Thursday, 22 May 2014

How to tell if your movie title is shit

This is how movie titles are created today: a puppy is covered in glue and fed a bottle of bourbon, then let loose in a room full of pieces of paper with random words on. After ten minutes, the puppy is released and whichever words are stuck to it are then arranged into order by a blindfolded chicken and divided midway by a colon to form the title.

As if evidence were needed of this improbable claim, along comes the unwelcome announcement that Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel follow-up (thus far referred to simply yet excitingly as Batman vs Superman) is to be officially and, frankly, stupidly, known as Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Hot on the heels of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Dawn Of The Planet Of The ApesTransformers: Age Of Extinction and The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Snyder's title is proof that it's time someone put a stop to all this nonsense without further ado.

And so, in order to alleviate this blight on cinema marquees, bus stops and life in general, I have helpfully come up with ten basic questions for filmmakers to ask themselves in order to determine whether or not their film's title is shit. I trust that this will become a standard text in every filmmaking handbook, and hope to God that I never have to give a film a title and announce it on the internet.

How to tell if your movie title is shit

1. Does your title actually make sense?
a) It makes perfect sense
b) Yes, if you're familiar with the comic book run on which the film is loosely based
c) No idea, I assumed it was a clever metaphor or something
2. How exciting is your title?
a) The Empire Strikes Back exciting
b) Noah exciting
c) Salmon Fishing In The Yemen exciting

3. How long is your title?
a) 1-3 words
b) 4-6 words
c) More than six words

4. How many times does the word "OF" appear in your title?
a) None
b) Once
c) More than once
5. Does your title contain a colon?
a) No
b) Yes, because it's part of a series
c) Yes, even though it's not part of a series

6. How do you feel saying your title out loud?
a) Cool
b) A bit silly
c) I would never in a million years refer to the film by that title out loud, least of all when requesting a ticket for it at a cinema

7. When you say your title to another person, how do they react?
a) They don't react at all
b) They ask me to repeat it, only more slowly
c) They look confused and ask for dictionary definitions of the words I just said
8. If your film is part two of a series, how have you denoted that in the title?
a) Not at all
b) With a "2" or a "II"
c) With the word "too"

9. Is your title a pun?
a) No
b) Yes, but it's a good one
c) Yes, it's an Alvin & The Chipmunks movie, it has to be a pun by law

10. Does your film title contain the words "Die Hard"?
a) Yes, but those are the only words in the title
b) Yes, twice in fact. Plus the number 2 and the letters E and R
c) Yes, cunningly integrated into a phrase which may or may not make sense

How did you do?
Mostly 'A's: Your title is fine.
Mostly 'B's: This is the first title you thought of, isn't it? Ponder some alternatives.
Mostly 'C's: Your title is shit, fuck off.

1 comment :

  1. So people will now say "2 tickets to the new Batman movie please".
    Seems like a demotion for poor old Supes, just when he was getting started