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Am lucky to have the opportunity to read "Lady Jazz".....What a script!!!! It is eveything I hoped it to be....WOW....If someone does not pick this up...they are such fools...It brings back the memories of when films were films...Great story...Great dialogue....You can actually SMELL the cigarette smoke...You can HEAR the music..You can see the action...The Characters are so real...
Jean has done an excellent job of bringing the story to life....
SOMEONE out there PLEASE...make this into a film so everyone can enjoy it...
Thanks so very much, Dorothy. :)
Jean, have you given us a log line before? Don't mean to be nosey, but I may have missed it if you have.
"Lady Jazz" A 1940s jazz singer goes on the run when she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of her ex-lover--the twin brother of the LAPD's first black Homicide detective.
By any means necessary- ask you manager/agent/network - to send this script to Spike Lee.
This logline is "solid gold".
At the risk of having everyone on this board scream at me, I just have one
question I just have to ask about your logline. I mean I don't know anything else about your script so this question is strictly based on the logline. OK?
If this woman is white (which I assume she is) and the #1 suspect in a black man's murder in LA in the 1940's, then why in the world does she have to run from the law?
I understand that the murder victims twin brother is a cop but come on , 1940's anywhere in the US did not care about blacks killing blacks let alone if a white woman did it.
That may sound very negative and exagerated but its pretty much the truth. I dont think she was running from the law. She may be running from this other crazy huge black man but not the whole LA PD.
Also, I dont know too many black men in the 1940's that would openly chase a white woman. I mean it just was not done. Even as a police officer.
OK, relax, Im just asking these questions because I can garantee Spike Lee or any other black man you want for your leading man in this will ask you.
Im in the same boat as you with a white and black romance in the US. so Im asking you these questions because I want you to ask me the same KIND about mine.
Im pretty sure most white people are not going to ask (US) questions like this because its not "politically correct".
But blacks will ask you and if you dont have a good answer they wont like it and THEY are part of your target audience. So again, why is she running?
Read it and loved it. Jean is a truly gifted writer. Her characters are so visceral. Excellent work, Jean! I can't figure out why it hasn't sold yet.
Janet, the logline gives the gist of the story, but the character has no choice but to flee for reasons beyond being a suspect and this is revealed in the read. My mother and uncle both ran in the 1940s California jazz circles and prejudices against white/black couples were more leniant in this atmosphere. Obviously a story such as this would not work if set in the Deep South during the same time period.
Eric, thanks for your kind words. Same back at ya - your "Nature of the Beast" is MY head shaker why it hasn't been snatched up yet. :)
OK, thats a good reason. I mean I agree
the music/jazz scene all along has been
less tolerant of racism and of course the sports arena has too. But of course they had to be, didn't they?
But...the CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM has probably been the ABSOLUTE LAST to catch up and I believe thats true in all 50 states. Do you have any idea what the ratio of blacks to white in prison is and the US is only 20% black? Well, I can tell you its over 50% in EVERY state and its not because blacks commit more crimes.
Anyway, my only point was, you might want to do a little extra research on weather or not the police would react the way you say (in 1940's L.A.) and actually pursue a white suspect that has killed a black man.
I live in Iowa and it is very white here and (its not deep south, its midwest).But I can tell you about a couple of incidents in just the early 70's where 2 young black women were killed by their white boyfriends and absolutely nothing was done about it. No investigation, Nothing.
Even more recently, 2000 where 2 bouncers at a night club killed a young black man for dressing wrong and the 2 bouncers received no punishment at all.
So....Im just saying. When you're talking about blacks and the criminal justice system and being treated equally, its not quite there yet. Even in California. OK?
It is not a documentary. It is a dramatic work. And as such, defines its own world and its own parameters, within the context of the story being told.
I understand being the suspect was not the only reason. Im just saying I wonder if it would have been a reason at all.
I understand that, but Im just telling you how blacks in the United States would react to this and since her leading man is black Im assuming they are part of her target audience. That SMALL part of it, is somewhat not believable. OK?
I don't think there is any issue with the premise of Jean's script or her logline.
The logline states that LAPD's first black homicide detective is involved in the case.
Why is it inconceivable that a black cop would be interested in finding the murderer of a black man -- especially if it happens to be his brother?
THAT is NOT inconcievable. That's not what I said. Of course his brother would be a part of the investigation.
That the LA Police department conducts such an investigation in the (1940's)is POSSIBLY incorrect, is all I said.
Racism in the 1940's in the United States and especially in the Criminal Justice System was extremely blatant and harsh. And NOT just in the Deep south.
In the 1940s I believe (in CALIFORNIA) they were locking American orientals up and putting them in camps simply because of their heritage. The US didn't even let black service men fight in WWII in the 40's by the way.
So Im simply suggesting that there would not be a full fledged murder investigation (by the LA Police department)if a white woman in the 1940's was suspected of killing a black man. Thats all I said.
Also, Im sure Jean deals with all these
racial issues in her script. According to the first entry on this thread her script is extremely believable and good.
So I know she has covered all this.
Im just saying that this area in her logline is something she may want to look at, because the logline is the FIRST impression. And I know several blacks that would look at that and misunderstand it just like I did, OK?
Janet, your statement that World War II did not allow black servicemen to fight for our country is inaccurate and an injustice to the men and women of ANY COLOR that stepped forward and gave up their lives to keep our homeland and other homelands safe and secure.
You can continue to question my script all you want (when you haven't read it) but please get your information straight re: several issues you are stating here as facts.
Ok, now Im getting angry. I was NOT questioning your script. I was questioning your logline. And I have been answering other bloggers that seem
to want to twist around what I said in
the first place.
Ok, I made a sweeping statement about blacks not being allowed to fight in WWII. And by the way, my father, 4 uncles all served in WWII and my 2 brothers in VIET NAM and an ex husband so to suggest that I would belittle their service in someway is really insulting.
And also I am multi racial including white, black and indian so Im somewhat coming from a place that I know what Im talking about. But if you don't want the input fine , I wont give it. GOOD GRIEF.
Sorry Janet....but IT IS A STORY....and it is not a piece on the Criminal Justice system.....I read the script. Anyone liking Jazz will love it...and her characters are well-written...She's done her research well......MORE than in a lot of scripts that I have read...where NO RESEARCH has been done at all..and it shows...
I know I shouldn't say anything, but what the hell. I'm procrastinating on my latest rewrite, but my reaction:
* I read the logline and didn't give the premise a second thought. I "got it" and figured more would be fleshed in the script (as you would expect).
* I think the discussion "about the logline" has reached a point where one would be encouraged to read the script if any further clarification or embellishment seems to be required (my opinion of course).
* Haven't seen the term "oriental" used in a long time. Just an observation.
I'm not a big fan of jazz but I loved Jean's script.
Janet, you're criticizing something you haven't even read. Don't turn this thread into anything other than what it was meant to be, a tribute to Jean's amazing script and talent.
Chiming in with a little something... obviously, the story has not caused too much of a dilemma for the following readers:
StoryPros Awards (Semifinalist) Action On Film (First Place, Crime Drama category) ASA/Gotham (Quarterfinalist) Fade In (Quarterfinalist) Antelope Valley (Third Place) Writers Place (Third Place) Epiphany (Third Place) WriteMovies/TalentScout (Finalist) Nicholl Fellowships (Honorable Mention, Top 15%) Big Bear (Semifinalist) Century City (Finalist) Writers Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition (Quarterfinalist) Anything But Hollywood (Semifinalist) Red Inkworks (First Place) Screenplay Festival (Finalist) A Feeding Frenzy (Second Place) Worldfest - Houston (First Place, Thriller/Mystery Category) Moondance (Finalist) Writers On The Storm (Quarterfinalist) PAGE International (Quarterfinalist) AAA (Honorable Mention) Austin (Quarterfinalist) Indie Gathering (Third Place, Suspense/thriller division) Extreme Screenplay (Finalist, Top 5 scripts entered)
BRAVO, JEAN!!!!!!! May we all be so blessed with such great talent, and rewards for our work!
I'm sure Janet meant well. She was just dancing a little too hard.
(I'm not Barack Obama, but I approved this message.)
Where can we read this script?
I'm sorry Janet, but what exactly are you saying? Would a black police officer chase after a white woman who was the murder suspect of his twin brother or wouldn't he?
First you said:
"I understand that the murder victims twin brother is a cop but come on...Also, I dont know too many black men in the 1940's that would openly chase a white woman. I mean it just was not done. Even as a police officer."
Then you said:
"THAT is NOT inconcievable. That's not what I said. Of course his brother would be a part of the investigation."
I realize that you are only saying that in general racism existed back then, as well as now.
The trouble is that this generalization is being treated as an absolute. Not every single person (or cop for that matter) has to fit into a mold — even if the mold is a bad one.
Personally I find a police officer going against the trend in such an atmosphere would stand out in high relief. And the situation and obstacles would be even more dramatic. The irony is you are admittedly pre-judging Jean's script without having read it.
Ah, ever heard of the Tuskegee Airmen?
Ever heard of "Brig. General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., the first African-American general in the U.S. Army? I know he served in France in 1944. (Not sure of his complete WWII dates.)
Check out this site if you don't think Aferican Americans fought in WWII.
What about the Black soldiers in the Civil War? The Buffalo Soldiers in the Western United States....the Black soldiers who remained in Europe after they served in WWI? Were they not the ones who perked the interest in Jazz in Paris? Didn't Josephine Baker leave the US and became a hit in Paris?
I did not mean for my comment to become such a conversation piece...BUT...It sure has peaked an interest in LADY JAZZ...
YOU GO JEAN.....
I just wanted to say that today, I attended a funeral of a black WWII soldier.
Plus, the first American soldier was black Crispus Attucks, who was the first matyr of the American Revolution during the Boston Massacre.
In regards to Janet, I think she brought up some concerns, which were valid, but I think a twin, no matter what era, would look for the suspect of his twin's death.
However, when I read the logline, I assumed the jazz singer was black, since it was an original black art form.
By the way, where can I read the script, as if I have the free time?
I have no doubt Lady Jazz is an excellent screenplay, as all the recognition Jean has received can't be so wrong.
But I have to put my hand up and admit that I also assumed Lady Jazz was black when I read the logline.
Poetist and Elaine,
I knew that Lady Jazz was white because Jean had said it on another thread. But see thats kind of the point. Ok it would be wonderful if we dont see things or people in color and I think these days we all try not to.
But....this country has A HISTORY of racism and in 1940s it was very prevelant and thats all I was trying to say and it got blown out of proportion and twisted around because everybody thought I was critisizing Jeans script and I wasn't.
I havent read it, I just read the logline and I was simply commenting on that and saying that I don't think you can ignore our history in a situation like shes writing about. Wether she does or not in here script I dont know. It just looked to me like she was in her logline. Period.
I hadn't assumed any nationality.
You know when you come right down to it, the purpose of the logline is to nail down the story concept.
Black, white, yellow, brown, red doesn't go into the logline, it would just bog down the concept. Which is king.
The synopsis is where you will get the details. That is why everyone requests a one-pager.
No one is going to buy a script based on the logline. If the concept in the logline intrigues them, then they will ask for more, likely a one-pager to see if it suits them. Sometimes the script is requested, either way, they will find out who is who soon enough.
The only problem with that is if you don't specify a race then Hollywood will automatically make your characters white.
I read somewhere that something like 70% of the scripts submitted to Hollywood didn't specify a race in any way shape or form and could have easily been black. But of that 70% something like 99% goes to white actors.
Where do black actors and actresses get a break in casting if not in the script where we can specify a race? And if we specified in the script then you might as well do it in the logline too.
I am a new writer. I wanted to know has anyone had projects produced as a result of moviebytes?
Well Jean's done it again. "Lady Jazz" and "Serena's Thunder" are finalists in the Century City International Film Festival. Jean's become the Tiger Woods of the contest circuit.
Something tells me she might know how to write.
Great job again Jean!
I think you misread me there. No problem. :-) The place to write in nationalities would be in the synopsis, not the logline.
And of course, if you do have a preference other than 'the assumed white', make sure the nationality is known in the screenplay. ;-)
I'd be one that doesn't state a nationality. Why? Because the names I choose, the character traits and attitudes tell who they are and where their background lies without me having to say so.
Plus the fact that there are some nationalities that I know nothing about. Some could be easy to research, but others are not. :-( And I still wouldn't be able to give them the depth they deserve, because I don't know the little things. Therefore, I leave it to those nationalities writers to write how they see themselves. :-)
Now back to Jean. Whoooo hooooo. Way to go with another one!
I agree, except in my script if I didn't state that my leading lady is partially black then one would assume that she is white because Im talking about country western, singing, dancing, out on the farm, etc .
And...the fact that she is not white is A BIG PART OF THE MAIN CONCEPT in my script because DUH, thats why I wrote about it. Its different and doesn't happen very often.
Anyway, again IT belongs in the logline just like Jean did, by the way.
And she is not doing great, she is doing INCREDIBLE. It looks to me like she has MORE WINS for both of her scripts than anyone else on the board. I guess it just scares me how someone can do SO WELL and not get sold.
Im a new writer and my scripts have racially mixed leads, like hers does. So of course Im concerned that THAT may have something to do with it.
But in her case, like Dorthy said Any of the affluent black producers or actors should pick this up. Spike Lee, Danzel Washington, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, the Rock, Terrance Howard etc. All of them have the money and the power to DO IT.
Where in my case, the male lead is white so its not as easy because my female lead is very young so naturally I don't have the choices that Jean does.
So I guess I simply started this whole thing to give possible reasons why THOSE black actors/producers were not picking it up. I mean good grief. How many contests does she have to win, GUYS?
"I guess it just scares me how someone can do SO WELL and not get sold."
Amen to that. We hope Jean will sell one of these award-winning scripts to help us validate how we're spending our time, and give us hope that out own writing, if/ when it becomes as refined for "Hollywood's" desires, will also sell for big sums.
Odds are against us all no matter what we do. Right place at right time with right script, what are the odds?
I'm for second childhood with video cameras and friends making our own damn little movies. And mud pies, what the hell.
"I guess it just scares me how someone can do SO WELL and not get sold."
If you win the Nichol, Austin, Scriptapalooza, Blue Cat, and a few others the first time you submit your script you have a better than average chance of having your script looked at by the big dogs. Otherwise, not so much.
The proliferation of wins by not so hot scripts has lessened the inclination for studios to read "winners." The big companies also prefer to bet on a known entity.
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