“I didn’t go to jail. I went to Hollywood.:–Orson Welles about what happened after his “War of the Worlds” 1938 radio broadcast.
It all starts with “Let’s blow up a town.” But it always starts that way. In some Hollywood office, a producer makes the suggestion to her in-house director.
Of course, the director takes up the dare. “How are we going to do that?” comes the question, and it’s a fair question too.
“We’ll get the special effects people to do it for us,” the producer says. She loves the special effects people. Unlike actors, they always give her exactly what she wants.
“I don’t mean how. I mean why.”
“Do we need a reason?” The producer isn’t looking for an answer. She already has an answer.
“Remember what P. T. Barnum said. There’s a sucker born every minute. And what the suckers…I mean, the public wants is boom-boom-boom. So all we have to do is hire some poor schmuck of a screenwriter to come up with some kid and his hot chick girlfriend taking on some—“
“I know, zombies.” The director is bored. He’s heard all this before.
“Not zombies. That is so passé. And no more vampires. At least, not for a while.“
“What then?” He starts to yawn but he knows that is a bad strategy.
“And we’ve done the tin cans,” the producer says. She’s starts pacing around the office.
The director knows this is a good sign. When she starts pacing, she’s about to come up something spectacular. Another Class A blockbuster. “Tin cans?” he asks anyway.
“You know, those transformers.” She flips her heels off. Now every inch of her body from her toes to her pageboy hair style is getting hot with an idea. All the director has to do is wait.
“Yeah, but what?” the director says, taking his cue to draw out an idea from his boss.
Then the idea begins to come out. “What if the town is on Mars?”
“Mars?” he says, watching the producer do her thing.
“Yes, Mars,” the producer is laughing. “Of course, Mars.” She is back on her game. “It’s one hundred years after earth has colonized Mars. Only we don’t send humans. We send robots.”
“Why do we colonize Mars?” The director is getting interested. It means he will be working with machines, not actors. The machines will definite do what they are told.
As the producer is pouring out her ideas, she’s thinking this is better than sex. The roll she’s on can be downright orgasmic. “Doesn’t matter. The screenwriter can make it up. Maybe we sent the robots up there to take on the little green guys.”
“So how do we get the hunky guy and the hot chick in the movie?” He is watching her as she goes for the gold, and she is doing it with the gusto of a whirling dervish.
“They are sent up there for a regular maintenance. You know, the robots need some WD40. They hate each other. Not the robots. But the hot chick and Mr. Hunk. They are also hot for each other too. After all, it’s been six weeks since they’ve had any.” The producer throws herself back into her chair. She is in absolute ecstasy.
Then her face turns into a frown. She is having a moment of doubt. She needs reassurance.
This is where the director comes in like he always does. That is why she keeps him around. Not for his directing abilities. He doesn’t have any. Rather to goad her out of her doubt.
“Absolute genius,” he says. “This could be huge.”
“You think so?” she asks. Then she’s off again, “Of course, it will. And you know what happens next? The Martians appear, and they are werewolves. Yes, werewolves. That’s it. Werewolves will be the new zombies. And Martian werewolves at that.”
“Martian werewolves,” he says, getting into the spirit of things. “I like that.”
“Of course you do,” she says, putting her feet up on the desk. “What’s not to like. And the only way they can overcome the Martians is blow up Robottown. ‘Cause the Martians are overrunning the town.”
“Now all you need is a title,” he says, knowing what he’ll be doing the next six months.
She picks up the phone and calls the first on her A-list of screenwriters. “Hey, Marvin, this is Michaelson. I have a job for you. I need you to write a script for my new movie, ‘It Go Boom’.”
She sits the phone back down and turns to the director. “I have a brilliant idea.”
“What would that be, Chief?”
“We’ll do a video game spinoff,” her voice filled with excitement. She is thinking of all the money that will roll in from this one. “Call it ‘Blow Stuff Up’.”