My Billion Dollar Idea: Clown Sharks
Listen up, Hollywood!
I’ve long wanted to get my hands on some of the cash and self respect that comes with being a tinsel town heavy hitter. Sure I’d make a great actor or costume designer (store brand toilet paper should work fine for the next mummy movie, right?) but if I want to get the mega big bucks, I’m going to need to write a screenplay.
My retirement fund could use a little plumping, if we’re being honest.
The great thing about writing a screenplay, besides all the money, is that my name is on the front page of the script (unless it gets covered up by sticky notes that say “this is amazing!”), which means everyone knows how to spell it on commemorative plaques when they give me awards.
Problem is, in 50% of the screenplays produced by Hollywood, there has to be some kind of plot. Especially new screenplays. Maybe if I get a few movies made I can start discarding narrative coherence and instead focus on the food that is always falling into my belly button. But, for now, I’m going to need a plot and a strong concept to break into the industry.
Something other than “Captain America gets naked” because, as good of an idea as that is, Captain America is a character who is licensed by Marvel and also those movies do not win Best Screenplay at the Oscars.
“Well, Sarah! Get on it,” you might be thinking. “Why haven’t you written an amazing screenplay already? After all, you aren’t getting any younger and the order typically goes: write screenplay > become rich > move to Hollywood > get botox. If you mix up the order, it won’t work at all!”
Yes, I know. My ability to become rich and famous was delayed somewhat, because it took me a while to come up with a perfect, movie-ready idea.
Sometimes it seems like all the perfect ideas have already been written.
Dinosaurs brought back to life? Done.
A big dog, green gremlin and squad of cocky humans save the universe from a mouth-breather in a black helmet? That’s already a movie. I KNOW!
Writing a good, original movie is harder than you might think!
Well, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve finally stumbled upon the idea that will seal my status forever in the pantheon of silver screen geniuses. And this one is a real winner. (Like most good ideas throughout history, it was at least partially stolen from my spouse.)
In 1975 Steven Spielberg made the whole world collectively shit their pants by feeding a bunch of actors to an animatronic shark named Bruce and a whole generation learned the lesson that one should never enter a body of water larger than a bowl of soup.
In 1990 Tim Curry slathered some paint on his face and, with the help of Stephen King and crew, convinced another generation that clowns are demons sent from the depths of hell to contaminate the sewers of America. As a bonus, children learned that the characters invented to amuse them might also kill them under the right circumstances.
But kids today? They’re much tougher nuts to crack.
They have school shootings and online bullying and the impending end of humanity to contend with. It’s going to take a little more to dampen their trousers.
Maybe you know where I’m going with this. (Probably you do, since it’s in the title.)
I’m talking oceans. I’m talking fins. I’m talking red noses and maniacal laughter emerging from behind rows and rows of shiv sharp teeth.
Yes. It’s time for clown sharks.
I bet all the big Hollywood executives are loosening their collars and fanning themselves with big stacks of money right now. They know this one is going to make us all so wealthy we’ll be able to take Scrooge McDuck-style dives into piles of glistening coins.
Clown sharks are worth at least one big blockbuster, ten Oscars, three Golden Globes, five million memes, one positive review at the AV Club, a ride at a major amusement park, and seven sequels of diminishing quality.
Picture this opening scene:
EXT. BEACH — DAY
A group of children have gathered at a stormy beach to celebrate JIMMY’s birthday. Jimmy’s mother FRAN is also there.
JIMMY: I can’t believe I’m turning five!
JIMMY’S FRIENDS: Yay!
FRAN: Because you’ve been such a good boy this year, I have a surprise for you. I’ve hired a clown for the party!
JIMMY: Yay! A clown! (Jimmy hasn’t seen IT.)
An eerie version of The Entertainer begins to play, with a few DUN DUN DUNs thrown in for extra measure. A black fin breaks the surface of the water. There is a red novelty clown nose stuck on the top of it. The fin comes nearer and nearer, until SHARK CLOWN emerges from the water.
SHARK CLOWN: Hi kids!
The shark clown puts on a little show for the children, with colorful scarves and juggling, then he eats them all. It is violent and very scary.
FRAN: That’s the last time I book a clown off of craigslist!
Ah, I’m so excited! This is going to be the best movie ever and I can’t wait to finally be able to afford a monocle, a media empire and socks with argyle patterns running up the side.
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