John August is my Hero

Screenwriter John August pleads with writers to take a vow to stop having characters crawl around in air vents.  Why? Because it’s stupid, lazy, unrealistic… AND STUPID.  I’ve even seen people in movies crawl through the airvents in a house.  So I applaud John for waging war against this inane cliche:

Here’s what I’m proposing:  The Screenwriter’s Vow of Air Vent Chastity.

I, John August, hereby swear that I shall never place a
character inside an air duct, ventilation shaft, or any other euphemism
for a building system designed to move air around.

One day, I’d love to win an Oscar. An Emmy. A Tony Award. But if all
I accomplished in my screenwriting life were reducing the number of
times characters climbed through air vents, I’d consider my work

8 thoughts on “John August is my Hero”

  1. If I can also VENT!
    This drives me nuts as well. The computer equivalent of climbing around air vents. Hacking around huge computer systems.
    Got a problem with the main character getting into a building, finding information, locating plots points, et al.
    Easy. Just get weird side-kick computing hacker or hackerette with Borderline Personality Disorder to break in (in seconds) by a “backdoor”, into the most secure Computer systems ever devised.
    All it takes is less keystokes than it takes normal human being sot open their e-mail.
    Enough already.

  2. Heh. I just finished reading a novella (“Chaotic” in Dates From Hell), in which the heroine is all, “You know how in the movies that air vents are all big and clean and stuff like that? Yeah, not so much in real life.”

  3. Two words: Boondock Saints.
    This movie saw the stupidity of air vents, and incorportated it into the film in a very funny, but plot-important, way.

  4. Just a note to all cliche historians. I think the originator was the old Irwin Allen Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV series. Every week somebody had to go through the air vents on the submarine to get around the monster. It was worse than being a security grunt on Star Trek. Anybody got an earlier reference?


Leave a Comment