The bigger the gap between public and private
the more unlivable life becomes.
The tale of a breast crazed Victorian hypnotist
who gains the power to control minds but loses his own.
Horror, History & Hooters
Why aren't more of these sex comedies being written? Because today rich men date poor women, black men date white women. In L.A. black men date white men! This lack of mystery or conflict makes for a more caring world but lets the air out of modern sex comedies. Will they sleep together? Duh! Of course!
That's probably why almost all new sex comedies are teen comedies. Only teenagers still wonder what sex is and if they will get some. The Bodice Ripper solves this problem by putting the sex comedy in the past. Back then there was still romantic conflict to be had and prudery was popular. So a period sex comedy capturing Something About Mary's adult humor audience stands to do boffo B.O. in the English speaking world among teens and under 40. Add special FX and action to interest the foreign language markets and voila!
Plus, as you'll see, the script gets around conventional problems with mixing horror and comedy and the violence/nudity can be kept moderate enough to potentially earn a PG-13. And since I'm a computer animator in features I've written every scene with digital cost cutting techniques in mind.
PROBLEMS MIXING HORROR AND COMEDY
This is not a story about Jack the Ripper , a tired subject ripe for parody. Unfortunately horror and comedy are mostly incompatible. Too much comedy and the characters become cartoonish. The audience stops caring about them or being scared. Excessive blood or horror and the audience is too nauseated to laugh at misfortune. The Bodice Ripper has an additional problem: RAPE IS NOT FUNNY!
That's why the Bodice Ripper only wants to publicly cut open women's brassieres, squeeze their big breasts and run away. The audience knows his victims are in no real physical danger. That makes it much easier to laugh. It also underscores that rape is at its heart a psychological attack and the Bodice Ripper is mentally crushed by his Victorian setting. His world is so uptight that he can't do what he wants and this helps push him over the edge. The repercussions of violence are dealt with in the script as well. The victims are shown to be psychologically scarred by the attacks. Brutality has consequences. Fortunately after brief dramatic pauses the comedy quickly resumes freshly charged by emotion.
Bloody horror enters the script palatably without vicious stabbings. No one in the story knows it but the Ripper's attacks raise the victim's blood pressure. If they are hypnotized too quickly they get nosebleeds afterwards. This allows plenty of blood to be spilled (especially in teaser trailers) without much violence. Nosebleeds are also an injury anyone can relate to. Being stabbed is not. So even though a nosebleed is less painfully dramatic than a stabbing it can actually create a much stronger psychological effect because nosebleeds have happened to everyone.
There is true violence and horror in the movie, don't get me wrong. There are two hangings, a high fall/impalement, a torture scene, a huge fire, an aerial chase, bats, werewolves, hallucinations and more ending in an attack by real life's Jack the Ripper! He's jealous!
"R" IS FOR "REDUCED B.O."
Most movies of this type earn an "R" rating for violence, language and/or nudity. This cuts out the lucrative under-17 market that makes up the core opening weekend. This reduces Monday morning B.O. hype, good word-of-mouth and potential repeat viewers (who skew young). My script fights this problem several ways.
NO FOUL LANGUAGE: The Bodice Ripper script uses the word "damn" twice and "hell" twice. Not much more cussing than in Gone With The Wind. People just didn't talk like that back then. Or, at least, we don't like to think they did. Also, careful use of archaic British slang like "bristols" for "breasts" flies right past censors, intrigues the audience and adds period detail. Nevertheless topics like rape, drug abuse, homosexuality, anal sex, infidelity, prostitution, sex organs and especially boobs are discussed, but with Simpsons style finesse not clumsy Adam Sandler crudity. Too bad foreign markets love dirty talk because "Fuck" translates. That's why this movie has plenty of slapstick, pretty talent, big half naked boobs, action and FX for non-English speaking viewers.
LIMITED GORE: As mentioned previously blood is present in multiple scenes but comes mostly from nosebleeds. The most graphically violent act, a fall and impaling, is seen from afar through a telephoto lens. This makes for a more extreme effect on the audience when it finally happens, as opposed to numbing the audience with endless gunplay, explosions and red meat. The hangings and torture in the movie are blood free.
LIMITED NUDITY: Although there is a semi-naked striptease musical number there is very limited nudity, namely the occasional brief sight of naked breasts (some of which are rubber prostheses). Whether this will be enough at release time to prevent an R rating in about five years from the notoriously nudity-phobic ratings board remains to be seen. Nevertheless Titanic showed naked breasts and stayed PG-13 and that was several years ago.
There are also running themes in the movie that mitigate fears the film will mock women or show women as helpless victims. Women are shown defending themselves when men will not help. They are shown running their own businesses. The lack of women's rights in the Victorian period is also commented on. This moral stand may help mitigate the more flamboyant aspects of the script and earn it a PG-13. However it would be easy to market the movie at first as obnoxious and women-hating in order to get feminists upset and gain free publicity.
CUTTING COSTS WITH COMPUTERS
Within three years video games will become as realistic as Television and within five years video games will become as realistic as movies. This is about to totally change the production dynamic in Hollywood and make elaborate FX films like mine vastly cheaper to produce. Shots will be created in a videogame like environment in real time not rendered tediously frame by frame as I made the opening shot. Stop motion animators and puppeteers will revel in their new powers in this virtual world but location scouts and state film commissions will find it harder to get work.
Unfortunately even talky period pieces demand expensive locations and they don't have FX and action as TBR does. That's why I've written the script from the ground up to use state of the art digital cost saving techniques while avoiding things computers don't do well. The script has three major FX needs: hypnotic eyeball effects, crowds and sets/props (including animals).
I'm developing mesmerizing 3D hypnotic eye effects. Once that look is finalized it can be reused over and over, reducing costs. The 3D files needed could be emailed to any Lightwave house in the world. They would apply it each background plate.
Crowd scenes have always been costly in the past as they involved hiring lots of extras and renting large theaters or stadiums. Now digital crowds are common. In fact, most movies now err on the other side and make crowds and stampedes TOO BIG in the name of spectacle. The opening of Universal's The Mummy featured a ridiculous number of men on horseback running impossibly close together. Very fake. The three or four crowd scenes in The Bodice Ripper were designed to be easily simulated by duplicating live and digital extras inside mostly virtual sets.
Period pieces always benefit from big, fancy sets that give a sense of scale, history and spectacle. That once meant costly matte paintings, expensive locations and huge backlots. My script makes use of extensive digital back lots as seen in the opening shot animatic to heighten reality. No more static matte paintings with small bits of movement. Now craning cameras sweep through huge expanses of city and everything moves, from people to clouds to birds, just like real life. No more logistical horrors at some expensive location. Now some shots can be done completely in the computer. Small practical sets can be extended. That means a modest Dickensian back lot anywhere in the world could be dressed for the required shots. No need for huge soundstages either. The script makes as much use as possible of the physical sets built, so different scenes occur on the same set, saving construction costs. I've scripted most outdoor scenes at night which also limits the need to show too much. And if the British government doesn't like the way I'm gluing a breast and nipple on the Albert Hall or making Big Ben look like a penis what can they do about it? Cameras were never on London streets and and images of Big Ben or the Albert Hall are as much in the public domain as the Statue of Liberty.
Best of all, dramatic weather, unique props and animal performances can be completely computer generated, limiting expensive downtime on set when mechanical FX fail or beasts refuse to "act," saving money and maintaining crew sanity. Of course computers on the set or in post can break down too but the cost of relying on technology is much smaller than the cost of doing things the old way. Paying two animators for a hundred days is cheaper than paying a hundred people for two days. Plus, prop libraries can provide the artists with dozens of ready made 3D set pieces at low cost.
"ALWAYS A PLUS" Script Elements
Actual humor still funny out of context in trailer snippets
"ALWAYS A PLUS" Production Elements
Sexy Extras (Sextras)
GLOBAL MARKET SCRIPT ELEMENTS
Flushable, flying toilet cam
ADDITIONAL ENGLISH SPEAKING MARKET SCRIPT ELEMENTS
Speaking Characters: 69
Unique Locations: 51