The Marketing of Ideas

The deadline for the Washington State Screenplay Competition is December 8. If you have a completed screenplay that could be filmed in Washington State, $35, and a gambler's spirit, then this is for you. The lucky winner may very well get the career boost that former winner George Wing received. Currently, his feature script 50 First Kisses is being made into an Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy. Your script could be next.

There is another competition on the horizon for screenplays that are higher concept, lower cost, and much, much shorter. February 20 is the deadline for WigglyWorld Studio's First Annual Psychotronic Screamplay Competition, which is looking for short screenplays that could eventually become five-minute "psychotronic" films. In this case, "psychotronic" is being defined as low-budget horror where the money is mostly spent on fake blood and guts. With the final project being so short, you can probably come up with several script ideas between now and then. Five finalists will have their scripts judged by Richard Elfman and Ronni Raygun, and the winner will not have to pay a dime to see his or her idea turned into a film. Instead, Gory Gory Hallelujah's Von Piglet Sisters will direct the project, with WigglyWorld picking up the tab.

Has it already been four years since the WTO riots in Seattle? Time does fly, but memories (and videos) remain. The Independent Media Center celebrates the fourth anniversary of the riots on Sunday, November 30, with a screening of This Is What Democracy Looks Like, a 72-minute sampler drawn from more than 350 hours of on-the-street footage, narrated in part by noted lefty Susan Sarandon. There will be a guest speaker (TBA) after the screening, along with food, drink, and discussion.

Which leads me straight into the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season, and the Little Theatre's anti-corporate cavalcade, ULTRA: Corporate Cheese. Friday, November 28 is the day some have christened "Buy Nothing Day." It's also the day for the free opening-night bash of this series. They'll be showing the brand-new, locally made Seattle mall extravaganza Terrorist Shopper, along with last year's shopping prank video Malled: Scenes from Northgate and a couple of other mall-based shorts.

The anti-shopping celebration continues on Saturday and Sunday with Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers, which focuses on the anti-globalization guru John Zerzan. In skimming articles by and about Zerzan on the Internet, he strikes me as a guy who would love to wipe away the established rules of society and start all over again; he seems more of an idealist than a realist. I could be wrong. Ask him yourself. He's going to be at the screenings.

Finally, in opposition to the above ideas, I want to mention an event that celebrates the victory of holiday consumption. Twisted Flicks is presenting its version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at the Historic University Theater on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29.

andy@thestranger.com