elvis is dead
I know. It is sad news. I am broken up over it too. And normally I would not drop such sad news into a conversation, but, there is a reason I bring this up.
See. I read for the Nicholl. [For the uninitiated, Nicholl is an annual screenwriting competition for five fellowships from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences named after screenwriter Don Nicholl.] Nicholl gets a lot of scripts. So I read a lot of scripts. This year reading started late because of a small online forms dilemma, but it is underway, and I am reading scripts, and whammo, before I even hit 50 scripts, I have hit four “Elvis” scripts.
Four does not sound like a lot till you start thinking about those numbers in the grand scheme of things. If I read forty scripts and four of them feature Elvis, well, we are talking one out of ten scripts with Elvis making an appearance.
Now ask yourself, how many scripts with Elvis making an appearance prominently feature “Fat Elvis vs. Thin Elvis” jokes?
You got it.
It is not that I have anything against Elvis. Personally, I like Elvis. He reminds me of my grandmother. She used to get me Elvis music for birthdays and holidays, she thought he was grand, and I loved my grandmother and to this day everytime I hear Yellow Rose of Texas — which granted does not happen a lot in Hollywood but it could — I think of her and that works for me.
But. I am going to probably read between 200 and 300 scripts before reading is over for Nicholl. Not in one day. But over time they build up. And if numbers stay constant here, that means 20 to 30 scripts with Fat Elvis vs. Thin Elvis jokes in them.
I really doubt this is different for any of the other Nicholl readers, I mean, we get these scripts at random, no one is singling me out saying, Hey Max digs Elvis, he is associated with fond thoughts of her grandmother, let’s give her all the Elvis scripts. So odds are all other Nicholl readers are going to be reading 20 to 30 scripts featuring Elvis too.
One of the little boxes we have here to stick a number in is labeled “originality.”
Think about it.