The Pitch: Blockbuster Short Films

The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.

Now that was the polite way of putting it.

In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the green light power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat. 

It’s not that Hollywood fucks it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.

And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: Blockbuster Short Films


So check it out my lovely studio reps…

We can really simplify things, and at the same time please the movie-going masses just by giving them what they truly want… in short form.

I understand how the building of a relationship between onscreen characters and audience is a vital tactic used to lure the movie-going suckers into the majority of “products” you well-dressed children rapidly throw at us these days. And trust me, placing a number/roman numeral after a title will get people to the theaters similar to how the latest social imaging app will attract Adrianne Curry so she can spread her on-the-hour whorish #selfies (not that I’m complaining).  Yet sometimes, just sometimes, the foreplay isn’t necessary and spraying out the money shot is all you need to do.


For example, fans of The Punisher comic series were so-so with the 2004 adaptation starring Thomas Jane. One thing all the fans agreed on though, was how pitch-perfect Jane was in the title role. And while they were clamoring for more if he would once again don the skull t-shirt and no-nonsense attitude, a sequel with him never transpired (and the installment that followed sucked donkey-balls).

Just eight years later though, fans were rewarded with a short film (10 minutes) titled Dirty Laundry that featured Jane in a tonally appropriate Punisher atmosphere. By all accounts, including yours truly, it was exactly what the die-hards wanted. And since it triggered momentum, a full-fledge sequel encompassing Jane could have been crafted, which means you mindless puppeteers could have earned some legit coin… had you listened and capitalized.

But since that door has shut, and Jane told this guy over the phone that he’s done with the character yet did have a desire to give the core fan base a proper sendoff (the short) on his end, here’s a few projects/franchises that have either been announced, toyed with, and/or are even in production that can benefit from just sticking to the meat & potatoes.


Lance Armstrong Biopic 

Opens with a dramatic shot of Bradley Cooper as Armstrong, in a shadowy room putting on bike gear. The music is inspiring as if a superhero is coming to save the day. We then have what you filmmakers call a dissolve shot, where Cooper is injecting himself with ‘roids. Then a montage ensues starting with him riding bike (5 sec. long), on a hospital bed beating cancer intertwined with kids outside his window cheering for him wearing yellow wristbands (13 sec. again), and then… SCREEN GOES BLACK. As we fade back in, we see Armstrong placing his medals and whatever they give for winning the glorified bike race competition in France, and then addresses the envelope/package to the International Olympic Committee. Music crescendoes to credits.

Running Time: 4 min 37 sec

World of Warcraft Documentary

Fade-in shot of a plump kid in his basement playing the game millions-and-millions live-and-die for. We then see him collecting money off his eBay and Paypal sites so he can purchase a ticket to Comic-Con. There’s a smash cut (making some of these filmmaking directives up as I go) to the kid at Comic-Con running through from autograph table-to-table. Next shot is him jerking off into a sock – with a WoW character embroider on said sock.

Running Time: 5 min 49 sec

Dumb and Dumber To

We see Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) enacting a raunchy/random scene for the sequel. It abruptly stops, they turn, and speak to the camera (viewer): “Who we kidding, just go watch the first one again. You’ll thank us later.”

Running Time:  7 min 3 sec

Jurassic Park 4

Shows the new dinosaur in all its CGI glory… Then cuts to black screen with these words appearing:  “Just like II & III, there’s really no reason to watch IV… Except this: it ends with T-Rex chomping on humans and briefly battling the new dino from the previous scene.”

Running Time: 1 min 44 sec (just like the ride at Universal Studios)

In the Blood

The opening credits roll with the title flashing on the screen than slowly fades away while “Starring Gina Carano,” comes into focus. We then see Carano walking in skin-tight pants and a low-cut shirt, looking ready for a rumble. Right as her attackers approach, they engage in a dialogue conversation. Right before Carano begins to speak, she catches herself, looks at camera/audience, and simply says, “Hi, I still can’t act, but here’s a 2 minute fight scene (camera then zooms in on her, ahem, assets moving around with an inordinate amount of slo-mo shots).

Running Time: 2 min 52 sec

The Expendables 3

Show the new legendary badass additions to the predominantly past-their-prime cast (Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Jackie Chan, Antonio Banderas, etc.), lined up on a war torn battlefield. From there the camera does a tight shot on each of them as they enunciate their respective patent tough guy lines/catchphrase. Once we finish – hopefully with Steven Segal going last – the camera cuts to Sylvester Stallone about twenty-five yards away, armed with an obnoxious gun, and wearing a shirt that is three-sizes too small. He stares down everyone, mumbles something inaudible, and proceeds to blow giant holes into flesh with gratuitous blood-n-guts splattering all over the fucking place!

Running Time: 7 min

Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Ominous shot of ancient map and/or trinket. Go to Jack Sparrow walking. Now Jack Sparrow staring at something peculiar (Johnny Depp making the priceless faces). See Jack Sparrow yelling and running. A pirate ship then explodes. Geoffrey Rush does his maniacal laugh and says, “Arrr.” The End.

Running Time: 41 sec


An epic opening credit sequence commences listing a host of top-notch talent. When the director credit hits the screen, everyone sees in huge lettering “Directed by Christopher Nolan.” From there, a thunderous bass sound crashes through the speakers and the screen fades to white. In black lettering: “No need to watch. Best film of the year. Tell your friends.”

Running Time: 1 min 13 sec

See, it’s about giving people what they want… Not what you – yeah, you, you overrated paper-pushers – need. And what a collector’s anthology all these would make, eh?

Joe Belcastro is a contributor to CraveOnline and the writer of the weekly series The Pitch. Follow him on Twitter @TheWritingDemon.