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The first feature film by Koo (dir. of The West Side, founder of NoFilmSchool.com) explores the high-stakes world of youth basketball.
AMATEUR is a Netflix Original Film, available now worldwide!
AMATEUR is a Netflix Original Film, available now worldwide!
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2,336 backers pledged $125,100 to help bring this project to life.

We've changed our title to 'Amateur' — and you're invited to a Sundance Reading!

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Hey all,

Exciting news to share! Two things:

'Manchild' is now 'Amateur'

During the course of running this campaign and revising the script, I've heard from many of you that you did not like the title (of course, others thought it to be perfectly fitting — but you can't please everyone). I had my own reservations when choosing the title as well. So I've used several different titles for several different drafts, privately, to see which ones I liked... and the one that makes the most sense is... the title of the short film as well, AmateurAmateur more specifically links us to the ongoing conversation about student-athletes and amateurism in sports (what with multiple ongoing court cases against the NCAA), and better relates to our protagonist's journey in the film.

Manchild always had issues, especially in the non-sports world: if you say the term "manchild" to someone in sports, they immediately get it (a child built like a man, thus a proficiency at sports) but if you say it to anyone outside athletics it has another meaning (a man with the maturity of a child). Look no further than Urban Dictionary, the great arbiter of taste: not until the tenth entry is there a definition that isn't some variant of "immature adult male" — and that tenth entry is "50/50 Whiskey and Apple Juice" (really, that's what it's called?). This film not being about an immature adult male — or whiskey and apple juice — I think it's a good thing that we changed the title. Also, sidenote: this gets us into the "A"s for VOD listings on Cable TV, a practice known as alpha-stacking... which by itself would not be a great reason to chose your title, but is potentially a bonus for us. Hey, you never know. 

I hope you like the new title — it's still the same film about a 13 year-old basketball player. Manchild is dead! Long live Amateur!

Sundance Screenplay Reading Series

In the previous update I wrote, "the next time you hear from me, I promise it will be good news," so I'm happy to share this good news: Sundance has selected Amateur (get used to saying the new title!) for their Screenplay Reading series, which is a live reading of a work-in-progress script. It's a great opportunity to hear my material in the hands of talented actors, in front of a live audience. It's a little nerve-racking too, of course, since I'm putting a work-in-progress document in front of a lot of eyes and ears — and it's a reading, not a finished, directed film — but ultimately the project will be stronger for it, and I'm very thankful and excited to have the opportunity.

It's also a great opportunity to invite... you!

If you're in New York and you'd like to hear my current draft in full (which I'm furiously revising — how is it possible that even on a script I've been writing for years, there's still always a rush to meet deadlines?), here are the details:

Monday, December 1 at 7:30 pm @ The 52nd St. Project 789 Tenth Ave. New York, NY

RSVP is required, by clicking on the image above or here. Seating is first come, first served – arrive early! Hang out afterward! Eat free dessert! It's Sundance! 

I hope to see some of you there — I'll be the guy biting his nails and possibly scribbling copious notes about changes to make...

All best,

Ryan

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    1. Missing avatar

      Mark Hovater on

      I also think it's a good choice. It's more of a approachable idea of a title. Easy to get handle what the film will be about. Keep up your hard work. I can't wait to see the film. It's been fun following your journey.

    2. Alexandre Lepretre on

      I think this new title is an excellent choice, for many reasons and I 100% agree with it ! Glad you made your decision before production start - now you can keep the original title as a codename ;-)
      I regret to be so far (I live in France), so I won't be able to attend the reading in NYC, but I will be with by thougts...