Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Catwoman Notes

We're moving offices, so my assistant just gave me a stack of files to sort before tossing them. Hey, these are all my old studio notes on my projects!

Ah, the memo where the Disney exec on Mage gets angry because he doesn't understand how magic works, and wants me to explain it. "You can't explain it," I remember saying. "That's why it's called magic. Magic you can explain is called science." Yes, that was fun ...

Holy --two years worth of Catwoman notes. And right on top, the mission statement I sent to them when I took over the script. Dated 2/6/01. What's typed, literally in 24 pt boldfaced Arial and underlined, I shit you not, right there on the front page?

"No hyper-reality pop crap."

Wow. That went exactly as planned. Oh, look there's the section where I talk about how the suit should be functional for her thievery, and she should wear lug boots. Yes, yes, it all fell into place. Hmm, let me count these ...

... 169 pages. Most single spaced. About an inch of notes, and I know this isn't all of them. I have another set, the later ones, in my home office. So all in all, two inches of Catwoman notes.

Just goes to show you, the old saying is true. It's no easier to make a bad movie than a good one. Sometimes, it's even harder.

57 comments:

Redjack said...

"You can't explain it," I remember saying. "That's why it's called magic. Magic you can explain is called science."

Dude, I'm so smacking people around with this at every opportunity.

Christian Johnson said...

My wife and I watched Catwoman recently, when it was on Starz or something, and while we agree that it is a bad movie indeed, we did like elements.

She and I thought Sharon Stone was a pretty good Clayface spin off, and she seemed to enjoy the role.

It was nowhere near as bad as I feared, it wasn't Mr. Freeze bad.

RAB said...

I'm surely in the running for some kind of massive chutzpah award for disagreeing with you on something about which you know a great deal and I am very ignorant...but that's not really the right answer to the question about magic, is it?

Most people's view of science is so stunted that it might as well be magic to them. Many believe science and/or technology are literally magic, that things exist depending on whether or not you believe in them, that whacking a jukebox or a television set on the side will cause it to work, that fossils exist because a big man in the sky buried them in pre-aged form so we wouldn't be able to tell how recently they were buried, that betting someone's birthday gives you an advantage in the lottery...I could go on and on. In such an environment, trying to get a studio executive to see a difference between "science" and "magic" seems counterproductive.

I'd be curious what he was really trying to ask. If he meant something more along the lines of "I don't understand the rules by which things happen in this story" that then becomes a much more answerable question. Good fantasy writers will readily say that magic in their stories has to operate by internally consistent rules, and that they work hard to establish those limits so as to keep the trust of their readers. The transporter in Star Trek is total, absolute unrealistic magic, not remotely science...but it operates by reasonably consistent rules, so it becomes a viable storytelling device.

In this sense, isn't "magic" just like anything else in a made-up story, no matter how "realistic" it's supposed to be? In any story there's always something you need to show the audience "how it works" whether it's police procedure, or the pecking order in an ER, or how Harry Potter can score at Quiddich.

I mean no disrespect in saying this; I really would like to know what I'm missing.

Grubber said...

Explain magic.....

wiggle your nose.

Done.

Book suggestion that will never happen:

Studio Notes on Famous Movies.

I would pay hundreds of dollars for that book.

cheers
Dave.

MAX WALKER said...

I'm with Grubber on this, I'd pay quite the handsome sum for a book full of studio notes.

Oh God how I'd love to read the notes for some Ben Affleck films...

Rogers said...

oh, sorry, rab, I always assume people know the depths of stupidity of Hollywood.

No, no, of course you're right that magic -- any "reality set" you use in your writing, needs a consistent underlying logic. But you also get a "gimme". In Harry Potter, wizards are real, and magic works like you always heard. Everything else in the HP world follows consistently, logically out of that. This guy was likea two year old with "why". No matter h o wmany levels down you went, he always went one more.

What this particular numbnuts was annoyed with is that he completely lacked the imagination to understand the characters were living in a magical world, and so desperately wanted to reduce eveything down to almost a parallel physics set. Example: It didn't make sense to him that the city was secretly filled with mythical creatures -- he could wrap his head around it, though, if we gave him a map of all the different territories that the various creatures staked out. I'm shortening up the pain we dealt with, but to wit, it wasn;t enough that Excalibur was a magic sword that killed monsters. WHY was Excalibur a magic sword ... Anyway, he was basically the enemy of fun.

Bill Cunningham said...

Magic is what happens when you hack the programming of the universe.

Anything beyond that, you jump on their neck and scream, "Because I said so!"

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Heh, I was going to say the same thing Rab said. The best fantasy books I have read have had rules and limitations on magic. One good example is The Wheel of Time series, where there are certain things that magic can and cannot do. In Lord of the Rings, magic was very limited. You barely see Gandalf use magic at all. And most of the magic he did employ (at least in the books) could be attributed to science. A lot of it seemed like advanced knowledge of gunpowder.

I prefer magic with rules than the "wiggle your nose and it happens" sort. It makes for a more satisfying story for me.

Not trying to be a jerk or contrary...you just got me thinking about the subject.

Rogers said...

yes, yes, but you're missing the point. Magic with those sorts of rules you're talking about ARE science in their own way -- they just exist in a world with different physics. What our obstacle with this guy was a complete and utter lack of imagination. And the really good magic is the stuff that makes sense in your heart, without explanation.

After all, LotR is one of my favorite examples. Can anyone explain exactly waht the One Ring ... does? No. It makes you invisible, but that's a side effect. All we know is if Sauron gets it, Bad Things happen. This guy (and I believe we joked about this at the time) would have wanted Sauron's Post-Conquering Pans and Timeline, in PowerPoint.

Rogers said...

However, having said that, I actually think one of the things crippling modern sci fi and fantasy is the weird need for some sort of legitimizing force of reason. I'll take Grantr Morrison's abso-fucking-lutely insane Superman over the "look you can count the treads on his boot" Batman any day.

There's a reason tehy're called "dreams."

jay in oregon said...

I'll take Grantr Morrison's abso-fucking-lutely insane Superman

Great book so far.

Which brings up a side topic; what the hell is the point of the All-Star line? Is it a belated response to the Ultimate line at Marvel?

I flipped through a copy of All-Star Batman and Robin and was bored. Morrison's Superman is great -- but then again, I loved his JLA, his Animal Man, his Doom Patrol...

Elizabeth said...

It took me a minute to realize that you are the John Rogers who actually wrote Catwoman.

Please let me say congratulations on how you handled the Razzies. :)

Should I ever be honoured with a Razzie, I hope to also have the grace and good humour that you demonstrated to show up and collect it in person.

That being said, I hope you never have the honour again. ;)

Thank you for the post, it was very illuminating.

Doctor Slack said...

rogers: It didn't make sense to him that the city was secretly filled with mythical creatures -- he could wrap his head around it, though, if we gave him a map of all the different territories that the various creatures staked out.

Sounds like the exec was a frustrated geeky world-builder at heart!

tkg: In Lord of the Rings, magic was very limited.

Actually, Tolkien never really did work out how magic "worked" in LotR or what the rules were, as far as anyone can tell; he came up with a few half-baked explanatory frameworks but nothing ever quite gelled. Mostly, he just muddled his way through by means of theological convictions and dramatic convenience.

He's a great example of the upsides and downsides to that, actually. The upside is that magic in his universe operates by a kind of storytelling logic that's just on the edge of comprehension, giving it a strongly atmospheric "mythic" feel. The downside is the various occasions where, having written himself into a corner, some magical workaround has to turn up out of nowhere. (The last book in the trilogy got particularly bad for this -- one of the big baddies, for instance, is killed by the abrupt appearance of a Macbeth-style prophetic loophole that's never mentioned before that point.)

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out if I'm "Anonymous" or "Other." How does one know? I'm not a "Blogger" (I don't think). Sometimes I feel like both those other things. I'll try "Anonymous" for now.

doctor slack observes: ". . . one of the big baddies, for instance, is killed by the abrupt appearance of a Macbeth-style prophetic loophole that's never mentioned before that point."

True. And I love that moment. As far as I'm concerned, it's the single most heroic moment in fantasy literature. The language, the posturing, the defiance, the ass-kicking, it all just . . . uh, well . . . it all just kicks so much ass.

But I digress. Interesting notes about Catwoman. With regard to your comment at the end of the post, it may be harder to make a bad movie, but it may also be that, with an over-abundance of lousy film makers (or at least lousy film backers), the percentage chance of making a bad film overrides the difficulty. I'm not sure that makes any sense. Time for more coffee.

Good morning,

Rob

Laurean said...

Scary....

It's like they took your entire script, made it's evil clone...and put it on the big screen. @.@;;

IU honestly haven't been able to watch Catwoman fully..I always get lost (ie bored) after the club scene when she first gets her powers.

RogerRmjet said...

Please do a special series on Catwoman notes. Please?

Harvey Jerkwater said...

For the goof, I wrote a script in college for my buddies who wanted to make a movie but couldn't write worth a damn. The script wasn't good, but it had a few moments that rose to the dizzying heights of adequacy. I forked it over and didn't hear about it until they finished the project months later.

I went to the screening of their opus and discovered they'd done massive rewrites, making it a dumbass slapstick movie with one-dimensional characters. My characters had two dimensions, dammit! I was homicidal. And that was over a throwaway project in college.

Man, I can't imagine the frustration of the Catwoman debacle. I can only hope it gets better with experience and age.

Heh. Anybody read Kevin Smith's stories about trying to write the next Superman movie and the producers' weird ideas? "Spiders are king of the insects!" Heh.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

[i]yes, yes, but you're missing the point.[/i]

I am not missing the point, what I am saying is beside the point. It’s thread drift or a tangent not necessarily directed at you but also some of the replies I have seen. :P As I said, it just got me thinking. Extremes are never a good thing. The guy you mention is going to one extreme and is trying to over explain things where they are not needed for the story. While I think it is fun to conjecture, it wasn’t something needed for the project and at that time was getting in the way of what you wanted to do. Saying everything happens because it’s just magic, however, I think is an extreme in the other direction. It takes the fun out of fantasy stories. What sense of tension is there in a story if magic can just do anything? There has to be limits to magic and if those limits are just thrown in there at a moments notice or are arbitrary then it comes off as amateurish.

[i]Magic with those sorts of rules you're talking about ARE science in their own way -- they just exist in a world with different physics... And the really good magic is the stuff that makes sense in your heart, without explanation.[/i]

I like “make sense in your heart” but disagree with you to an extent. I am not a good writer so I will take from somebody who is:

“With fantasy, however, anything is possible. And where [i]anything[/i] can happen, who cares what actually occurs? I mean, if your hero can get into trouble and then wish his way out, so what? Why worry about him? Why [i]care[/i]?

The truth is that [i]good[/i] [fantasy stories] carefully limit the magic that’s possible. In fact, the magic has to be defined, at least in the author’s mind, as a whole new set of natural laws that [i]cannot[/i] be violated during the course of the story. That is, if at the beginning of the story you have established that your hero can make only three wishes, you better not have him come up with a fourth wish to save his neck right at the end. That’s cheating, and your reader will be quire correct to throw your book across the room and carefully avoid anything you ever write in the future.

All speculative fiction stories have to create a strange world and introduce the reader to it – but good fantasy must also establish a whole new set of natural laws, explain them right up front, and then faithfully abide by them throughout.” --Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.

In Harry Potter you cannot fly with broomsticks or turn into a bird, you need wands to cast spells, it is very difficult to change into an animal and when a person can it is usually only one particular animal they can change into and you cannot learn to talk to snakes, it is something you are born with.

When I see a magician on stage the fun is asking myself how and why of the magic. When I am watching a movie with a lot of magic, I am still asking how and why. I [i]know[/i] that I will be given no answers for the movie part because there are not always answers to give. But asking those questions is an important part of what keeps me interested in these movies…the fact that it will keep me guessing and wondering is also an important part. The problem with the guy you are describing is not that he was asking these questions, but the fact that he actually expected complete answers was holding up your productivity and, sadly, his enjoyment of your work.

What you said about drawing up maps of where the creatures lived reminds me a lot of Terry Pratchett, my favorite author who just happens to specialize if fantasy. He had a mythical city called Ankh-Morpork and for years he said he did not have any maps to it. He would include a mostly blank page at the end of his books saying, “This is where the map to Ankh-Morpork would traditionally go. Since there isn’t one, feel free to draw your own.” But years later somebody was able to make a working map of Ankh-Morpork that was consistent with the 20 some books that took place in the city. This mythic-cartographer was able to do this because, despite what Terry Pratchett said, he had an idea of how Ahnk-Morpork worked and because of that his audience was more willing to accept his world.

[i]After all, LotR is one of my favorite examples. Can anyone explain exactly waht the One Ring ... does? No. It makes you invisible, but that's a side effect. All we know is if Sauron gets it, Bad Things happen.[/i]

The ring was Sauron’s link between the physical world and the spirit world he lived in. When Frodo put it on, he stood between the spirit world and they physical which is why he became invisible to everything but spirits and was able to see spirits (like the ring-wraiths) himself. As long as the one right existed, Sauron was able to see and communicate with the physical world, but without the ring he couldn’t enter the physical world himself. When the ring was destroyed, he no longer had any ability to see or contact the physical world and was exiled forever. The ring also gave Sauron control over all other rings of power which were the world’s defenses over major evil spirits.

This was never explained in the movie, but Tolkien, Peter Jackson and Phillipa Boyens had worked this out in their minds. It was what helped the audience accept the world of Middle Earth because they could sense that there was an internal consistency even if it wasn’t spelled out for them. This is one of the reasons Lord of the Rings was so much more successful than any other fantasy movies.

[i] -- one of the big baddies, for instance, is killed by the abrupt appearance of a Macbeth-style prophetic loophole that's never mentioned before that point[/i]

Yeah, well, honestly Tolkien is the most obvious example of fantasy writing but he is never the best example. He broke a lot of the rules of good story telling and it always worked for him but never does when anybody else tries it. I shouldn’t have used him as an example.

Anyway, at this point you probably consider me extremely annoying so I will go away…for now.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Damn! To used to vBulletin where they use [ instead of <

Please let me say congratulations on how you handled the Razzies. :)

This i can deffnitely agree with. Very classy.

dan mcenroe said...

This guy (and I believe we joked about this at the time) would have wanted Sauron's Post-Conquering Pans and Timeline, in PowerPoint.

look at the upside - he's more thorough than bush.

Redjack said...

You don't need magical systems with clear internal logic. You need magical systems that people FEEL have an internal logic.

There's a difference.

HP is NOT internally consistent. Not for one second are the rules, as stated, adhered to. But, in the overall tone of abject wonderment of the peice, more is accepted than, say, if at the last desperate instant, James Bond pulls out some device you never saw Q give him to save the day.

It's plausible in the former case because we want it to be, not so in the latter case, because we don't. Even though the systems in play are equally illogical.

The difference is not informational (How does this work? Why does it?) but contextual (what do we need to happen right now/ how best to sell it?).

How much or how little do we need to give the audience before they will suspend the apprpriate amount of disbeleif?

How do the transporters work on STAR TREK? Magic. Obviously. A guy presses some buttons and, presto, you're on another planet. Saves a lot in the FX budget and it LOOKS like advanced tech but, after 40 odd years, it's still just magic. We buy it because of context.

How do we know that cylons only have missionary style sex? Becuse in any of the fun positions, that oscillating red light in their spines would be, like, a complete giveaway.

"Honey, is there something you'd like to tell me?"

So we don't ask the question because to do so would upset the world we've chosen to buy into. And watching the light go up and down is cool.

Don't even get me started on Buffy and Angel.

I think a lot of execs, like a lot of civillians, have difficulty understanding what makes a given genre property cool and so make modifications that gut the very thing that would make those properties into the multi-sequel franchises the accountants love.

Doctor Slack said...

Anonymous writes: I can't figure out if I'm "Anonymous" or "Other."

Story of my life...

As far as I'm concerned, it's the single most heroic moment in fantasy literature.

A bold claim! But I'm not saying I didn't like the moment in a dramatic sense... just that when I was first reading it I found myself smirking ruefully. (I didn't mind, exactly, when the eagles turned up from time to time either, but it was always a "wow, isn't that convenient" sort of moment.)

harmfulguy said...

That a Disney exec has to ask how magic works just shows how far the company has fallen in the Eisner era. I hope we come up with the tech to thaw out Walt before too much longer.

Westacular said...

There's a difference between establishing limits on "magic", explaining how (in general terms) it works, and explaining why it works. Where to draw the line depends on both the story and how the story is being told. Orson Scott Card is an author who has often overfilled his books with pseudo-scientific "why" expositions that aren't, in the end, entirely consistent or sensible. (And I say this even as I consider Ender's Game to be, perhaps, my favourite novel.)


ted kord's ghost, your explanation of how the One Ring works is ... while it may make sense and be consistent, there's nothing in the books that even hint at that as being the Real Reason everything works as it does. What you've offered is just one interpretation. The thing about the books is that they work dramatically without any such explanation -- magic is used almost exclusively to spiritual/psychological effect, always bears a cost, and is never an unexpected get-out-of-jail-free card. They are consistent enough to allow for such interpretation, but that doesn't mean that any one explanation is either right or necessary.

The amount one must explain something for a story depends largely on how intricately it will be manipulated in the plot. You don't need to explain how a jet flies if it's only important that a jet can fly. But if the story depends on suddenly being able to make said jet fly faster than it ought to, then you'll need to have an explanation why that's possible, otherwise it would be a cheap copout. Good storytelling generally doesn't really on such made-up "because this is how it works" explanations to achieve its goals.

One interesting thing about Harry Potter is that the magic there is ... very much like a cook-book. Recipes that operate in very specific ways to achieve very specific effects. Which makes sense, to the degree that we learn about it as schoolchildren do. When Harry learns a new spell, and JK Rowling bothers to describe it, you know that the spell is going to become important later in the book. This is somewhat weak in its predictability, but it's really a comprimise between having Harry suddenly escape with some previously unheard of spell ("magically magic", one might say) and forcing the reader through obsessively overdone details of what he learns.

In Harry Potter, what makes Dumbledore and Voldemort special is that they, unlike most others, see beyond the cookbook-magic to understand the actual principles on which magic operates (and then directly manipulate those) -- they are, to continue the cooking metaphor, expert chefs who do not need to follow recipes. They are allowed to do this, as the books follow Harry, and to Harry what they manage is just as, err, magically magical as it is to the reader. It needs no explanation to work for the reader.

Michael Alan Nelson said...

Catwoman to magic. Funny how drift works.

I think the biggest concern when it comes to writing a story with magic is deciding how many rules need to be defined. You can't have a world with no rules to the magic, otherwise there's nothing stopping your protagonist(s) or antagonist(s) from doing anything and everythign they want. And it's too easy to write yourself into a corner only to say, "poof" magic spell, problem solved. You'd end up with a veritable parking lot of gods in their machines.

Then again, it's also very easy to get bogged down with the minutiae of magic's rules. But it all boils down to the story. Does explaining the rules enhance the story? Does the story hinge on knowledge of the rules? Or are the rules there just to show off your ability at world building? It's the story that matters so it becomes a delicate balancing act deciding how much is too much or not enough.

Anonymous said...

From the desk of doctor slack: "A bold claim!"

Indeed, and odd, as I so rarely make bold claims. For me, though, single greatest heroic moment in fantasy literature. Until you pointed out the "previously unheard Macbeth-ish prophecy" aspect, I hadn't even thought of that. I'm glad you did, as it has given me more to think about concerning books I love. I think, when I first read the book 22 years ago, I was so caught up in what was happening that I didn't note that aspect of it. In short, for me, the telling of the story was more overwhelming than the internal consistency of the story. I still get chills 22 years later when I read that passage: "Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carion . . . " At 10, and 32, I still want to cheer at the page: "Yeah! Kick that bad wraith's ASS!"

Ah, nostalgia.

westacular's observation: "They are consistent enough to allow for such interpretation, but that doesn't mean that any one explanation is either right or necessary."

Thanks. That's what I was trying to think of, and you put it better than I could. Well said.

michael alan nelson: "Does explaining the rules enhance the story? Does the story hinge on knowledge of the rules? Or are the rules there just to show off your ability at world building? It's the story that matters so it becomes a delicate balancing act deciding how much is too much or not enough."

Also well said, and has been a guiding principle in my own writing. In my editing, I find that I frequently stray from the goddamned guiding principle. Sheesh.

Probably still in need of more coffee,

Rob

Richard said...

[H]e was basically the enemy of fun.

At least he didn't slip you a note suggesting that Catwoman should fight a giant mechanical spider. Or did he?

Anybody read Kevin Smith's stories about trying to write the next Superman movie and the producers' weird ideas?

Yeah, the same weird ideas also, er, afflicted an early draft of The Sandman script, iirc.

Rogers said...

Ah, the mechanical spider. It proved more durablen than the scripts they kept trying to put it in ...

Polymath said...

i was assuming that everyone on this thread had heard arthur c. clarke's dictum on this topic, but since it hasn't come up...i'll risk looking like mr. obvious to state it:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
magic."

which means in a strange way that someone might be justified in asking how magic works, since it may as well simply be some super-advanced technology. but of course if it's that advanced, your fun-killing unimaginative exec wouldn't be able to understand it anyway.

Chris said...

I've noticed that the "WE MUST HAVE AN EXPLANATION" demand usually comes only when you're trying something new. Once I wrote a horror spec that featured Aboriginal lore. I got nothing but "Why? Why? Why?" questions.

But when you say, "Vampire," no one replies, "Yeah, but how does he change into a bat? What happens to all the extra mass? And doesn't the much smaller brain of the bat cause problems for his cognitive function?"

Instead, they just say, "Vampire. OK. Cool."

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

ted kord's ghost, your explanation of how the One Ring works is ...

If the remainder of that sentance was idiotic and I am full of shit, feel free. You are probably right.

How do the transporters work on STAR TREK? Magic. Obviously. A guy presses some buttons and, presto, you're on another planet. Saves a lot in the FX budget and it LOOKS like advanced tech but, after 40 odd years, it's still just magic. We buy it because of context.

They did actually come up with a way it works. And when they developers rules for the transporters they came up with other ideas like the Holodeck which gave them even more ideas for stories....way too many ideas.

The amount one must explain something for a story depends largely on how intricately it will be manipulated in the plot.

Just to point out I never said they should be explained in the story. I think it is enough for the author to have explanations in his own mind. The audience will sense the consistency even if it isn't explained to them at all. Even authors who say they don't, like Terry Pratchett, discover they really do once they go back and examine their work. (And if you haven't read Terry Pratchett I can't recommend Guards! Guards! and Small Gods enough.) In all good fantasy you can tell there are rules.

That was more my point...that writers should know the rules even if they leave the audience guessing at them.

Redjack said...

Ted's ghost-

That you beleive there is a real world explanation for how the STAR TREK transporter works is proof of my point.

Whatever way you think it works is a blank filled in by you, the veiwer.

It has never been truly explained and there have been multiple stories done over the years that contradict the thinly established parameters.

Of course there have.

The transporter IS a device but a literary one rather than technological. Just as the use of magic in HP or LOTR is just a literary device that exists independant of any true internal logic.

Detailed explanations of magic and "future science" are only as good as their support of the story they are being used to tell. Anything beyond or below that either crushes the story or causes its collapse.

LOTR's eagles are another prime example. If Gandalf could have called them at any time, why was there a NEED for the stupid fellowship in the first place? Or the war? Or any of it?

To paraphrase Roger Rabbit: Gandalf couldn't call the eagles for help at any time. Only when it served the story. That we don't groan and howl when they show up is proof that Tolkien got it "right" while at the same time completely destroying the scaffold on which his work was hung.

All the writer needs to know is how to make the fantastic SEEM plausible.

And, y'know, how to tell a kick-ass story. That helps.

RAB said...

Yeesh, what a tangent I opened! For what it's worth, I now totally grasp what sort of mentality you were dealing with, thanks to the description "This guy was like a two year old with 'why'" -- in fact, that statement may be more literally true than it sounds.

One fascinating thing about child development (stand aside, thread drift poseurs, and watch me work) is that babies are really very thuddingly literal. Babies and toddlers are sometimes described as being, essentially, experimental scientists: they know nothing about the world and must conduct constant experiments to gain empirical data about how life works. Our capacity for imagination comes later in life, when we have enough data to start constructing thought experiments and ask "what if something were so that isn't actually so?" Asking "why" may be innate, but imagination is something that needs to be cultivated. Obviously a great many people never reach that later developmental level...and if what I read is true, a surprisingly disproportionate number of them seem to become Hollywood executives.

vhsiv said...

John, production diaries and studio 'notes' are pretty much part of the current rage (e.g. Peter Jackson, 'King Kong').

If Kevin Smith can lecture around the country and use his experience with Jon Peters and Superman as stand-up and Brian Bendis can turn his early experience pitching and writing 'Torso' as the basis for 'Fortune and Glory', your notes for 'Catwoman' likely have enough content for an entire franchise of books, a movie and a comic book. Hold onto that stuff, and see if you can't get the necessary releases – the infamy of 'Catwoman' alone would likely put you on a bestseller list.

Just yesterday, I condensed someone's long-assed production history of 'Superman Returns' (1987-2004)into a single-sitting article. The 'Historian' who put together the original article had no restraint – it was over 20 pages long and it took 3 reading sessions to pore through the whole thing.

But you're a screenwriter! Editor is already your middle name. From what you've already told us about the lug boots and hyper-realism, I'm sure that those notes may contain some easily exploitable content. I say go for it – 'Entourage' shouldn't be the only entertainment to gain from Hollywood's fascination for comic books.

p.s. If you need any help laying the book out, give me a call...

codemorse said...

Speaking as a Mage fan of near-crippling proportions (two pieces of original Wagner art sit proudly on my wall), I'd love to hear more about your involvement with the project, the kinds of notes you were given, and any other interesting info you'd care to share. For instance, I'd heard that they were contemplating Robin Williams as Mirth, and Vince Vaughn as Kevin. True?

Thanks for consistently entertaining the slowly rotting wheel of cheese that is my brain.

pamb said...

Thanks, Polymath for dragging out the Arthur C. Clark quote so i didn't have to go look it up.
As for Tolkien and his rules of magic and the "pulled-out-of-thin-air" ringwraith doom, let's keep in mind Tolkien had created a whole world history that extends LONG before the LOTR timeframe. Have you read The Silmarillion and the other supporting history books? They are dry as dirt and definitely read like a history text, but explain alot about the creation of all the rings and the original roles and purposes of Sauron, Gandalf, and Saruman. It's not just Peter Jackson making stuff up to fit the trilogy.
and btw, John's middle name is Michael, unless he's chosen to change it to 'editor'.
I also can't say enough good things about Terry Pratchett and Diskworld, but let's not forget "Good Omens" with Neil Gaimann! It should be required reading for every high school student in the land.

colin roald said...

I think I picked up this explanation from David Brin (though these are not his words): the difference between magic and physics is that with physics, what happens happens because that's the way the world works. With magic, what happens happens because that's what you deserve. (For an author who really gets the implications of that last bit, check out Sean Stewart. He's never got a quarter of the attention he should have.)

Yes, that means that, for instance, I'd say that D&D spellcasting is not half so much magic as alternate physics. A game like Sorcerer has a much better handle on "real" magic.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

PUBLISH THEM!!

Kelly J. Compeau said...

Example: It didn't make sense to him that the city was secretly filled with mythical creatures -- he could wrap his head around it, though, if we gave him a map of all the different territories that the various creatures staked out. I'm shortening up the pain we dealt with, but to wit, it wasn;t enough that Excalibur was a magic sword that killed monsters. WHY was Excalibur a magic sword...


Hmmm...I actually explain how/why Excalibur is magically endowed in my TV series (in development for CHUM) and how mythical beasts come to live on their secret island home in the Bermuda Triangle. In fact, I go to great lengths to explain how magic works on my show -- without coming across like a wet blanket by dampening the fun of 'make-belief'.

I have a wild imagination -- but I'm also very practical and ask a lot of intelligent questions. The same kind of questions I expect my show's fan will ask me at conventions etc., so I damn well better have an answer. "Because I felt like it," is not going to cut it with these people. I also think such a response cheapens the project by presenting it as a fluffy adventure series, a la The Adventures of Sinbad when it goes far, far deeper than that.

KJC

Pennypacker said...

For a short time I was almost tasked with designing the game based on the Catwoman movie. At the time it sounded like a fine idea -- in retrospect I was extremely lucky it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand it!

"No hyper-reality pop crap."

-- so I have to ask: What did you mean? Examples?

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said...

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said...

クレジットカード 現金化
不動産
投資
派遣
データ復旧
コンタクトレンズ
インプラント
不動産
FX
アフィリエイト
キャッシング
toefl
パソコン自作

said...

美容整形に携わる美容ドクター専門プロフサイト 美容の杜美容整形に関するお問い合わせ整形することによって絶対的な美を得られるわけではありません。『自分は変わった』という事実を物理的に確認することで、気にな……

said...

FX、(外国為替取引)はじめるなら、為替マーケット。- FXの新東京シティ証券外国為替取引はじめるなら、新東京シティ証券の『為替マーケット』。最新FX情報を手に入れてリスクの少ないFX取引!仮想トレードでの外国為替無料体験も

said...

引越のことならキング引越センター(株) 引越業界No.1クラスの安さと安心。お客様にあった様々なプランをご用意。秘密厳守なので単身女性も安心のキング引越センター

Fazrie 123 said...

obat sipilis
obat sipilis
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obat sipilis tradisional
obat sipilis herbal
cara mengobati sipilis
obat sipilis
harga obat sipilis

mistersipilis said...

Obat kencing nanah doxycycline
Obat kencing nanah di samarinda
Nama obat kencing nanah di apotik
Nama obat kencing nanah di apotek
Obat kencing nanah kimia farma
Obat farmasi kencing nanah
Obat kencing nanah gonore
Obat kencing nanah generik
Obat kencing nanah go
Obat gonorrhea kencing nanah
Obat gejala kencing nanah
Nama obat kencing nanah yang di jual di apotik
Tempat jual obat kencing nanah
Apotik jual obat kencing nanah
Apotik yg jual obat kencing nanah
Jual obat kencing nanah di jakarta
Jual obat kencing nanah di surabaya
Jual obat kencing nanah bandung
Obat kencing nanah kaskus
Obat kencing keluar nanah
Obat kencing keluar nanah di apotik
Obat kutil kelamin tradisional
Obat kutil kelamin
Obat kutil kelamin wanita
Obat kutil kelamin di apotik
Obat kutil kelamin denature
Obat kutil kelamin resep dokter
Obat kutil kelamin malaysia
Obat kutil kelamin apotik
Obat kutil kelamin di anus

مريم مر العمراوى said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام

شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام

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شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالخبر

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر

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شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل

شركة رش مبيدات بالجبيل

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقطيف

شركة رش مبيدات بالقطيف


M Nico K said...

This was a fantastic article. Really loved reading your we blog post. The information was very informative and

helpful...

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Nama Obat Kondiloma Atau Kutil Kelamin
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Bagaimana Mengobati Kondiloma
Obat Penyakit Kondiloma Akuminata Alami
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Bagaimana Cara Mengobati Jengger Ayam
Obat Tradisional Penyakit Jengger Ayam
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Apa Nama Obat Jengger Ayam
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Riyan Cilacap said...

Thank You Verry Much, Ijin nitip gan dan trimaksih atas infonya

Obat Sakit Kelamin De Nature
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lionelmessi10 said...

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lionelmessi10 said...

obat herpes kelamin obat herpes cara mengobati penyakit herpes kelamin obat herpes di kemaluan herpes di sekitar kemaluan gejala herpes obat penyakit herpes kelamin obat herpes kelamin obat herbal penyakit sipilis atau raja obat wasir herbal ampuh cara mengencangkan vagina yang kendur perawatan vagina dengan tongkat super obat ambeien atau wasir herbal obat herbal wasir atau ambeien cara mengobati wasir atau ambien herbal ampuh penyakit ambeien obat hemorrhoid atau ambeyen tanpa obat wasier tanpa operasi obat wasier ampuh obat penyakit ambien pada pria cara merapatkan vagina yang longgar cara membuat vagina tetap kencang obat ambeyen untuk ibu hamil obat herbal untuk penderita wasier mengatasi ambeyen dengan obat herbal cara membuat vagina tetap menggigit cara membuat vagina tetap kencang"