An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Everything Everywhere All At Once which will be available 04/17/22:
What Needs Work
The Title – First things first, let’s talk about that title. It’s awful.
It tells me nothing about the film, the story, the characters, or the plot, and is a mouthful to boot.
I remember reading Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat for the first time and being shocked that his favorite film title was none other than Legally Blonde.
Now, Legally Blonde is a good title for a film about a ditzy blonde who becomes an ace attorney at Harvard Law, but there are so many better titles out there!
Just a few off the top of my head:
Splinter (Splinters mutate their living hosts into mindless killing machines)
50/50 (A young man is diagnosed with cancer and given a 50/50 chance of surviving)
Kill Bill (A revenge quest with the end goal of ending Bill)
However, Everything Everywhere All at Once is not a great title. In fact, I’d argue that it’s next to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Redford as one of the longest and worst titles of all time.
Language – I don’t usually harp on this, because bad language in scripts doesn’t really bother me. However, I wanted to make a note here, as this is a distinctly R-rated script, and the final film is also R.
That seems strange, as you would think that an “out-there” script like this would want to do everything in its power to be more accessible, including removing as many F-bombs as possible.
However, this script did not, which I am not sure that I agree with. Especially if you have a very trippy, very independent project, you might want to consider aiming for a PG-13 rating, or at least a PG-13 script.
As the not-so-famous, but famous enough to have his own Wikipedia page, Robert Meyer Burnett says:
“It’s called show business, not show friends.”
Basically, the film industry is a business, so you always have to make sure your script makes good business-sense to produce.
Expensive – Not to fault the creativity on display in this script, but looking at it from a producer’s standpoint, this one would be a logistical and budgetary nightmare to film.
On just Page 4 we have this scene –
INT. MULTIVERSE TRAVEL – VARIOUS
We travel with her from universe to universe.
INT BAR riding on a mechanical bull, her eyes scan the bar, searching for something, then flies off
EXT OCEAN flying through the air as a cliff diver passively observing the divers below- still looking…
EXT STREET a mid air stunt woman on a commercial set
EXT SUBURBAN HOME a bird smacking against a window
INT TRAMPOLINE PARK a circus clown who lands on the trampoline and bounces to her feet-
Now, I never want to limit anyone’s creativity, but I would recommend keeping the budget in mind, especially if you are just starting out in the industry.
Because scenes like the one above will not make a producer jump with joy and will not do your script any favors.
This is one of the reasons why Hank and I are always suggesting that you write a contained horror/thriller project: they are affordable and can be a great way to get your foot in the door!
Jackie Chan – This is an addition to the above note, but if you don’t know Jackie Chan personally and/or if Jackie Chan doesn’t owe you a favor for that one time you helped him hide the body of that hooker that he probably didn’t kill in that cheap motel in Bangkok, then you should definitely not mention Jackie Chan by name in your script.
Basically, if you cannot guarantee that a famous actor will be in your film, don’t mention them by name. It just makes you look amateurish at best, and pretentious and overconfident in your work at worst.
And let us not forget the Jonah Hill Scandal (no, not that one) where two dumbass frat-bros wrote a shit script they couldn’t sell to their grandma, then replaced all the character names with Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Aziz Ansari, etc. and claimed the actors were attached to their project.
Of course, eventually Hollywood found out that it had been duped and quickly put those writers on the Shit-List (the infamous step-child of the famous Blacklist and Bloodlist
Don’t be like those writers who tried to shortcut their way to fame and fortune. Let your great writing speak for itself!
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