How to make a true Ghostbusters sequel

GhostbustersPaul Feig is working on a reboot of Ghostbusters and there are other films also in the works that may or may not be connected to the original two films. Feig has said that he could not figure out how to make a sequel work 25 years later. He also wants to have the sequel be a total origin story because he loves those. He even used Iron Man as an example, with the first film being fun because it was about the origin of the character, versus the sequel because we already know the character and what they’re capable of.

Thing is, even the original Ghostbusters isn’t really an origin story. We don’t know why the three main guys were doing paranormal research at Columbia University, or why they stuck with each other after being kicked out of the university. We don’t know their backstories or why they’re interested in the paranormal. We never see them build the proton packs, traps, or containment unit. We just know that they didn’t have any of this stuff, and then they did. And that’s where Feig’s movie could draw its’ inspiration and actually BE a sequel to the originals.

Feig wants it to be in a world that doesn’t believe in ghosts, that discovers that ghosts are real. The strength here is that, it’s been 25 years since the last major ghost related event. An entire generation has grown up since then, living without a supernatural presence that they know happened. Similar to how children today will hopefully never really understand 9/11 because they didn’t experience it, likewise the way my generation didn’t really understand the gravity of the JFK assassination.

On top of all of that, by the time of Ghostbusters 2, which was only FIVE years later, there were skeptics. This comes from all sides… at a birthday party where a kid tells Ray that his dad said they were “full of crap” and that’s why they “went out of business.” So it’s already been set up that the world won’t just buy into this. Especially in New York City, where people sitting in a restaurant barely reacted to Louis when he slid down the window outside of the Tavern on the Green.

So, here’s where the movie begins. The four women that are going to join forces to become the next group of Ghostbusters have separate experiences that lead them toward that goal. If one of them is in a ghost hunting group, it’s because they were inspired by stories they’d heard about ghosts in the past and wanted to validate that which has been deemed invalid by the science community, which calls what they do “pseudo-science” as an insult that invalidates everything they’re doing.

Whatever menace it is that arises, they wind up joining forces, discovering that the original team hung up their packs after that even in 1989, and attempt to restart that business. And when they do, that’s when they meet Ray and Winston. Ray and Winston agree to show them the ropes, and that’s when they go back to the old firehouse for the first time. It’s nearly as spider-webbed as it was in the first film. They go downstairs to a vault, and when they open the door, there they see the old Proton Packs, still ready to go.

They go on their first call with Ray and Winston, which is reminiscent of the Slimer call from the first film. After that comes a montage where our new team is going around busting ghosts. Ray and Winston serve more as trainers and advisers from that point forward.

What do you think? Would this concept work? Is this too formulaic?

Ghostbusters 3 to be All Female Team, Directed by Paul Feig, and a Reboot

Paul FeigI’ve been rolling this whole thing around in my head for the last month. Really a few months, since this was the threatened direction for the next Ghostbusters film. A film that I’ve been waiting for since 1989. I’ve wanted more Ghostbusters and now it’s actually going to happen. I’m going to get what I wished for… but you know what they say… be careful what you wish for, you may actually get it.

About five and a half years ago, I even listed Paul Feig on a post about who should direct a third Ghostbusters film. I had found a list of potential directors on a couple of sites, and added Feig to the list, so in the words of Egon Spengler, “I blame myself.” At the time, I said:

“Paul Feig is a director that was also the creator of the short lived, but brilliant show Freaks and Geeks. He’s directed many of the funniest episodes of such shows as The Office and Arrested Development. His comedy style seems like it’d be a good fit for a new Ghostbusters, as he is able to capture the feel of the 80s so well in Freaks and Geeks, which wouldn’t necessarily matter for a modern day GB film, but it would at least keep the overall feel of the series thus far intact. I wouldn’t mind seeing his name attached to the helm.”

What a difference five years makes. Feig has directed a bunch of movies that I’ve never seen. I’ve only seen about 20 minutes of Bridesmaids, and didn’t enjoy it. And now Feig loves working with women. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. The problem lies in the makeup of the team. If Feig had said that he was continuing the story with a new team that would include women, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Over the years there have been many women that have been on the team. Having a team with at least one guy opens up the property so that boys and girls alike can watch and enjoy it, and see someone that they could dream that they might one day grow up to become. Seeing someone of your own gender in a role gives you something to aspire to.

What are Paul Feig’s plans? Read the rest of this entry »

Who should direct Ghostbusters 3?

Be Kind Rewind - GhostbustersA couple of websites have chimed in with their thoughts on different directors taking on Ghostbusters 3. Now that it is actively being written, and Sony has put it on their 2011 film slate, this is an obvious question, and I thought I would add my thoughts to the mix. I’m going to comment on the choices that they list for potential directors below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Public Domain Comedy!

I’ve just learned the Wonders of Public Domain Comedy! What is PDC, you ask? Read on my friends:


It’s ten degrees funnier inside.

Congratulations on entering the Public Domain Comedy Guide.

Before we begin, though, you should all take the Public Domain Comedy Oath:

I, (state your name), do solemnly swear to uphold the good name of Public Domain Comedy as fervently as I possibly can. I promise to use my comedy loudly in public places, thereby giving my material to others as freely as others gave my material to me. I promise to laugh loudly when others engage in a showing of Public Domain Comedy, thereby encouraging them in their quest to be funny and additionally showing others within earshot that Public Domain Comedy actually works. And finally, I promise not to use my Public Domain Comedy for monetary profit of any kind. To do so would be wrong and may guarentee me Middle Act status at any number of comedy clubs across the Midwest.

There! Now you’re in!

Do you feel funnier? You will!

Here’s a FAQ:

“What is Public Domain Comedy?”

Well, Billy, “Public Domain Comedy” can be defined as any joke or wisecrack that at one time in history was funny and original but has now been so absorbed into the mainstream that it is constantly accessed by even the most unfunny of people.

Did you know …?

That you have already had an opportunity to engage in Public Domain Comedy on this page? Did you spot it? Did you do it?

Well, if you, when taking the pledge, instead of actually stating your name said the phrase “State your name” and then chuckled to yourself …

Congratulations! You just dabbled in Public Domain Comedy!

You see, the “State Your Name” PD Joke was many years ago a funny and fairly original gag from the Bill Murray film, “Stripes.” However, the joke was a) funny enough and b) easy enough for most people to remember so that it disseminated itself throughout the schools, courtrooms and VFW halls across this fine land of ours.

And now that you know what it is …




Let’s learn some!

Chapter One: The Movies

Thanks to George Lucas and his sound enhancing invention THX, one of the most popular and surefire laughgetters for the non-pro is only a movie ticket away.

The “Turn It Up” Gag

Once the THX sound swell has reached its ear-splitting peak and faded out to silence, the adroit Public Domainer will yell out at the top of his lungs, “Turn it up!” Big laughs from fellow audience members are guarenteed.

Best delivery conditions: If the audience cheers the loudness level of the sound swell, the joke will land more solidly than an Olympic long jumper hitting a freshly raked pit of sand, provided the PDer waits until the cheers just begin to fade.

Worst delivery conditions: If the sound in the theater is actually not loud enough. In these cases, the joke can be misinterpreted as a complaint and, well, nobody likes a complainer. Use your judgement. A good PDer is always ready to analyse a comedy situation and react accordingly.

The “The Audience is Listening” Gag

When underneath the THX logo the phrase “The Audience is Listening” appears, the acting-enabled PDer will say in a questioning voice, “What?” Hearty chuckles and approving smiles from surrounding audience members can be counted on. (You may even receive validation from Neo-Luddites in the audience who feel that your joke was a strike against The Man for all this Surround Sound technology – see, sometimes PD Comedy can make you look smart too.)

Best delivery conditions: The louder the THX sound swell, the better this joke will hit. This is also a performance-dependent gag, so any rehearsal time spent refining your delivery will not be time poorly spent.

Worst delivery conditions: Same as “Turn It Up” gag. No one likes a whiner.

For more, go here: