Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Workin' for a livin'

This will be hard for my loyal but realistic readers to believe, but every once in a while I get a real honest-to-God script to edit. Almost all of them have been for proposed TV shows, and as far as I know none has ever been produced. Still, I really like doing them; they are the single miserable touch of glamour in my pathetic life.

But years ago I got a glimpse of the big time: a Hollywood-type movie script written by Huey Lewis, the once-popular musician, and G. Brown, the long-time rock music critic for the Denver Post. This was some years after Lewis' days of hugeness, and before Brown was fired for plagiarism after nearly 30 years of writing for the Post.

The script, oddly for a faded rock star, was about a hard-partying rock band on tour. It was, of course, lousy. But it had a few funny things in it, some of them intentional. For example, the band's tour was called the "Auntie Maim" tour, and in one scene the moronic rock drummer (yes, it had one of those), sitting stuporously in a trashed hotel room watching "Leave it to Beaver," suddenly exclaims: "Hey! This is a rerun!"

Funny peculiar

The script also provided a unique look at the collaborative process in such star projects. At one point, for example, G. noted marginally that a portion of the dialogue needed "punching up." Huey responded admirably. I don't remember the actual dialogue, but let's say a line read, "Hey, you idiot, take your feet off the table!" Huey, very neatly, with a carat and everything, would insert the word "fucking," or more rarely, "fuckin'." So now the line read, "Hey, you idiot, take your feet off the fuckin' table!" Or, alternatively, "Hey, you fucking idiot, take your feet off the table!" Huey saw that this was good, and for the rest of the scene "fucking" or "fuckin'" were sprinkled liberally throughout.

The big time. My involvement, naturally, was marginal. I don't think I even got to wear my editor's hat, but was relegated to proofreading. Needless to say too, but the script was never produced. Otherwise I would have been a (fuckin') player.

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