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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Does This Really Surprise You?

I read an interesting post over at the blackactor blog today. She was saying that when a black film is a shambles, folks are quick to jump on the actors or the directors. But does anyone look at the real foundation of these travesties? I must admit that even I don't really think about this one that much...the screenwriters should be held up to the magnifying glass more than anyone, really, cause they are the genesis of the bs. And we wonder why these films are so out of touch with "us"? Take a look at this and even Stevie Wonder can see it:

The Screenwriters

When I read The Invisible Woman’s Top 10 Worst Black Films of 2007, it got me to thinking. Since film is a collaborative effort, there may be been several people responsible for these “worst films.” I was wondering who wrote them. When a film is successful, the director usually (or the actors) get all the credit and when it’s a disaster, often the actor takes the blame. But there are others involved. Here, we highlight the screenwriters of some of IW’s Top 10 Worst Black Films of 2007.

Are We Done Yet?

Apparently this film was a remake of a 1948 film entitled, “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.” Screenwriter - Hank Nelkin (white Jew)

I Think I Love My Wife

Screenwriter I - Chris Rock

Screenwriter II - Louis C.K.

Code Name: The Cleaner

Screenwriter I - Robert Adetuyi (who also wrote Stomp The Yard)

Screenwriter II - George Gallo

Who’s Your Caddy?

Screenwriter I - Don Michael Paul

Screenwriter II - Bradley Allenstein (also wrote "Juwanna Mann")

Screenwriter III - Robert Henny

First Sunday

Screenwriter – David E. Talbert

From IW: This explains so very, very much about "Who's Your Caddy?" I cannot believe it took 3 people to write that, but I guess it takes that much brainpower to think of the hundreds of stereotypes involved with that movie. And tho there's no picture of Bradley Allenstein, I think it's pretty safe to say he is a white Jew.

And btw, tho David Talbert is black, he was the king of the black play/coonery/chitlin' circuit waaaay before Tyler Perry. He singlehandedly set us back to Jim Crow with some of his projects in the 80's and 90's, and seems to be up to his same shenanigans going into the new millennium with "First Sunday".

It is a shame that in 3 decades we haven't really come that far on who is writing "our" stories. Almost all of the black films in the 70's, blackexploitation especially, were written by whites, the majority white Jews.

Let the madness stop folkses! I get emails from many an "unsold screenwriter". Please, I'm begging you, please solicit the hell out of your s--t!! Like I said to another blogger the other day, Cathy Hughes, one of my idols, who is now the head and owner of TV One and Radio One, was rejected 32 times before the 33rd person believed in her and her proposals. If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is. Step it up y'all...get out there!


Debo Hobo said...

So true, the actors portray what the screenwriter creates. Just as they should get their fair share of the new media money so they too should get the blame or credit if a film is brilliant or crap.

Well written post and I love your new look:)

MrsGrapevine said...

Some of these movies were just bad ideas from the jump. In this case we have to blame the executive producer for even making the decision to bring these particular screen plays to the big screen. I can guarantee they turned down millions of good ones to dig out the most stereotypical because they feel it would make more money.

Nicole said...

Hey, I've been lurking for a while now.

From looking at the pictures, I SEE what you mean but I also think that it's ultimately the director's/producer's vision that hits the screen. Once written, the script is, literally and figuratively, out of the screenwriter's hands - it's my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that once a studio owns a script, they can make changes at will. So, what may have been good, or at least okay, on paper was lost in translation later. And as someone else said, some of these were bad ideas to begin with, for which I blame producers. What's worse, the producer who will only buy subpar writing that appeals to the lowest common denominator, or the screenwriter who gives the producers what they want in order to pay rent? I mean, just look at who makes the money in Hollywood...the actors, the directors, the producers; the number of screenwriters who earn millions is very slim.

Anonymous said...

Yep. A script is just a blueprint. And rewriters, directors, producers and actors can change this blueprint. Nevertherless, it is worthwhile to at least know who they are. One could compose a similar post about the directors and producers of these projects. It was important to highlight the screenwriter though. Because it begins with him or her. Not only that, one might argue or question the screenwriter's motives. Who is he or she bending to? When you set out to write a script, you have a sense of your motivation. Am I writing what I want to write - sale or perhaps no sale? Or am I going to write that which will be saleable, commercial? In my view, it is worthwhile to examine all the culprits - the actors, the directors, the CASTING DIRECTORS, and certainly the screenwriter. At the end of the day, it is still his or her voice being heard loud and clear.

As for Talbert. Didn't know that. Learn something new erday! Thanks for sharing.

Chocl8t said...

IW & BlackActor...thanks so much for giving this "non-industry" outsider the real skinny on this foolishness. It explains SO much! So it begs to question...where are the black screenwriters, other than Tyler Perry & David Talbert?

asha vere said...

Well, there's John Ridley, of course. And Angela Nissel. And author Stephen Barnes has some screenplays to his credit, I think.

And a few others, at varying levels of success.

Yeah, I definitely don't want to blame the screenwriters only, because there are so many points at which these things go wrong.

Except for when it comes to Wayans brothers movies. I always blame the Wayanses -- and only the Wayanses -- for that mess.

Regina said...

Hey IW,
Maybe you should have David Talbert come on by your spot and do an interview, that may be pretty interesting!

@ asha vere,
I so agree about the Wayans! There are no words, other than TRAVESTY...

Blessings, Regina

justjudith said...

ok, iw, i think i'll dust off my scripts and get back at it in 08. if barack can run for president and have a shot at winning, i should be able to sell a script. although, i won't cross the picket line!

coloredgirlswhohaveconsidered said...

...surpised no!
...angry yes!
Look it, after Steven Spielberg was chosen for the Color Purple I've become numb to anything.

MrsGrapevine said...

Congrats, you are #61 on the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. I am #105.

MrsGrapevine said...

I'm sorry you are #61 out of #602. Wow!!

Aura said...

I'm stopping by for the first time, and I really like your blog. As a past TV & Film student, I really enjoy your posts. I think I'm going to come by more often and start some trouble.

Femigog said...

Amen! I have to agree with you completely on this! When I got free passes to First Sunday I turned them down because I just couldnt see another film that makes asses of us. I suffered through Norbit for crying out loud and I have had my fill of jokes about fat black women, gay choir directors and brothers ducking and dodging a decent days work! I am never going to stop trying to get my writing published and performed no matter how many rejections I have to entertain I am not dumbing down my work. I love us too much for that.