Poll

Which of these would you be likely to participate in?

Creating a Filmspotting Pantheon of Movie Screenwriters
5 (29.4%)
Creating a Filmspotting Pantheon of Contemporary Movie Screenwriters
2 (11.8%)
Creating a Filmspotting Pantheon of Screenplays
2 (11.8%)
Creating a Filmspotting Pantheon of Contemporary Screenplays
3 (17.6%)
A Writers Rating Project
4 (23.5%)
other
1 (5.9%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Author Topic: 1SO does not have enough work yet  (Read 1720 times)

DarkeningHumour

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1SO does not have enough work yet
« 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?
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1SO

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 01:52:31 AM »
Logic tells me...


But I have to admit...

chardy999

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 07:02:43 AM »
I like it. I like voting.
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saltine

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #3 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.
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1SO

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #4 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.

Corndog

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 01:44:16 PM »
I loved Edgar Wright's work on Ant-Man!
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #6 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.
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1SO

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #7 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.

MartinTeller

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 11:05:29 PM »
I assume this project would skew towards writers in the English language?

DarkeningHumour

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Re: 1SO does not have enough work yet
« Reply #9 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.
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