Every day, find an article — news, sports, anything, could be weather — any story.
Tweak it to come up with an interesting movie idea. Do this every day, keep a rhythm and creativity flowing. Could also be a personal story, something you or someone said; an overheard conversation; encounter with a grizzly, anything. Expand on it and have fun.
Once a girl but now a woman, a mother. The childhood was literally and figurative abducted — from her as well as her parents — she escapes and reunites as a woman with 2 children by her abductor. Nothing will ever be the same with the family, that relationship. They’re strangers, bonded by blood.
A story of separation with a happy ending …
… or is it?
- A drama from the parents’ perspective or the kid, or both. Make it a war story — the girl is taken by a foreign military officer and there’s even more of a divide when she returns to her homeland with kids fathered by the enemy.
- A horror film where a girl escapes some “Silence of the Lambs”-type Buffalo Bill set-up. Act II deals with the gradual unwinding of the family dynamic, while the kidnapper hunts them each down in a gory revenge plot to keep the family silent.
- A comedy where the girl is a fish out of water, literally, she’s a mermaid — rescued by a lobsterman who may or may not have sodomized her blow hole before she regained conscientiousness. She’s an 80’s mermaid lost in time and it’s “Splash II,” staring Betty White as Daryl Hannah. She vows to live every childhood moment with her mermaid parents that she dreamt of doing while held captive. They go to Epcot, swim in one of the many fountains. She wants to know whatever became of Milli Vanilli and Right Said Fred.
- It’s a road movie where she always wanted to drive to Memphis and see Graceland so the family goes together — parents learn to bond with grandkids they initially can’t grasp recognizing but learn to love.
- A silent film where none of the actors speak.
Several years ago, I ran headfirst into a story of a woman in her 70’s who’s longtime husband dies and she wants to go wild on a bonding trip around the world.
The story found me when I went to San Francisco for New Year’s with some friends and we met this old Scottish lady partying with her son. We all toasted glasses at midnight, like we’d known each other for much more than 20 minutes.
I was fascinated by her story. She was traveling the world with her son, he was in his mid-40′s. One of her passions was travel but she was denied by her husband because he wasn’t interested. They were married 50 years and when he died, she lost her soulmate.
When she was done mourning, she asked herself what’s the one thing she always wanted to do. They were on the final leg of their global adventure by time they found us. They’d been to Italy, Paris, New York for a few Broadway shows but she always wanted San Francisco on New Year’s Eve. Her son was so proud of her, said when his dad was alive he had issues with his mum but they became best friends on this trip.
We all decide to go to a new bar, are walking together and she grabs my hand. I thought it was cute, me helping the old lady down the street …
Suddenly I’m alerted by a buddy: “dude, she’s totally hitting on you.” I refused to believe any scenario where this was a possibility yet — she leaned in to kiss me — wouldn’t you know his assumption turned out to be 100%. Attempting to escalate the relationship, I had to break it to this festive soul that I did not, in fact, want her body or think she was sexy.
All I needed was a friend to lend a helping hand
But you turned into a lover and mother, what a lover, you wore me out
That said, maybe the two stories collide. The girl in her mid-40’s returns home and the old lady is her mom. The father has since died, they say of a broken heart over the kidnapping. The man devoted his life to finding his daughter and helping other parents find their lost kids, now the two women spend the estate inheritance on a worldwide adventure where they discover how many lives he touched.
Or the mom has died, so it’s a father-daughter road trip that takes them to Graceland — but wait, that’s a Paul Simon song. How the hell did that happen? Maybe the daughter and Julio get busted smoking pot down by the schoolyard. Maybe every single one of their adventures involve Paul Simon songs and this is adapted into a Broadway mega-hit? Would it infringe on a copyright if they actually attempted to document the 50 ways to leave your lover? They’d probably need Paul to sign off on that. Or maybe they just metaphorically slip out the back or make a new plan — must they literally?
It’s fiction, anything can happen. Just keep asking the questions.
UPDATE, EIGHT MONTHS LATER — Completely forgot writing this. The funniest 8-month joke ever told. Nice work, Skippy.
© 2013, Soapy Johnson. All rights reserved.