You Explode Filmmaking: Phase 1b

OK, so you’ve submitted some concepts for your big break in the business. Here’s what we’ve got so far (I have added my comments—in italics—to each idea, but remember that this is ultimately YOUR decision):

Mikhail gives us the first idea:

1) The main character is reliving conversations or events in their life in an introspective grey void. Maybe he/she died.
This could work, but the visuals in this film, being so spare (there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, though), would be entirely subordinate to the story. This one would require a highly effective script and powerful performances.

Ethan has two ideas:

2) A man is paid to tempt an honest person into sin, and then kill them, thus sending them to hell.
This could be interesting, but the spiritual angle gets old after a while. I’ve been working on movies dealing heavily in spiritual iconography for a year and a half now, and quite frankly I’m tired of it. But if this one is what you guys want, I’ll do it, of course.

3) A contradictory adaptation of a parable.
Ethan’s idea originally specified this as a biblical parable, but I’m broadening it to include any parable, fable or other moralistic tale. I like the idea of rebutting a story that we all see as being unerringly true, but again, the script will need to be tight. Not as tight as with idea 1, necessarily, but tight nonetheless.

I was hoping to get more concepts than this, but since you didn’t deliver I’m going to cut loose and offer up an idea of my own:

4) A love story with teeth.
I suppose I should have offered up an example concept such as this at the beginning, but this is a learning process for us all. I put this up because I think there’s great story potential here, and yet is open-ended (remember that YOU ALL will be writing the script, not me). If you pick this one, you’d better have some ideas about the actual plot.

So there you go. I was going to set all this up with a nifty poll, but the plugin is having seizures so instead I’ll just have you vote with your comments and I’ll tabulate them by hand. One vote per person. Also, please feel free to use the comments to lobby for a particular concept, either by expounding on its merits or pitching your script ideas. Try to avoid threats, unless they’re constructive (and yes; there IS such a thing as a constructive threat. I should know because I’ve used them).

Vote away! And please, invite your friends, family, and distant relations to join in the fun! The more people we have involved, the better the end product will be!

(If you don’t understand this project, please take a look at “You Explode Filmmaking: Phase 1” for more details. And then come back here and vote.)

20 thoughts on “You Explode Filmmaking: Phase 1b

  1. I vote for number four. I like the other ideas, but other than Rapture (shudder with pain) we’ve never done anything with a love story. That and I feel like this type of thing might appeal to a broader audience. I realize that an audience isn’t necessarily the intention here, but I’d like to see something with more entertainment and less philosophy, but still with that classic EXGFilms flair.

  2. Greg, Rapture was NOT a love story (despite having the phrase “A Love Story” in the title); rather, it was just a big pile of stupid.

    And you should DEFINITELY think about the audience. After all, YOU are the producers, and so of course you want the film to be successful, and often the best way to do that is by appealing to a broader audience.

    So that’s one vote for #4: a love story with teeth. Keep ’em coming!

  3. ‘Love Story With Teeth’? Sounds like ‘One Hour Photo’, except the protagonist obsesses over dental records instead of smiling family vacation photos.

    Your bicuspids radiate with the reflected fire of the fluourescent lights of my office, your head reclined at the perfect angle to gaze deep into your tonsil-free throat, I burn with passion like mint dental polish on your swollen cracked lips.

    Yep. I like the stalker/medical-practitioner angle.

    As for Ethan, I’m sorry, but you’re becoming predictable. All this anti-religious metaphysical nightmare shit was fun for about the first eighteen months, but now that you’ve stopped including taco and moose jokes in your tales of doomy woe, the only writing of yours that I can stomach are your brilliant yet ass-raped articles in the Silver Quill.

    I DO like #1, but I also advocate the original idea being written by its inspirator, so I’d like to see Mikhail go crazy on his own ideas.

    AND SO: dividing the one idea I like by the other one, my vote is cast for idea 1/4: ‘African dictator Idi Amin searches for his lost puppy in downtown Chicago’, filmed on location and starring none other than the neurotic, anti-actor Andrew G. Gingerich!

    No budget for costuming? Black paint is cheap.

  4. Evan, that was… I’m not really sure what that was. But we ARE trying to do serious work here, and it would be nice if you would actually comment on the ideas and not resort to rather personal attacks. And did you know that Andrew’s middle name is Dwayne (though maybe not spelled that way) or was the “G” intentional?

  5. Agreed, Greg.

    Evan, I’m putting you on notice. Either get involved or get out of this thread.

    And administrative note: voting will end on Thursday the 26th, and writing will begin. We’ll be collaborating through the free program Celtx, which is available at

  6. I would vote for Number 2. If it’s done correctly so that this man manages to gradually turn the people into sinners then it could work well. I do have plenty ideas of my own though.

  7. I would go with number 4. Mostly because I want to see what you could do with a love story. Maybe throw in a couple of zombies. yeah, that would be nice. But seriously, my vote is for number 4.

  8. My vote goes to combining my idea and Andrews. As mentioned, the description is sort of vague, and (if I get the use of “with teeth” here as meaning “unpleasant”) a love story where one party is dead could indeed be unpleasant.
    But if we can;t do that, my vote is for #4.

  9. By “with teeth,” I just meant something with an unconventional edge to it (but it can mean whatever you want it to mean!). I think it would be possible to meld a little of #1 into #4, but let’s wait to finalize such ideas until the voting is over.

    As I’m a true romantic at heart, I would urge leaving a kernel of the prototypical love story in the film, but that doesn’t mean it has to be in any way conventional (and again, it’s not my decision, just my request. Think of yourselves as my employers).

    As it currently stands, we’ve got 3 votes for #4 and one vote for #2. Keep ’em coming–and keep pitching ideas! What are some characters we might see in the story??

  10. The G WAS intentional; I was explaining my motivation for NOT selecting prompts 2 or 3; I expressed my desire to see Mikhail act on one of his own, more impressive premises (the fact that we have only two people writing for ExG is a little sad, considering our talent pool); I expounded on the first concept that came into my head with respect to prompt #1 (and spouted some badly-composed pseudo-love poetry to illustrate a more facetious interpretation of the theme); and Idi Amin is currently being portrayed in a new film that will probably never see the light of Fort Collins day (although I doubt if it involves chasing a dog through an American metropolis).

    As for putting me on notice, Arin made a pretty fucking explicit request for ZOMBIES IN A LOVE STORY. Server space is cheap, Andrew. If you don’t like my posts, edit the fuck out of them but don’t give me some crap about overstepping my right to say what I want.

    And as for serious business, Greg, You haven’t done anything with film since Wholesale, and your last comment was a confused interjection about how I = you. Comment all you want, but don’t claim to be doing anything more relevant than the rest of us.

    AND SO, since Andrew couldn’t accept my double-endowment of both #1 and #4, I AM IN SUPPORT OF A SCRIPT BASED ON EITHER #1 OR #4.

    You’re fired, Andrew.

  11. No need to get snippy, Evan.

    You can only vote for ONE concept. I cannot count a vote for “either #1 or #4.”

    The point of all the recent nonsense machinations around posting is that this blog ISN’T a dictatorship, and I’m not going to edit or delete your posts unless you leave me no other option. Quite frankly, I’d much rather you’d just be conscientious about what you post where, and I am requesting that the “You Explode Filmmaking” threads remain on-topic We’re making a film here, in case you didn’t notice.

    As for the supposedly lackluster content, you’re not in a position to complain. Where were YOUR ideas, you mercurial genius, you?

    Finally, I’m not sure what you mean by “server space is cheap,” but it actually isn’t So don’t get any ideas.

    Now take all that energy you’re putting into composing an indignant reply and put it to good use pitching plot and characters! Go! Go! Go!

  12. This is my first comment (!), so my vote should count for two.

    I think #2 has the most interesting premise. By far.

    I wonder if a man trying to get someone to do an evil deed is too much like a man going out and doing good deeds to screw with his friend, though. So, I dunno. I think #2 deserves to be an Exploding Short. But I wonder if it would be too influenced by the recent success of “Selfless Self-Indulgence” if it were undertaken now. I don’t know if I’m making sense. How many “You Explode” Films are you thinking of doing, Andrew?

    Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I’m leaning towards the love story. I would be tickled to see (and, truth be told, be in) a romantic comedy on crack.

    Just spitballing here:
    You know Don de la Fontaine’s “Land where love is against the law”? How about a film where love IS the law? An authoritarian dystopia founded on the principles set forth in Hallmark greeting cards, where plush toys with truncheons patrol the streets, looking for any signs of misanthropy? They take all offenders to the Hall of Tough Love, where they are forced to listen to John Lennon’s “Love Is” at unhealthy, spine-vibrating volumes until they lose all will to hate.

    Oh my gosh! As they say on the internet, “w00t!” I’m voting for number four!

    -Sean Cummings

  13. Considering that we don’t have a script (since we are still pandering around debating which concept has the most merits), I wonder what justification you have for assuming the attitude that we are currently doing anything other than pandering around, waiting for someone to write something worthy of commiting to film.

    So I’m doing something about it, Goddammit.

    On Tuesday, October 31, I WILL POST a short script on this site. If you decide it has merit, then you are more than welcome to develop it into a short film.

    As for the voting, the tally (as I understand it from the above posts) is as follows:
    Prompt #1: 0 votes
    Prompt #2: 2 votes
    Prompt #3: 1 vote
    Prompt #4: 3 votes
    Since my input (#1 and #4) was rejected by Andrew, Patron Saint of Time-Wasters, I will hedge my bet for #4 (at this point, #1’s prospects are not good), even though I just floccinaucinihilipilificated the entire election process.

  14. Bravo, Evan! I admire your initiative!

    To the rest of you: it looks at this point like Evan will be getting the lead writing credit. IS THAT THE KIND OF WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN?


  15. 1) The point is that this is a COLLABORATIVE effort. We are debating the merits of each idea because that is what this project is all about.
    2) I thought that we’d write collaboratively using celtx, rather than have one person write a script and post it (though I don’t oppose that as a different project entirely).
    3) Quite frankly, I’m upset about your attitude, Evan. I don’t appreciate personal attacks, and every time I read one of your posts I feel like you are speaking from a pedestal. If this is how this project is going to work I’m not going to be involved. This is not meant as an attack but as a statement of my displeasure.

    I appologize to everyone for this comment, but I felt that it needed to be said. Have fun.

  16. Greg, what Evan is writing is not the final script. It is a CONCEPT script which can then be modified by the larger group. You, too, are free (and, in fact, ENCOURAGED to write one, as is everyone else). This is a jumping off point; a way to pitch ideas, and a way to BEGIN developing a cohesive plot.

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