Dear Seth Rogen: Here’s The Plot of Your ‘Alien Test’ Movie


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Working Title “Radar Love”
The first thing we see before the opening credits is a microscopic spaceship slowing down as it enters our solar system. It lands on the moon. Soon a bigger — but still small — spaceship shoots out of the lunar surfance, heading towards earth. This small ship finally enters the earth’s atmosphere and lands somewhere rather non-descriptive in either LA or NYC. After a few moments, the spot where the little ship landed begins to shift and bubble.

Opening Credits

Act I
We open with our Hero walking into work at his 80s radioshow in LA (or NYC). We’re introduced to the zany characters of his show. We learn a little backstory. He’s recently broken up with his long-term girlfriend and he’s feeling a little sorry for himself.

But once he’s on air, he switches gears and is very much a Robin Williams in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

Inciting Incident: Our Hero wraps up the broadcast for the day and is told by his secretary that there’s someone to see him. He notices a well dress ethnically ambiguous woman standing in the foyer waiting for him. He’s taken aback that someone so hot would want to talk to him. After some pleasantries we cut to the two having coffee.

The woman acts as if she’s been listening to his 80s rock show avidly and yet there’s something a little off about her. She finally looks at him and says there’s something she has to tell him. She places her hand on his and there’s a 2001’s star gate sequence that we see happening in his mind.

He wakes up on a cot in a strange windowless room. He searches his mind for what happened and is boggled by the amount of information he now knows. The woman he met for coffee appears again and asks him if he’s ready? Ready for what, he asks. Our meeting, she says.

Act 1 ends with our Hero realizing he’s in a huge spaceship floating over Washington DC. He and the woman go down the steps of the ship and ultimately meet POTUS.

Act 2

This portion of the plot involves our hero coming involved in a huge planet-wide struggle. Everyone is upset that some nobody has been chosen by aliens to take a huge test that will determine humanity’s fate. There’s lots of efforts to discredit him. The aliens are absolutely clear — they love the music he plays and he’s their guy.

Midpoint: Because no one believes the aliens when they say they can move several hundred million humans to a new solar system, our Hero has to test out the technology. He takes a pill and wakes up in a pod on the other side of the planet.

The rest of this act involves the bad guys trying to screw up our hero’s attempts to take the test in question. He ultimately takes the test — it’s simply a test of his musical knowledge — and he passes with flying colors.

The “all is lost” moment of the second act is when it seems clear that humanity is too divided to take advantage of this amazing offer. The aliens get fed up and leave earth. In desperation, our Hero plays rock music at his radio station in a desperate hope to convince them to come back. (He talks to them via the titles of rock songs.)

At the very end of the act, it seems All Is Lost.

Act 3
Surprise! The aliens come back. Act three involves the process of moving people off the planet. The last scene is our Hero waking up on the new planet and realizing humanity has a second chance to get things right.

Of course, you need to throw in some romance somewhere along the way…maybe with the alien girl who is some sort of synthetic human?

Dear Seth Rogen — About That ‘Alien Test’ Movie Concept You Talked About On Howard Stern



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I saw on YouTube today that funny man Seth Rogen has the following idea for a movie: someone like him is the guy aliens pick to take a test that will determine humanity’s fate.

Well, I, too, have been thinking about something like this and he’s what I can contribute to your idea.

The reason why your character is chosen amongst all the people in the world is the aliens have been monitoring humanity’s radio signals for decades and they really like the morning show you have where you play Rock ‘N Roll. (For IP reasons, I would suggest something like it’s an 80s music morning show.)

The aliens REALLY LOVE Rock music and, as such, they love how you’re able to tell a story by stringing songs together. They communicate with humanity by doing this very thing and they make it clear they want YOU to be the person to take the test for humanity.

The test would be a test of Rock music knowledge, not an IQ test or anything like that. Conflict arises when the governments of the world try to screw you over by finding people they think can do what you do, better.

In the end, you take the test and pass it with flying colors — but then the real test begins. You have to use your new-found global celebrity to united humanity to take advantage of the offer given by the aliens — they are willing to re-settle much of humanity to a new solar systems, but humanity has to work together to achieve this goal.

I was thinking this would be deathly serious film, but it probably wouldn’t take a lot to flip it into something really funny.

Screenwriting And Webstat Paranoia



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I saw in my Webstats that someone looked at — out of the blue — a post from about two years ago about a screenplay concept I briefly had. This makes me nervous because:

  1. They were from Brooklyn.
  2. They obviously got it as a link (how did the person who send it to them find it?)
  3. Are they going to “steal” that idea?

Some of those are just me being paranoid in general — I have a pretty well developed novel on my hands and even if someone “stole” that concept, it has nothing to do with what I’m working on right now.

I guess I’m more nervous about people being able to poke around my Website without me knowing about it one way or another. But you can’t change the past. You can’t have absolute control over who sees what you post online.

And, given that me talking online is, in itself, part of my development process, lulz.

Some Thoughts On #StarWars As A #Screenplay

Some thoughts.

Idle Rambling About My Creative Endeavors

Some thoughts.

V-Log: A Gentle Creative Suggestion For Phoebe Waller-Bridge

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

This is just a stray observation.

I Have An Idea

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While I’m deep into working on a novel, I have an idea, a notion, a conceit for a screenplay that’s interesting.

I have the general universe — and twist ending — down pat. What I don’t have is much of a plot. But I do have another plot lying around and I may use it to flesh out the plot of this idea.

But it really doesn’t matter right now. I have a novel to work on.

The Struggle Is Real: Working On A #Screenplay

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m afraid I’m well on my way to becoming a cliche.

Because of circumstance, I’m soon going to become one of those guys you see in coffee shops and libraries hard at work on their screenplay. It’s kind of pathetic in its own way. But the issue is, I’ve finally come across a story concept that is strong enough that I really want to invest the time and energy into needed to flesh out.

The only problem with the concept is it’s very obviously a screenplay, not a novel. I have struggled for some time, trying to make it a novel, but it just doesn’t work. The story is a direct homage to the Big Chill and as such it takes place over a weekend.

The big difference is there’s a lot more drama in this concept than The Big Chill. A whole lot more. That’s what makes it great from a writing standpoint. There’s more than enough to keep me entertained. That’s been a big problem for some time with previous attempts to write either a novel or a screenplay — I just couldn’t keep myself entertained as the writer to finish the story.

They say you’re supposed to have a surprise on each page of a story and I think the one I’m working on now comes pretty close to that. I need to shut up and write. I need to stop writing and writing and just do the actual writing. But it’s kind of tough. I have to psych myself up to do it.

But my life is about to undergo a major change almost immediately, so maybe I’ll be more productive. Maybe. I hope. I really want to finish at least one screenplay before I die. I am going to write the screenplay as a novella first then go from there.

That’s the plan, at least.

V-Log: Mulling #GunControl, #AR15s, War With The #DPRK & #Screenplay #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It looks as though we’re hurdling towards a war with the #DPRK. Or maybe not. Only time will tell. But this v-log has a few other interesting things in it as well.

The First Scene, In Novella Form, Of The ‘Big Chill’ Homage I’m Developing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have vowed to myself that I’m not buying Final Draft until I finish a novella of the screenplay concept I’m currently noodling with. I am a complete novice and generally have no idea what I’m doing, but here’s a glimpse of what I’ve managed to write so far. This is the first scene where people are making their way into the house where they’re going to stay for a weekend to celebrate someone’s 50th birthday. It’s not much, I know, but it’s a start. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Anyway, in my fevered imagination, I see someone like Erykah Badu or Janelle Monae playing the Gaia part. Ms. Badu is the proper age for this vision, but I’m a big fan of Ms. Monae as well. Anyway, you’re not supposed to talk about who you want to play parts, but I always do what I’m not supposed to do.

It’s just fun to daydream and it keeps me motivated to daydream about who I would want to play this or that part. But I will try to control myself. Though, my birthday is coming up on the 26th, so I guess I am allowing myself to have a little fun.

The Big Shrug
A novella by Shelton Bumgarner
Blaze Union and his Korean wife Union looked at each other and grinned. This weekend was going to be an exciting one, no matter what, given the people involved. Soon enough, as expected, the door opened and a middle-aged man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat walked in and gave each of them a hug.
“Jackson!” Union said as she did. “My, your politics sure have changed since we last met.”
Jackson Colburn mugged sheepishly as he turned to hug Blaze as well.
“Well, you know,” Jackson said. “Things change. I’ve changed. Who else is here? I looking forward to catching up.”
Jackson shook Blaze’s hand and told him happy birthday.
“You’re the first person here, but the rest right behind you,” Blaze said. “There’s an envelope on the kitchen table explaining where everything is.”
As Jackson nodded and made his way past them, a gorgeous African American woman squealed and hugged them both passionately. She kissed them each on the lips as she did.
“Gaia!” Blaze said, his eyes wide open. “You haven’t changed a bit. What have you been up to since Seoul? Last I heard you were modeling in Phuket”
“Yeah,” Gaia said in a deep, silky voice. “I’ve been up to this or that. Seoul was so long ago. I try to keep my eyes on the future, not the past. Happy birthday, baby,”
She, too, pushed past the couple on her way to the kitchen.
Soon, a middle-aged man and a much younger, stunning woman appeared at the door. The mood was significantly different. It was more somber.
“Hey, Tagger,” Blaze said shaking Tagger’s hand firmly. “I don’t think I’ve met your daughter.”
Tagger looked at the couple smiled, then looked down for a moment and laughed.
“This is Manhattan,” Tagger said. “She’s my WIFE and you know it, you old bastard .”
The two couples shared a knowing laugh and the tension was broken.
“I haven’t seen you in person in close to 20 years,” Tagger said. “You haven’t changed a bit.”
“Neither have you,” Blaze said. “You seem to have done well for yourself since then. How many times have you gotten the Vogue cover in the last few years, half a dozen times?”
Tagger looked at his wife, squeezed her hand and nodded.
“Yeah, something like that.” Tagger said. “Life isn’t a straight line, you know. But it all started in Seoul. The whole thing changed my life.”
“Well,” Union said, “it’s good to see you are doing well. Like I told the others, just go straight into the kitchen and you’ll find the information you need for the weekend.”
And with that, Tagger and Manhattan pushed pass the couple with their luggage.