What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? A lot actually, which is why it’s so troubling to me that I’m generaly pretty bad at titles (see “Minushi”*).

Anyway as I announced only a couple weeks ago - or in the parlance of our times, a couple posts ago - the new project is called The Great Big Emptines, for now. For now because - full disclosure - I’m not completely sold on the name myself. It’s a title that sums up the theme of the movie, which is an important trait in a title if you ask me but I’m not sure it has that memorable a quality. A trait that may be even more important as far as marketing is concerned. Something like Snakes on a Plane for example covers both those bases with shameless efficiency. Or take Deep Impact which is just on the tasteful side of a pun but also fills in the criteria very effectively both reflecting the physical catastrophy facing the characters as well as the emotional “impact” it is having on their lives.

One thing that tends to bother me in a title is when it’s appearence in the dialogue of the film immediately pulls me out of whatever tentative suspension of disbelief said narrative may have on me. Take for example, Gone Baby Gone. Great film, but the moment the words themselves - “She’s gone, baby. Gone.” - were spoken, then the actor speaking them may as well have turned his head, looked directly into the lens and winked. It pulls me out of the moment faster than a 555 number… And I’m a little concerned that the words “Great Big Emptiness” do appear in a line of dialogue in my new project… Albeit not so overtly.

And then there’s the out of left field titles. The out of left Cloverfield titles… Y’see what I did there? Yeah. I tend to gravitate toward that style of naming but then, I tend to gravitate to things that make my work less successful rather than more so for some reason… (See (again) a title like Minushi).

Titles… I ruminate on them for months; often coming up with nothing to better the initial placeholder I use to name the Word files.

But who needs a title until you’re ready to market the thing, right? Maybe, but things change when you want to create an open concept production to get you, the public, interested from the get-go…

So the The Great Big Emptiness… Will it stick? I’ll keep you posted. Until then I’ll continue to create the real-time storyboard I’ve been working on. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to post some of it here soon. More on that later too.

Until then!

*To be fair (to myself), I like the name “Minushi” it holds a lot of significance for me (and maybe for you too if you’ve received your copy of the DVD set) but from a marketing perspective it wasn’t the wisest choice of names…

2 Responses to “What’s in a Name?”

  1. Esn Says:

    How about just “Great Big Empty”, Tyler?

    It rolls off the tongue better (4 syllables vs. 6) and is more memorable (being rather more punchy). And with a depressing name like that, it had better make up for it by being more punchy. :)

  2. Tyler Says:

    I think the “Great Big Empty” has been done already hasn’t it? Or maybe it was “The Big Empty”… Meh, the whole “Emptiness” thing is all kind of… Not right, in retrospect.

    I think I’m going to with “Refrain.”

    But more on all that later! Thanks for the input, Esn!