$2 Dollar Productions Goes On Hiatus . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, May 04, 2008

Effective immediately, $2 Dollar Productions will be shutting down operations - temporarily - for the month of May.

Luckily, the impetus for the decision sprang from recent good news rather than a forced shut-down due to insanity, job loss, divorce, an all-consuming heroin addiction, blindness from masturbation, death, destruction or having my penis chopped off in the middle of the night.

Small favors.

Instead, my brother and I agreed to a revised outline of our screenplay - "Monkey Business" - with the movie producer/director we've been working off and on with since the beginning of 2008(see bottom of the post for history).

We'd been working through the outline for the past 6 weeks as the guy went to Florida to direct a movie. He returned to Austin in April, and after sitting down with him for a four hour meeting last week, he said that our script was something that he wanted to pursue.

The good news was as follows:

* He wants to direct it himself if possible, and if not, then to work with Sony or another studio to try and get it funded
* He wants to attach his name as a co-writer (a concession that we would make if this thing ever happens)
* He can allegedly get the script directly to a major comedy star that I actually like and that everyone would recognize (don't want to jinx anything by mentioning it right now)
* He wants to get the script written to match the outline right away

It's hard to believe that there's a chance in hell that any of the above might occur (and we're still instensely skeptical until it does). But my brother and I both agree that we must strike quickly while we have his attention.

So, instead of blogging and virtually anything else this month, we are going into the trenches to churn out a script that we are angling to finish by Memorial Day Weekend. We'll see.

I plan to write before work, at work and after work. The last version of the original script was finished in October 2007 and equates to about 50% of the revised outline, a fact that means I will be writing a considerable amount of new material.

It's somewhat daunting, however, the door seems to have been nudged ajar and we are going to attempt to kick the damn thing completely open. Why not?

I firmly believe that when you've got luck running with you that you ought to push things to the edge and beyond. That theory will be tested soon enough.

But all things are driving towards a completed screenplay by the end of the month, which means I need a small break from the blog. It will be strange as the longest time-off I've taken in two years has been a vacation week here or there.

In the interim, I hope everybody has a hell of a good month and when June rolls around I should hopefully return with a few decent stories to tell.


{I would be remiss if I didn't mention and say thanks to a fellow blogger who was the genesis of the effort. She met the producer/director at a Bennihana and said "I know someone who is writing a screenplay" and the rest has brought things to this point. Thank you.}

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.



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.



  1. JLee Says:
  2. That is wonderful news, although bittersweet because who will keep us updated on the Hollywood scene? We'll manage I suppose for the greater good ;)
    I know what you mean about not wanting to jinx something by talking too much about it, but we'll keep our fingers crossed because it really seems to be moving forward...Very exciting!

  3. Linda Says:
  4. That's very exciting news!! Go-write-be brilliant, and get that thing made!!! Very excited for you and your brother. Work hard - be funny!! All the best, Linda : )

  5. Heff Says:
  6. I had a feeling "Monkey Business" was in order, getting a comment from you on Sunday for a change.

    Good Luck with it all, 2Dollar. We'll be here when you return.

  7. grace Says:
  8. That's incredible! It sucks that you won't be posting for a whole month, but completely understandable. Best of luck with everything! Can't wait till your movie ends up in theatres... I'll be first in line!

  9. Gypsy Says:
  10. Gee I sure will miss your posts especially Quick Hit Friday but go forth and conquer BDS. If you need any extras let me know, I've got experience..haha. Hell with your good looks you should cast yourself in it ;)

    All the best for this very exciting time in your life and don't forget us little people when you're a hot Hollyweird screenwriter will you?

  11. Will miss you! But Good Luck!!!!

  12. nobich Says:
  13. Oh $2 we'll miss you!! Good Luck!! Don't forget about us- the people who live in the business of monkey!

  14. savannah Says:
  15. break a pencil, sugar! ;-)

  16. BostonPobble Says:
  17. Go kick some ass, BDS! It'll be Great.

  18. cats Says:
  19. just don't forget us little people when you become rich and famous.

  20. Miss Ash Says:
  21. Haha ditto to what Cats said!! Don't forget us little people and good luck to the both of you. Such exciting news!!

  22. SymplyAmused Says:
  23. Yay for the good news! I'll miss your posts as I check them everyday from my phone but it will be well worth the wait till you come back! Good for both of you!!!

  24. vivavavoom Says:
  25. That is GREAT!! But I bet you come back to blogging for some mindless relief from the grind. as a business person the only thing I say to watch out for is the fact he wants to be listed as cowriter when he did no work on it. sounds weird, even for Hollywood. get it in writing.
    It means he likes it enough he thinks it will sell which is good, but he also wants a piece of the writing moola!

    okay, great and congrats!

  26. I will be so sad :-( not to be able to do a daily vistit and know that there will be either some words of wisdom, some celebrity gossip, late breaking world news, or a review for the latest movie or maybe even an old movie. BUT.....I completely understand why you must leave us for a while. I will have my fingers crossed for you. I will say a little prayer and just send out all types of well-wishes. So good luck!

    BTW...It's not that hard to believe that there is a chance in hell this could actually be happeneing. Get rid of that ugly skepticism!

  27. so exciting!!

    If it helps your efforts at all I'd be willing to be included in any nude love scenes involving Jessica Biels (and/or the monkey).

    good luck.

  28. It couldn't happen to a better writer and guy. You've been entertaining me with your blog for over a year and it's about time the rest of the world knows what a talent you are.

    Good luck and come back soon.

    With a deal.

  29. Melissa Says:
  30. Deuce! You are shitting sunshine, man. Y'all will come up with some seriously good stuff, I believe it.

  31. Gypsy Says:
  32. Hey BDS, Hope all is going well for you. I know you're not around at the moment but I'm going private for a while so please send me your email address to if you would like an invite.

    Good luck with everything.

  33. Wendy Says:
  34. Oh, my dear, I wish you all good fortune! I would love to see this come to fruition for you and your bro!

  35. Claire Says:
  36. Ooooooh, exciting! Good luck!


  37. Congratulations! I hope everything goes well. Good luck!

  38. Mr. DNA Says:
  39. Awesome news.

    "and we're still instensely skeptical until it does"
    That's definitely the way to approach these things.

    Good luck and take care.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.  
  41. this is excellent news. Good luck with it and let us all know if and when it pans out. Rooting for you.

  42. Gypsy Says:
  43. It's nearly the end of May and then you're coming back right? I hope everything is going great with the screenplay. I'm missing my Hollyweird goss so if you could just hurry and wrap things up you might be able to squeeze in a post this Friday :)

  44. Blogger Says:
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