The Family Screenplay

The Baby came home for a visit on Father’s Day. She brought lots of cool presents and stayed for a week, so we had time to laze around and talk. She and Mr. GG. played Scrabble for money most nights (I think he still owes her 20 bucks on that last double or nothing game) and she and I sewed her some summer dresses and bought her some vintage cocktail dresses (that girl rocks the 40’s and 60’s look). She makes killer gin and tonics, so we’d sit on the patio and do crossword puzzles and talk about life and love and money, and geez, some things in life never change. Watching her live through stuff I lived through is often painful, but at least I am here to prove you can make it through and come out okay after some time and love.

One evening Baby and Mr. GG were having a conversation about forest fires in Alaska. I wasn’t paying much attention, but tuned in when he explained how fire could smolder in the underbrush, get covered by snow and flame up next season after the snow melted. I said it sounded like a movie. Only it needed an archaeologist hero and a prehistoric site of mythic proportions to do it justice. And, I added, wooly mammoths. I’ve got a real thing for wooly mammoths, so I added in a pocket of flash frozen wooly mammoths in some glacier, who get melted out by the forest fire and come back to life (hey this is MY screenplay, so I can make up any improbable thing I want. So there).

We tossed some scenarios around and had to throw global warming into the mix, and some kind of villain, so I could have my explosions. For romance we added in a plucky heroine who is a bush pilot and flies the archaeologist into the heart of the forest fire/melting glacier flood/wooly mammoth stampede. We all agreed that the plucky bush pilot would be played by actress Scottie Thompson, who was Tony’s girlfriend Jeanne Benoit in NCIS one season. Scottie is a friend of a friend, and we want to keep all those royalties and Oscars in the extended family.

I’m afraid Harrison Ford is just too old to make the cut as hero this time. But we should have him in there somewhere as homage to Indiana Jones. And I just thought of William H. Macy. I will insist on him being in the film version. He can either be a rugged, wiry Alaskan guide, or a chief scientist. And he can’t be killed off. I really like William H. Macy. Other than that, we are pretty flexible about the rest of the film. I envision scenes of destruction like those in 2012, tension like in Independence Day, some wry, self-deprecating hero stuff like John Cusack in anything, and of course a feisty, spunky, take no prisoners heroine whose competence is astounding. And since it takes place in Alaska, I guess the villain should have ties to oil pipelines or gold ore. Okay, I admit there is a lot of boilerplate, but there is a reason that the tried and true always works.

That leaves us with, hmmm…. adventure, romance, action, cultural relevance (global warming), monsters (well, not really, unless of course, a mama wooly mammoth becomes deranged with fear for her calf when the villain shoots it), some explosions – to blow up the pipeline, or cave in the gold mine, or rescue the mammoths from their ice cave – and a bang up ending. Personally, I’d go for some Carrie – like rip off, maybe a baby wooly mammoth headed for a village of Eskimos, as the credits roll. Anyway, fleshing out this story is on my to-do list, along with finishing the family recipe cookbook, working on the Clive Cussler-eque mystery I started a while back, and blogging. Don’t hold your breath on any of it.


One Response to “The Family Screenplay”

  1. jess Says:

    i’m holding my breath! i’m going to go make a list of possible character names. let’s call some of the unfortunate Alaskan casualties who can see Russia from their burning backyard “Bristle” and “Jordache” (get it? get it?!)

    maybe to justify the next year of my retail career i can just say i’m making ends meet to support myself as an aspiring screenplay writer/creative consultant/character name-thinker-upper.


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