T Nation

High School Nostalgia


I'm about to graduate high school in a couple of weeks and with the additional free time that comes with senior year, i decided to do something i've always had an interest in, and write a full length screenplay. The story is about growing up and centers around three guys in high school. I completed the first draft in March and we're now in revisions and in the process of getting this thing represented.

I wanted to pose the question to everyone on the forum: what makes a great teen/high school movie? Some adolescent moments that need to be represented or something funny that happened to you and your buddies that you havent seen a teen/high school movie touch on yet? This is an R rated script and i really made it a point to make it as raw of a take on growing up as i could, so pretty much anything goes wen it comes to advice.

any and all feedback is greatly appreciated




Nekkid chicks.


delete this post!!!!!!!!!! hurry there is till time!!!!!!


This has been done about 1001 times, but sex, drugs, rock and roll, and a few cheap laughs usually does it.


Go the High School Musical route if you can handle the shame of making such a horrifying movie.


I'd say that anything where the majority of people can relate to when they were in high school.

Such as the anxiety of starting high school... The awkwardness of being in your teens... insecure and miserable because you can't relate to anyone... Feeling like an outcast and misfit with no friends.... Oh, the desire to set fire to the school, since you hate it so much and the memories just are to painful to bear..... Even through years of therapy that hasn't helped one fucking bit!!!!

Soooo, um..... yeah.

That's my opinion, anyway. Good luck!


car filled with more teenagers then you thought possible..last week i had two girls sitting in the front passenger seat lol

people making out while others in the car are yelling at them to stop



Id say sexting too. Maybe some crazy ass party scenes, some kids who OD on shit. Maybe you some fights. Throw in a couple sex scenes, more fights, and ummmm just watch Dazed and confused and add in that kind of stuff.


I give you this true story with permission to include it.

A couple days before the school's homecoming football game, some kid decides to throw a HUGE party. The kid's parents are "cool" and help him get a hold of about 25 kegs. This party is MASSIVE. We're talking a sizable fraction of the school, maybe 500-700 kids.

The kid's house is kind of out of the way in the backwoods. After about 4 hours of partying, at roughly 1:30 am in the morning, the Fuzz shows up. Kids are running everywhere. Jumping into cars, hiding in the house, taking off into the woods.

The entire varsity football team, and most of the second JV got arrested along with the other kids, so the homecoming game was played almost entirely by 3rd string sophomores that wouldn't have gotten a chance otherwise. Perhaps the crown jewel of the story is the few kids that didn't get caught. The brave. The noble.

The kids that hid on the roof and up in trees for 5.5 hours!!!!!! Yes. You heard correct. Kids hid in high places for over 5 hours to avoid the police! This is the most epic highschool story I have/have ever heard.


definitely add im some movie references to movies like Super bad and other movies that were just awesome.


alchoholic teachers
they're a blast


Anything that sets your generation of highschoolers apart from the past...For example, the webcam part in American Pie. At that time web cams, etc. had recently become popular/mainstream.

Generally just things that kids from your generation can identify with.


Teenage pregnancy


How original. "Hey guize, I want to make up a sandwiched cookie with a creme filling in the middle and two chocolate flavored cookies" I try not to write things that are played out so hard so I can avoid having holes punched in it.


text messaging, and complaining about how life is so like hard while you drive around in a 35k vehicle that your parents bought you.


You should make a film about four friends who form a pact to have sexual intercourse with a female before graduation. What they do for the duration of the film is pretty much irrelevant, but they must go to a lot of parties where people are drinking out of plastic cups and dancing to Sum 41 and Good Charlotte. In fact, Sum 41 and/or Good Charlotte should be playing in the background for a good 90% of the script. Hollywood has been yearning for some originality lately and this script will certainly dish it out!

Seriously though, if you're honestly going to write a "teen-movie" screen-play, you'd do better to start with a list of what NOT to include:

-Obnoxious yet zany Alpha Male character who speaks entirely in one-liners and put downs.
-Any sort of compulsion about getting laid a.) before a deadline or b.) at an important event
-Hot foreign exchange student who everyone is trying to bang.
-"Cool" character names. No "Erykk", no Gunner, no Stryker, and certainly no Tyler (why does every Hollywood movie have to have a cool guy in it called "Tyler"?). How about, umm, Jeff, Chris, Mike, Dan?
-Any stupid drug reference, like a class eating hash brownies and seeing the Grateful Dead bears.

I second the recommendation to focus more on the teachers. They've been almost completely overlooked in most teen movies. A lot of them DO NOT WANT to be there and have funny stories to tell or interesting personality quirks.

I had a Wood shop teacher who belonged as a character in a movie. Physically, he greatly resembled the captain of the shark boat in "Jaws"...leathery skin coated in motor oil and soot, extremely gruff demeanor and always squinting at something. He would always speak with this horribly profane eloquence, with such lines as "that girl over there has a face that would make a maggot puke!". "That girl" was usually a female student, often within earshot. His biggest and most disturbing "quirk" was his obsession with knives and sharp objects. He'd spend a lot of time fashioning spikes and spears by sharpening long pieces of wood in the rotary sander. No exaggeration, he'd produce at least one or two of these wooden weapons every period. Our football field backed onto the parking lot and during practice we'd see him filling his car trunk with his wares at 4:30pm each day. Now, you might assume that he was sharpening these for a purpose, for example to make wooden stakes for surveying or for political signs, but this was not the case, as they'd be of different lengths, shapes and materials. Sometimes he'd get ambitious and make a multi-pronged one, not unlike Neptune's trident or a Klingon dueling weapon.

Looking back over the semester, I'd conservatively estimate that he spent about 25% of his time providing us with actual instruction, and 75% of his time sharpening wooden weapons on the sander. If a student had a question, he'd briefly stop his sanding to assist, and then go right back to it. We'd occasionally ask him "what are you doing?" and he'd always give some vague, cryptic response like "sharpening" or "making something". I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but it wasn't. This guy was fucked.

At first, seeing this compulsive sharpening served to lighten the mood of the class, but the amusement turned to concern and eventually borderline dread as the class entered its 10th week. Finally a student asked him very directly in front of the class "why in the hell to you keep making those things?!". The teacher stormed over to the student's backpack, emptied the contents and held up various textbooks to the class, asking "well why do you have this?!....what about this one, why do you have this?!". "They're textbooks. I use them to study" the student replied. "Ok, well those things you see me making, I use them too!" said the shop teacher defensively.

The confusion in the air was palpable. So was the fear.

The class proceeded as it had for the remainder of the semester. We'd be making CD racks and piggy banks, and the teacher just kept on sharpening his implements with eerie efficiency.

About a week prior to the final project, we had a supply teacher. This was strange, because as incompetent and downright spooky our regular teacher was, he was always extremely punctual. The supply came back for a second day...then a third. After a few more days, the principal came down to speak to the class. The teacher was missing. AWOL. Nobody had any idea where he went.

School finished, and we got into summer. The disturbing memories of our absentee teacher sharpening wooden blades faded away. In August though, they came back...the local paper did a story on the teacher. He had sold his car, sold his cottage, and emptied his bank account, all without his wife knowing. He had told her he was going to the liquor store and that he'd be back shortly. Never heard from again.

Wherever he was going, he presumably felt that hundreds upon hundreds of sharpened wooden blades would be of use to him there. I hope he found what he was looking for.