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Thread: Video Vomitus: Pushing the Envelope

  1. #1
    Video Vomitus: Pushing the Envelope

    [Those of you who know how Hollywood movies and television work will not find what I am about to write shocking. Those of you – who like me – are writers who have done pitch sessions in La-La Land (or New York for that matter) will nod your head in agreement. This article appeared on my web site at www.frankscoblete.com.]

    Today’s movie and television companies want to always “push the envelope,” which means bringing something new to the screen. Trust me, I know, because I have been involved in several “pitch” sessions where I have discussed one of my scripts. In one pitch session, the pushing of the envelope was to have a character drink piss and like it. Why add that to a movie? Who the hell knows? It wasn’t needed for the story since that story actually pushed a real envelope. Just some young producer who thought drinking piss was a wonderful idea. (“Shakespeare? Who the hell wants to see Shakespeare? But have someone drink ***** now that’s something people will want to see.”)

    Usually that “new” idea or that “pushing of the envelope” is nothing more than something gross and not often shown in the past. We now see people pissing in urinals; taking dumps in toilets; rolling around on the bed or floor or drain board having sex, which is usually just an annoying interruption of the story.

    Seriously, one of the greatest sex scenes of all time took place between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.” What did you see of the sex act? Nothing. We only saw the night before and the morning after. What did you feel? Wow! In today’s redone version of that film we would have to withstand about five minutes of them sweating and moaning and Clark Gable’s mustache getting all foamy. A total waste of valuable movie time.

    And now for the latest “pushing of the envelope.” I give you:

    Vomit.

    Yes, puke, barf, regurgitation, heaves, throwing up is now the “in” thing to show. In the past decade the number of vomit scenes has become legion – in dramas, comedies, science fiction, you name it, the vomit will be flowing; it will be pouring out of some character’s mouth sometime during the film or during the series.

    Look, we all know that drinking too much can make you vomit. So show the guy heading off to the bathroom and that’s that. No, instead we have to go to the bathroom with him and see his head in the bowl as puke pours out of his mouth or we get to watch him stagger into the alleyway to throw up or to the curb on the street to release his goodies, or watch him lose it all right in the middle of the restaurant. We have to see the vomit come rushing out of his mouth; maybe some of it out of his nose. It is often white or rust colored, sometimes with flecks of what is supposed to be food.

    I will admit, a gloriously placed vomit scene could be fun but that scene might be fun in, oh, one movie or television show once every 10 million minutes.

    All right, all right, I am something of a hypocrite. I will admit that. You see, I love the blood soaked zombie genre. I even wrote a zombie novel (which stunk). Still when I go to a zombie movie, I know what to expect – blood and gore and grossness. It comes with the territory.

    But when I go to “normal” movies there is no warning of what I will see in terms of vomit.

    If they are going to do a new version of “Alice in Wonderland” but include a vomit scene then the advertisements should be changed to give us fair warning: “The New Alice in Wonderland” – this movie is rated “V” for vomit. Then you know that when she goes down the rabbit hole it is now expected that somewhere along the line she or one of the other characters (or all of them!) will be puking their guts up.

    I would like to create an anti-vomit league where motion pictures and episodes of television shows must warn us that we will be watching a vomit scene or more than one vomit scene. If they redo “Bambi,” then change the title to “Bambi: the Barfer” that will alert us.

    Okay, now that we have been vomitized, what the hell is next?

  2. #2
    Original Founder
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    I'm surprised you wrote that Hollywood was looking for something "new" because I thought Hollywood only likes to remake old movies??

    Most of the movies I go to are blood and guts movies, end of the world movies, or the world is doomed movies. It must be the sci fi connection that I crave.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

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