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Author Topic: The Movie Pitch Thread  (Read 2097 times)

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #200 on: October 18, 2017, 01:17:35 am »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

Cutler de Chateau

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #201 on: October 18, 2017, 01:22:17 am »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 01:24:47 am by Cutler de Chateau »

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #202 on: October 18, 2017, 01:29:24 am »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

Cutler de Chateau

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #203 on: October 18, 2017, 09:59:56 am »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action.  I can't go further on your idea because you haven't expanded it, leading me to believe that you came up with it on a whim.  You don't share an idea until you have a full grasp on what the core of the story is.  The concept you put forward sounds jumbled, especially when you added that last bit about the film being 3 hours long with edits.  And frankly, that 3 hour run time sounds incredibly forced.  A majority of the time when I see a film longer than 2 1/2 hours, I always come out saying that there is stuff that shouldn't have made the cut.  Only so few films I can see have utilized that well and all of them were made in the 50s to 60s. I feel like there isn't anything you can't accomplish in 2 hours. 

And again, I said that I think the concept would work better as a History channel doc with dramatization. 

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #204 on: October 18, 2017, 12:51:27 pm »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action.  I can't go further on your idea because you haven't expanded it, leading me to believe that you came up with it on a whim.  You don't share an idea until you have a full grasp on what the core of the story is.  The concept you put forward sounds jumbled, especially when you added that last bit about the film being 3 hours long with edits.  And frankly, that 3 hour run time sounds incredibly forced.  A majority of the time when I see a film longer than 2 1/2 hours, I always come out saying that there is stuff that shouldn't have made the cut.  Only so few films I can see have utilized that well and all of them were made in the 50s to 60s. I feel like there isn't anything you can't accomplish in 2 hours. 

And again, I said that I think the concept would work better as a History channel doc with dramatization. 

With the insane amount of material to work with here, it'd be well over two hours. You could cut it down, but I kind of wanted to make this somewhat informative as well (like Silence was). And I say again, "no one will see this because there's no action" is an insanely irrelevant and unhelpful comment. That is so clearly not what I'm aiming for here. I don't know why you brought it up in the first place.

If your input is really limited to "make it a History Channel doc" (and presumably put aliens in there while we're at it), yeah, I don't know why you bothered. You might as well say we should get Michael Bay to direct it.

Cutler de Chateau

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #205 on: October 18, 2017, 01:24:15 pm »
I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action.  I can't go further on your idea because you haven't expanded it, leading me to believe that you came up with it on a whim.  You don't share an idea until you have a full grasp on what the core of the story is.  The concept you put forward sounds jumbled, especially when you added that last bit about the film being 3 hours long with edits.  And frankly, that 3 hour run time sounds incredibly forced.  A majority of the time when I see a film longer than 2 1/2 hours, I always come out saying that there is stuff that shouldn't have made the cut.  Only so few films I can see have utilized that well and all of them were made in the 50s to 60s. I feel like there isn't anything you can't accomplish in 2 hours. 

And again, I said that I think the concept would work better as a History channel doc with dramatization. 

With the insane amount of material to work with here, it'd be well over two hours. You could cut it down, but I kind of wanted to make this somewhat informative as well (like Silence was). And I say again, "no one will see this because there's no action" is an insanely irrelevant and unhelpful comment. That is so clearly not what I'm aiming for here. I don't know why you brought it up in the first place.

If your input is really limited to "make it a History Channel doc" (and presumably put aliens in there while we're at it), yeah, I don't know why you bothered. You might as well say we should get Michael Bay to direct it.

You asked why I thought no one would see the film and I responded that most general audiences don't care about much outside of the way of action thrills and conflict.  If what you're going for is something similar to Silence, I will ask this:  What is the selling point of the film?  What'll make me the viewer interested in sitting down and watching your film as opposed to another?  Your entire film idea boils down to a biopic about Plato, with very little in the way of much else.  Films like Silence work because it zeroes in on a certain specific time period in said person's time and their conflict.  The two main characters are out searching for their mentor in Japan, an era not to kind to Christians.  There, that's the hook.  There is conflict and tension and a goal.  If you want to achieve something different, focus in on Socrates being wrongfully executed for his teachings.  His final days would make for much more compelling filmmaking than random spots of his life told through Plato.  You want an engaging film?  Introduce the conflict.  My point is that you should focus in on the most interesting point of the character's life and zero in on it. 

But if you're going for a biography of Socrates's life, just make a documentary.  That way, you can insert whatever information into it and not worry about anything on a filmmaking standpoint.
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Robert Neville

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #206 on: October 18, 2017, 05:06:36 pm »
Honestly, it's refreshing to find out we can still have these sudden, out-of-the-blue, multi-page arguments on the subjects unrelated to blockbusters or politics. That alone makes the thread worth it. Now, a few things from both sides of the argument:

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action. 

This is a stupid comparison, as Blade Runner 2049 is only considered a failure because it cost 150 million. Its actual B.O. would have been considered pretty great as far as biopics go. Of course, it owes a lot of that to the very same CGI/production design that made it cost so much, and which Diego's biopic is unlikely to have, so it's a moot point regardless. You mentioned Coen brothers before: Hail Caesar! would've been a far better comparison.

Having said that:

I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action.  I can't go further on your idea because you haven't expanded it, leading me to believe that you came up with it on a whim.  You don't share an idea until you have a full grasp on what the core of the story is.  The concept you put forward sounds jumbled, especially when you added that last bit about the film being 3 hours long with edits.  And frankly, that 3 hour run time sounds incredibly forced.  A majority of the time when I see a film longer than 2 1/2 hours, I always come out saying that there is stuff that shouldn't have made the cut.  Only so few films I can see have utilized that well and all of them were made in the 50s to 60s. I feel like there isn't anything you can't accomplish in 2 hours. 

And again, I said that I think the concept would work better as a History channel doc with dramatization. 

With the insane amount of material to work with here, it'd be well over two hours. You could cut it down, but I kind of wanted to make this somewhat informative as well (like Silence was). And I say again, "no one will see this because there's no action" is an insanely irrelevant and unhelpful comment. That is so clearly not what I'm aiming for here. I don't know why you brought it up in the first place.

If your input is really limited to "make it a History Channel doc" (and presumably put aliens in there while we're at it), yeah, I don't know why you bothered. You might as well say we should get Michael Bay to direct it.

You asked why I thought no one would see the film and I responded that most general audiences don't care about much outside of the way of action thrills and conflict.  If what you're going for is something similar to Silence, I will ask this:  What is the selling point of the film?  What'll make me the viewer interested in sitting down and watching your film as opposed to another?  Your entire film idea boils down to a biopic about Plato, with very little in the way of much else.  Films like Silence work because it zeroes in on a certain specific time period in said person's time and their conflict.  The two main characters are out searching for their mentor in Japan, an era not to kind to Christians.  There, that's the hook.  There is conflict and tension and a goal.  If you want to achieve something different, focus in on Socrates being wrongfully executed for his teachings.  His final days would make for much more compelling filmmaking than random spots of his life told through Plato.  You want an engaging film?  Introduce the conflict.  My point is that you should focus in on the most interesting point of the character's life and zero in on it. 

But if you're going for a biography of Socrates's life, just make a documentary.  That way, you can insert whatever information into it and not worry about anything on a filmmaking standpoint.

Everything else above is spot on. Here's something in particular I want to focus on:


I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

vs.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

As you can see, when asked to justify the premise, Diego constantly reaches back to "Justice League", "lowest common denominator", "films moviegoers choose to support", etc., pitching his cerebral entertainment in opposition to them. Here's the key point: the existence of Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp or whatever is actually almost totally irrelevant to his proposed film's fortunes, because they exist in a separate box office category in the first place.

You do not have to worry whether people would rather see a film about Socrates or Infinite War: if you only focus on that, you have pretty much guaranteed they'll see the latter, because you'll ignore your actual competitors: any other biopic/historical film that's playing, and every one of them on Netflix. If Diego somehow time-travelled and managed to get this released the past winter, the question asked would not be "Should I see Rogue One or Socrates and Plato?" but "Should I see Socrates and Plato or Hidden Figures?"

Even then, that's only a secondary concern. The real opposition to your film consists of...ancient Greek philosophy itself. The main question going through everyone's mind when they first hear the premise would be "Why should I spend however long going to the cinema, paying for the ticket, sitting there for 3 hours, then getting back home, when I can spend the same 3 hours at home or in the library, reading them both for free?" The core audience of such a film would always be people at least mildly interested in Plato, Socrates and Greek philosophy in general, and those people always have the option of (re)-reading their actual works for free. You have to convince them your film somehow will enlighten them more than reading the original works for a similar length of time would, (preferably within the confines of a trailer), before you can even begin to compete with other biopics (unless they also fail at that task, in which case it's fair game), let alone the blockbusters.

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #207 on: October 18, 2017, 05:39:56 pm »
Honestly, it's refreshing to find out we can still have these sudden, out-of-the-blue, multi-page arguments on the subjects unrelated to blockbusters or politics. That alone makes the thread worth it. Now, a few things from both sides of the argument:

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action. 

This is a stupid comparison, as Blade Runner 2049 is only considered a failure because it cost 150 million. Its actual B.O. would have been considered pretty great as far as biopics go. Of course, it owes a lot of that to the very same CGI/production design that made it cost so much, and which Diego's biopic is unlikely to have, so it's a moot point regardless. You mentioned Coen brothers before: Hail Caesar! would've been a far better comparison.

Having said that:

I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

And again, I have no idea why you'd reject this at face value. So many films have done so much more with so much less. These are among the greatest things ever written in the history of the world, and together they can construct a great narrative arc. Your objections sound like you're dismissing it because it sounds 'boring,' which is why I'm saying your input on this subject is shit. This thread is not for pitching highly marketable ideas. It's for pitching good ones.

And where was the good idea again?  I am not judging your film on whether it is marketable.  I am judging it on whether I'd see it based on what I know and based on what I know, it's a no.  It sounds incredibly tacky. This thread is for you to post your film idea and for others to says how they feel on it. 

Anways, I have to go to sleep soon, so say whatever you want, I guess.  At the end of the day, it's a no.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

You stated it yourself.  If no one is going to see Blade Runner 2049, no one will see a film that would have no action.  I can't go further on your idea because you haven't expanded it, leading me to believe that you came up with it on a whim.  You don't share an idea until you have a full grasp on what the core of the story is.  The concept you put forward sounds jumbled, especially when you added that last bit about the film being 3 hours long with edits.  And frankly, that 3 hour run time sounds incredibly forced.  A majority of the time when I see a film longer than 2 1/2 hours, I always come out saying that there is stuff that shouldn't have made the cut.  Only so few films I can see have utilized that well and all of them were made in the 50s to 60s. I feel like there isn't anything you can't accomplish in 2 hours. 

And again, I said that I think the concept would work better as a History channel doc with dramatization. 

With the insane amount of material to work with here, it'd be well over two hours. You could cut it down, but I kind of wanted to make this somewhat informative as well (like Silence was). And I say again, "no one will see this because there's no action" is an insanely irrelevant and unhelpful comment. That is so clearly not what I'm aiming for here. I don't know why you brought it up in the first place.

If your input is really limited to "make it a History Channel doc" (and presumably put aliens in there while we're at it), yeah, I don't know why you bothered. You might as well say we should get Michael Bay to direct it.

You asked why I thought no one would see the film and I responded that most general audiences don't care about much outside of the way of action thrills and conflict.  If what you're going for is something similar to Silence, I will ask this:  What is the selling point of the film?  What'll make me the viewer interested in sitting down and watching your film as opposed to another?  Your entire film idea boils down to a biopic about Plato, with very little in the way of much else.  Films like Silence work because it zeroes in on a certain specific time period in said person's time and their conflict.  The two main characters are out searching for their mentor in Japan, an era not to kind to Christians.  There, that's the hook.  There is conflict and tension and a goal.  If you want to achieve something different, focus in on Socrates being wrongfully executed for his teachings.  His final days would make for much more compelling filmmaking than random spots of his life told through Plato.  You want an engaging film?  Introduce the conflict.  My point is that you should focus in on the most interesting point of the character's life and zero in on it. 

But if you're going for a biography of Socrates's life, just make a documentary.  That way, you can insert whatever information into it and not worry about anything on a filmmaking standpoint.

Everything else above is spot on. Here's something in particular I want to focus on:


I don't see why we have to cater to the lowest common denominator with our entertainment.

You keep bringing this up as if someone rejecting your idea instantly sides with nothing but cheap blockbuster thrills.  You don't have to appeal to the least common denominator.  Many great films exist that teeter the line of intelligence and blockbuster thrills.  No one wants a 3 hour biopic on fucking Socrates.

vs.

Your only complaint was that "no one wants to see it." You didn't give any reasoning behind that statement. I'd honestly like to know why you don't think people would see it, even though that wouldn't be particularly surprising given some of the films moviegoers choose to support. But just saying "nobody wants that" is not constructive. It only serves to make you look ignorant.

As you can see, when asked to justify the premise, Diego constantly reaches back to "Justice League", "lowest common denominator", "films moviegoers choose to support", etc., pitching his cerebral entertainment in opposition to them. Here's the key point: the existence of Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp or whatever is actually almost totally irrelevant to his proposed film's fortunes, because they exist in a separate box office category in the first place.

You do not have to worry whether people would rather see a film about Socrates or Infinite War: if you only focus on that, you have pretty much guaranteed they'll see the latter, because you'll ignore your actual competitors: any other biopic/historical film that's playing, and every one of them on Netflix. If Diego somehow time-travelled and managed to get this released the past winter, the question asked would not be "Should I see Rogue One or Socrates and Plato?" but "Should I see Socrates and Plato or Hidden Figures?"

Even then, that's only a secondary concern. The real opposition to your film consists of...ancient Greek philosophy itself. The main question going through everyone's mind when they first hear the premise would be "Why should I spend however long going to the cinema, paying for the ticket, sitting there for 3 hours, then getting back home, when I can spend the same 3 hours at home or in the library, reading them both for free?" The core audience of such a film would always be people at least mildly interested in Plato, Socrates and Greek philosophy in general, and those people always have the option of (re)-reading their actual works for free. You have to convince them your film somehow will enlighten them more than reading the original works for a similar length of time would, (preferably within the confines of a trailer), before you can even begin to compete with other biopics (unless they also fail at that task, in which case it's fair game), let alone the blockbusters.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know this idea isn't even half-formed. I just find it hilarious how quickly Cutler dismissed it, going so far as to compare it to the glut of biopics we've had recently about historical nobodies. I thought the fact that he was so violently opposed to it was kind of weird, given how important of a subject it is. I'm not trying to be a pretentious fuckboy here. I'm legitimately confused about why this movie hasn't been made yet.

If we want to get serious about discussing this, the draw mainly has to do with the synthesis of the writings themselves and real-life biographical information, all told in one coherent story. That's something you can't accomplish with a biography or a documentary. A documentary would switch between some guy narrating the story of Socrates' life and random dramatizations of the dialogues. I personally think it would be more interesting to see a fluid narrative that incorporates both elements. You can't get any of this just from reading the dialogues themselves.

It would have to take place towards the end of Socrates' life. We could have scenes of him interacting with government officials, asking his nosy questions, but set against the looming backdrop of what is to come. The dialogues themselves would be given context within the narrative, so that they aren't just random discussions of virtue and holiness. Euthyphro would work really well here, as it has a great setting within the context of Socrates' life. It shows that even in the face of impending death, he doesn't stop asking questions, and the subject is relevant to that chapter in his life. The Republic could be included as well, though that's probably too ambitious. I also think there's a lot that can be done with the visual style of the movie-- I'm thinking maybe a Barry Lyndon-esque use of natural lighting.

As I said, the humor would be a draw as well. I don't think many people realize how genuinely funny these dialogues are. I sure didn't until I read them.

Of course, a key aspect would be getting the right people for the roles. I really have no idea who I'd cast here, but if we got it right, it'd probably start some Oscar buzz. Then again, the story is only about old white dudes, which isn't trendy right now, so maybe not.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #208 on: October 18, 2017, 05:54:03 pm »
I'm legitimately confused about why this movie hasn't been made yet.

Mainly because he's a man that's hard to replicate and he's well known.  All of what's been said about him can be found in research papers.  The trend for biopics nowadays seems to be exposing an unknown true story a la Hidden Figures or that Wonder Woman guy.  All of what has been said about Socrates has been said.  He's one of the greatest thinkers the world has seen.  His influence is still felt today with a lot of films referencing his and Plato's work.  And if he's not a figure that has a lot of strife and conflict in his life (someone like Caligula) then I find it hard to truly get invested.

Of course, a key aspect would be getting the right people for the roles. I really have no idea who I'd cast here, but if we got it right, it'd probably start some Oscar buzz. Then again, the story is only about old white dudes, which isn't trendy right now, so maybe not.

One of my least favorite trends in Greek films is casting British actors in these roles.  This begs the question: are you planning on having the film in English or go the full Passion of the Christ treatment and have characters at least speak in Greek?

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #209 on: October 18, 2017, 06:51:10 pm »
I'm legitimately confused about why this movie hasn't been made yet.

Mainly because he's a man that's hard to replicate and he's well known.  All of what's been said about him can be found in research papers.  The trend for biopics nowadays seems to be exposing an unknown true story a la Hidden Figures or that Wonder Woman guy.  All of what has been said about Socrates has been said.  He's one of the greatest thinkers the world has seen.  His influence is still felt today with a lot of films referencing his and Plato's work.  And if he's not a figure that has a lot of strife and conflict in his life (someone like Caligula) then I find it hard to truly get invested.

Of course, a key aspect would be getting the right people for the roles. I really have no idea who I'd cast here, but if we got it right, it'd probably start some Oscar buzz. Then again, the story is only about old white dudes, which isn't trendy right now, so maybe not.

One of my least favorite trends in Greek films is casting British actors in these roles.  This begs the question: are you planning on having the film in English or go the full Passion of the Christ treatment and have characters at least speak in Greek?

With some exceptions, "unknown" true stories are unknown for a reason. You say nobody wants a Socrates movie? I'd say nobody wants a fifteenth Princess Diana biopic. The story of his death is a tale of misunderstood genius, which I think modern moviegoers could have a great deal of interest in. We just had that Vincent Van Gogh movie come out, and a Teddy Roosevelt biopic is apparently happening now. Why not this?

Also, research papers are not exactly relevant here. The key to this is a synthesis of information and entertainment. Average audience members will not be familiar with a lot of this material. About 30% of Americans are capable of finding North Korea on a map, so I think it's safe to say that they're not exactly well-versed in Greek philosophy. A lot of the story would probably be new to them. Just another reason why your complaints seem really odd to me. If you think the story is unfilmable, or if you have a different angle you'd take, say so. But don't act like the subject is boring, or that everybody already knows everything about it.

I haven't given much thought to the casting (or really any of this). I wouldn't cast someone like James Cromwell, who always takes the role of the wise old man. You'd have to get someone with odd, unusual features who looks kind of unassuming. Closer to Christopher Walken than George Clooney. But I don't know who specifically. And someone like Fassbender might be interesting to see as a young Plato. Doing it all in Greek could be really interesting, though. See... now you're being constructive.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #210 on: October 18, 2017, 07:27:50 pm »
If you think the story is unfilmable, or if you have a different angle you'd take, say so. But don't act like the subject is boring, or that everybody already knows everything about it.

Well, firstly, that is the point I'm making.  What you're suggesting is hard to film.  It's a bunch of ideas tossed in one.  That terrible Princess Diana biopic with Naomi Watts at least knew to focus on a story that could be built upon.  What I'd do is something similar to how the Matrix is based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave.  Make a fictional story surrounding Socrates that references his beliefs and philosophy.  That way you can construct an original idea and bend the story to make it far more engaging (and you have a much better way of stretching the film to your 3 hour runtime).  Or do something like what Ralph Fiennes did Coriolanus and set the story in modern times (although I highly advise against this idea).

And if Socrates and Plato must be the main protagonists, then I'd focus on Socrates' trial and execution from the perspective of Plato.  Again, my point is to zero in on a topic and stick.  I don't think you can find much entertainment from just trying to tell Socrates' life, his relationship with his students,  mixing in Socratic dialog, and his execution.  Pick one and pick the most engaging aspect (which to many would be the last).

I haven't given much thought to the casting (or really any of this). I wouldn't cast someone like James Cromwell, who always takes the role of the wise old man. You'd have to get someone with odd, unusual features who looks kind of unassuming. Closer to Christopher Walken than George Clooney. But I don't know who specifically. And someone like Fassbender might be interesting to see as a young Plato. Doing it all in Greek could be really interesting, though. See... now you're being constructive.

For a film like this, I feel as if unknowns would better fit the roles.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #211 on: October 18, 2017, 07:41:22 pm »
And if Socrates and Plato must be the main protagonists, then I'd focus on Socrates' trial and execution from the perspective of Plato.  Again, my point is to zero in on a topic and stick.  I don't think you can find much entertainment from just trying to tell Socrates' life, his relationship with his students,  mixing in Socratic dialog, and his execution.  Pick one and pick the most engaging aspect (which to many would be the last).

I don't think I said I wanted to tell his whole life's story, and if I did, I didn't mean to. I said it should take place towards the end of his life, encompass the dialogues there, and be told from Plato's perspective. There could be flashbacks to earlier, but that might muddy the waters quite a bit.

I wouldn't choose the allegory of the cave. If you want to talk about things everyone already knows, that's your prime candidate. Plus that's probably the least interesting of all the philosophical concepts we could discuss with this, in that it's so applicable to pretty much any person or situation. Anyone from Gandhi to Hitler could have used the Cave to justify what they did. It's kinda boring. I'd prefer stuff like Euthyphro and the Symposium.

That said, I agree with you on casting unknowns.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #212 on: October 18, 2017, 07:48:46 pm »
And if Socrates and Plato must be the main protagonists, then I'd focus on Socrates' trial and execution from the perspective of Plato.  Again, my point is to zero in on a topic and stick.  I don't think you can find much entertainment from just trying to tell Socrates' life, his relationship with his students,  mixing in Socratic dialog, and his execution.  Pick one and pick the most engaging aspect (which to many would be the last).

I don't think I said I wanted to tell his whole life's story, and if I did, I didn't mean to. I said it should take place towards the end of his life, encompass the dialogues there, and be told from Plato's perspective. There could be flashbacks to earlier, but that might muddy the waters quite a bit.

I wouldn't choose the allegory of the cave. If you want to talk about things everyone already knows, that's your prime candidate. Plus that's probably the least interesting of all the philosophical concepts we could discuss with this, in that it's so applicable to pretty much any person or situation. Anyone from Gandhi to Hitler could have used the Cave to justify what they did. It's kinda boring. I'd prefer stuff like Euthyphro and the Symposium.

That said, I agree with you on casting unknowns.

My point wasn't to use the Cave.  My point was my direction would to take a Socratic dialogue and build a film around the philosophical truth that was to be learned.  The Cave and the Matrix is simply just an example I came up with because it was the first thing to pop in my head.  I feel as though it'll allow you to gain more freedom in the process and not be bogged down by making a biopic.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #213 on: October 18, 2017, 08:00:08 pm »
And if Socrates and Plato must be the main protagonists, then I'd focus on Socrates' trial and execution from the perspective of Plato.  Again, my point is to zero in on a topic and stick.  I don't think you can find much entertainment from just trying to tell Socrates' life, his relationship with his students,  mixing in Socratic dialog, and his execution.  Pick one and pick the most engaging aspect (which to many would be the last).

I don't think I said I wanted to tell his whole life's story, and if I did, I didn't mean to. I said it should take place towards the end of his life, encompass the dialogues there, and be told from Plato's perspective. There could be flashbacks to earlier, but that might muddy the waters quite a bit.

I wouldn't choose the allegory of the cave. If you want to talk about things everyone already knows, that's your prime candidate. Plus that's probably the least interesting of all the philosophical concepts we could discuss with this, in that it's so applicable to pretty much any person or situation. Anyone from Gandhi to Hitler could have used the Cave to justify what they did. It's kinda boring. I'd prefer stuff like Euthyphro and the Symposium.

That said, I agree with you on casting unknowns.

My point wasn't to use the Cave.  My point was my direction would to take a Socratic dialogue and build a film around the philosophical truth that was to be learned.  The Cave and the Matrix is simply just an example I came up with because it was the first thing to pop in my head.  I feel as though it'll allow you to gain more freedom in the process and not be bogged down by making a biopic.

That would be really difficult though, because Socrates almost never made grand claims about the nature of reality. The dialogues almost never end with some grand truth being learned; they're more about Socrates ripping apart his opponent's argument and then the two of them agreeing to proceed with an open mind (and admitted ignorance). His wisest moments, in my mind, were when he exposed the stupidity of the political leaders of Athens. That requires dialogues. His whole life was spent questioning authority, so I feel like that should take some level of precedence over other things like The Republic or The Cave.
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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #214 on: October 21, 2017, 04:15:29 pm »
I thought this would be fun.

Basically, just shortly pitch your idea for an original film, or a concept for the execution of an existing franchise movie.

Red Hood solo movie:
John Wick meets The Dark Knight

Red Hood and The Outlaws movie:
John Wick meets Guardians of the Galaxy

The Question movie:
The Insider meets Zodiac with a hint of Sherlock (the BBC series).

No matter how hard John tries, these will always be the worst film pitches on this thread.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #215 on: October 21, 2017, 04:23:26 pm »
One of my least favorite trends in Greek films is casting British actors in these roles.  This begs the question: are you planning on having the film in English or go the full Passion of the Christ treatment and have characters at least speak in Greek?

Tbh, while I'm generally all for realism, this is one of those criticisms that I feel can only be generated in/around the Hollywood culture. Sure, it's nice when some films do this (i.e. Rendition had half its dialogue in Arabic) but most of the world's studios would never be able to stage full productions in someone else's language, so considering it as some sort of prerequisite is weird for me. I just can't imagine criticising a whole wealth of Soviet cinema about Greek figures like Aesop or Spartacus, or about the British people, or whatever, because they are not in Greek or English. The most I'm willing to argue for is that such films should always have high-quality dubbing in the language of the country they are set in.

Also, research papers are not exactly relevant here. The key to this is a synthesis of information and entertainment. Average audience members will not be familiar with a lot of this material. About 30% of Americans are capable of finding North Korea on a map, so I think it's safe to say that they're not exactly well-versed in Greek philosophy.

I get your point, but you shouldn't really appeal to stats like this, due to their limited relevance. Just ask yourself: how many of these 30% you are actually likely to persuade to see your film, even under the best possible circumstances?

That would be really difficult though, because Socrates almost never made grand claims about the nature of reality. The dialogues almost never end with some grand truth being learned; they're more about Socrates ripping apart his opponent's argument and then the two of them agreeing to proceed with an open mind (and admitted ignorance).

Correct. For me, at least, the key thing I learned about Socrates was his contribution to dialectics, and his method of maieutics, the way of educating the opponent through asking guiding questions (like the one above) that make them naturally abandon flawed logical positions and move to the more solid ones, which can then be again be questioned likewise until an epistemically coherent position found, (or an argument is interrupted before that becomes possible, like in Euthyphro). While comparing oneself to greats is obviously hubristic in the extreme, I do like to think that's what I'm attempting on Quora.

Or do something like what Ralph Fiennes did Coriolanus and set the story in modern times (although I highly advise against this idea).

You might as well mention that modern-day Romeo and Juliet (or the hilariously bad Australian Macbeth I had to watch for a class a few years ago.) Seriously, what would be the point of that? I suppose the one thing that might work is doing two stories in parallel, intercutting the life of a post-Socrates protagonist (not necessarily living in modern day; could be 18th century French Revolution, for instance) with the relevant Socratic dialogues. Perhaps, those Socrates' segments are just the way the film illustrates him (or her, perhaps?) reading the relevant passage, then transitioning back after being interrupted. There might be a dramatic irony involved where protagonist thinks s/he figured out a solution to whatever is the source of the conflict through this, only to fail in the end because he missed a crucial moment that overturns the whole argument being made.

Of course, there's probably a good chance what I just outlined above would actually work no better than The Snowman upon closer examination, but still, that's a possibility. One other possibility: since Diego did mention he wants Plato in there as well, even if just as a story-teller, I wonder if it would also be possible to fit this guy Gorgias in? I think it would be quite interesting to begin somewhere with his Encomium of Helen, which is rhetorically beautiful but is in fact intended to prove it's possible to justify anything, and then transition towards the dialogue of Gorgias, where Socrates shows the perils of this, and they agree that a skilled rhetorician can persuade people of going against the expert's facts, with obvious parallels to present day.

Another advantage of including Encomium of Helen is that it allows some pro-feminist rhetoric/interpretation, and hence broadens the potential audience, especially if it shoehorns the more exciting aspects. (i.e. I'm almost certain that Wonder Women Professor movie wouldn't have gotten greenlit if it didn't include menage a'trois, complete with lesbians.)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 04:25:30 pm by Robert Neville »

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #216 on: October 21, 2017, 05:53:18 pm »
And as important as Socrates is, the one part of Greek philosophy I would want to see adapted even before him is the Melian Dialogue. At the very least, it holds the advantage of being much easier to adapt: the actual dialogue near the end, as the film's climax, the earlier parts being the build-up, with us being introduced to the characters from both Athenian and Melian side in the opening and having them get fleshed out concurrently with the siege setting in motion, and the Athenian case for war laid out. Once the dialogue fails, there's only the tragic coda of seeing the siege triumph later on and all the Melian characters we cared about get slaughtered.

The only downside I see is that while Diego's film could theoretically just be old men in togas arguing for 2-3 hours and hence cost too little to flop, this idea would require an actual budget to show a convincing siege on the scale described in the recorded history.

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Re: The Movie Pitch Thread
« Reply #217 on: October 21, 2017, 08:29:07 pm »
Also, research papers are not exactly relevant here. The key to this is a synthesis of information and entertainment. Average audience members will not be familiar with a lot of this material. About 30% of Americans are capable of finding North Korea on a map, so I think it's safe to say that they're not exactly well-versed in Greek philosophy.

I get your point, but you shouldn't really appeal to stats like this, due to their limited relevance. Just ask yourself: how many of these 30% you are actually likely to persuade to see your film, even under the best possible circumstances?

That depends on a lot of things, really. Oscar buzz has been proven to be very helpful for some films lately, like La La Land and Moonlight. I don't think either of those movies would have been as successful as they were if it weren't for awards season buzz. Silence, meanwhile, was apparently never in contention (despite being leagues better than both of those films), and ended up flopping even on a very low budget.

Barring that, you pointed out that a movie like this could be made pretty cheaply. Just get some period-accurate clothing, a few nice interior shots, some candles, and maybe a matte painting or two, and you're in business. Would it be a box office sensation? Probably not. But it's not competing for Star Wars or Marvel's ticket sales. If it's up against something like Hidden Figures, the prospect of legitimately well-written dialogue might be enough to attract plenty of viewers.

That would be really difficult though, because Socrates almost never made grand claims about the nature of reality. The dialogues almost never end with some grand truth being learned; they're more about Socrates ripping apart his opponent's argument and then the two of them agreeing to proceed with an open mind (and admitted ignorance).

Correct. For me, at least, the key thing I learned about Socrates was his contribution to dialectics, and his method of maieutics, the way of educating the opponent through asking guiding questions (like the one above) that make them naturally abandon flawed logical positions and move to the more solid ones, which can then be again be questioned likewise until an epistemically coherent position found, (or an argument is interrupted before that becomes possible, like in Euthyphro). While comparing oneself to greats is obviously hubristic in the extreme, I do like to think that's what I'm attempting on Quora.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to make this movie. In a world where reasoned debate has become so scarce, I want to see a film where the moral is that you should approach your opponents with a polite and open mind (well, one of the morals, at least). Yeah, Socrates is extremely sarcastic, but if I were to make this film, I'd have him portrayed as if he was 100% serious all the time, and let the audience read it either way. It's a message a lot of people these days need to hear-- how to approach an argument, how to criticize your opponent's beliefs without deliberately antagonizing them, how to admit ignorance and think logically, etc. Effectively, I want to see the opposite of Beatriz at Dinner.

 

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