Not many American audiences are aware of this guarded room, but certainly most studio executives are. It’s where each May the prim bankers from the East meet with the plush directors from the West. The agenda? Which movies and TV series will they plunge their money and their magic into for the new season. If you ever wonder where all those dumb blockbusters and weekly sitcoms come from, well my over-saturated friends, this is the place marked Go.
But if madness be their mood, there is a kind of method to the madness. You see, they work from the Sacred List of Five!
Oh, you’ve never heard of this list. Think of it as a kind of Dan Brown thing, because this annual gig is part secrecy, part conspiracy, and part backroom melodrama. The conclave is never public, is never open to reporters, and is never on the record. There is only one requirement. No film or series receives their money unless it has at least four of the five elements the Sacred List. While there is no guarantee the project will be a hit, any project without at least four of these five is a guaranteed flop:
* Violence ~ This means as many screeching car chases, giant fireballs, bloody alley fights, and smashed bodies as cinematically possible. Smash-mouth violence is 101 Hollywood
* Sex ~ This not only means a maximum of naked bedroom scenes, but at least a generous minimum of kinky sex, group sex, and underage sex. This way you never have to pay exorbitant salaries for scriptwriters to come up with dialog
* Cool ~ This means casting, costuming and creating those sure-fire storylines that feature drop-dead gorgeous broads, smooth-drinking tuxedoed hunks, and lots and lots of clever one-liners audiences love to use. You’re always looking to catch another, “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.”
* Stunts ~ This means whenever the script starts to lag, toss in another heart-tumphing stunt. Parachute falls, mountain climbs, ocean plunges, and always lots and lots of bombs, crashes and impossible feats the hero simply walks away from. Actors cost money, but most stuntmen come cheaper
* Vampires ~ This means taking advantage of today’s latest bill-of-fare, the most ghoulish critters your makeup department can concoct. Nice thing about these characters is the actors don’t even have to know how to act
OK, got it? The Sacred List of Five. You’ll find it playing this fall at a theater or cable channel near you.
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