Monday, December 18, 2006

The Recycle Bin

Here's what I don't understand about pitching "original"premises...

This is one of this year's "must read" screenplays.
THE CITY WALLS by Caleb Kane

A young man feels remorse after he delivers a teenage girl to his pimp benefactor and attempts to rescue her and himself from the mean streets of Eighties New York.
The above logline describes, word for word, Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER and alludes to another Scorsese film, MEAN STREETS.

Quentin Tarantino takes a stab at reinventing this premise in the First Act of the 1993, Tony Scott feature, TRUE ROMANCE. However, reinvention is the name of this game, and Tarantino uses this many times tried and true premise to launch the heroes on their journey, rather than simply being the journey itself.

What is it that sets this screenplay above the hundreds of thousands of screenplays passed around Hollywood every year?

Furthermore...

What is it about this premise that intrigues an audience repeatedly, to the point that we can watch the same exact plot over and over again?

These are not rhetorical questions. Nor do I pretend to have the answers.

I am genuinely intrigued.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

I don't know the answer to your question, but reading the loglines suddenly made me feel SO much better about my own!