It’s All in How You Market

“Tim? It’s Jill.”

“Oh, hi, Jill! I’m surprised you’re calling so soon. Did they cancel?”

“No. We had the meeting.”

“Well? Good news?”

“Is a 20-minute meeting ever good news?”

“I dunno. That’s what I pay you for.”

“They’ve decided to pass, Tim.”

No! You’re kidding. Why?”

“They thought that the script was…well, they thought it was too controversial.”

“Too controversial? It’s The Three Bears, for God’s sake!”

“I know.”

“God, you’re so right about producers. Fucking Philistines.”

“Well, to be fair, your reworking was, it was…well, it would be a tough sell to kids.”

“Kids?”

“Families.”

“Have you ever read the Brothers Grimm? Grim is a good word for it.”

“Well, times have changed. Family-friendly is the watchword for the 21st century.”

“I don’t think that’s actually a word. And anyway, fairy tales are full of violent imagery.”

“I don’t recall any incestuous anal sex scenes in the version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears I read when I was a kid.”

“So I took a license. You ever see The Scarlet Letter?”

“It would have gone easier if you weren’t so bullheaded.”

“It’s my art, Jill.”

“I know.”

“We’re talking about my art.”

“I know.”

“I thought you believed in my art.”

“I do.”

“It doesn’t sound like you really went to bat for me on this one.”

“I did! But, I mean, honestly. If only you’d backed off the cannibalism scene.”

“Technically it was autocannibalism.”

“Whatever.”

“There’s a big difference. Besides, kids’ stories are full of people getting eaten.”

“Maybe not in quite that much graphic detail.”

“It was done with a light touch!”

“I appreciate that. But you had it taking up fifteen minutes of screen time.”

Hannibal has worse things every week.”

“That isn’t a children’s show, Tim.”

“Oh, now, who’s kidding who?”

“Tim…”

“Well, at least tell me what they thought about the ending.”

“I didn’t tell them about the ending.”

“What?!? But the ending is what makes it! God, it’s not surprising they passed. You left out the key to the whole picture! Whatever possessed you?”

“I thought after ten minutes of pine-cone sodomy, ursine ejaculate and that unfortunate scene where that man tries to power a perpetual motion machine by stuffing his mother’s intestine in her mouth, they really weren’t in the mood.”

“But, Jill, the ending brings the whole piece together.”

“People are not going to take their kids to see a movie where a bunch of bears shit all over a table and roll around in it, Tim.”

“It’s…look. Kids like gross things. Especially when it’s done in a silly, over-the-top way. Remember Garbage Pail Kids? Ren and Stimpy? It’s funny if you do it as camp.”

“It’s not camp. It’s just rep…it’s not a good fit.”

“You were going to say ‘repulsive’.”

“No I wasn’t.”

“‘Reprehensible’?”

“No.”

“‘Repellent’? ‘Repugnant’?”

“Tim.”

“Not ‘repetitious’, surely. Because the earlier coprophagia scene is totally different in both theme and tone, so…”

“Tim, I really need you to let this one go.”

“Fine.”

“Things are good. You’re still getting lots of residuals from the last picture, and the TV money is good, right?”

“I guess.”

“Tim, don’t pout.”

“Do you think it was just the wrong studio?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Because Disney usually likes the retelling of old stories in a fresh new way, is the only reason I suggested them.”

“Let’s just put this one in our ‘the world is not yet ready’ pile, okay?”

“All right.”

“Okay! Good. What else you got these days?”

“I got a buddy picture. One’s a law-and-order hardass cop, one’s a libertarian hacker. They have to put aside their differences to stop a serial killer.”

“Any pedophilia in this one?”

“No.”

“Anything where the female lead swims in a kiddie pool filled with pee?”

No.”

“Any scenes where a guy fucks dead pigs named after congressmen?”

“Jill, that was one lousy Law & Order:  SVU spec script, and  I wasn’t even serious.”

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