Concept + Mechanics = Execution?

Personally, if I had to choose, I think I’d rather suffer from having a great concept that was mechanically clunky than a weak concept expertly machined. Why? Consider this: How many multi-bazillion dollar Hollywood films can you count that were technically amazing, but lacked any story/concept/premise that pulled you close, grabbed you by the balls and didn’t let go? Yeah, I can’t count that high either.

I’d prefer someone read a screenplay and applaud the concept and ideas behind the writing instead of praising the mechanics of a page or how nicely it was formatted. Unfortunately, this business takes great joy in pointing out how technically inferior one script is over another and rarely celebrates the red-headed original content. Who needs it? We have so many TV shows, sitcoms and classic films to remake, re-imagine, retrofit and reboot… thanks, but no thanks kid.  Now step aside before you get hurt.

In the end, an audience doesn’t fork over $15 to sit and read an impeccably crafted script or watch a PowerPoint slide show of its contents. They may have read the book and are now in line to see the filmed version, but no one – not even producers! – wants to read the screenplay, no matter how amazing it is. No. The audience wants to sit back with greasy, salted popcorn and high-fructose pop and watch what you have so carefully and painstakingly written (and rewritten) on 100 pages (or thereabouts) of 20lb. white paper stock from OfficeMax. They want to be ENTERTAINED, not schooled in how to write a script. People want to drive the car, not learn how the engine works. They want to eat that hamburger, not get their hands bloody with cow parts. Enough already!

It is true. Without a properly designed blueprint from a credible architect, the structure on paper will certainly be compromised and potentially dangerous when built. Likewise, even a “great” screenplay must go through the proper channels before becoming a shooting script fueled by millions and produced by thousands. So in a world of talking barnyard animals, renegade guinea pigs, culinary gifted rats and Canines-of-the-Month, I do believe that this handsome devil deserves his day on the silver screen.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Just sayin’…


2 Responses to “Concept + Mechanics = Execution?”

  1. I agree. Scripts are the necessary ugly stepchildren of the filmmaking family that you have have to have to get welfare but don’t include in the holiday portrait.

    I have to admit that I really liked the cooking rat movie, though not as strong a story as the lost fish movie.

    I also think I need to start using more pictures in my blogs too.

  2. jeffpalmerdemoreel Says:

    That is funny — about the welfare.

    Don’t get me wrong. I liked all of those movies mentioned, the talking pig one in particular. There should be room in this movie market for us all, even if we don’t have talking animals in our scripts. ;)

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