Be Careful What You Ask For
So-called "Hollywood Pitch Master" Bob Kosberg said the
following in an interview with Michael Gill:
"Everyone thinks that in The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch dies at the end of the story — melted. And we remember her famous last words 'I'm melting! I'm melting! What a world. What a world.' The pitch I liked," he says with the excitement of a child on his birthday, "was based on that setup. What if the Witch didn't die? What if it was all an act? And now it's the year 2000 and the Wicked Witch is still alive and well and mean and green and she's broken out of Oz Jail and she's on her way to New York to get those damn red slippers once and for all."
OK, let's pitch these brilliant movie concepts. Hmmm. Also ignored....
FACING THE MUSIC [drama]
Nuremberg, 1947. Georg, a former Nazi officer is on trial for his involvement in the operation of the Dachau extermination camp.
It seems that when the family slipped off-stage one at a time at the end of that music festival in Linz, Austria, they did escape over a mountainous border. But they escaped to the north. To southern Czechoslovakia in March 1938, just before Nazi Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss, but less than a year before also annexing southern Czechoslovakia.
Feeling that his destiny must lie with the Fatherland, and like a good German, the family patriarch reported for duty.
His oldest son ("Tee") joined the Wermacht, and marched off to fight the Bolsheviks on the approaches to Stalingrad.
His oldest daughter ("La"), who had quickly fallen in love with that nice Joshua Goldfarb from their new neighborhood, was relocated with her new husband to a "resettlement facility" in southern Poland. The surviving family members have heard nothing from them since one short letter in mid-1939. While they fear the worst, they hold out hope that they were taken to the Soviet Union and will return some day.
The four youngest children ("Do", "Ray", "Mi", and "Fa") plus his wife Maria had pitched in to do their part for the Fatherland after things started going badly for the Nazis. Unfortunately, all of them, including the youngest children, were working in the ball bearing factories outside Schweinfurt when the US 8th Air Force reduced them to smoking rubble.
Embittered, Georg volunteered for service as a naval liason officer to the SS and was sent to serve at Dachau. Now he and their only remaining child ("So") are all that remain, and with Georg facing possible execution and his daughter completely out of touch with reality since the Schweinfurt raids of mid-1943, things look grim for the family.
FACING THE MUSIC is primarily set in 1947 at the Nuremberg trials. Georg's testimony and late-night thoughts in his cell lead to flashbacks gradually filling in the story of the family over the decade since what most people believe was their happy ending.
SHAKE-N-BAKE: THE MOVIE [comedy]
Tom Bosworth is a Rhodes Scholar and former Navy SEAL who led the venture capital group at Manhattan's premiere financial house. But then he left finance to become Hollywood's greatest pitch-man and the genius behind the ten most successful films of the past decade. Life is good — very good — for Tom Bosworth.
But then an influential movie critic wrote a controversial essay in "Variety". He bemoaned the state of Hollywood, and claimed that the American public seemed to find even the constant recycling of 1960s television shows too challenging.
All at once, a strange movie idea crosses Bosworth's desk. He thought he had seen it all: Moby Dick in space. An entire series of pitches based on Jane Austen being a 19th-century government assassin. Demented paranoia about Canadian country musicians. And worse. But this pitch is SO strange that he can't simply set it aside.
Someone is pitching the idea of a movie based on the 1970s TV advertisement for chicken breading. "It's Shake-n-Bake Daddy, an Ah hayulpt!"
The problem is that Bosworth recognizes the source. He can't help but take notice — it's one of Hollywood's most successful scriptwriters. When Bosworth contacts the writer to see just what the joke is, he is told that it is NOT a joke. And what's more, Top People are very very interested. Speilberg and Scorcese are said to be fighting over the project, and major stars' agents are letting it be known that their people would work for scale just to be involved with the project. Just what is really going on?
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE [comedy]
Our hero (Mack Hammer, Mitch Johnson, Dirk Kosbourne, or some other testosterone-seeping name) is a former US Navy SEAL with an advanced degree, a man who turned down a Harvard post-graduate position for two years of service in the Peace Corps, and who is now married to a supermodel.
Now he is a pitch-man in Hollywood.
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE shows the humorous frustrations our hero must struggle through as he attempts to sell the few truly good ideas to the Philistines who are Hollywood studio executives. But to do this, he is forced to work with the dross sent to him by the unwashed masses of unsolicited script submitters, including deranged nonsense such as dramas about ballerinas with wooden legs, pun-laden marginalia, and elaborate paranoid fantasies in which all country singers are some evil conspiracy of non-human reptilians, Canadians, or even worse.
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE will share, with a wink, just enough behind-the-scenes realism with viewers to win fans with its attitude, while also sharing with them the humor to be found in the daily life of this most unappreciated of noble avocations.
Categories and Titles
Back to The Brilliant Movie Concepts Overlooked By Hollywood
Back to The Nonsense Page
Back to Bob's home page