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Karl151k
06-04-2007, 11:13 PM
WARNING: Author is at risk of being unpopular!

Having watched 15 SpyFest entries so far, I have begun to notice a trend. Whenever a story needs to create some conflict, it's almost invariably with a gun. For the first few entries I just let it slide. "Ok, it's spy themed so I guess guns could logically be involved...". However, after the 10th entry I saw with a gun in it, I'm just starting to get a little tired of this convention. Is it really that hard to create conflict in a story or give a character some power without using a gun? Heck, even some nunchuks would be preferable just to spice things up a little.

Not to say that the entries with guns were bad (2 of them are presently in my #1 and #2 spots for voting so far), but I think it would be a lot less derivative to see a bunch of spy movies that focused on other aspects of the genre.

I know that guns are a Hollywood convention, but am I the only one who gets a little bored with seeing one generic bad guy after another pointing a gun at the hero and ordering them around, only for the bad guy to later be at the receiving end of that gun? I remember hearing about a screenwriting class where, if a writer incorporated a firearm into their story, they were automatically given an "F" for the script. I think that teacher was on to something with that idea. If we do another action oriented fest, can one of the criteria be "No Guns". Any other weapons would be fine (including a bow-staff). Limitations bring out creativity in people, and by making the contest "No Guns" it could result in some very original action movies.

I realize that by advocating "No Guns" indie action films, I'm probably going to be called crazy. I'm ok with that. I just was curious if anyone else felt the same way about this.[/rant]

abalex
06-04-2007, 11:21 PM
Are you CRAZY! just kidding my friend...you're right about that, I have guns in my movie but they're not the main characters.

Some shorts basically made the gun the center of attention. I got tired of other things too that seemed to be another trend, like the wounded arm. Oh heck...

g.

Simon Höfer
06-04-2007, 11:29 PM
Very interesting point :)

aravance
06-05-2007, 12:17 AM
I think this YouTube link sums up exactly what you are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_RLi0Z4Xk

I always think of this clip whenever I see a gun in a movie.

I know I have one in my short film, but after making this one I've promised myself never to showcase a gun again.

Besides, blunt objects are much more interesting. :)

Karl151k
06-05-2007, 12:22 AM
That was it perfectly! Thank you Aravance and thank you The Office writers!

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-05-2007, 12:29 AM
I think DVXUser fests should be free of sociopolitical agendas. Let's just make films. If you don't like guns, then don't use them.

Beat Takeshi
06-05-2007, 12:30 AM
I think this YouTube link sums up exactly what you are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_RLi0Z4Xk

I always think of this clip whenever I see a gun in a movie.

I know I have one in my short film, but after making this one I've promised myself never to showcase a gun again.

Besides, blunt objects are much more interesting. :)

LOL! That was great!

kurtmo
06-05-2007, 07:02 AM
I used a gun in TCD, but only to motivate my 7 yo who got to wield it (he is a bit of a gun-a-holic) and only to move the plot along. I don't think it falls into the same category as your talking about here.

aegriffin
06-05-2007, 07:13 AM
Totally and respectfully disagree with you, sir. Everyone knows that it doesn't get any cooler than the cliche shot of the guy - or girl - sticking the gun barrel directly into the camera lens and snarling something totally non-sequitor before pulling the trigger.

David Jimerson
06-05-2007, 07:14 AM
I think DVXUser fests should be free of sociopolitical agendas. Let's just make films. If you don't like guns, then don't use them.

It's not a "sociopolitical agenda" -- not for me, anyway. I'm as pro-gun as they come, but Karl is absolutely right -- too many seem to think a gun equals "instant drama." And hey, if the dude is holding it in that inane sideways manner, it all just kicked up a notch. :thumbup:

It's just poor storytelling, way too much of the time.

Dustin R. Rogan
06-05-2007, 07:21 AM
interesting concept...i'd like to see that. (yes we used a gun :kali: in our short...but from what i've gotten in feedback...it was unexpected)
but I totally agree with you, why is the thug always ordering the hero around whilst pointing a gun in his mug....(great now you have me thinking...and thats never good, i'm now thinking i should have ended my movie by Robin dying like this ----> :badputer:

chris f
06-05-2007, 07:42 AM
good insight, it's true that maybe guns were over used, but if you think about it, there's some good reasons:

1. Most filmmakers were working with non-actors or first time actors (myself included) and the idea of making something like nunchucks or some other weapon seem real and making the actor look comfortable with them may have been too difficult for the film (I'm sure getting guns that looked real and actors who looked natural with them was hard enough for most).

2. Guns are what's used alot in this culture. Sure you occasionally see a story where a a character uses something other than a gun, but when's the last time you've seen something other than in a gun in shows like CSI or 24 (other than the occasional makeshift weapon by jack)?

Anyways, the use of guns didn't bother me cause I was expecting it, however the use of other things did stick out and made those films seem more creative, so you do have a good point.

John LaBonney
06-06-2007, 06:12 PM
There's no question that guns are overused and a crutch as a general rule. Pulling a gun out to create dramatic effect has gotten hackneyed. On the other hand, I like a good gun battle scene like in Heat as much as the next guy.

In a way, I relate "guns for dramatic effect/tension" as a crutch, just as voice-overs and flashbacks are overused and abused. Both of these elements have been discussed in other threads and the general consensus is that it's okay to use voice-overs and flashbacks (there were many examples of films with these devices used well), as long as it's done creatively and with purpose, not as a crutch to tell a story. The problem is that many films do use these devices as a crutch, and they hence become demonized.

I'm putting guns on my list of "caution-items" when screenwriting along with voice-overs and flashbacks. I'll still be happy to use guns and gun battles to the maximum threshold allowed by my imagination, but I'll chickity-check myself before I wreck myself.

While you could certainly expect some guns in SpyFest, it certainly wasn't a prerequisite. Were they overused? Probably. In some of the entries, almost entirely so. Again, I think it's all about the proper application.

bosindy
06-06-2007, 06:13 PM
God, you know your movie stinks when even the Guns thread gets bumped ahead of it.

Tom Marshall
06-06-2007, 07:17 PM
I think this YouTube link sums up exactly what you are talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_RLi0Z4Xk

I always think of this clip whenever I see a gun in a movie.

I know I have one in my short film, but after making this one I've promised myself never to showcase a gun again.

Besides, blunt objects are much more interesting. :)

Man, I LOVE that show! :beer:

Jen Bright
06-11-2007, 11:51 PM
There are many aspects to spying and sleuthing that don't have anything to do with guns, and I do agree that they were sometimes used as artificial plot devices. Now, guns are nifty, there's no denying that. My grandfather has a whole room full of antique rifles and pistols, and they're definitely very cool.

Someone mentioned that its easier to give a novice actor a gun than a bowstaff (or was it nunchucks), yet as an actor at heart, I would have to that isn't necessarily so. Just like with it being easier to write what you know, its easiest to act what you know. If you've never held/shot a gun before, you are likely to look very awkward running around with one. The same can be said for actors who are not smokers. They don't know how to properly hold a cigarette, and it looks like they're uncomfortable, because they're thinking about trying to look natural.

Not all spies are James Bond or Jason Bourne... and it can be equally if not more interesting that way.

Larry Rutledge
06-12-2007, 01:22 PM
Here's the script I wrote for SpyFest 2007, which unfortunately never got produced ... not one gun to be found :thumbsup:

http://www.nrestudios.com/scripts/spy_kid/spy_kid-draft_3.pdf

Matt Sconce
06-12-2007, 01:28 PM
Good story! Did you forget the gun at the end?

DerrickTempleton
06-12-2007, 01:41 PM
For me it wasn't too many guns, it was not enough everything else: nightvision/x-ray vision, secret tracking chips, those microphones with the little dish around them...you know, stuff you use when spying! And there should have been more guys with body paint to match the wallpaper.

Larry Rutledge
06-12-2007, 01:45 PM
... And there should have been more guys with body paint to match the wallpaper.

Sweet, CHAMELEON FEST !! :thumbsup:


:grin:

John LaBonney
06-12-2007, 02:27 PM
Here's the script I wrote for SpyFest 2007, which unfortunately never got produced ... not one gun to be found :thumbsup:

http://www.nrestudios.com/scripts/spy_kid/spy_kid-draft_3.pdf

I liked this one very much. Too bad it didn't make it into the festival.

As mentioned though, all gun-free claims must actually be gun-free to qualify.

Larry Rutledge
06-12-2007, 02:36 PM
I liked this one very much. Too bad it didn't make it into the festival. Sweet ... glad you liked it. I really wanted it in, but it just didn't work out.


As mentioned though, all gun-free claims must actually be gun-free to qualify. I did a search on the script and the word gun does not appear...did I miss something?

Shoot, I just re-read it. I forgot I changed the ending and added the pistol. But it would work with out it ... honest it would :D

John LaBonney
06-12-2007, 02:36 PM
I did a search on the script and the word gun does not appear...did I miss something?

Your right, no mention of the word gun. However, there is a gun in there.

Page eight, and I quote:

"Robbie's mom looks up as Mr. Monroe pulls a pistol from his
waistband."

Larry Rutledge
06-12-2007, 02:39 PM
Yea, I did a quick scan after I posted that and found it. :embarasse

I did update my post...and for the record, it would work without the gun/pistol.

John LaBonney
06-12-2007, 03:12 PM
Yea, I did a quick scan after I posted that and found it. :embarasse

I did update my post...and for the record, it would work without the gun/pistol.

Opps, I see that now, sorry.

Yes, it would work. He could carry a baseball bat or a 2 by 4 or a hunting knife or something and that would be good.

Norm Sanders
06-12-2007, 03:17 PM
Larry, how did you update your post ... as far as I can tell, the modify/edit function is still not working here on DVXuser.

Stinks too, because once folks set up their threads for the AdFest, they won't be able to go back & update the beginning posts with updates, BTS, etc.

Larry Rutledge
06-12-2007, 03:19 PM
I didn't modify it, I reposted then deleted the original. Iritiating, I know. I believe it is being worked on.

Norm Sanders
06-12-2007, 03:20 PM
ritiating, I know. I believe it is being worked on.

And THAT'S what I wanted to hear. :beer:

Erik Olson
06-12-2007, 03:29 PM
Our unproduced script also had no gun - it was more of a throwback to those great suspense spy-thrillers from the sixties and early seventies - think Day of the Jackal.

I guess you have to have guns to actually get your film made - or maybe I'm confusing firearms with motivation, dedication and time.

e

kurtmo
06-12-2007, 04:40 PM
As I pointed out earlier, Tie Can Do had only one gun. I originally had this scene was to have an old lady spilling groceries and stopping The Red Tie guy from leaving the train. I only added the wooden gun to appease my 7 yo. So does this gun "count" as a gun. (I'm sure my actor would have prefered being shot with a fake gun over the multiple groin shots)
http://jewellhome.net/shortfilms/stills/BelowBelt.jpg

John LaBonney
06-12-2007, 04:57 PM
As I pointed out earlier, Tie Can Do had only one gun. I originally had this scene was to have an old lady spilling groceries and stopping The Red Tie guy from leaving the train. I only added the wooden gun to appease my 7 yo. So does this gun "count" as a gun. (I'm sure my actor would have prefered being shot with a fake gun over the multiple groin shots)

That's a great screen grab. I feel the pain.

I think that it worked out better than with a lady spilling groceries; it added a bit of humor.