Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Meeting John Carpenter" A 'not-so-quick' story behind the story

(The following is mostly parody.  Some of the truth has been withheld until further notice!)

The idea to write a screenplay titled "Meeting John Carpenter" came to me after I had recently been assimilated into the Twitter world.  For the longest time,  I had resisted the whole 'social networking' thing,  mostly because of principle.  I consider myself  'old school'  to a point,  and I didn't want to become like most of the idiots who are seen walking down the street,  with their heads down--staring at some glowing gadget.  

(A person could get seriously hurt doing something like that or at the very least,  they could miss their destination and have to turn around and go back.)

It was something that just didn't appeal to me. I didn't want to feel like a 'follower'.  It was just not something I wanted to be.  So, I resisted the whole thing and scoffed at everybody else who embraced it.  Until...

I had a discussion with my bro, about the ending of the original "Phantasm" movie, and I had found out that he and I had remembered a slightly different ending in the theatrical version,  compared to the VHS or DVD version.  We weren't hallucinating, and we definitely didn't 'dream it'.  We both agreed that the "Phantasm" theatrical ending was slightly different, and yet I still needed confirmation.  

Confirmation from somebody who knew the film better than I or my brother could ever know it... The Director himself: Don Coscarelli.

First off, this is the ending that my brother and I remember seeing in the theater, back when we were little kids.  At the end, when Michael goes up to his room to pack for the trip that he and Reggie are going to take,  Michael closes the closet door to reveal the Tall Man in the mirror.  

No difference, still the same.  

But, when the ghoulish hands smash through the mirror and pull Michael through, it cut back down to Reggie playing his guitar.  Reggie stops for a moment, glances up at the ceiling--as if he were listening to the commotion--and then slightly grins.  He then looks back down at his guitar and continues playing.  Then of course, it cuts to black and rolls credits.  

Kind of ambiguous, but cool none-the-less.

That is how my brother and I both remember it.  Were we both 'dreaming' it?  Were we both experiencing our very own "Phantasm" moment?  Only Don Coscarelli knows, and he's not really telling. That's where Twitter comes in.  

I decided to try and contact Don Coscarelli through Twitter, because I was aware of the fact that some 'celebs' actually do tweet back to the fans.  Big surprise there. So I figured that it would be my best shot at confirming what my brother and I had suspected all along.  That there was, in fact, an alternate ending to "Phantasm".

So I registered.  First name I searched for was, you guessed it... Adam Lambert.  He's such an awesome singer and performer, and he's just so HOT!!  And of course, Don Coscarelli was my second search.

I figured out how to do the tweeting thing, and I tweeted Don my question. Then I waited... And waited... Finally, after maybe an hour or two, I decided that I was just not gonna sit around and wait for Don to respond. So, I started searching for other 'celebs' and I found out that 'the horrormaster' himself, John 'fricken' Carpenter, was on Twitter.  

I nearly shit a brick.  

I clicked on his avatar profile pic, and saw that he actually tweeted back to his fans. Wow!!  I could actually have a 140 character chat with one of my idols (the other is Howard Stern).

Trying to plan out my first tweet to Carpenter, was like rehearsing your first phone call to some girl in school that you had a huge crush on.  It was just sickening. I nearly 'planned' myself right into a crazed psychosis (whatever that means).  Finally, I just tweeted something 'vanilla' and sent it along. 

Nothing. Not a word. 

Days passed, and I started to feel like I was just wasting my time. So, I just did what any other person would do when faced with a similar situation: I started tweeting anybody and everybody I could, with random comments about random events.

I think I tweeted Emeril Lagasse with something like "Bam. Bam, Bam!!"
It was sad. I had to do something to curb my enthusiasm, I boredom.

I sent a few more tweets John Carpenter's way, thinking that it wouldn't mean anything, but then one day...something happened.  Carpenter tweeted back!  My whole image of him being this 'stuck up', money-grubbing, self-promoting, egotistical blowhard' just seemed to quietly disappear from my head.  

From then on, it was like the flood gates had been lifted.  I tweeted John about anything and everything.  

What kind of food he liked, what kind of beer he drank, whether or not he wore boxers or briefs.  It was a no-holds barred 'tweetfest'. It was like John and I were buddies.

Of course, John wouldn't always respond, but that is to be expected. I mean, there are soooo many others who might be clamoring for his attention, that to expect somebody like John Carpenter to devote most of his time to an unknown like myself would not only be unrealistic, but downright delusional. I still wanted to know why he didn't respond to my tweet, asking if he "enjoyed fishing".  

John was a busy man. I was not.

That is when I had my epiphany--if you call it that. I realized that what was happening here was a clear cut case of 'obsessive celebrititas'. I was becoming a stalker, and I didn't even know it. I had to step back and look at it from a different perspective. 

And it was at that point, that I realized that this might make a pretty interesting and funny story.

What if John Carpenter became the 'obsession' of a longtime fan, and he didn't even know it. The fact that John's lack of reciprocation didn't faze him one bit, only added fuel to the so-called 'fire'.  

Before anybody starts to call the FBI, I started to formulate a 'funny' view of this story. A parody, if you will. Since I have no real idea how John Carpenter is in his personal or business life, or just life for that matter, I can only take what little that I do know and create a 'character' of John Carpenter.  Much like "Being John Malkovich".

In no way, am I suggesting that John Carpenter is portrayed accurately in my screenplay. It's just for fun. And I hope that, if he ever reads this, which I doubt that he ever will, he might understand that it's just for fun...and not sue me for libel. Or slander. Or just for the money, for which I have none.

My next blog will be my story outline--if you call it that--of my screenplay "Meeting John Carpenter".  It's still in the rough stages, but it might be interesting to check out anyway.

There's more to the story behind the story, but it's mostly just fluff. Todd Farmer fluff. He still plays hard to get, and that's fine... Todd is a busy man too. I am not.

(Don Coscarelli, did in fact, respond to my tweet but was very 'ambiguous' in his response. So much for that.)