Thursday, February 09, 2006


What comes first? The title or the story? For me, most times, it’s the story, I‘d say 80% of the time (or I‘ll think of a plot and the title comes seconds later). But there have been times when I came up with a cool title, then the plot came later. This happened with my scripts Under Indiana (currently writing, it’s a crime drama) as well as Headshot (horror/comedy) and The Sex Scene. With The Sex Scene, however, I realized that title was a bit lame (although it IS about a film crew attempting to shoot a sex scene) and came up with another one - White Gold. It’s just catchier.

Also, a script I wrote a while back, Food Fight, happened that way. Actually, it came together when myself and a buddy of mine noticed our local supermarket kept changing its name. We pictured an internal struggle, a "food fight" of sorts. My script’s plot is a bit different (it’s about 2 supermarkets in the same shopping center that go at it).

But the one title I’m super proud of comes from a script I wrote (It’s one of my quarter-finalists at Fade In).

Here’s the logline: “Desperate for money after his financial aid is discontinued, Kenny and his fellow college buddies decide to secretly make an adult film and sell it for a quick buck.” And my title?

The Money Shot. C’mon, it’s perfect!

How about you guys/gals out there? Ever come up with a kick-ass title that you just HAD to write?


taZ said...

I usually don't think of titles before the plot, but when it comes to titles, I want something weird that will make the audience go like "what's that?".

Or smart titles, with a deeper meaning. Kinda like "The Money Shot".

deepstructure said...

i have to say i disagree. i think 'the money shot' is a bit too on the nose (pun intended). it also feels a bit crude.

i like food fight - that's a great title.

oneslackmartian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oneslackmartian said...

I'm big on titles as well. I think they can be a great springboard into a script. If you get a great sounding title AND can almost imagine an entire movie instantly, then you are really on to something.

Hahaha, "on the nose." I like it for that reason though, deepstructure, esp. if you are writing as spec. For the script reader, that catches her eye and sticks.

Ok, Ima go sit in the corner for awhile.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Deepstructure has a fine point, but I too like the double meaning of The Money Shot.

Fucking snow!

The Constipated Writer said...

I come up with the title before I write anything, but I generally know what direction I'm headed with the script. A lot of them are song/album titles, honestly. I like Generator, mostly because it sounds cool, but also because it fits into the story nicely. And I named the script Generator before typing a letter. So I guess the title stirs up my imagination most of the time.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Yes, constipated, it does for me too, sometimes.

And Generator is a very cool title.

Thomas Crymes said...

Most of my scripts start out as "Untitled Woody Allen Project", but then as they progress they take on more specific titles like: "Generic Tom Cruise Actioner."

I don't really care what comes first, the story is what's important. I can't stand the title of my current work, but I'm hoping the true title will surface before it is complete.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Tom - Just call it GROG.

Thomas Crymes said...

Grog? I love it. I think it will be popular with the young people.


Grog: The Movie
The Adventures of Grog
Grog Begins

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Ah, Thomas. You forgot Revenge of the Grog, and King Grog. War of the Grogs. Wallace & Grog. Brokeback Grog. Grog Bigelo. Grogich. The Upside Of Grog. Hustle & Grog. Grogote. The Chronicles Of Grogia. Endless possibilities. Or grogibilities.

Thomas Crymes said...

Of course there is Grog 2: Electrice Boogaloo

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Damn, yes, how could I forget???

Thomas Crymes said...

Good times.

Anonymous said...

I have a Title notebook and keep throwing names in there. Here's one: The Barber In A Seville.