Real Life Stole My Movie Idea

The majestic beast before…

So last month this guy from Connecticut was at a seafood restaurant and when it came time to choose who to eat, he spotted an enormous 17-pound lobster in the live tank. Instead of dining on Lucky Larry, as he’s now known, he set him free (in the ocean, not just in the restaurant parking lot). Continue reading

Is Dressing As a Giant Mug of Coffee a Good Career Move?

I'm covered in mouse turds. Who wants a hug?

I was a sucky teenager. I pretty much did what my parents and teachers told me, and only broke the rules if I was on my way to the Planetarium to see the Pink Floyd laser show. That lack of a rebel spirit had its upsides – I got into university and passed my driving test the first time. But it also almost meant a career that would have added a heaping serving of mockery to the virginity buffet that was my teenage years.

Douchebag owned, douchebag operated

It all started when I got a job as a barista at a crappy little coffee shop owned by a guy named Doug. Physically, he was not well maintained. Even his goatee had dandruff. His personality was worse – an unpleasant mix of racist jokes and questionable management directives like “mustard never goes bad, so it’s okay to still use the tub I bought four years ago”, and “I can save $20 a month if we turn off the refrigerator in the pastry case.” And there was the whole problem — whatever he asked me to do, I did, even if it meant picking fruit flies out of the custard tarts.

Continue reading

My Movie Idea That Everyone Hates, Part 2

Bald Eagles2

Bald, Rug, Bald, Not Bald, Bald, Bald, Rug, Bald.

Meet Francis McTavish. He’s a likeable everyman with a beer belly and a bald spot. But what he lacks in abs, he makes up for with a cool job – he’s a geologist surveying for minerals in the rainy rainforests of Peru.

So he’s down in South America one day, when his helicopter crash-lands deep in the jungle. The pilot dies, and Francis has a nasty gash on the back of his shiny head. He uses some leaves from a strange looking plant to sop up the blood, then gets rescued.

A week later, and Francis is back at home in America. He looks in the mirror and holy shit his hair is growing back! Yup, there’s manly stubble wherever those magical leaves touched his head.
Continue reading

My Movie Idea That Everyone Hates

Zach GalifianakisHave you ever wondered what happens after you die?

Specifically, have you ever wondered what happens after you die and have yourself cryogenically frozen, then wake up twenty years from now as just a head?

If so, you might enjoy my new movie idea: Like a Chicken. But if you do like it, you’re the only one. My writing partner and fellow Screenplaya hates it. All my friends hate it. And my wife said its high concept-ness reminded her of Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill, but without the wit.

The thing is though, how many movies have a scene where an English Bulldog with a human head gets humped by a labradoodle… and not just for a cheap laugh. It’s a scene that matters.

Continue reading

Why It’s Important to Lead Your Protagonist Up Sauron’s Ass

You can tell by his eyes he's totally not crazy.

There’s a concept in law called “The Reasonable Man”. The idea is that sometimes a judge has to compare your behavior to what a regular person might be expected to do. For instance, when faced with a stranger choking on a bus, would a reasonable person administer the Heimlich maneuver? (note: the stranger is on the bus, choking. They’re not choking because they tried to swallow a bus.)

In perhaps the only example where lessons from law school coincide with those learned in the trenches of Screenwriting U, we can learn much from Mr. Reasonable. In law, the more your behavior resembles Mr. R. the better. But in a movie, the more your protagonist resembles the Reasonable Man, the less chance you’re ever going to win that Daytime Emmy.

Continue reading