a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Lull

There just hasn't been much to post about the past few days. Hollywood is quiet, though there's enough work trickling in to keep me off the streets and out of trouble.

I'm planning for a trip back to Long Island over the holidays, to see family, and remember why it's good to be away from the frozen northeast.

The writing group continues to go well, while my brainstorming of my new script continues to yield a lot of promise, though the tone is still elusive; I'm not sure if it's a dark thriller, an offbeat drama/thriller, or more of a comedy. Probably the middle one, but it's still shaking out.

Here's a (vague) script-related question for you all -- if you want to feed my brainstorming, because anything you throw out that's interesting, I'll keep and use:

You are suddenly a version of yourself with a playful, vengeful side, and no moral compunction whatsoever. So you go into the deadend job you work at, at a big, faceless, cubicle-filled corporation, without caring if what you are about to do will get you fired (and not fearing any legal punishment either). So what would you do to your boss? To your rude coworkers, who deserve payback?

Let fly.


At 10:38 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

Wow. It's like you're talking to me. You know I quit my day job in July to write for a few months. The last few weeks I was there, I did play some minor mind games, but nothing that would prevent me from being rehired.

If I didn't have to worry about being rehired in the speech reco industry, what would I do?

First off, I'd sit next to the guy I sat next to who slurped coffee every day and make him listen to me slurping hot coffee -- for 8 hours!! Then I sit next to the nail biter who sat on the other side of me and I'd make him watch me BITE MY NAILS for 8 hours. And then the yawner, I'd make him work for 8 hours while I yawned. Over and over again. And the one who was constantly taking to his wife all day? "Hey Crazy!" Sorry, I don't want to hear about your love life during my work day. He gets 8 hours of calls from his mother. All day long.

And my micro-managing manager? I'd watch him compose emails, over his shoulder, and correct HIS USE OF PREPOSITIONS, say things like: I'd use "at" not "to" at the end of that sentence. And when he fills in his status report? I'd complain that the column widths were not consistent in his Excel spreadsheet.

I worked in speech reco, right? You know, those automated systems that are totally annoying? The head speech designer, the one that hated me? I'd hope that he'd get trapped in his own software. Let's say he has a pressing customer service issue with a company - like his mortgage company, or better yet, BMW financial services. He calls up to fix an error on his bill, but he can't get a human. He's trapped in an infinite loop of, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that... Please say your account number one more time."

Hee hee. It's the mundane stuff, not death, that's true torture... Unfortunately, the stuff that makes me turn red has already been expertly covered in Office Space and Dilbert.

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous kristen said...

I haven't worked in an office for a few years, but I would love to see what people would do if you:

a) pushed hard on the cubicle walls til they collapsed on top of them

b) piled heavy things outside the boss's closed door, trapping him inside

c) made all office gossip a matter of public record

d) pulled all the files out of the cabinets and threw them into the air, yelling "snow!"

e) danced on the lunch table

I never had too much of a problem with office jobs. My main problem was just how boring and uncreative they were. There ought to be more joy in the work place.

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Blair said...

As a former cube farm weed, I can say I'm a big fan of kneecapping. It's painful. It can be debilitating. It isn't necessarily fatal (because if they're dead, they won't learn nothin').

But, as my wife would say, "that's your answer for everything." She's right.

Oh, and for one boss in particular, I'd go outside and chisel "CHILD MOLESTER" into his his car's paintjob.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Brett said...

I'd offer some ideas and suggestions, 'cept I'm saving all my fave childish stunts and actionable offenses for a pair of my own projects I already have simmering in quiet mental development.

I will offfer this much: copier toner is one of the great amusing endlessly useful marvels of this our modern world.
'Nuff said B

At 4:58 PM, Blogger S. A. Petrich said...

I've never been in an office for more than half an hour at the time. If I did, I would have probably gone mad.

Think college. Think. Think.

OK, I've got it:

Things I need: Baseball bat, one. Wood-chopping axe, one. Plastic bag, one. Roll of duct-tape, one. Matchbook, one. Bacon sandwitch, one. Gallons of gasoline, two. Tubes of paint, six. Puma, one. Set of keys, one.

The guy who teaches Greek literature gets the baseball bat. All the benches and chairs get to be chopped up with the axe. That red-headed chick who just won't SHUT THE F*** UP gets involved with the plastic bag and the duct tape. Than I break down the door and let all the other students out. After that, I douse the place with gasoline and set it on fire.

Than I go downstairs into the record department, where I had to wait SIX F***** HOURS to get my index done, and trash the place. I spill all the records on the floor and use the paint to create a lovely piece of modern art.

To call it a day, I take the puma into the Dean's office and lock him inside with her.

Than I walk out and quietly eat my sandwitch.

That's at least what I fantasise about while translating Xenofontes.

I'm not a violent person in real life. I'm really not.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Hmm, if I had it in me (literally) I'd leave upper-deckers in all of the toilets.

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous danny said...


Boss enters with a phone bill.

Danny, did you make all these 1-900 calls from your office phone?

Oh, may I see that?

Danny takes the bill, balls it up and nails a hook shot into the trashcan.

NBA tryouts are next week, gotta stay hot. Oh, wait, not that I'm thinking of quitting here, of course, but a guy can dream, right? Say, you want a beer?

Danny opens a filing cabinet which has been filled with crushed ice and cold brew.

Danny, what are you--you can't--what do you think--this is an--

Hey shutup. Yes the phone bills are mine, but I couldn't help myself.

Excuse me?

Well, I know is a bit personal, but how did you take it when your wife stopped having sex with you? Because last month when your wife stopped having sex with me, I had to--

Okay, that's kinda long now.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous danny said...

Oh snap!

I just saw on your original post that we DON'T have to worry about legal punishment.

In that case I'd just drive my car through the building.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I'd pay off something that was cleverly set up in act one, or just choose something appropriate to genre. The way you'd piss off a boss in a comedy is very different from the way you'd piss off a boss in a dark thriller.

Oh, and for the coworker who keeps stealing my post-its:

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, let's see... It was about a year and a half ago that I had to quit working in offices because my boss bullied me into a nervous breakdown.

But as I remember it... The very first thing one ought to do is let your boss know that no, the Sicilian you work with has no connections to the mafia, but you rode the school bus with the Gambino family. And you would happily throw them some work.

Then, you photocopy every lawsuit against your boss that proves that he has no real money and should probably not be attempting to produce movies, and send copies out. One copy to the head of something or another indie at one of the big three agencies who he definitely should not be allowed to with. One copy to the producer he recently pissed off by dropping a deal to finance a project last-minute, and would surely enjoy the schadenfreude. One copy to each potential investor in his company or co-producer. One copy to every executive he's hired or is attempting to hire. One copy to the CFO od a comic book studio that he hangs out with, that is surely just looking for an investor anyway. One copy to his casting director, because she's a decent person and you want her to get out of her deal before he fucks up another perfectly cast movie for her.

Copies of correspondence with the *famous artist* museum in Spain to whoever was setting up that other *famous artist* movie. Copies of the cease-and-desist order from the producers of the other movie to the *famous artist* museum.

Delete any remaining computer files of scripts. Burn any hard copies. Erase digital rolodex. Burn actual rolodex. Bomb his office while he's in Spain negotiating with *famous artist* museum. Change all the passwords on his credit accounts, and burn where he wrote down his mother's birthdate. Move his finicky writer/director to a ridiculously expensive suite. Misbook his flight home so he will miss it. Bomb his car and apartment. Leverage the best script he hasn't bought yet into a development executive position at another production company. Laugh heartily.

Tell his scientologist friends he's lost all of his money.

Ahhhh. It's cathartic just writing it. But thank God I got out before I snapped and had to do all that work!

At 3:09 PM, Blogger citygirl said...

I'd write down every crappy thing my boss has done to anyone ever, then I'd tie him to a chair and make him listen to all of it while explaining why the stuff was so wrong.

Oh yeah, every time he challenged the wrongness of something I'd taser him. In the face. That's not so bad, is it?


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