Yah, thats ok krestofire, its certainly not a big deal to me.
Thread: Nextfest suggestions
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12-29-2008 08:18 PM
12-29-2008 08:37 PM
I third it, but it will be a challenge - which is a good thing.
Samuel Goldwyn once said "Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union".
I disagree, and think most writers will, consciously or not, put a bit of their own paradigm in their films, or at least live vicariously through one of their characters, if even for just six pages.
However, defining what exactly is a message is no small task. What is important to me may be hysterical notions to another, and carry no perceivable message at all. Is a complex 'message' about afterlife or the purpose of violence any more lofty than say a 'message' about the importance of a tidy kitchen or clean underwear?
The film "Dead Poet's Society" - which I think is one the most intelligent films ever written and made - comes to mind, and Charles' decision not to participate in Keating's 'walk'.
Keating: I want you to find your own walk right now, your own way of striding, pacing: any direction, anything you want. Whether it's proud or silly. Anything. Gentlemen, the courtyard is yours. You don't have to perform. Just make it for yourself. Mr. Dalton, will you be joining us?
Charles: Exercising the right not to walk.
Keating: Thank you, Mr. Dalton. You just illustrated the point. Swim against the stream.
In other words, MessageFest is just as vulnerable to any and all levels of writing one wants to engage in to present their message, be it to send a silly message, or to argue Goldwyn's angle, or even 'exercising the right not to send a message'.
How do we fairly judge 'messages'? Will poor formatting count against a fantastic message?
I'm all for it, but it will be far more subjective than meets the eye. And, as writers, we will be exposing our soft underbellies.
My message ...
I cringe when I see adults talk to children like they are idiots, and believe strongly you reap what you sow. Should MessageFest be selected, i would likely write something that addresses that pet peeve.
I have only seen bits and pieces of Dakota Fanning's "Hounddog" and as far as I can tell, it's a very well thought out story, and the director/producer had a very clear message she wanted to send, and based on real life experience. Well, needless to say it raised quite a firestorm, and had to go overseas to find a distributor with the guts to touch it.
Point is, a number of people found the 'message' offensive and inappropriate, and even took legal action to snuff the film.
Are both sides valid?
Most of us here at DVXuser really only know each other via cyberspace. Perusing comments over three fests, I think we respect each other's work and are mutually supportive of our careers in film. I believe we can write from our deepest of hollows without the fear of a cyber bludgeoning, be it a cynical approach, an emotional firestorm, or even 'preachy'. First one to get offended loses!
The message of the MessageFest can be tolerance, and man does the planet need a honkin' helping of that right now.
Last edited by alex whitmer; 12-29-2008 at 08:47 PM.
12-29-2008 08:50 PM
Agreed Alex that sounds like the best translation of the whole idea, certainly if MessageFest was selected then that would be the ethos it should express and certainly your quite right that the validity of the message should be lie within the eye of the beholder of course!
I would just very much look forward to reading scripts that attempted that most ambitious objective, to make me think about its message - most often its argument for something. I think it would lead to some really inspirational work!
12-29-2008 10:04 PM
Alex, your explanation of the subjective nature of MessageFest so mirrors one that I spent a long time typing, then decided not to submit. Had I just waited I could have saved myself a lot of time.
I think that is the thing that concerns me most about MessageFest, but I am usually the person in the room saying "It cannot be done" yet once I'm convinced you cannot hold me back. You guys have just about convinced me....Chris Johnson
12-30-2008 01:23 PM
i wouldn't mind the challenge of a messagefest. my last script was definitely more towards pure and simple entertainment, but, as a writer, i feel it would be interesting.
i really liked someone's idea from the end of the second fest about isolation as well. just thought i'd throw that out there.
12-30-2008 04:33 PM
lawriejaffa, I get what you are saying and agree that it would be a great type of scriptfest, I was only trying to say, hey, this could upset a lot of people who just want to do something fun. I personally like to weave some sort of philosophical ideals or social commentary into the things that I write, however, I can always sit back and watch a silly comedy or mindless action film as well. Depends on what mood I'm in.
Actually, all of my scriptfest entries, including the ones for Pursuit and Sci-fi were written with the intention of being more than merely entertaining. I'm not saying that I'm some genius commentator on life or anything, but I did go for both entertainment and enlightenment at the same time.
Personally, as long as these fests keep offering a broad topic or genre for us to create our stories around, I'm a happy camper.
MESSAGEFEST would be a good challenge for all of us to have to do something deeper and more meaningful, especially since these fests usually have a 6-10 page limit. Usually the dissection and examination of a deep or important cultural topic is done in a longer piece, so it will definitely be a challenge to do this in 10 pages or less. I will accept the challenge if it is given.
Last edited by Nektonic; 12-30-2008 at 04:43 PM.
12-30-2008 07:28 PM
all art is more than just entertaining. but, at the same time, what's wrong with just wanting to entertain? i don't know about you, but i'm not easily entertained anymore. i need characters and situations that are new and clever and make me laugh and think at the same time. it's really hard to make something entertaining, in my opinion. i respect someone who can come up with something original and really make me laugh.
not everything has to have a deep underlying meaning to it...but, then, even my last script, which i did just want to be interesting and funny wasn't just entertainment. there's always an underlying message to everything.
but i already over-think everything (and i do mean everything;) and so i have no problem with a messagefest. i am just a little worried of sucking the fun out of it.
12-30-2008 08:17 PM
The message can be fun and silly. Like, 'hey world, lighten up' would be a good one.
A message to not take life too seriously?
A message that chocolate makes love richer?
12-30-2008 08:36 PM
alex- when you put it that way... sounds good.
12-31-2008 12:15 AM
Yah agreed - i mean im enthusiastic personally to see the kinda serious stuff simply because its so rare i think here! But that would be totally unfair for such a specific taste as say mine personally in this case being the 'required element.'
On the contrary a world lighten up message is just as valid - any other that i think would meet the poignancy of having a message.
The difference to me is just in the idea that well all films have a message if we look for one so why have a messagefest - as we know that simply isn't true - there are films where the message it is telling is emphasised and not searched for.
We all love richer chocolate too!
So how are we standing so far whose for a Message Fest?
We got me, Alex and Faith! Who else will join the crusade!!!