Imagine a young scriptwriter presenting to a Hollywood movie producer. I know a young struggling however, talented scriptwriter, so I know a bit about the process. What it all comes down to is can the film find an audience, and can it find investment. A producer is only interested if they can be sure the film will find an audience.
So in this hypothetical, imagine a young scriptwriter presenting a script to producers for say, another sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation about two years ago pre-Covid.
Scriptwriter: What do you think?
Producer: There are funny elements, but this story overall is just not plausible.
Scriptwriter: How so?
Producer: You have the Griswolds going to Florida in the middle of a pandemic, for one. Even as silly as these characters are, nobody is going to believe they would go to a Disney like park in the middle of a viral outbreak.
Scriptwriter: Why not?
Producer: Because Disney would not be open if a virus necessitated ICU tents for one thing, and if there were a viral outbreak so awful that hospitals were overflowing, state borders would be closed much less a theme park. Come on. There is parody, and there is a limit to parody. This is way beyond the limits of plausibility. There Is No &^%$#@! Way Disney Would Be Open In A Pandemic.
Scriptwriter: That is what makes it funny.
Producer: Look at this scene here: In it, you have the Griswolds driving past a Titusville hospital that resembles an outdoor M.A.S.H. unit on their way to the House of Mouse for “family magic.” How would that even be remotely possible? You could not have a family watching in the theater believe that a viral outbreak causes medical personnel to need full HAZMAT on the LAWN of a hospital because there are so many sick from a respiratory illness and life continues like normal.
Scriptwriter: Outbreak tents.
Producer: Ok, outbreak tents. Why would Disney be open allowing people to interact if some kind of dystopian virus was causing people to drop dead? The entire crux of the story is an insult to America’s intelligence.
We now step outside of this pitch room, for a look at real life, circa 2021:
TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Parrish Medical Center in Titusville is now using an overflow tent as the amount of COVID-19 patients increase.
Officials say as of Friday 130 people are hospitalized at the moment, on Thursday the number was listed at 111.
Sixty-three of the 130 people at the hospital have tested positive for the virus.
Now back to the pitch:
Scriptwriter: I have an idea. How about in the movie, this family has been vaccinated, thus it is safe to go do stuff for them and other vaccinated people! Then the parks could be open in that scenario.
Producer: Then why are there Outbreak tents? Are the Griswolds special? Oh I get it, it is a wealth thing, only the elite have access to the vaccine, but that is not comedy that is more like horror.
Scriptwriter: No. The vaccine is free. Anybody can get it.
Producer: That doesn’t work either. If there is some kind of deadly outbreak and there is a vaccine, everyone would get it.
Scriptwriter: But we could write it to where some people are more afraid of the vaccine than the virus?
Producer: You expect the audience to believe that there would be people who drive by a tent encampment of outbreak ICU patients, and they could go to say, a Walgreens or CVS, and get a vaccine, and they wouldn’t do it?
Scriptwriter: Like 90 million people. Ok now even when I say it it sounds crazy. Ok, how about they go on a cruise? Then we could take the wealth angle.
Producer: Only if the other countries letting passengers in require a vaccination.
Scriptwriter: No I think it would be more interesting if cruises were going and say, a Governor would not allow a cruiseline to request a proof of vaccination.
Producer: Hold up. You have them going on a cruise, in a state with a horror movie outbreak, where the Governor will not even allow a cruiseline to make a passenger prove they are vaccinated? What kind of idiot would do that?
Scriptwriter: Maybe a Republican.
Producer: Not even a Republican..
Here we go back to this reality of 2021:
TALLAHASSEE —- A federal judge Sunday sided with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a constitutional challenge to Florida’s ban on so-called “vaccine passports,” clearing the way for the company to require passengers to show documentation that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams issued a 59-page ruling that granted a preliminary injunction against a law that was a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The law blocked businesses from requiring vaccine passports, though Williams’ injunction applies only to Norwegian.
Scriptwriter: Ok how about they go to Texas, and the mom gets hurt at Sea World, and needs surgery for a broken leg, but she can’t get it because the hospitals are too full to do an elective surgery?
Producer: Again, if hospitals are overflowing to the point they can’t even put a pin in a leg, Sea World wouldn’t be open.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced new moves Monday to fight the coronavirus pandemic as it rages again in Texas, including asking hospitals to again put off certain elective procedures to free up space for COVID-19 patients.
Still, the governor did not back down on his refusal to institute any new statewide restrictions on businesses or to let local governments and schools mandate masks or vaccines.
Instead, Abbott announced he had written to the Texas Hospital Association asking hospitals to “voluntarily postpone medical procedures for which delay will not result in loss of life or a deterioration in the patient’s condition.” As coronavirus was consuming the state last summer, Abbott took a more restrictive approach and banned elective surgeries in over 100 counties before ending the prohibition in September.
Producer: The problem is the premise. None of these things are even remotely plausible in the middle of a pandemic. None of this stuff would be open, so none of it could happen!
Scriptwriter: Ok what if the Griswolds were not vaccinated?
Producer: What kind of idiots would travel to a crowded theme park in the middle of a pandemic unvaccinated? Look, go back and write something believable, and get back to me, ok?
The purpose of this hypothetical is to outline the absurdity of our current situation-if you wrote this script nobody in Hollywood would likely have accepted it. Too stupid for words, this behavior takes Idiocracy and makes President Camacho look like Einstein. It is just too unbelievable in what we once thought was a sane world.
Yet here we are. This is from three days ago.
This is not two hours from the very same ICU tents that exist in our current reality.
Crowded. Maskless. Reckless.
Oh oh oh its magic!
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