Movie Conference, 1963

by jake fuchs

     Suddenly the producer, Irving, tosses a new idea into the discussion, an idea for a possible film.  Then the writer, Herbert, does the talking.  He performs, in fact, puts on a one-man show.  The idea!  The idea!  It's wonderful, awe-inspiring, no matter what it happens to be, and he's just the guy to put it into words.  What are words, anyway, just the salad dressing as long as he has the all-important concept, supplied by Irving.  Still, the writer does a lot  with them, the words.  Plot, setting, characters major and minor--all come to life in his mouth because a short, ill-formed man had conceived, all of five minutes ago, the stunning notion of making a movie about mud wrestlers, carny hands, tragic but virtuous nightclub singers, doomed gangsters, sleazy Europeans.  Here's a European bit.

    "I did it for a Ferrari," the writer declares, playing a part.  "A Ferr-ar-i!"

    The producer had, no doubt, suggested a story of betrayal.  The unwholesome character speaking through the writer might have exchanged precious black market butter for the Ferrari, or maybe free world nuclear secrets.

    "Herb, Herb," says Irving.  "Wait up a minute."

    He extends a stubby arm to the coffee table before him, picks up his cup or glass, sips.

    "Um.  That's good, Herb, but now I'm thinking a sports angle, the hero throws a game for the car.  What's that they play over there?  With a ball?  Their big game."

    "Soccer, Irv, soccer.  Hey, that's great."

    "No!  Nope.  A soccer movie?  Who knows from soccer?"
   "Football?  We could do it here then.  Have to change the Ferrari, maybe.  A Cadillac?"

    "Change the Ferrari?  Change everything!  Can't have an American doing things like that."

    "So okay.  We keep it European.  No soccer, naturally.  I just want, I just want, Irv, for you to see this scene." Herbert rises to his feet.

   "The Ferrari," he exclaims.  "I deed it for the Ferrari!  You take-a-lady, a young girl, for a ride at two hundred kilometros per hour, then she lie-a down on the grass!  All atremble.  Yes?"

    "You mean to shtup?  Can we do it subtle?"