The results of the “Title-ating” Contest are in: and the winner is… me!
I was lonely as a child. All I ever wanted were a few hilarious best friends, an Algonquin Round Table of witty people saying witty things between sips of Pellegrino. But it wasn’t until I read the entries for our most recent contest — to write a funny description of a fictional movie title — that I realized I finally got my wish!
Over 100 entries later, I am still laughing, and with residual awe over the real live brilliance displayed by the readers of this blog. You all are amazing wordsmiths! And all very funny! And lest you think it’s just about being funny, let me point out, Mr. Miagi style, exactly what this “wax on, wax off” exercise demonstrates.
You may think you were just having fun, but in fact you were practicing a very important skill.
To be able write a pithy logline is vital. To cram vibrant mental images into a few sentences, to be able to “pitch” your precis of “What is it?” is the job. And not to overstate, but actual movies have actually sprung from such exercises, for when we let our guard down and just do it for fun (hint, hint) some surprisingly good ideas pop out. A few found in this collection even made me think: Hmmmm. I’d like to SEE that movie!
Take a look at (7.) Patrick Sweeney’s pitch on Speeding, (8.) Mike Sweeney’s Land of Nod take, (16.) Jeff Paterson’s hilarious — and quite creative — pitch for the comedy thriller version of Apple Pie Betty, or the wow! I really think you got a movie there in (27.) Phil Rockwell’s pitch for Designated Driver. And when I read (32.) Kent Knowles’ Knuckleheads, I thought: call Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly and sign ’em up.
Others of you went for Flat Out Funny, and yet even there your skills for designing posters for imagined productions showed real skill as (38.) Chris Henry’s poster line for his pirate movie “This summer it’s all about the parrot” proves, along with the advertising jingle parody (39.) Michael Mahoney went for when he turned the Campbell’s Soup Kids into canibalistic serial killers with the poster line: “M’m! M’m! Good!” And for pure unadulterated fun, all three of (53.) Tim Malloy’s entries are reminders why Tim has True Wit! As do (11.) Brooke’s Knuckleheads pitch and (1.) Moviequill’s Lawyers, Guns and Money — great writage!
We had a hilarious batch of Indiana Jones, Juno, and Conan pitches. And in every case, you can see exactly why sequels are hard! My favorite reboots involved the further adventures of everyone’s favorite archeologist as he continues his quest for both his missing noggin (75.) John Collins, and a Mayan Collander (2.) R J Davidson. You also get the sense of a dissatisfied recent customer in (96.) Sheikspear’s Indy 5 pitch – “Indiana spends 15 years and millions of dollars tracking down the mythical script that should have been.”
And yet, the biggest thing this contest proves is a logline truism: short is sweet. If you can “say it” in three words, why use twelve? Proof of this is seen in the bullet-like entries that are RUNNERS UP to our contest:
(83.) Frank’s “Bluebeard — A hairstylist learns a lesson about preparation.”
(55.) Rebecca Sharp’s “Asleep at the Wheel — An impromptu roadtrip leads to romance between an insomniac and a narcoleptic.”
(10.) Martin Blank’s “Indiana Jones 5 — Harrison Ford struggles to find an artifact he buried.”
The WINNERS, however, went right for what makes this exercise the most fun, taking the words of the title and finding the irony in them, wringing out all new meaning, and delivering on a punchline that wows!
It’s a tie. Both these writers win a set of Cat! books and software, along with our hearty appreciation:
(65.) Leo J “WHOOPS – A heart-warming animated film about a gang of owls determined to beat the odds to become basketball champs of the animal kingdom.”
(6.) Shanelaporte “BEVERLY HILLS – Beverly, an aging trophy wife, decides to get her breasts enlarged when her movie-mogul husband begins falling for a young actress. After the surgery she discovers they’re much bigger than she planned, mostly because inside her breasts are now an array of secret gadgets and weapons.”
This is one revenge movie I want to see. And here’s the poster line, Shane: “This time… they’re real!”
Congratulations one and all!