Attention by the numbers!
ONE! This is the (mostly) true story of one Freshman's experience during "Hell Week" - the time allotted to transform 250 summer-vacation bloated recruits into one of the best college marching bands in the country. It's about Trying. It's about Truth. It's about the perfect length for a transcontinental flight.
TWO! As a bonus, the screenplay version is included after the book for those with a genuine interest in scriptwriting, i.e., anyone not actually affiliated with Hollywood.
THREE! I used to be a writer for "THE WONDER YEARS". This book is my attempt to tell a personal story in the same way...
...with both heart and humor.
Young Walt Farquhar, lifelong classic Disney fan, pursues his dream of working the summer in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World...
...but soon learns that it takes more than wishing upon a star to make dreams come true.
I know guys like this.
Guys who have never been out on a date.
Guys who have never even tried.
That's the question "WHY THE SQUIRREL WON'T FRY" examines. It takes 4 of these guys - 4 distinct vertices of a square labeled "excuses" - and looks at how each has become trapped in his own corner.
Until one of the guys tries to break out of the box.
Here's the logline:
are perfectly content to sit around a luncheonette
talking about the girls of "Star Trek",
Just 4 guys in a room. No gunshots. No paranormal phenomena. No CGI.
On purpose. See, the idea was to write the lowest budget movie I could, with the goal of producing it myself. The production part didn't happen, but the writing part did. Minimal characters. Minimal locations.
Maximal (?) humor.
Well, you can be the judge of that. Maybe I was too clever for my own good. It wouldn't be the first time. For example: The original title for this screenplay was "BRAINS"...
...but with the final "S" reversed to hint at a certain irony.
But the real irony is, there was a better title staring me in the face the whole time. I just couldn't see it. Or maybe I was just afraid to take the chance.
I know guys like this.
Which would you choose?
Now, before the word "scientist" conjures up irreparable images of math and sterility, let me hasten to point out that, like many consumer technologies, Virtual Reality will initially be driven almost exclusively by the Sex Business...
Which would you choose?
What if you could start over?
It's your choice.
Making of 'Sex and Violence'" is a
Just one sentence?
You know what they say about sausage...
Here's the pitch:
Reeling from sexual discrimination, advertising expert Penny Mann
decides to market her only remaining asset: Herself.
By literally offering herself as the grand prize in a raffle.
A penny raffle.
Of course, there are other costs, both legal and moral. But Penny always seems one step ahead of those who invariably seek to shut her down.
Will they succeed? Will the penny raffle find a winner?
Or has Penny herself somehow stacked the deck?
Turning sexual harrassment on its head.
A comedy about Zen Buddhism? Hai!
Or maybe "Haiku":
Art Westin goes East;
A Salesman who finds The Light;
Or even more "Occidentally":
Art Westin - high-strung, plugged-in, always-selling - is forced to spend a week in a Japanese Zen monestarty...
...where he encounters a unique koan ("riddle") of philosophy and phunny...
...culminating in a moment of satori ("insight") that changes his life.
But will this enlightenment last when he returns to the West?
Choir, listen to the pitch:
A diverse chorus of teenagers unite
during a whirlwind musical tour of Europe.
“Y.M.I.” stands for “Young Musicians International”, based on an actual organization I traveled with during my own teenage years. The idea was to “promote fellowship through the international language of music”.
At least, in theory.
In practice, fellowship within the group was hard enough to maintain, while concerts were often the last thing on the mind of young men and women far away from home for the first time in their lives.
Until, miraculously, it all came together at tour’s end.
It’s not “High School Musical” nor "Glee", but it will be recognizable to anyone who ever sang in a high school choir.
Or survived adolescence.
1. Confidential: The following logline has been classified "reliable" from an inside source:
Two former covert operatives
are forced to recover the mysterious film
that turned them into fugitives... and enemies.
Decryption (Level I):
the top field team planted deep in the former
...until the C.I.A. rounds them up to recover what they lost...
...reopening personal wounds...
...and national secrets.
Decryption (Level II):
This document was originally written to be the final movie in the Newman/Redford “trilogy”, which began with "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" and continued with "The Sting". Many references, both overt and covert, are hidden within.
3. Top Secret:
Decryption (Level III):
NCS (National Clandestine Service) suspects this entire story
to be a stealth metaphor for the current state of the
[Reference: "Goddamn metaphors..."]
This is a Television Pilot Package, specifically a 1/2 hour comedy series that offers:
A behind-the-scenes look at a locally-funded travel show
that reports from destinations around the world
on a very low budget.
Ironically, it was written just before the proliferation of
Not so ironically, it was written "on spec"
(speculation), meaning no one hired me to develop this concept. I did it because I liked it. Thought it had potential.
It's still different.
Therefore still unlikely to ever "take off"...
This is a Television Pilot Package, specifically a 1/2 hour "dramedy" series that shows:
A behind-the-scenes look at a struggling community theater
presented in 5-episode arcs
each based on a well-known musical.
I wrote "THE BARN" several years ago, well before the coupling of Song and Series began to dominate the televised landscape. Perhaps that's why, at the time, this particular programming barn was never "raised".
It would still be a risky venture, mainly because of its unique format.
And because in television, unlike its theatrical counterpart, sometimes "The show musn't go on."
It ain’t dinner theater.
“TRIVIAL PURSUITS” is a 3-act, 4-character, 1-set play that asks:
“How much can an audience learn about a bunch of guys
who are sitting around a table playing a board game?”
Because that’s about the only action taking place on stage.
Unless you count the struggle for Timmy’s soul.
TIMMY is the timid host of this week’s gathering, which includes buddies TOM, the skirt-chaser; ROD, the logic-monger; and BEAR, the large and shambling animal – four vertices of a box called “maleness”. And at the center of this box is a question, a single thin story thread upon which hangs pages of character revelation like sheets upon a clothesline: Will Timmy grasp his last chance at salvation, saving himself from the hollow fate of his fellows by seeking the not-so-subtly-named Hope?
Because, mostly, “Trivial Pursuits” is about girls. Or, rather, the attitude of Timmy’s counterparts toward girls. Each (TOM, ROD, BEAR) is given a devoted ACT and a particular P.O.V. to present, all while playing a sometimes metaphorical game. They use a number of time-proven male methods to get their points across. They eat chips. They drink beer. They cheat. They deliver monologues in the john. They draw pictures. In short, they cover every angle of their favorite topic from the juvenile to the sobering to the downright offensive.
With the final goal? To reach out and touch each member of the audience with those twin masks of the theater, laughter and tears.
And possibly discomfort.
So, please: No dining allowed.