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Notting Hill–Why Seattle Writers Need To Grow A Pair

This Brownie Understands Relationships Better Than You.

By Detente Douchebagger

At a recent meeting to discuss the closure of the Seattle Central Community College, Tom Skerritt voiced his opinion on scripts, and how they are the most important part of the film making process. I have to agree with him.

If that’s the case then why are we so bad at it?  I know that fifteen revisions may seem over the top, but if you get a good script out of it, why not? I have done it. It’s a discipline. If you don’t have a good script you don’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell of making a good film.

I once posted a comment on Indie Club which intimated that the reason Seattle makes so many Zombie films is that local writers have no insight into relationships. I am excluding women here, because women know about relationships. Men know about Zombies.

I knew I had hit on something in the local zeitgeist because that posting on Indie Club got over two hundred responses. A passage in Hamlet comes to mind: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I had hit a nerve, and I believe I still hold the post reply record.

Back to Scripts, relationships, and Notting Hill. I met someone once who didn’t like Notting Hill. Honestly, my jaw dropped. Here was a film about relationships that was artfully written and excellently executed. It was a total success with $116,089,678 as its overall domestic gross, and a worldwide gross of $363,889,678. What’s not to like? Now that I think about it, I don’t care if you liked it.

Seattle writers and film makers should be making films about relationships: romantic comedies, dramas, you name it. But for God’s sake let’s have people talking to each other, honestly, deeply, with humor, without humor, but genuinely, in a way that seems real.

The camera sees so much. But we write so little.

I have a feeling that Notting Hill would have worked equally well with unknown actors, the writing is that genuine. If that this is the case, it could have been filmed in Seattle with local talent. To me, the “Brownie Scene” in Notting Hill is one of the best examples of writing and acting ever recorded on film.

I want you to remember one thing. Kentucky Fried Chicken sells chicken. Film makers sell films. If you want to make art, well great. Good on ya. If you want to sell films, make something people will understand, associate with, and connect to. Don’t get me going on the genre of hit man films. Now there’s a genre that should be banned in this town.

So for those of you who aspire to understand the basic essentials of relationships, love, women, and men: read this excerpt, watch this footage. I dare you to match its brilliance.

Brownie Scene, Notting Hill

An Excerpt of Notting Hill, Written by Richard Curtis

 

Detente Douchebagger is kind of involved in the Seattle indie scene and wishes to remain anonymous. I’m starting to see a pattern here.

5 Comments

  1. I’m kind of disappointed with the extremely low content of douchebaggery in this post. Perhaps Detente Douchebagger should have taken another few passes at it. Fifteen? Pshhh. Maybe what we really need is to be able to tell each other that what we’ve written isn’t good enough and needs a sixteenth edit. I really agree that the script is where it’s at, so to speak, but as we know – it’s f’ing hard to tap into that truly honest and personal drama that makes for excellent story. It’s hard (haha, I said it’s hard), but Seattle writers should keep at it. And their readers (and producers – hello? where are the creative producers that should be demanding better writing before heading into production?!)should embrace their constructive douchery and say it like it is. I sure as hell need someone to tell me when I write some shite – because you know we all love the crap we spew ourselves. Be a friend to a writer and tell them their shit stinks.
    And while I’m at it – we probably need some better acting and better directors in town too (I know all that stuff takes practice, la la la – just get your shit together). I don’t know how many more films chock-full of crap acting I can take. Vicious circle, huh?
    Balls!

    • They can’t all be homeruns in the douchebaggery department. I should put him on probation until he can come back with a truly douchey article.

      Balls, indeed.

  2. Most of the filmmakers in Seattle are talentless egotists who are better of sucking on mommy’s tit, then to be told of how out of touch they are. I am starting a new film festival: Seattle Shitty Film Fest (SSFF) now accepting the 95% of the self-loathing Seattle shorts that are made and the fake feature films which make me want to shove pens down my ears, poke my eyes out, and kick myself in the ass for showing up at another fucked up screening…wtf! There are some very good to great filmmakers in Seattle, the 5%ers who make real films: shorts, documentary’s, features that are going to festivals, winning awards, getting distribution, oh and here’s a concept, MAKING MONEY!!!

    There are very good to great acting in Seattle. The problem is fucked-up bullshit scripts and filmmakers who cast their same gang of one-dimensional, limited talent band of friends who are the pot smoking, pill popping, hard drinking, fuck buddies all on a Magical Mystery Tour, with no original thought. In the end the talented actors are probably better off then to be dragged into the cesspool of the talentless!

    WILL THE REAL SEATTLE WRITER’S AND FILMMAKERS PLEASE STAND UP AND BE IDENTIFIED!

  3. I honestly believe that Seattle thinks a great script is how a great movie is made. I don’t know anyone who disagrees with this. The problem is a great script does not make a great movie. Great movies have been made with not so great scripts contrary to popular belief. In fact to state that a great script is what makes a great movie is ignorant. A great script acted out by bad actors is crap. A bad script acted out by good actors might be good but it’s not likely. All parts of the film must have equal greatness and no single job makes the movie great or even good except maybe a great director.

    The expendables made over $400 million dollars as well and by most accounts in the film students world is total crap. The movie was practically entirely improved on the set literally using the script as a way to get all the people in the same scene. It was not a great movie but by most people I know outside the microcosm of film making it was one of the best movies they ever saw. What does box office sales really say about us as film makers. Is it really about relationships? I think so the relationship of all the departments in a movie must be done equally well.

    Hit man movies done right actually requires far more talent than righting relationships BTW. Because a good hitman movie has relationships and is more realistic than Notting Hill ever was. It also requires far more talented cast and crew but since nobody in Seattle has done one right the entire genre gets trashed. Hollywood in fact has rarely done one right. That just points out the need for better film making within the genre Zombies films included.

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