GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Diary 0049: G. Larry Butler & Kevin James

In the mid-80s, my repertory company for film and television began a rapid expansion. Very quickly, the actors in the group exceeded the number with whom I could effectively work and I trained a few of these actors to work with the new actors coming into the rep company schooling them on branding and the Action/ReAction technique I had created and writing and directing them in movie and TV projects.

The most rudimentary series we did was called Diary 0049 and appeared on local cable; its purpose being to get the actor to express his or her brand in front of the camera in a dramatic context. Typically, this happened within four weeks of an actor joining the group--the brand being established in their first meeting and a script was written for them and rehearsed over the next couple of weeks before going into the studio. This set things in motion for participation in more sophisticated projects as we moved forward with development of the actor's brand and his or her marketing.

Diary 0049 was set in the near future in a dystopic America where every citizen is required to visit a video booth and make a report of his or her activities. '0049' referred to the year as the calendar had been reset and we were forty-nine years into the new political order. I intentionally chose the inanimate computer terminal as the actor's scene partner so the actor would learn not to play off what the other actor gives you because, all too often, the other actor in a scene gives you nothing at all. As a computer monitor displays questions for the 'citizen' to answer, a blue line can be seen across the lower third of the screen. At times, it would turn red.

There was no explanation of the line but viewers would call in asking if it was a sort of lie detector which is what I intended it to be. Sometimes, the line would remain blue when you might think it should be red. Sometimes it would turn red for no apparent reason. What no one understood was that the conversation between the computer and the citizen was merely a pretext; the computer was actually 'reading' the citizen's microchip implant which explained why the blue line/red line bore nor correlation to what was being discussed.

The clip here features G Larry Butler and Kevin James.

As I said, this was our most rudimentary and spartan production and we wanted to get each new actor into the studio as quickly as possible to move things along but I always thought the subject matter deserved a more in-depth presentation and development of the theme. Perhaps the time for such a movie has come...

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