“Action, Sex, Violence, Hollywood Zen”

To write a box office hit screenplay, you
should do some research first before you
decide to write a screenplay. Passion for
your subject matter plays an integral role
in the writing of your screenplay, but
common sense dictates that you put certain
elements in your screenplay if you want to
sell and get your screenplay produced.
Otherwise, it will be an exercise in futility
as far as getting optioned, selling and/or
getting produced.

If you research the kinds of genres that
have been the largest Hollywood box office
hits, you will see that action,
violence and sex, however subtle these
elements may be in these films, dominate
the box office.

According to FilmSite.org’s listing, the all-time
greatest box office hits are:

1. “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
2. “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977)
3. “The Sound of Music” (1965)
4. “E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
5. “The Ten Commandments” (1956)
6. “Titanic” (1997)
7. “Jaws” (1975)
8. “Doctor Zhivago” (1965)
9. “The Exorcist” (1973)
10. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)
11. “101 Dalmatians” (1961)
12. “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)
13. “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1959)
14. “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983)
15. “The Sting” (1973)
16. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
17. “Jurassic Park” (1993)
18. “The Graduate” (1967)
19. “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)
20. “Fantasia” (1940)
21. “The Godfather” (1972)
22. “Forrest Gump” (1994)
23. “Mary Poppins” (1964)
24. “The Lion King” (1994)
25. “Grease” (1978)
26. “Thunderball” (1965)
27. “The Jungle Book” (1967)
28. “Sleeping Beauty” (1959)
29. “Shrek 2″ (2004)
30. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
31. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969)
32. “Love Story” (1970)
33. “Spider-Man” (2002)
34. “Independence Day” (1996)
35. “Home Alone” (1990)
36. “Pinocchio” (1940)
37. “Cleopatra” (1963)
38. “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)
39. “Goldfinger” (1964)
40. “Airport” (1970)
41. “American Graffiti” (1973)
42. “The Robe” (1953)
43. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
44. “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956)
45. “Bambi” (1942)
46. “Blazing Saddles” (1974)
47. “Batman” (1989)
48. “The Bells of St. Mary’s” (1945)
49. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
50. “The Towering Inferno” (1974)
51. “Spider-Man 2″ (2004)
52. “My Fair Lady” (1964)
53. “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952)
54. “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978)
55. “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)
56. “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”(2005)
57. “Back to the Future” (1985)
58. “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002)
59. “The Sixth Sense” (1999)
60. Superman (1978)
61. Tootsie (1982)
62. “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977)
63. “Finding Nemo” (2003)
64. “West Side Story” (1961)
65. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
66. “Lady and the Tramp” (1955)
67. “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977/1980)
68. “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)
69. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)
70. “Rocky” (1976)
71. “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946)
72. “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972)
73. “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
74. “Twister” (1996)
75. “Men in Black” (1997)
76. “The Bridge On The River Kwai” (1957)
77. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963)
78. “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960)
79. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)
80. “M*A*S*H” (1970)
81. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)
82. “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002)
83. “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
84. “Aladdin” (1992)
85. “Ghost” (1990)
86. “Duel in the Sun” (1946)
87. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)
88. “House of Wax” (1953)
89. “Rear Window” (1954)
90. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997)
91. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)
92. “Spider-Man 3″ (2007)
93. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)
94. “Sergeant York” (1941)
95. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000)
96. “Toy Story 2″ (1999)
97. “Top Gun” (1986)
98. “Shrek” (2001)
99. “Shrek the Third” (2007)
100. “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003)

Examine each one of these films for sex,
action, and violence. They are present.
Locate these elements in each film.
Utilize what you discover for your own
screenplay and you will enhance your
chances for success. Otherwise, find
another job, or write simply for the
sheer pleasure of writing.

It’s that basic.

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC

http://www.donvasicek.com

dvasicek@earthlink.netsbox o

About Donald L. Vasicek

Award-winning writer/filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek studied producing, directing and line producing at the Hollywood Film Institute under the acclaimed Dov Simens and at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. He studied screenwriting at The Complete Screenplay, Inc., with Sally Merlin, daughter of the famed Hollywood Merlin family of screenwriters and writers, as his mentor. Don has taught, mentored, and is a script consultant for over 300 writers, directors, producers, actors and production companies. He has also acted in NBC’s “Mystery of Flight 1501”, ABC’s Father Dowling starring Thomas Bosley, and Red-Handed Productions’ “Summer Reunion.” These activities have resulted in his involvement in over 100 movies during the past 23 years, from major studios to independent films including MGM’s $56 million “Warriors of Virtue”, Paramount Classic’s “Racing Lucifer”, American Picture’s “The Lost Heart” and “Born To Kill” starring the Charles Bronson of Korea, Bobby Kim, and his internationally-known brother, Richard, who directed, Incline Productions, Inc.’s “Born To Win”, 20th Century Fox’s “Die Hard II” starring Bruce Willis with Rennie Harlan as director, and Joel Silver as producer, Olympus Films+, LLC’s “Haunted World” with Emmy-nominated PBS Producer Alison Hill, and Olympus Films+, LLC’s “Faces”, “Oh, The Places You Can Go” and the award-winning “The Sand Creek Massacre” documentary film. Don also has written and published over 500 books, short stories and articles. His books include “How To Write, Sell, And Get Your Screenplays Produced” and “The Write Focus.” He has been a guest screenwriting and filmmaking columnist for Hollywood Lit. Sales, Moondance International Film Festival’s e-zine, Screenwriter’s Forum, Screenplace, Screenplayers.Net, Screenwriters.Net, Screenwriters Utopia, Spraka & Kinsla (Swedish), Inkwell Watch, and Ink On the Brain. Writing recognition includes Houston’s WorldFest International Film Festival, Chesterfield’s Writer’s Film Project, Writer’s Digest, The Sundance Institute, The Writer’s Network, and the Rocky Mountain Writer’s Guild, Inc. Don completed producing “The Sand Creek Massacre”, a documentary film project that includes the completed and award-winning documentary short, a book, a classroom video, Interactive Media, a study guide, and a lesson plans. The film is being distributed by Films Media Group. Don is on the board of directors of the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston. He is the founder and owner of Olympus Films+, LLC, a global writing and filmmaking company and a screenwriting volunteer on AllExperts.com. Don’s screenwriting agent is Robin Kaver of the Robert Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc., 1501 Broadway, Suite 2301 New York, NY 10036, 212-840-5751.
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