Write A Million Dollar Movie Plot

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'll explain the details and reasons for this challenge later in the post, but the gist of this competition is for each of you creative blogger-types to write a brief movie plot. Not only will the winner receive bragging rites, but I will actually bring the winning submission to life by making a short film based upon the winner's plot. I'll use cheesy household items, lame props, and my family's wonderful acting abilities to make a short movie which will be posted on the blog through Youtube. The winner will be recognized in the credits as the Writer, right alongside the Key Grip, Gaffer, Assistant Sound Technician and Boom Mike Operator. It should be cheesy, fun, and embarassing all at the same time. So, here is what you need to do:

1. Comment with a brief plot overview, similar to a 60-second elevator speech, from one of 3 options below.
2. Give your film a title.
3. Write a specific word-for-word quote that you would like to appear in the movie. Preferably something corny that Schwartzenegger would say, such as, "You're call is very important to us, please continue on hold the line..............while I terminate you".
4. Be creative, off-the-wall, and give me a script to be proud of - write a little about how they got in the situation(s) they are in, the perils/twists/turns they experience, why we should care, and how everything gets concluded.

If you have the mental energy to do this, just take one of these three summaries and expand upon it using the criteria above:

1. A slightly nerdy, middle-class Mormon family experiences adventure when they obtain a magical Dodge Grand Caravan that allows them to travel through time.
2. In the year 2356, a power struggle between a five-year-old Jedi and his three-year-old Princess sister will determine if the lego/bionicle-boys or the princess-girls will control the universe.
3. A devistatingly attractive female dentist and her hygenist husband learn that one of their patients is involved in a plot to destroy the world, and the fate of humanity rests in their hands.

The reason I want to do this is because of a new show that I just started watching called "The Lot". Even though I only watch a little bit of TV, I always get a little bummed out when all of the season finales are done with my core group of shows. With Survivior, American Idol, and Lost all winding down, Seventh Heaven getting cancelled, and the NFL season nowhere in sight, we are officially entering the lame summer months where there is almost nothing good to watch. (Just kidding on me watching Seventh Heaven, just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention).

Every summer there seems to be one or two shows that surprise me and are watchable, like the Biggest Loser. (Side note - Every time Andrea and I watch Biggest Loser together I serve myself a heaping bowl of ice cream, slather it with Hersheys syrup, sit down on the couch, and say in a disgusted voice through a mouthfull of Breyers, "How could they let themselves go like that?" It's always good for a laugh.)

Anyway, I really enjoyed the premier of "The Lot". The general premise is that the producers received thousands of short films and invited 30 aspiring Directors to Hollywood. It is an Apprentice-like elimination process that will conclude with one winner who will be able to direct a real Hollywood blockbuster. In the first episode, the three judges gave each of the contestants 24-hours to prepare to pitch a show with scenarios like the three I listed above. It was incredible how many of these articulate people who can write, film, edit, and publish exceptional short films could not muster a coherent sentence at times when trying to explain a possible plot. I thought to myself, "how hard can it be?" and am hoping that each of you can help answer the question with your submissions.

Best of luck. Maybe the winning submission and subsequent short film will become the next Youtube sensation, get us featured on Good Morning America, get picked up by Dreamworks, make us a bizillion dollars, move to Hollywood, blow all of our money, make a terrible film with Ben Affleck, become industry outcasts, disappear from the scene for seven years, and then return with an Emmy-winning movie with Kathy Bates, Dakota Fanning, Pee-Wee Herman, and Robert Redford. I hope you are ready for a wild ride.

Don't Mess With Shelley

Friday, May 18, 2007

Congrats to Shelley for winning the coveted Don't Mess With Me Award for the way she handled her Voice Stream bill that went to collections. The majority of us ended our lousy experiences with a statement such as, "...so I stormed off in a huff and have never been back!" or "...so I said, 'I want to talk with your supervisor!'"

Is this how Shelley reacted? Oh, no no no. She took it to the next level when her story escalated to, "So I called the State Attorney General's office...". It is this kind of malicious and persistent pursuit of justice that won her the award.

There were a couple of companies/industries that were beaten up pretty bad - David's Bridal (Jackie and Shannon) and the big box retailers Wal-Mart/K-Mart (Harmons, Tom, and Angie). I thought it was funny that two car dealerships were mentioned, but the people who posted (Sandy and Natalie) either couldn't remember the name of the dealership or didn't mention it. Come on, guys, you're either not worked up enough about what happened if you can't remember the name of the dealership or else you are letting them off way too easy if you just chose not to mention it.

So why put Shelley's head on Mr. T's body? Funny story, actually. Since this is the Don't Mess With Me Award, I asked myself, "Who in the world would I never mess with?" The first two names that came to mind were Mike Tyson in the early 1990's and Mr. T. Since I couldn't pick one or the other, I asked Andrea to give me the name of one person off the top of her head that she would never mess with. She paused briefly then said, "Ummm.....Mr. T?" She didn't sound very convincing, but if we both thought Mr. T then you have to go with it.

If Mr. T sues me for superimpsoing Shelley's face on to his body, I will have Shelley serve as my legal representative. I have a feeling she would tear them apart. I pity the fools already.

Do You Have a Banned List?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm about to share 3 companies that I've banned for one reason or another. Please post a comment to let each of us know a company or two that you have banned and why. The best comment will win you the official, "Don't Mess With Me" award.

I was in Pasadena, CA last week for work and took Prime Time Shuttles from the hotel to the airport. There were three of us in the shuttle and a femal passenger was very concerned that she was going to miss her filght. The driver got upset and became very argumentative and confrontative with her. He even told the woman, "If you were so worried about getting there on time you should have taken a cab!". I was so put off by the driver that I called the Prime Time customer service department to let them know how dissatisfied I was with the ride. I was on hold for about three minutes before an Operator picked up the call. She answered and immediately gave me the standard, "Can you hold please?" and put me on hold before I could reply. Instead of putting me on hold, however, she hung up on me. I was willing to give them one chance to redeem themselves, but when Prime Time's customer service rep hung up on me I was able to say that wonderful magic word available to each of us as consumers:

"BANNED!"

That's right, I have forever banned Prime Time Shuttles. It will never see another dollar from me. Prime Time joins a rather short but distinguished list of companies that have for one reason or another incurred the wrath of my consumer ire. Here are the top 3:

1. Sears. Early in our marriage we had to get a CV boot repaired on our car before driving from Provo, UT to Arizona. The only place that could do it on short notice was Sears. They ended up putting in 2 CV boots that day, and both of them were obviously not working judging from the incredibly loud clicking noise the car made every time I turned. Later that night the CV slipped completely out of joint. I took it to a different mechanic the next day. He looked at the car, came back laughing, and told me that the part Sears put in was 4 inches too short. It was so costly and aggravating that I've never been back to Sears.

2. Citgo. It's hard to have the warm fuzzies toward any gas company these days, but it is impossible when one charges you $3.00/gallon and is owned by the Hugo Chavez-led Venezuelan government. Chavez is a very outspoken critic of the United States and recently said the following about President Bush, “Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulfur ... in this same hall the president of the United States, whom I call 'The Devil’, came here talking as if he owned the world.” I simply cannot spent another dollar at Citgo knowing that much of it will flow back to Chavez. I'd rather fill my tank at a company that cares about me, the environment, and the promise of tomorrow's children, like Exxon-Mobile. (making gagging/throw up sounds right now.....)

3. Heinz. Much like my reasons for banning Citgo, this is primarily due to politics. During the Kerry/Bush presidential race many of us had the displeasure of being introduced to Mrs. Teresa Heinz-Kerry. Well, she adopted Heinz-Kerry during the race, now she's back to just "Heinz". Anyway, when speaking about her husband's public healthcare plan she said to the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, "Only an idiot wouldn't like this. Of course, there are idiots." Well, I didn't like the plan. Nor did I like her calling me an idiot. I have since taken my idiot dollars to purchasing Hunts catsup, even though it is an inferior-tasting condoment. Oh well, I'd rather settle for a slightly less tasty catsup than swallowing the acrid taste of selling my soul to help my hot dog taste a little better. (Okay, a little hyperbole, but it gets the point across).

So there's my list. Please post your "Banned" companies and I'll select a winner.