Seth Rogen and date rape

Haven’t seen the new Seth Rogen film Observe and Report, the Paul Blart: Mall Cop sequel — (what? It’s not a sequel? Weird! What are the chances?). But there’s some controversey over its dark nature, including one scene in particular — the alleged “date rape” scene.

See this discussion with Rogen and Faris here on

Can one make a judgment without seeing the scene in its context? Some are trying. For those of you who would like to try, the (R Rated) trailer’s at the bottom of this post. The scene is at the end of the trailer. Apparently, Faris’ character gets wasted (to the point of throwing up a little). Cut to: Rogen humping away on her limp form – presumably unconscious. Gasp, right? Wait for it, wait for it… Rogen realizes she looks unconscious, stops with a concerned look, and then she asks (eyes still closed) “Why are you stopping, Mother Fucker?” Cue the laffs! Har Har!

Hmmm. So, she knew what was going on, right? And Rogen was concerned when he thought she was unconscious, right? And she apparently actually wasn’t, right? She was all wasted, had sex with her eyes closed. Maybe even fell asleep. It’s funny because it’s true, right?

Anyone here ever fall asleep during sex (drug induced or otherwise)? I’ve been close (not with you, honey). And frankly, some of the best sex I’ve had has been after a bottle or two of wine. And I hear the sex on Meth is pretty amazing too (heightened awareness and all that).

Some say that a woman under the influence by definition can’t give consent. I’m not a woman, but I’m also not sure this is gender specific.  Do we just say that a woman (or perhaps anyone) simply can’t give consent if under the influence? Is every kid that has a hit of X at a rave then hooks up being raped? Every person who goes out on Prom, gets schnockered and then laid being raped? Every bride or groom retiring to the Honeymoon suite after getting loaded at the reception being raped? Hmmm… if so, that means I’ve been raped a few times, too.

I don’t want to be a dick about this. Don ‘t hate on me. Somebody help me out, here!

So here are the Q’s: Is she unconscious in this scene? If so, is Rogen’s character taking advantage, or stopping because he’s concerned about taking advantage? Assuming she’s not unconscious, but a consenting drunk, is that rape? And to keep things kinda movie centric, what responsibility or obligation do filmmakers or actors have on representing the subject?

SIDEBAR: Watched High Plains Drifter the other day. Watched Clint (or “The Drifter”) drag a woman into a barn, throw her down, hike her skirts while she fought and yelled at him to stop, fuck her for about 90 seconds (all the while being voyeured upon by a little person), then climb off her and walk away. I think he even said something like “You could use a good smacking around”.

Okay. The floor is open.

New horror project: Day one writing

Day one is in the can (bag? hard drive?).

Zhura‘s online screenplay collaboration tool is working well.

It went quite smoothly… we plugged through the first half of our characters’ first day, getting all four primary’s introduced, learning a bit about the remote mountain locale, and meeting the creepy crazy old lady down the road. :)

We ended up with 5.5 pages of completed script, and it read pretty well. We’ll tweak on it, but it’s readable, and that fits in just fine with our “crap but done” goal for draft one (though really, I’m way too anal to accept crap, even in a first draft).

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

What a great looking movie… amazing production design, Tim Burton-esque without the curlicues… characters designed and shots framed as though they were fine illustrations. The universe of the film has a strange, surreal quality that feels as though you’re inside an illustration, as though the universe ends at the horizon. In other films that’s a quality that takes me out… particularly films that are working hard to create an alternate reality, like sci-fi. In my sci-fi I want to have a sense that the universe extends well beyond the frame (Blade Runner, Alien) and doesn’t just exist where the camera is pointing (Total Recall [which I understand is being remade]). Here, though, that’s a quality that makes perfect sense. Some of the backgrounds put me in a mind of The Wizard Of Oz (the original, not that unwatchable sci-fi channel remake with Zooey Deschanel). Continue reading “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”

3D films, pirating, indies and writers

The current trend toward 3D films (and there are several technologies vying for supremecy – vhs v beta all over again – see a great FORTUNE article here, and a more current TIME article here) means new complications for pirates (movie pirates, not seafaring pirates — meaning pirates of movies, not pirates in movies) and new opportunites for indies if they can figure out the basics and pull off the shooting.

There’s a discussion over at John August’s blog … check out the comments to see how some readers are deconstructing the pirating process. And a discussion over at among the micro-indies about how to pull off the shooting.

Is 3D a filmmaker’s hedge against pirating? And for how long?

Will micro-indies be left behind as audiences come to expect 3D, or will they be able to find micro-budget technologies that will allow them to compete?

And will 3D change the stories writers choose to write, and the way they write them?

Write a screenplay 140 characters at a time – on Twitter

Marilyn Horowitz (author of “How to Write a Screenplay in 10 Weeks” and creator of The Horowitz System®, award-winning university professor, producer, screenwriter, script consultant and [stops for breath] successful writing coach) has a Twitter stream dedicated to crafting a group screenplay. Follow the tweets, add a line at a time (140 characters only of course) — just send her your next line of the script as a private message at — and watch it grow.