Here, we deal with your ideas for Playing With Fire.
Hey. This isn't going to be jocks versus nerds, is it? That's been done, dude.
We start out with the cliches: Games are too violent. Nerds are wimpy. Jocks are bullies. Then, everything gets turned on its head. I promise.
Be scarier. Is this horror? It sure doesn't start that way.
I'm a big fan of the horror genre. This script is a bit old school. It builds like the way you go up on a roller coaster. That doesn't mean I won't think about starting it with an horrific scene. But right now I like the idea of it building to its peak.
Ice Blue Rhino writes:
Have it start in the parking lot when the jocks are leaving from football practice and Robbie is waiting for someone to pick him up. The jocks see Robbie and mess around with him before they jump into a truck together squealing their tires. Robbie decides to walk home. He immediately runs into Jo where she is taking a smoke break before she leaves. After the conversation between them they start walking home in the same direction. While walking together they talk about parents being stupid because they never show up or doing stupid things. Then they talk about the game that was broken and the better game that Jo has. Jo goofs around with Robbie by examining the broken game and throwing it out, "It's broken anyway, I have a better game." When they near Jo's place she asks if he wants to play the game. Robbie hesitates because he know Jo is a little weird and makes an excuse with having to go home to do homework but she practically drags him in to play.
The scene with her mom doesn't make since because of the wording "why do i let you play those games" after she turns off the tv. Just have Liz be annoying by wanting to make snacks for Jo's guest and picking up after Jo. Jo tells her mom to go away so Liz goes away after mentioning dinner and her dad.
"Death to the football team" and "Death to parents" comes out of nowhere and is a little extreme for the characters. After they kill a few orcs and lizards Robbie says "I wish taking care of those jocks was as easy as killing these lizards" then lead into him saying "they should just die!" as he finishes off the last lizard and Jo chirps in "and parents too!"
The idea for the first scenes are pretty good, Ice Blue Rhino. I like the comments after that somewhat less. The way they talk; the way Jo's Mom is: those need to be as it stands due to what's in store in the screenplay. But your first ideas as good. What we'll probably do it add the elements of crowdsourcing to another version of the screenplay after my current draft of the screenplay is completely finish.
BenLong, who's about to start college, says he could have written something better in the fifth grade. He writes:
For 1.) most jocks play some sort of video game whether it be Call of Duty, or Madden or whatever, also since its in the present day, someone's not just going to step on a handheld on purpose, especially with all the laws we have where if that actually happened the jock could get himself suspended or sued. The better way to make a character to break his handheld on purpose would be another nerd. Yes, nowadays, nerds are mean to neards, it would make more sense if say a richer nerd who probably had enough money to buy like 3 handhelds, broke some other nerds handheld who probably could only afford one or two games a year. Also, y does the nerd question if a console game is better than a handheld game. MOst people know that (unless its a handheld exclusive and even then some people wish that it was ported to a home console) home console games are usually 95% of the time better than handheld games. From what I'm reading this seems like a mix between "The Wizard" and "Stay Alive". I suggest (if you haven't already, please watch EVERY film that is either based on a video game, or video games are a part of the film. Also please don't do a whole, jocks are mean, nerds are wimpy and meet weird girls, type of film, because it's bean done to death, and most people don't act like that these days. Hopefully with people giving you ideas and such this will actually become a good film about video games, but from what I've read it doesn't seem like that so far.
If you have the chance to read my book, All Your Base Are Belong to Us, How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture, you'll see that whole jock and games phenomenon began in the 1980s when Trip Hawkins worked on and published Madden at Electronic Arts. So I know sports fans are a whole potent group unto themselves. I agree that jocks play all sorts of games. And nerds are too stereotyped as well. But what I'm doing here is dealing with stereotypes, and then, I hope to turn the stereotypes on their heads through the course of script. And I have seen pretty much every video game movie ever made. They all have issues. Again, see the chapter in my book called "Those Movies Suck." Along with Guillermo Del Toro, I actually like the SIlent HIll movie and I liked The Wizard as well. As far as Jo goes, she's not really the weird girl. Just keep reading, Ben. Stick with us. And good luck when you get to college.
BenLong also writes:
No one uses 'dis' or 'right on' anymore.
Um, well, from what I hear, they still do. I hear it here on the streets in NYC and I hear it on the West Coast as well, more on the West Coast.
Why do you use Green Day at the beginning. Green Day is a joke. Why not Kanye?
I love Kanye. In fact, Bill Plympton, who did our lizard monster prototype, worked on a Kanye video. Remember "Heard 'Em Say"? Bill did the terrific animation. But Green Day rocks as far as I'm concerned. When I was a VH1, they all signed my American Idiot t-shirt and are great guys to have a hang with. American Idiot was a important to me in the sense that when I was writing the videogame book, the songs really resonated with me. When you reach that point in a book, that point of burnt out, loneliness, isolation, that point of deadline pressure and doubt, you need something something that deals with all the ups and downs of life with as much honest passion and anger as American Idiot does.
ok Hank has to be either a person that has never played a video game in his life or hasn't played one since the NES, because nobody should be weirded out when a game talks to you, it's just one of those things we accept (and most of us prefer) in games nowadays. Also " True. Plus, we’relike,technology pioneers. What other game talks to you?"
A game that comes to mind is Seaman for the SEGA Dreamcast, the game talks to you in particular and on the controller is a mic that you can answer back or ask it questions, I think there are a few more games like that but yea its nothing new seeing that Seaman is (about) 10 years old.
Thanks, Ben. I actually reviewed Seaman (which I thought was quirky and great) back in the day for Entertainment Weekly. You had to urge Seaman to talk to you, and sometimes, he wasn't in the mood. This is different. Seaman was cranky. Here, what's said is almost like a spell or an incantation. And you feel it as much as you hear it. This is where a good director would add tons to the word on the page.
KEEP YOUR IDEAS COMING!