My first rule for launching a business was that I would need to have fun. There were other requirements, of course, but if it wasn’t something I absolutely loved spending my waking hours doing, I wasn’t going to go there.
Because life is short.
On one of those giddy, anything-is-possible days, I struck on an idea that was born from my love of movies, my insanely intense need to make people laugh and my passion for helping people realize—and be recognized for— their talents.
On that delirious evening, scrawling on the back of cocktail napkins, my biz and life partner Bob and I hatched the plan. We would create original, fun, quirky employee recognition programs. We crafted the plots of current popular movies to fit the specific industry, the job positions and personalities of the staff our clients wanted to honor, wrapping it all up in a multi-media ‘Oscars’ ceremony, complete with the gold statues.
And so Korporate Comedy Concepts was born.
Coming up with this one shiny idea was easy, but—even though we launched the business in southern California—getting paying clients was considerably harder. And so, though we got a few gigs, we decided to pull the plug when our seed money ran out.
Why am I telling you this?
As many of you know, I broke my wrist last Tuesday. For the last week, I’ve been lying on the couch all alone—just me, my pain pills, my splinted arm, my remote and an endless supply of old movies.
And that can be a dangerous combination.
But as I watched these movies, I got to thinking. With a little rewriting, some of them would make perfect plots to drop a blogger into. I pulled out my laptop and, well, here are three of them, with some of your favorite FBBB bloggers in starring roles. Watch for them, coming this summer (or not) to a theatre near you:
Kevin McCallister is all grown up in this sinister remake of the 1990 John Hughes Christmas classic. Played by Bob Dunn, Kevin is now a blogger, a cocky WordPress expert and somewhat of a social media celebrity. But when he oversleeps and misses the van to the airport for the last remaining flight to BlogWorld 2010, he finds himself home for the holiday.
His co-presenter and business partner Matt, thanks to Danny Brown’s understated but Oscar-worthy performance, is equal parts smart, humble and lovable. We feel for him as he makes a feeble attempt to help Kevin before turning his cell phone off, doing a happy dance and cutting him out of the conference session.
Meanwhile, back home, Kevin is in for the fight of his life. Evil spammers, disguised as loyal readers, plot to take over his blog with cheap Viagra ads. Blogworld execs cut his photo out of 5,500 conference programs. And hackers threaten to duplicate his content on a tacky WordPress for Short People site. Knowing the spammers are lurking outside his blog, ready to attack, he sets a series of ingeneous traps that go way beyond CAPTCHA.
In perhaps the film’s most touching scene, Kevin learns what the holiday is really about when he helps his cranky old neighbor open a Facebook account on Christmas Eve so she can find out if her high school love is still alive, mend her relationship with her long lost grandson and creep out her great niece by ‘friending’ her.
This 1988 Best Picture movie has been beautifully remade, updated with a decidedly post-Millennium, social media flavor.
On the death of their father, a frustrated, angry and almost broke blogger Charlie Babbitt (Frank Dickinson) meets his autistic brother Raymond (Joey Strawn), who has been in an institution for most of his life.
As they drive across the country in a vintage 1945 Lincoln Continental, it becomes clear that Raymond has an uncanny ability to select blog topics that Charlie’s readers are wildly interested in. He can also predict the times of day when posts will get the most page views and social media shares. It’s just the kind of information Charlie needs to attract more subscribers and advertisers.
Charlie becomes convinced that Raymond is the key to turning around his failing blog. Conversion rates go through the ceiling as Raymond instinctively knows the best calls-to-action to hyperlink to at the bottom of Charlie’s posts.
In an interesting twist on the hilarious boxers vs briefs highway scene in the original movie, Raymond insists that blog post headlines must always be five words long—no more, no less.
Finally, in an act of desperation, Charlie pulls the car over, jumps out, gesturing wildly and screaming,
“What difference does it make how many words it has? A headline is a headline! It is a headline whether it has 3 words or 9 words or whatever!”
In that pivotal scene, Charlie begins to understand that his brother’s needs are different. At first intent on using his brother to build his blog’s subscriber list to 10,000, he now wants what’s best for Raymond, which in the end turns out to be sending him back to the institution.
This Is Spinal Tap
In 1982, we were invited to be a part of the sights, sounds and smells of one of music history’s greatest artists in the rockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap. The plot centers on a British heavy metal group, billed as the ‘world’s loudest band,’ and their much anticipated comeback tour.
In this 2011 remake, the creative team at For Bloggers, By Bloggers, are in a serious slump. In a world where content is still king, they haven’t published a single new blog post in 8 months.
In a brave move to stage a reinvention of momentous proportions, team blogger Judy Dunn develops a scheme for bringing the traffic back with a series of well-calculated appearances on top blogs.
When her plans for becoming a weekly contributor for ProBlogger fall through, she tries unsuccessfully to get guest spots for Frank, Joey, Danny and Bob on the Where Is This Blogger Now? blog, only to be rejected and humiliated publicly.
She perseveres through the pain and in the end finds niche audiences for the FBBB team, landing guest gigs on a bunch of upward trending sites like snorkelingnuns.com, Horny Toads Rock and the popular Swedish blog, Lutefisk Today.
When that pond is all fished out, the bloggers have no choice but to go their separate ways. In one of the final scenes, that brilliantly captures the group’s downward spiral to obscurity, Judy helps a group of senior citizens at Rolling Hills Assisted Living Center brainstorm topics and create an editorial calendar for their new blog Rockers and Rollers.
How about you?
Any other movies you see as ripe for a remake with a blogging theme?
Have any of these bloggers been miscast?
What movie would you like to have the lead blogger role in?