Sunday, July 30, 2006

Parker (Introduction)

So, what is Parker?

[Warning - long post on the pre-history of Parker]

Back at the start of February my friend and collaborator Jim went to Parker's Birthday. During this, he suggested that his life could be a sitcom. From what I recall, his idea was that it would revolve around PARKER, a blue-shirted accountant, and his dizzy blonde flatmate CLAIRE, with supporting characters LARA (Parker's girlfriend[1]) and CHRIS (Claire's brother). Why we thought this idea had legs I don't know.

Many ideas were put forward. The first one still potentially in use came from Stan:

Meanwhile I have a suggestion for Chris T's catchphrase in Parker"Well Ladies it's been a pleasure, but I've gotta go."My actual suggestion is that the tag line is "Well Ladies it's been a pleasure, but "and each time it can have a new "comic" ending!

To which I replied:

For Parker, the sitcom - more Chris Exit lines


Well ladies it's been a pleasure but I'm on the trail
of a Sasquatch



Well ladies it's been a pleasure but Drew Barrymore is
waiting for me downstairs

INT Camera goes to window and...

EXT There indeed is Drew Barrymore, leaning out of
the drivers-side window of a car


Get your arse down here Chris - a traffic warden's
just come round the corner!



Well ladies it's been a pleasure but my trousers are
on fire

Close up on Chris' trousers which appear unremarkable

Close up on Chris' face


Not this pair


Eventually (the end of March) I wrote a scene (from Episode 2, Girly Night [3]) which was generally received positively. We then filmed some credits, a fight scene and an improvised scene where we all sat around talking rubbish. The major drawback to these was that none of the principle characters were actually in the scenes [4]. As might be expected we then got into an argument over which of us was to be the Gaffer, Best Boy and Dolly Grip for the rest of the run. A plan to get Stan to photoshop people in at 25 frames a second was eventually abandoned.

Other idea's include:

The sitcom "Parker" should have a duel in every
episode (29 April);
Filming of the sitcom "Parker" where a lowly chauffeur to an English
lady drives a pink Rolls Royce in his spare time to make some pocket
money (12 May);
> Somehow I managed to be treble booked tomorrow
> night and so I have
> had to forgo a massage in favour of having
> dinner with Anne's parents and lunatic aunt.
... there's definitely a Parker
episode trying to escape there
(29 May);

Which brings us broadly up to the week before last (developments since then to follow in later posts).

Will we ever actually film anything? Well, frankly, my weak point is writing dialogue [5] and most of my friends aren't good enought actors to improvise well. This matches up with the quality of equipment (no offense intended Jim) and our experience at using them.

But stranger things have happened. And I've already made someone laugh. So it's not a complete waste.

[1] Lara expressed a preference that the sitcom to revolve around her and Parker. She'd not thought through that this would involve literally half a dozen people making fun of her relationship with Parker.

[2] Although Jim was dubious:
Thanks neil.

One problem.... how do we get Drew Barrymore on the team?

[3] Despite it's positive reception, it is tragically in need of a rewrite, not least because I put an entire episode's ration of jokes into a dozen lines.

[4]Crew list from an email on 10 April:
Director of photography

Jim is the creative genius behind the
unauthorised extended edition of the Peter Greenaway
classic "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover and
Stan". He has produced and directed the entire run of
"Baldy TV". He is available for private work
including Weddings, Christenings, Childrens' parties
and Divorces.

Executive Producer

Neil has produced a number of projects, none of
which have been released.

Third Ninja

Gareth has appeared in "You only live twice", "3
Ninjas", "3 Ninjas kick back", "3 Ninjas knuckle
down", "3 Ninjas high noon at mega mountain", "Power
Rangers ninja storm", "Kung Fu Girls", "Wayne's World"
and "Ally Mcbeal".

Mr Schnee
Dolly Grip

Mr Schnee has worked extensively in the crime genre.
He is the inventor of the cheaper and simpler
alternative to bullettime (tm) - the
push-that-camera-dolly-faster (tm) system.

[5] Writing dialogue and putting in footnotes. My two weak points are writing dialogue, putting in footnotes and cribbing from Monty Python. Amongst my weak points are writing dialogue, putting in footnotes, cribbing from Monty Python, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope.
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