Friday, April 17, 2009

Screenwriting for Geniuses

In writing a collaborative screenplay, the process usually goes through several stages:

1) Create outline.

2) Argue with co-writer about who forgot to brew the coffee.

3) Start writing first scene.

4) Argue with co-writer about who put in too many swear words and punches to the groin in the scene. Especially since it was a baptism scene.

5) Quit writing and watch another ten minutes of Lawrence of Arabia before passing out.

With a film like "Road House 3--Back to Basics" there's a lot of pressure to make the film great, since the original is such a part of our collective consciousness. Few sequels have been considered "great" as in "as good or better than the original". There's Godfather Part II, there's Empire Strikes Back. But mostly, they've been cheap attempts to cash in by the studio. Iron Eagle? Karate Kid? Rocky V???

What this film plans to add is a hook--something to advance the story line, show that Dalton has grown since the first one, and thrust him into a situation that has some similarities to the original but is genuinely unique. But to make the sequel truly great--as in, bring Swayze back to the mainstream great--it will need some clever twists and turns. Friends become hidden enemies! Love is found in unexpected places! Tragedy strikes! Essentially, situations to allow Swayze to emote properly for Academy Award consideration. Yeah, we're just that ambitious!

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