Dear Mr. O’Keefe,

This is [NAME WITHHELD] of [NAME WITHHELD], your trusted financial institution. I am writing to inform you that there is a current balance of $2,000 dollars remaining in your account. This is a dangerously low sum. Do you have monies coming in from your various projects? Are you currently writing something that will result in a financial gain? Let’s discuss. You still owe your parents [AMOUNT WITHHELD] from the last time this happened.

Hope Hollywood is treating you well.


Your finical advisor at [NAME WITHHELD]



I received your letter. Bummer about the 2K. I hope I get the remaining sum of what I’m owed for X, Y and Z soon. Once I can, I will pay back my mom and dad.

It’s funny you should ask, because as a matter of fact, yes, I am writing something new. That being said, I doubt it will result in an immediate financial gain. It’s — well, it’s hard to describe and I suppose it can come off as a bit pretentious if not illustrated delicately. To be honest I don’t like saying too much about it at this early stage. However, since you’re my financial advisor and you should be privy, I’ll explain.

Its tentative title is [WITHHELD] and it’s the unflinching story of a common American man coming to terms with his place in the Universe in the 21st century. A man wrestling with the meaning of life. And it’s about . . . well it’s about this man’s joys and pleasures and heartbreaks — his love and loss. It’s about his boundless dreams and his modest accomplishments and the discrepancy between the man he wants to be and the one he actually is.

And it’s about the small moments in his life too — a memory as a boy (the yellow raincoat; a dead deer in the woods; the smell of a toy). But it’ll have the big stuff as well, you know, the trailer moments, as they say. First kisses, graduations, deaths, births, mushroom trips, etc. I have this real zinger of a moment where his car flips over on the way to prom. Just wait until you see it (hint: it’s the other guy’s fault).

Here’s the kicker: what really makes this movie special is that it’s all gonna happen in real time. It’s gonna be a 75 year long movie and it’s gonna take 75 years to make. And once it’s done, you can just go in and out of the theater at your own leisure. Like a church you can visit when you need to. I’m already talking to theater chains about building specialized venues to project it. Oh and at the end, the very end — when he’s dying (hint: cancer) — the screen fades to white for three whole days. 72 hours of a slow fade to white. And then credits roll silently. It’s going to be great.

There’s no real story per se — just vignettes and images and music and life and stuff. Reflections of truth. No lies like all the other movies. Just truth. Even if it’s scary and ugly sometimes. I just want to write something real, you know? While I’m on this Earth and still can. Something big and important and full of magic. Something special. Uncompromising. That’s the goal anyway. Maybe it’s too ambitious. Maybe it’s egomaniacal. I go back and forth. In the meantime I’m always looking for babysitter slasher rewrites. Fingers crossed.


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