So, without giving too much away, Beverly had this idea of being stalked by a mutant broccoli, she called it "ATTACK OF THE BROCCOLI." And heaven forbid you call it "Attack of the Killer Broccoli" because people would immediately think she stole name from ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. So, that was the first job, come up with a new name.
REVOLT OF THE "STEAMED**##!!!" BROCCOLI
BUTTERLESS BROCCOLI ON THE BRINK
With the concept, she had a couple of set pieces she wanted to get in there. I started a draft . I got 2 pages into it when I started having questions...
ME: I’ve been thinking about the horror short and I’m having trouble trying to make a working story without it being just like a series of sketch outtakes. And I just don’t want it to be a parody of the horror tropes either. Have you put anything to paper on it? I keep thinking it has to be set up and played fairly straight,
HER: Yes, absolutely
ME: and the broccoli has to be taken seriously.
ME: Is it something she only sees?
HER: She is the only one who sees it attack her, everyone thinks she is going around the bend
ME: Does the broccoli kill the people around her--
HER: Yes, but she gets accused of other deaths
ME: --Or just make them pod-creatures? Here’s a very basic question; how big is the broccoli?
HER: Regular size but sometimes all stuck together like kabob
ME: It’s tricky trying to lock down on one approach and see it through.
HER: Yes, but this will be unique in that I want it stylized like 40's genre detective films, she is doing all voice overs, black and white except for her lips, fingernails and blood
ME: The only things I keep coming back to are using a clip of George Bush saying he’s president and doesn’t have to eat broccoli and the Dana Carvey SNL sketch “Chopping BROCCOLI."
She wanted to shoot in Times Square, somehow with the broccoli following her (tie a string from her to some broccoli and film it as she walks through the city). Open up in Chinatown at a vegetable market. Call a cab. Have green goo come out of an MTA Metrocard vending machine. I wrote a scene where I used the Bush clip and the Carvey song along with another broccoli reference, some commercial with broccoli in a wind tunnel. None of this stuff was practical. There was no budget for special effects or licensing fees.
As she got actor friends involved, scenes were re-written for their talents. The Chinese vendor became Italian because the actor did an Italian accent and he wasn't Chinese. Plus, they'd be shooting it in Jersey. A wacky neighbor was created. And Beverly envisioned her as a white lady who was always trying to talk black (because...Ebonics?). She always had a scene planned with a therapist, then hired the actor, so we tried to adapt it to her talents.
The script would go back and forth and back and forth. And one thing that drove me crazy was when it came back from Beverly, the script was in Comic Sans font. I mean, really? Who does that? Then I would change back to Courier New, update it and send it back. She's make some changes and BAM, it would be in Comic Sans again. Ugh! And clip art! She loved clip art! But more about that later.
And she's still doing shows and asking for sketches and I'm turning down opportunities to attend the shows. But we were coming up with something solid. Beverly was totally confident we could pull this off, yet at the same time kept tinkering with the script. Then I had a brainstorm!
--NEXT TIME: DAN'S BRAIN STORM!