"Humanity" - the Bazaar Way of Writing a Movie

Posted 26 Oct 2001 at 16:03 UTC by shlomif Share This

I have set-up a project called "Humanity - The Movie" that aims to be the bazaar way of writing a movie.

Needless to say the end and intermediate results will be pulished under an open content license. (in this case the Open Content License). However, that's not the whole point. I intend that many interested writers and observers collaborate on writing the script using Internet resources. Plus, every scene can have several alternatives, and every alternative can have several rendering options.

"Humanity" is a parody about humanity and especially modern life. It tells the story of a day in the life of a Semitic city circa 500 B.C. through its elements: the Cathedral (actually an altar with a priest), the Bazaar, the Well, the Wall, the Gate, the River, etc.

Humanity version 0.0.3, which was written entirely by me is available for reading online and for downloading. Those that are interested in contributing, monitoring or reading the results should visit the project's homepage for more information.

Happy reading and hacking.

    Shlomi Fish

Bazar Style Writing, posted 27 Oct 2001 at 16:13 UTC by Ilan » (Master)

Before I decided that no one was making computers any easier and I had to do something about it, I spent four years of my life as a TV/Film production student. Our college had a TV station, and I spent one year working as a producer/actor/writer for a show called "Without a Clue". The thing that was unique about this show was that everyone working on the show was an actor who came up with their own character and wrote their character's part in the script. There were a few funny scenes produced, but ultimately the show lost a lot of steam and was cancelled before a viable show was produced. It also didn't help that many of the acting in the show weren't good at writing comedy.

I guess my point is that Bazaar style movie-writing is not all that uncommon, especially in media production schools where the people producing the movies/TV shows have to give people such as actors a say in things because you don't have the money to pay people to shut up and do what they're told. Bazar-style writing is actually quite common on sitcoms, where you have a whole roundtable of writers all contributing funny ideas.

Very Interesting, posted 28 Oct 2001 at 06:26 UTC by nymia » (Master)

Hmmm, your idea is very interesting. Given the technology needed to make a CG film nowadays, the only constraint I see is pure human talent. And there is no doubt it's just only time before any community-based effort will soon surface. Think of it as a community of talented and highly skilled people making CG movies. I bet these pioneers will have enough money to go until retirement.

The problem of film making, posted 29 Oct 2001 at 05:08 UTC by Pseudonym » (Journeyer)

                                          FADE IN:
  A typical day on an OSS advocate web site.
  SHLOMI fish posts an article.
  PSEUDONYM notices it.
                          SHLOMI FISH
            I have set up a project called
            "Humanity - The Movie" that aims to
            be the bazaar way of writing a
            You know that Open Source was
            developed by people who were already
            good programmers.
                          SHLOMI FISH
            Many people hacve leared their craft
            by working on Open Source projects.
            That's true, but only because of the
            mentoring effect.  You need good
            programmers to work beside the
  Veteran screenwriter SYD FIELD, author of "Screenplay" and "A
  Screenwriter's Workbook" enters from a side link.

SYD FIELD You know, that's a point I try to impress on my students. Everything you do in writing a screenplay should be by deliberate choice. If you don't start from a position of knowing your options, you have no choice, and your play will suffer as a result. Writer/director BRIAN HELGELAND appears from Jehovah-knows where. BRIAN HELGELAND That's so true. Some of you may have seen my film "A Knight's Tale". I spent a long time going through medieval history, then threw it all out in favour of modern music and soccer hooligans. I chose not to to give the impression that people didn't live under glass. Had I done that without knowing any history first, my film would have ended up looking like a bunch of anachronisms strung together. Screenwriter and author of "Screenwriting" and "Screenwriting Updated" LINDA ARONSON looks up from writing the latest episode of "Something in the Air". LINDA ARONSON In your case, writing sequential narrative is hard to get right. You really should understand the three-act Hollywood paradigm film first. SYD FIELD That's right, Linda. Once you know what the rules are, and what effect breaking them can have, then you can break them by deliberate choice. Writer/director TERRY GILLIAM descends from behind an animated cloud. TERRY GILLIAM I couldn't help overhearing this conversation. The first two films I co-wrote weren't three-act films, and were written in a bazaar style. True, the first was just a bunch of sketches from "Monty Python's Flying Circus", but the second is considered by many people as their all-time favourite film. LINDA ARONSON Ah, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". That film has a lot of very funny individual scenes, but as a whole it's completely incoherent. TERRY GILLIAM With sketch comedy that doesn't matter, but people don't like making sketch comedy films. "Holy Grail" would never have been made if we weren't already known as comic geniuses. SYD FIELD (to Shlomi Fish) Anyway, the point is that every rule but the laws of physics can be broken, and doing that will have an effect. But still the rules are there for a reason. If you don't know what the rules are and what effect breaking them will have, you have no business screenwriting. PSEUDONYM Well I think that's a bit harsh, but still, there's a lesson to be learned here. (to Shlomi Fish) I'm not going to say your project won't get anywhere, but you really should learn about screenwriting first. Perhaps get an experienced screenwriter to help you out. Pseudonym reflects on the conversation. PSEUDONYM (cont'd) (to himself; clearly impressed) Gosh, I wish I'd written all that. FADE OUT: THE END

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