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Thursday, September 09, 2004
Theater Thursday

Week 17 - And Now For Something Completely Different

We're going to take a different tack at Theatre Thursday this week.

You've just been hired to write, cast, direct and produce your own movie. You've been given $75 million to hire a cast and crew, and 90 days to shoot. The film is scheduled to open a year and 1/2 from today.

1) What is the name of your movie?
Guy Influence

2) Who are the stars you hire?
First of all, any movie I make is going to have William Shatner star in it somehow. And Henry Winkler. See below. I'd also cast Nathan Fillion (Firefly) as the hero of the film with Sarah Michelle Gellar as the ex-wife. As for the girl from the unemployment office, I'd have to go with Claudia Black . For the friends, I'd go with Dennis Leary, Drew Carey and Tom Baker. For the boss, I'd've have to cast Gary Cole because he was perfect in Office Space in the type of role I'm envisioning.

3) What is the general plot/style/theme of your dream movie?
Our hero is a loveable, but lonely guy working the ins and outs of a tech support/customer service call center line. He is surrounded by wacky, yet loveable co-workers, good friends and family, but he dreams of being something more. One day, his wife leaves him because a call-in radio psychic says their relationship is on the rocks, despite the fact that he thinks things are solid and he wanted to start trying for a baby. This happens on Thursday (an homage to the great Hitchhikker's Guide to the Galaxy). Our hero is devestated and after several days of watching repeats of classic Star Trek and Happy Days, he realizes that only two men can help him--Captain James T. Kirk and the Fonz. After examining the exploits of Captain Kirk and other great sci-fi heroes, our hero realizes that the reason he's never had a successful relationship of more than four months is that his heroes didn't give him any guidance. Captain Kirk was a love 'em and leave 'em guy as was the Fonz who was lovin' half of Milwakuee. Our hero decides that what he needs is to become a combination of both and win his wife back.

After examining the traits of the Fonz and Captain Kirk, our hero decide to bust loose, taking risks and damn the consequences. He begins at work, where instead of being polite, he tells people what he really thinks about their calls. This wins the respect of his co-workers but promptly get him canned. He doesn't care really. He heads down to the unemployment line and meets an attractive woman who is his case worker. The chemistry is the stuff movies are made of--hence why this is in the film. They exchange witty banter and while the girl is trying to win our hero, he still thinks he should get back with his ex-wife. As the movie progresses, the audience slowly realizes that the girl from unemployment is the one for our hero and not his ex-wife, who is a total diva. But our hero doesn't. He continues to be brash, following the example of Kirk.

One day a strange convention comes to town featuring William Shatner and Henry Winkler. (I guess you can consider Waterboy a sci-fi movie since it boggles my mind how it made any damn money at the box office!) Our hero heads down to thank them, accompanied by the new "friend" from the unemployemnt office. The ex-wife is there, selling our heroes prized collectibles she got in the settlement. Shatner and Winkler see our hero and take him aside and give him advice. The light goes on, but it may be too late. He's aliennated the unemployment girl due to acting like an ass and always snapping her fingers at her. He tells off the ex-wife, tells her have a good wife and sets out to win the heart of the unemployment girl. He goes back to being his loveable old self, but with just a hint of the Fonzie/Kirk persona in there--he has to be a bit brash in winning back her attention after treating her like such a heel. In the end, they get together, get married and have a happy life together.

Feel free to dream - what movie would you, Gentle Reader, like to make yourself with all those resources? It can be autobiographical, historical, or completely fictional. Be careful and don't go overbudget (Getting Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, and Robin Williams all in the same film won't leave you enough money to actually shoot, nor will on-location filming on Mars likely leave anything for actors).

BONUS) What's one obstacle you see that could prevent you from achieving this dream movie?
Well, besides the plot being pretty much made up as I went along and not having a strong narrative hook or arc to it, I don't see many other problems. Oh yeah, I have no idea how to direct a movie. For that I'd have to get Joss Whedon to help me out because the man is a genius. To script edit, I'd get J. Michael Stracynski and Joss Whedon to help me out.


posted by Michael Hickerson at 9/09/2004 07:27:00 PM | |
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