Thursday, June 17, 2010

This is the Title of my Post About Chase Movie

It's title time again. I've written about titles before, and I think about them often, and maybe that's why I have so much trouble coming up with good ones. Maybe I just overthink it.

But Not Dead Yet is an awesome title, you may say. Why yes it is. I didn't think of it. I was on a popular message board I used to frequent and asked "Hey anybody got an idea for a title for a zombie movie?" and somebody said it.

Burnside has been the subject of much contention among my note givers. The title comes from the name of a character who is not the protagonist, and more than one person has cautioned against it. But at this point, that's the title and I'm not changing it, partly because it's a cooler word than anything else I can think of. I started calling it Burnside as a temporary title and then got used to it so now I can't think of it as anything else.

So here I am again at title time. I have a chase movie that deals with garbage - the major theme is about what we consider valuable versus what we consider trash - so I started coming up with titles that use trash.

Trash Run or Garbage Run. Sounds like Men At Work, the Sequel.
Thrown Away. Sounds like a farce.
Trash. Well that's just inviting people not to like it.
Waste Not. This is at least more creative, but it sounds like a documentary about recycling.

I'm sticking with Waste Not for now, because it also carries a sense of Mom's advice (Waste not, want not), and mothers and daughter relationships is another theme for the story. But I don't think it sounds like a good title for a chase movie, and if I call it that for too long it will stick.

I'm stumped. I suck at titles. I wish I could just call it Chase Movie Title.


  1. A challenge! Here's what I've got.

    Out with the Trash
    Garbage Night

    and my personal favorite:

    Landfill Soldier

    Do I win?

  2. Landfill Soldier makes me wish I had a scene in a landfill.

    Hmm. Out With The Trash ain't too shabby.

  3. Sally creeping down the alley9:21 PM

    Collecting Garbage

    Toss and Return


  4. I like the simplicity of SALVAGE. In fact that could work on several levels - salvaging a relationship as well as items. Does it sound like it could be a chase movie?

  5. How about Trash and Treasure?

    common term here for what I guess you guys call flea markets.

  6. I like the simplicity of SALVAGE. In fact that could work on several levels - salvaging a relationship as well as items. Does it sound like it could be a chase movie?

    Trash and Treasure may be a little on the nose as far as theme goes. Is that really what you call flea markets? Interesting.

  7. "Salvage" works for me. Doesn't hurt it's the title of one of my favorite ANGEL episodes.

    How about "One Man's Trash" Or "Another Man's Treasure."

  8. Davey from the Market6:53 AM

    I like one word titles too. 'Salvage' is cool.

    I like 'Detritus' as a word, but might be too vague.

    What about 'Pitch and Roll', or
    'Pitch, Pawn and Roll'?

    Naming is fun, but tricky, you're right. It's like naming your kids. Before, it's just a word that you're unsure of, then it's a name, then it's a person, then it's too late and you're left wondering what you've done with your life, then, in the darkness of night, you cry out to a god you no longer believe in, wondering how you ended up here, on the curb outside some brothel in the middle of a cold nevada desert, screaming out that name, cursing your own very soul...


  9. Brainstorming...

    Dump Run
    Recycle Me
    The Refusers
    Rubbish Run


  10. johnmonster10:01 AM

    If you were in England-

    Skip to the Chase


    Trash Day
    Dumpster Diva (assumes female protag)
    Absolute Rubbish
    Bin for the Win
    Dive and Dart

  11. Hauling
    Frequent Stops

    My personal nonsense favorite is
    Trash Pirates which I saw on a truck in Koreatown yesterday.

  12. I like the really simple titles, actually. If I saw a teaser for a movie called "Trash," I would HAVE to find out what it was about. Of course, you better be damn sure it's a good movie, otherwise you're basically writing the movie critics' headlines for them.


    Rubbish? (The BBC could produce it)

    Or wait, I've got it...


  13. I'd be curious what your favorite chase movies are and whether the titles of those films would sound like a "chase" movie.

    The Fugitive is a chase movie that sounds like one. But Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a type of chase movie, though the title wouldn't suggest it, same with the Bourne trilogies. Though it could be argued that the chase is secondary to that latter two.

  14. Oo yeah. Friday Fun!

    Thinking up a title is always fun.

    here's what I got...

    Garbage Day
    Wasted Time
    Morning Pickup

    and going with the themes of current movie titles...

    The Throw-Aways

  15. You know, these are all good ideas. Thanks everybody. I just can't shake Salvage. It manages to be about trash while still carrying a positive vibe.

    Thanks, Sally creeping down the alley. You win the prize, which is to know that you won the prize!

    And UAN, That's an excellent question. Thelma and Louise and Three Days of the Condor (Does Condor count? It feels like a chase movie) are my favorite chase movies. I'm not sure if those sound like chase movies or not.

  16. Three Days of the Condor is one of my favorite films also. And prescient!

    Another good chase film is North by Northwest.

    Seems like good titles refer to the protagonists in some way, or perhaps some feature of the chase, i.e., a direction or a ticking clock (3 days, etc.), or perhaps the object/person that's being chase.

    Have you already written the screenplay? For me titles are like the ultimate logline that keeps my story on track.

  17. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Sorry Emily,
    I'm not feeling any of this.
    I know most of your post are cool and hearty and pizza-grande, but here with this post I don't get the fun of it, sorry, I hope you don't delete my post, just it lacks fun factor, too college like and very non-fun, sorry dudette

  18. UAN I've heard a lot of people say that about starting with the title first, but I've never been able to do that. I'm just writing the treatment for this now, and I got tired of calling it "chase movie".

    I hate coming up with titles, so I'm always glad for the help.

  19. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Sorry. This is totally off topic, but there's a money bet on this one.

    We desperately need the advice of a kick ass English teacher like yourself.

    Should one avoid a field of cacti or a field of cactus?

    Thanks Emily! You blog rocks big time!!

  20. Sally creeping down the alley2:51 PM

    And, of course, when the sequel gets made, it simply must be titled:

    Son of Salvage: The Return of Dan Salvage

  21. Lol.

    And Anonymous, according to my 1996 unabridged Webster's dictionary, both forms are correct.

  22. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Thanks so much for answering our cactus/cacti question.

    Since that squabble is settled, we've put our collective energies together and came up with this title for you: Haste Management.

    Have a great weekend!


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