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iwannamakemovies's avatar

Making a Comedy/Psychological Thriller. Good or bad idea?

Asked by iwannamakemovies (233points) April 3rd, 2011

So the series is about teens in a foster home. And it was originally a comedy, but I think the character backgrounds and character traits could give a sort of psychological thriller element to it. Since this hasn’t really been done before (everything has subtle jokes in it, but this would actually be categorized as comedy) would this be a bad idea? Or for that same reason, is it genius?

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21 Answers

iwannamakemovies's avatar

Just to thoroughly define what a psychological thriller is..

marinelife's avatar

It seems like a bit of an odd combination, but if done well, you could pull it off.

Randy's avatar

I’m picturing The Mothman Prophecies meets Step Brothers only set in a foster home. To best describe my reaction, I feel like you’re asking me if I want spaghetti sauce on my ice cream. Ya know, maybe it would be good but it seems… weird.

Joker94's avatar

It’s all in the execution.

It might be a difficult thing to balance out. What type of comedy are you trying to explore exactly?

WasCy's avatar

You know, this will never come off if you try to write some kind of ‘genre’ script. It’s going to be nothing but dreck.

Write the story, whatever it is, and let someone else try to put it into a genre or category. Your task is to write the damn story. If you persist in asking for advice on how to ‘tweak it just so’, then it’s going to be a waste of other people’s time, too. Just write the story.

Zaku's avatar

Could be good…

lifeflame's avatar

Why not. Go for it!
Humour goes well with so many things – and there are so many different types of humour, and for so many different purposes. Can be dry, can be used in dialogue to show the discrepancy between the protagonist’s external life and internal world, can be visual, can be witty, can be used to break the tension…

Wait… you said comedy. Well, why not. I think it can be done. Yeah!

iwannamakemovies's avatar

Dark comedy, irony, awkward situations, and blunder.
And for everyone else, I think the direction I wanna take this is more of a Comedy/Drama/Mystery but with lots of emphasis on character

gailcalled's avatar

Haven’t either you or your brother asked several versions of this question before?


Go somewhere quiet and start writing. Discussing various concepts with the collective gives you conceptual material which is very different from a screen play. Too early also to toss out the word “genius.” Besides, that is not for the author to decide.

See: This This

iwannamakemovies's avatar

@gailcalled This question is on the same topic as most of my previous questions. That’s because this is the project am currently working on. However, this question is different from the other questions because it doesn’t ask what the best pilot would be, but it asks if the genre I’m heading for is risky or just not good. I knew, while I was typing this question, that using the word “genius” would get critique. But the idea of this could be one or the other… It either sucks and shouldn’t be attempted, or is gold and should be used. That’s how I look at it. You’re free to bias your answer to the original question just because my opinion sounds conceited. But I’m only looking constructive answers and not critique on the question itself or my fluthering skills.

gailcalled's avatar

I repeat, start writing something. All these questions are stalling tactics, otherwise known as writer’s block.

Learn the difference between “criticism,” “to criticize,” and “critique.” They are not synonymous.

Any good writer must be a wordsmith. And any good writer must write something. It is a lot easier to fine-tune or criticize or rewrite a screen play that is on paper.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

I have written stuff. But it is comedy. And I’m asking fluther if it would be absurd to make it a comedy/thriller… I get why you’re saying not to turn to your opinions, because I’m not being productive by not writing. I’m in the pre-writing stage, which for most of you, I assume, doesn’t exist. Opinions are never bad. I just want your opinions.

mrmijunte's avatar

@WasCy Great answer. That’s the kind of mistakes the Weinsteins do all the time.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

@WasCy That would be a great answer if it was just one story. But it’s a series. And there’s 2 ways I could do it. I’m asking what it should be like. Should it be a regular comedy? Should it have some psychological thrill and drama and mystery as well as a ton of comedy? Which one would make this series more appealing? Again, it would be an amazing answer if it was ONE story.

gailcalled's avatar

@iwannamakemovies: Do not write any more rebuttals. Start writing your screen play this minute. Don’t waste your creative energy. You can fine-tune the thing after you have something down on paper.

Ach, too late. You are repeating the same questions. Try to understand that you have gotten the best answers you are going to. Now, get started. Comedy, thriller, drama, mystery…that’s a lot to ask of one series. Read @WasCy‘s answer one more time and then say “good-bye” to fluther.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

1. This question is on the same subject of the other questions, but it is asking something completely different.
2. You’re not even reading anything I type.
3. It’s not ONE screenplay. It’s a series. Try to absorb that fact rather than mimic it.
4. You’re refusing to answer my question. You’re just saying this is a bad question and I shouldn’t ask it. How about you tell me whether or not it would work. Whether or not it’s a good idea. You’re doing what everyone does in an argument. You criticize the way I say something or my word choice.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

I’m disgusted at the ignorance of these answer websites.
In the situation I’m in, this is just a pre-writing stage, which is overlooked by many writers. This stage develops characters and the series’ concepts. I know it sounds ridiculous to you, but I’m not gonna write anything yet (I’ve written stuff, but then I remembered the pre-writing stage, so now that stuff is junk). So right now I’m developing the show’s concepts. And the show’s genre is just a guideline for where I take those concepts.

Kardamom's avatar

Anything could work, but not unless you have excellent writing. You need more than just a genre too. You need to know in your heart of hearts what is the premise of this tale you want to tell. What is the reason that you came up with a tale of orphans in foster care. Unless that idea was just completely random (and if it was, you’re kind of out of luck) then there must have been some kind of interesting premise in you or your brother’s minds when you came up with the idea. How do you want the viewer to feel or react or be moved by this story?

Think of tv shows and movies that have moved you, or meant something to you. What did you like about them? Was it the dialogue, the actual unusual/or odd story? The good looks of the actors? The chemistry and identification with the romantic characters? The brilliant comedy? The twists and turns of an excellent mystery? The incredible moral of the story that became clear at the end? Does a bunch of really interesting stuff happen to the kids, but there’s a huge un-expected twist at the end? Is it a feel good movie? Or is it a movie that portrays gritty, harsh realities? You need to figure it out.

You need to have more than just a simple idea before you can progress. And hopefully you looked at some of the answers on your brother’s threads to see that the “idea” of foster kids and orphans has been done repeatedly. So if you’re going to continue with that idea, you need to have a really fantastic premise as well as excellent writing. It doesn’t really make any difference what genre it ends up becoming, you have to write it the other way around.

Everybody that has answered, and answered repeatedly is giving you excellent advice. If you think everyone is ignorant and you are disgusted, then maybe you should try going to film school and you can pay for the same answers instead of getting them for free. Or get 20 of your closest friends together and brainstorm for a few months and see if that helps.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I like the concept. I also think the kids should fight evil.

iwannamakemovies's avatar

Thanks, @Kardamom
Now that’s a real answer!
Paragraph 3 and the last sentence of paragraph 4 says what I needed to say. There IS a pre-writing process. But something else I wanted to get across was the reason I’m asking what genre it should be. It could go one way or the other. The adventures, twists, structure, theme, voice, and main focus of each episode depend on which way I’m taking the series. Do I wanna make it more of a thriller or do I wanna focus on the comedy with a comical plot? Paragraph 2 of your answer is the first to recognize that fact. Of course I’m not gonna make it strictly fit a genre. I’ll still have creative freedom.

Poser's avatar

I agree with Gail. Sounds like you just want to make a movie, but you don’t really care what it’s about. Great movies, books, stories, start out with an idea. The author has something to say, and he says it in a really great way. It sounds like you don’t have anything you really want to say, and you aren’t sure how you say it. And you get angry when people point that out.

There are lots of movies out there like that. They go straight to DVD.

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