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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Dunking the bucket: why Dorothy was lucky

Over at screenwriting blog Alligators in a Helicopter, a few notes about why you must earn The Bucket: “The longer I read, the more intolerant I have gotten about dumb logic mistakes in scripts. There’s nothing that makes me throw a script across the room quicker… I don’t think I even realized how stupid the bucket was, until I was an adult.The bucket, of course, is the bucket of water that Dorothy throws on the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, melting her. There are so many amazing things wrong with the bucket. First of all, it has no reason being there… You’re a witch. And your main Achilles’ heel… is that water will melt you… it takes a lot of effort to avoid water your whole life.We’re talking no showers. No swimming in pools, or lakes, or skinning-dipping in the local pond. No dancing through the rain as a little girl… No toilets, because she wouldn’t want to risk the splashback… Was she limited to juice? Milk? Martinis? …But despite what must have been a tyrannical water ban… there’s a bucket of water. Just sort of sitting there…


The obvious fix is to have Dorothy learn of this, and bring a little water with her… A stoppered bottle, a prototype water pistol… even a flying monkey, that needs to pee really badly. But Dorothy has no idea. And this is the second problem. She douses the witch with the bucket accidentally, while putting out the scarecrow… Obviously, the idea is that Dorothy is really not a bad person. She’s not a killer, she just conveniently kills witches by pure contrivance… I’m more jaded now. The bucket has to be earned. I think that’s a good thing.”

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
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3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

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“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
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