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Old 02-21-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
PhantomScreenwriter
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"It's (film title) meets (film title)"?

Two questions:

1) When it comes to using the method of taking one film and combining it with another film, and then saying that your screenplay is a combination of both, how far should one go in structuring their screenplay so it is a mixture of the two?

2) As for the method itself, is it considered a weak or strong one to use?
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:49 PM   #2
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Do you mean actually intending to be a mash-up of two actual films? I've only ever heard this phrase in relation to a setting similar to X mixed with a story/subject matter similar to Y.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:11 PM   #3
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It's a tool for marketing, not for screenwriting.

Write the script you want to write, and then see if there are two interesting/complimentary films that could logically inform a reader/viewer as to the tone/style/intention of the film.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:47 PM   #4
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Lol, I literally JUST read this on another thread like a few seconds ago. Someone writing a sci-fi pilot that he describes as "Fargo Meets Alien"
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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It's used in pitching a bit to give an idea of the market potential.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I'm aware of the fact it's used more for pitching or marketing. But I'd be interested in seeing opinions on using it as a method of writing a screenplay in terms of literally taking events from one movie, mixing it with events from another, and then making additions/subtractions to the whole script and making other changes so it doesn't come across as a copy and paste job. Essentially using them as templates to start with, rather than doing everything completely from scratch, and in a way treating it like you're a sculptor taking a huge hunk of a rock and chipping away at it until the desired end result appears.

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Old 02-22-2015, 11:24 PM   #7
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My opinion: For base structure sure it's fine to a point. For sub-plot structure, it's even more fine. For sub-character arcs, this is where I think it really shines.

From what I see it, the big problem, as you noted, is you may find is plot and character is often so intertwined, you may end up making a carbon copy of someone elses work instead of focusing on writing your new, amazing, fresh new script.

It sounds like you're looking for a structured way to write. Does that sound about right?
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomScreenwriter View Post
But I'd be interested in seeing opinions on using it as a method of writing a screenplay in terms of literally taking events from one movie, mixing it with events from another, and then making additions/subtractions to the whole script and making other changes so it doesn't come across as a copy and paste job.
That's still blatant plagiarism and would likely end your career before it even starts.

Yes, some writer-directors and writers have gotten away with it by sheer denial, whereas others have called those scenes/characters/events a "homage", but really, you'll never be much of a writer if the best you can do is rip off other people's work.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:14 AM   #9
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Sweetie - Yeah I'm trying to find out a structured way that I can wrap my head around and which suits me. I do have a method of approaching screenwriting but it's not what you would call a very structured way of doing so...at least not yet anyway. Not saying this is the method I'd use but just something I've thought about. I like to try and think of alternate ways of doing something. I've also thought of other ways I could find a method that really works for me. I guess I'm also trying to do what an actor might do when they're trying to figure out what type of approach to the craft works best for them.

Viva - I understand where you're coming from. Using this method would be best for a first draft situation but not for the final draft, and if I did use this approach it would only be for a first draft.

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Old 02-23-2015, 07:08 AM   #10
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Structured writing isn't really a new thing. Look up John Truby and read a few of his books. There are other authors that also teach this. See if it's along the lines of what you're after.

As for plagiarism. There's a quote that really stayed with me in regards to this. "What is plagiarism called in the real world? Market research." Story structures have been used for thousands of years. It's hardly anything new, and hardly anything that's protected.

I do agree with you that taking the story of two movies and merging them into another movie isn't the best idea, for more than simple copyright issues. This is why I asked if Phantom was simply looking for a method of structured writing. It's a method that's used extensively.

Quote:
plagiarism and would likely end your career before it even starts
I'd hate to have my career end if I did this, just like it did for James Cameron with the first Terminator movie:

http://thenextweb.com/shareables/201...to-keep-quiet/

Don't take this as me encouraging breaking the law. I'm not.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
Structured writing isn't really a new thing. Look up John Truby and read a few of his books. There are other authors that also teach this. See if it's along the lines of what you're after.

As for plagiarism. There's a quote that really stayed with me in regards to this. "What is plagiarism called in the real world? Market research." Story structures have been used for thousands of years. It's hardly anything new, and hardly anything that's protected.

I do agree with you that taking the story of two movies and merging them into another movie isn't the best idea, for more than simple copyright issues. This is why I asked if Phantom was simply looking for a method of structured writing. It's a method that's used extensively.



I'd hate to have my career end if I did this, just like it did for James Cameron with the first Terminator movie:

http://thenextweb.com/shareables/201...to-keep-quiet/

Don't take this as me encouraging breaking the law. I'm not.
That doesn't strike me as particularly major plagiarism, though (the standard sci-fi trope of time travel, the standard thriller trope of a chase through the streets, and the standard hero's journey character of "the last hope for mankind") - the similarities seem minor based on the descriptions of the episodes given. I doubt Ellison would have even had a case had Cameron not been so blatant in his statement about ripping him off.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:23 PM   #12
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It's definitely plagiarism. Essentially copies of scenes. The whole story is different.

Whether there would be an actual copyright claim is a matter of opinion, since it was never ruled upon.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
It's definitely plagiarism. Essentially copies of scenes. The whole story is different.

Whether there would be an actual copyright claim is a matter of opinion, since it was never ruled upon.
From the clips shown to support the argument in the video, it would be a very feeble claim for plagiarism. There were no copies of scenes. The only real justification for the hush money is Cameron's unguarded comment.

Maybe the whole episodes would reveal worse plagiarism, but the instances mentioned are just standard tropes.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:07 PM   #14
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There is a difference between plagiarism and copyright. Plagiarism (partially) is where you use someone elses idea or concept without acknowledgement and use it as if the idea was yours. It's a very much an issue with educational establishments. Entertainment is a lot less interested in the morality issues and very much worried more about the legal issues, which, among others, copyright law is more the issue.

So I hear what you're saying. I would say that the paying was more nuisance money.

But then again, it's an argument for the lawyers.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:34 AM   #15
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Why not be honest and put it this way...

"I can't write" meets "someone else's idea"

...because that is what it looks like, and probably to a studio as well.
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