VALLEY VISIONARIES; WE TAKE A MEETING...ABOUT YOUR SCREENPLAY IDEAS.Byline: Glenn Whipp Film Writer
Because I'm a trained professional film critic, people often approach me and ask, ``Glenn, why are movies so bad?'' In fact, what they really want to know is what actual training is involved in being a professional film critic, which is a good question.
Unfortunately, the answer is much too complex - involving years of schooling, research and massive consumption of Milk Duds Milk Duds are a milk chocolate-covered caramel candy. They are currently manufactured by The Hershey Company. History
According to the manufacturer, the word "Milk" in the name refers to the large amount of milk in the product and the word "Duds" came about because the - to fully explore here. Maybe another time.
As to why movies are so bad, the answer can usually be found in the writing. That's why when we recently asked you, The Reader, to submit your ideas for the Great Valley Screenplay, we were excited by the possibility that maybe somewhere among our audience was the next Paul Thomas Paul Thomas (born Paul Anthony Thomas, 5 October 1980, Waldorf, Maryland, United States) is the bassist of the band, Good Charlotte. He started out on the guitar, but then a friend influenced him to play the bass guitar. Anderson, a cinematic genius prescient pre·scient
1. Of or relating to prescience.
2. Possessing prescience.
[French, from Old French, from Latin praesci enough to see Magnolia Boulevard as a thoroughfare teeming teem 1
v. teemed, teem·ing, teems
1. To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.
2. with drama, passion and plummeting amphibians amphibians
members of the animal class Amphibia. Includes frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and cecilians all capable of living on land or in water. .
After wading through scores of submissions, we can safely say that P.T. Anderson can rest easy. He will remain the great Valley auteur auteur (ōtör`), in film criticism, a director who so dominates the film-making process that it is appropriate to call the director the auteur, or author, of the motion picture. for some time. That's not to say that we didn't find your submissions interesting. We found a great many to be quite compelling, as did the appropriate authorities, who will be contacting some of you quite soon to award a nice, restful rest·ful
1. Affording, marked by, or suggesting rest; tranquil. See Synonyms at comfortable.
2. Being at rest; quiet.
rest , indefinite vacation in a comfortable, padded room with a view.
But in between the desperate cries for help and the readers who took Neal Gabler's recent book, ``Life the Screenplay,'' a bit too literally, came some letters from readers with a lot of good ideas and a little too much time on their hands.
So we've picked the best of your 25-word Valley screenplay pitches and developed them into full-blown film synopses, complete with casting and, often, directorial and production credits. Winning writers not might recognize their entries in their final form, but then, that's Hollywood. A screenwriter's original vision - particularly if the vision is original - is always the first thing to go.
``HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY''
a k a ``Valley Drought Officer''
Submitted by Bob via aol.com
Los Angeles. 2002. Following a vote to secede from Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. mysteriously begins to dry up. Meteorologists Atmospheric scientists
The real truth? Disgruntled dis·grun·tle
tr.v. dis·grun·tled, dis·grun·tling, dis·grun·tles
To make discontented.
[dis- + gruntle, to grumble (from Middle English gruntelen; see City Hall politicians, led by an evil mayor/restaurateur (Alec Baldwin) have conspired to turn the Valley into a desert. Valley homeowners, deprived of their two favorite pastimes - washing their cars and hosing off their driveways - complain, but to no avail.
Led by a disillusioned dis·il·lu·sion
tr.v. dis·il·lu·sioned, dis·il·lu·sion·ing, dis·il·lu·sions
To free or deprive of illusion.
1. The act of disenchanting.
2. The condition or fact of being disenchanted. drought officer (Ed O'Neill) and a plucky pluck·y
adj. pluck·i·er, pluck·i·est
Having or showing courage and spirit in trying circumstances. See Synonyms at brave.
pluck prostitute (Mira Sorvino), a hearty band of Valley rebels takes matters into its own hands. Simple acts of civil disobedience civil disobedience, refusal to obey a law or follow a policy believed to be unjust. Practitioners of civil disobediance basing their actions on moral right and usually employ the nonviolent technique of passive resistance in order to bring wider attention to the - hijacking hijacking
Crime of seizing possession or control of a vehicle from another by force or threat of force. Although by the late 20th century hijacking most frequently involved the seizure of an airplane and its forcible diversion to destinations chosen by the air pirates, when Evian trucks bound for Beverly Hills - escalate into an all-out assault on the Sylmar Reservoir.
In the end, Valley residents' hard work, grim determination and massive gun ownership are rewarded, and everyone is able once again to enjoy cool, clear water - with a mere 45 percent price hike. The film ends with the O'Neill and Sorvino characters marrying in a lavish ceremony held at Hurricane Harbor. Bottoms up!
``AIN'T NO SUNSHINE (WHEN IT'S GONE)''
A film by Oliver Stone
Submitted by Margie Blaz, Granada Hills
Twenty-five years ago, a power-mad army general, John Platt (Tommy Lee Jones For the musician, see .
Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an Academy Award-winning American actor and director. Biography
Jones was born in San Saba, Texas, the son of Clyde C. ), is distraught over the fact that his puppet ruler, Gerald Ford (Chevy Chase in an unbilled cameo), has been voted out of office. Platt decides to ensure his vision for America's future (no Equal Rights Amendment, no unisex bathrooms) by burying a nuclear arsenal in Granada Hills' Sunshine Canyon.
Fast forward to 2001. The general is dead, but his loyal son, John Jr. (Ben Affleck), has decided that the time is ripe for one nation under Platt and heads for Sunshine Canyon and his buried cache. Dismayed to find a massive landfill teeming with an immense amount of garbage, Platt decides to detonate det·o·nate
intr. & tr.v. det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing, det·o·nates
To explode or cause to explode.
[Latin d a nuclear warhead in Sunshine Canyon, both as a show of power and a protest against the influence of refuse-company lobbyists.
Standing in his way: Artie (John Goodman), a sanitation truck driver with a wife and two kids at nearby Van Gogh Elementary. Artie decides to make a stink Verb 1. make a stink - take strong and forceful action, as to object or express discontent; "She raised hell when she found out that she wold not be hired again"
raise a stink, raise hell of his own, fighting for family, freedom and a world free of trash and nuclear bombs.
Submitted by Maris Bellamy, Northridge
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer presents this disaster epic about a mad scientist, Zukar (Kevin Bacon), determined to create an earthquake that will separate the San Fernando Valley from Greater Los Angeles and thereby fulfill his wild secessionist fantasies.
Standing in his way are Brittany (Sandra Bullock), his levelheaded lev·el·head·ed
Characteristically self-composed and sensible.
level·head and kindhearted kind·heart·ed
Having or proceeding from a kind heart. See Synonyms at kind1.
kind research assistant and her pet Dalmatian, Sam (voiced by Robin Williams), a canine with a nose for trouble and a disposition for daring.
When Zukar sets in motion the chain of events that will produce a 9.0 earthquake centered in Sherman Oaks, Brittany and Sam find themselves in a race against time (and congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. on the Ventura Freeway) to restore calm to the Valley's terra firma.
With Brendan Fraser as Bill, the committed CalTrans worker.
Submitted by Peter Smith, Sherman Oaks
A despairing Beverly Hills mother and father (Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas) frantically try to save their daughter, Taylor (Tori Spelling) from an insidious cult. The signs of brainwashing brainwashing
Systematic effort to destroy an individual's former loyalties and beliefs and to substitute loyalty to a new ideology or power. It has been used by religious cults as well as by radical political groups. were subtle at first - coupon clipping coupon clipping
The removal of interest coupons attached to a bearer bond in order that they might be taken to a bank or sent to a paying agent for redemption. , coloring her own hair, shopping at Target - but become more alarming when Taylor pulls up to the Ivy in a Chevy Suburban. (The horror!)
Mom and Dad ask their next-door neighbor, Gus (Dylan McDermott), to go to the place they call the Cult of the Forbidden Valley, find their daughter and restore her to respectability. This proves more of a challenge than Gus ever imagined. Taylor is living in Canoga Park, coaching a girl's soccer team and learning there's more to life than massages at the Burke Williams Day Spa and shopping on Rodeo Drive. (Just try explaining that to Mom!)
Taylor's enthusiasm for the simple life eventually wins over Gus, who reports back to Mom and Dad that not only is their daughter happy, but that he's going to ask her to be his bride. Of course, the story has an even happier ending, since Gus has a huge trust fund, which he draws on to take out a hit on Mom and Dad so they don't ever bother them again.
Submitted by Jeffrey Bettis, Van Nuys
Wes Craven presents the ultimate Valley horror story. Pierce College student Lincoln Jefferson (Freddie Prinze Jr.) loses his driver's license after making one too many rolling stops at four-way intersections. Confronting every Angeleno's worst nightmare - public transit - Freddie buys a bus pass and, much to his surprise, finds himself making many new friends on his way to school each morning.
Among his new acquaintances: a virginal virginal, musical instrument: see spinet.
Small rectangular harpsichord with a single set of strings and a single manual. The derivation of its name is uncertain. former prom queen, Lisa (Neve Campbell) and her sexually frustrated boyfriend, Adam (Joshua Jackson); a sarcastic con artist nicknamed Whazzup (Jason Biggs); and luscious Linda (Rose McGowan), a super tramp with eyes for anything with hair on its chest. (She often smuggles her pet Chihuahua onto the bus inside her purse!)
All is well until, one by one, the passengers begin disappearing, only to be found along the route, their grisly remains splayed on bus benches and hung from trees. Soon, only Lincoln and Lisa are left, not counting the kind old bus driver, Mr. Norton (Don Knotts), who might not be as friendly as he seems. (They should have been suspicious ... he never required exact change.)
Will our two young protagonists be able to transfer in time?
PAGE TO SCREEN, IT'S ALL VALLEY
Since our readers don't lack imagination, it was difficult choosing the best ideas for a Valley screenplay from all the submissions we received. (Some of you sent in more than one.) Here are just a few.
--CENTERED AROUND the Sherman Oaks Starbucks (Ventura and Van Nuys), ``Good Morning Joe'' explores the lives of five morning regulars and the cashier who serves their morning coffee. The six characters don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. each other, vary in age, but all have internal conflicts that force them to examine their lives.
- Carrie De Smet
--ACTIVIST NON-SMOKING/NON-DRINKING Sepulveda letter carrier comes to the rescue of his customers in dealing with their problems or dealing with government agencies.
- David Hyman
--TIME: 1975. VAN NUYS CHURCH'S ``Living Christmas Tree'' murder mystery. Investigators travel the Valley for clues. Ends up the guilty party came from over the hill.
- Kelly Virtue
--DELIVERY PERSON OVERHEARS PLOT to poison drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. in Burbank. The plotters realize they're discovered and are determined to find and kill him. Authorities believe it's a prank.
- Armond Schiff
--A SERIES OF GATED-COMMUNITY seiges throughout the Valley by criminals posing as security guards triggers events that shatter racial, ethnic and class barriers.
- Anita Weaver
--``IN A DAZE'': The story of a desperate search by Beverly Hills parents for their lost daughter who has joined a cult called ``The Valley,'' moved to Encino, gotten married and spends her days in a daze chauffeuring her children in a Suburban.
- Peter Smith
--``SAMMY SAMMY Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year FERNANDO'': Young Sam Fernando tries to leave L.A. to find a new life, but finds times are tough on the other side of the hill, alone.
- Salvatore Sebergandio
--IN THE YEAR 2020, illiterate mutant teen-agers at Sunshine Canyon High and an ex-Navy SEAL teacher are taken hostage by rebel CRA See Community Reinvestment Act. terrorists on prom night.
- Catherine Bacos Clinch
--``THE FAMILY PARTY'': After World War II, Andrew Eagle, an Italian ex-POW, is repatriated to the Army's Birmingham Hospital located in L.A.'s new bedroom community, the San Fernando Valley.
He and his new wife, also Italian, purchase a house and start a family. His relatives relocate from Ohio to the ``Valley'' and we now view the often turbulent changing times of the second half of the 20th century through the Eagle family Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. Fashions, discrimination, politics, generational conflict, earthquakes, fires, floods, riots, religion, forgiveness, love and family values are the order of the day.
- David W. Twitchell
--NORTH OF HOLLYWOOD, a young inner-city teen-age boy is caught between his Vineland Street thug friends and his real passion, performing arts, which leads him to the NoHo Arts District.
- Carolyn Martinez
--AS 1962 CAME TO A CLOSE, the Department of Defense gathered its chief staff together to make a final high-risk decision. They met in a small cell in the Pentagon and chose the several sites in which large quantities of nuclear materials would be stored until they were needed. One of these locations was in the San Fernando Valley, a desolate, hilly, windswept wind·swept
Exposed to or swept by winds: windswept moors.
1. place called Sunshine Canyon. The plan was to bury the isotopes in heavy titanium coffers and then to develop the site in Granada Hills as a dumping ground for the Los Angeles area.
Who would suspect that as the Valley community grew, a group of local residents would threaten the secrecy of this project by trying to clear up the ``dump''?
The Sunshine Landfill controversy is more than an enviro-political issue. As the small band of residents take matters into their own hands, the explosive dangers mount.
- Margie Blaz
--THREE BAD GUYS plan to disrupt the Valley Y2K See Y2K problem and Y2K compliant.
Y2K - Year 2000 with three model planes able to carry explosives. Location: Van Nuys Model Airplane Field. Targets: Airport tower. Intersections: 101-405; 118-405.
- Howard Knudson
--``CLAIM TO FAME'': A tale set in the not-so-distant future about a Valley public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most firm's plan to improve the Valley's image by promoting all the famous people who make the Valley their home. They are surprised to learn that there's only one ``star'' remaining - an aging character actor living in North Hollywood. So they put everything they've got behind propping him up to superstardom.
- Jerry Biederman
Illustration: (1 -- 4 -- color) no caption (The winners of our write your own Valley Screenplay Contest. Four make-believe movie posters depicting screenplay ideas by readers.)
Jon Gerung/Staff Artist