Michael opens the curtains in his hotel room and looks out at the brighter than blue morning sky in Hollywood. But, budding movie mogul Michael is not in Hollywood to sit by the pool or stare at the sky. He has one goal in mind—to sell his idea for a political thriller movie to the world renown and very rich movie producer, Harvey Gump.
Every time Michael thinks about this opportunity, which took him forever to land, he has to swallow hard. Michael is nervous, men like Harvey Gump can make or break a guy in this town. So, Michael is nervous, really nervous. He knows his story idea is great, but wonders if he can tell it right. Michael walks in the bathroom and finds himself standing in in front of the hotel bathroom mirror. He adjusts his tie and goes over the pitch one more time. Although he knows what he’s going to say by heart, he wants to make sure to get it right when he starts talking. He may only have one chance to make his pitch to the right people.
Remember the key words, he tells himself: billionaire, software, frustrated… Start it out like this, “Imagine if you will, a reclusive billionaire with a degree in computer science and decades of experience in computer programming. But the guy’s real money came later, from the stock market. The jury is still out on how he made that money, but he’s got billions, plenty to pull of his schemes. Or so he thinks.”
Clear, it has got to be clear Michael goes on to his next bit, “This guy, this eccentric, crazy billionaire, is getting old, doesn’t know how many years he has left, and he’s frustrated. So frustrated after years and years of backing political candidates who just can’t get the job done. He should have run for office himself, but it’s too late now. Now, in the waning years of his life he is desperate to make something to happen, something that will be his legacy to the world he’s grown to hate, and he’s got plans, big plans. So, first he hires himself some hackers and then he buys a company or two that makes the voting equipment he wants hacked. Then he buys himself a few Web sites and starts spinning out the vilest of the vile stories and lies. A lot of the writing he does himself because, you see, this guy does not trust many people.” And, thinks Michael, “I need to mention while this guy is very secretive, but once in awhile he wants people to know he’s the mover, the shaker, the puppet master.”
“Everything has got to change,” Michael says to himself as checks his iPhone for his latest messages, is how this guy thinks: “First we have to have our man in the White House or at least a man we can manipulate. Then we can move on to making the big changes, like changing the way things happen in Washington, getting our people elected, making sure our rule goes on for decades. Then we can move on to the real heart of the billionaire’s mission: getting rid the infirm and the diseased and it will be quick because we can’t draw this out. The virus will be a targeted one. So, he buys himself a few scientists, and they set up some labs. Maybe a third of the people on earth will die, his scientists tell him, but it will be the third he chooses because the virus only targets people with certain DNA profiles, and then the burden they represent to the earth will be gone. Robots can take over for the ones who die, and the billionaire thinks that will be just fine. Those who remain will be easily managed and manipulated.
Right, Michael thinks, as tightens his tie, here’s how the story itself goes: the billionaire finds his candidate and tries to manage him well but he can’t risk too much exposure so he can’t manage every detail. Everything seems goes along fine and they’re almost to the finish line. Soon they will have the access to everything the billionaire needs to carry out his plot. But, to his horror, the billionaire finds out the candidate is rotten to the core and has been making illegal deals the world over for decades. He is in with the Russians deeper than deep. But, the billionaire hates Russians, and so he finds himself in a bind. Remove the candidate and move on to the VP (also his pick) sooner rather than later? Or retire to his lair and try again later?
Time’s up, and Michael has to get moving to make that lunch pitch date. Time to tighten the tie and get moving. His idea is great, he knows this to the core of his being. The only thing is, Michael asks himself, is how the producer will want the thriller to end. Does the puppet master win? Is the world destroyed and millions die? Or does sanity prevail and the billionaire and his minions lose?
“I guess,” says Michael to himself as he heads to his meeting, “we can film and screen both endings and let the people decide.”