Sunday, November 23, 2008

A visit with The Ice Cream Man

Yesterday, Joel had a two hour meeting about our show En Route with a guy I like to call The Ice Cream Man. I call him that because this guy is like the Good Humor man of scripts. I imagine his office as a cart -- a cart made by Alfa Romeo -- which he wheels through Beverly Hills neighborhoods. Rather than children running and calling after him, waving dollars, screaming for ice cream, it's TV and film executives running on pilates legs, all George-Hamilton-tanned like leather easy chairs at Gardner White Furniture, speed dialing on glinting, titanium cell phones, vying for the best product The Ice Cream Man has percolating within the sleek fuselage of his cart.

Why would the primped and pampered go running after The Ice Cream Man? Because his product is unlike anyone else's.

First, The Ice Cream Man has a connoisseur's eye for the scripts he takes on. And to paraphrase Orson Welles as he once intoned in Gothic television commercials: "The Ice Cream Man will sell no script before its time."

Second, The Ice Cream Man is a skilled editor. He knows what it takes to bring a script in line with industry standard; knows how to craft the work to suit the production audience it's geared toward. Which directors appreciate camera angles and stage directions? Which ones are looking for stripped down shooting scripts? The Ice Cream Man Knows.

Third, The Ice Cream Man knows which neighborhoods to take his script cart. He has connections. He's not chased by dogs. He's never harassed by bargain-shopping cheapskates. He knows the scriptose intolerant streets and avoids them.

Joel sat with him for two hours, who was educated in Michigan. They talked about the Detroit Lions whose woeful losing season served as a handy point of connection for them. Then it was down to business. Our script packet was handed over, and it's now in the reading phase. We should hear back in a week or so, maybe a little longer, whether it will find its way into the sleek fuselage of the Ice Cream Man's Cart.

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