I’ve written about the importance of a good title before. A great script with a crappy title faces an uphill battle. That’s why I always make sure I have a title I like before I type “FADE IN,” even if I later change my mind.1
So yes, I’d pay for a great title. Today’s LA Times article about companies that consult on movie titles sounded promising, until…
Last summer, Lockhart and Barrie tried to persuade Sony to change the title of “Hancock,” a big-budget action comedy starring Will Smith as an alcoholic superhero known as John Hancock. They told studio executives they thought the current title was vague and pitched alternatives such as “Heroes Never Die,” “Unlikely Hero” and “Less Than Hero.”
There’s spit-balling, and then there’s just spitting. I’d rather have an inscrutable one-word name than any of those crappy alternatives.
I helped out on that movie as it was transitioning from “Tonight, He Comes” to “Tonight He Comes” — the removal of the comma helped soften the double-entrendre. But by the wrap party, it was simply “Hancock,” which serves it well.2
- I never really had a title for that zombie western, which I should point out, never sold. Readers had [great suggestions](https://johnaugust.com/archives/2005/a-movie-by-any-other-name#comments), though. ↩
- One added advantage of a single-word title is that it requires no translation for international audiences. Except in Germany, where Go is called “Go! Sex, Drugs & Rave’N’Roll.” Shudder. ↩