A blog for our amateur sitcom Parker

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Legion of Hats: More

Stan thinks the Legion of Hats needs more. A loosely organised group of people who like, research, and are experts on hats isn't enough for him to get excited about[1].

So, More. Here we go with a bunch of ingredients that have dragged themselves still damp and wobbly from the womb of my hungover brain[2].

1. Conflict

Conflict drives story. We need conflicts of different types at every level, to generate plots. So conflict between Legionaires, between the Legionaires and the head of the Legion[3], between the Legion itself and this episode's problems. Additionally, we might want:

a. An organisation that opposes the Legion; an anti-Legion that wants to hide hats away from mankind. This fairly obviously doesn't make any sense, unless they are led by some kind of 30's serial villain, but one or more possible motives may arise in other sections of "More".

b. A rival organisation that has the same goals[4] as the Legion, but is in competition with it. I'm thinking something like the Milwaukee Museum of Headwear, but I think this can be improved on.

2. Mystery

a. All this hat research is aimed at an objective! This will steadily be revealed as time goes on. In full Da Vinci Code mode this objective would be a very special hat, perhaps even a crown.

b. Why the hell is anyone interested in hats? Why would someone fund an organisation to gather data on all the world's hats? Is it some kind of sick hat fetish? Were they molested by hats as a child? Or did they have a good experience with a hat? These sort of questions should be addressed for everyone in Legion of Hats.

3. History

Every hat has a history.

So lets act out this history. For a viking helmet, we do a viking scene. For a Nazi hat, we do a WWII scene. For a policeman's hat, we do some sort of police scene.

4. Comedy

Is this to be played straight, or played as a comedy? Still open.


Chairman: [of the Very Big Corporation of America]... which brings us once again to the urgent realisation of just how much there is still left to own. Item 6 on the Agenda, the Meaning of Life... Now Harry, you've had some thoughts on this...

Harry: That's right, yeah. I've had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts... One... people are not wearing enough hats. Two... matter is energy; in the Universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person's soul. However, this soul does not exist *ab inito*, as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However,this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.


Max: What was that about hats again?

Harry: Er... people aren't wearing enough.

Chairman: Is this true?

Edmund: [who is sitting next to Harry] Certainly. Hat sales have increased, but not *pari passu... as our research -

Bert: When you say 'enough', enough for what purpose...?

Gunther: Can I ask with reference to your second point, when you say souls don't develop because people become distracted... has anyone noticed that building there before?

[They all turn towards the window to see a building approaching or sliding into position outside.]

All: Gulp! What? Good Lord!



A tale of piracy
on the high seas
of finance

Monty Python The Meaning of Life

[1] Calm down Jim! I'm exaggerating for rhetorical effect. Although you have to admit that this concept is very like our normal lives.
[2] That's why this is called "More" rather "story elements" or "additional story structures", as I really can't come up with pretentious descriptors like that at the moment.
[3] Legate?
[4] "To seek out strange new hats and headgear, to boldly go where no hat has gone before" - Legion of Hats mission statement


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Legion of Hats: Gimmicks

Legion of Hats needs gimmicks like Stan needs a drink. So here's two:

1. Hats (duh).

Everyone wears a hat, all the time. Including Extras and Villains. Even when it's ridiculous. People get annoyed/embarrassed when their hat falls off/is stolen etc.

This is to lead up to the season finale when everyone will be called out for an emergency, and will be in the bath/shower/bed in hats.

2. Videophone

The very first thing to do for Legion of Hats is to film everyone, in their signature hats, making some generic videophone calls. We'll play this on laptops/the big screen etc. This helps if someone really ought to be in an episode, but we can't get them to turn up for filming. I suggest we get videophone filming right away.

Finally: Random Link.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Legion of Hats: Organisation

As I see it, the Legion of Hats is not a tightly centralised and highly organised group. Instead, it consists of consultants and specialists, brought in for their expertise and availability. In practice, this means we film with whoever is available, using a script/plan flexible enough for that purpose.

In other words, my pilot should actually be several pilots. As this is too much like hard work, instead I will make it a modular pilot, with extra scenes and characters to plug in. As each character needs a purpose and to contribute to the story, this sounds like a challenge for even experienced writers.



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Legion of Hats: Ideas

When I first floated the Legion of Hats idea, as a photo-comic, Jim requested that they don't fight crime.

I took this on board[1], even though my inital concept was a bunch of hat-wearing crimefighters. One of my ideas, and the one with the most legs, is for them to be researchers - investigators of new hat technologies and archeologists of mysterious and ancient hats. This gave me the following plots, off the top of my head[2]:

- An ancient cowboy hat reveals a secret map (Note that my subconcious stole this from City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold).

- Stan is bitten by a vampire hat (a were-hat would make more sense, but loses the pun).

- A fabulous techno-hat takes over someone's mind.

- The Queen's hat is stolen.

- The team discover the One Hat, the most powerful and desirable object on Middle Earth.

The Vampire Hat idea looks good to me as a pilot, but I will be entertaining other ideas for a little while yet, so feel free to contact me.

[1] The second page was going to be Jim suggesting they fight crime, but the legion themselves coming up with reasons why not, such as they already pay taxes for the police to do that job, that it might damage their hats, and that, as all laws are tyrannical curtailments of natural freedom, the legion would become oppressors - the very thing they were formed to defeat.
[2] Pun intended.


Monday, February 12, 2007

It's not a problem, it's an opportunity!

Problem Opportunity: That despite having a big pile of Parker material and having spent a year thinkign about it we haven't done anything.

[Note that a year isn't really all that long if we were real program makers making a real program. But we aren't. We're shoestring amateurs, shooting from the hip and off the cuff, with our hearts on our sleeves and a studied contempt for such values as quality, characterisation, humour and polishing things until they shine, goddamnit. Except that, from our output, we look like a bunch of idle bums.]

Solution Challenge: Since we can't get what we need together for a pilot shoot, we should come up with more pilots until we actually shoot one.

New Concept: The Legion of Hats.

(Click to make big)


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Super Bert? Now why does that sound familiar?

Gareth, previously known for playing third ninja in Schnee: The Legend has been working on a superhero side project.

And it's on Youtube.

(If you don't know Gareth, it's no funnier than any other amateur superhero-spoof video on Youtube, which is to say, pretty damn funny).