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Hollywood: Pitching the political divide

by Douglas Eboch & Ken Aguado

Int. Office – day

Doug Eboch and Ken Aguado sit at a conference table,
brainstorming ideas for the second edition of their book,
The Hollywood Pitching Bible. It’s not going well.

I’m just saying, Bible is already in our title.
Let’s add a chapter about pitching to the faith-based community!
Faith is hot now.

Hmm, sounds kinda risky. We’re already in showbiz —
How much more of our souls can we afford to lose?

Ugh, then what’s your idea?

What about this: The Fox Business Channel ran a segment
that suggested The Lego Movie was both anti-capitalist and anti-business.

I’ll take your word for it. Like most Americans,
I get my news mainly from Facebook.

Understandably. But conservatives often complain that Hollywood
has a not-so-hidden, left wing agenda in much of its product.
A liberal bias.

What’s that have to do with the book?

So I was thinking, let’s add a chapter
that teaches readers how to prevent the insidious liberal bias
from creeping into their pitches.

Ah, interesting.
So we could take some well known films and TV shows,
and re-pitch their log lines to be more fair and balanced.

Exactly! Very patriotic.

I see where you’re going.
It feels good. We’d be bringing people together — left and right —
bridging the political divide, and all that.

Okay, I was thinking more like
we could sell our ideas to an under-served conservative audience
and make a fortune, but sure, bridging the divide works too.

Then let’s do it!
Start with The Lego Movie.
What’s the problem?

Well, the villain was a character
called Lord Business
and he looked a bit like a plastic Mitt Romney.

(getting worked up)
I see.
So… it’s Marxist propaganda disguised as
a 100 minute toy commercial.

Made by Time Warner,
whose $30 billion in sales last year
was simply a patina of capitalism to disguise their true agenda.

Trotsky bastards…

Wait, it gets worse.
Here’s the log line for the movie: A working-class construction worker
must save his Lego world from an evil businessman
who schemes to eliminate creativity and happiness.

Wow, I see what you mean.
Total propaganda.
I’ve been so blind.
We have to fix this mess. But how?

Easy! Try this instead:
A noble job creator saves the Lego world by convincing 47% of the population
to get off their little plastic asses and get back to work.

Wow. I can feel the heal.
What’s next? I know, let’s do Argo — the Ben Affleck film!

“O Canada, O Canada”! Good choice. Start with the original log line.

Okay: A CIA operative pretends to be a Hollywood producer
to free six Americans in hiding during the 1980s Iranian hostage crisis.

Wow. It’s just so… wrong.

Yeah, I mean, put down the soy latte, Ben, and read your history.

So what should it be? Help Ben out.

Okay: The impending inauguration of conservative hero Ronald Reagan
strikes fear into the hearts of Iran, the Soviet Union,
and all those who oppose the invisible hand of the free market.
The hostages are freed! It’s morning in America!

Nice! And I like how you worked the hostages into the pitch.

It’s amazing: change a few words and the liberal agenda just melts away.
I feel 5 pounds lighter.

And you look great too. That’s why I make you work so hard on your log lines.

But certainly not every Hollywood movie has a liberal agenda.
What about Gravity?

You mean the story of a woman astronaut
who wastes billions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt
to get back to the home she never should have left?

Huh, I never thought of it that way.
It’s like they make movies in code out in Hollywood!

That’s why it’s so insidious.
Okay, let’s try one from TV.
How about the TV series 24?

That’s easy.
Counter-terrorist Jack Bauer uses any means necessary — including torture,
profiling and assassination —
to preserve our freedoms, and save the republic.

(thinks, then)
Perfect! Don’t change a word. We’re gonna get rich!

Shh, don’t let the Hollywood liberals hear you say that.

Douglas Eboch & Ken Aguado

About Douglas Eboch & Ken Aguado

Douglas Eboch is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. His credits include the original script “Sweet Home Alabama.” Follow Douglas on Twitter @dougeboch and his Let's Schmooze blog. Ken Aguado is a producer living in Los Angeles. His most recent film is “Standing Up,” written and directed by DJ Caruso. They co-wrote “The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television," which is available at Amazon, iTunes and selected bookstores around the country.

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