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Is the screenplay format suitable for science fiction?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 pm
by crit30395
By this, I don't mean mean sci fi, (Star Wars, Pacific Rim, Battleship, comic book movies, etc). I mean movies like Prometheus, Edge of Tomorrow, Elysium. All these movies seemed very promising to me, but the flaws never (at least to me) ever stem from the acting or the direction or the special effects, but it always seem to come from the story itself. Does the fairly rigid structure of the screenplay format make for bad science fiction? The only two movies that really work as science fiction (at least to me) is "2001- A Space Odyssey" and "Gattaca".

Re: Is the screenplay format suitable for science fiction?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:08 pm
by crit19292
No, but the really lazy, unconcerned producer is to blame. They will spend MILLIONS on special effects, but maybe fifty dollars on the screenplay with the only editing to punch it up for more special effects or scenes for a certain actor. The science behind science fiction is completely forgotten, as is certain facts of reality (they make mistakes in a science-fiction movie that they would not make in a regular drama).

What really bothers me is when they steal a script for another genre, then 'spice' it up by adding futuristic elements. Again there is no checking. They just throw in lasers, space ships, etc. without caring for how it might change the personality of the characters.

I watched a film just the other day where they claimed (with a really long exposition intro) that this was a future Earth. They then had this flying monster that could not conceivably fly (just because it could extend its fingers and stretch some skin into semi-wings did not mean it was aerodynamic). They then needed silver to kill it (as if it were a werewolf or vampire, as if those were real). The ones making the movie completely ignored the fact that if it was a future Earth, the SAME physics and rules would apply as for present Earth. I just groaned.

Still, in both cases it is not the script, but the producer not spending money for a better script or simply editing/correcting of the script he has.

Re: Is the screenplay format suitable for science fiction?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:38 pm
by crit33888
crit19292 wrote:No, but the really lazy, unconcerned producer is to blame.


More or less. Good stories don't sell movies, because good stories don't go in previews or on posters (they'd give the movie away). Movie Stars and special effects sell movies. Good stories can give a movie legs, but nailing down what makes a good story is much harder than analyzing Tom Hanks's box office gross. Producers rely on the sure thing, because their jobs are at stake. That's how it somehow makes sense to invest only up to a million or so in a screenwriter but hundreds of millions in other areas.