Going Hollywood?

Usually when someone says that something has gone Hollywood they mean that it’s “sold out” (changed its core ideals to conform to the mainstream to have more mass appeal and in turn make more money).  I find it funny that when the ultimate pop show, American Idol, lets someone know they passed the audition they say “You’re going to Hollywood!”  I also find it sad that I know that without having actually seen an episode of American Idol in my life.  So is the nature of pop culture being shoved down our throats.  BTW, I’ve been to Hollywood, several times in fact, and it is not something to squeal out of joy or jump up and down about.  It’s a very trashy town, although it is exciting to bump into celebrities, it’s probably less exciting to be killed in the crossfire of gangs or accidentally step on a junky’s infected needle laying out in the street.  The last time I was in Hollywood was the day Michal Jackson died.  I could tell you some stories!

I’f you’ve been reading I’M FAMOUS! you’ll likely know that going Hollywood is a central theme of the comic.  This is true in the sense of selling out that I mentioned and a literal plot point about moving from Detroit to the LA area.  Here’s a small spoiler for you, skip to the next sentence if you don’t want to know…Lone Wolf and entourage finally get on the plane in the next comic. One question I’d ask is “Does the Lone Wolf actually have enough integrity to even be considered a sell out, or is he morally bankrupt from the start?”  Also consider the side characters when you look at this theme.

In  a situation of life imitating art Alex and I have begun work on a Black Snow movie.  If you followed the Twitter or Facebook you know there was quite a bit of buzz about this a few weeks back.  Well, it’s true.  The outline is complete and we’ll be starting on the script very soon.  You may remember, but in case you don’t, I have a BA in Film from UC Berkeley, so working on a Black Snow movie feels like it’s a pretty natural progression to me.  Check out my YouTube Channel.  I’m very happy with the outline and think it would make a great movie.

What’s it about?  It’s based on the comic books, but it’s a totally original story.  It features most of the main characters and plenty of original characters as well.  We debated whether we should adapt the comic’s story or go with something new, and opted for the latter.  I didn’t want to be a slave to what we had already done, and I think this is where a lot of  comic book movies get hung up.  They stick to things that don’t translate well to film, try to cram too many things in, and worry to much about fan service.  We didn’t want to get caught up in any of that.  We also realized that we’d change a lot of things if we were to start the comic book over again.  So we took this opportunity to reboot some things.

Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t change everything.  Most things are still the same, and there are plenty of nods to the comics.  What we really tried to do was focus on the essence of the comics and streamline it.  So what’s the movie actually about?  I don’t want to reveal too much, but if you read the comics you can probably guess where it’s set, what the tone is, and who the main characters are.

What kind of movie is this?  Not animated, as several people have asked.  It’s a big bucket live action blockbuster, like many other summer comic book movies.  My main concern when adapting the comic to this format was that I was fundamentally changing what I like about the comic by turning it into something more straight forward and epic.  The comics play a lot on the mundane life of a real world, not very good super hero, and are pretty weird when it comes to tone and plot.  Not the best attributes for a feature film, thus the need to change some things.  It’s still a concern, but I think we’ve handled it well, and much of the comic feel will come out as we start to write scenes and dialogue.  A big difference between this and writing an issue is that I wrote the outline by myself, based on ideas Alex and I had discussed, whereas the comics are more of a collaborative effort when it comes to plotting.  He confided to me that I am better at writing plot and actions than him, which is understandable as I’ve taken several classes on it.  He’s  more about the dialogue, and that’s where he shines.  I should have realized this when he made me write all the fight scenes in the comics.

So, are we selling out?  Alex and I often joke about how we’d love to be in a position to sellout and cash in.  But no, I don’t think we are.  I think we’re being true to what we created.  Honestly though, I don’t particularly care if we are and don’t concern mysel with such issues.  Selling out is very much a teenage concern, and I’m a mature adult.  All I care about is enjoying what I work on, and I am.  Why are we writing this?  In the hopes that a studio will buy it and pay us a lot of money!  Oh, and make the movie and expose our creation to a much more vast audience than the paltry collection of ragtag miscreants we’ve accrued here on the net.  You’re great, but you’re small and you ain’t paying my bills.  So we’ll see you on the big screen!

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