Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Fast and Furious Hangover

The Fast and Furious 6 and the Hangover 3 open this weekend at the theaters. It will be tough to choose between them. If only someone could write a script that combined the action of Fast with the comedy of the Hangover...Actually somebody did...Me. A ninety-five page script called Vegas Valet was never produced, but without it, I would have failed out of film school.

Speaking of fast and furious, I wrote the script in FOUR days. And yes, I did have a hangover afterwards.

I was attending the American Film Institute to get an MFA in Screenwriting. My original idea for a script for the second semester was about the Navajo who was convicted of espionage in Russia. The class suggested that I write something else. During this time, I was doing the final rewrites of Rattlesnake Lawyer, my first novel, before it was publication in June. All my intellectual capital was going into the novel. I then tried to use an old script, but that was a bad idea. I've told that story already in a chapter of my nonfction. called "The Suicide Script,"

The semester was ending and I had to write something...or I would fail out of school or writing a suicide script for real.

After I sent in my final, final draft of Rattlesnake Lawyer, I only had a long weekend before I had to hand something into class. Where to start? Vegas of course...

There's an urban myth in Albuquerque. Some friend of a friend, who was some kind of loser, movers to Vegas become a valet parking cars for a casino and makes over a million a year.  I also wanted car chases thrown in there as well.

I outlined the script on the first day. I came up with the perfect name for the main character, Joe Methany, aka Methane.-- a failed race car driver turned valet. The script pretty much wrote itself from there--car chases like Fast and Furious, comedy in Vegas like the Hangover. This was before either film was written of course. Still, I don't think I could copyright either idea of dumb script with stupid guys and cars....

Was the script any good? It was good enough. My class either loved or hated my writing, for the first time they were unemotional after they read the script.

It was what it was, so to speak and nothing more. The instructor shrugged, but did give me a passing grade.

Will I ever rewrite Vegas Valet and try to sell it? The computer file is long gone, but the script itself is in my trunk. You gotta admit its a simple pitch....Fast and Furious meets the Hangover in Vegas...

I see Vin Diesel as Methane! or should we go with Zach?

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