Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Part Two


People ask screenwriters where they come up with ideas

As I have mentioned, real life is one excellent source of material.

  • I wrote a treatment about an accountant who starts a Multi-Level Marketing scheme to raise money for his mother’s cancer surgery. I did not make this up; it is a true story about my former accountant.
  • I wrote a short film about a hypochondriac who contracts (in her mind) Ebola, hanta, SARS, avian flu, polio, skin cancer.  She goes to a shrink to learn better ways to conduct relationships other than fake diseases.  Later, when she contracts (in actuality) an adenoma, a leiomeioma, an abscessed tooth, cataracts, angina and insulin resistance disorder, she will not go to the doctor and she dies. I did not make this up; it is a true story about my cousin.
  • I wrote a comedy routine about a black cat named Man Man Foo who runs away from home, but only as far as the cellar, where he takes up with the Norwegian rats, who adopt him as a runnin’ bud’.  He will not return to the house, even though “Dad” puts out caviar and cream, tuna, chicken, fresh mice.  When “Mom” comes back home after 12 months on the road touring with her band, Man Man Foo saunters out from the basement, down the driveway and leaps into her arms, abandoning  the Norwegians forever. I did not make this up; it is a true story about my neighbors.
  • I wrote a film with a scene in it about a tennis pro who joined a local tennis club-round robin just for fun.  They paired him up with a hunchbacked player. I did not make this up.
  • In the same film is a scene where the tennis pro’s wife is sure that the tennis club is a sex club. I did not make that up, either.
  • In my time-travel-techno film there’s a scene in which a bunch of supposedly grown men stop all work and argue vehemently about whether the curly braces (those are the squiggly parenthesis-sort-of-things on your keyboard) should be placed at the end of the subordinate argument or at the beginning of the subsequent line.  They conducted this argument—abandoning all productive work—for a period of 9 hours. As always, Mr. Phelps, I did not make this up.  I was managing this team of software geeks at one of my straight jobs.

Indeed, WHERE do you get your ideas, dear Screenwriter?


P.S. I made all that shit up.


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