Juice, No Use
(Warning: this column contains the
Since I've had some luck writing screenplays, seldom a week goes by that a business person doesn't offer me "a great motion picture idea."
These executives, many of whom have seen movies, all of whom wear mostly black clothing, attempt to induce me into writing their screenplay with offers of vast riches. I would be allowed to keep five, or in some cases, ten per cent of the money that "our" screenplay sold for. The formula is simple: they come up with the ideas, I do the writing.
The problem is, their ideas have no juice.
Where is this going and what is juice, you might ask? Then again, you might not. Fortunately, I can decide what you will ask since I'm writing this. (Maybe thatís why I like to write.)
Okay, hereís where it is going. If you are a business person, here is an idea for you that incorporates your own profit-sharing formula. Buy a piece of property. Put a building on it. Put a helicopter landing pad on the roof so rich people can land on it and shop in the stores in your building. Then after the building is filled with tenants, who all have their own helicopters, sell the building for an amazing amount of money. Keep ten per cent and
give me the rest.
Don't stop there. Your building has lots of people in it. Pick any ten of them. Pretend that they like adventure and are gamblers.
Get them to take out insurance policies on each
other. Then have them hunt and kill each other in the corridors of your building until one survivor, well, survives. He or she gets all the money. (Business people invented this game. It's called a
tontine. Honest.) Call Bruce Willis. Sell the screenplay to his company. Keep ten per cent of the money.
Give me the rest.
And don't even think of stopping there. On the seventh floor of your building is a 50-year-old couple who lost all their money when he became a day trader. All they have left is long-term healthcare insurance. The wife takes her husband to a doctor who examines him and pronounces him crazy. (Little does the doctor know that the husband is pretending to be crazy.) The husband is institutionalized. As long as he stays in a new healthcare facility he has round-the-clock servants and lots of food and a warm bed. All he has to do is soil his
pajamas every night.
In the daytime his wife takes her husband out for, well, outings. During one of these outings, he takes her to a doctor and gets her committed to another nuthouse because she pretends to have Alzheimer's disease. Now the wife has a great place to stay too. She has round-the-clock care and good food and a warm bed. She too learns to soil her bed every night. It's one crazy HMO; business people invented all HMOs.
Our "brain dead" couple witness a robbery gone sour. They flee for their lives and the robbers track them down. The robbers don't want any witnesses.
You see how the story writes itself? Anyway, just fill in the words and sell it and keep five or ten per cent for yourself and give me the rest of the money and please leave me the F-word alone so I can write a column. With juice.
That's what got you to read this far.
By the way, in order for a screenplay to attract a producer, it will require about ten million times more juice than this column contains.
P.S.: If you'd like to read a novel about the lengths that producers will go to make a feature film, you might want to read one I wrote. Click here:
100 pounds of M&Ms