The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – Funny Comic About to Make Unfunny Movie Meeting with Studio Executives
by Joe Janes
Funny Comic About to Make Unfunny Movie Meeting with Studio Executives
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:00am
Frank's Office, Lot C, Studio Biz Pictures
Attendance: Jimmy, Frank,, Merrill, Anton (taking notes)
FRANK: Come on in. Have a seat. Relax. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like a LaCroix (la-croy)?
JIMMY: Is that how you say that? LaCroix (la-croy)?
(Frank starts laughing)
FRANK: See, Merrill? That’s why we brought Jimmy in! FUN-NEE!
JIMMY: I was legitimately asking.
(Frank cracks up even harder)
FRANK: Stop. Stop. My stomach hurts. Oh, my. I’m going to have six-pack abs after this meeting if you keep making me laugh like that. There’s LaCroix (la-croy) in the mini-fridge behind you if you want any. But don’t you get up and get it. We’ll have someone come in and do that.
JIMMY: Thanks. I’m fine.
MERRILL: Loved your Netflix special.
FRANK: LOVED it. Absolutely. Very astute. Insightful, while also being very, very funny. Almost started bleeding, I was laughing so hard.
JIMMY: What was your favorite part?
FRANK: My favorite part? What was your favorite part, Merrill?
MERRILL: I loved all of it. All of it. What about you, Frank?
FRANK: So many good bits to choose from. I really liked that part near the end. The part where you had the whole audience going. You probably had to edit out some of the laughter to keep the special from going too long. What was that part? Anton, what was that part that I was telling you about that I thought was so funny and we needed to get Jimmy in here?
ANTON: That would be the part where he compares his mother to a llama.
FRANK: Really?...Oh, God! Yes! That’s it. That was such a great mother/llama impression.
JIMMY: I don’t really do a llama impression-
FRANK: Let’s talk movies! Jimmy, we want to produce a hit comedy. You’re hot, but not too hot. That’s perfect for us. This movie could explode your career. Blow it wide open. You could be making Jason Sudeikis money. Would you like that?
JIMMY: Sure, I guess. Is there a script?
FRANK: Script schmipt! We could turn the cameras on you and just have you be funny for 88 minutes.
JIMMY: Wouldn’t that just be my Netflix special?
(Frank cracks up, again.)
FRANK: Do you ever turn it off, Jimmy? This is why we want to work with you.
MERRILL: We have several scripts we can choose from. There’s one where you play a rookie cop who has to go undercover with a veteran cop, like The Rock, or something.
FRANK: Classic formula.
MERRILL: There’s the one where you fall in love and are trying to keep the woman of your dreams from marrying a bad guy, like The Rock, or something.
FRANK: People love romantic comedy. The guys love it because it’s funny and the women love it because it’s romantic. Cannot lose. We will be bringing trucks full of money and dumping it on your front lawn.
MERRILL: There’s just so many to choose from. The talking cigarette vending machine one. You meet while undercover and fall in love. The voice of the cigarette machine would be played by-
JIMMY: The Rock?
FRANK: No, no, no, no. Too…jovial. It would have to be a woman. Someone sexy. Like Jennifer Lawrence.
JIMMY: Well, I don’t know much about making movies-
FRANK: Which is why we are here. You’re a stand-up guy. We’re the movie guys…and woman. Merrill’s a woman. Let us do all the work. You just show up on set and turn on the funny.
MERRILL: We have a great director lined up. Maybe you have heard of him. Michael Gerber.
JIMMY: Can’t say that I have.
FRANK: Seasoned professional. I’d rattle off the things he’s directed, but it would just embarrass you for not knowing. Number one rule around here, don’t embarrass the talent.
MERRILL: He has done many big projects - comedy, drama, dramady, comema - on the UPN Network.
JIMMY: Is that still-?
FRANK: Mike knows what he’s doing behind the camera. He knows to point it in your direction and let you do you. He’s not going to be one of those hands-on directors. You do your funny. The riffing and the ad-libbing and the llama impressions. Don’t worry about the script. You don’t like something, you can fix it while you’re shooting. If that doesn’t work, Mike will add a dancing-while-working-or-cooking segment or a montage full of bits. It will be a gold mine of comedy.
JIMMY: I really would like to see a script first…
FRANK: Of course, you would. Why wouldn’t you? You're a reader. Just know, that if you don’t like it, you can change it. Hire some of your buddies to be on set. People who think you’re funny. Have them improv with you. Some of the greatest comedies of all time had no script.
JIMMY: Such as…?
ANTON: Old School 3 had no script.
JIMMY: I didn’t even know it had an existence.
(Frank laughs hard, again.)
FRANK: Jimmy, this thing can’t lose. Merrill will send some scripts your way. One I really want you to look at is a reboot of Get Smart.
JIMMY: A reboot of a reboot?
FRANK: That was ten years ago. No one remembers it. Or the TV show. Your fans will think it’s a brand new thing. They’ll love it.
JIMMY: I’ll have to think about this…
FRANK: You do that. And, let me mention this before I forget. It is a small budget move. We’ll start small and then build as we do more movies together. We'll only be able to pay you five million dollars for six weeks of work.
JIMMY: That Get Smart thing sounds pretty good.
MERRILL: We can get The Rock to play The Chief.