• Wondering which camera, gear, computer, or software to buy? Ask in our Gear Guide.

screenplay Reverse Engineering scripts - Why are only 'Intellectuals' (that isn't a bad thing) doing it when I search YT?

Seems to make perfect sense to me. I don't steal, I just like to borrow formulas, and make my own version.

changed term 'Nerds' to 'Intellectuals', which is what I meant anyways:)
 
Last edited:
It's definitely not just nerds doing it, it's just nerds uploading youtube videos about how excited they are about doing it, lol. Reverse engineering is a critical part of any more complex learning process, but most people don't consider it interesting enough to be considered entertainment on it's own. I'll be spending the whole day today reverse engineering the particle physics work of this guy in Norway, breaking down each layer until I can fully grasp how he uses advanced mathematics to shortcut computationally intensive digital volumetrics. Here, I made this video to illustrate.


edit - fixed typo
 
Last edited:
I don't consider myself a nerd by any stretch of the imagination but I've reverse engineered HUNDREDS of screenplays over the years... If I had to point out ONE thing in particular that got me sales of spec screenplays? I'd say it was because I reverse engineered screenplays that were successful.

Do this 15 or 20 times and you'll begin to SEE exactly why some structural events are placed exactly where they are placed in order to elicit the best possible emotional response from a reader and hopefully--eventually, an audience.

But as @Nate North said... I do it but I don't share what I've found. LOL. I'm never trying to convince anyone of anything. Sure, I will always defend my point of view but in the end? It's just MY point of view.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
revenge of the nerds GIF
 
I apologize, I meant the term Intellectuals.

I like the scientific approach:)
I think it is very complicated to be 100% original in writing a script and have it be entertaining, I just am simply not that good of a writer.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I apologize, I meant the term Intellectuals.

I like the scientific approach:)
I think it is very complicated to be 100% original in writing a script and have it be entertaining, I just am simply not that good of a writer.

You don't want to be 100% original.
You want to be like.. 30% original.
 
Lol, I'm not sure anyone is so great that they don't need education. Mozart and Chopin both took piano lessons, learning the scales and compositional structures of those that went before. Even the world's most famous prodigies started that way. In terms of scripts specifically, Sorkin started off in theater early in school, refined his craft as a writer for stage, eventually achieving a Broadway hit with "A Few Good Men". That story was picked up for a film, at which point he transitioned into a lengthy career writing film and television scripts.

Point is, everyone is "standing on the shoulders of giants" and most people go through multiple "stages" of education before creating the works that retroactively define them. No one should look at education as cheating, or the need for it as evidence that they are not talented. Talent is typically just a "magical thinking" word for industrious people that retained focus and applied themselves over a long period of time.

When I used to teach guitar lessons in the Silicon Valley for extra cash, one of the most common experiences was to have people come in for one lesson, try to play the instrument for 30 minutes, and then declare that they "just weren't good at guitar". I had to explain to them that Jimi Hendrix wasn't any good at guitar after 30 minutes either.
 
Last edited:
I apologize, I meant the term Intellectuals.

I like the scientific approach:)
I think it is very complicated to be 100% original in writing a script and have it be entertaining, I just am simply not that good of a writer.
!00% original screenplays are called Non-Derivative Screenplays and it's easier to find Big Foot.
Besides, these days investors demand financial comparisons to at least three existing films. They runaway at the word "original".
 
!00% original screenplays are called Non-Derivative Screenplays and it's easier to find Big Foot.
Besides, these days investors demand financial comparisons to at least three existing films. They runaway at the word "original".
Thanks for reply, I find the financing very interesting, I just watched this clip the other day and was curious of your thoughts on the comments for “Moonfall” (scroll to 4:28)

How can a movie get such a huge budget, if as the narrator on looper says it’s a massive mountain to climb to match the 150 million dollar budget lol

Sorry to get off topic, is it because the original Independence Day did so well in the 90s they think they can generate the same income?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
moonfall looks like it would be cool to watch in 3d in a movie theatre.
and if its a cgi spectacle like that then its probably aimed at a chinese audience and will make a lot of money over there.
 
Thanks for reply, I find the financing very interesting, I just watched this clip the other day and was curious of your thoughts on the comments for “Moonfall” (scroll to 4:28)

How can a movie get such a huge budget, if as the narrator on looper says it’s a massive mountain to climb to match the 150 million dollar budget lol

Sorry to get off topic, is it because the original Independence Day did so well in the 90s they think they can generate the same income?

Thanks
Yes, that's the thinking. We the viewers are brain dead sheep as far as the financial end of the Industry sees it. If we bought it once, we'll buy it again. And it gets worse.
I have a horror film that I can shoot for half a million with a couple of C or D list Actors already on board and a B lister to star. But investors aren't interested in a $500,000 budget. However, by raising the budget to $2 mil, I can get meetings all day, the thinking being that half-million dollar films rarely make any money, but $2 mil films do well almost every time. And they care about this stuff more than they care about the script. It's crazy.
So my non-union film is going union, just to raise the cost. And the vehicles I was going to rent are going to be purchased. Hotel rooms upgraded. Heck of a way to do business!
 
Yes, that's the thinking. We the viewers are brain dead sheep as far as the financial end of the Industry sees it. If we bought it once, we'll buy it again. And it gets worse.
I have a horror film that I can shoot for half a million with a couple of C or D list Actors already on board and a B lister to star. But investors aren't interested in a $500,000 budget. However, by raising the budget to $2 mil, I can get meetings all day, the thinking being that half-million dollar films rarely make any money, but $2 mil films do well almost every time. And they care about this stuff more than they care about the script. It's crazy.
So my non-union film is going union, just to raise the cost. And the vehicles I was going to rent are going to be purchased. Hotel rooms upgraded. Heck of a way to do business!
Dude, your reply is a movie in itself! I know that might come across as cheeseball, but damn, The grit of the game! I am one of those dudes that sees the stories in the edges of shit, and damn lol. That is a effin story lol

Again, off topic, just loved the reply/story. Thanks
 
Last edited:
Top