A boardroom somewhere in LA. Present are The Boss, (a cigar chomping, cocaine snorting relic of the 1980s, pin stripe suit, Oakley sunglasses, hair slicked back into a pony tail) David Lister, (The Boss’ South African nephew, a blind film school graduate) Keith Shaw (hack writer extraordinaire) and Smyth (the office lackey).
The Boss: [Snorts a bump off his Rolex, exhales a thick plume of acrid cigar smoke] Keith-o, I love it. It’s gold. I think it’s better, no I’m gonna say this right now, I know it’s better than Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (Metrodome’s 2009 “hit”).
Shaw: Sir, I am real glad you said that. I just knew when I was writing it yesterday that this movie, this script, was something special, something we could be really proud of. When can we start filming?
The Boss: Tomorrow.
Smyth: Tomorrow? But… Do we have locations sorted, equipment, do we even have a director?
The Boss: Dave’s going to do it. Aren’t you Dave?
Lister: Sure am Uncle Boss Man Sir.
Smyth: But… [motions to Lister’s unseeing eyes]
Shaw: Jesus Smyth,vour such a dick.
The Boss: [Draws finger slowly across his throat] Smyth if it weren‘t for your creative accounting ability you‘d be out that door. David here’s a Goddamn visionary, ain’t that right Davey?
Lister: In the most literal sense of the word sir.
The Boss: Exactly. [Takes out a bag of coke, racks up two lines and rails them] A Goddamn visionary.
Smyth: Errr David, does your visual issue not ever have any kind of, you know, impairment with like, framing and stuff. You know the mise-en-scene and so forth.
The Boss: Framing shaming. The boy’s a Goddamn artist.
Lister: Look Smyth I understand your concern but if you check out some of my other hit features like Story of an African Farm or The Meeksville Ghost I’m pretty sure your fears will be allayed. Also with a script like this…
Smyth: Yeah I gotta say I kind of took issue with some of the things in the script too, I thought maybe we could at least do more than one draft, maybe we could workshop it a bit, have some other writers take a look.
The Boss: Smyth for Christ sake we already discussed the script. It’s gold. Period.
Smyth: Well ok. But I did make some notes, maybe you could just have a quick listen before we rush straight in with filming.
The Boss: We’re filming tomorrow Smyth. It’s scheduled for release in three weeks time and we‘re making Mega Shark Vs Nuclear Platypus: A Romance in a month. How’s the script shaping up for that anyhow?
Shaw: It’s dynamite
The Boss: [Shouting] God I love working in this team. [Wipes small trickle of blood from left nostril] Smyth make this snappy.
Smyth: [Produces large jotter pad filled with notes] Ok well first things first. There’s not really any tension in the first act. We’re introduced to the characters and the tangled, probably superfluous love triangle, but these scenes are interspersed, almost at random by prehistoric Goblin Sharks eating swimmers. How are we shooting the underwater scenes anyway?
The Boss: CGI. Davey you know a great guy huh?
Lister: Uhu. My roommate did computer science at community college and he said he could do it for realsies.
The Boss: That’s really great news Davey because, team, we’re on a budget here.
Smyth: Surely if we’re on a budget it makes more sense to use animatronics, puppetry and creative camera techniques instead of highly expensive but poor quality CGI.
The Boss: [Empties the contents of a bag of cocaine onto the hard wood table and buries his face into it, re-emerges wild eyed and shouting slightly] No! No no no no no. Did you even see Avatar? Have you not heard about Piranha 3D? That’s what we’re up against people. And that’s what the kids want, that’s what the cinema going public want to see. CGI.
Smyth: But this film’s never going to get an actual cinema release is it?
Lister: Seriously my roommate is really good at drawing sharks. So I think all he has to do is just like scan them in, flesh em out a bit and boom! Super realistic shark attack!
The Boss: I love this guy. Boom! Shark Attack! Yeah. It’s gonna be CG Smyth, suck it up. Next.
Smyth: Well like I said the pacing seems a little off, or more accurately totally off, there’s not really any tension at all. Ever. I mean we’re introduced to the actual monster almost immediately. We all know that monsters aren’t scary if we know what they look like.
Shaw: What are you talking about bro? I specifically wrote the shark to be the scariest shark ever. A Prehistoric Goblin Shark. It has a horn coming out of its head doofus. It’s the most ultimate badass shark ever.
Smyth: Well Jaws worked pretty well with just a really big Great White and good story telling.
The Boss: Smyth, shut the hell up. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Good story telling. People want action and hot girls in bikinis and CGI goblin things. I suppose you have more loony suggestions from straight off the loony boat? Is it hot in here? I’m hot. [Swats at the air, appears to be sweating, looks worried briefly before laughing maniacally] God I just love working in this exciting and dynamic team! Man!
The Boss: It ups the stakes, otherwise its just prehistoric super sharks attacking people. Been there done that, page me the details. Tsunami, it’s so 2010!
Smyth: Perhaps but isn’t it just a tiny bit of bad taste. You know when the news reporter girl says “This Tsunami is even worse than the Tsunami that hit Asia and the one that hit New Orleans combined. And we have reports coming in that people are being attacked by Prehistoric Goblin Sharks.” I dunno guys, I just felt like this wasn’t exactly right. I mean New Orleans was hit by a hurricane not a Tsunami for starters.
Shaw: Everyone knows it was a Tsunami bro, Kanye West said that Tsunamis hate black people more than George Bush, I saw it on Fox. God. I think I would remember, it was like 9/11 with water.
Smyth:… That didn‘t… Listen I just think that maybe that could section could undergo a little revision. Make it a little bit more sort of… better.
The Boss: That’s for post – production. And bad taste is how we sell DVDs. What else you got Smyth, I’m rolling with the punches here, I’m firing on all cylanders. Whew, dang, damn, man it is so damn hot in here. Are you hot?
Smyth: No. Well what else, let’s see… The characters are all unlikeable, the dialogue sounds clunky and robotic, there’s no real scares, there are so many clichés, you haven’t decided on a title and the title Mega Shark of the Malibu is pretty damn poor and barely makes grammatical sense why not Mega Sharks Attack Malibu, or Malibu’s Mega Shark Attack, also for a movie with such a kitschy title this film isn’t even a little bit tongue in cheek. Iit isn‘t even going to be one of those movies people watch because it‘s so bad it‘s good. I feel like with this clunky script and David, I‘m sorry David, David‘s not particularly exactly got much of a flair for filmmaking, and I‘m presuming we‘re going to be using our usual cast.
Shaw: What Z-listers and soft porn stars?
Smyth: Yeah. I just feel like this movie, on paper anyway, doesn’t look like it’s going to be any good, I don’t think it’s even going to be silly and fun and I don’t think we should waste money commissioning it.
The Boss: Of course it isn’t fun. This is a serious damn movie about what would happen if Goblin Sharks attacked a stranded lifeguard hut during the worst Tsunami since New Orleans. [Stubs out cigar, produces new bag of coke from jacket, gets a lolly pop, licks it and dips it in like liquorice in a sherbet fountain] Smyth you’re fired. Davey go out and make movie magic.
An Abandoned Victorian Mental Institute. Somewhere in England. A television shows credits and tinny midi based music pipes out of the speakers. A gnarled and wart covered hand presses eject on the remoter and replaces the disc, entitled Mega Shark of the Malibu in its case.
Jack – o – Lantern: Jesus. Who thought this was a good idea? Who made that turgid turd of a movie. Who in the hell thought a tsunami hit New Orleans? Christ that made Deep Blue Sea look like Jaws, and Jaws look like Citizen Kane. [Pauses, picks up a pen and pad] I think I’m going to conclude my review by saying this movie could only have been worse if it squirted sulphuric acid in my face, but how to start it?