Saturday, February 26, 2011

I am the Walrii. Goo-gook-a-choo!

For the month of February, Budding Ventriloquist will explore the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. The issue is not which one is "best." The issue is: Which movie would be even better if ventriloquism was part of the story?

***Fourth in a series***

The Social Network

Opening Scene
A curly-haired, unkept Mark Zuckerberg sits in a Harvard campus pub opposite one a college girl. You can tell she's a college girl because her hair is straight and stringy, she isn't wearing make-up, she's using multi-syllabic words, and only a college girl would bother with Mark Zuckerberg largely out of weird intellectual curiosity. They argue. He winds up insulting her. She stomps out, calling him a sphincter (or something like that). He pouts, goes back to his dorm, and tells rotten jokes targeting his ex-girlfriend to his dorm friends ... with a ventriloquist dummy. 

The plot thickens...
The ventriloquist gets a lot of action on campus. Pretty soon, everybody has a ventriloquist dummy on campus.  A couple of twin brothers both buy walrus puppets, thinking its funny and calling their act the Walrus Brothers, exposing themselves as pretty uncreative blokes. They pay Zuckerberg to teach them ventriloquism.  Zuckerberg gets the idea to mass produce animal puppets, but creates a much bigger variety. Zuckerberg and his dummy stick to the purist idea that it is all about performing ventriloquism, shunning efforts to actually make money with the idea.  The "Walrii" (as Zuckerberg refers to them because he is more clever then they are) sue him for stealing their idea.  He goes to California, and falls under the influence of a guy who's puppet is a sphincter (this is a bit of literary license for illusion sake).

Until it runs like molasses
Zuckerberg looks on the web for dummy making kits.
Everybody sues everybody, because money finally is part of what's happening.  Zuckerberg goes through depositions with legal beagles. Yes, the lawyers have dog ventriloquist puppets. This was literary license, but the movie is so engaging we might believe it's a documentary.  The twin brothers look more at more like the Walrii in every shot.  In the end, lawyers agree to pay of the Walrii and everybody else because Zuckerberg's girlfriend was right about his character.  Zuckerberg never does get a girl out of the deal. In the end, he sends his old girlfriend a Chatty Cathy doll as a peace offering. 

Writing this one up was both hard and easy.  It really made me think about my own enterprise - Budding Ventriloquist.

What if someone claimed that Budding Ventriloquist was their idea? What would I do?  Am I trying to keep my passion for ventriloquism pure, resisting any attempt to commercialize it?

Is that why I haven't made a dime doing this yet?

Yep, that must be it.
I am way behind on these Best Picture spoofs.  Had the Academy stuck to 5 nominees, I'd be on schedule.

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