Thursday, February 28, 2008

Making a mark on the Marx Brothers

One day an artist chap popped up on my MSN looking for a script. I was surprised and greatly flattered because i am quite the fan of this Particular Creator and he is quite reticent to work with others.

I tossed out ideas; rock 'n roll porn, little riding hood modernisation, battling war tales. Like a little brother trying to impress his older sibling, i energetically made up nonsense hoping he'd play with me.

We discovered we had a common love; Marx Brothers.

I remember reading that Billy Wilder was going to direct a film; A Day at the UN staring the Marx Brothers and always thought it would be cool to write an imaginary comic adaption interspersed with biographical details.

But this idea was much much bigger than the 6 pages this creator wanted to spend drawing. So i had the idea of a self-contained old school trailer with cheesy narration, on-set interviewing and then a slam of quick jokes. And interspersed with biographical snippets.

The hard thing is getting the humour correct - not just repeating jokes from the other movies. I'm not sure I've succeeded that well - especially the physical humor of Harpo.

I wrote the first 5 pages while i was stuck at a beach house on Kangaroo Island, hours away from anything. Being an earlier riser, I'd type away (instead of fishing like the other insomniac). That wrote easily. The last 3 were hard, doing slapstick is tricky and that took me 2 months of pondering.

This is a second draft, so there will be spelling mistakes and grammatical hiccups.

Anyway, please enjoy my imagined adaption of the Marx Brothers in A Day at the UN.


Douglas... said...


Has the artist in question started on it?

Are there copyright issues in using the likenesses?

Excellent idea.

Mark Selan said...

Your use of capitalisation has made me blush.

I think the artist has thought about starting, but i don't want to scare him away or put him on the spot.

I don't think you can copyright or trademark a likeness. People write unauthorised biographies all the time, i don't see this much different. but it might be something i clarify at some point if this moves further.

Richard Morgan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.