In the screenwriting world, it seems as though different folks put different value on different aspects of any property. Some folks rate the logline as critical, while others are more about the theme, and others rave about the value of “high concept” and some look only at the market value of the attachments to any property.
To be fair, every one of those considerations has importance, and everyone needs to be as rock solid and ass-kicking as possible in order to guarantee the best possible shot at profitability (and don’t even bring up the word “art” in this discussion, as moviemaking is a business, dammit, and you stand as much chance at impressing me with your noise about artistic needs and desires and you do of paying for your Big Mac with just a newly composed sonnet).
But for me, one of the things which can really make or break a project is the title. Some titles simply roll of the tongue in such a way that you smile a little just to hear them—they inspire you and intrigue you and interest you and make you want to hear more, see more, know more.
Of course, the converse can be true as well: some titles are so clunky and/or uninspired that somehow you wind up feeling exhausted after just two or three words:
I’m not going to argue that a title alone can make or break a movie—that’s a bigger debate for someone else’s blog and time—but I will say that in my opinion a good title just works.
And I still don’t have one.
At least, not for the romantic comedy I am trying to hammer into a read-worthy form.
I know the characters cold. I understand my story and outline pretty damned clearly. I have a firm grip on the tone and vibe I’m after. But so far, I have basically nothing in the way of a title. Not just “oh, I have a lame idea,” but “I don’t have jack shit for an idea.”
The title page of the current working draft still reads UNTITLED ROMANTIC COMEDY, which, as I’m sure we can agree, is likely about as inspired as a radio station broadcasting nothing but the sound of a dentist drill.
NOTE: I am not asking for suggestions, and if any are offered I’lll ignoe them and possibly even delete them, as I do not want your damned chocolate in my damned peanut butter. I’m mainly whining that I have a great big hole where a super cool ‘COME WATCH ME” kind of title damned sure needs to go.
And it pisses me off.