Against the good counsel of our better judgment, a few of us signed up to do another 48-hour film challenge. Not the one we did last year — this one, the original-recipe contest. So I’ve been thinking about stories. This means wasting time with the Apple trailers site, where I’m always left with the overwhelming feeling that I’m just not cut out for showbiz. A movie about a guinea pig strike force in 3D? See, I never would have thought of that.
The next step is wondering if we can assemble a team without turning to Craigslist, which last year gave us a mixed bag, including a guy who presented himself with great enthusiasm. He called me to tell me his idea for a sci-fi short: A man possesses a pack of cigarettes, and… well, I’m trying not to describe them as “magical” cigarettes, but it’s hard not to, because every time he smokes one, he sees a vision of his future. The last one in the pack tells him how he will die.
Now that I write it down, I see it isn’t really a terrible idea, if you did it right. You could make the brand of smokes something like Oracles. He’d have to buy them in a creepy shop; the clerk could be a nice little part. Twenty smokes would give him time to figure out what’s happening. The visions could increase in significance and jeopardy as the pack diminished. The last one would bring the action to a nice climax. You could pepper the dialogue with snarky lines about giving up this filthy habit and “these things are gonna kill me.” Title: “Bob Quits Smoking.”
Unfortunately, when I talked to the guy about it, I must have failed to express my enthusiasm. I believe I told him that under the rules of the contest, sci-fi was only one of the seven or eight possible genres we might be assigned, and did he have any ideas for a chick flick? Because a day or two later he sent me an e-mail withdrawing from the team and complaining that he didn’t feel his ideas were being respected. He didn’t even make it to a single meeting. So I also get a Fail on dealing with sensitive artistic temperaments.
Nevertheless, I think we should do it. The true challenge will be to play it sincere; too many teams treat the assignment as a lark, and end up doing spoofs on whatever they draw — “Snakes in a Minivan,” etc. I think you could stay on the table* just by not cocking your eyebrow.
* Obscure Pulitzer-judging reference for journalists only.
Whatever we end up doing, I hope it includes a follow shot. This link is recommended, especially the video clip. See how many you get. (I was a Fail here, too.)
A quick skip to the bloggage today, because I have ten tons of work today, and ten more tonight. I’m listening to highlights from Barry’s speech in Cairo today, and I have to say, I’m impressed. I’m sure others won’t be. After all, you can’t say something like this…
“Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.”
…without being called a wussy little quisling by someone, probably starting with whoever is on Fox at this very moment. But don’t let that hold you back. Discuss.
Something I didn’t know and find sort of sad: What happens to a man married (and divorced) four times? You end up buried next to your mother. What would John DeLorean say about GM? a Freep columnist wonders. My boycott of Mitch Albom’s employer didn’t last long, but I did avert my eyes from Mitch.
I can say uno mas mojito, por favor therefore I speak Spanish. At least, according to Michael Goldfarb, via Steve Benen.
Remember the “terrorist fist jab?” Gawker does:
Here are ten photos from the past year, proving that fist jabs have overcome their scary, black-person-centric origins and flowered into a glorious tableau of diversity.
And with that, I’m out of here. Sharing week continues with today’s Decorum Share: Tell us something that would have been scandalous in a prior century. I’ll start: Some days, I don’t wear a corset.