Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Europa Society Movie

You may recall that I wrote a 15-minute screenplay, "The Europa Society," a few weeks after Benny was born. Ron would watch Benny for two hours after work while I napped, then I'd write until midnight. This happened a few times a week for a month.

We filmed the thing in June, using actors from the Performance Network theater in Ann Arbor. It was screened at the Michigan Theater on Feb. 8 along with other short films.



In a small town in northern Michigan, there is a small group of people who meet every month to talk about populating a small moon orbiting Jupiter, Europa.

Lead by a really, really important former Apollo mission technician, The Europa Society is not one of those crackpot, crazy clubs of people just deluding themselves into believing they can do something that is impossible. Although that does describe their crosstown rivals, The Callisto Club.

With the beautiful orange glow from Jupiter and its vast ocean beneath the thick layer of ice, Europa is one of the few places in our solar system with all the resources to sustain life. And with a target mission date of 2050, there is a lot of time to prepare. I mean, you can't just up and go 400 million miles without preparation. Now that would be crazy.

Running Time: 14 minutes 40 seconds.

The audience responded well to the movie. Some of the biggest laughs came from things that weren't script related, like Sean in a boy scout uniform setting up his ledger, strongbox and colored pencils to a military drum tap. Alicia twirling two flashlights at the logo inspired another big laugh. There was a statue of ET and a space helmet on a table and people laughed at that too. This was definitely the Movie of Funny Props.

People thought the logo was hilarious. They laughed every time it came on the screen. Rad's line: "Nobody will get that. It looks like a poster for good nutrition" was very successful. The name of Edward's latest chapter "Snowflakes of Desire" was a hit.

"The Europa Society" also won third place in the Short Subject category at the Central Michigan Film Festival. So the movie gets another screening in Mount Pleasant in April.

Yay! I'm thinking of taking a screenwriting class if I'm going to continue this. I faked this script, but I'd like to write a full-length Europa Society movie and I'd prefer to know what I'm doing.


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