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Filmspotting Message Boards => Filmspotter Pantheon => Topic started by: DarkeningHumour on April 18, 2016, 12:36:32 AM

Title: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on April 18, 2016, 12:36:32 AM
We have ranked, rated and randomly deathmatched everything here. Every half-known director out there has a poll for his best movies and lists of ranked movies with some form of qualitative appreciation in the comments to boot. We have done ratings projects for movies and directors. Every year the Filmspots are awarded for a plethora of categories.

And yet, one species of filmmakers remains largely ignored by this sanctuary. I mean script writers.

Now, common wisdom will tell you that the true auteur behind a movie is the director. In fact, the very notion of auteur originally referred to writer-directors, which would make recognizing writers, once directors have been given all the attention that is granted them here, redundant. However, in truth, even the most acclaimed directors often do not write their own scripts, and I would posit that most people here recognize the creative and artistic importance of the contribution of writers to the filmmaking process.

What am I proposing ? I have no idea. I thought about something like Writers' polls in the way we do Directors' but that sounds quite complicated. Should we count writer-directors in such a project ? What to do when scores of writers share credit ?

And yet, as soon as I hear the words « Aaron Sorkin script » or « written by Charlie Kauffman » I am immediately intrigued, much more than when I learn about the new movie directed by, say, Steven Soderbergh for example. Replace the names here by whatever ones work better for you, and I am sure you'll find writers that excite you more than many popular directors.

So what to do?
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on April 18, 2016, 01:52:31 AM
Logic tells me...
(http://i.imgur.com/lgbB0CX.jpg)

But I have to admit...
(http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u96/tallyforeman/demotivationals/Spider-Man-Meme-Makes-His-Web-Trap_zps6db0b508.jpg)
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: chardy999 on April 18, 2016, 07:02:43 AM
I like it. I like voting.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: saltine on April 18, 2016, 07:16:56 AM
If this happens, we can arrange a child board for it ... right next to Directors.  Let Admin know ahead.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on April 18, 2016, 01:04:52 PM
Been thinking about this.

- This should be even more intensely focused on feature films than Directors are. Once you get into television, there are a dozen hands, including the Show Runner. Go down this road and you might as well include playwrights and book authors. So for someone like Joss Whedon, we should be looking only at his film work and not Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Same with Sorkin and The West Wing.

- I thought about starting initially with people who are strictly writers, not writer/directors. However, some people are just as good at both and it wouldn't be a proper analysis if you couldn't count The Coen Brothers or Charlie Kaufman. Plus we would get mired in deciding inclusion/exclusion of writers who maybe directed once or twice.

- While almost everyone loves His Girl Friday, I don't think too many could name the credited screenwriter. Plus you have to consider the authors of the original play, one of which is also a famous screenwriter. For that reason, I think we need to start from a different angle.

I am thinking we should start with a Top 100 Screenplays over at the Pantheon. That way, people don't have to look up who wrote what, and how many other people also worked on the script. There's a formula I've seen on another site that allows a person to submit anywhere from 10-1000 titles, with the titles having less weight the further down the list you go.

This can turn the project into a bit of a school while we learn about who actually wrote some of our favorite films. I'm happy to help make suggestions of writers and screenplays based on other similar lists, but ultimately we will have a list that is Ours.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: Corndog on April 18, 2016, 01:44:16 PM
I loved Edgar Wright's work on Ant-Man!
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on April 18, 2016, 08:53:57 PM
- This should be even more intensely focused on feature films than Directors are. Once you get into television, there are a dozen hands, including the Show Runner. Go down this road and you might as well include playwrights and book authors. So for someone like Joss Whedon, we should be looking only at his film work and not Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Same with Sorkin and The West Wing.

Agreed.

Quote
- I thought about starting initially with people who are strictly writers, not writer/directors. However, some people are just as good at both and it wouldn't be a proper analysis if you couldn't count The Coen Brothers or Charlie Kaufman. Plus we would get mired in deciding inclusion/exclusion of writers who maybe directed once or twice.

It is necessary to include writers who have also directed but I would only keep the movies they did not direct.

Quote
I am thinking we should start with a Top 100 Screenplays over at the Pantheon. That way, people don't have to look up who wrote what, and how many other people also worked on the script. There's a formula I've seen on another site that allows a person to submit anywhere from 10-1000 titles, with the titles having less weight the further down the list you go.

This can turn the project into a bit of a school while we learn about who actually wrote some of our favorite films. I'm happy to help make suggestions of writers and screenplays based on other similar lists, but ultimately we will have a list that is Ours.

I have been thinking about this too. As I said, I am with you on the first two points. However, maybe discussing the writers of His Girl Friday is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. I would start with contemporary writers and then work down. The Best Script Filmspots could be a good way to make a short list for a first batch of writer threads.

I loved Edgar Wright's work on Ant-Man!

I know you're joking, but this is the kind of stuff we should have clear rules about. It may be unfair, but when credit becomes too obscure the best thing would probably be to ignore a movie altogether.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on April 18, 2016, 10:52:55 PM
It is necessary to include writers who have also directed but I would only keep the movies they did not direct.
That would take everything away from Joel & Ethan Coen except Unbroken, Bridge of Spies and Crimewave.

Quote
Maybe discussing the writers of His Girl Friday is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. I would start with contemporary writers and then work down. The Best Script Filmspots could be a good way to make a short list for a first batch of writer threads.
I see your reasoning. When I did the Director Ratings Project, Active had 2-3 times the votes as Inactive. I'm also fond of lists that focus on contemporary cinema, so you can get a horror list with suggestions instead of seeing The Shining, Alien, Psycho again. A list of the best Screenplays from this Century (15+ years) or the past 25 years (1991 forward) would probably yield some interesting results and make more people feel included.


I loved Edgar Wright's work on Ant-Man!

I know you're joking, but this is the kind of stuff we should have clear rules about. It may be unfair, but when credit becomes too obscure the best thing would probably be to ignore a movie altogether.
Unfortunately, I could disqualify almost any film under such a strict guideline. A common step in the writing process is a punch-up meeting, where 6-20 writers sit in a room throwing alternate ideas and improvements around. Just like, you have to accept scenes will get removed in editing that will change the shape of a script.

Drew Goddard talked about a funny scene that was added to the beginning of The Martian because when it first was previewed, people didn't laugh for a long time because they thought it was strictly a drama.

Also, I would say that Christopher Guest movies or Borat are worth including even though they rely heavily on improvisation. All of this is why I think individual writer threads may not be doable, but Pantheon Screenplay Lists could be a lot of fun.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: MartinTeller on April 18, 2016, 11:05:29 PM
I assume this project would skew towards writers in the English language?
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on April 18, 2016, 11:09:42 PM
It is necessary to include writers who have also directed but I would only keep the movies they did not direct.
That would take everything away from Joel & Ethan Coen except Unbroken, Bridge of Spies and Crimewave.

They already get recognition in the different projects around directors. My original aim was to celebrate great writers who were not behind the wheel of the making of the movie.

Quote
All of this is why I think individual writer threads may not be doable, but Pantheon Screenplay Lists could be a lot of fun.

I fear that this could too easily become a clone of the Top 100 Movies list. Best scripts are hard to separate from the overall achievement.

The reasons you mention are all valid, but ultimately there are reasons one or two writers get credit above the others, however many actually participated in the writing process. The idea for this came to me as I was listening to the Deadpool episode of the Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith. Both writers fought for their script for years (7 I believe). They are the reason the film got made and is what it is. They did dad knows how many rewrites but stood their ground on things like tone. Godard may have had help, but he is the one who spent months labouring at the The Martian script.

Some movies present less clear cut decisions, perhaps most movies, and in all cases, writers get outside help. But you don't refuse a director a credit when his assistant films a couple of unimportant scenes. I think the same could go for writers. The line will be difficult to find though, undoubtedly.

I assume this project would skew towards writers in the English language?

Don't all projects ? The crushing dominance of English language movies, even among cinephiles, is unavoidable.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: goodguy on April 18, 2016, 11:37:24 PM
The crushing dominance of English language movies, even among cinephiles, is unavoidable.

No, it isn't. It's a choice you make as a viewer.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: Junior on April 19, 2016, 12:34:23 AM
Sure is. Mostly I read and watch things in my native tongue. I don't avoid foreign language things, and I seek them out when they sound interesting. But I don't have endless time or money to spend on finding and reading or watching books or movies or music. So when I do engage in my hobbies, I'll probably lean towards something that I can understand with ease, 75% of the time. My apologies if I'm part of the problem. But also, I think I've earned the right to watch whatever I want to watch.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on April 19, 2016, 12:45:52 AM
I've also spent many years watching films from the far east with subtitles that were easily dumbed down or translated into confusion. How could I comment on a Miyazaki script if I've only seen it either dubbed or dubtitled? And why is this my fault when I didn't have the option all the time, nor do I speak Japanese?
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on April 19, 2016, 01:32:12 AM
Sure is. Mostly I read and watch things in my native tongue. I don't avoid foreign language things, and I seek them out when they sound interesting. But I don't have endless time or money to spend on finding and reading or watching books or movies or music. So when I do engage in my hobbies, I'll probably lean towards something that I can understand with ease, 75% of the time. My apologies if I'm part of the problem. But also, I think I've earned the right to watch whatever I want to watch.

True that.

Also, whatever I watch is irrelevant if everyone else only watches English movies. We are talking about a conversation here, and the majority will always tend towards more mainstream options.

Not to mention that it is not like the local multiplex is gorged with alternative foreign language movies. I had to go to a special retrospective to get The Assassin on a big screen here. Rental stores are dead and streaming services cater to mainstream American tastes. And that is only if you are lucky enough to be able to access them. As a non-US resident, I cannot get Hulu and a score of other websites and some things like Netflix have a much diminished catalogue here - one that, again, caters to local tastes. Even if I wanted to download German silent movies or Tsai Ming-Lian filmography illegally, I would have difficulty, because such movies are in low demand and therefore dew people seed them. I cannot spend tons of money on movies, but even if I could, I had a recent experience in a top European economy metropolis where I could not find a new copy of a DVD of one of Fellini's most popular movies anywhere and had to order it instead.

So sometimes the choice I make as a viewer is fairly limited.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: goodguy on April 19, 2016, 05:08:27 AM
But also, I think I've earned the right to watch whatever I want to watch.

Of course, you and everyone else can watch what they want. That goes without saying, and there is no need to even "earn that right". But if I'm not entirely mistaken, DarkeningHumour isn't even a native English speaker, so why would he succumb to a dominance of English language movies?

Anyway, all I'm objecting against is the suggestion that following along the mainstream media output is unavoidable. If that's all you're interested in, fine. But it's not some fate you have to live by. Libraries exist, DVDs can be imported from anywhere in the world (and at least in Germany, that's often cheaper than any local offers), Netflix isn't the only streaming service, torrents usually help if everything else fails.

Even if I wanted to download German silent movies or Tsai Ming-Lian filmography illegally, I would have difficulty, because such movies are in low demand and therefore dew people seed them.

Apropos Tsai Ming-liang:

A quick search at my library shows 16 titles (including Stray Dogs) and another quick search at a public torrent site (i.e. nothing exclusive like Karagarga, of which I'm not even a member of) shows 42 torrents, more than half of them rather well-seeded.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: Junior on April 19, 2016, 07:26:23 AM
Of course, pirating is a crime and is not condoned by anybody, anywhere, anywhen.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on April 19, 2016, 07:30:45 AM
Except for high seas pirating, which we all very much condone and indeed, encourage.

#coollikeHook
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: Corndog on April 19, 2016, 07:38:07 AM
I think you mean space pirating.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on April 19, 2016, 07:19:43 PM
Except for high seas pirating, which we all very much condone and indeed, encourage.

#coollikeHook
Tom Hanks taught me that that is not good piracy either.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on May 05, 2016, 02:57:01 AM
I have started a spreadsheet to prepare for an eventual project around writers. Here are all the writers that have contributed to Filmspot-nominated movies, with number of wins out of total nominations in parentheses. Here are both "pure" writers and writer-directors.

Aaron Sorkin (1/3)
Abbas Kiarostami (0/1)
Adam McKay (0/1)
Adrienne Shelly (0/1)
Alex Garland (1/1)
Alexander Payne (0/1)
Amanda Silver (0/1)
Andrés Heinz (0/1)
Andrew Stanton (0/1)
Anne Rosellini (0/1)
Armando Iannucci (1/1)
Asghar Farhadi (1/1)
Brad Bird (0/1)
Bridget O'Connor (1/1)
Charles Randolph (0/1)
Charlie Kaufman (0/1)
Chris Terrio (0/1)
Christian Petzold (0/1)
Christopher Hampton (0/1)
Christopher Nolan (0/2)
Cristian Mungiu (0/1)
Damien Chazelle (0/1)
Dan Gilroy (0/1)
David Magee (0/1)
David O. Russell (0/1)
David Seidler (0/1)
Debra Granik (0/1)
Destin Cretton (0/1)
Diablo Cody (1/1)
Don Hertzfeldt (0/1)
Drew Goddard (1/2)
Edgar Wright (0/1)
Efthymis Filippou (1/1)
Ethan Coen (0/4)
Ethan Hawke (1/1)
Gillian Flynn (0/1)
Giorgos Lanthimos (1/1)
Greta Gerwig (0/1)
Gus Van Sant (0/1)
Harun Farocki (0/1)
Hayao Miyazaki (0/1)
Henry Selick (0/1)
Hossein Amini (0/1)
James Vanderbilt (0/1)
Jeff Nichols (0/1)
Jemaine Clement (0/1)
Jenny Lumet (0/1)
Jesse Armstrong (1/1)
Jim Rash (0/1)
Jim Reardon (0/1)
Joel Coen (0/4)
John McLaughlin (0/1)
John Michael McDonagh (0/1)
John Patrick Shanley (0/1)
John Ridley (0/1)
Jon Raymond (1/1)
Jonathan Glazer (0/1)
Jonathan Nolan (0/1)
Josh Cooley (0/1)
Josh Singer (0/1)
Joss Whedon (0/1)
Julie Delpy (1/1)
Kelly Reichardt (1/1)
Lisa Cholodenko (0/1)
Mark Bomback (0/1)
Mark Heyman (0/1)
Martin McDonagh (1/1)
Meg LeFauve (0/1)
Michael Arndt (0/1)
Michael Bacall (0/1)
Michael H. Weber (0/2)
Mike Mills (0/1)
Nat Faxon (0/1)
Nathan Parker (0/1)
Nick Hornby (0/1)
Noah Baumbach (0/3)
Oren Moverman (0/1)
Paul Laverty (0/1)
Paul Thomas Anderson (1/3)
Pedro Almodóvar (0/1)
Pete Docter (0/1)
Peter Straughan (1/1)
Phyllis Nagy (0/1)
Quentin Tarantino (1/2)
Rian Johnson (0/2)
Richard Linklater (1/2)
Rick Jaffa (0/1)
Roman Coppola (1/1)
Ronald Harwood (1/1)
Scott Neustadter (0/2)
Shane Carruth (0/1)
Simon Beaufoy (0/1)
Simon Blackwell (1/1)
Spike Jonze (1/2)
Steven Zaillian (0/1)
Stuart Blumberg (0/1)
Taika Waititi (0/1)
Terence Winter (0/1)
Terrence Malick (0/1)
Todd Haynes (0/1)
Tom McCarthy (0/1)
Tony Kushner (1/1)
Tony Roche (1/1)
Tracy Letts (0/1)
Walter Campbell (0/1)
Wes Anderson (2/3)
Woody Allen (0/1)

Not sure this will be useful for anything.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on May 09, 2016, 02:35:20 PM
Sorry it's taken so long, but this project is not in the front of my mind at the moment. Last I remember there are still differences of opinion on how to proceed and who to include. I like your list and could proceed along those lines, though I'm sure contributions will create conflicts, just like your list has some questionable choices.

I haven't swayed from thinking we should start with a Writers or Screenplay Pantheon - either All Time or from this century - contributed by all who care to participate.

Perhaps a poll.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on May 09, 2016, 08:42:05 PM
I don't think anyone could possibly accuse you of neglecting any kind of forum work.

I went with Contemporary Screenwriters. I think rating the scripts independently of the movie would prove too complicated and we would end up mostly rating the movies and replicating past Pantheon projects. I am also working from the assumption that we would have more ease working from recent works first, and then possibly move to older writers.

What kind of forum powers do you have that allow you to modify posts like a mod ?
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on May 09, 2016, 08:58:42 PM
I am not sure of my powers, except in the Director sub-board where I appear to have a lot of extra ability.

The poll has us more divided than Republicans. I don't see a solution anytime before the end of Summer.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on May 09, 2016, 09:15:22 PM
Wait until we get to the Convention and the silent majority speaks out.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: Corndog on May 10, 2016, 06:51:20 AM
If I'm being honest with myself, I would likely not participate in a writers/screenplay project.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: oldkid on January 05, 2017, 01:42:52 PM
I've had thoughts along these lines, but they've mostly been focused on the "writer as auteur" -- many of which are included in the Director's threads.  But say, Charlie Kauffman, is included for the couple movies he's directed, but that's not where his greatest influence lay.  And Aaron Sorkin gets nothing.  But they are certainly auteurs as much as any director.

What I wonder about is compiling a group list of auteur screenwriters, in which all of their films would be included.  I was thinking of polls of their work, like the Director's polls.  But is that the best approach?
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: 1SO on January 05, 2017, 03:05:25 PM
I think we'd have to see a list and there'd be some time debating who should be included in the project.
Title: Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
Post by: DarkeningHumour on January 05, 2017, 06:01:20 PM
I unfortunately don't know enough to be much help here. I am completely oblivious about Hammet for example. I do wish for some project of this kind to happen though. If I can assist in some way I will.