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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."
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November 14 2005

Buffy is Shane Black's favorite modern TV show. "It's just so well-crafted, and they care so much about it."

This is two weeks old, so if someone already posted it, I apologize. I didn't see it.

Shane Black and Joss are pretty much my two favorite modern screenwriters. I was already happy to hear that Shane had enjoyed Serenity, so this is just icing on the cake.

On a related note, I was a little worried at Screenwriting Expo this weekend when Joss said he didn't like witty asides in scene description, because Shane Black pioneered that stuff. He didn't specifically say "I don't like Shane Black's work," however, so for now, I'll just believe that he does.
Neat link, I enjoyed his perspective.

Bonzob, I do have a question. What do you mean by witty asides in scene description? Is that like "Scene: batchelor pad, two day old peanut butter sandwiches lie uneaten on the couch. Like mother used to make." or something totally different?
So what else did Joss say at the Screenwriting Expo?
Strange, given the witty asides in Buffy episodes... even by Joss himself.

Exhibit 1:

No, really! Actual England. Not like that cheesy Istanbul."

Exhibit 2:

(from Anne)
"Carey (Production Designer) and David K (Set Decorator) blow their entire budgets for the year, and Gareth (Producer) can be seen in the corner weeping."

Couresty of the Buffy Trivia Guide:

Except, maybe, those examples aren't meant to be witty and we're simply reading into them. Joss will do that to you, he'll say something and you think its all funny, then just realise he's just being serious. That's what men who wear hawaiian shirts do to ya. Bastards.
Maybe Joss wasn't being entirely serious when he said that.
Shane's answer to question 7 seems particularly apposite in light of the mishegas around Serenity's U.S. box office performance and marketing. I've bitched about this kind of thing for years, but he did it from a more insider perspective that's great to read.
I haven't checked the expo thread, but yes, the moment Joss said he didn't like witty asides, I immeadiately thought of some of the moments listed above. What he said about those was that he started putting them in his scripts because basically the only people who were reading his scripts were his friends - i.e. he wasn't trying to sell them, he was just giving them to his writing staff. He then said that his wife reminded him that he had once said he hated that stuff, and he soon stopped doing it.

The reason he brought this up was because he was talking about a script bringing a movie to life, and that when someone reads a script they should be able to feel the rhythm of what it will be like on film. He said that putting in jokes that only the reader is going to get, and will never be seen, disrupts the flow and takes the reader out of their film-imagining state.

The classic example of Shane Black doing this was in his original Lethal Weapon script, where he described a bad guy's mansion as "the kind of house I'm gonna buy after I sell this script for a million dollars."

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