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Monkey In Motion (Again) . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I got an early birthday present this past weekend during my second meeting with the film producer (see old entry at bottom of this one for history).

We had a 30-minute conference call on Sunday to discuss his thoughts after reading the full script for "Monkey Business." I always imagined or rather hoped that such a conversation would take place at a hipper-than-thou Hollywood club, however, this one took place with me drinking coffee in my underwear inside my loft. Selah.


The first thing I learned was that this guy just signed on to direct his first comedy, which begins shooting in Florida next week. This was good news in the long term as our script is meant to be funny.

The second item was that he actually read the full script, and he still liked the overall plot and concept. He was also still interested in exploring things further, and his three main points for my brother and I to work on were:

A) Make the main characters more likable/empathetic early in the script
B) Develop the love story more
C) Have 1 - 2 more "outrageous" moments of comedy that people would be talking about

He cited the hair gel scene in "There's Something About Mary" as an example of the last point. Of course.


My gut reaction is to:

A) Have both main characters save a cat from a tree, thwart a mad-dog rapist and kidney punch a would-be church arsonist within the first 5 pages
B) Feature an envelope-pushing, sweaty sex scene or two
C) Ponder other bodily fluids to be used as hygiene products

But those are just my initial thoughts.

Anyway, while he's in Florida shooting the movie, my brother and I supposed to work up a detailed outline to address the points we discussed. Our contact will be back in Austin at the end of February, and at that time, we'll re-connect to discuss the changes. It will be time for a decision (at least in my mind) at that stage, so the next month will require a fair bit of work.

I only hope the final meeting will be held at a nightclub with loads of champagne and debauchery at hand. We'll see.

-BDS

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I got semi-good news this weekend as I spoke to the film producer who now has a comedy script - "Monkey Business" - written by my brother and I resting in his hands.


{Editor's Note: Unfortunately, there are no actual monkeys in the screenplay.}

As a quick recap, this started about a month ago with a random introduction to the producer followed by:

* The producer asking for a script treatment to read
* Me frantically writing a treatment which totaled about 12 pages
* A coffee shop meeting where we discussed his thoughts on the treatment.
* He liked the premise and the characters and asked for the full script
* We mailed the script and celebrated a very minor victory with a couple of pitchers

These past few weeks, we have wondered how our actual script has been holding up, and after calling the producer to find out, we discovered that so far the feedback is still positive.

On the phone, he said that he had already read the script once, then silence. This felt ominous so I said, "Well, I hoped you laughed a few times."

He said "Yes, I did." Then more silence.

"So, what are your impressions so far?" I asked.

This time he went into a bit of length, and stated that he still really liked the premise, the story structure and the comedy. The main changes he saw right now was adding more depth to the characters to juxtapose the comedic situations with something more firmly rooted in reality.

Fair enough. I can add depth any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'll just splice in a few scenes with main characters pontificating slowly about life set against some background that's highly symbolic - like a rotted-out dumpster or more to the point, the broken-down dumpster of life.


Well, maybe something else, but it is a reasonable fix and far easier than blowing up the structure or adding characters.

The call ended with the producer telling me that he wanted to read the script a second time before we met again to discuss his thoughts in more depth. So, we now have plans to sit down the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December, depending upon the projects that he's working on.

But regardless, it was certainly good news that our finished screenplay held up under his initial examination. It sounds like round of celebratory pints are in order to me as every little step is a small victory when you're coming out of nowhere.

-BDS

16 comments

  1. Maddy Says:
  2. Fabulous, sounds like you're on the road to fame and fortune!
    Cheers

     
  3. Heff Says:
  4. Good luck with it all. As I'm sure it's a slow process, How long has this "Monkey been in Motion" now ?

     
  5. Good stuff pal.

    Maybe you could find some way to incorporate an external use for stomach acids. I don't think that's ever been done before.

     
  6. Maddy - I sincerely hope you are correct. Ha. But I'm staying skeptical.

    Heff - Thanks, and at least a year and a half since we wrote the original draft (2nd script). Then we did a major re-write. Since we started speaking to this producer, it's only been about 4 months or so (but feels longer).

    WhatIgot - That's an idea. It's that kind of thinking that I need because it's hard to find stuff that is funny/outrageous but has NOT been done before. Tricky indeed.

     
  7. Miss Ash Says:
  8. Sounds like promising news!!

    You have turquoise tablecloths?? Not making fun *snicker* just observing :)

     
  9. sounds promising.

    Although not a bodily fluid I always thought massive clumps of earwax were pretty funny.

     
  10. Congratulations on making it this far. Good luck making it the rest of the way!

     
  11. Miss Ash - I should have known you might comment on that. Actually, those were there for an Open House BEFORE I bought the loft. They are not mine, although I see nothing wrong with owning that if your tastes run in that direction. Ha.

    Idig - Promising start, but as we all know, it can be much harder to finish. At least I can recall this feeling. Will also make note of the ear wax as all ideas are under consideration.

    Native Minnow - Thanks, and we'll see if it moves any further. Regardless, it's always good to have something interesting going outside of work

     
  12. nobich Says:
  13. Keeping my fingers crossed

     
  14. Good luck! Not that you really need it. Anyway, I definitely like the idea of using some other bodily fluid to be used as hygiene products, because that scene in There's something about Mary was freakin' hilarious!

     
  15. Grace Says:
  16. Wow. That's awesome! Hope it works out well and you make millions. Don't forget how much I supported you...

     
  17. Nobich - Thanks as I'll take all the luck/fingers/karma I can get. Ha.

    Trina - That was a funny scene, and a funny movie (I reviewed it for my college newspaper when it came out). Thanks for the luck.

    Grace - I never forget. I have a memory like an elephant. At least I think they have long memories. Regardless, thanks for the wishes.

     
  18. Gypsy Says:
  19. Wow that is really exciting. So far, so good. Keeping everything crossed for you and your brother BDS.

    I should be making my debut as an extra in a popular show over here in about two months. Maybe we will both have Hollywood careers to celebrate soon.....

     
  20. vivavavoom Says:
  21. congratulations!!!

     
  22. Gypsy - That would be nice. I remember reading about your role, and that sounded very cool. I also wonder if you saw the Lost premiere last night as I didn't know if there was a lag time in Aust. I thought it was very good.

    Vivavavoom - Thanks. We'll see how it moves from here.

     
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