Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Best & Worst

Here is a list - just for the hell of it - that describes my best and worst screenplays, as well as the in-betweens.

Da Worst:

Lost & Found - first script I ever wrote (1997), painful to read now. Painfull. I'd rather crawl across a field of glass (yes, naked, obviously) than have someone read it. It was about friends searching for themselves, blah, blah, blah. Get over it.

Stain - 2nd script ever. A story about homeless youths. Made a movie out of it too, which was even worst 'cause of its crappy budget. The main problem was that I held back, and I should have pushed the envelope more. Plus it was bad.

Love Interest - Has some decent scenes, but overall a mess. About a guy who is in love with a girl, then meets another cool girl, and then some other stuff happens, and ends up alone anyways. Why? I dunno.

True Colors - My worst title, by far. About a long distance college relationship that doesn't work out. Lame, pointless. I never actually printed it out from my old word processor (Then does it really exist?)

Alleys & Intersections - Another dopey title. Crappy crime drama where the main character dies at the end 'cause I thought it be cool if the main character died at the end. Main character didn't really need to die at the end.

My Best:

Union - My latest and greatest, at least in my own eyeballs. Trying to come up with a decent logline, and I'm not sure I want to post it for the world to see quite yet - I'm afraid the idea will get stolen and then I'd go postal.

Good People - A fun story, and my first option. It's gone through a ton of drafts, and I might revisit it soon. Wrote it back in '98.

Cricket Hill - A pretty edgy take on family dysfunction. Includes but not limited to incest (the game the whole family can play - by Milton Bradley!) between one of the brothers & the sister, adoption, weed, an affair, etc. It's better than I'm making it sound.

The Flight Of Barnaby - This will win me the Oscar, if I don't leap from the Walt Whitman Bridge first. It's a period love story set in the early 1900s about an inventor trying to invent the first airplane. Kind fo a hard sell, but worth it damn it! Written in 1999.

The Money Shot - Apparently, producers shun porn-related movies, but if they didn't they'd love this puppy. It's about a college kid whose financial aid gets screwed up so he decides to make a porn & sell it to cover his tuition. Was optioned for 6 months in 2002 but then the producer dropped off the face of the Earth.

Shuttlecock - Comedy about Badminton. I love this script, it's fun, and I got a kick out of putting the word cock in a title.

The Rave At Danny Carter's House - well, it's about that. I wanted the story to build up to the rave at the end, but some people said it needs to happen sooner. F them.

A Couple Of Joes - This was optioned a few years ago. It's a fun, family movie about a kid named Joe (and his buddies) helping Joe's Grandpa (also named Joe) run for governor.

Doing It Sideways: The Joshua T. Bolt Story - Another porn script. Always loved this one. An out-of-work actor gets in a bind and turns to making porn with his friends. Their pornos take off just as Joshua's childhood love returns. Like a grown up versi9n of The Money Shot.

Tom Noodle - Tom (little kid around 9) goes searching for his Mom in the late 1920s, and his guide is a prostitute. Yeah, hard sell, but I thought it was solid.

Toss Ups:

Headshot - I set out to make a funky horror comedy about a weirdo extra who loses his shit on a film set and tries to kill everyone. Everyone who read it recommended to keep the killer's identity a secret, but the fun of it for me was to see this nutball losing it and offing everyone, I really didn't plan on making it some twist later, I wanted people to know that this is the killer, and let's see who can survive. Maybe I'm just an idiot.

White Gold - Yeah, that white gold. This was meant to be a simple little script and is, it would need only 1 location (a house). It's about a film crew trying to shoot a sex scene. I think it's fun and would be good for a low budget quick shoot, but plot wise there isn't a whole lot going on.

Smoking America - Pothead from NJ wins the Powerball and runs for President. Has promise, needs work though.

Brightsword - Kinda like The Princess Bride meets Lord of Da Rings. This would be a 180 million production. One of my fave scenes is where the main characters are swallowed by a whale and after stumbling around its belly, they are shat out. But I noticed the main character has a limited arc and I need to work on him.

Tourniquet - Small town goes searching for a missing penis that was flushed down a toilet. Too many characters and a little confusing, plus it takes too long to get to the slicing it off part, but I love huge portions of it. Obviously, a tough sell though.

Jablasco - Driver's Ed teacher hires students to kidnap wife so he can save her and look like a hero. Students turn on him and try to rob him and kidnap her for real. Not really like To Die For but it's been compared to it. I think it's a fun/dark script, but needs some work.

Zucker - I like it but it hasn't gotten great reviews from the peeps who have read it. Older man (Zucker) falls for a rich younger chick, then panics and takes off for Mexico, leaving her in debt. Rich dickheaded father of the chick sends a hitman after him. Zucker realizes he loves her and tries to break back into the US, with hitman in pursuit. I like it a ton, but it needs work, I need to get to the meat of the story quicker, Act 1 wanders a bit.

The Go Getters - Exactly like Freaks and Geeks, written before Freaks & Geeks. My longest to date, 140 pages.

The Bomb - I'd like to re-visit this. It's about a bomb that accidentally falls on a small town (doesn't go off) in the mid 50s. The government wants it back and the townsfolk try to hide it. Fun but needs another pass or 2.

Monster - My first horror flick. I wrote it back in 2000. I ramped up the action in it though, so there were bridges blowing up and scenes with the Army, etc. It's got some good stuff here and there.

Superhero Blues - Written before Mystery Men bombed. Basically about the everyday lives of Superheroes, what they deal with (Bills, divorce, etc).

Deacon Street - Dark dark drama. I mean, DARK! Guy watches Dad shoot himself, then loses his mind, ends up in a mental hospital (that's all BEFORE it begins). If I had the $$, I'd shoot it and win Sundance with it.
95% of the movie takes place in the mind of the main character.

20 Seconds In Dullville - Something Ed Burns has probably already made. I still like it, though I'd love to punch it up. A drama about coming back to the place where you grew up, and you've failed at life in every possible way.

Being Gordie Flynn - Depressed guy kidnaps then pretends to be Gordie Flynn (a cool rich guy) at Gordie's high school reunion. I'd work on it but I lost my disc, and didn't back it up. Note to self: Don't do that anymore.

West River Drive - I shot a version of this a few years ago. It's about a kid dealing with his mentally unstable mother. The script was pretty much taken from my childhood, although it had years of situations crammed into 100 minutes. I'm going to make it a book instead.

That's it. I've got probably 15 scripts I didn't mention, not too sure what categories they'd be in, but this is enough. I'm tired, and after seeing all the shit I've written (and not truly sold) I've gone and depressed myself.


Aaron said...

White Gold - Yeah, that white gold. This was meant to be a simple little script and is, it would need only 1 location (a house). It's about a film crew trying to shoot a sex scene. I think it's fun and would be good for a low budget quick shoot, but plot wise there isn't a whole lot going on.


And talk about getting depressed, after seeing a list of everything you've written it doesn't feel like I've even started.

japhy99 said...

You shouldn't be depressed at all man -- you should be energized. You've got a shitload of experience and you KEEP WORKING.

That means a lot.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Aaron - Good interesting or bad?

Japhy99 - True, and on some days I'm proud of the work I've done, and I'll keep on pushing.

Aaron said...

good interesting.

Laura Reyna said...

Cool list. Thanks for sharing! :-)

The Moviequill said...

what about Wait A Minute, is that you with the IMDB credit for it?

Patrick J. Rodio said...

MQ - Yup. That'd be one of the 15 I didn't mention. I'd throw it in as a toss up. Fun, wacky crime comedy, something best seen as a small movie, and not a script.

Julie O. said...

Jeezus, you're prolific. I don't think I could write that many scripts if I had the entire rest of my life to do nothing else. I'm jealous as hell.

Patrick J. Rodio said...

I've gotten less prolific over the years, I think the most I did in a year was in 1999 I wrote 8-9 features (we're talking 1 draft). Since then I've re-written all at least once.

These past couple of years I average about 2 per year. This year I've re-written 3 older scripts, and written 2 new ones (Laid & Union).

Prolific will mean nothing if none sell.

I just don't have the mindset to tinker with a script for 1-2 years. I need to move on and tell another story. At some point I usually re-visit and knock out more drafts