Lauri’s Screenwriting Blog

Guess which genre makes even more money than horror?

From the NY Times:

‘Earlier this week Forbes had an article on the return on investment on this summer’s films, noting that some have still not collected box office grosses that exceed their original production budgets. “R.I.P.D.,” for example, cost $130 million to make, but has earned shy of $50 million at the global box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

The horror movie “The Purge,” on the other hand, cost $3 million to make and has grossed nearly $80 million worldwide. That’s a box office return more than 26 times the original cost. The Forbes article then observed that “Horror films are definitely Hollywood’s best bet in terms of turning a profit.”’

It turns out that documentaries make even more money!  But the data is skewed because the study only takes into account movies that made at least $ 2 million — which rules out a lot of docs.

Action and adventure movies, despite their popularity, are last in terms of ROI.  Even behind westerns, ahem.  They make tons of money when they hit big, but most of them also cost tons of money, so it’s much harder to turn a profit.


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You’ve Never Heard Of This Woman And She’s Basically The Most Important Person In Movie History

I just learned about this woman who made the first narrative film, ran a film studio, and made 1000 movies.

Alice Guy-Blaché was a woman of firsts. She did so many awesome things for movies and as you’ll see, just about no one has heard of her. That’s a travesty. The fact that this woman who made history was completely forgotten made me emotional for a full 8 minutes, much to the consternation of everyone around me.”  There’s a kickstarter campaign to make a documentary about her.

More about her here.

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Gender flipping in Hollywood

From A Mighty Girl and Ms Magazine:

“This summer has been abysmal in terms of women playing leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters but, as Holly Derr writes in Ms. Magazine, “Jodi Foster has a leading role in the new action movie Elysium. How’d she score it? Foster makes a point of having her agent specifically seek out leading-man scripts that can be flipped. Her role in Elysium was originally written for a man.”

Role gender-swapping is rare, Derr maintains, due to the fact that “American storytelling is still driven by the assumption that is at the heart of the Western canon: The male experience is the universal human experience, whereas the female experience is specialized, driven by biological factors, the absence of which prevents men from being able to see themselves in female characters.”

Ultimately, Derr asserts “Gender-flipping introduces the possibility that women can represent the human experience, leading eventually to more parts written for women that do that. As more creators include women characters who are complex and universal, more people will realize that this makes entertainment better, not worse. Eventually, we won’t even be surprised by it.” – Ms. Magazine

About half my scripts have female leads and half have male leads, but they all have strong and interesting female characters.  Who would want to write (or read, or see) any other kind?


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A blog of one’s own


My scripts have been couch-surfing at the Amazon Studios site for a while, but I figured it was time they had their own place.  So here it is.


The home page image for this site was artfully customized by Clint Robertson, a Photoshop DaVinci who also secured the rights to use the original photo of the Loew’s Theater in Rochester, New York.


The 1930 photo was taken by George Mann, a 6’6” vaudeville act star and screen actor with IMDB credits stretching from 1933 to 1977.  His act — “Barto and Mann” — is listed on the original Loew’s marquee.  You can see more of his wonderful pictures (including many of theaters) here.



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