Original "Yesterday" screenwriter says Richard Curtis took more than a one-sentence idea

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/22/original-yesterday-screenw.html


What has Musk actually personally been an inventor of, besides being a co-creator of PayPal?


Would it be a shock to learn he didn’t found PayPal? It was part of a business that his own “financial services” company merged into in the late 1990s.




It’s not really clear if he’s every created anything in the sense we usually mean by “inventor” or coder or whatever – he’s more of a Jobsian figure. His first real wealth came from a web design business that he sold to Compaq for hundreds of millions of dollars in 1999 and was worthless months later. Magic.

But it’s fair to say SpaceX is his thing in the broad sense of risk-taking tech disruptor and innovator. He definitely founded that.


Not even the “pedo guy“ meme?



Anyway, I have much sympathy for Barth, though I find the film distasteful, because it implies that the success of the Beatles was due entirely to their songwriting, giving no credit to George Martin’s innovative engineering and production techniques.


Or their performance chops and humor.


Indeed, the original screenplay apparently shows the character unable to succeed even with the Beatles’ songs at his disposal. You can take the music, but you can’t take all the things that made it special: the people behind it and the people buying it, the context of their times and their dreams.

I suspect Curtis turning all that upside down is a deeper wound than watching him take credit for it.


And of course the deepest wound of all is suspecting that the changes Curtis made are what makes it such a hit.


I remember a 90s tv film about a teenager who travels to another dimension/planet/reality and, realizing they never heard of “the beatles”, becomes a hit singing their songs. I’ve failed trying to find the film’s name (or confirm if it’s real or a memory glitch, for that matter). As I’m in Chile, the film was dubbed and don’t even know the original language, probably english but that could mean an american, british or australian film. Any clues about this film?


Now the trick is to take this sort of shaming to Twitter… but because these exploiters are the money makers, nothing will be done about this. The Wild West shrouded in the facade of civil NDA’s,

Cute movie. Well worth a rental. (In a similar vein of “feel good musically themed British films starring actors of Indian ancestry”, Blinded by the Light is well worth a rental as well.)

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What is this, “Monty Python’s Life of Elon”?


(This didn’t age well…)

It’s not unusual in Hollywood for the rights to someone’s script/novel getting bought up just because there’s already a movie in development that’s a little too similar, just to avoid potential lawsuits (with IP law, in practice, being what it is), not because they intend to do anything with it. So it’s not impossible for a script to be bought up and a movie made in the same vein without the director ever seeing the script that was bought.

Having scenes from that script in the final movie would seem to indicate that’s not what happened, but it really depends on whether these really are scenes directly from that script, or just coincidentally similar (because I could see similar scenes arising out of identical premises, even if the movies are completely different).

Well, there are a lot of things that are rather silly about the premise (given all the factors that went into the success of the Beatles, and how they were very much of their time), but they were part of the set-up of the film, in order to allow a single person to become “the Beatles” (as a cultural phenomenon). If you start looking at exactly why the Beatles were successful, and whether they actually would even resonate in a world where rock evolved without the Beatles for 50 years, then that becomes a rather different movie…


No one’s really being “exploited” here since the original screenwriter was fully compensated for selling the rights to his script, it’s just a case of an egomaniac pretending to have written something he didn’t. It’s a little like if someone hired you to start a remodeling job on their home and then later told their buddies that they did all the work themselves. You’d probably think “what a dick!” but you wouldn’t really have grounds to sue as long as you were paid for your work.


This is where I walk a thin line between recognizing the absurdity of intellectual property and considering one’s ideas so precious when it was also likely informed by an amalgam and convergence of a long line of other “originals”. But when the people with big names ride on the backs of the underdogs and later claim their ingenuity, it only increases their pay scale when the script as blueprint is the only trace of originality and should be recognized… not overshadowing the collaborative nature of filmmaking of course, which makes this blueprint unrecognizable when all is said and done.

okay. but wasn’t that in the context of the ansari x-prize?

founding a space company was just the rich person thing to do in 200x.

paul allen, john carmack and jeff bezos were in it before him, disrupting all the space places and what not. and blue origin is still hanging in there okay.

apparently he did hire a good pool of people who are getting the job done. that does seem worth something. ( hopefully it’s not as misogynistic a work place as telsa is reported to be. )


What boggles my mind are cases in which fashion designers lose the right to use their own names. It seems to be caused by financial difficulties more often than windfalls.

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