advancement of freedom through ideas. I believe in the foundation this country was built on and it's on that foundation the civil rights movement stands. It doesn't matter how many black faces front for conservative talking points. Look, I grew up in a multicultural family with people that went on to work in a wide variety of professions. I was raised to believe I can be anything or reach any goal. That's the creed of my family. That's the foundation of my writing. If a big studio doesn't want to buy it, so be it. But, somebody will. Because they're good stories that are universal in appeal. Stories about family, love, hope, struggle and triumph. And, yes. Some of the people in my scripts are black and brown. Because that is the world I live in and increasingly due to demographics, Peter, that is the world you WILL live in.

Michael NJ Wright

Identify your audience, make sure they can find you and produce work they can afford.

Dash Riprock

If making minority characters protagonists in your story helps you write a better script, then by all means. But if your script then gets to the development level, realize that the casting of your characters is completely out of your hands. But at least try.

Doug Nelson

Edith: A word to the wise – don’t go all preachy.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Don't go full preachy. Never - - go full preachy. @tom - I get what you're saying, but even though this is a screenwriting discussion, what we are talking about is casting. The fact that we would feel the need to specify that a character in our script is a minority is the problem. Why can't they be? Because audiences can't relate? I don't think so. Sell me a high concept story, like a priest practicing exorcisms until he comes across his daughter's soul, (shout out to Jisen) and it will sell just the same, no matter who you cast. Of course as long as it's "plausible". Yeah you have a few racists and sexists out there but that's not enough to effect your sales at a larger scale in my opinion.

Edith Woi

@Doug. Was I already in preach mode? Lol. Then I surely need censoring as I did try to be "moderate". Rush (ing to get more media coverage) Limbaugh recently said that Idris Elba shouldn't be the next James Bond because he is Black and Steve Fleming was Scottish. Now what do we have here? Story based on a book about a fictional character now has the chance to cast a minority Protagonist? Screenwriting vs Casting? Someone in this thread mentioned that movies based on books should stick to the racethe story was written. However, in my opinion, fictional characters can be flexible with race! For goodness sake writing at best is about 20% the truth. The rest is imagination and sensationalism isn't it? Just like the Star Wars trailer which caused such an uproar regarding the yet again Black Briton cast as a Star Trooper. Give me a V8 drink! I had to google what a Star Tropper was firstly, then thought why should I care! Its about fictional or dare I say impossible and implausible race! What the heck!? Its fantasy and I feel there should be absolutely limitless possibilities in such cases. Point is writing does carry some weight as to race of the character however, there is or should be room for freedom of interpretation. I am finishing a screenplay about a young girl who has to manage her household as the daughter of illegal immigrants and an illiterate mother. Now the family is from the Bahamas. Is she Black? Could she be cast as a White protagonist? Or will the nature of the story dictate the answer? I would say cultural references outway race. Or should do.

John Totten

Same thing with ages that I just commented on in another thread. I interned in a casting office in "Hollywood" (North Hollywood, actually) and from a casting director's viewpoint, I wouldn't put the race of an actor in a script unless it is vital to the story. That's something that you do in your breakdowns. The breakdowns are short descriptions of characters with any features need for the character, such as "black male about 40" or "white male, slender, 45-50." This tells a casting director exactly what type of actor to find and send on an audition. A good example of this would be "Flight" which I watched the other night. I doubt if the screenwriter specified the race of the lead character in the script. But Denzel Washington (male, black, 55-60) is a bankable actor, he was available, and he did a good job in the role which could have just as easily been played by a white actor (male, white, 55-60.)

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Here is the list of black AA winners and nominees: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_Academy_Award_winners_and_nom... IMO, diversity and intermix are the two most wonderful things mankind is able to do. Diversity is finding new ways, intermix is combining these new ways. In the old time, when human communities were spreading all around the Earth, diversity was dictated by adaptation necessity, resulting in multiple and separated races and cultures. Now intermix is the engine of diversity, melting all races and cultures to enrich both our being and thinking. This is a unique opportunity we have to retain the best of what each of us can contribute, which means that each of us must drop a part of their heritage, which is not so easy to do because everyone does what they was taught to be the best. This needs willpower, steps and time. We are at the time of Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Ghandi, ... but also Hitler, Staline, Mao Ze Dong, Kim Jong Il, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, ethnic wars in Africa ... and maybe some of our own convictions and interests (Nike, Monsanto...?). So there still are both a long way to go and some backward roads to avoid: slavery, racism, violence against women, exploitation of children, violence in the name of god ... Maybe one day we'll be the Rainbow People.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Flight: Whip is just specified as wearing "his 40 some years of life experience like a medal", wich is his complete and perfect definition.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

@Lisa, why do you mention Charlize Theron? It's clever and very true, but let's say Halle Berry never won. The backlash of Charlize Theron being the first African American woman to finally win the Academy award for best actress would be ghastly. Saying African American is just a polite way to say black. I know that's an entirely different conversation to have, but I think that's what the list, and most people mean. But again, I don't know your reasonings behind mentioning Charlize Theron, so that's why I asked.

Angel Nunez

You told me lot about yourself, Peter with your skewed view of history. Democrats own up to their racist past. Republicans need to own up to their racist present. I think I've done pretty well for myself as a playwright including a reflection of the world I live in. My last question for you, Peter: why inject yourself into a conversation that clearly has no appeal for you? There's really no point in engaging with you. You want films and tv to stay 20 years in the past where the only blacks were viewed through the prism of white supremacy as criminals or domestics. That's my final two cents on this.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I'm still confused but I feel you, lol...

James Chalker

Of course if you're a person of color, you may have some concern that the casting director will default toward white man/woman. Also people may reasonably differ when race/ethnicity is essential to the story.

John Totten

I remember when Saturday Night Live cast their black male cast member as the Vice President of the United States. I think it was, at the time, Dan Quale. Hilarious, and a bit of casting genius.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

I'm confused too. Seing from the far-off France, I was thinking that "African American" was the parallel of "Native American" to designate the two minorities of descendants of forced "modern-American" people. "PHIL I saw a slide show of blue nudes in the library. It's beautiful ... and sometimes ... quite sexy ... What exactly is it? ALICE Those are my Blue Women... You know, blue is the color that is complementary to the color of the human skin... opposite to it on the color wheel. PHIL I see. ALICE I just reversed the colors of a picture by chance once, and found it to be so beautiful. PHIL They’re beautiful. ALICE Have you noticed that there are no white, black, green, or purple women among them? All these bodies are blue; darker or lighter blue, but pure blue. She shows him an example on her smartphone that proves her point. ALICE (CONT’D) This is really important because it shows that the perception of our physical differences is accentuated by our cultural differences."

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Lisa, This is the thinking I was taught. Teach me the truth please. This is a matter where you can easily be mistaken for what you are not.

Edith Woi

LISA! What the hell can I do to get you to run for President? Your comments are so delightful! I promise when I hit it big! If you are not yher (then) please accept a role on my team......any role!

Edith Woi

@Dan. Excellent point. However, my point as a comedy writer is pointing out differences which are funny. This would include a minority protagonist otherwise it would seem as some humdrum story that doesn't offer a new twist on my story. Granted my inspiration could be a bit more original but I write from what I know. I am a Black female, therefore should my characters reflect that fact? What does one do when they themselves are a minority?

Shane M Wheeler

They say to write what you know, and really, that's an unavoidable. Mains in my stories have been mostly white males. It's my knowledge base, and it's easy. I can write a white american male character without an ounce of extra effort unless they have a highly exotic profession. That being said, in the films I've done, I've had a lot of diversity- the slashers in Captive of a Death Mask range across a wide group of ethnicities. I'd say, write write write. If you keep writing and aim for it, diversity will happen when you get an idea you like that calls for different types of characters. Some of my scripts have female leads. One is all black. Some are all white. Many are diverse casts. I'm an arrogant writer, but unafraid to say that, while I'd be willing to write a female black lead for a movie, I doubt it would be as genuine as anyone who has the actual experience.

Edith Woi

Now we are getting down to the real heart of the matter. More minority writers represented!? But not a notion like affirmative action. Though I have no idea what a solution would look like. I wonder really if there are not enough minority writers out there with good stories. And I have to say I have read some stuff from minority writers I felt was atrocious! That is universal. Weeding out the good from one group seems it would be an arduous task even to define who is doing the writing. Therefore, looks like it would have to be a consumer led change rather than industry led about face.

Linda Burdick

Write a script with a protagonist of any race you choose: the narrative plot needs to be an organic line that logically flows. I would consider the theme and the message of your story...what is it you want to say? Who is the best protagonist and antagonist to get that story and message across to the reader, producers, and ultimately your audience?

Edith Woi

@Linda - my finished script's topic is about a high profile interracial match. Without that premise the story loses a lot of the comedic edge. I am in an interracial relationship and would like to make it plausible and normal to see such stories on the big screen. @ Dan - indeed. Though one can put themselves in the shoes of an alcoholic or the homeless or prostitute - SCRATCH! that was what I about to say. But thinking as I write, it IS possible for white person to understand the depth of experience of a minority if they find themselves in a place where they are minority? Is that true? I don't know. Can Whites, and yes I have some White friends, ever feel insecure about themselves based on their ethnicity? I mean I could imagine if I was White that no matter where I was ....well I would think, "damn those people over there, I am white and people just better respect that!" LOL. Hey I don't know.

Linda Burdick

For your premise then stick with the truth as anything else will seem pushed and fake.

CJ Walley

Edith, the question we have to ask ourselves is, will changing the profile of our characters really create the impact needed to create change in the industry? I don't think it can if we then push that script through the current system. We need to think about who we can team up with, get behind, and support to really make a difference. For those of us screenwriting, that means reaching out to those specialising in other roles but sharing the same intent. One of the great things about a place like this is we can chose to connect with the individuals who we feel will do our writing justice and may be looking for exactly what we have to offer. Taking Kerry Washington for example, twelve years ago she was cast by Amyn Kaderali in his short A-Train. They mutually supported one-another and gained exposure on the short film circuit. Now she stars on ABC while he directs for them. And, while Amyn may not be a member here, I know for a fact that he's recently been working with a black female Stage 32 member as I've been writing for her. So the opportunity to see our visions realised may not be as far away as we think. When it comes to writing black focused roles, please forgive my ignorance here, but it might be worth checking out groups like the Afrocentric Films Collaborative (who are signed-up here) and Judith Jacques who is the CEO and founder of BlackStreet, founder of The Black Culinary Expo (Lisa's dream Venn Diagram right there LOL), founder Black Women In Media, and is very well connected in film industry.

Winter Maza

it's not the writing screenplays with minority leads..........it's minority actors actually getting cast in the sold scripts

Edith Woi

@Cj Thanks for the contacts. Though I feel a bit iffy seeking out exclusively minority support. The best way to conquer an "enemy" is via an inside job. I would just like to get my toenails in the door.....then watch this space!

Winter Maza

The people with the Money want it that way.....Some studios want it that way. but the simple logic is, if you want your script to sell in Hollywood you have to accept the Hollywood dysfunction. Or make it yourself.

Edith Woi

@Winter Whether we like what you wrote or not.....that IS a fact.

Edith Woi

Hmmm. I just googled the top Hollywood movies of all time. If you want to reference it it can be found at http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/ . Now it seems to me that at least half (and I think that is a lot) of those flicks could just have easily had minority protagonists. So many of them are fictional characters or cartoons. Just money? I don't know. It would be interesting to survey movie goers to see if they would feel less, the same, or more inclined to watch said movies if the lead was a minority.

William Martell

I have no idea the race of the actors who will play the roles in my scripts, I just write 'em. I've had African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic folks, (etc) end up playing the roles. I just write people. Most of the time race isn't important to the character, so I only indicate it when it's critical to the story. On STEEL SHARKS I gave the SEAL team ethnic last names because I wanted a diverse mix. They cast a white guy as "Salazar" and changed the character's name. So even if you try to do things in the script, casting will still do whatever they want. For leads I always hope they cast Denzel Washington, not because he's Black... because he's freakin' Denzel Washington. So far, that hasn't happened. I did get to work with Billy D. Williams... freakin' Lando! We're just a part of the big machine. I just hope they cast the best actor available.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

@shane - By your logic that means no minority could ever write a story about a white man. That doesn't make any sense. We're writers. It's our job to put ourselves in other people's shoes. I'm not sure how much writing in a characters ethnicity is going to do. Unless their story makes it clear that he/she can't be any other race, like William said, they'll just change the name. One solution is all successful black/asian/lesbian etc. actors get together and come out with three quality movies a year. Just pick a good script off the black list, or follow Page, Blue cat, or Nichols screenwriting contest, and grab a finalists script. Is there a reason why people don't do that? It seems like a sure thing to me.

Shane M Wheeler

@jeanne-Pierre- I didn't say I COULDN'T do it. I said it would be less geuine. I've written a lot of characters without much in the way of race in mind, cast whoever was best for the part, and even written specifically for minorities. All that being said, if I and another writer were to both write a part for a black woman, and the other writer was a black woman and just as good at writing as I am, their character will probably be more genuine. Now, if they're not a good writer, or the part has a looming aspect I'm more familiar with (biological science, working at sea, etc.) my character may come off as more genuine because of those aspects. However, at the end of the day, genuine may not matter compared to entertaining. Realistic and believable isn't always as good as fun or cool or interesting.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

@Shane, I get you man. @George, But the problem is casting any movie when you don't specify race is usually a white guy by default unless it's a big name minority actor. Again, I think minorities need to take the independent film scene by storm. Don't throw together some writer/director/producer nonsense, because those are usually riddled with mistakes. But find quality scripts from contest winning screenwriters, and a director and cinematographer that's on the rise but will work for cheap, and make a fucking amazing movie that gets people talking. The scripts are out there and they are pretty freaking easy to find. All you need is the money, and with their funds combined, these minority B,C and D list actors definitely have it. Good stories ARE NOT hard to find. You just have to know where to look, and there is a big fucking sign that says WINNER OF SCREENPLAY CONTEST on these prestigious screenwriting contest sites. Maybe there's something I don't know about the business that's preventing this from happening. I wish someone would enlighten me.

Edith Woi

Reading all of this makes me want to spontaneously combust! It just confesses me...oops confuses me about who the heck "Hollywood" is? The producers? Or Writers? Or casting directors? My head isn't clear about a direction and it feels as if I have smoked some cannibal. ?..oops I did it again, I mean cannibas.... I think I will leave it all up to the Lord! Innit!? I am Finnish! Erhem...I mean I am finished and will let history speak for it itself on the matter.

Edith Woi

@Lisa baaahahahaha! Rire de mort!

CJ Walley

Edith, if your intention is to change things from the inside then I say embrace that passion and all the best to you :)

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

@Peter, ah so I'm assuming you're saying it's the producer who makes things difficult to get a script off the ground? But what if the producer is the one who likes the script? Can you elaborate? I'm not saying this plan in bulletproof, I just don't understand why it wouldn't work. A good script is a good script. Most people usually aggree on that. Five like minded producers should just sit down and read five scripts that have placed high in contests, and then pick one. I'm simplifying a lengthy process, I know, but quality scripts are out there. Why the hell isn't it that easy? That isn't a rhetorical question...

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

There is something I don't really understand: I know nobody here in France who wouldn't go to the movies because the lead actress/actor is Halle Berry and not Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington and not Tom Cruise... Isn't it the same in the US? You speak meanly of (Black? Black American? African American?...) people. What about the other minorities: Asians, Native Americans, Indians...? The only famous Hollywood Asian director and actress I know are John Who (Honk Kong) and Lucy Liu, the only notable Native American actor I know is Wes Studi... Is there also a problem with women? What about Lucy, Gravity...? Personally, I used to watch Catwoman (which is not a good movie) from time to time, just for the pleasure of seeing Halle Berry playing. I don't do this for Batman, Captain America... I watched Flight because Denzel Washington played the lead character, and I wouldn't have watched it if the role have been played by lot of white actors... Remembering the forty last years, at least a dozen of great Black American actors/actress immediately come to my mind: Sidney Poittier, Denzel Washington, Whoopy Goldberg, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Diana Ross, Ruby Dee, Lauwrence Fishburne, Forrest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Fox... Not many more White Americans: Paul Newman, Steve Mac queen, Barbra Streisand, Sigourney Weaver, Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Penelope Cruz (Spannish), Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks... This is about the audience. I don't know about the industry. It seems like there are many young (Black American?) writers and directors walking in the steps of Spike Lee, having some success at Sundance and in other festivals. Don't they write/make movies about Black heroes? There might be a way to assess the problem: there are more than 10,000 writers trying to open Hollywood doors and less than 100 among them who will succeed. How many (Black Americans?) among the 10,000 and among the 100? So is it a real problem to write movies with Black Characters? I'm not sure.

Richard Allis

Edith: “It IS possible for white person to understand the depth of experience of a minority if they find themselves in a place where they are minority? Is that true? I don't know. Can Whites . . . ever feel insecure about themselves based on their ethnicity?” When I was coming up through grade school, I was singled out as the one kid anyone could, and all of them did, pick on. I was very book smart and so started school a year earlier, and hence was less advanced socially than the others. And probably would also have been less socially advanced than kids my own age as my parents kept me wonderfully(?) naive about life in an effort for me to have an innocent childhood. Which only added to the merciless ridicule from my more worldly classmates. Integration of schools was still a fairly new thing in our state when I came through. My mom prepared me for the fact that I would see black faces in school, though I would never had a problem with them. From either direction. The black kids, esp. in grade school, befriended me more often than the white kids did! Hearing the “pity” from the white kids about the black kids abilities/chances/whatever, I once asked my mom about the Civil Rights movement. (I’m not sure anymore what the precise, exact motivation for the question was.) She told me that the black people had to struggle for their rights, but they succeeded and that everything was all right now. (I later learned much more of the struggle and that things still weren’t exactly “all right”. But maybe better.) In grade school, I began looking for and trying to figure out how to get my own “civil rights” from the ridicule of my classmates. I do understand what it feels like to have to remember who I am and what my “social status” is. While my experience was not based on my ethnicity, I readily sympathize and identify with the historical plight of black people in America, and elsewhere. And I never once had the first inkling that I might be “special” and “deserve respect” just because I had white skin. I was just another person. It was not something I ever thought about. Although, on the other hand, my understanding of the characters I write may never be quite exact, as no one person can ever actually truly know what it feels like to be any other person, white or black, male or female, one individual to another, because in the end, we are really only just ourselves.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

I understand what Richard says: I was a puny boy for years the scapegoat of the classroom big shot, the one he hit when he needed to renew his popularity, and this maintained a big scar in my mind for years.

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie - I did use minorities in the general sense though I have made reference to Blacks since I consider myself to be Black. Hkwever, I would love to see more Asians and Latins, and everyone on the screen! Besides the list of Black actors mentioned., I too only know of Lucy Lu and the Asian America woman who plays on Greys Anatomy (can't remember her name sorry). Oh there is the Choo woman who is a comedienne. I love Chow Yung Phat and Jackie Chan and besides Cruz and J .Lopez cant really recall too many Latins. But the world isn't just America. One of my best friends is Chinese (British) and we just talk about movies and frankly we love them but both of us rarely see people who "look like us" in films. We still love them but notice when there is a minority in the film its a bit comforting...it is like a validation that we too exist and have such and such issues. @Richard- I agree with what you write. Surprisingly, a year ago I went to Gyor, Hungary. There was a group of neo-Nazi's around the train station prepared tomcause trouble simply because of the colour of my skin. I know there is a prejudice for overweight people, disabled etc etc. But what I realised was that those arseholes would probably have tried to kill me if they could. A threat to your life simply for being who you are is something I can't explain. Not to belittle bullying, but I am not able to articulate my emotions, as I rarely ever felt a sense of panic like that. If I was in London or America I wouldn't have panicked so much. Sorry for going off on a tangent, but it would be nice to use the media as well to affect the fringes of society. Hell maybe they like Denzel Washington as well!!! So yes,a White person can write about the depth of minority experiences. I remember watching an episode of Sex in the City when Miranda had to stay home due to some injury. She ended up watching this soap opera on tv. It was about an interracial (Black/White) couple. Then Miranda met Blair Underwoods' s character. I loved it!!! I felt like yes, something similar to my own experience! I know that episode in and out and only watched it once. But I can replay it so vividly in my mind. It would be nice to feel that way more often.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hey Edith, Welcome to France! You could write about any color of skin with the same chance of success and you'll risk being attacked only by the tax collector!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

What do you think is the best and the worst for a screenwriter in the USA, to be a Black American, to be Non American, to be Black and Non American, something else?

Edith Woi

@Jean -Marie. I love the French! My parents were Haitian and I speak Creole and proper French quite badly. My German is best when arguing with any customer service reps in Vienna. Personally I think it's hard for writers in general. Though I think it's harder for minorities whether Black, Mexican, Asian, or any minority American. You might be looked upon as a bit more acceptable if you are Black British.....not sure why. Maybe Americans feel the Brits are pretty clever anyway? Nonetheless, people like to be with and work with people that are like themselves (normally say psychologists). I find that boring and seek those who are different from myself to learn and gain new insight.

Tony McFadden

Hey George. Typical submarine crew is around 160. You're talking about more like 400. Hope your sub is massive compared to the typical.

Edith Woi

How is it again then that Stage32 helps writers? Are we supposed to look up JOBS? Or by some mercy of God have someone accidentally come across our profile and notice oooh "diverse storyteller" 12 o'clock?

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I've had two scripts optioned since I started to become active again a month ago. One found me, and the other posted a request for a short script. I sent him mine and he picked it. I don't know if any of my posted scripts had anything to do with their decisions but it sure doesn't hurt to give people a taste of your skills. I also use it whenever I see frequent posters on the screenwriting lounge and want to see if their writing backs up their talk. If I don't see anything posted then I Google. If I don't find your name in anything noteworthy I usually write you off.(well unless your name is James Smith or something common like that) So having a script on here will only help you (if you're good.) I don't know about the job section... I look at it everyday and even apply, but I expect nothing from it. Stuff can be posted for 3 minutes and already have like 98 views, lol. And it seems like it's a lot of people just asking for favors, not really giving out jobs. Especially from us screenwriters. I could just easily create a job thread for my scripts and ask for a non paid director, actor, sound person, cinematographer, etc... That's what it seems like to me. But I always look. You can never stop looking...

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Oh and I guess to be on topic, I do feel reluctant to tell people my race. I find a lot of people are surprised that I'm not white. I've been told "wow dude, I didn't know your were black. Your writing is so good and diverse. " I mean, I know they aren't racist, but there are preconceived notions that minorities are usually bad screenplay writers, and can only write about their minority experiences. I write about ghouls and goblins and androids and aliens and blood and African American violinists from Europe with a gambling and alcohol addiction and Moses not parting the red sea and clowns. I write scripts about whatever interesting things that comes to mind. I'm just like everybody else. Treat me like that.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Lisa, IMO, that should be easier to detect a Non American writer than a Black/Female American writer, due to their turn of speaking, typos... which are eliminatory at the first round in most of contests (except for Screenplay Festival, maybe some others ) Women and minorities are also specific targets and there are contests and contest sections dedicated to them (at least Women, LGBT, Black, Latino...). Are there never Black females among the readers? - E.g. Reel Writers eliminate even A4 page format arguing that american printers cannot print it! (same width, +0.7 inch in length and same number of lines than US Letter, any printer in the world able to convert one format to the other!) This is not a problem for me because I can afford proofreading, but many people cannot.

Edith Woi

@Jean-Pierre Well done! I wonder if I put a fake profile picture of White female would my scripts get more attention. At the end of the day my writing has to be up to scratch but just to open the door? @Jean -Marie I have read some scripts by minorities that were quite dreadful to get through due to languge or writing skills....general skills. However, if its thd dialogue then it's a different issue. I trh to write British at times, then American....then ghetto style.....and it's part of the characterisation mostly. Imean I would love to read some Chris Rock's scipt or Tyler Perry's.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

I never went to the States. For now, my best successes with the only screenplay I submitted to contests are Screenplay Festival 2013 (Honorable Mention), Yosemite FF 2014 (Ten official finalist), Storypros Awards 2014 (Quarterfinalist), Richmond IFF 2014 (quarterfinalist, running). I improve it and hope to do better (it's not as great as Lars Von Trier's of course). On the business side, I try to explore and understand the selling processes in Hollywood (official and underground) in order to find the best levers. ;o) The main character is a white woman (late 20s) and I cannot change this because of the plot settings, but the first supporting character (35) could be a Black, an Indian American or a metis man, and in the context, this could be interesting...

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I couldn't imagine writing a script in another language. Kudos to you tough gals and guys out there. "you should send your stuff to Tyler Perry" - omg... Same here!! Oh, but the absolute best one for me was when I worked as a waiter in college and a guy asked me what I was majoring in and I said Film. He said "Oh, I love movies, what kind do you want to make?" and I said "I focus mostly on sci-fi, fantasy, or horror. I like films like the sixth sense, Sin City, 28 days later, stuff like that." So he genuinely looks me in the eye and says "Oh, that's great. So you want to be like the next Spike Lee?" Like, I really didn't mean to, because I knew his heart was in the right place, but I must have gave him a look that I guess offended him, because he told my manager and I was pulled to the back and talked to, lol. It's a struggle, man. Minorities have to fight harder, but it'll be a sweeter payoff.

Edith Woi

@Jean - Marie Do you think the accolades from the screenwriting festivals help?

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Why, have you seen my name attached to a reader writing script coverage for a producer? Because that may or may not be accurate...

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

This helps me to improve my script. Beyond that, I don't know and for now I don't use it.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I gave you cheeky answers because there was never really a question. Did you think the answer would have been a yes? If I had said yes, would you have believed me? So I was toying with you and as expected, pete was pete. I said it was an opinion and not hard facts. Maybe I am delusional. I think that screenplay contests that have been running for a while know good scripts. I think producers are scared of them because original ideas aren't guaranteed money. Minority producers should pick them up. Usually first time writers always have budget in mind so they're most likely cheap to make. Again, I'm not saying this method is bullet proof. I'm sure there are holes in it that I'm looking over. But I don't think the lack of quality scripts is one of the reasons. I probably shouldn't have sounded so definite in my earlier posts. I apologize for that. pete you argue just to argue. You don't touch on points when you're proven wrong, you just simply move on. You'd probably write a hellava protagonist, but I'm starting to get the feeling you're a sayer and not a doer. I could be completely wrong and you could be thriving in Brooklyn as a writer or script consultant, but I dunno man... I'm sure you'll prove me wrong in the next post. Or... Completely ignore my proven point as you so like to do... I hope you're okay on the inside though. You seem to always be fighting. I wish you luck in whatever you really do, man. Honestly. Maybe we'll meet later in life and laugh about it over script notes. But I doubt it.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Bravo to the studio who did "Annie" using black actors -- because why not?!! But do NOT re-do a well-known stage musical that makes demands on the child actress's singing and acting talent -- unless she can sing like a young Ethel Merman. Lamentable production.

Tony McFadden

I read in an interview with the director (I think) that Quvenzhané Wallis was selected for the role NOT because she was black, but because she was available. Hundreds were looked at and she was selected. Don't know if that's true or not, as the story behind a movie is often as fabricated as the fiction on the screen, but I'd like to think it was true.

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Quvenzhané Wallis (born in 2003) - - NO talent for singing and too old for the role. Yep, great choice. Especially when those classics from the Broadway score have been covered so many times that we all know what they should sound like. And so much black talent out there -- 8-octave actresses who can sing their heart out.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

What about White Man's Burden (1995)? Was it a bad movie or a disturbing movie?

CJ Walley

Regarding the comments on execs and reading bios on Stage 32, industry members have been regularly encouraged to visit the site since it started. Beyond that, it's up to each of us to try and stand out enough to be noticed. It's really worth watching the On Stage With RB Next Level Webinars for tips on how to best use the site to our advantage: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/on-stage-with-rb

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Lisa, "many producers are afraid of new and risky. many producers are afraid that the world is too racist too" Something tells me you're right and you should not. The world is as racist as the States, but: 1. Not about the same people everywhere, 2. US minorities are majorities somewhere, and most of good movies make more of the half of their gross in foreign countries!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Most of best US movies make between 60 and 80% of their gross outside the States. The different targets are - Commonwealth - English speaking countries - Latin America + Spain and Portugal - Western Europe also including Great Britain, Spain and Portugal - Central Europe and Russia, - India and bordering Countries - Middle east and North Africa - Africa - China - Japan and other asian countries All these areas are defined by their cultural and ethnic properties.

Edith Woi

Do stories with little dialogue and universal themes encourage execs to see the possibilitiy of having an original story idea that would translate across cultures? This should eliminate the concern whether or not its a minority portraying the role?

CJ Walley

Lisa, the whole modus operandi of Stage 32 is to provide networking, education, access, and opportunity to the membership. Those behind it want to see success stories via organic means just as much as we do, so time and money is consistently being invested in the free areas of the site to help achieve that goal. I don't have any insight into the frequency industry members are encouraged via email but I do know it's something handled carefully and very professionally.

Edith Woi

@GEP. Bwahaaahhhahaha. I meant with less boobs exposed!

CJ Walley

Lisa, it really comes down to what your goal and strategy is. Not all of us are perhaps aiming as high as yourself or trying to break in via the same route, so the profile of who you'd like to see visiting your profile page might not be the same as myself or others.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Peter, My purpose was not to make an analysis of racism all over the world, but to contribute to the topic of this post. Please create a new post if you want to carry on with this interesting controversy.

Edith Woi

Happy New Year All. Is it sad that I am posting on NYD? Or a statement that I wasn't an alcohol casualty of last night's festivities? I have to say that in my life, so far, once I have met someone I never feel a sense racism. And I can say that I, like many others have many prejudices! Online is fine, but it does lead to stereotyping as this is nature's way to weed out threats. I need to meet people face to face......or at the very least by phone in order to wham their arses with my talent. Things are not just black and white, or 8 1/2 × 11" or in my case a possibly damning size A4!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Dear Peter, Obviously, you need a great space and windmills to fight for unlishing all your energy. As a little bulky in the posts of others, I created a post especially for you! Have fun: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/For-Peter-Correy Happy New Year!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Happy New Year.

Edith Woi

JM and PC ...hilarious! But could one of you answer this? We are writers and have huge imaginations right? Well then imagine a diverse Hollywood. I mean with screenwritng, casting directors, agents, producers and the whole shabang full of every ethnicity, disabilities, etc. Would the movies made be different ? What would a truly diverse Hollywood produce?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Thank you for the resit Edith. ;o) You mean without prejudice of all sorts? IMO, - Between the camera and the screen this would not be so different because this is so wide and complex (on the mess side), but this could be very different on the business side because even it's not about races and cultures but about money, this is based on many irrational behaviors. As Lisa said, "if you build it, they will come". - This could be very different in front of the camera and in front of the screen.

Edith Woi

...but WE ALL HAVE PREJUDICES! There are some neighbourhoods that I simply would not live in! Yes, I said it. Racism is a bit different though as it is also the power and means to exert one's supposed superiourity over another. I think I am superiour...but don't seem to have the power at the moment to exert it over anyone LOL.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

I don't think I am superior. I admire great women and great men, whatever their races, nationalities and cultures, beginning with Marie Curie, John Paul II (I am an atheist) and Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela is probably the greatest man on earth from the last sixty years. I would pefer to be a Black Nelson Mandela than 1000 White JMMazaleyrat. Just look at this: https://www.facebook.com/nelsonmandela?fref=nf and this: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=4840317783963

Linda Burdick

My God....all this talk....we need to worry really about the people who are beheaded every day....the children especially. This is cause for comment about race and religion, prejudice and hatred. For the rest of us: one year of our rotten is utopia for these people as their suffering is truly suffering. Let's be grateful for who we are and what we can do for each other and for ourselves. If you have a story with a particular strong message from your heart then the audience will hear it and come away from a movie saying, "That was a really good movie, it touched my heart." When barriers are put up in the writers mind...how then can you touch the heart? This is the goal...don't lose sight of it. Scribes have something to say...for a reason. All this talk sounds like the Inner Critic getting in the way of the process of writing. Let the inner critic have his or her say, then put all this away in the drawer and get back to writing the message put upon your heart. Everyone is worthy, we don't need to argue that point...God gave us that as a birthright.

Edith Woi

@PC aha...the audience. However, has Hollywood given the audience a real chance for choice? @Linda wunderbar. I love being touched in any movie no matter the genre or anything else. Ultimately I would like to touch the hearts of people.

Edith Woi

@GEP.....so I should think more Inglorious Basterds vs Old Dirty Bastard LOL

CJ Walley

Oriel, I'm so delighted to read my article helped you go with your gut and write your lead character as female. You just made my 2015 already! :)

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Peter, I'm glad you have no opinion about Marie Curie an John Paul II. As your considerations about Nelson Mandela have nothing to do with the present topic, I'll answer in your sandbox: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/For-Peter-Correy

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Linda, With or without the help of any god, I agree with you.

Edith Woi

I just read my last comment out of context. Funny..."love being touched in any movie".... That is NEWS :-) I digress! Have anyone been FORMALLY trained as a screenwriter? Academically speaking, what do "those who teach because they don't do" say?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Edith, I'm not sure you'll find many ones "who teach because they don't do", as well as many who teach because they do, or at least did.(there are exceptions of course) However, I don't really know activities that one can effectively teach without having practiced. Even when the theory is well established, it still lacks the fingering, the tricks virtuosi and champions don't find in books. That's why we don't learn to play a musical instrument with a professor who doesn't play the same. That's also why the best sports coaches are former champions ... and maybe that's why the rules and teachers of screenwriting always refer to structure, journey, format, ideal length of description and dialogue, etc. but never to creativity, originality, art ... and are unable to teach us the tricks of Tarantino, Welles, Wilder ... I think that teaching screenwriting is mostly a refuge for those who failed in the performance... just a way to earn a living and to distinguish yourself from the herd. Fortunately, we can refer to things like below, search about the ones he gives and read their texts... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFlX-fsPWwQ

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie - Tarantino is a guy I do like a lot! I really admire his dialogues as being edgy yet simplistic in nature. When I watch his movies, I think to myself, "hell, I could have written that"....eherm...but haven't we all. I love PERIOD PIECES! I love the BBC versions of everything! And I am Black! I want to cry because I would love to write and integrate period-type dialogue. At the moment, I usually ADD one character with a very posh, British accent. @Lisa - networking is a bitch! It would drive me to "teach" if I could though I have NO DESIRE to teach! I am a woman of action! :-)

Edith Woi

...side note...in the UK, a big issue is that many of the Period Pieces don't have enough minorities. Fact is, back in "those days", there wouldn't be many minorities interacting with high society. And the BBC like to keep things pretty true to history. However, I think, and let me know if you agree, that we should HANG HISTORY, and still write minority characters in those pieces. My favourite tv series (off now) is Grantchester. I love the writing....I so could have been on that team! arghhhh..... my mouth waters at the thought.

Edith Woi

@Lisa- Hollyweird...word added to my personal dictionary. So the BBC, yet another weird and fanciful beast to battle on the minority front.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

@ Edith, IMO (this is very personal), there are two ways to write great History/Mythical pieces: - the quasi-documentary way which seems to be what the BBC like (Downton Abbey, The Tudors...?) - the pure fictional way that allows all poetic, theatrical, philosophic, political, uchronic ... license. Historical and Mythical events are a great source of inspiration for writers since time immemorial: Troy, Odissey... WW One (Paths of Glory...), WW Two (Inglorious Besterds...), Cold War (Dr Strangelove...). In my teens, I watched two great historical series: - The Six Wives of Henry VIII (BBC 1970), very realistic - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066714/ - Les Rois Maudits (ORTF 1972), very stylized and theatrical - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173594/ The two were amazing. I also watched Black Orpheus ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053146/ ) wich is the transposition of Orpheus Myth in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnaval, with Black heroes of course. This was also amazing. And to finish with, one of my favorite movie of all time: West Side Story http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614/ What I don't like are movies that try to mix these two ways. I find this clumsy.

CJ Walley

Edith, period pieces, especially mainstream ones, are often made to satisfy the audience's perception of history rather than the facts. The UK has had some remarkable and highly respected black people in its early history but the general audience would struggle to believe it in a primetime TV show.

Edith Woi

Wait a minute! I have to take off my jewellery and do the Lisa! @ Jean-Marie....HOGWASH! @Peter Double HOGWASH!. You mean to tell me that I have to believe that ALL THE HISTORY in the world that is by all means, writing by Whites, is the only history out there? What about the oral traditions? You really feel history is just what the Encycloepedia has to offer? That is LIMITED THINKING and you should relegate yourselves to a Sony job indeed. We are WRITERS....and our JOBS should be to inspire fresh story of "what ifs" as well. There is a place for everything. Nothing new is under the sun you know. I can't believe in a tale of George Washington, surely he screwed many a slave chic! He might have loved them too ...and with Fredrick Douglas, he might have had an affair with an Asian or White woman or Irish woman! Because their historical races were as they are...doesn't mean there can NOT be a slew of ideas of how to present other characters of colour in stories! I disagree wholeheartedly with your presumptions that mixing history with fantasy is clumsy if not ridiculous! We don't know the whole story.....we will never know the whole story.... If we just write history based on black and white typesetting....than I have NO need to watch another movie as the tales have all been told!!!!!!!!! arghhh.....I am hot!

Edith Woi

....and I didn't even READ my last comment before pressing Post Comment so hastily LOL. I love making a mess of things! (sometimes....not like Naomi Campbell).

Edith Woi

@CJ- fair enough point. However, for a Georg Washington, would an audience find it hard to believe that a gorgeous Lucy Lu type woman got shipwrecked near his plantation. Or that Frederick Douglass in his travels to Ireland to lecture, didn't come across some Lady or Countess interested in his plight leading to some untold story. UNTOLD STORIES.....doesn't that ring a bell and can be something to pique the attention of audiences? How much dumbing down can one do? @Peter - I think I have a few Southern White friends who get angry in a similar fashion. Nonetheless, my "angry Black chick" reaction is not an act at all. It is called having real emotions; passion even. Who in their "right" mind really causes change in this world? Huh? It is not anger that drives me...but the love of wanting to tell a story. If you are incapable of handling my backlashings...eherm critics, then you are in the wrong business. We have to be able to take it as well as dish it out. When I do, must one call it "angry Black chick". However, when you have your nonsensical discourses, are we all to assume you are the "calm White dude" and politely simply state we disagree?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

We already watched Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires, and what about Jesus Christ: we used to represent him blond, which is a perfect nonsense! So why not a Black George Washington?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Euh... I'm a little confused, I don't understand why I earned an "HOGWASH". Did I said something wrong?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

One other of my favorite movies, with a Black Hero in a conventional White rôle, is Blazzing Saddles, witch is also a very good example of burlesque, deconstruction and mise en abyme (the fake town, the movie breaking on the set of a musical, then into itself...) An idea for an irreverent comedy: You want to make George Washington turning Black and having a big problem to manage? Just make him suffering Addison disease!

Edith Woi

@Lisa what ever happened to this movie? Never heard of it but it got an Ebert thumbs up?! @Jean Marie- hogwash was in reference to your dislike of mixing historical ideas with fictional/fantasy. I think it CAN work and Lisa brought up great Tarantino examples e.g. Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds. You even posted a link to an interview with Tarantino, so I assume you do appreciate his work.

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie- Love Blazing Saddles! Excellent example! THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX PEEPS!!!! Colouring in between the lines might look nice but it isn't as much fun as colouring outside the lines!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

N.B.: Blazzing Saddles cost $2.6 M and grossed $120 M! And I don't think anybody could accuse this movie and Mel Brooks of racism: his cowriter was Richard Pryor.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hey Edith, by "mixing" the genres, I wanted to talk about umbelievable fictional stories tending to have the audience believe it's historical (E.G. add a male lover as the 7th spouse to Henri VIII's bunch or make Leonard De Vinci flying on a deltaplane as if it were the truth). This is not the case for Django Unchained and Unglorious Basterds!

Edith Woi

@Oriel. I think I will! Watch this space. @Jean-Marie....lots of monarchs were bisexual...and I could easily believe HVIII had a 7th lover who was the head of his cabinet. DaVinci could fly on a Delta plane as a premonition and at then end he wakes up in an opium salon having recovered from an overdose...that is off the top of my head. ?..and btw...Napolean Bonaparte secretly married a Haitian seamstress while visiting Santo Domingo and fathered a daughter who he sent to America to be raised as a child prodigy?? Too far fetched to make story? Don't think so. History is only a fraction of the whole story of people's experiences. We can EXPAND any historical piece. That is if we try......

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Lisa and Edith: George Washington: I can't find this movie here. Was it released on DVD in England please? "George Washington" is only the title isn't it? That's not the full name of the boy.

Tony McFadden

Seriously, a few of you have written enough words here for at least Act 1 of a screenplay. Certainly spent enough time to write Act 1. You know who you are. Stop talking about doing it and just fucking do it.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Napoleon's firts wife Josephine de Beauharnais was Martinican. Ok Edith, all these ideas are great. Would you treat them as fictional uchronies or in revisionist style? There are infinity of real events to begin stories: - The Rockefeller family is descendent from the Baron of Roquefeuil , Count of Naut, Lord of Bonaguil and Cantobre, who built the last fortified castle of France in 1482, just ten years before Christophe Colomb discovered America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Bonaguil - The Cadillac Family came from Cadillac, near Bordeaux, where a famous battle occured during the Hundred Years War, - What if Benjamin Franklin have not convinced Napoleon 1er to sell the Lousiane to the USA: all the Mississipi bassin from Caribbean sea to the Canada, larger than the whole united states, and passage toward all the western territories from texas to Montana? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase - La Fayette would have been the first Viceroy of French America, two thirds of the US would be French, the slavery would have been abolished in 1848, no cessession war...

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie by "George you have got. Those are some excellent ideas. But I, like you, only heard of the movie George Washington after Lisa pointed it out. @Oriel Cheers! @Tony Truer words have never been written Lol. Right Captain, on it. My goal at the very least is to complete an outline a short period piece by end if day!

Edith Woi

@Peter I don't think I use Whites as a scapegoat at all. I may use you as a representation of "them" to make a point. There are just some thing in life that are factuall like most written history came from Whites and many other cultures carried on oral traditions which cant be googled today so easily innit? I work with the cards dealt to me in life instead of talking about who "has me down". I am not a defeatist and no person has or I choos ee not to give any man whatever colour that power. Now your history lesson is no news to me. But I am happy you know and it was refreshing to read it. My parents came from Haiti and illegally came to America. I am in the process of finishing a spin off story about that theme.n Also I have written a book, quite badly, which I am making into a screenplay about Haiti and the Nazis during World War I and II. I see Michael Fassbender as male lead and Naomie Harris as lead with Christoph Waltz headlining the movie as well! But you right Peter that story must be told and on the big screen ...give me time. I earn $0, roughly per annum through my writing! So I don't scapegoat the Whiteman for "keeping me down" I should endevour to earn a means of feeding myself.

Edith Woi

QUESTION QUESTION!!! To reiterate, I have a book I wrote which I will convert to a screenplay as I feel scriptwriting better suits my talents. However, in the book, for the sake of characterisation, I used a lot of Creole and German (because I speak both languages). My question, is for an international audience, should I change the dialogue to "English"? I ask because I am think about Inglorious Basterds. The script had French, German and some Italian in it (though I can't believe Tarantino is a language genius and wrote all that by himself when the credits only list Quentin as the writer?!) Suggestions? Comments?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

In addition to Oriel: Ernest Hemingway had the same problem with For Whom the Bell Tolls (the novel of course), translating literally spanish expressions, which sometimes give them a strange meaning in English. This was adapted in the French version of the movie. I don't know about the original American movie (1943). I'm looking for the script. IMO - please note that this is also a very personal belief ;o) - the best being what makes you story more compelling, I would keep what is easily understable and adapt the rest. I speak a little the French Caribbean Creole and the French Indian-ocean Creole (I worked in Martinique and lived several years in La Reunion). Most of the time, the context helps to understand. Mixing action/description meaning with Creole dialogue should be a great way to make it interesting and enjoyable.

Edith Woi

@Oriel. Thanks! @Jeam-Marie....yes...I think it is interesting to add the odd bit of Creole and German in there. Gives the characters...well "character":-) And my Creole is quite bad...I tried learning proper French...so go back and forth between the two... :-) Did ANYONE write anything significant today? I mean besides on this thread? :-)

Deryn Warren

A good script is a good script so do what you want and make it brilliant! I script doctor if you need one.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Deryn, Thank you so much. What do you think about actable words. Should writers use more actable words in their scripts? Please send me your book. I'll decide if I consult you when I'll have read it. Edith, I wrote quite nothing on my scripts since about two months. So I think about taking some holidays in order to work a little. You'll be rid of my logorrhea. You already hold the record of comments on the same post on Stage 32!

Deryn Warren

Jean-Marie, What are actable words? Also you don't ask writers to send you their books. You do the writers the favor of buying their books. :) Mine is called HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU and is directed to actors. If you want to see what writers have said about my script doctoring go to DerynWarren.com and look under script doctor and you see what I am capable of. I am tough though. Really tough. Edith, use all the Creole or anything else you need to give flavor. Of course! And best of luck to you. Keep going!

Edith Woi

@Peter. My feelings for you are similar to the emotions I had during the movie Face Off. I just couldn't figure out if should start hating or loving Nicholas Cage or John Travolta!? I was confusssssed! Though I felt a tender moment in your writing when you stated the fact that I am able to write for myself. Then....kablam! You wrote again! hehehehe. Frankly, I think Asians are white too! LOL Maybe it's a "black" thang...but I would describe most Asians (China, Japan, etc) as white, with dark hair (if I saw one running off with my handbag). But I guess "Whites" might class them as non-whites from an Anthropological point of view??? LOL!!!! Black or White is JUST A COLOUR to me....not an indication of the person inside:-) @Deryn - Thanks! And welcome to the madness! @ Jean-Marie - I just left Rome for a week and managed only an outline of a script. I hate having to take holidays just to write! In any case, your logorrhea would be missed! We need as many people on board to fend off Peter! hahahaha!

Edith Woi

@Peter- If someone stole my bag from India...I would say "brown". They ain't Black! People I DON'T consider Black (not exhaustive) - Mexicans, Native Americans, Aborigenes(aussie), or any Asians. They are globally NOT even minorities as a group. What is a true Black....??? Good question.

Edith Woi

@Peter - Stimmt! I can't explain it, but I know a true Black...but I just can't articulate it. If you have coily hair, then maybe that is ONE criteria for being a true Black Lol. My real hair is coily. Not this weave on! Lol

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

@ Deryn, Your book is to know what you're made of as a teacher/doctor. I'm both disapointed and glad you don't know what are actable words: - "Actable verbs" is the new "in" concept of actors training by those who don't act, as well as the definitive way to stay a mediocre actor ( http://texasartsproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/TacticList21.pdf - http://wgadvancedtheaterproductions.blogspot.fr/p/lecture-subtext-whats-... - ...). The equivalent of basic paradigms in screenwriting... The denial of rhetoric. - And some fine "in" readers and doctors who don't write anything are beginning to suggest that screenwriters should put more "actable words" in their scripts (meaning that there are words and verbs that are not actable. How did our predecessors have written without knowing that? ) ;o)

Deryn Warren

Jean_Marie, I gave you a free way to check out my book go to DerynWarren.com and read a chapter or to your local bookstore and read it there with a cup of coffee. Actable words? I looked it up. Pshaw. All actors have to know what they are Fighting For and how they want to change their partner and it better be strong and full of energy and exciting. When I direct I always give parts to minorities and don't wait for the writer to specify it. In one film the lead was not always nice so I cast his best friend with a guy who who just happened to need crutches to walk (in real life). No one mentioned it but it made the lead more likable to have a friend like that. The actor appreciated that too.

Tony McFadden

@ George. I couldn't read it. The formatting makes it too difficult. I'd suggest getting Celtx (free) or Final Draft, formatting it like a screenplay should be formatted and putting it on Stage 32. Even just the first 10 pages. What "book" do you have on how to write scripts? "Your Screenplay Sucks" is one of the best I know.

Kieran C. Herman

Coming into this party very, very late, but yes, It IS possible for a white person to feel insecure about their ethnicity depending on where they are. Growing up, I was one of 6 white kids to a classroom with 25+ black kids. Being the only white person in the room can feel very awkward, because you DO feel, depending on the person, I guess, that you are in a world you may not understand. Color can create vast cultural rifts and rich cultural traditions that you wouldn't get to experience were you not a 'member' of said culture.

Deryn Warren

George, I will read ten pages free for you. There is a difference between talking heads, ie people chatting and ACTION. I also bet Zero Dark Thirty didn't have thirteen pages of emergency calls. You have to be very exact with film structure. You have to start with an inciting incident. Action can be physical or emotional but things have to HAPPEN soon. Audiences have a short attention span. I will read it even with a bad formatting. Go to Derynwarren.com and see what I do under script doctoring. I have taken people to the finals in the Nicholls prize. The big one. Takes a lot of work and an open mind. You are getting support here. Have a great attitude. Hard sometimes but necessary. Okay, I "manned up" so take advantage of it.

Edith Woi

@Oriel - good that you have actively joined the thread. However, I never purported that I was the representation of what all Blacks or minorities deem to be "black". I have clearly stated, we ALL have prejudices including myself and I admitted not wanting to even live in certain neighbourhoods. My goal initially was to try and foster dialogue about the generalities of adding minorities (whether Black or any other) in scripts/movies. I am insulted daily and take it with a grain of salt. I personally know I insult people daily as well. That is me! Like Marmite you either love it or hate it. In my opinions, I would hope to engage people to want to act. If I don't say anything, whether right or wrong, then I might as well be dead. I can't think of one person who is faultless in area of their lives. BUT we are to be responsible and ready for the consequences of our words and actions. Frankly, if you "think" you are Black and want others to refer you are "Black" then your skin colour can be as fair as Snow White, I would respect that and call you Black! That is why I am not able to pigeon-hole a catlogue of what is Black. Life is all relative depending on circumstances. @GEP- Would love to help...have to take some time to read what the hell all the fuss is about regarding your script. @Deryn - Thank the Lord....I do hope GEP finds support with your offer (am still here to help for FREE as well:-) @ Peter - you are a good person....DEEP down LOL NOTE to others! I talk much rubbish just as well as the next person. I should hope we all don't have a broom up our arses and can't take a bit of humour in discourses!

Edith Woi

@Peter- like your version of GEP's logline. @GEP- I have to agree that 13 pages of an emergency calls doesn't allow time(pages) to introduce the main characters. Also, the formatting makes it a slow read. On my first screenplay I used celtx.com (as already mentioned) AND more importantly (as those software sites are not 100%) I googled examples of professional scripts. This site helped me tremendously (amongst others) http://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptw... .

Edith Woi

@GEP I think there is a lot of work to be done....do take what help is offered. The next screenplay will get easier :-)

Edith Woi

@Dan....you made my day with your post. Green is the ultimate colour in Hollywood. When I hit it big I hope you will be willing to work with me :-)

Edith Woi

@Jean -Marie. Interesting. You are the top contributor here! Face plastered all over main Screenwriting page! Lol. Btw...who is the head of Hollywood? I mean the head honcho.....who hae greatest influence? Or is the regime not as hierarchical as I imagine. A guess?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

A guess? I think it's fractal and chaotic: a jumble... which is the best thing it can do: freedom ;o)

Deryn Warren

Peter's logline help was excellent. Dan's screenplay discussion was so good that I am copying it and sending it out. If only all the screenplays I read took his advice.( But where is it above? It was only in mye mail.) And this thread was worth it for meeting so many of you and especially the bursting spirit, intelligence, humor, compassion, acceptance of the flaws of human beings, and (I hope) talent of Edith Woi.

Deryn Warren

Sorry No the person who wrote the brilliance on screenplays wasnot Dan but CJ Walley . Thank you! Excellent and your advice makes me know that you are a terrific writer.

CJ Walley

Thanks for the kind words, Deryn :)

Edith Woi

@Deryn Dammit! I am speechless now! :-)))))

Tony McFadden

I think this is what the expression "bigger than Ben Hur" was invented for. Way too ambitious, especially for a first project.

Tony McFadden

And why no North Korea? You're including Syria, Mozambique and the Faroe Islands.

Deryn Warren

George, I made you a generous offer and you didn't mention it? Did you see what I posted? And Lisa made a good point. Who is your protagonist? Is it the captain?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Two people from each nation = Two Chineses + two Indians + ... + two Monegasques + two Lischteinsteinians + two Andorans? What about Native Americans, Aboriginals, Massais, Inuits...? And I find difficult to relate in the same plot 390 people (195 male + 195 female) of all countries (except North Korea) embarking in the same big adventure and a settlement of score between two people ... except that the Villain spies for North Korea I presume. Sounds too much like "2012" to me. This movie was perfectly unrealistic (premise, plot, effects...): E.G. do you imagine the leadership of a 1.8 billion people nation keeping places for other nations in any arch? At the last moment, they'll have kept these places for them and their families and anybody would have tried to do the same anywhere on Earth!... Just as the heroes! ... And obviously, the President of the USA leave selflessly his place for younger people but we can see the Queen Elizabeth II (86 years old at that time) boarding at the end of the movie! ... Just a little too carricatural to my liking. Definitely for "basic cavemen" (dito Blake Snyder). These are situations that may occur in good parodical or animated movies, but this plot mixing action, thriller, moral and philosophical issues seems very difficult to adapt; and you must make a perfect balance between the large focus on your theme, the 400 people crew and their quest, and the close focus on your protagonists and their personal fight; or focus only on your protagonists. Just my thinking.

Deryn Warren

Peter, although sometimes . . . . I have to admit that your last post was hilarious and well written. George, Is Oriel right with the woe is me bit? I made you an offer. IS it true that you just want to fuss and not accept help? Why don't you contact me? I have taken writers to major prizes and you ignore help? What IS your story? Should someone say something to the . . .

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

This is a good story about great men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMfIsvCPq6s

Edith Woi

@George - I feel your frustration. To me it seems like you have something in your head and no one else "sees" it as you do? I sense a bit of procrastination for the sake of giving yourself time to digest all the comments. Take your time. When the TIME is right...all will be as it should. aaaah....that was a product of my last meditation! @All - do you write off the top of your head or only when "inspired"? I have so many stories in my head that I could literally write all day! My heart is wanting people to feel "included".....as Lisa stated "represented". What if the Academy gave specific awards to ...let's say Continental awards. There is a "best foreign language" category. What if there was a Best Film category for each continent? Ok, North America still might have issues with minorities as I can't imagine it being titled "Best North America- but Not White" category :-) As I am writing and thinking (yes at the same time), I wonder if this would hamper getting a good representation of varying skin shades on the screen? Is that net still too wide? I worked today....brain tapped out!

Tony McFadden

Many, many countries would be viewed by the US as a high security risk. Not just the DPRK.

Tony McFadden

Okay, George. Who is your protagonist? Who is your antagonist? What is the conflict? Why are there so many characters? What (as I've asked privately) assistance are you specifically looking for?

Tony McFadden

Hi. My name is Achmed. Could you explain what the problem is? And FYI, I would strongly suggest NOT indicating in your screenplay who the actors should be.

Tony McFadden

By the way, George, I don't see condescending comments toward you, but there is a lot of frustration. Almost everyone I've run across here in the past 2-3 years has been helpful.

Tony McFadden

Use action to set scenes. "Dave trips over his sleeping dog, RUSTY" or "Friendly jeers and catcalls fill the squad room. Collins remains sitting and extends her arm as high as she can and gives the office the bird." Use them to move the story forward, but ONLY things you can see on the screen. Not thoughts or feelings, directly. Action to show the thoughts/feelings are ok though.

Tony McFadden

Again, read screenplays. Tons of them.

Kieran C. Herman

Mrs. Scott, conversations can switch topic all the time. There is no reason why we should constrain ourselves to ONLY speaking about minority roles in film. However, since you see that as the proper course of the thread, might I suggest posting a few comments or questions that could, I don't know, 're-route' the conversation to where it is "supposed to be"? And once again, thank you very much for the advice you offered in my own thread.

Deryn Warren

I love the passion and intelligence and good humor in this thread. Great advice, Tony. Great passion Lisa and Oriel. I read ten pages of George's script and although there is no formatting, there is lots of interesting action and drama. Now George listen to me and to Tony and read a LOT of scripts and put lots of minorities in them! As leads too. No one can teach you from the ground up how to write a screenplay. You have to study and read and before you present it you have to format it correctly. You are good enough to learn how it is done on your own. You have had plenty of advice and help. Write your story and then finish it and then ask for more help. It is rare that people get their first script produced. Practice and practice.

Edith Woi

@Peter Corey- in the words of Hot Chocolate..."I believe in miracles... since you came along. You sexy thang"! Now do me like you did George you kind, dear man :-) I have a short (I have the scenes to make it a feature...but thought it might be a good idea to get someone to make it a short for a filmfestival....some up and coming Tarantino ) which I hope to be a powerful drama similar to Precious....(realistically it doesn't have to be a Black protagonist...but any minority). I have a logline- but want it to be "crackin". You did a splendid job on George's. Would you grant me the same? So..here it is LOGLINE: An 8 year old girl who is an illegal immigrant, endeavours to manage her household affairs despite having an illiterate mother and womanising father.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

à George: I found a post saying "Could someone give me their opinions on the following log lines?" on your wall. Is it the good one? If not, tell me were I can comment your own topic please.

Edith Woi

@Cassidy- bleeping damn good point. I do agree with you about stereotyping. However, not to the extent that you are afraid to push the boundaries. It is a delight to go to a movie and to find come across something that causes your senses to awaken. Django was great. Having a foreigner, Christoph Waltz, in such an American western made me take note (but I love Waltz anyway so maybe I am biased). When I watched the Hobbit, finally, this weekend, I noticed one of the people/cast (an extra) from Lakewood City (the city that got burned by Smaug)... was Asian. I smiled as it reminded me of my best friend. I felt a bit more affinity with the story. @ Oriel - note: "nowhere in the Bible does it state God helps those who help themselves"- makes a great Hallmark card though. The closest I can remember is "if you don't work, you don't eat" (my translation - Apostle Paul) But I see your point :-)))) I will keep an eye on George when he quotes the Bible or sites religion. I have a master’s degree in that subject at least hehehe. We should try to encourage George to continue to put in a bit more effort from his side. (but I know it ain’t easy) @George- Deryn and others do have a point, that we can't teach you the basics. I have written 2 books. I look back on them now and they are plain fcking rubbish. I then realised screenwriting suited my talents better. So I gave it a try. I love it. But I had to spend countless hours on google, youtube, downloading books and samples of scripts to get my head around the technical aspects of screenwriting, let alone the business of it. If the things I want don't come to me quickly, I am quick to drop it. I said to myself, I want this....and perseverance will be the test. My first screenplay is full of DUST! I might try to revive it, but it is just that....months of work for naught! But is it really? The experience you gain can never be lost. It is not all for lost. Though, I am not saying to throw your script away. I fear you are putting TOO MUCH hope in this and "if" it doesn't produce what you want then you will quit. That would be a shame. GEORGE- MAYBE MAKE ONE OF YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS A MINORITY? Maybe a reason Liam suspects his wife as a co-conspirator is because she is Asian and had links with a crime syndicate family. Or Liam could be from Nigeria feared to be part of some 419 scam or something? Increase the tension when possible? Just a suggestion to get some "colour" in the mix or to reference stereotyping at the very least? @Lisa – whoop whoop! )))))))

Edith Woi

@Peter! Ooh your words and thinking make my heart go "boom boom"! GENAUSO can I say auf deutsch! Yes yes yes! Ok...I am calming down a bit now hahaha. I have it written now as a short....but I have the other scenes which flesh out a lot of what you mentioned! The story is based on true events. There is a twist in the end! Good Sir, I choose Revision Nr. 2! Love it. ADVICE: should I push it as a "short" when my intention is to make a "feature"? I am going to write the rest of the feature version asap. When I am done, I would be happy if you would give it a read through? woohoo... Did we just score? bahahaha!!!!! I am off for a fag now! (note: I don't smoke:-)

Edith Woi

@Lisa...that is a good point. Nothing like having the audience want more to know that your work is in demand. And I remember that movie " BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD ", but never watched it. @Peter - here is a link to the short titled "Chubby Wubby is in Charge". EVERYONE is welcome to comment on it as well. It is 10pages in length (Drama). https://www.stage32.com/sites/stage32.com/files/assets/screenplay/363201...

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

This thread gets more interesting as it goes on. Why doe this George person keep quoting characters? As the great Master Splinter might have said "this is interesting"

CJ Walley

Seriously, if you've been here for more than six months and you're engaging with GEP then you only have yourself to blame. He's bitten more feeding hands than a school hamster.

Deryn Warren

Peter, You have changed from grumpy to the hero of the thread. Brilliant help for Edith. Seriously brilliant.And funny. Edith write it as a feature. Shorts go nowhere and even if you win a prize for one it is not nec going to get you anywhere. Do the feature and if it is great then enter in into MAJOR script festivals and from that you can attract a major agent. That is what some of the people I script doctor do and it gets you to a much higher level much faster - if you get into the finals.

Deryn Warren

Edith, nice start! You have two typos on the first page "is going on in the front room" and "Miss Fro Fro rushes to' instead of what you have. Make it typo proof before anyone sees it. Also you can't say, Chubby Wubby explains. That has to be in dialogue. Each traumatic incident should have more exciting consequences. More trauma. How does the woman act or what does she say when caught? I love that the kid asks for money for food. I like her spirit. I don't like her name. Too cute for me. So far the father is not interesting. If he is abusive, for example, we need to see it sooner.

Edith Woi

@Oriel- that is my next learning curve...learning to think about BUDGET when writing. My feature has like a million locations. As if I had wizard's wand! So I have thought about it and think I will be able to cut it down to just locations even! But uffff....that too is work. Good lord! I have a completed feature that is Bridget Jones's Diary with a little spice....and that has a gazillion locations. I will look at it again. Somehow my brain is forgetting that I am not Peter Jackson :-)

Edith Woi

@Deryn - hahaha. Poor Chubby Wubby! I read how studio execs would regularly change the names of character. I had a suspicion "Chubby Wubby" would get the chop at some point. I wanted a name poignant with redeeming qualities. I am OPEN for name suggestions. I hate naming characters! ufff.... Deryn, from the bits you read - would you say the role of the this little girl is Black? Could she be Mexican? Or Chinese? MORE DRAMA! So whip it on thick! I know in every scene there should be some conflict or at the very least tension.... I will do better! THANK YOU for the feedback! Love it all.

Deryn Warren

Make her black of course.

Deryn Warren

Lisa, that is only discouraging so not helpful and I say this as I bow!! :) Peter I don't know that teacher. I studied with Michael Shurtleff who wrote Audition and my book HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU is being called the new Audition. You writers should read it too. Peter, check it out on DerynWarren.com and I will call you anything you want! Edith, use your own background for the lead. You can then give it a flavor no one else can.

CJ Walley

Great post Oriel :)

Sandra Weston

I admit I've skimmed through some of this thread. I'm interested in the subject, but I'm an actor not a writer. So my question is this. Assuming you are writers, isn't telling your story what it's about for you? Trying to do anything to be successful at selling it is useless if that's the only point. Learning to write more clearly, with more experience, to have greater impact is very worthwhile. I've been going to a screenwriters group and I'm in awe of these people. Some are working professionals actually on shows. Others are branching into screenplays from novels. What they all have in common is the desire to write strong stories with tight action and understandable characters. If you do that I'll compete to have a role. Even if you don't sell any given script you will sell over time. So for all our sakes keep writing from your own heart and creativity.

Deryn Warren

Lisa, there are tight structural rules. Very important. Visual rules. Length of scenes etc. Very very tight structural rules! When I am script doctoring, for example, I can immediately tell if the writer has not used a step outline. There should be an inciting incident, a point of view. SO many rules but then inside those rules you can bust out all over! Probably we are all saying the same thing. Cassidy, be more adorable. We made Peter more adorable and now he's our hero.

Deryn Warren

Children Children, You remember how cantankerous Peter was and now we all think he is a sweetheart and a genius with loglines? So you two if you met would love each other. Might even get married. So be adorable both of you and no more swinging at each other. It is slightly entertaining but . . . So kiss and make up and I am older than you both so you have to do what I say.

Amanda Toney

Hi Everyone - seems like this discussion is getting a bit out of control. I want to remind you all that Stage 32 is a place for discussion, not confrontation or arguments. Please be considerate in how you post, or I will take down this thread. There's no room for negativity in this community.

Tony McFadden

Some "rules" (more like strongly advised suggestions) - follow a recognised story structure, - follow proper formatting, - action shouldn't take up more than 3 lines, - action should be visible action. No "thought", "seemed" or anything else inside a character's head - dialog shouldn't take up more than 4 lines, - with very few exceptions, there needs to be a good balance of action and dialog, - unless you've sold screenplays in the past, you should avoid exceptions, - your hero (protagonist) NEEDS TO BE THE HERO. - every scene needs to advance the plot, - every character needs to be necessary There a plenty of others, but that's a decent start.

Tony McFadden

Of course, if you're going to make the movie yourself, you can throw all these rules in the bin and do whatever you'd like.

Deryn Warren

Excellent men! Tony's rules are terrific. Now, Cassidy, heroic men apologize if they hurt feelings, EVEN IF THEY FEEL THEY WERE NOT IN THE WRONG (and you were a bit in the wrong and never mind if she got cross.) SO you tell Oriel you are sorry - charmingly-( you are a writer, ) and let's move on. Just do it. And if he does Oriel will instantly revert to her charming self.

Deryn Warren

When you get to be my age you realize apologies should rain from the sky. That gallantry is everything and we should all just get along. Nothing else is important. No point licking wounds when you can heal them.

Deryn Warren

Peter, that is so interesting. I loved Michael and studied with him for seven years. I used cower in the back of the class but in the end I taught it when he was sick. I owe my directing career to him. PLEASE check out DerynWarren.com and read a chapter of HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU as I would love to know if you like it. I am so happy that it is in all the stores after four years. Michael wrote a chapter for it.

CJ Walley

Sadly I received a message from Oriel last night stating she is leaving Stage 32 due to bickering. Hopefully she'll reconsider but either way it's a damn shame to see a member driven to feel like that. We need to stop and think about how our opinions and attitudes may affect others.

Anthony Cawood

@ CJ - shame and I agree

Edith Woi

I am sorry everyone! Woe is me. We all should just get along. Otherwise it will jeopardise my relationship with my new found Thread Boyfriend Peter! :-) @CJ I hope you have Oriel's direct email address as I would like it if you asked her to email me. I will forward it to you in a bit. I should also remind ALL.....when we hit the big time, we should remember that people will go through various sites to get statements we have made....maybe even to our detriment. So be careful as the internet never FORGETS. I am on my tablet so will write more later. Liebe gruss!

CJ Walley

When it comes to rules I say each to their own. We're pattern finding creatures and love to try and turn the subjective into the objective. For me it comes down to entertainment vs acceptance. I will follow a rule if I feel it genuinely makes my writing more entertaining but I will question a rule if I feel I'm following it just to gain the acceptance of a potential reader. Most rules are really just convention and practicality. The former satisfy the audience the latter satisfies production. Some rules are good because following them helps hone our craft and overcome our individual flaws, particularly so in the early stages of writing. Personal career strategy plays a critical part too. Anyone planning to play the reader lottery via competitions and queries is probably wise to try and jump through the hoops. But we're not all trying to progress via that route. That takes me onto Tarantino and this axiom that he gets a free pass due to his notoriety. It's simply not true. What makes Tarantino the exception is the adversity he's faced while never compromising his passion. His early scripts were rejected as awful, producers scrawled abuse on them and mailed them back to his agent, he refused to rewrite the ending of his first sale for Tony Meffer Effing Scott, the greenlight on Dogs was so hard to get he nearly funded and shot it himself in B&W, he refused to work with Oliver Stone on Natural Born Killers, he got absolutely trashed by a panel at the Sundance Directors Institute, after being commissioned to write Pulp Fiction Tri-Star backed out of their option due to structural concerns with the script but he still didn't change it. And, more importantly, the few champions he had stuck with him.

CJ Walley

Yes I have Oriel's email. If anybody wants me to forward theirs onto her then message me :)

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Ah ah ah! How funny it is just to read comments from the outside! @ Oriel: "sophomoric antics". I tried to give you five likes, but that's not possible @ Cassidy: I'm not sure you chose the best way to try something new in your life. I'll be glad to read something you wrote @ Deryn: you'd be a lovely person if you were not attempting at all times to sell your services (there is an ad section on Stage 32) @ Edith: I agree with Peter, Oriel, Lisa... for most things. I like "Chubby Wubby", "Mrs Fro Fro", Mr. MC. Please don't change them. I like your writing. Have you thought about making it an animated? According to Hollywood "rules", there are lot of formatting typos you must fix (I can do this -for free of course- if you like it). Of course, there are many things you can improve in your descriptions and maybe in your plot. This is something that needs suggestions and discussions point by point from readers, and approval from you. You could make that directly on "Chubby Wubby" page or offer some people you like to be among your private reading team. @ everybody: IMO, - There are some useful formatting rules that can be summarized on a one page sample, and too many nitpicking and controversial rules that only get on screenwriters' nerves just to allow consultants to earn some money. - There is only ONE storytelling rule: get an audience. Everything else is more or less empiric methods to organize or proofread your work as long as you use the right method in regard of this work (e.g. don't use the three acts tructure for Mullholland Drive or search for a character's arc in Furious). For the first time, two days ago I had a chance to ask a Hollywood insider about rules: Q. -First of all: How the contests and the industry actually worry about these paradigms? - Second: Does the academic teaching also considers them as compulsory. R. -Some great questions. When it comes to contests and the rest of the industry, you sometimes find people who worry about these paradigms, but generally speaking, all they care is if the screenplay works and they don't really care how you got it to work. The paradigms for them may be more useful when a screenplay isn't working and you might want to look at these to get an idea why a particular screenplay may not be working--these paradigms may, or may not, give insight. I think the academic teaching, as well as theorists, as well as gurus and book writers are the ones that worry about it. On facebook, I get into a lot of discussions on this topic--a lot of people are very rule oriented, others are like me--we just don't care. Rules can be useful after you've written something if it isn't working; you might find the reason in these "rules". But to use the rules before you even start writing, that never made any sense to me. @ Peter: Welcome on board my friend.

Edith Woi

@George....I followed this amongst others for formatting - http://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptw... .

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

@Edith: These are the essentials. Avoid transitions and shooting instructions.

Edith Woi

@George- re: your antagonist/protagonist----I was only SUGGESTING an IDEA to include minorities in your story. It was just a suggestion :-) @Lisa- read your comments...made some back to you . Cheers darling! @Deryn - you are as old as the man your are feeling sweetie! Forget what Prince said about "act your age, not your shoe size".....I just act a fool when I can :-) x @Jean-Marie.....tell me more! Animation seemed so far fetched and another can of worms. Do you have any experience with it? I will take you up on your offer as well .... I have done another round of updates to the script. I think I have to give it a day to look at with fresh eyes again. It can be found here: https://www.stage32.com/sites/stage32.com/files/assets/screenplay/363201... Thanks all....my Academy speech WILL list you all in it...after God of course:-)

CJ Walley

Lisa, I don't think Oriel's frustrations were entirely with this user. We've just got over the visitation of an epic troll on here by the name of Alle Segretti and I many are still feeling the effects of that.

Anthony Cawood

Has Alle gone somewhere?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Why animation? Just because it looks and sounds in my head like an animated movie: - a child story with refined settings and dialogues. I think it could be a fine animated short to begin with. Even just a slide show or a Flash animation. Do you use a screenwriting software? N.B.: God is the person with whom I argue most violently. We don't agree on anything!

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie- I am a practicing Catholic and I could copy-paste your statement about God. Just how it is :-) hahahaha. I think I could see a Chubby Wubby animation... I normally use Celtx (but didn't lately because I work from home, and am never home, so use my tablet a lot. Celtx doesn't seem to allow me full functionality on the go with my tablet). So I "winged" things. !!!!OPEN CALL!!! BLACK/MINORITY CARTOON CHARACTERS (besides Anime) BLACK/MINORITY FAIRY TALES - though I don't know one fairy tale growing up about minorities..... Where are they? Are people writing them? That is a situation where the WRITER has control of who is Black,White or Purple right?

Edith Woi

Disney, Pixar.....and the rest.... watch this space!

CJ Walley

Lisa, sorry I wasn't disagreeing, just trying to fill you in on the backstory. Anthony, I don't know about Alle. Just glad she isn't here anymore.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

We've had a very sad event in France today: 12 people were killed by muslims fanatics at the head office of satiric paper Charlie Hebdo. Among them two cops, cartoonists Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, Charb, journalist Bernard Maris... I don't know the names of the others for now. Ten other people are injured. I'm angry against God once more now.

Anthony Cawood

@ Jean-Marie, truly an awful event and an attack on free speech everywhere.

Edith Woi

@Jean-Marie- It rains on everyone just the same unfortunately. Awful news...I did hear about it. I feel awful for the families of the murdered. But I won't get off topic about any God conversations...but if you want to email me privately, I am more than happy to discuss your feelings.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Don't worry Edith, I don't like God but I don't care talking about it. I just says what I think, as for anything else.

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Hello Peter, I don't know if any god exists and I don't care. I'm angry against the furious god these fanatics created in their minds... just like christians did during ages. We already must say "Beware God" just like we would say "Beware dog"! Shame. Actually, I'm not in the mood to start a new argument, if that's what you're looking for.

Edith Woi

Does anyone remember the cartoon Fat Albert? (not to get into any Cosby discussion as I only realised he was the creator) Just thought that was a programme that was successful and it was choca-block with minorities... Anyone in this thread doing anything with animation? Did it (Fat Albert) do anything to promote minority writing/stories? Anything out there like that today? Or is animation one of the "fringe" areas of writing? Just thinking out loud.

Edith Woi

@Lisa! Thanks for the heads up on Fresh off the boat! I love the trailer! I cant get it over here...officially...but will find it wink wink. I have emailed the link to my best friend who is from Hong Kong (British). I haven't watched Scandal...but know it is the HOT thing in the states and with a female and Black lead (two birds killed there). BTW...these Studios....I dont imagine they have diverse in house writers though! It would be good to have FRESH minorities writers...then again, havent checked. Disney stuff makes sooo much money...as they have all the merchandising too....so it is not easy...but something to partner with (in my case). Thanks for the links! I need a holiday! I am just spent this week. @George- hey hey hey....

LindaAnn Loschiavo

You are awesome, Peter.

Edith Woi

@Linda- Ditto! @Peter - If luvin you is wrong, I don't wanna be right! Thank you! What a lovely offer and so chivalrous! I accept and will email you :-) Ladies...."bend and snap"! (Reese Witherspoon:-).

Edith Woi

Stereotyping again criticised at Golden Globes. As writers, especially when using minority characters, should we censor stereotyping? My genre of choice is Comedy because one can convey sensitive subjects in a manner the audience feel least uncomfortable. I Margaret Cho and think she should be in more movies. I stereotype a lot from ALL races, cultures etc..... But try not to be too hurtful as some people will fall inthat category http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906146/Margaret-Cho-accused-pro...

Edith Woi

I agree!!!

Edith Woi

Is there a difference (and explain) writing a romance with a"Minority Female lead with a White Male" vs "Minority Male lead with a White Female"???? This is just my opinion...in movies, it is easier for the audience (men) to accept a minority in the romance role rather than the man being a minority because of "sexual competition"??? I mean, no one minds seeing Halle huggin and kissin a White guy. However, to see Wesley Snipes (though I am not a fan at all) romancing a White woman might stir might make the audience (men) contemplate their own sex vitality? So would Hollywood except minority women Leads in mixed race romance vs minority men???

Richard Allis

Once upon a time Sidney Poitier played the male minority lead in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Jim Brown, the football player turned actor, romanced such white women as Raquel Welch on screen. He said later that he stopped getting roles which he attributed to white men not liking him romancing the white women. But that was before my time. Up until Barack Obama became President, I might have said it wouldn’t be any problem. Especially with the younger generation. But since then, there seems to be more racial animosity/sensitivity in some quarters of America. Especially in DC, although people will call it political differences, rather than what I suspect is uncomfortableness with a black man being in charge of the country. Although Bill Clinton got his share of vitriol as well. I do not know what people might think of such a thing in this present day. I have not been to the movies much in recent years, so I don’t know what state of being they are currently in. I don’t remember seeing that much, if at all, when I did go. So for me personally, it might be a bit of a surprise at first. Kind of like when I first saw a black face on a commercial, which hasn’t been long enough ago, but now I think nothing of that. And am sure the same would be the case for seeing more black male/white female romances on screen.

Edith Woi

@Richard - I think it is mostly a "male" issue and Hollywood is still run by men! I've seen Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and found Poitier (my countryman) to be respectable. It was done with taste. However, nowadays, romance is a bit more ...well "more" onscreen. "Jungle Fever" was something, though I can't remember it. Denzel I think never kissed a woman of any race on the screen Lol. Ooh....maybe on tv with Young and the Restless and Neil's role. I hear America has been more divided. Thank goodness I am not feeling that! Such regression! Pity

Richard Allis

I think television here would be more open, if not already, to black male/white female romances. Right now I feel they have the "edginess" factor that a lot of Hollywood movies just don't right now. That's yet another factor to this equation.

Alexander Q²

This is 2015 and counting.... Sadly, with some, it might be an issue and it is not mostly with men. There are a lot of powerful women in Hollywood and with Oprah coming to town, it will continue to grow. The bottom line, write what you feel. You're not going to please everybody and everybody is not going to please you. When we as creative individuals start worrying about what people will think, it blocks our ability to create and we put chains on our minds. There are those who lost their lives because of their freedom to express and millions marched. So break the chains and write and continue

Edith Woi

@Richard - I think many have said that tv is a more open medium. I think it is more representative because of the nature of advertising during programming.... @Alexander - I agree with you. Still trying not to live in a bubble and get a "general" map of the playing field. Creativity , freedom of speech indeed:-)

Richard Allis

Conversation was about how that might be perceived as more threatening to some white males than Halle Berry kissing on a white guy. The fact that we currently have the opposite may mean that execs aren't as threatened by that.

Angel Nunez

Halle Berry is on TV. Extant, sci-fi show last season, produced by Steven Spielberg and coming back for a second season.

Edith Woi

@Lisa. That is my point. "White man/black woman" scenario you can find. reverse that equation...and you have to go back to Jungle Fever...then Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". That is a lot of years in between where something is going on....I mean...come on...surely there are a million stories of Black men/white women??? Is there some conspiracy that we should know of is my question?

Richard Allis

Don't forget about Jim Brown, the former football player. He claims his acting career dried up in the late 60's(?) or early 70's(?) after romancing such starlets as Raquel Welch in his action movies.

Edith Woi

That is why Shakespeare is my hero writer. Not only did he have a vocabulary a gazillion times larger than the average Joe, he, even back then, managed to somehow write OTHELLO, a "dark man", a "black man" in one the most famous plays ever! Then again, that doesn't support my point about today's predicament. Where are these stories? They said Shakespeare might have come across a black woman in his day for his inspiration .... hm.... that is a story. Still White man/Black woman (more acceptable anyway).

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Yeah I think TV stays away from black man white woman because of the controversy behind it. It's okay to do white man black woman because there is no social stigma behind it.

Edith Woi

but what is this "controversy"? In laywoman's terms? Anyone? Or too sensitive for the forum? 'LOL

Edith Woi

Hear ye, hear ye! There is also diversity in penis sizes everyone... Lol. I have to say that hot ass Fassbender taking Lupita by force wasn't offensive at all to me. In fact, being honest I thought darn....take me..for a moment. And this is from a good Catholic girl! So if I thought something like that...good Lord! However, if Chiwetel would h ave had a similar scene with Fassbender wife's character...I might have felt squeamish??? So there must me something deep in ALL of us. That being said I wonder if I should continue my Oscars topic here or https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/No-Blacks-in-the-Oscars-thi... ??? I mean I have only watched 1 of the nominated films in the Best Movie category (Grand Budapest Hotel and I loved it immediately and my fave to win...with the choices there are). Just from what I think or heard about what they are about....or by their titles, as a screenwriter I could envisage the following: 1.“American Sniper” - ex Black Panther Navy Seal dude or .... get Cho Yun Phat (Crouching Tiger) to play the damn Sniper! 2.“Birdman” - any MAN could have been that damn Birdman! 3.“Boyhood” - keine Ahnung 4. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” - firstly, Love it! - and they did have the Indian boy in it...and he was with that White girl. This is the best all-rounder film for me....give it to them! 5.“The Imitation Game”-I'm a Cumberbitch...and this is pretty historical... 6. “Selma” - no comment needed 7. “The Theory of Everything” - well..again, British...historical... 8. “Whiplash” - I read this is a movie about JAZZ! How in the heck could they not have tried to find a person a bit more diverse!?? These execs get the scripts first...then there is a long process filtered through casting agents...and final decisions by PRODUCERS! I feel a Tea Party coming on???...America???? "No Participation without Representation---- ???? Movie sells what? Popcorn...drinks...MMs at the cinema? How can the AUDIENCE make a difference? They are spoon fed and eat. I would too if I wasn't a writer. I wouldnt give a shite-well not enough to want to ruffle any feathers.

James Chalker

American Sniper is also "historical", as it is based on the memoir of Chris Kyle,who was a white guy.

Edith Woi

@James- I didn't know. Thanks for updating me. Yes...Bradley Cooper can snipe me anytime....but arghhhh! It isn't his fault, nor I am blaming him:-) Just that MONEY is given to what Producers/exec "think" will earn them a profit. So non-White stories might be out there...but they are not giving them a frigging chance! People would still buy Popcorn to see them.

Edith Woi

@Lisa- that was my point. If I can get confused...others too.. So I think execs play on that fact. Makes their choices more acceptable.

Edith Woi

When watching entertainment....it is expected you go into the world of the story. But its not 100% the case. I should have been angered, repulsed and so on by Fassbender raping Lupita's character, but I stayed a bit in my own world seeing just Fassbender the actor. So this could act as an example for execs not to be afraid of topics with minorities. Yes, we get drawn in to the story but hopefully people also see it as entertainment. Unless a documentary. ?.well that too can entertain. Therefore, if given a likeable non white actor stories can work. But we need to have a choice of actors available......and good at that! Black can equal green.

Edith Woi

What do these figures signify? Weekend Box Office Estimates, Jan. 16–18 1. American Sniper -$90.2 M 2. The Wedding Ringer- $21.0 M 3. Paddington -$19.3 M 4. Taken 3- $14.1 M 5. Selma - $8.3 M The one minority film didn't seem to take in as much = not making the "man" lots of money.

Richard Allis

“American Sniper” I know is in it’s first weekend when movies make their most. I haven’t been keeping up . . . is “Selma” in it’s first weekend? Even so, Sniper probably won’t approach Selma’s low numbers till perhaps it’s 4th weekend. Both of them are history pieces. FOXnews was interviewing the widow of American Sniper quite a bit, so conservatives are probably charged up for that movie. I don’t know the rest of Selma’s numbers if there are more, but maybe Selma’s subject makes some people uncomfortable in remembering while Sniper might be seen as more “patriotic” and of more current interest, with fighting Middle Easterners and all. But I would much rather see Selma than Sniper, and I’m a Clint Eastwood fan. PS: Maybe I’m wrong, but is not “The Wedding Ringer” Kevin Hart’s movie?

Beth Fox Heisinger

Edith, box office numbers do not give a complete picture to why they are what they are. This is the second national release weekend for "Selma." It premiered back in November, I believe. Perhaps "Selma" did not get into as many theaters as the others did and therefore its numbers were lower. And, didn't Oprah produce it? More importantly, "Selma" is not just a "minority" film but rather a film about a great man and about a historic event fought by courageous people that brought about change for all. MLK is a man celebrated and loved by people of all races. "Selma" is a great film that will stand the test of time and will be viewed by generations to come, long after those others are forgotten. Those box office numbers can not reflect that.

Anthony Cawood

What Beth and Lisa said... plus... I think Paddinton is a minority movie too, it may be a kids film but that's one of it's central themes is the displacement of an ethnic minority and his treatment in a foreign land. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/paddington-film-review-750322

Edith Woi

All true about the numbers. Half those movies are not out in Europe even too! So as it stands....the top movies do seem to be a good reflection of the inclusion of minorities? :-)

Kieran C. Herman

For someone who took offense to the use of the term "Chick Flick" in another thread, I feel it really hypocritical for you to categorize films and people like that. Just sayin'.

Kieran C. Herman

I never said I didn't like you. Some people really like to twist my words.

Kieran C. Herman

I didn't mean any disrespect with my comments. I do apologize if I offended Lisa or any other member of this thread.

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