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Posts Tagged ‘sci fi’

SO…you’re a fledgling screenwriter. You need quick money. This quick money is attainable to you. How? Syfy original movies. Ironically, writing  a Syfy original movie is also great opportunity to get nominated for an emmy start hating yourself. So we need to start at the beginning.

You can start out by choosing an inanimate object. Any old object will do. This thing, whatever you choose, will be coming to life and killing professional actors  your Applebees hosts as they scream in terror. For example, if you choose a pencil, logic dictates that your screenplay will probably end up being titled “Pencil Monster!” The exclamation point is necessary. Because surely anyone who saw a pencil monster would say so with a fair amount of conviction. So anyway, your object is going to come to life and kill people in all sorts of great ways. The next step is figuring out how.

You could always have nuclear waste haphazardly dumped on it by dubiously irresponsible employees. The most common and easiest method to explain your creatures sudden liveliness is to not explain at all. That exposition is probably going to take up valuable time for the thespians to develop their character anyway. So, essentially, just have the killings start.

Now, You don’t have to do an inanimate object. If you choose to not go that route, you’re dealing with a flesh and blood creature. It can be any living creature. Take that creature and make it 5 times bigger than it actually is. Drizzle it in blood. Then you add a “super” in front of it. So, let’s look at a regular sequence and then Syfy the shit out of that thing. Regular:

JESSIE

What could have done this?

BRIAN

I’ve seen tracks like this before. At my uncle’s cabin up North. He’d take us up there for bible studies like any other normal uncle.

JESSIE

What?

BRIAN

Never mind. The important thing is that I recognize these are squirrel tracks.

There you have it. Now the Syfy version of that same scene:

JESSIE

Im scared, Brian. What could have done this?

BRIAN

It’s okay, Jessie. I’ve seen tracks like this before. Let me take my shirt off.

JESSIE

Great idea. But what are the tracks?

BRIAN

These are the tracks of a super squirrel.

JESSIE

Let’s do it.

BRIAN

K.

See what I did there? Careful manipulation of the audience. Very delicately crafted. Now, if you go forward with this you’re going to need a sheriff. This is either an old man or a young woman. That’s how it goes. They never know anything. You can kill them if you want. But you’ll also need a cast of colorful and stereotypical townspeople characters. There’s the owner of a general store with one leg and a bucket hat. There’s an old school teacher who speaks with a lisp and collects marionettes. Whatever. These people show up sporadically and act suspicious. Example:

BRIAN

Mr. Wilkins?

WILKINS

Huh?

BRIAN

What are you doing at the aqueduct at 3 in the morning in lederhosen and clogs with a shovel and a beaker marked “secret ingredient”?

WILKINS

Hunting deer.

Suspicion attained. But note that these people are eccentric, so any one could be a red herring. Because you’re a genius. Then, your main characters (a divorced man trying to get his life back on track and a small town journalist who falls for him) will contact a specialist who deals with whatever is killing people. So, in the case of “Pencil Monster!”, a graphite guy. Or something. In the end he’s going to determine some crazy way to kill the pencil monster/super squirrel/ plastic cup demon. This should be accomplished by a really cheaply done explosion. Preferably.

So, all the time in between, you should sprinkle sequences of people finding bodies, the protagonists running around, and two conversations that are written in a way as to give the appearance of being deep when they’re really not. Other than that, it’s up to you. If you write something at leat 60 pages and follow these guidelines, your film will not only be made, but it will be played repeatedly on Saturday nights. Enjoy your money and life of guilt.

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It’s been quite a few years since NASA, with the eyes of the world upon it, made that “giant leap” for mankind. But we still can’t figure out how to eat toast without getting shit all over ourselves. It may be time to examine how big of leaps we’ve taken. Or, better yet, to ask ourselves what exactly we’re paying NASA to do anymore. Because I have no idea.

I know we found traces of water on Mars. I know they launch missions. I vaguely recall hearing stories that pop up every now and then about missions being scrubbed, typically because pieces of plastic are falling off the shuttle. If we’re going to pay a few million dollars to fly into space, it’s probably a good idea not to have have the mission hinge upon small pieces of plastic. Or at least spring for some super glue to keep those parts secure. Or maybe we should just outsource this type of project to Radio Flyer, seeing as it looks like they have their shit together when it comes to this sort of thing.  At least more than NASA does.

I don’t really know what we’re paying for here or why we’re paying for it. If we’re trying to have a dick measuring contest with aliens, we’re destined to lose. If they’re out there, it’s sufficient to say that they probably have us beat in this area. If we’re trying to “better mankind”, we could probably put that to better use. Unless we can harness that Mars water to make some sort of really expensive Capri sun juice pouch. Because that would be interesting.

Let’s kill this program and concentrate on issues here on Earth. Things actually effecting people and we can have an impact on. At least until we can figure out how to stop critical pieces of machinery from falling under the normal conditions of gravity. Then, after all of those are taken care of, we can blow money on sending people into orbit to search for space poodles and David Bowie’s summer home.

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