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Subject: "'90s "urban crime flick" - I NEED YOUR HELP!" Previous topic | Next topic
Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 01:21 PM

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"'90s "urban crime flick" - I NEED YOUR HELP!"


  

          

I don't usually talk about my career here. It seems to me the folks who spend all day on the internet talking about their career have work that shows just that.
But I gotta share this.
I'll be as detailed as I can.
I gotta keep names out.
Please don't ask me who they are.
So I do a lot of writing (like the name WORDMAN didn't give it away) and I've got work with CLIENT. We're shooting around ideas. CLIENT: "I want to do something black." Wordman: "groan." Because any time you hear someone say this, regardless of race, it has a high potentiality to go south. CLIENT is black, so I know what CLIENT is "trying" to say. We shoot around some "black" ideas.
I approach writing jobs like I approach graphic design jobs: what does the person want - give them that.
It comes down to two ideas.
1) project on jazz music.
or
2) an urban crime flick.
Take a moment and note the irony, of a black hollywooder, trying to decide on a new project, choosing between the two.
CLIENT is all about the urban crime flick.
Wordman: "You mean another black people shooting black people movie?" CLIENT: "Nah man, I'm talking about a crime, gangster thing. You know, but it takes place in the hood." Wordman: "A black people shooting black people movie." CLIENT: "Nah man, I'm talking about the kind of shit they used to make in the '90s. Like New Jack City and shit." Wordman: "Sigh."
CLIENT is the same individual who complains about the "lack of opportunities provided for blacks in Hollywood." (work with enough hollywooders and you'll hear it so much you no longer believe their sincerity). I remind him of this fact. CLIENT: "Yeah, but Nino Brown son!" Wordman: "Sigh."
Now I have the "urban crime flick" script 80% finished. I'm not one to compare scripts (because most folks - writers included - don't read scripts, they just see the movie), but it's as good if not better than any since the "golden era" of urban crime flicks. CLIENT will love it and get right to work on it. Now the jazz jawn is around 40% finished. I'm trying to buy myself some time and show this cat the light. Help me out and post some titles to remind CLIENT that just because we have some money doesn't mean we have to move backwards. We could actually - GASP! - do something new.
The '90s Black People Shooting Black People Movie Post.
PEACE




"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
NEW JACK CITY
Jun 11th 2009
1
RE: '90s "urban crime flick" - I NEED YOUR HELP!
Jun 11th 2009
2
Not being black,
Jun 11th 2009
6
NEW JAZZ CITY -- make it happen
Jun 11th 2009
3
ha
Jun 11th 2009
7
Bluez in da Hood
Jun 12th 2009
15
      It's bigger than B.B. King
Jun 15th 2009
19
maybe NEW JAZZY DRIVE
Jun 11th 2009
4
Just don't release it at the same time as the Sticky Fingaz flick
Jun 11th 2009
5
I have no say on the release of films I write
Jun 11th 2009
8
      I'm just fuckin witcha fam. Good look either way tho.
Jun 11th 2009
10
           ahahahahaha
Jun 11th 2009
11
David Simon is doing an HBO series on Jazz in N'awlins
Jun 11th 2009
9
I was this close to telling him
Jun 11th 2009
12
      now THAT would have been hilarious!
Jun 12th 2009
16
           trust,
Jun 12th 2009
17
                RE: Laugh to keep from crying, my man...
Jun 16th 2009
21
Black Sci-fi opera
Jun 11th 2009
13
Can an epic black movie without black cliche work?
Jun 12th 2009
14
      Remake of brother john
Jun 15th 2009
18
           this is one I've seen some interest in
Jun 15th 2009
20
                It could work - Chedale or Underwood
Jun 19th 2009
22
                     oh yeah, it could work
Jun 20th 2009
23
                          Solid - keep me in the loop. Thanks.
Jun 21st 2009
24

Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 01:25 PM

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1. "NEW JACK CITY"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

arguably the quintessential '90s black people shooting black people movie.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Tiggerific
Member since May 24th 2007
13451 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 01:44 PM

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2. "RE: '90s "urban crime flick" - I NEED YOUR HELP!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It sounds like to me that your client doesn't realize that we hear and watch enough of that ish. We want to see something new. I like the sound of a jazz flick. But, maybe its just me.

I get tired of seeing movies that primarily show nothing but black on black crime like that's all we do as black people. Hell, I grew up in Flint. I saw enough of that stuff. I see enough of it on the news. Now that I'm grown and want to pay for entertainment, the last thing I want to see is some black folks shooting black folks.

"We don't make mistakes, we just have happy little accidents" - Bob Ross

"I'm wearing a MSU Tshirt because I went to MSU, you are wearing a UM Tshirt because you went to Walmart!" -unknown.

http://bjsquirrelchronicles.blogspot.com

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 04:05 PM

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6. "Not being black,"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

when I make this comment it comes off to h'wooders as "progressive" or "Who is this white boy trying to fool?"
When I make the comment that "There are plenty of black folk who are tired of this." I get the "Yeah, but they don't pay to see Spike Lee movies." or "You're white, you don't know any white people." Because apparently this is 1936.
But I will be sure to pass along your sentiment.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Matinho
Member since Sep 02nd 2006
9498 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 01:55 PM

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3. "NEW JAZZ CITY -- make it happen"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

______

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 04:06 PM

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7. "ha"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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KnowOne
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39824 posts
Fri Jun-12-09 08:18 AM

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15. "Bluez in da Hood"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

nm

_________________________________________
"Too weird to live.... too rare to die..."

PS+ ID: KnowOne215 | XBL GamerTag: KnowOne 215

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Mon Jun-15-09 09:03 PM

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19. "It's bigger than B.B. King"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Matinho
Member since Sep 02nd 2006
9498 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 01:55 PM

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4. "maybe NEW JAZZY DRIVE"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

______

  

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jigga
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31583 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 03:36 PM

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5. "Just don't release it at the same time as the Sticky Fingaz flick"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

That's bout to do some serious 'bers

Not sure there's gonna be enough room on the shelf for both flicks.

Then again...

That shit wouldn't come off the shelves if a fuckin earthquake hit the city (c)Mad Skillz

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 04:08 PM

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8. "I have no say on the release of films I write"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

Plus his jawn is already filmed, or at least that's what I heard. I don't know, no offense to dude, but I'm checking for a Sticky Fingaz movie like I'm checking for a new Onyx album.

>That's bout to do some serious 'bers

I doubt that in the highest.

>Not sure there's gonna be enough room on the shelf for both
>flicks.
>
>Then again...
>
>That shit wouldn't come off the shelves if a fuckin earthquake
>hit the city (c)Mad Skillz

BWAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I haven't played that album in a long time.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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jigga
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31583 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 04:58 PM

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10. "I'm just fuckin witcha fam. Good look either way tho. "
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

>Plus his jawn is already filmed, or at least that's what I
>heard. I don't know, no offense to dude, but I'm checking for
>a Sticky Fingaz movie like I'm checking for a new Onyx album.
>
>>That's bout to do some serious 'bers
>
>I doubt that in the highest.
>
>>Not sure there's gonna be enough room on the shelf for both
>>flicks.
>>
>>Then again...
>>
>>That shit wouldn't come off the shelves if a fuckin
>earthquake
>>hit the city (c)Mad Skillz
>
>BWAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I haven't played that album in a
>long time.

You should write in a scene with that happening in your next flick. Just have an earthquake happen at some random point a la Knocked Up or Magnolia. Then...

*Cue to a Blockbuster Video Store*

The floor is littered with every DVD in the store. You can't even see the carpet.

*Pan to the only non-empty shelf where a single copy of "A Day in the Life (Beta)" is firmly planted amongst the ruckus*

Scene

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 05:36 PM

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11. "ahahahahaha"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          


>You should write in a scene with that happening in your next
>flick. Just have an earthquake happen at some random point a
>la Knocked Up or Magnolia. Then...
>
>*Cue to a Blockbuster Video Store*
>
>The floor is littered with every DVD in the store. You can't
>even see the carpet.
>
>*Pan to the only non-empty shelf where a single copy of "A Day
>in the Life (Beta)" is firmly planted amongst the ruckus*

Blockbuster employee: "Oh wow. The only movie still on the shelf is Soul Plane."


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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avionix
Member since Sep 24th 2007
498 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 04:43 PM

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9. "David Simon is doing an HBO series on Jazz in N'awlins"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

in two years that well written jazz script is gonna be worth it's weight in gold. save it for yourself and write friday set in a pawn shop for dude-- oops! (x xxxxxxx xxx, smh)

such a sad thing, these urban films.

or tell him that Milk was nominated for an Oscar. Juice, on the other hand...

#mistycopeland

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 05:38 PM

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12. "I was this close to telling him"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

"This shit is bigger than Nino Brown." but at that point I was afraid the analogy would have been lost on him.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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avionix
Member since Sep 24th 2007
498 posts
Fri Jun-12-09 11:37 AM

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16. "now THAT would have been hilarious!"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

and it sounds like it would have been a WHOOSH! moment as well

#mistycopeland

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Fri Jun-12-09 04:06 PM

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17. "trust,"
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

those moments aren't funny when they actually happen.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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avionix
Member since Sep 24th 2007
498 posts
Tue Jun-16-09 04:41 PM

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21. "RE: Laugh to keep from crying, my man..."
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

I'm feeling the Brother John remake idea also. Religious market has proven itself sustainable. Re-do that joint but give it a darker/urban setting.

Angels in movies land in the suburbs or the wide open country. But where are our poor, huddled, masses? Isn't that where an angel should land?

Have him come ashore as a dark-skinned Cuban in Miami. No family, no papers, his background is suspect. He finds work and completely whiffs on the romantic advances of his attractive/single-mom coworker for some comedic moments.

He gets to know her and her kid who's in remission. The kid, being close to death, can "see" peculiar things about the guy. By circumstance, he's asked to babysit the kid for the day and ends up taking said kid on a magical tour of the city.

He brings inanimate things to life, makes birds kiss, etc. The kid, convinced the dude is magical, gets himself in peril and our hero angel has to save him...all while keeping his true identity hidden.

Mom and Angel's relationship grows. She's falling in love, he's trying to keep at bay. When her awkward advances finally reach a boiling point, he levels with her..."I'm an Angel." She's completely confounded.

Her kid gets sick and he goes to bat for her against the insurance company/boss. Stakes are high, money is low, chances of the kid surviving the stalling on health care are slim.

The angel sits this one out, moms is pissed like, "Why don't you save him? why doesn't God save him?" he can't tell her, doesn't know, won't say, whatever. he's now fulfilling his mission...he's been sent to see if mankind is worth saving. and he wants to know, in the absence of miracles, if man can have a heart and save each other.

They lose the insurance appeal and have to rely on the community for assistance. The people around her support the kid and the Angel's faith in mankind is renewed.

Simple. Corny. Dollar signs.

#mistycopeland

  

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Squad
Member since Feb 02nd 2008
883 posts
Thu Jun-11-09 10:13 PM

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13. "Black Sci-fi opera"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Something like Star Wars or Star Trek with black folks in it. Gotta come with something new and on a scale never done before with black folks. That is what I'm trying to see. It doesn't even need to be a sci-fi flick. It needs to be an epic black movie without all the black cliche. Can a film like that even work?



http://aptemalclothing.com/Home_Page.html

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Fri Jun-12-09 12:47 AM

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14. "Can an epic black movie without black cliche work? "
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

Yes and no. A lot of it comes down to definition.
What's "BLACK"?
What's "CLICHE"?
What's "WORKS"?
"BLACK" - On some "for us, by us" shit? I say possibly, but probably not. It's that line Denzel said in Mo' Better: "If we had to depend on black people to eat, we would starve." No one checks for Spike Lee's movies, even fewer check for other black directors, which causes a lot of black directors to not even be interested in doing "black" work. The only "black" films that "work" ("work" by h'wood standards) rely on those cliches and stereotypes.
"CLICHE" - Technically, the "black version of _________" movie is a cliche. But I can say this. I'm noticing a change, a change I hope I'm at the vanguard of, from "We can do it too!" then to "We can do it better!" and now towards "We can do something else!" So I believe yes without cliche is possible, if for no other reason than that sentiment.
"WORKS" - To me, this is the biggest linchpin. Because "works" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. A film "works" if it finds its audience. But if that film's audience is only a few people, then the film "didn't work". I believe there's an audience for say, a black independent indie ala that new movie coming out starring the nice guy from The Office. Is that audience large enough to sustain/warrant a studio putting in millions of dollars? Probably not. This is the single biggest thing holding up black movies. Because a minority of a minority, in all likelihood, won't generate returns. It's the same reason there are no major h'wood films of/about Native Americans, why there are no women action flicks, and why they don't make stereotype-free black movies. The cats in charge do not see the profit.
Personally, my interests lie in my nephew. I would like him to grow up, see the films I was part of, and not feel ashamed that this is what paid his college tuition.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Raised under Reagan
Member since Oct 10th 2007
3789 posts
Mon Jun-15-09 08:13 PM

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18. "Remake of brother john "
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

______________________________________

http://controversy.wearscience.com/img450/devil.gif



http://www.gifflix.com/files/a5ce6cf63c93.gif

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Mon Jun-15-09 09:09 PM

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20. "this is one I've seen some interest in"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

movies like "The Preacher's Wife" with Denzel and "Michael" with John Travolta. Small in scale, but worth it.
I'll put it front of some people and see what they say.



"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Raised under Reagan
Member since Oct 10th 2007
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Fri Jun-19-09 03:58 PM

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22. "It could work - Chedale or Underwood "
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

______________________________________

http://controversy.wearscience.com/img450/devil.gif



http://www.gifflix.com/files/a5ce6cf63c93.gif

  

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Wordman
Member since Apr 11th 2003
11224 posts
Sat Jun-20-09 04:43 PM

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23. "oh yeah, it could work"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

they've made enough similar movies that have turned a profit to garner interest somewhere.
Maybe if I have time after New Jack City 6 and Let The Music Die, then I'll give it a shot.


"Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand." Saul Williams

  

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Raised under Reagan
Member since Oct 10th 2007
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Sun Jun-21-09 04:03 PM

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24. "Solid - keep me in the loop. Thanks."
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

______________________________________

http://controversy.wearscience.com/img450/devil.gif



http://www.gifflix.com/files/a5ce6cf63c93.gif

  

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