If you've been following the adventures and exploits of "Flat Pennies" since the third day of Amazon Studios' existence, or you're new to the game here, feel free to check out the latest draft of "Flat Pennies" hot off the press.
A complete rewrite. Nay, severe.
We'll see how this revision does on the circuit.
A Participant says:
[Deleted by Amazon Studios on December 14, 2012 06:18 PM UTC]
Thanks eric for taking the time to provide excellent notes.
As you read, I have my hands full with this one. Yes, it's my labor of love. The movie is already in my head, but I need help getting it down on paper, and hence, the desire to have the assistance of the AS community.
Very tough project for a beginner. I have four daydreams and two bombshell endings back to back. And it's all weaved together to construct the unique storyline.
Sorry you ejected at page 20. You missed the ending that rocked Carson Reeves' world.
I'll keep massaging that dialogue. It's the hardest aspect for me, trying to create beautiful, powerful dialogue. Probably for most of us here.
Robert, you are a class act as always.
Erik, telling someone to "shelve" their project is not constructive.
I haven't read Flat Pennies ... but I'm sure it can be improved and not shelved.
Robert, I applaud your tenacity and have respect for the premise of FLAT PENNIES.
Of course one can find fault in any story. The idea that we could write a story that all humans would fall flat on their face in response to it's sheer perfection is ridiculous, I'm sure you'd agree.
But just for laughs, consider my post in the following thread.
A Participant says:
You have to remember that once Carson agrees to read a script, he reads the whole thing, regardless if it's slow in the 1st Act, or whatever.
His is one opinion, as is Erik's.
Erik was like the average Reader. His suggestion to shelve the project may have been a bit harsh, but the fact that he couldn't get past 20 pages should raise a red flag for you.
Many a writer on this site, after receiving a review that didn't get past 15 to 30 pages, has said, "Well, you totally missed the most amazing part of the script. The ending is where's it at."
Your 1st Act has to be just as cool, or most Readers won't get past the first 30.
Don't shelve your baby.
But put it down.
Walk away and write an entirely new script. No, don't sharpen up that other trunk script.
Write something new.
When you finally come back to Flat Pennies, it won't look quite the same to you. You'll see weaknesses you didn't see before. You'll think the writing style needs a bit of polish compared to where you're at 3 scripts down the road.
i haven't read FP. is it any good?
Lisa give it a 'full' read and then post a review - cheers, Jim.
D J, thanks for the compliment.
It's amazing how many people will tell you to shelve a project. I like a good success story, and the best ones always include an element of struggle against all odds. I sometimes feel like the Sisyphus of Screenwriting, but in my heart, I know "Flat Pennies" will see the dark of night in the theaters someday.
Robert I just read and as I'm a 'fan' liked it - much of the previous stuff in tact with on first glance some re-wording, especially toward the end.
Still imho one of the better sp's on site and the 'slow' burn is imho what makes it so.
Notwithstanding, it will proably need to get to someone like Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn
or an 'old school' actor to champion in order to make it happen BUT stranger things have happened...
Although I must admit my ego was a tad disappointed that my last draft wasn't listed as one drawn upon for this version - as much of my input was used...
Nonetheless Robert, I do wish you all the best with "FP" going forward
- much respect, Jim.
S G, thanks!
Liked your comments in that thread. So true.
I agree. Pretty much everything I write from now on will be so much easier to write, and read.
I took on way too much as a beginner. "Flat Pennies" is a very complex storyline, with facets that should only be undertaken by those with the appropriate skills. (What I'd give to have Sorkin or the Coen brothers writing my dialogue.)
Glad you have respect for the premise. I like it a lot.
I guess many people out there think that I just sit around working on "Flat Pennies" akin to good ol' Andy sitting at a revolving stone wheel sharpening a knife in his underwear while he stares up at a picture of me on the wall.
I only keep delving back into "Flat Pennies" when the mood strikes. After all, I do have to be fired up to get back into it. Happens when you work on something so long. But I do agree with you on the idea of seeing freshness after an absence.
Ah yes, about readers. We all have to face the readers. And in my case, with a complex and big boy and big girl storyline, things such as inciting incident can be lost on those who must be bludgeoned with it to stay focused. Welcome to 2012!
There are a great many films that I absolutely love that would bore most young theatergoers. And the other way around for sure.
I'll keep plugging away. I love the story of "Flat Pennies" because I've already seen it in my head. And if rewritten properly and produced correctly, it should be nothing less powerful than the "The Sixth Sense" or "Brazil" or "The Usual Suspects".
My belief is strong, sayeth Sisyphus of Screenwriting, but my load is nary since my strength is great (especially my shoulders and arms from my truck driver days long ago).
Hey Jamster! Just now seeing your post.
As always, thanks for the encouraging and supportive words.
Thanks for your input on the story too.
Gotta love the Amazon Studios approach.
So many in that past have drawn sharp knives in an effort to slice away any goodwill that AS is working to provide us. But this is fact, the longer "Flat Pennies" is here, and getting analyzed and rewritten, the better the screenplay becomes. You can just see it betting better, stronger, more viable for production.
You're absolutely right. Hollywood's power hitters will have to massage "FP" into fighting shape, but as you say, stranger things have happened.
And it must be noted to everyone here, I have never claimed "Flat Pennies" was ready to shoot. Is there anyone here with a script like that?
So, with the excitement of Ed Wood making a picture, I say, "Come on Amazon Studios community, let's get 'Flat Pennies' made into a film!"
Jamster is right. You'll just have to read it.
All I can say in the defense of "Flat Pennies" is that the script has almost 500 downloads for a reason.
that reason (500 downloads) is your PR. you won't shut up about it. AND the scriptshadow review.
had you read any of my scripts before i removed them?
Lisa, soooooo, you're saying I would be an excellent PR person?
Thank you. Definitely a result of all my years as a journalist.
Yes, certainly a lot of reads from the Carson review. I had to email him several times (just try to get a review from him), but he was obviously attracted to the logline and synopsis of the unique "Flat Pennies".
And just wondering, would Amazon Studios, Hollywood, and the Powers That Be in the industry mind at all working with an aspiring screenwriter who never shut up about a project? Just wondering.
If any of us here get that golden chance, trust me, all you're going to be doing is hawking your product. It's the business. Do you think all the guests on all the talk shows get tired of that grind? They sure do. But it's a necessary aspect of the business. Never shutting up about your product.
Robert W said, akin to good ol' Andy sitting at a revolving stone wheel sharpening a knife in his underwear while he stares up at a picture of me on the wall.
Thanks to my personal shopper at Kohl's, I always wear FILA basketball shorts.
I would encourage anyone to read the new version and post their comments. In fact, I would say the thing about every movie on the Development Slate. It's a shame that AS has anointed 16 movies as the Chosen Few and no one tries to improve them.
I have spent a few spare moments thinking about what kind of movie Amazon Studios should try to make. ANd I come up with "12 Princesses."
It's based on a known property in the public domain. Assuming they're not going to spend a billion dollars to buy a comic book company like Marvel, a Grimm Fairy Tale is almost as good.
For Warner Bros, it needs a role that will attract one, or two, A-list actors. The original Grimm story has an Old Soldier.
Most Fairy Tales are out of sync, because the heroes and conflict come from a feudal society, where going from soldier to King was an impossible dream. Where the dream of most women was to marry a handsome Prince and live happily ever after.
When AS did a paid writing assignment for "12 Princesses," I thought, finally a step in the right direction. The only drawback was the $10,000 prize. A $4,000 prize would not disqualify the winner from Nicholl. There should be three - r ten - winners. With the goal of turning it into a movie that Warner Bros would be willing to make.
Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - none of them has captured the Theme of adults going back to childhood.
Celebrity judges gave "12 Princesses" a million dollar prize for a reason. But it's not a movie. It was a showcase for an animation software suite and some musical talent, but it doesn't have the two strong lead characters that Warner Bros would require.
Maybe the most interesting part of "Flat Pennies" is vixualizing A-list actors in the lead roles. Denzel? Jack Nicholson? Alec Baldwin? Justin Bieber?
One of the things that hasn't changed about the AS Home Page is:
Our Hollywood Partner
Amazon Studios has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which means that we'll be presenting our top projects to Hollywood's biggest studio for consideration as theatrical feature films.
One of the things that has changed - they've announced a winner of the million dollar prize, which was the Test Movie for "12 Princesses."
There's no shame in writing a different version of the "12 Princesses" script that is, specifically, a "Theatrical Feature Film" made by Warner Bros.
Look at "The Exorcist." Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow.
Look at "Lethal Weapon" Mel Gibson and Danny Glover
Look at "Proof of Life" Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan
Warer Bros not only aims at roles for A-list actors, they also settle for former A-list actors who are at a certain point in their careers. Maryl Streep, more Oscars for acting than anyone else. Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Assuming that Justin Bieber is too busy, there aren't any actors right for the younger role in "Flat Pennies" - IF you want it sent to Warner Bros, the AS Hollywood Partner advertised on the Home Page.
Warner Bros is involved in a Justice League arc. Three Batman movies. Maybe a Martian Manhunter. Green Lantern is getting a reboot.
Superheroes would be a good choice for Amazon Studios, but Warner Bros has contractural obligations that would rule it out. What they really need is a new Harry Potter, or Hunger Games. A franchise that aims at a younger crowd, an audience that can grow up as the lead actors do.
A Participant says:
[Deleted by Amazon Studios on December 14, 2012 06:18 PM UTC]
Thanks eric. No harm no foul.
Been busy with other stuff for sure, with a short moving into production.
Andrew, you gotta love that line. I've used it a couple times before. [... akin to good ol' Andy sitting at a revolving stone wheel sharpening a knife in his underwear while he stares up at a picture of me on the wall.]
Another of my favorites I've used is:
This forum has more lurkers than a Rob Ross birthday party held next to the airport restrooms.
Congratulations Robert! You have surpassed me on rewrites for your project!!!
This project is become your own broken window.... and remember;
"Don't take any guff from these fucking swine."
I feel obligated to update the facts as improvements are made.
The newest addition is a shirt from "Cars Land" at the Disney California Adventure.
Disney spent $1.1 billion improving the Theme park.
The new shirts are red and yellow, with a checkerboard black-and-white racing stripe.
Perfect for writing.
I'm getting frustrated with Amazon Studios.
Greg Beal has an account on the Forum. Don't they know that a $10,000 paid writing assignment will disqualify you from the Nicholl?
What's wrong with a few $4,000 prizes?
If they are serious about finding a project for a WB theatrical feature film... for that matter, if you're serious about "Flat Pennies" as a project...
TWO roles that would allow A-list actors to emote the way Meg Ryan did with Russell Crowe at the end of "Proof of Life."
"The Dark Knight Rises" will end the Batman trilogy. Warner Bros is looking for a new Harry Potter, something that will capture the imagination of the children who used to wear the school robes to Harry Potter parties.
Angus, thanks for always having my back (not like Hannibal Lecter though).
Glad you like that broken window line, by the way. I keep it in "Flat Pennies" because I just can't get rid of it. I made it up years ago when people used to ask me about an old girlfriend who was a troubled artist: "Her life has become a broken bloody window through which men crawl in and out."
Andrew, I think you would love one of my old favorites, "A High Wind in Jamaica", a film I saw by myself in a theater, back when you could drop off your kid at a theater.
Had Deborah Baxter in it.
First time I fell in love with an older woman.
She was my first screen crush.
I was an awkward 10, she a worldly 12.