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Playing With: Working Title
Basic Trope: A code-name applied to a work-in-progress.
  • Straight: Alfred Guile, a film director, gives his upcoming movie the working title “Vengeance Shall Be Mine,” so that nobody will know that he’s actually directing a comedy.
  • Exaggerated: Mr. Guile is a director critically acclaimed for his science-fiction action films, and is using the above cover title to redirect notions that he’s actually in the process of filming a full-length musical.
  • Downplayed: Mr. Guile gives seventh movie the neutral working title Film Number 7.
  • Justified: In most cases by default, to add suspense about what the movie will be about, or because the original title had to be changed due to content or because the story went through a change during production.
  • Inverted: Mr. Guile’s movie had the title Downtown Roughs long before it actually had a script.
  • Subverted: Mr. Guile assigns his upcoming action film the title Action Star 105, which sounds like a cheesy working title. It is in fact the film’s actual title; the movie turns out to be an Affectionate Parody, and its deliberately cheesy title was a part of the parody.
  • Double Subverted: …but Executive Meddling forces him to change the title of the movie at the last possible second.
  • Parodied: Mr. Guile’s working title is long enough to summarize the actual movie in extremely precise detail.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Mr. Guile’s film was only ever known by one title, which he revealed in an interview in response to the question “What is your next movie about?”
    • Or, his movie deliberately HAS No Title.
  • Enforced: The executive producer is concerned that the press would try to leak details of the film, so the director, Mr. Guile, comes up with a fake title to ward off the media.
  • Lampshaded: At one point in Mr. Guile’s film Never Rose the Sun, the main character and his friends go to see a So Bad, It's Good movie titled Some Boring Supernatural Romance Involving Vampires, which was the actual movie’s working title.
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Mr. Guile actually has merchandise for the movie developed under its working title. He later reveals the movie’s true title, thereby causing merchandise created under the original, working title to become collector’s items worth much more money.
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: Most commonly done during the DVD Commentary.
  • Conversed: “Didn’t this film have, like, a code-name or whatever?"

Back to Working Title

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