Elements of a Blockbuster.

March 28, 2010

April is swiftly approaching (sneaky bastard) and that means that I’m going to have to buck up and write a 100-page screenplay before May hits.  As I’ve said before, I have a dramatic comedy idea in mind, but when I look at the summer movie line up, I’m almost tempted to write one of  those summer blockbusters.  No, not a cool comic-book adaptation with sweet action scenes.  I’m talking about one of those real moneymakers!  With all the crap Hollywood is cranking out, it can’t be that hard, right…?

Take for example the June movie “Killers”,  starring exquisite Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) and classy Ashton Kutcher (Punk’d).  Normal girl meets normal boy.  Girl falls in love with normal boy.  All is well after three years of marriage.   PSYCH!  Her hubby’s a secret agent, and now she has to help him fight off assassins with a gun she doesn’t know how to… *BANG!*

“Honey, I didn’t know you knew how to use a gun!”
“Neither did I!”
(Insert cutesy marital dialogue here.)


I mean come ON, people.  There’s even another movie coming out three weeks later called “Knight and Day” with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  Guess what?  He’s a secret agent.  She’s a plain Jane.  She gets caught up in his dangerous life!  He lets her use a gun that she doesn’t… *BANG!*

“Where did you learn to shoot like that?”
“I don’t know!”
(Insert cutesy flirtatious dialogue here.)


So obviously my goal for Script Frenzy is not to write a crappy script.  I’ll want a screenplay that I can be proud of, or else what’s the point?  But if this kind of stuff gets greenlit, then I’m guessing I don’t have to work very hard.  If I’m going to write an action comedy blockbuster, here’s what I’ll need:

  • That “Hhumh?” moment where the random dog’s head goes sideways and his ears perk up.   Comedy gold!
  • Abs.  Somewhere, anywhere.  Even if our gruff hero is just putting on his white (soon to be bloody) shirt.
  • The attractive female that is going to do something out of her nature.  Whether it’s using a gun, or falling in love, she’s not going to be interesting unless we challenge her with something she’s not used to.  “Take the wheel! I’ll shoot!”  the hero says.  “WHAT?!”  says the woman.
  • The villain can’t have too much purpose.  He’s only doing this for revenge.  Or world domination.  Or just to be mean.  If we make the villain too smart, then our hero gets confused.   Which brings me to our next item:
  • The hero can’t do anything out of his nature.  He knows the ropes!  He can handle any situation.  Even if it’s a bomb diffusion, this guy has got it down.  Just don’t ask him to do anything too simple.  Can you imagine if suddenly the heroine asked him to water the plants?  His head would explode.
  • EXPLOSIONS! or the fall-in-the-pool scene.  Obviously not every action comedy needs fire and exploding cars, but if not, then we need the pool scene where the female clumsily falls into the pool in her nice dress.  And the stud looks at her and smiles.  “I’m in love,” he thinks.  But if that doesn’t happen let’s blow some shit up.   Lots of it.
  • The confession.  The villain will more than likely capture the female, or put her in a dire situation, where he can explain his evil plot to the hero, just so he’s not confused.   The hero needs this explanation more than the audience does.
  • Bring that cute dog back!!  Remember the hilarious “Hhumh?” moment?  Oh, that was good

Reading through these we can probably name about 75 movies that pretty much fit this format to a T.  With the exception of the dog scene…but it is a pretty cute moment when it happens…

I’m still in the final stages of figuring out what the balls I’m going to write about, but I’m definitely leaning towards something comedic.  Whether it’s a drama- or an action-flavored version, I’m not yet sure.  But unlike Hollywood, I’m going to do my best to think of a story that has NOT been done yet.  Or if it has been done, make it as original as possible.

Because, honestly, people.  No one really wants to see “Cats & Dogs 2”, or “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” anyway.  We want to see more original sequels and remakes like “Iron-Man 2” and “The A-Team”!!! … more or less.



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