Let’s clear things up. Despite what you’ve read on this blog, I am not in fact the Orange County terrorist. I’ve never been to Afghanistan, I don’t wear turbans, and I like to eat bacon. True, Adam and I may share some similar physical traits, but we are not the same person. I’ve never even wished a jihad on America. I love America. Land of the free. Home of the brave.
And while it was disheartening to see this young man turn his back on our country, it was even more of a letdown to watch how truly awful his movie was. I mean, did you see this video? Giant turd. And worse off, it didn’t scare anyone. It got worse reviews than Stealth. Again, I’m no terrorist, but from watching the news the past few years, I’ve picked up some things. Adam, if you’re out there, here’s five quick notes on how to make a much more effective terrorist sequel:
1) Always carry a machine gun. If you’re not strapped, no one is going to take you seriously. Do you think Osama would be where he is today had he not been packing? No. Get yourself a plastic gun. Can’t find a toy gun? Go to your local Walmart and get the real deal. We respond to violence. The semi-auto immediately says, “I’m dangerous.” But don’t point it. Don’t even touch it. Have it draped over your shoulder, ever so subtly. That’s the sign of a composed madman.
2) We can all see your skin is white. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Don’t shy away from it. Work with it. Make it your thing. It can be your hook. “I’m Adam, the ghost terrorist! Ooooohh!” Ghosts are HUGE right now! Look no further than Reese Witherspoon. I’m telling you, the public would be transfixed.
3) How can you have a convincing movie without music? Know your audience. We’re used to music videos and movie trailers. If you’ve got Eminem playing over a slow motion shot of someone getting punched in the face, then we’re scared. I’d also recommend Green Day for their melodramatic punk-rock story telling.
4) Be flashy. Be bold. We’ve seen these threatening videos before. Same medium close up shot again and again. There’s no movement. Incorporate some motion. And what’s your motivation? Maybe use a sidekick? I know, I know it’s been done to death. But work with me here for a second… You open with a tight shot of you and your best friend, Anwar, playing soccer in the field. You’re smiling. You’re laughing. You stop for a drink of goat blood. The camera pans to reveal behind you an American GI hiding in the bushes. A slow motion crane shot swoops down to the GI’s gun, and just as he pulls the trigger, Anwar shouts “NOOOOOOOOO” and dives in front of the bullet. Cut to: you on bended knee, your best friend’s bloody head in your lap. His last words are “Avenge my death, my brother.” Close up shot of a single tear in your eye. Boom! There’s your open. I’d see if Elijah Wood is available. People seem to empathize with him.
5) Finally, talk in soundbites. You rambled on and on and on. Eleven minutes for a – let’s face it – no-name terrorist? No one’s going to stick around for that long. Who do you think you are? Martin Scorcese? Two or three minutes tops. Really sell the message. Hit us hard with the big words. Jihad! Infidel! Bush! Allah! Make them stand out. Depending on the budget, I might go with some CGI, and have each of the words explode into fiery flames.
What I saw from you was a half-assed attempt to scare the American people. You can do better than that, Adam. I know you’ve got it in you. I can feel it. You showed some real artistic talent in your first film. The lighting was good, the direction was strong, but the script needed major work. Still, I think you’ve got the potential to really have us pissing our pants.
Now get out there and deliver the goods. Who knows? It might result in a three-picture deal with Paramount.
– Jim Galasso