When Albert Brooks compared being a screenwriter in Hollywood to being a eunuch at an orgy, he probably wasn't talking about being a screenwriter on a summer action extravaganza. That's a sweet gig. The writers of eight upcoming summer tentpoles admitted as much during a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter. Among the notable perks:
You can tell people what to do
Kung Fu Panda 2's Jonathan Aibel says he and his writing partner had no hesitations about telling director Jennifer Yuh what her movie was about and what it should look like.He explains, "My partner and I saw our role to be there for the director to remind her at any point, 'The story point is this, that the emotion of the character is here, and even though you're dealing with these huge issues we'll be there to whisper what the character's thinking.'" That extended to visuals, too. "We had a scene where the color of the sky was a certain color," recalls Aibel "It was the most beautiful sky ever, but it made it seem ominous ... The story and the artistry all have to work together to communicate the emotion." The color got changed.
You don't have to work hard
Release dates for summer blockbusters are set years in advance, and the special effects for a specific set piece can occupy designers for months. For scribes who want the flexibility to fix glaring plot holes, that's not a good thing, but it's great if you don't want to work hard, explains Transformers 3's Ehren Kruger. "Under a normal process, [things that] would have been considered a first draft outline" become part of a blockbuster's DNA and can't be altered.