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Topic: Please recommend books/movies for "screenwriter" son! He's driving me nuts

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Subject: Please recommend books/movies for "screenwriter" son! He's driving me nuts
Date Posted: 9/2/2007 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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My stepson is 15 and has cerebral palsy, confined to a wheelchair.  Sometimes CP patients have mental retardation; he does not (according to the school), but he is limited in his ability to think logically.  He is obsessive-compulsive and pretty much has a one-track mind.

He has decided to try to write a screenplay, which will be no small feat for him.  He loves movies and has a vivid imagination, so this is something he could do.  However, he's chosen a subject about which he knows very little.  We are white, lower-middle class, redneck, white trash.  He wants to write about the ghetto, urban black youth, gang violence.  Trying to steer him to a subject that he knows something about would be next to impossible, see above.

I'm trying to help him do some research and would like to find him some books or documentaries about current social issues that young blacks face.  Can you help me out here?  I feel stupid asking, because, hey we have a library in town.  It's just that he's bugging the crap out of me right this second about writing and research, and if I could just give him a name or some titles or ideas, it would help.  I'm worn out.

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Natasha, sorry I don't have any recommendations, but may I suggest you post your topic in Club Members Thoughts? You may get a better response over there =)

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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With the topic he's interested in, I would suggest "We Gotta Have It: Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies, 1986-2006" by Esther Iverem.

I'll try to think of some others, most of my film books deal with classics/foreign but I'll bug my other movie nerd friends for suggestions :)

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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Oh- and movie-wise he would probably be well served renting Spike Lee films and listening to the commentaries. Lee does awesome, in-depth commentaries with lots of info on the script-to-screen process. The best is probably the Criterion Collection release of "Do The Right Thing", which has a great commentary and also a wonderful behind-the-scenes of the making of the film. Good luck!

Date Posted: 9/3/2007 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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Connie, I really debated on where to post this.  I'll try CMT.  :-)

Stephanie, thank you!  Spike Lee is kinda obvious, but he hadn't even crossed my mind.  I appreciate your response.

Date Posted: 9/4/2007 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2004
Posts: 41
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I am sure you know but I doubt your son does writing a screen play is very different from writing a novel.  Average screen plays are about 90 typed pages... 

I would suggestion picking a movie you like (and wouldn't mind him reading) and printing out of screen play. 

Most major movies have early scripts posted on the internet.  They migth not be 100% the same as you see on screen, since editing and directors make changes throughout the movie but it will give him an idea what a script should look like.


This is a link of an "unproduced script"  it chance daily but will give him an idea of what it takes.

Good luck.