From Radio…To Wherever We Are Now

So we had an idea. We’d taken our radio show and turned it into an incubator for all our small characters from stage. In one end went rough stage concepts, out the other end came developed characters with worlds and histories and problems and lives. So we decided our next mission would be to develop our top three into feature screenplays. Something with market value. We picked Ed Bus, Phudie Mart, and some of you know Dinerbanski & Ross,

PhudiStill002.jpg

So we had an idea. We’d taken our radio show and turned it into an incubator for all our small characters from stage. In one end went rough stage concepts, out the other end came developed characters with worlds and histories and problems and lives. So we decided our next mission would be to develop our top three into feature screenplays. Something with market value. We picked Ed Bus, Phudie Mart, and some of you know Dinerbanski & Ross, the world’s largest tax and accounting firm, led by Ted Dinerbanski, the world’s richest man.

So we sat down in, summer of 2005 and laid out the three screenplays. The original Ed Bus read a lot like the radio script. The original Phudie read like the synopsis after the jump. It was all about Ted Dinerbanski (who plays the opponent to Ed Bus in our first screenplay, but his name isn’t even referenced in the draft of Phudie Mart we just finished) wanting to bulldoze the store so he can buy a submarine, or something like that. The only way he can do this is if the store ranks poorly in it’s evaluations at the hands of Tom Peck or something. There’s also an inside man who didn’t make it past this. At the end, they do more and more poorly, Tom Peck docks them and they bulldoze the store. Still reading? Well, thankfully this isn’t the script we’re celebrating this week. But here is the original Phudie Pitch written two years ago and modified a whoooooole lot.

PhudiStill002.jpg

So we had an idea. We’d taken our radio show and turned it into an incubator for all our small characters from stage. In one end went rough stage concepts, out the other end came developed characters with worlds and histories and problems and lives. So we decided our next mission would be to develop our top three into feature screenplays. Something with market value. We picked Ed Bus, Phudie Mart, and some of you know Dinerbanski & Ross, the world’s largest tax and accounting firm, led by Ted Dinerbanski, the world’s richest man.

So we sat down in, summer of 2005 and laid out the three screenplays. The original Ed Bus read a lot like the radio script. The original Phudie read like the synopsis after the jump. It was all about Ted Dinerbanski (who plays the opponent to Ed Bus in our first screenplay, but his name isn’t even referenced in the draft of Phudie Mart we just finished) wanting to bulldoze the store so he can buy a submarine, or something like that. The only way he can do this is if the store ranks poorly in it’s evaluations at the hands of Tom Peck or something. At the end, they do more and more poorly, Tom Peck docks them and they bulldoze the store. Still reading? Well, thankfully this isn’t the script we’re celebrating this week. But here is the original Phudie Pitch written two years ago and modified a whoooooole lot.

PhudiStill0001.jpg

PHUDI MART OUTLINE (some excerpts and commentary

Life inside of a supermarket. Corporate headquarters is looking for a way to take it down. They all should all be fired. Everyone’Äôs doing something wrong. The last remaining independent grocery store in America. `

Plots:

Ted D.: The SEC says we own too much shit. So we’Äôve got to get rid of some things.

Tony forced to take vacation.
Slim always looking for a new job. (a trait from the radio show, not in the screenplay at all)
Local commercials, ‘ÄúOn route As each commercial is run the number of red dots showing stores in the chain gets smaller and smaller
The Inside Guy, it’Äôs so obvious that he’Äôs the inside guy, but only to the stupid idiots who work there don’Äôt know. Dressed just like Donnie Brasco with glasses and big flower. (this element dissappeared and just became a character who never speaks except for narration.)
Tom Peck is in charge of the bottom line of this old system. His entire day is a commute. Drives out to the suburbs to take the train back into the city. (this joke made it, the 5 hour commute)

We meet Brent freeze frame jump off suicide hill into the parking lot. Brent getting a hand job while choking himself just before he takes the hill. (this was cut, a little to gross, Brent still gets a blowjob though)

SHEILA is a 40 year old deli counter lady who has a total crush on Wickerman and tells her boyfriend RANDY that she’Äôs got a guy at the store who likes her and wants to run away with her.

BRENT: Brent’s little brother in the Big Brother Big Sister Program is his drug hookup. Walking down that aisle: ‘Äúthat’Äôll get you high. That’Äôll get you high. That stuff will kill you. Oh that’Äôs in the wrong spot. Where was I? That’Äôll get you super high!’Äù Include little movie section in the store. They have beads that separate one of the break rooms and make it the porn room. People can hear porn in the background if they are at the perfume counter. this was changed to Brent doing Girls Gone Wild Videos with employees of the store)

Manager Meeting: Manager meeting for the whole store in the morning in the porn/break room. Tony runs the meeting. Tony announces that guys from corporate are coming today.

D&R Headquarters, Ted has heard that the country of Kurtzugoy is falling, would like to buy a rogue state. GILLIAN: Sell The submarine? TED: It’Äôs inability to be nuclear is not it’Äôs fault. GIL: Sell the The phudi mart. TED D: what the fuck is that? TED D: Sell that and Jet Magazine. Put my best man on it. Actually have my best man fuel up the lexis and put somebody else on it.

Tom Peck tells them they’Äôre on the chopping block, his job’Äôs on the line too. I need to stress that we need to be the most efficient.
PECK: One week. TONY: You can count on me. THUNK! Big ball of toilet paper hits the window. the final draft is not quite as Meatballsy as this, but elements remain, the paper towel was changed to a cold cut

MONTAGE: Peck sees crime after crime after crime. Zoso has the flu, sneezing on cake. we tried to turn this scene into a sketch for the stage to take to L.A., it was very very bad.

Enter RANDY who comes to beat up Wickerman and just sees TONY from behind and thinks that he must be Wickerman and starts punching him in the back. R: ‘ÄúHey Handsome!’Äù SHEILA enters and tells him he’Äôs got the wrong guy. ‘ÄúI wouldn’Äôt be into this bald lazy loser!’Äù Tom is putting ice on Tony’Äôs head. Ow. Ow. That ice hurts ‘Äì oh, that’Äôs a deer lick, I am so sorry, Tony’Äù

PECK: This is pretty serious, a week from now we’Äôll all be fired. Don’Äôt tell anybody by now this really really has gone off the rails, I won’t tell you the actual plot of the final draft, but they will all be killed for losing a lot of money and they have a few days to make it back, how they make it back is very very funny. How they make it back in this version, is fucking absurd.

Talking about the corporate stuff: backdrop is Reyna playing volleyball. TONY: I don’Äôt know if the store’Äôs going to make it. REYNA: Sideout! Watch me serve! ANNOUNCER: Ladies & Gentlemen, the Twin Towerrrrrrs. (this scene remains and we made a specific request that Gebrielle Reece play Reyna)

Dick Phudie comes in: Agents go through the back room. AGENT: Take it all take it all. ROCKY: Tony ain’Äôt here bitch, paper or plastic motherfucker.

Saving the Store: Tony starts a Lou Rawls work-a-thon to raise money to save the Phudie. Works 6 days and drops from exhaustion after 2 ¬Ω hours. Started work-a-thon after a 48 hour shift. Too tired to feel that his hand was crushed by a broken down box. none of this hilariousness made it to the final draft…Lou Rawls???)

Wickerman attempts an alcohol-based fundraiser that ends-up at the Phudie Mart. Started at his house, right next to the high school. 9 people at the party, but Wickerman talks very loud like the party’Äôs going nuts. Then the party goes to the Phudie after girls show-up. The place gets trashed. a very different version of this appears in our final draft but it’s a huge party and somebody shits in Brent’s washing machine and hit spin.

Montage of other characters trying to save the Phudie in their own ways. Many appear in a character-wide raft race. They produce a Broadway Play with the characters and popular actors playing Tony, Slim, and Wickerman. Wickerman’Äôs attempts: selling coke in Colombia. Slim starts sending Spams (the ones from Africa that are coming to the US) to people. They win the Ididarod. They sponsor a NASCAR. they do try and save it in some weird ways, but the ididarod???

Ted says he’Äôs gonna bulldoze the Phudie, first thing tomorrow morning and he CAN’ÄôT WAIT.

Tom Peck is invited to go bowling with Tony and the staff. He starts to understand the real people. At the bowling alley: we meet community members, stories about the Phudie, Ed Bus / 53rd ward people can appear, a community party appears. Zoe Dunkle tells Tom Peck it’Äôs where she gets her bread. He realizes that the community rallies around the Phudie, and that even though the Phudie undersells on purpose, and even though it’Äôs staff by fuck-ups, it serves the community and is a vital piece of the neighborhood’Äôs sustenance. Tony, Wickerman and Slim realize that together, they could band together and become the underground railroad for grocery stores.

Kid passes Peck on his way to his house, who says Hey Mister, when I grow up I want to be a grocery store manager. (none of this ridiculousness made it, this is worth putting back in)

The community all assembles around the store to stop him, Tom Peck has a change of heart worth no longer means money to him and he confronts Ted D. at the doors, surrounded by the community.Big impassioned speech by Tom Peck about the value of the Phudie in the community. …the store is bulldozed behind him.

I liked that ending a lot, it’s a nice contrast and I bet if we’d developed this entire concept to its fullest we’d still have a good screenplay, as to whether the Phudi survives the end of the final version, you’ll just have to go see the movie. BUT WAIT! WE HAVE TO WRITE IT FIRST! Tune in tomorrow as we write this fucker.

blog