Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Script doctor says demons are good for box-office ... sometimes

When you head to the theaters to see all the cool flicks this summer, do you ever think about the process it takes for them to get there? Many films, even some of our favorite paranormal ones, are subject to data crunching and tedious analysis.

The New York Times recently broke down this new trend in "script evaluation." For a mere $20k, a "script doctor" with a name straight out of The Godfather, Vinny Bruzzese, and his team of analysts will look at your script and determine which clues it holds for box-office success.

Our favorite find involves demons in films. Former statistics professor Bruzzese reveals, "Demons in horror movies can target people or be summoned."

"If it’s a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it’s summoned," he adds. "So get rid of that Ouija Board scene."

As for super heroes, Bruzzese says, "A cursed superhero never sells as well as a guardian superhero" ... like Superman.

These script doctors are making some screenwriters unhappy in that the creative element seems to be compromised and may result in a bland product.

Bruzzese doesn’t apologize for his focus on financial outcomes, and states, "I understand that writing is an art, and I deeply respect that."

"But the earlier you get in with testing and research, the more successful movies you will make."

Of course, understandably, many writers view Bruzzese's craft as an enemy to creativity. But some writers are all for it and one Oscar-winning writer actually had a positive experience with the process and was shocked that he received the best notes ever on his draft.

So what do you think of the over-analysis of a creative product in order to turn a profit? With the all competition in the entertainment industry, it’s a zombie-eat-zombie world!

-Larissa Mrykalo