Domingue Inc & Elon Musk to make Catholic/Jewish movie

Domingue Inc

Domingue Inc & Elon Musk Catholic Filmmakers…

Elon Musk

In Los Angeles, Domingue Inc & Elon Musk are looking to bring Tobit, a modern comedic Jewish family adventure spec by professor/scribe Ed Harris. The Pic will be produced by Domingue Inc, through his Amsterdam Ink Society, along with Elon Musk and Adam Sandler’s Entertainment Group.  They will be represented by Agency For The Performing Arts and Tobit.

Ed Harris Tobit Writer

PREMISE: Tobit is an observant Dutch Jew living in Amsterdam. He lives correctly, giving alms and burying the dead. In spite of his good works, Tobit is struck blind. Concurrent with Tobit’s story is that of Sarah, daughter of one of Tobit’s distant relative, whose seven successive husbands are each killed by a demon on their wedding night. When Tobit and Sarah pray to God for deliverance, God sends the angel Raphael to act as intercessor. Tobit regains his sight, and Sarah marries Tobit’s son Tobias. The story closes with Tobit’s thanksgiving and an account of his death. This is actually a Jewish short story possibly dating from Persian times in some Bibles is the book of Tobit, named after the father of its hero.

TITLE: Tobit (script download)

ACTORS: Mel Gibson invovled in Tobit movie!

GENRE: Religious drama, Jewish drama, drama.

TIME: 1920-1040

SETTING: Amsterdam, Neatherlands

MARKET: USA, International

MORE INFO: blog post about Prison Screenplay at Happy Madison

Queen & Country Screenplay Download (.pdf)

Gross-Weston Productions Inc & Tom Welling

Moreover, the producer, who is paying the superstar millions of dollars (more than s/he is paying you!), does not want to buy anyone a free lunch. The producer wants you to work the tail off the superstar.

The point is this: with a superstar playing your main character, the rules change. Superstars want Big Roles. They do not like to be off screen for five, ten minutes at a time.

As you write, cast your hero with a well-known actor or actress. Now in this exercise, forget about any realistic possibility that such a superstar will actually play the role in your movie. That’s not the point now.

Cast Yourself a Superstar

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Therefore, the evolution of format has been in the direction of removing directoral power from the screenwriter. This process was gradual. After specific camera directions dropped out of accepted format, general directions replaced them. Instead of technical terms like “DOLLY SHOT,” writers would describe the same thing in more general language: “the CAMERA MOVES along with them as they walk down the street.”

Taking Power from the Writer

Someone should write a book on the evolution of screenplay format. It’s a fascinating subject. I remember looking into screenwriting some thirty years ago and quickly abandoning it because screenplay format was filled with technical jargon that I was too lazy to learn. Terms like “TWO SHOT” and “DOLLY SHOT” were everywhere. In those days, the screenwriter contributed to directing the film by including in the script precise directions for how the camera would shoot the scene. However, directors went ahead and did what they wanted to do, regardless of “in script” direction, so format change was inevitable in order to make the screenplay a more clean and efficient “blueprint for a movie.” Directors, not writers, were going to direct the film and format was bound to change to reflect this reality.

Then why the confusion? For three major reasons: first, screenplay format has evolved in major ways over the years; second, established writers tend to use whatever older format with which they learned the craft; and finally, published screenplays are shooting scripts, not spec scripts, which contain significant format differences.