John Ramsey and his brother have created a hilarious commentary track for one of their crappy home movies. They critique the footage in that stilted self-congratulatory, pseudo-intellectual style that we’re so used to hearing.
“Not Where You Saw” tells the riveting tale of one brother’s courageous stand for justice.
Much to my surprise and delight, the video exceeded that number in just 3 days, and over the holidays!! BuzzFeed first picked it up, and then it spread from there.
There have been some really cool moments over the last few days:
3. The video appears in The Huffington Post
When an article about your video appears in The Huffington Post, you know you’ve touched upon something that has struck a chord outside your own little world.
2. While surfing IMDB, I see a news story about it
Last night, while visiting IMDB.com, I glanced down and noticed the top related news story was an article about the video! Of course, I was on The Bad Seed movie page, so I guess that makes sense… but still — wicked cool!
1. Ariel Winter tweets about the video — twice!
It was hugely rewarding (and relieving) to see that Ariel Winter, the brilliant young actress who plays Alex Dunphy, got a big kick out of the video. Here’s one of her tweets:
“WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???!!!!!!” – Phil Dunphy
So why did I make this video? What was the inspiration?
I’ve always enjoyed movies about clever, evil kids (e.g. Macaulay Culkin, The Good Son / Isabelle Fuhrman, Orphan).
I was surprised Dexter didn’t go in this direction… yet. I mean seriously, look at Astor. That girl has darkness in her.
I was impressed by the acting of Ariel Winter. How does she have that much poise and confidence? When I was that age, I couldn’t even look an adult in the eyes.
Let’s face it, Alex only needed a strategic nudge or two to make it work.
Thought it would be fun to figure out the puzzle and put it together. It was!
It gets something entertaining out there right now for people to see. I love screenwriting, but it takes years for the fruits of your labor to pay off.
I thought the material was really interesting. We’ve seen evil kids before, and even smart evil kids. But a psychopathic child genius? Never. So I’m currently working on a feature film treatment! I’m excited about it, because I’m tellin’ ya, the the ending of my story gives The Usual Suspects a run for its money.
The overwhelmingly positive responses to the video have been incredibly flattering, humbling and very, very much appreciated. Thank you everyone!!!
Wishing all my Scriptwrecked readers (and my new Modern Family Horror Movie fans) all the best for the New Year! Let’s make sure 2012 is killer!
Stay tuned for my next video project… and of course more great content about screenwriting and movies.
Here’s a little something to balance out all that holiday cheer. If you watch ABC’s hilarious Modern Family, you’ll know that Alex Dunphy is just a check box or two away from being an evil genius. So I decided to recut Modern Family as a horror movie.
In this extended trailer, all hell breaks loose at the Dunphy household over the Christmas holidays.
Funny? Horrifying? Both? Let me know what you think.
It’s easy to lose your way while writing your script, or when producers are giving you notes.
In the following clip, Jacob Krueger (a WGA award-winning screenwriter and founder of Jacob Krueger Studio in NYC) offers some great advice for staying on track.
I especially love the part where he discusses fixing your script and incorporating notes:
“What I want to encourage you, is set the fix aside. And instead look for, ‘What’s the opportunity?’ Don’t try to fix your movie. Listen to the note. Think of what you’re going for. Ask yourself where the opportunity is. ‘What would be fun?’ — Not, ‘What would be expedient.’ ‘What would be cool to do?’ — Not, ‘What would solve the problem?’… When you allow your self to play, that’s when you figure out how to do it in a way that really resonates.”
There’s a really engaging TV series in the UK, on Channel 4 (E4), called Skins (not to be confused with the short-lived MTV version). Part raunchy drama, part teen comedy, the BAFTA-winning show is packed with gripping characters and storylines.
It’s made all the more impressive by the fact that the entire main cast is replaced every two years! (And you thought Glee was harsh!) On top of that, each episode focuses on a different character that you can’t help but love by the end of the hour.
On seasons/series 3 and 4 there were two stand-out characters — Emily and Naomi (known as Naomily by their legions of fans); fearlessly played by Lily Loveless and Kathryn Prescott.
Their two-season journey was exciting, poignant, surprising, touching, agonizing and uplifting. Everything you’d want in a story arc. So much so, that I decided to use my screenwriting sensibilities to create [say this next part in your head with an ominous echo] the ultimate Naomily Youtube video!
It’s called “Naked.” (Settle down, no one’s actually naked. It’s a play on the many definitions of the word, like exposed, raw, vulnerable… Plus the main song used is “Naked” by Tracy Bonham.)
Why spend the time to make such a video?
A few reasons:
1. I love the show.
2. The challenge.
How do you distill two seasons into a video that’s under ten minutes in length, present it in a way that’s fresh, and hone the story so that it can stand on its own?
It involved doing what all good screenwriters do — strip everything out until you’re left with only the story you want to tell. Similar to writing a script, there were so many wonderful scenes that I wanted to include but didn’t support the main narrative, so they had to go. It was a really good exercise in killing your darlings.
3. To create something visual.
We toil away for years in our darkened rooms, writing stories that we hope will sell or, dare we dream, actually dance across the silver screen one day. Sometimes it just feels nice to be able to create something that people can see right now and say, “Wow.” (Of course an original short film would be better, but…)
The resulting video utilizes non-linear storytelling, and synchronizes key actions and scene cuts to the music, to enhance the emotional punch. In doing so, hopefully it becomes more than the sum of its parts. Let me know what you think!
This video doesn’t contain any nudity or significant swearing, and would probably be acceptable by late-night network television standards (tame by cable television standards). However, it does contain several scenes of girls kissing, etc. So if you’re homophobic, or lesbi-antsy, you might want to stay away from this vid… But if you do, you’ll be missing out on something rather beautiful.
Can’t see the video above? Want to download it? Naomily.avi (Optimized for Windows | 1280 x 720 | 174 MB) Naomily-iPad.mp4 (Optimized for iPad/Mac | 1024 x 768 | 125 MB)
FYI – The first three seasons of Skins can be streamed through Netflix or Amazon. The fourth season DVDs can be rented or purchased through the same.